Like every year, this year too we invited some close friends for lunch on Holi. “She is coming with us. Hope you don’t mind,” said a friend tentatively. Left with no choice, I acceded to the request as graciously as possible. To me ‘she’ was more than just a friend, and our batchmates knew that very well. We had parted our ways some two decades ago and since then I had never tried to meet her.
Memories fade but they are never erased completely. And, I realised that I was no exception. Costa-Gavras’ Hanna K. was the last movie we saw together. I found the movie so engrossing that I hardly spoke to her. She never commented on the movie and I never found out whether she liked it or not. All this was playing on my mind when the guests started arriving.
She came with them and looked charming as usual. I was a little hesitant to face her. Later, thanks to a large peg of Scotch, I regained composure and my hesitation melted away. There was nothing to talk about, except some casual conversation. The conversation was drab and inane; I was just fulfilling duties of a good host.
After a languid lunch and celebrations, my guests left. Extremely drowsy, I slipped into a slumber. After some good three hours of sleep, I got up and joined the family at the dinner table. While serving me, my wife quipped: “I could see that she failed to appreciate the sensitivity you had shown for justice, race and gender relations. Your adulation for Hanna Kaufman, the protagonist of Gavras’ movie, was beyond her comprehension.”
My wife knew about my checkered past, courtesy my own admissions. We have been married for two decades and she had no trouble deciphering the reason for what happened many years ago. As for me, I got the answer to the question that lay buried in my heart for more than two decades from none other than my own Hanna!