.(VI)

15 December
Batra Child-Care and Gynae centre
Kamla Nagar

“I am sorry”, said the lady doctor to Rishi gently patting on his shoulders as she tried to give him some courage. It was kind of a daily routine for her, a part of her duty. Everyday, scores of couples would come to her clinic expectantly, some would cherish the moment forever while some would break into hysterical cries, pleading her to do a re-test. She expected to see another melodrama but was surprised to see Rishi let out a wild shriek of joy. He called up Sona and gave her the good news. The past fortnight had been the most difficult phase in both their lives. Both of them found themselves shredded by their own dilemma. Deep in their hearts, they knew their relationship was strong enough to face this tremor but somewhere doubts were also beginning to crop up. They hadn’t told anyone about what happened that night, and were themselves over-cautious not to bring up the topic when they talked to each other, lest the other person be hurt. They tried to act natural, well,yeah, it was “acting”. All day long Sona would just lie down in her room, her door shut, crying. The physical marks might have healed but every single moment of that night played back and back in her mind. Any girl would have committed
suicide by now, Sona also contemplated the possibilty, she even bought a bottle of rat-poison but her strong will -power and Rishi’s love didn’t allow her to take the extreme step.Any guy would have left her after that incident but not Rishi. He actually came even more closer to her. Rishi, that was the only reason she was living now. She knew he would always stand by her, had it not been for him, she wouldn’t have been even alive till now. He had supported her every single minute for the past fifteen days, caring for her, listening to her grumbles, bearing her anger, giving her courage and a reason to fight. But was she being too selfish?? Shouldn’t she move out of his life? She was no longer pure. She no longer deserved someone as high as him. What wrong had Rishi done? Why should
he bear the punishment? He deserved much better, much much better. But he wouldn’t leave her. She would have to distance herself from him, for his sake. She was lost in her thoughts when Rishi called. She tried to pretend that she was feeling sleepy but when he sang out Atif’s Kuchh Is Tarah to her,

Kuchh is tarah teri palkein

meri palkon se mila de
aansoo tere saare meri palkon par saja de
mujhko toh tere chehre par yeh gham nahi jachta
jaayaj nahi lagta mujhe gham se tera rishta…..

she couldn’t control her tears. When Rishi asked her what happened, she made a story that his voice didn’t let her forget that incident, so it would be better if he no longer called her and disconnected the phone. For a minute, Rishi couldn’t understand what she had just said. He again dialled her number, but she didn’t pick up her phone. He tried again and again but the same reponse. He messaged her but no response. Finally Sona switched off her phone.
Boys Hostel
Institute of Management Studies

It wasn’t that Rishi was some kind of a saint or something for whom nothing mattered. It’s easy to say that I will always hold your hand but when the moment of crisis come, the strongest of relationships have been found wanting. The outsiders might say “Comeon, it doesn’t make a difference. It was a bad dream, forget it. Life moves on” but when it comes to you, the decision is not that easy to take. Howsoever strong stand you may take, but
subconsciously, there would always remain the painful imprints, always piercing your soul, always raising questions in your mind. With time, things would fall in place but the beginning is the most painful and difficult part. Rishi had spent many a sleepless nights thinking over it before he decided that he can’t desert Sona in such a situation. She mattered for her more than anything. He didn’t give a damn about what the society said, what his parents said, his friends said, he loved her and NOTHING ELSE MATTERED. He would try to spend his maximum time with her, cheering her up, helping her pass this difficult period. But somewhere, something was wrong. he didn’t know how to explain it, but he found himself getting very irritated and angry at the minutest of incidents. Maybe
it was just because of seeing Sona, the bubbly Sona, in such a sad state. May be there was something else which clutched at him. She was gangraped. It’s easy to say “I would stick with her” but somewhere inside, he couldn’t let go of the fact that she was gangraped. They had met just once after that incident and Rishi found himself unable to look at her with the same tenderness, same love with which he did before. At that time, he didn’t pay
much attention to this feeling but now when Sona herself didn’t want to talk to him, all these things started playing in his mind. What if nothing improved with time? What if that feeling never waned off? What if this thought always remained stuck to the back of his mind? What if the magic between them never revived? What if they both spent the rest of their lives with a burden in their minds? It would ruin them both. What Sona said on the phone may have been just out of irritation, but what if it was true? He was the only person who knew about the incident. If he walks out of her life, she would forget that dark night and life would be back to normal. It would be difficult, very difficult for both of them to let go. But when has life given you a choice to choose things according to ur comfort. They say that you should think before you act, but the more Rishi thought about it, the
more confused he became. Was he just getting flown away with emotions when he said it didn’t matter to him? Was he just trying to prove that he was different, that his love was true? Yes, it was. He loved her more than anything but…but…..but something was just not feeling right. He finally decided he would not press the matters further. If this was what Sona wanted, he would not call her again. His mobile beeped, Sona had messaged that she was sorry and she didn’t mean to hurt him, she knew she was wrong, but she had no choice………..He messaged her back, “I can understand. Take care.” The next fortnight was spent on both sides waiting for the other person to call first. Both of them found themselves dialling the number but disconnecting it just in nick of time. Hundreds of unsent messages made it to their drafts folder. Sona would no longer go online, even if she did, she blocked Rishi. Love Guru’s fundas no longer touched them, Atif’s Kuchh is Tarah was banned in the entire hostel, he threw away his Idea sim and switched back to Airtel. The longing was there but the pain was also there. They wanted to be together again but something was holding them back as well. They still loved each other….Their feelings for each other had not died….He still saw her face on every page of the newspaper, she still felt the warmth of his breath in the evening wind, but may be as they say, their love had just rotten away. None of them knew what the reason was, but something was amiss. Nida Fazil might well have written these lines for them….
Tum Ye Kaise Juda Ho Gaye
Har taraf har jagah ho gaye
apna chehra na badla
aaine se Khafa ho gaye
jaane waale gaye bhi kahan
chand suraj ghata ho gaye
bewafa toh na voh the na hum
yun hua bas juda ho gaye………

December 31
RPM

Ananya had arranged a couple pass for the NEW YEAR bash for Rishi and Sona at the most happening disc in the city. Sona didn’t want her to know about the entire episode, so she finally messaged Rishi if he could come with her. Rishi was not very keen on it but he wanted to end things once and for all. He was fed up of thinking about her all the time. He wanted to end it all formally and live peacefully. Maybe the new year would come with a fresh beginning. So he accepted her offer and promised to pick her at 7 in the evening. At the club, they didn’t join the party but sat outside to talk for the first time in fifteen days. Both felt at a loss of words. Huh, can you believe that Rishi and Sona who could spend entire nights talking to each other weren’t able to even strike a conversation. Finally Rishi couldn’t maintain the pretence of normality anymore. He very frankly told her that he
no longer felt for her in the same way. He didn’t know what it was but something had changed. He could still think of giving it another shot but if she herself wanted him to leave, maybe that would be the best thing to do. Finally he asked her what she wanted to do with their relationship. Sona was prepared to answer this question. For the past two days ever since messaging Rishi, she had rehearsed the answer over and over again in her mind. She kind of mentally pressed the play button and the audio started playing without any emotions, his eyes following each and every word she said. “I can understand Rishi. Let’s give it a break, Rishi. I would cherish your memories for my entire life but I also think maybe we should….”. But she couldn’t complete….tears started rolling down
her cheeks. She again gathered strength, and continued, “I think, Rishi may be we should…..I think maybe ……maybe I am madly in love with you….”. Suddenly Rishi’s mind also was cleared of all doubts, he loved her madly, he didn’t care, he ACTUALLY didn’t care….he needn’t answer stupid questions, he needn’t worry what happened in the future….he loved her and loved her madly….But the very next moment, Sona stood up, said, “Rishi, but I can’t continue this. Now that you also feel the same, I must leave. Take care. Have a happy new year with someone worth you….” and walked away. Suddenly everything fell into place. Suddenly, it dawned on Rishi why she was behaving so oddly of late……But it was too late now. As Sona walked away in the distance, Rishi could
do nothing but again hum Nida Fazil’s lines…..

*******************************************************************************

3 responses to “.(VI)

  1. as always toooooo gooodddd…. very romantic n emotional, yet practical n realistic….. d emotions haunt u even after several hrs of reading this piece….. n makes u sit up n think…. makes u put urslf in their position n then experience their emotions…. bt jus 1 little complaint….. u write after such long gaps ki lagta hai only my grand children will b able to read d concluding part… lolz

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