You have a beautiful way of writing n u know I love your writing but I have been noticing since quite sometime that there is always this underlying sadness through symbolism in each recent story of yours that leads to the buildup of the climax which gets too overwhelming so hoping that it gets lighter from hereon
@ALL:You never expected dadima to die and that she would play cupid? Well, I wouldn't be me if I went the conventional way! But on a serious note, we all come with an expiry date. And how many of us have seenour grandparents live till we are 20 or even 30? Very few. I am just trying to stay low. I know I made you sad but then again I would say like always, If Winter Comes, Can Spring be Far behind?
@indiegirl: pls clean your inbox to receive pms
@anmirza: thank you for the beautiful comment.Underlying sadness... well, I believe they are a necessary part of our journey to bring about a happy ending.
@Twilightsparkle: welcome back!!! Looking forward to seeing your comments.
@Hinal @Roops: this update is dedicated to both of you. I can understand where you stand right now very well because I have been through the same. And this update comes from a very very personal experience. I hope I am able to reach out to you guys.
28.Aisi Bhi Baatein Hoti Hain...
"I have lost both my parents Maan... I have no one to turn to. Do you think I won't know?"
He stopped and gaped at her. She wasn't hurt. She wasn't angry. She was smiling. She was looking right into his eyes, telling him to just listen. And he did.
"... It is so difficult for us to let the departed go but with time, I have learned one thing. You know what that it?"
She shifted a little and clasped her hands together.
"People who are gone... are just gone. No matter how much you cry or fight or beg for it, they aren't coming back."
She heard a sharp intake of his breath and she felt a thin layer of tears forming in front of her eyes. He turned to look at her and found her looking far out towards the skies, blinking her eyes to hold back those tears.
"Its us who are left behind to deal with the loss and I am not saying all these things to make you feel better. Nothing I say is ever going to make you feel better or even me for that matter. I have been through that phase already. And I have nothing good to say to you. I won't say words like May her soul rest in peace or that may you be bestowed with courage to deal with the loss or anything fancy. No condolences because I know how fake they are. Cry how much ever you want, scream, vent out but don't close yourself to the people who love you."
She turned back to him with a little smile. The sky was filled with birds going back to their happy homes, chirping and squeaking. The sun was slowly going down, bidding everyone a goodbye.
"You are a great deal luckier Maan that you have your family to at your back. Go back to them. Don't be like me."
She tried to get up when he held her hand and pulled her back. She sat down and looked at his hold and then back at him.
"No. Stay." He spoke after a very long time.
She gazed at him for a couple of seconds watching his vulnerable face. That tough mask he had put on was slowly breaking. She nodded softly and eased back close to him. And he kept holding her hand.
"Why?" He whispered.
"What is it about you Geet that you don't want me to be like you?"
The emotions in his eyes matched hers in her heart. They were in sync right now, like space and time... Like two giant stars colliding and creating a rhythmically pulsating giant star, radiating off energies in all direction.
She broke off the eye contact and leaned back. Looking up at the dusk, she contemplated something.
"..because all my life, I have done nothing but lose people."
She glanced at him and saw him confused.
"You know Maan, I had been in love with a guy once and I thought he loved me too. It had been to such an extent that we had been engaged. We were supposed to get married too..but we didn't."
He couldn't believe what he heard! She had been engaged? She was getting married? It hit him way too hard than he realized.
"But then..." she continued speaking and he held his hurting heart, "then I realized he didn't love me the way I loved him. He loved me of course but not how one is supposed to love a woman as his soul mate. He loved someone else and I came here."
"wh...where is he?" curiosity got the better out of him.
She smiled, "well, he is happily married to the love of his life."
He just gaped at her, astounded.
How can she smile like this? She has lost her parents, she lost her love...how can she?
Like she understood his dilemma!
"And I have accepted the fact. That's the biggest gift I have ever given to myself. Accept things as they are Maan... things would become so easier to deal with!"
"Doesn't it hurt?"
She chuckled, "Ohh of course it does. Why do you think it wouldn't?"
"That's just so...so..."
"...sad?" she completed his sentence.
"I was about to say melancholy.."
"Yes it is! You have no idea how difficult it is for me to wake up every morning and deal with the day knowing I have no one to go back home to. I have no one who would pat my back when I did something good... I have no one who would stop me if ever I took a wrong path. Every evening I go back home, I am welcomed by that eerie emptiness of the apartment but I am dealing with this...somehow! There are even times when I don't feel like waking up to see another day Maan..."
Had it been any other day, he wouldn't have believed a word she said. But who would have known that behind that carefree face resided a vulnerable girl?
"Geet..I...I..don't know what to say..."
"I know I must have sounded very desperate when I told you all this but all I ever want you to understand Maan is that don't give up on the people who love you. Dadima is gone. Others are still here. You have Ana and Kabir to take care of and your parents... everyone needs you."
She flashed her teeth, trying to lighten the mood, "so, get up and kick some ass! Go back to office and show the world who Monster Khurana really is..."
Before he could have chided her for anything, she stood up and ran inside.
There are even times when I don't feel like waking up to see another day Maan...
You have no idea how difficult it is for me to wake up every morning and deal with the day knowing I have no one to go back home to...
Her words echoed in his head. She brewed up a storm inside him and ran away. So typical of her! These days, she had occupied better part of his thoughts and this time, he realized, she was not who she reflected herself to be. With the chaos in his heart, he walked inside.
"Here...your sandwich and tea." Ana handed her the plate and sat beside her.
They had been sitting in Ana's room, after a long time, chatting casually.
"Its been so long we have had a carefree chat Geet... things are moving so fast and with dadima gone..." her voice faltered.
Geet kept her plate away and pulled her friend in her embrace, "Shh... she has gone to meet Kanha. She is in good hands."
Ana sniffed and smiled, "Yes. She is. Its just Maan Bhai everyone is worried about.."
Geet caressed her head, "Give him time. He will be fine. Where is Kabir these days?"
Ana sat up straight and handed back Geet her tea, "Ohh yeah.. he is filling in for Maan Bhai and its really taking a toll on him. Moreover, he is handling Emily Huston's project..which Maan Bhai was supposed to do."
Geet bit into her sandwich, "who is Emily Huston?"
Ana pulled the pillow and hugged it close, "Ohh she is one blood sucking socialite and philanthropist...recently divorced her third husband and she has some project right up in Toronto. So, Kabir has to travel all the way up there and back. Anyways, how are your baking classes going on? What have you learned?"
Geet licked the sauce off her fingers, "I hope she doesn't trouble him much. Baking classes are going fine Ana. They are teaching us about various ways of making bread."
"That's so cool. How I wish dadima were here. She would have loved you so much.."
Her voice went gloomy but Geet remained thoughtful. After almost a minute of silence, she spoke up.
"I was thinking to visit London once the final exams are over."
"what?" Ana gasped, "why this sudden plan? You weren't planning to go back just a week back!"
Geet sighed, "Yeah but there are a few things to take care of. Some property deal my father had left... I need to complete that..."
"But Geet...we have Grad Party around that time. You promised you'd go with me."
"I know...I know but am sorry. This thing is important."
Ana raised her brows, "You sure? Do you need any help? You aren't hiding anything, are you?"
Geet thought for a while before replying, "No. Just some paperwork! I will be done quickly. Am sorry for ditching you for the party.."
They talked for a while until Geet realized she had to get back.
"Geet...have dinner and go!" Ana called.
"No Ana. Later. Got some errands to run. So don't want to get late. Where is Maan? I might just see him before I leave."
"Umm... must be in dadima's room. He keeps himself locked there. You sure you wanna go?"
She walked towards dadima's room and heard faint music floating in the air. She knocked and walked in, upon finding no answer. It was dark, except for the faint light from the window. Dadima's room looked haunted. Things have been moved. It looked so lifeless. Her eyes stung with tears when she turned around and found Maan sitting on her rocking chair, lost in his thoughts. Her old gramophone stood by his side, playing all her favourite music. The voices of Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar...all her favourites rose and fell and he just sat there, like a statue.
She slowly walked closer and knelt in front of him, resting her hand on his knee.
"Maan..." she called out softly.
Memories are something that can make you smile and cry at the same time. And he found himself at that juncture... unable to decide whether to smile or cry. It had been his daily routine to sit with the gramophone and play all the records that dadima loved. It soothed his aching soul. She meant the world to him and now with her gone, a certain emptiness, a void he felt forming within him.
Her soft touch broke his chain of thoughts and he raised his eyes to meet her sad ones.
How had she lived with so much within her?
"I..I am heading home." She whispered.
How can she smile with so much without her family when he was so broken only without dadima?
"Just wanted to say bye to you. Please take care."
She rose up holding his hand and he stood up along too. she turned to leave and he didn't let go.
She gasped and looked back at him...his eyes held her captive, like he wanted to say something... ask so many questions... and by that look she knew he didn't want to be left alone. She inched closer to him, not breaking the eye contact...still holding his warm hand.
Kuchh dil ne kaha kuchh bhi nahi Kuchh dil ne suna kuchh bhi nahi Aisi bhi baaten hoti hain Aisi bhi baaten hoti hain Kuchh dil ne kaha kuchh bhi nahi
A beautiful vintage old voice floated in the air and they remained still in the moment until he spoke.
The hauntingly beautiful melody had them captivated. He lifted the hand he was holding and placed it on his shoulder and held it there.
"How can you be so much at peace? Have you forgotten everything?"
She flowed with him as her feet moved along the music, just like his...slowly. Her hand rested on his shoulder softy while the other fidgeted with her curls.
"Who said you need to forget things to remain at peace?"
Letaa hai dil angdaiyan Iss Dil ko samajhaaye koi
His other hand went up and pushed the curls away.
"You have to accept the truth Maan and let it go..."
His hand that caressed her curls went to her waist and pulled her close to him. She gasped yet she didn't dare to break their eye contact. And they moved...
"Its not easy as you say so Geet... I.. can't.. I just can't.." his voice broke.
Armaan naa aankhen khol Dein rusavaa naa ho jaaye koi Palakon ki thandi sej par Sapno ki pariyaan soti hain
"I used to think like you Maan...when my father left me. How will I survive? How will I move on? It was a day without him... and then slowly it became another day and another... and when I knew it was one week already."
Aisi bhi baaten hoti hain Aisi bhi baaten hoti hain Kuchh dil ne kaha kuchh bhi nahi
He didn't say much but the long dragged breath told her of his turmoil. She rested her other hand on his shoulder too... moving slowly like the gently swaying willow tree... in sadness and in pain.
"It is same for everyone. Days will turn into weeks and weeks into months. Months will turn into a year...and another year...and then you wouldn't realize when it would be forever' and you will never see them again."
Tears rolled down her eyes, "and same will be with you too...hang in there...you will learn to live with it...whether you like it or not. There is no other option."
Dil ki tassali ke liye jhuthi Chamak jhuth nikhaar
She felt so soft against him... reaching up to his chin and those eyes now glassy.
He led and she just followed.
"Will I learn it too Geet? Like you did?"
She felt the knot in her throat tighten and she didn't hold back her tears anymore. She bit her lips and nodded. She had so courageously held back all these days but things always take a detour when it came to this particular man.
Jivan to sunaa hi rahaa Sab samajhe aayi bahaar Kaliyon se koi puchhataa Hansati hain yaa roti hain
Unable to hold back, she leaned in and sobbed, resting her head on his chest. They kept swaying... moving along with the melody and she let it all out...those lonely nights, the haunting apartment...everything. She didn't stop even when she felt his head rest on top of hers but she froze for a moment when she felt his tears on her scalp.
Aisi bhi baaten hoti hain Aisi bhi baaten hoti hain Kuchh dila ne kaha kuchh bhi nahi Kuchh dil ne suna kuchh bhi nahi
They remained like that, still in time and she felt more of his tears on her shoulder. She clutched his shirt tighter and held on until he felt better. Until he stopped! A man, as popularly believed, never cried but when he does, he does it from the heart. She saw his heart today. And she knew if she stayed more, she wouldn't be able to go back home with a sane mind. She left his shirt and wiped her tears.
Another song came up on the gramophone and she broke out of the warm embrace of this man. She looked up to see his tear streaked face and he didn't even make an effort to hide away. That, she realized, was his trust. And she needed to get out of this place before those emotions overpowered her sanity.
As gently as a feather, she slipped away and stopped when he didn't let go of her hand. She looked back once more...one last time at those vulnerable eyes and gave a weak smile.
"The dead don't suffer Maan and that is why you and I are still here."
She walked away and he let her go this time. Her fingers slipped away from his and the room echoed with her words...
Maan did let his guard down because he knew Geet could feel his pain like no one else! Looks like the mention of another man from Geet did hurt him quite a bit but it would be a while before he admits that to himself!