Ansh was bored. Idly he bounced his big rubber ball and it took a surprise bounce that knocked a delicate photo-frame off the credenza. It fell with a crash and Vivek looked up with a start. It was THE FRAME, the one, Diya had picked after a lot of scouting around.
Delicate shells and mother of pearl entwined in white metal along with beads of shiny crystal that sparkled every time they caught the light. The shells and beads now rolled on the floor and the frame lay face down amidst scattered smithereens of the glass cover. Ansh seemed paralyzed with shock and looked at Vivek with dismay all over his tiny face.
“It’s okay buddy, be careful there’s sharp glass on the floor. Don’t worry I’ll fix it before mom gets home,” he assured the little boy. They all knew how much Diya adored her artifacts; she was paranoid and super-finicky when it came to them. She never let anyone touch THE FRAME or move it around; it was practically sacred to her. It had always held a place of undisturbed pride all these years in every house they had resided.
I could not believe I had been at the beat-down, ramshackle handicrafts exhibition for well over three hours and it didn’t look like you were going to give up anytime soon! What could be so fascinating that you couldn’t drag yourself away? I couldn’t figure that out, especially since you actually didn’t buy much! I patiently trudged along and watched you - looking entranced by the sight of all the wares and curios on display and gaily chatting with the artisans. Finally I thought you were done, but just as we were proceeding towards the exit, you gave a little shriek and hurried to some stall you had missed visiting.
I felt almost jealous when I observed that look of ‘love at first sight’ as you were gazing at the tiny frame. A jubilant look on your face declared: I got it! You didn’t even bother to haggle over its price….how some things have changed now!
Diya sipped her coffee, concentrating on the screen in front of her. In the adjoining cubicle Shayna and Aditi were giggling over their mobile screens. ‘Silly girls, when will they grow up!’ she wondered. She was used to seeing them go through constant cycles of ecstasy and depression revolving around their ephemeral boyfriends.
She glanced at her soft-board that was filled with memos, reminders…her eyes seeking out the cute family photo from their recent holiday.
The first time we went to a photo studio after our engagement, how the old photographer hassled us! Telling you to loosen up, place your arm around me, telling me to drop my big goofy smile and look a little coy.
Well, whatever he did, he managed to capture the perfect candid moment with both of us rapturously gazing at each other; while we thought he was preparing for the shoot. That was of course besides that dowdy-goody-good picture our families had demanded of us!
Vivek frantically racked his brains….where on earth could he find a frame so precious, one that was so dear to Diya! He spent half the day googling all the possible online shopping sites but came away with nothing. Little Ansh patiently sat through it all with his Dad and finally he said, “Let’s go to Mom’s favorite store and pick her a new one, even more beautiful?”
As the lift crawled up to their floor, Diya hoped her maid had prepared the dinner with less restraint on the salt and spice. She made a mental note to stock up on kitchen supplies soon. She entered the house and found the boys and Vivek waiting for her with a pretty bouquet and a beautifully wrapped gift. “Surprise!” they chorused.
“Hey…what’s this for? Tell me quick…Vivek, what happened? Taran, did Dad forget to pick you from school? Ansh sweetie, did you eat lunch?”
Guiltily, Ansh came forward with the gift, “Mom, I was playing with the ball and it knocked over THE FRAME! So we got you one….even prettier!”
Diya felt moved, “Aww…. that is so sweet! Come on guys, group hug time…I hope the new frame you picked is bigger so all four of us can fit into it!”
Vivek’s eyes met Diya’s. No words were needed.
Sweetheart, THE FRAME is nothing to me; it was the memory it held that made it so precious. It was the first picture we took together as a couple, the one the old photographer clicked….if it’s safe, that’s all that matters!
THE FRAME ensconced a beautiful memory of our gentle, tender first love and with time it has endured and grown so much more vast, rich and mellow!
FRAME1<<FRAME2<<FRAME3<<FRAME 4 << And their life continued with many more happy little frames!!
Image source: MarlboroughAntiques
Disclaimer: All the characters in the Love in Frames series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.
Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI