One Decision – My second short story

“Nikhil!!!” Aditi cheered on phone.

“Hey Aditi!!!” Nikhil cheered back, “So the course is over?”

“Yes. And guess what? I got ‘A’ grade in Basic Mountaineering course!!”

“That’s awesome baby! Congratulations!!!That calls for a party! Come back soon now. I just can’t wait to see you. You would be reaching here this Saturday right?”

“Well… err…. Nikhil”

“What happened?”

“I have also been selected for the Advanced Mountaineering Course (AMC) and would have to stay back till end of next month when the course finishes.”

There was silence on the other end.

“Nikhil! Would you please say something?”

“Is there anything else to speak?”

“I thought you would be happy to hear this.”

“Happy to hear!!! That I won’t be able to meet my fiancée for another month! And all because I had given the consent for her to pursue her passion of Mountaineering course!”

“Nikhil, my dad too had given consent for the same. You know that you both are the pillars of my life. I cannot function without either of you.”

“Had we been married, I wouldn’t have let you gone for sure.”

“I am aware of that and this is the main reason why I want to pursue my ambition before we get hitched so that I don’t have any grudges left in my life while I enter a new phase of my life.”

“Anything else you want to tell me?”

“That’s it.”

“Alright then. Let me know when you would be coming back. I would be waiting for you.”

“Hope you not angry.”

“There’s nothing to be happy about either.”

“You are spoiling my mood.”

“So are you Aditi.”

“Nicks please. You know how much I love this adventure”

“And what about me?”

“I already said you are one of the pillar of my life.”

“I feel it’s a useless comment that I keep on hearing time and again from you.”

“Nikhil I got to go now. Just tell me would you be talking to me?”

“Aditi I need some time to get calm about all this. I also need to think how to tell this to mom now. I will call you when I feel like.”

“I just hope you understand my perspective.”

“I always try to but when are you going to reciprocate I don’t know.”

“I think this distance is taking a toll on our relation.”

“It makes me happy you realise that at least.”

“Of course I do, silly.”

“So when does your course end?”

“It is scheduled to end on November 19.”

“Cool. You will be here by my birthday then. This sounds a bit relieving.”

“Yes. I really got to go now Nicks. Will call you in evening today?”

“No. Don’t call. I told you i will call you when i feel like. As of now i don’t know what mom will day. Anyways, do well.”

“I will wait for your call. Thanks.”


“Welcome back!!!” Nikhil greeted Aditi as she came out from the arrivals gate at Mumbai’s airport. Aditi was looking cheerful and her skin glowed after spending two and a half months in Uttarkashi’s Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Nikhil was enthusiastic about meeting his fiancée after a long time. Anger had now vanished seeing Aditi right in front of him.

“Wow. What a welcome!” Aditi was happy to see Nikhil with a bouquet of roses for her. Though all the anger had vanished, Aditi was a bit sceptical on how she would break the news about further progress in mountaineering to Nikhil. She was happy and tensed at the same time. She decided not to disclose it as of now and would tell him when the time is right. They both hugged each other and made up for the time spent apart.

“So how is my princess doing?” asked Nikhil

“Absolutely great!! What an overwhelming experience it was! Where’s dad and mom? They didn’t come along?”

“No. I told them not to. I just wanted to spend time with you. As it is after diner I would drop you at your place where you would have ample of time to meet them.”

“Diner! Now this sounds exciting. Where are we headed to?” Nikhil took hold of her luggage trolley and started to push it towards the car parking area.

“Have booked a table at Ambassador. Hope my princess likes it.”

“What!! Nicks!! Look at my dress! I am not dressed up for the same.”

“I know so I have booked a room in the same hotel for you to freshen up first and then we can head for diner. Moreover I want to be the first person to get the gifts you have bought.” Nikhil winked at Aditi.

“Now this is a bit relieving. And I like your confidence about gifts.” Aditi winked back.

At ambassador while having diner, Aditi showed Nikhil all the pictures on her digi-cam while her training at the NIM. With all the mountaineering gadgets in her hand and the mountaineering suit, Aditi looked smart and happy. The snaps indicated that the training was no child’s play and to have got ‘A’ grades in both the Basic and Advanced Mountaineering course was really an achievement. Nikhil did compliment Aditi for the same and also apologized for being angry at her when she told him that she would have to stay at NIM for Advanced Mountaineering course. The decision to stay on and pursue the advance course was clearly worthwhile.

After Diner, Nikhil dropped Aditi at her place. Mom and Dad were delighted to see her after almost three months. The hug she shared with mom and dad lasted for over 3 minutes. After all she was the only child. They missed her a lot. Then started round 2 of her telling her mom and dad about what all she did at NIM. They were awestruck when they saw the pictures of her training.

“Dad it was so awesome. I felt on top of the world with the training.”

“It is quite visible my child. Your expression in the snaps says it all.”

“Dad you know what! Mark Inglis, the first double leg amputee to summit Mt. Everest, had come for a guest lecture at the institute. It was absolutely brilliant.”

“That’s great!”

“That’s not all Dad. He is sponsoring a climb at Mt. Everest and he chose me to be a part of the expedition!”

“Mt. Everest! You must be joking Adi!!”

“No Dad I am serious. Dead serious. I am so excited about the same. The expedition starts at…”

Dad interrupted, “Adi, have you told Nikhil about the same?”

“No Dad. Not yet. He reacted in a bad manner when I told him about the Advanced Mountaineering course and I don’t know how he would take this news.”

“Yes Adi, he was very angry about your extended stay.”

“But dad if you don’t have any problem who is he to stop me from pursuing my passion.”

“He would be husband, my child.”

“I am aware dad. But that’s future. I am your responsibility as of now. Not his. I can’t take all this dad.”

“Nikhil was your choice Aditi. You bought him to us and we are happy with this alliance. How can you talk like this! Moreover he is a great guy. And I don’t think he reacted in a wrong manner. Any man would have reacted the same.”

“Just because I decided to spend the rest of my life with him doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my dreams for that.”

“Sometimes you have to leave certain things behind to be able to be with the other. I would suggest you take Nikhil’s permission first.”

“Ok dad. As you wish.” Aditi was a little disheartened. Had her dad agreed, there would have been no problem in convincing Nikhil.

“But beta, we are very proud of you.” They again shared a hug.

Next day Aditi got up early for her jogging as advised to her by the trainers. She had to be very careful about her physical fitness to be able to climb the highest mountain on the planet. As decided, Nikhil came to pick her up after her breakfast to take her to meet his mom followed by lunch thereafter. Nikhil’s mom was little upset about Aditi delaying her arrival which was evident in the way she spoke to her.

“Was mom angry with me Nicks?” asked Aditi while they were on their way back.

“What else do you expect Adi?”

“Nicks you need to make her understand that I have a life and wish to lead it as per my desires.”

“How can I make her understand when I myself don’t understand. There’s party at my place you not there, there’s Pooja at my place you again not there, for any occasion at my place, you are unavailable. People keep bothering with all the insane questions about their would be daughter in law.”

“Nicks I think I wish to tell you one more thing before it gets too late. At NIM, we had a session of Mark Inglis who is the first double amputee to have climbed Mt. Everest. He is sponsoring an expedition next year and I am selected as a part of the team. I want to go and summit but with your consent.”

Nikhil started laughing.

“What happened?”

“Not able to digest this.”

“I am not joking. I am serious about it Nicks.”

“Adi, why do you want to Summit Everest? You are not the first person to do anything new. Your name won’t go down in history like Mark Inglis or Bachendri Pal or Arunima Sinha. Then Why?”

“I just want to pursue my dream and fulfil what I am most passionate about. Apart from that I don’t have anything say.”

“Passion! My foot.” Nikhil was angry now. “Every time you do what you feel like. We are part of your life which doesn’t seem like. I was planning to propose our marriage in February but now this expedition of yours… what do I say?”

“Marriage can wait for another year. But this is a Once in a lifetime opportunity which won’t knock at my door anytime ahead.”

“Don’t you have any importance for our relation Adi?”

“Of course I do and that’s why I am asking for your consent. I will do anything for you but I just need your support in this thing. After this I Promise to be grounded with you.”

“Let’s see.” And the car screeched to a halt. “Your home has come.”

“Hope you are not angry with me Nicks.”

“I don’t want to talk Adi. Please. No more discussion now. I need to reflect on why we are together after all when all you wish to do is pursue your passion.”

“Nicks you do matter to me. Trust me you do. I will wait for your reply.” And Nicks left.

She willed herself to not check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his last seen at status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet she couldn’t stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.

And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.

But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn’t know if he was joking or not. What was this? In the past they did have fights but this was different.

‘Aditi, I don’t know what to say. My mom was pissed when I told her about your wanting to Summit the Everest. My family is not very happy about it. I love you but not at the cost of pissing my family. I don’t know whether we should continue this relation or just part ways wherein you would be free to take your own decisions and pursue your dreams. But with the mess thats happening i think you will have to choose either me or your expedition. Thats all I have to say.’

‘I never thought I would have to choose between you and Everest. Both have a different place in my life. But since you have given me the freedom to choose any one between the two, I will let you know my decision shortly.’
Aditi had tears in her eyes while she typed it. Just then Dad entered her room.

“What happened to my darling? Why are you crying beta?”

Aditi just showed the whatsapp message that Nikhil sent to Dad along with what she typed.

“I did anticipate it.”

“I don’t know what to do Dad.” Aditi was shaken.

“Ok, now keep quiet and let’s do an exercise.”

“An exercise?”

“Yes. To decide what you should be doing. Are you ready?”


“Ok. As you already told Nikhil that He and Mt Everest hold different place in your life. Tell me which is more important to you?”

“Dad I cannot decide upon importance. Both are important to me.”

“What will Summiting Everest give you and Marrying Nikhil give you?”

“Summiting would give me memories which I would cherish for the rest of my life. It would give me a sense of achievement, and would give me an identity, will be my pride. Marrying Nikhil would give me a chance to live my life with my best buddy with whom I am most comfortable with, with whom I am comfortable in sharing anything.”

“Well said. Now you need to decide what you want from life, your identity and memories to be cherished for life or an opportunity to stay with your best friend till you are alive.”

“This is where I am stuck Dad. Both are important. I wish to have memories and identity along with being with Nikhil.”

“Both are not possible and hence you need to make a choice.”

“What would you suggest Dad?”

“I will not suggest anything to you my dear. It is you who has to take this decision which path to choose. A certain path of relationship with Nikhil, or an uncertain path of climbing Everest which you don’t know if the circumstances would allow you to. As we know that the weather conditions determine the success of the expedition.” Aditi thought for a while and then smiled and looked at her father.

“Thanks Dad. I have made my decision.” She messaged back Nikhil.


“Nikhil!! I am on top of the world! I am on Summit of Everest!” she radioed Nikhil through base camp after summiting Everest. She was simply overwhelmed.

“That’s awesome Adi!! Congrats to you!! You finally did it!”

“Yes. Finally I did. This wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thanks to you.”

“No need to thank me. You were ready to sacrifice your lone chance of summiting the Everest for our relation. Couldn’t I just support you for your last endeavour? Because I know that once you are back from Summit you will be mine forever and ever.”

“Yes I will be. I love you Nicks.”


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