Baatein Teri Karte Hue Thak Ke Soo Jaati Hun Sirhaane Asmaan Jaane Kahan Mud Jaati Hain Dekhte Dekhte Tujhe Ye Galiyan...
She watched in glee, her best friend getting married to her Maan Bhai. Could it be any more beautiful? Adorned in a light blue lehenga, she was the brightest, the chirpiest and the happiest. She had an amazing time in London when the wedding preparations had started. She got to know everyone from her family and despite her prejudices against Raj and Pooja, she actually enjoyed with them. And amidst all the teasing and cheering, she found one pair of eyes looking her way.
At first, she thought she was hallucinating but then the image of him didn't fade away. The pain of separation still remained but she kept herself busy. Two most important people in her life were getting married. She couldn't afford to dampen the spirits. And so, she had kept herself busy for the month.
She looked towards the rituals and then looked back at him. He had inched closer to her.
"Damn you Antara..." she mumbled under her breath, "what are you even thinking!"
She twisted her lips and concentrated on the wedding when he spoke into her ears.
She jumped at the voice and looked at him wide eyed.
He smiled, "Yes I am here."
Dressed in black suit, he had grown a little beard with time. Sturdy that he was, she couldn't avert her gaze from him. Was he really that hot or did that beard make him look so, she wondered.
"Shut your mouth Premchand... you are going to swallow mosquitoes." He teased. His breath fell on her neck, setting goosepimples on her skin. It felt like coming alive after eons.
"Aarush??" she finally could formulate words. And suddenly everything hit her...the happiness, the love, the fight, the tears and the distance...and a drop of tear slipped down.
"Why are you crying?" he acted as if nothing had happened. Raising his hand he gently wiped away those tears. She remained rooted to her spot, unable to move or say anything. It was so long after that she was seeing him...she didn't want it to end.
But alas! All good things must come to an end... or that is what they say!
She felt his fingers curl around her and drag her away.
"We need to talk Premchand and for that, we need to be alone. Away from everyone else."
It was then that it hit her like an epiphany that he had indeed come back. And slowly, very slowly, the emotions set in...of joy and grief together, of longing and waiting...of relief and fear.
Upon reaching the garden, where the dinner was set, he stopped near the fountain and waited for her to speak. And when she didn't, he shrugged, "I don't look like a monster now, do I? You are pale..."
Step by step she inched closer to him and then she shattered in his arms, holding him close to her heart that seemed to burn a little less tonight.
His hands quickly went around her as if they were waiting for this moment. Never had he felt so much in peace that he felt now.
"I am sorry." She uttered into his chest, "I am so sorry Aarush...Am sorry."
She sobbed and he let her. If this was the moment, then that would be it. He pressed a kiss on her forehead and made her sit by the fountain. Her eyes twinkled with unshed tears and he wiped the remnants of them on her cheek.
"You know what...lets get back to the wedding. We will talk later." He tried distracting her and yet, she held his hand, firm.
"No. I want us to talk Aarush...now."
He watched her face for some time and then sat down beside her, "and so, it shall be!"
When he entered the room, he found her sleeping on her stomach, the duvet had slipped down a little, unblocking the view to that smooth bare back that he had caressed all night long. She was everything he had ever wanted. A week into their marriage and she suddenly seemed to have risen above the horizons and be the woman of stature...like suddenly she had bloomed. And yet he still couldn't pinpoint what exactly had changed.
A long morning walk in the city of Quebec had him refreshed...old habits die hard. He chuckled and changed into a fresh pair of clothes. She was still asleep...probably exhausted. He had brought her to Canada for a honeymoon and the past few days had been crazy with so many places to visit. He could still remember the time when he had taken her to Yellowknife and she had stars in her eyes at sight of the Aurora Borealis. She had been so excited...like a child.
His little storm that she was...
He chuckled and slipped beside her to sleep some more. It was their last day. They will be back home soon. He glanced at her and saw her breathe soft and quick... as if she were dreaming. He felt like taking her into his arms and smoothing the lines on her forehead that had now appeared. But he didn't want to wake her up. And then it hit him... he was no more alone. He had her to take care of. he had to think of them before everything else now...how it would affect her. She had become so intimate all of a sudden... not that she wasn't before but it never had a physical aspect to it. Now, it had. And how weak he had found himself to be now... at her mercy! She ruled him, heart and soul.
He felt her move and looked beside. She turned in her sleep and rolled towards him. And just like that, she found his embrace and snuggled closer into him. Everything moved with her... the sheets, her messy hair, the faint sound of her anklets and her breaths that now tickled his skin.
He leaned closer and softly caressed her cheeks and her eyes fluttered open. She held his hand midway and brought it closer to her lips. Pressing a kiss on it, she mumbled into his skin.
He smiled, her kiss igniting a simmering heat inside him which he thought had been satiated the previous night.
"You are up early." He leaned down and stole a quick kiss from her lips.
She yawned and stretched herself and let the sheet slip down her naked body, slowly, oh-so slowly that he felt his throat going dry. She perhaps noticed his gaze on her too and she didn't even bother to cover herself back. He could see her face turning red and her skin erupt in goosepimples and yet she dared not to hide from him.
Something about her had changed...
Before he could finish with his thoughts, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pulled him down on her.
"Maan..." she whispered, a low moan it was as the weight of his body fell on her. Her breath came up quick and short as he stared back into her eyes, confirming what was in her mind. She blushed and dipped her lashes, her cold body quickly yielding to the anticipation of what was to come next. And when she thought he'd say something to tease her, she was taken by surprise as his head went low and kiss those breasts that had tempted him so.
She squealed at the suckle that sent waves of pleasure in her body that suddenly tensed and then relaxed with his touch.
To have him this close... a lifetime with him... she'd probably give up on this world...
She couldn't even complete her chain of thoughts... he, like always swept her away to a far away place with him where there was no space for words or thoughts. She sighed and screamed and cried and moaned and then came shattering down...and in all this, she realized she wasn't the only one who was powerless in front of his mighty being. What feminine powers she held upon him...she knew now!
Vermont it was!
He found himself roaming in the old streets of Vermont that evening. Some work had landed him up there and he had nothing to do that evening. Two months it has been since she was gone. he had tried looking for her, calling her...but he had failed. She had changed her number. And to know more about her, he had no details of her. Heck, he didn't even know her last name to start with!!!
It brought him a sense of deja vu... Emily then...Aayat now! Was he destined to lose people like this? He had liked Emily...he was sure of it. With Aayat, everything was different. He never knew why he wanted to help a complete stranger such as her. But something about her it was that he couldn't abandon her. His life had been a chaos since then...the only good thing happening was the wedding of Maan and Geet.
Far in the distance, he saw a caf and walked in. a good coffee might help before the flight back home. His phone beeped with a message as he sat down and quickly went to his mail in reference to the message.
"What would you like to have Sir?"
A familiar feminine voice, meek and soft brought him back to the caf. He looked up and stilled, not more shocked than her!!
"Here it is..." Ana squealed and presented her with the huge frame, "this is your wedding gift!"
Geet raised a brow, "After so many days?"
Ana scoffed, "first thing, the guy had messed it up. I had him redo the entire. And Second, when it was ready, madam had left for her so-called honeymoon."
She turned the photograph surprising her friend like never before.
It was a long forgotten memory... she was clad in a red dress and he held her in his arms, as if they were dancing. When was it? She tried to recall... And then her eyes fell on the red stilettoes that Ana had gifted her.
How long has it been?
"Careful right... careful left...You don't wanna fall and be left red faced.." she hummed in a sing-song manner and walked around on the soft rug, her eyes focussed on her feet, trying to balance herself on the 6 inch heels.
A sudden bark and a howl startled her and she stumbled against the foot of the centre table and lost her balance.
She wasn't even falling but she knew she would twist her ankle if she didn't balance herself. trying to hold on to anything around, she felt someone hold her firm by her shoulders from behind and still her.
"Careful there...you might just not want to limp throughout the party."
Her eyes widened in surprise and her lips curved into a big smile.
"Maan...Oh my god..."
She turned back to see him and lost her balance again. He quickly steadied her by her waist and let out a sigh.
"What's wrong with you Miss Handa?"
"I missed you..."
"Geet.. You are blushing." He teased.
She had always loved that laughter of his. And even now, she couldn't help but raise her head up to see that face that she had missed all these days.
She gasped and looked to the side and found Kabir with the camera.
Time had fled so fast...she sipped her tea and kept staring at the photograph.
Ana plopped herself beside her, "So, Geet, how is it going?"
"how is what going?"
"this married life and all", Ana smirked, "and your days and nights..."
Geet's eyes widened in surprise, "Shut up. You tell me, what is up with you and Aarush?"
Ana relaxed back, "we are good."
"Are you sure?"
"Hmm. We talked that day and we want to give each other some space and not rush around. But..." her voice trailed there.
"But what?" Geet kept her cup on the table.
"But I believe when the time comes, someone has to let go..."
"Are you worried about it?"
"Maybe I am...but I am not going to think about it now. I don't want to worry about the future now. I want to enjoy and that is that!"
"So, you work here now?" he asked.
She did not bother to reply, "I am waiting for your order sir."
He knew she was avoiding it. He tried asking again and yet she did not answer. Her face, he could see, had beads of sweat forming even in the cool air of the ac. She was not comfortable.
"An espresso please..." was all he could say and he saw her shoulders relax.
She walked away with a poker face and yet she left him restless.
She did not belong to this world...he knew now. She belonged somewhere else...
He would be leaving in a few hours. Would he be able to go now that he had found out about her? And what was it in her that pulled him so? He sat there for a long time contemplating his options. And when the sun went down, he dialled Adi and cancelled his ticket!
"Are you at work? I shall pick you up in an hour."
She smiled and let the cool breeze dishevel her hair.
"Ummm...I am not at work Maan."
"Where are you?" he sat in the car and closed the door.
When he pulled in, he found her standing at a corner, looking at something at a distance. She had sent him his location and he had made his way to her. The sun was down and the night had not come yet. He got down only to find his wife lost in her thoughts. Clad in black leather pants and a jacket, she looked adorable even in her boldness.
"hey..." he leaned and pecked her cheeks, "why are you here?"
She looked at him, her eyes twinkling at the sight and shrugged, "don't know. I just missed this place so much today."
He followed her gaze to find that old apartment standing tall, opposite to where they stood.
"I miss this place..." she sighed.
The place was small yet it had encompassed all of her. That is where everything had begun... they day Ana had come to her crying and he had followed suit. That is where she had sat and studied for long hours until she fell asleep. And that is where...she realized, her life had begun.
"You want it back?" he asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her close. Her eyes widened for a moment and then she relaxed know he'd have no problem in getting it for her. She was still learning the ways of her husband...as he was learning hers. It would take a long time.
He looked at her, "you don't want it back?"
She shook her head and urged him to walk, "let someone else begin his/her life there."
"but what about you, love?" he opened the door for her and waited for her to get in.
She smiled and pressed a peck on his nose, "as for me...I have it right here, with me."
She saw his smile widen and that was more than she could ever ask for. She closed her eyes as they moved and he looked at her from the corner of his eyes.
Still so much to learn...
She opened her eyes when she heard noises around her and found too many lights glaring down at them.
"Where are we?" she looked at him, his lips curled into a smile in mirth.
She squealed and hugged him like a child and he laughed at that. he gave the keys to the valet and walked her inside... he knew she loved this place. He knew that they had been too busy with life and work these days... but some days when they made time for themselves like this, he knew how happy she was.
She could hear the songs inside and she couldn't wait.
"Hurry up..."she held his hand and dragged him inside. she didn't want to miss out on anything.
Back in her room in the estates, the winds carried a whisper. The long forgotten blue green feather remained buried in one of her books in some corner of her cupboard.
Kanha still remained but on her work table now. The rains were about to come. A cold wind rushed in and He smiled...
It was about time...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- >>And That's A Wrap!
>>Thank You Everyone For Your Patience Throughout This Journey.
>>As For Kabir and Aayat...They Belong To Some Other Time...Some Other Place...They Will Have Their Own World Some Day Soon.
>>You guys are amazing. Every time I thought I'd give up, it is only because of you that I didn't. Thanks for being here. Many of you are upset that I ended it too soon... but this is their journey. The story was all about the Journey...and Not The Destination. I hope you understand me...
p.s I shall reply to all of you in the thread itself. watch out for this space.