My life came crumbling down that day. Mala was visiting India to bring back Devyani. She was what, four months old then? I can’t define what I went through when I got to know Mala’s plane had crashed. I was shattered…Life looked all set and then someone pulled the rug from under my feet. I was so blank, broken. I was drowning in grief – married for just two years, now left with a little baby girl. Bauji, and everyone else in the family thought it was best I married Dhara. Who could have related to my grief and been the best mother to Devyani than Mala’s own sister? I went with the decision.
But Dhara didn’t want to live in Canada. I had been away from home, from India for more than 15 years. I was just 20 when I went to Canada from New York…Soon enough; I knew I wanted to live there. There were so many adventures and misadventures. Brick by brick, I had built a decent business in Montreal – expanding the family textiles business there, adding some retail assets, and real estate…
I sold off everything, all I had created, except our home. We moved back lock, stock, and barrel to India. Those were the days when my life moved the fastest but every moment felt slow.
Canada to India itself was a big change. And Montreal to Agra? I had no clue the turn life was going to take. Agra depressed me – there were no friends, no family, those were not the days of mobile phones… not even landlines. You had to send a telex or a fax…It was just me and the factory. We had a two-bedroom house on the terrace of the factory – that’s where I lived. Morning, evening, day or night, it didn’t matter – I spent all my time at the factory. Agra those days used to have incessant power cuts; at least in the factory, there was 24-hour power and water supply. Most days, I used to be in the shipping department till two in the morning….