Sakhi's Laghukatha

Posts Tagged ‘love story

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Posted on: August 14, 2014

fiction_stamp Dhri was not happy to leave her friends behind in Bangalore. She did not like that she had to leave her favourite school too. She loved the house and her room, not to mention cuddling up in her bunk bed. She belonged there.Though she never told anyone, she would miss Ryan too. Her friend, her soul mate. How will she be able to survive without seeing Ryan everyday. Of course, Facetime and Skype will help but it will not be the same. Sigh. 

 Everyday she was told about how good the new school would be and how great the new residence was. She was told about this new city, the city that never slept! Mumbai, city of dreams!! It sounded more like a nightmare. Though all were trying to perk her mood up, there was no way that she would feel excited about this new development. But she was 16 and she had to comply to her parents wish of shifting base to Mumbai. She looked like a little girl when she boarded plane with tears in her eyes and pouting. She kept staring out of the window, tears streaming down her face, throughout the flight. It was as if her world was crumbling around her.

Blue tarpauline lined slum houses and littered roads, continuous honking and traffic snarls of Mumbai dampened Dhri’s spirits even further. Affluent ambiance, perfectly trimmed Mehndi shrubs, evenly spaced trees, landscaped garden, swimming pool and cheering children on their bicycles at her new housing society did not do much to lift her mood. New abode was as good as her Bangalore one, if not better. It seemed to Dhri that nothing, nothing can ever make her happy now that she was uprooted.

Days passed and Dhri’s family started liking their new place. Her brother made new friends and both her parents started settling down at their new work place too. Neighbours were quite helpful and welcoming. Only Dhri resisted being happy. She still sulked and did everything to show how unhappy she was at every opportunity she got. School was still closed for summer vacation so there was no way to make new friends unless she ventured out of her new apartment, which she did not! She just wanted to show her parents how they had ruined her life by getting her away from her comfortable and contended life. It was working in part as her parents were now getting worried looking at their once happy-go-lucky daughter brooding for days. No amount of pacifying or reasoning seemed to work and one day Dhri’s father lost his cool. He admonished Dhri for her irrational behaviour.

That night Dhri cried herself to sleep. It was not even midnight when a sudden noise in her room startled Dhri and she woke up with a start. It took time for her vision to adjust to darkness. She thought she saw a shadow near her french window and she shrieked. Sweat beads broke out on her forehead and she struggled under the grip of the shadow who was now trying to stop her from screaming. As her effort to free herself reduced, she realized that the shadow was trying to talk to her. She stopped fighting. The shadow released her and it turned out that he was a young lad and a very handsome one at that! Fear went out of Dhri’s being, she kept staring at him. He was saying something to her but Dhri was lost. She blinked her eyes and he was gone. Dhri could not believe her eyes. She wanted to run to her parents but decided against it thinking she might have had a nightmare. She tried sleeping again but it eluded her that night.

Next night she tried staying awake to see if what happened the previous night was really a dream or not, but dozed off. A light shake woke her up. The shadow was there, looking down at her, smiling. Dhri, disoriented, looked around. She was indeed at her own home and this guy was in her room, smiling! Confused, she smiled back. His name was Hrim and apparently, he saw her everyday mopping around the house and just felt like meeting her. He liked her and wanted to talk to her. He was of her own age and was a neighbour. If that was the case, why he did not come and meet her like a regular visitor, she asked. He guffawed. Dhri liked the sound of his laughter and she smiled, a wary smile still, too. He started talking to her like he was her childhood friend and they always knew each other. Dhri warmed up to this cute chap and it was beginning of a new friendship. They talked and talked and Dhri slept off somewhere near dawn. When she got up she had a smile on her face. She felt good and light. After ages she hummed a song as she went to shower. Everyday she waited for the night to fall, waited for Hrim. They loved talking, shared their dreams and fears, teased each other and fought too. Her scowl had transformed into a happy, silly grin and it did not go unnoticed. Her parents were happy that finally their daughter had accepted the change and was being herself again. Again she was irritating elder sister, loving daughter and generally a happy teen. She was herself!

Hrim came to meet Dhri every night, which went on for a few weeks. One night as they were engaged in their usual banter, there was a knock on the door. Dhri was surprised since everyone was supposed to be asleep. Were they too loud? What will they say if they saw Hrim in her room at this hour? She looked at Hrim and he just smiled and nodded for her to open the door. Her parents rushed inside the room and looked worried. They demanded to know what was going on and whom was she talking to and laughing with. Dhri looked over her shoulder and saw Hrim had vanished. She smiled at her friend’s quick reflexes. “No one”, she replied and kept her naughty smile in check. Her mother gave anxious look before leaving her alone and asked her not to lock the door. Hrim did not come for a couple of days, rather nights, and Dhri realized how much she was missing him. It had not occurred to her to ask for his mobile number neither had he asked hers. She did not even know, if he was her neighbour, which was his apartment. She cursed herself for being so stupid. Now, there was no other choice but to wait for him to come over. There was no way she can contact him. Hrim came over on the third day, as usual, with his trademark smile intact. Dhri giggled with joy but took care to keep her voice low. They got lost in their repartee. Opening of her bedroom door startled Dhri. She rushed to her fuming parents to pacify them. She was sure that this time Hrim did not have enough time to escape. Her father pushed her aside, rushed to the balcony beyond the french window for he was sure that whomever Dhri was talking to had to be there. To their utter disbelief there was no one. Dhri was happy that Hrim had pulled off the disappearance act again but this time her parents did not let her off the hook. They goaded her and after a while Dhri spilled the beans. They looked at each other in bewilderment and with incredulity at their 16 year old.

How was this possible, their home was on 26th floor?!

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“I loved him with all my heart, for years
Then one day I started loving myself too
And we separated!!”

~ Sakhi

What was she expecting from him?

What was she expecting from herself?

Why this heartache when she knew this relationship cannot work out?

She was not a sixteen year old who believed in fairytale love stories. She was a mature woman who had seen world. She had always lived her life at her own terms. She was a successful business woman who had recently been featured on Times front page for achieving “Young Entrepreneur Award”. People were envious of her and called her “Ice Princess” on her back but at the same time admired her guts too. She had chosen to be alone in life and had vowed never to marry. It was not that she had never experienced love, but that one failed relationship had taught her never to completely give herself to anyone. She was cautious even among friends.

So what made her long for Kshitij? How things changed between them?

She sat at her french window looking at the gloomy sky. Even natural elements were feeling as sad as her, she felt! She knew Kshitij since more than a decade now. They were never best friends, or so to say, but quite close. They had stood by each other in the testing times they faced in their lives. Even though they did not reside in the same city for many years now, their bond was intact, just a bit rusted.

Then came the news of Kshitij shifting his business base to his motherland last year, coming nearer to her. Though they kept busy with their respective lives, they made sure to keep in touch. Technology had made communication easier. Or complicated?!

She never realized when she started expecting his calls every day or when she started getting upset when he did not sms her good night. He would be the first person she would want to share the good news with. Oh hell, any news for that matter! She felt miserable the whole day, when she did not hear his cheerful good morning. She started getting more demanding on his time and never realized when she clung to him so tightly that made Kshitij suffocated. There were never any exchanges of lovey dovey promises. But the tell-tale signs were there for anyone to notice.

Probably even Kshitij noticed the change in the “Ice Princess”. He saw his friend turning into something else. He was not sure whether he liked that change, though.

She knew she cannot have him for herself even if she wanted. He was married and had two lovely daughters. For all practical purposes he was off-limits. She was not kind of a person who would wreck havoc in anyone’s life, least of all Kshitij’s. Plus, she was not sure what he thought about her. He was always friendly with her, teasing her, bantering with her, sparring with her. He would change subject when he saw that soft look in her eyes, but will not stop talking to her or cutting her off.

Was he too in love with her? Was he feeling guilty of having a wife and hence was not opening up to her? Or was it just that he was too much of a man to insult his friend and cut her off completely but at the same time will not go ahead with anything shameful.

She was so lost in her thoughts that she did not realize someone standing behind her. Kshitij felt a knife twisting in his chest when he saw his strong, iron-willed friend sitting like a lost child at the window. He knew what was she going through, but he also knew she would come around, especially when he was not there anymore. She was made of tough material. He would miss her strong will, her unbending support, her rock-solid backing, but he knew he had to take this decision, for them.

He squeezed her hand. Her eyes lit up the moment she saw him but could sense something was seriously wrong. Her eyes searched his for some clue.

With a lot of efforts he said, “Bye, Roshni!”

At that moment she knew they were never going to meet again as Kshitij never said “bye”, for him it was always “bye for now”.

Roshni looked in his eyes one last time as she asked, “can I hug you just once before you go?”

He took her in his arms and they stood there for some time. Roshni was lost in him when he gently took her arms off him, patted her cheeks and said, “Take Care”. With that he was gone, and with him gone was Roshni’s heart. She stood there with tears flowing uncontrollably.

In a few weeks time ‘Ice Princess” was back with a bang, never to melt again.

Kesar peered at Tanish from behind her glasses. Every time he passed by her cubicle, her heart went into a somersault. She sighed!!

 “When will he notice me?” she thought. Love

She looked around her to check if anyone saw her ogling her boss and the effect he had on her. Every one was busy with work. She sighed again in relief and tried to concentrate on the rows and columns filled with numbers. Soon she forgot all about Tanish as she dived in balance sheets. She was the topper in university exams and loved playing with numbers. Since the day she joined A & A Fashion house as a trainee she was smitten by Tanish.

She tried hard not to show but it was difficult to turn a blind eye to her blushes. Tanish could see her puppy love for him and felt amused. She was cute, bubbly and a geek. He liked her name too… Kesar, saffron!! She was not beautiful in the conventional way but looked extremely attractive with her short cropped hair, a nose ring and black squarish glasses. She stood out with Kohl lined eyes, denims, long khadi kurtas, dangling earrings and floaters. But what caught his attention more was her youthful exuberance. Yet, he was acutely aware of the age difference between them. She was at least a decade younger to him, not that it would matter. But he was convinced that he was not romantic type, whatever that meant!

As the days passed Kesar got more opportunities to know Tanish. He was a tolerant boss and commanded respect. When late nights were inevitable at the office, he changed from hard, critical boss to understanding witty colleague. She noticed his exceptional managerial skills. She also noticed that though he was friendly with one and all, he never crossed limits and never allowed anyone else to enter his personal space. He kept people at bay without offending them. She was happy to know these tit-bits about him. She wanted to know more, much more. But this has to do, at least for now!

It was getting increasingly difficult for Tanish to work with Kesar without a stir of emotions. It was as if he was in his teens again. He loved her laughter, which he could not hear but see through the partition glass when she was engaged in some animated chatter with one of her colleagues. His heart would melt seeing her smile when she caught him staring at her through the glass panel. He would blush and feel embarrassed. He didn’t like when she was away.

Tanish tried to hide his feelings as did Kesar but it was as evident as sunlight. Only the two of them were blind and thought others were too! Love was in the air and it was palpable.

Valentine’s Day was around the corner and people were busy preparing for the office party for the V-day, as was the trend in A & A Fashion house since long. Tanish was in a dilemma whether to propose to Kesar or let the things be for some more time. But he decided to buy Kesar a gift, something he hadn’t done for anyone since he broke up with his first and last girlfriend when he was fifteen! He bought her an exquisite, hand embroidered maroon khadi silk kurta. He visualized her in it and was pleased at his selection. He knew she would look absolutely lovely in it. Now he just has to gather some courage to present it to her!

Finally, it was V-Day and Tanish got cold feet. He tried everything to avoid Kesar the whole day. He found a bouquet of red roses on his table when he came back from his so-called meeting. He knew it had to be Kesar, as no one in last 10 years had ever presented anything to him. He smiled in spite of himself. The silly grin was stuck on his face for long. He looked lovingly at the bouquet as he laid it on his bed while getting ready for the V-Day office party and smiled again. Suddenly he wanted to run to Kesar and hug her tight.

His eyes searched for Kesar amongst the crowd but she was nowhere to be seen. He waited for her but in vain. It was close to midnight, he realized she would not come. Suddenly the party looked drab. He wanted to call her but restrained himself thinking it might not be appropriate. He sighed and left the party early feeling dejected. As he approached his car he saw a lonely figure sitting on the bonnet. He strained his eyes and was shocked. On seeing him Kesar jumped down and ran towards him almost hugging him but checked herself just in time. She presented him with a big (though not as big as her smile!), heart shaped balloon and a small packet which contained Montblanc pen. He was so surprised to see her there, waiting for him that he went speechless.

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” she chirped. Her exuberance was contagious and a small smile returned to Tanish’s lips. He remembered his own gift for her and handed over the packet to her.

“Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!” he said shyly. Unlike him she didn’t wait to open her gift and tore away the wrapping paper. She squeaked in delight at seeing the kurta and this time she didn’t restrain herself, she hugged him! Tanish’s arms went around her too. She felt so perfect in his embrace.

They smiled and looked into each other’s eyes as if asking, “What took you so long?” Hand in hand they walked towards his car and drove off into the moonlit night.

*****

I am asked time and again why my characters have romantic (!) feelings for the persons other than their spouces or partners. So I thought I should give my characters some chance to feel pure, sweet, unadulterated  romance. What better time than V-month. Please bear with me if you find it too mushy. But as I said earlier… love is in the air! 🙂  🙂

Wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day (Belated!!).

Loads of love,

Sakhi

The mobile rang third time. Ashu looked at the number and sighed heavily. He dreaded talking to his elder brother. He had shifted to this country just to be away from him but he knew he couldn’t ignore his phones. He adored Ashu like his own son.

“Hello bhaiya….”

“Hello Ashu, how are you? I just called to confirm your visit for the wedding! I am not going to hear any excuse this time.”

“But bhaiya…” Ashu trailed off. He wasn’t sure what reason to give for not attending his only niece’s wedding. It was more than twenty years since he had gone home.

“Nothing doing! As I said, no excuses this time. We have never discussed but I know that there is something on your mind which kept you away from home for so long. Not anymore! Past is past. You come home and bless your niece.”

Past is past… what did he mean by that? Did bhaiya know? How am I going to face him?, thought Ashu nervously.

Ashu sighed and disconnected the call.

He went back to the day when he had seen her the first time. Oh, how beautiful and serene she looked! Her long dark hair, bright shining eyes and shy smile… everything was bewitching. He understood the meaning of “love at first sight” for the first time. He kept on staring at her and was flustered when he was shaken out of his reverie. Bhaiya was asking him something but all he could do was, give him a silly grin. He was almost dragged out of the room before he made a spectacle of himself.

Once in the car, on the way back home, bhaiya asked in conspiratorial whisper, “Did you like her?” That single question brought him back to reality from his dream world. He had forgotten that they had gone to see the girl for bhaiya not him. Bhaiya seemed to like her too. It seemed to him that his world was crashing down around him. His disappointment felt unnaturally over-blown to even him. He shook his head as if trying to clear his thoughts and tried to enthuse himself for bhaiya’s sake. How he wished then, that bhaiya would not like her!

As he got to know her more, he started liking her even more for she was not just a beautiful face but was affectionate, intelligent and had an uncanny sense of humour. She was everything a man would want in a partner, and some more. In his heart he knew that bhaiya and she made a perfect couple, perfect in every sense and yet he couldn’t bring himself to see her as sister-in-law.

On the day of their wedding she looked like some goddess. He just couldn’t take his eyes off her. He wasn’t even worried that someone from the family or the guests might notice his blatant stare.

Post wedding days were increasingly getting difficult. Oddly, he never felt jealous of bhaiya but at the same time he craved for more time with her. He learnt to handle his love for her, he kept it brimming at the edge but he took care not to overflow it.

Time flew by with things falling into place. Their routine got set with all three of them going to their work almost at the same time and since her office was on his route he would drop her on most days. She would chatter away to glory and he would smile and nod as and when required.

He thought he had outgrown the romantic love for her till one day he saw her standing in the balcony trying to dry her freshly washed hair. “Sultry”, was the only word came to his mind. And he sighed. He did not know what got into him. Something was pulling him to her. He wanted to have her in his arms, wanted to kiss her senseless, wanted to hug her so tight that she would beg to take her completely. He advanced towards her without even realizing what he was doing. As he went near her he could breathe in her lovely scent. He caressed her hair. She got startled and faced him with her usual smile. But one look at his lust filled eyes ignited fire in hers. Her smile was inviting… but before he could advance she slapped him, hard. Not the force of her slap but the burning coal in her eyes shamed him. He turned around and left.

That was the last day they interacted. She never talked to him again. He wanted to apologize, wanted to be forgiven. He wanted her to know that he never had any intention of harming her in any way. What happened on that fateful morning was a moment of weakness. But she never gave him any chance. She never, probably, told anything to bhaiya but Ashu could never see in his eyes again.

He knew he could not stay with them any longer; he did not have the guts to face her everyday. He did not want to face her ever; and so he not only left the house and the city, he left the country and had not gone back since. It was more than twenty years since he last saw her. If only she would once say that she forgave him, just once…

—————————

Hey guys, I just had to post a story. I couldn’t keep away from you people for long however busy life may be. I don’t promise to be very regular but will definitely write as much as possible. Missed you tremendously!!

Love,

Sakhi

fiction_stamp2“Aadi, will you see who is at the door?”

Aaaditya’s mother called out to him. He stood gaping as he looked at the visitor. He had never seen more beautiful girl before. He stood there awestruck. After a while he realized that the visitor was asking him something.

“Is this Mrs. Bally’s place?”

“Yes…”

“Who is it Aadi?” his mother asked from the kitchen.

“Someone’s here to see you, mom.” still standing at the door, he forgot his manners to ask her inside. He stood there looking at her as if he had seen some “apsara”, making Nidhi conscious. The blush on her face made her even more beautiful, or so Aadi thought.

“Yes?” asked Mrs. Bally to the visitor and looked at her son quizzically for the dumb look on his face.

He couldn’t know from his room what the duo were talking about. How he wished to be there, with her! He felt his face and ears getting red and hot.

Two days later when he came home in the evening, he saw her again. She looked more beautiful than he had remembered. She smiled at him and his heart skipped a beat. He gave her an awkward smile and scurried to his room. Once in his room he flopped on the bed and tried to look at her through the eyes of his heart. Her dark, midnight sky colour, hair in long braid, big vermilion bindi on her forehead, her “Kajal” lined eyes brought a smile on his face. He went back to the other room just to get a glimpse of her but his mother was already packing tabla and she was gone. He sighed.

Their encounter became routine since Nidhi came to his place at least thrice a week to learn tabla and Bharat Natyam from his mother. He would make sure to come home early on her scheduled days. He loved it when she smiled at him. He loved her grace when she danced to his mother’s directions and she looked fabulous when she played tabla. She tried to talk to him couple of times but he would feel very shy and embarrassed. She became his passion. He would get agitated the day she did not come.

Aaditya got restless when Nidhi didn’t come for her classes for a week. Today was her scheduled day too and he decided not to go out of house, lest he miss her! She did come. But she had this “lost” look on her face. He waited for them to start the session but they just sat and talked. Mrs. Bally got a glass of water for Nidhi and seemed like consoling her. It then occurred to Aaditya that Nidhi was crying. He couldn’t get what was going on between his mother and Nidhi but something was seriously wrong. He tried to stress his ears but couldn’t know the reason of Nidhi’s distress.

At dinner he heard his mother tell his father about Nidhi’s marriage to someone whom she didn’t love; a person a decade elder to her.

“She is just 23… imagine! Poor girl! So talented! Tsk…” commiserated Mrs. Bally.

Further talk was lost on Aaditya. He felt as if the earth had given away and he was spiraling down some bottomless pit. He was completely lost. In a daze he managed to go to his room. Mr. and Mrs. Bally were surprised at Aaditya’s sudden change in mood.

“Might be due to the exams. Let me go talk to him”, said Mr. Bally to his wife, patting her hand.

When Aaditya did not respond to Mr. Bally’s knock he peeked inside his room. Aaditya was sitting at the window and was lost to the world. He did not hear his father approach.

“What happened Aadi, any problem in school?” asked Mr. Bally lovingly to his only child. Aadi shook his head but his eyes started brimming over. One look at his dad and he lost control. He hugged his father tightly and started crying openly. Mr. Bally stood there transfixed not knowing what was wrong with his adolescent son. But he let him cry.

He just wished that whatever was causing so much pain to his son had a remedy.

fiction_stamp2This was her second trip to Tarkarli. As she was walking on the shore, she looked back on her footprints and wished the other pair was there too. The pair which was with hers that summer!

She had come to this coastal place, for the first time, a couple of years ago for a conference. And she had instantly fallen in love with the unexplored beauty and meditative sea waves of this “not-heard-of” place.

*****

After a long session on “New trends in antibio therapy” Koyal went and sat on a boat parked in the sand just outside her cottage. There was nobody around and the waves had soothing effect on her nerves. She was startled when she heard somebody call out her name, her pen name!

“Cuckoo!”

She was surprised as to who might know her pen-name here!

A handsome young man was coming towards her and was waving frantically. She waved back, more out of courtesy than recognition.

“Hey Cuckoo!”

He had a broad grin on his childlike face, as if he had discovered some treasure.

“Guess, who am I?” asked the young man with a twinkle in his eyes. She was at a loss but her sharp brain was already at work.

“Sameer?”

“How did you do that? How did you recognize me?” There was utter disbelief on Sameer’s face since neither had ever met nor seen each other’s pictures.

“Nobody except you in blogsphere knew where I was!” She smiled, as always. After all she was known as “Dr. Smiley” in blogsphere, wasn’t she!

“What are you doing here? She still couldn’t believe that Sameer was standing in front of her.

“I came to meet you. Aren’t you happy?” Koyal didn’t know how to respond. Of course she was happy… but wasn’t able to fathom why Sameer would come such a long way to meet her. They had become best of friends, online! Offline… they had their own lives, and neither had tried to trespass into that territory for so many years. It was an untold rule. So why now? She smiled again to his question. And saw the reciprocation on Sameer’s face.

It was awkward initially for both of them to talk face to face. The chat lingo no longer worked. But they WERE friends, so after the initial hiccup, they just went on … chatting away to glory. The hand-in-hand seashore walks gave heady feeling to Koyal. It was long since she felt this way for anybody. Neither of them realized where those four days went. The conference was already gone for a toss.

It was their last evening together. The mood was pensive. They sat on the white, sun-kissed sand sipping fenny looking at the setting sun on the horizon. Somehow the words failed the two chatterboxes. Fenny, sunset, waves and solitude was proving to be a dangerous cocktail. Sameer was scared to offend his friend. He kissed lightly, tentatively on Koyal’s lips and looked in her eyes. He could see the burning desire in those charcoal black eyes. The resultant fire would have been unstoppable had Sameer’s mobile not rang. The spell was broken. *****

*****

She pondered over the evening even now and she knew she wanted Sameer at that very point. Wanted with all her heart and body but thank God for the mobile. It saved her from doing something which she would have regretted later. Or probably Sameer would have! She was married and she was at least a decade senior to him. She couldn’t do that to him…just couldn’t.

Yet, she missed him besides her…


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