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Second Chance


Listen Mr.Thaygi, we had a contract between us, and now at this crucial stage you can’t back out like this...... well fine then, I will sue you and we will negotiate in the court then, beware Mr.Thaygi I don’t tolerate fools but I certainly hate cheaters..... Fine, consult with your team and make a decision, and next time you call my secretary to talk, my time is precious to waste it on you.
Samrat Ahuja, ‘Sam’ to his dearest friends and ‘Shark’ to the business world, got down from his car and glanced up at the beacon of his success “Ahuja Towers”. He started to walk up the stairs when suddenly he hears “Uncle don’t step on that flower”. Samrat doesn’t give a heed to that plea and steps on a beautiful white flower, which had fallen down from the bouquet that little girl was holding. He felt an odd relief, like having a revenge on that flower, on the girl who used to like white flower.
Samrat shakes his head to clear up the thoughts. The hard panes of his face gets more hard, his fingers curl up in a fist, but he decides to divert all this frustration on Mr. Thaygi, who made a foolish decision to double deal with him.
Samrat was not always like this, there was a time when everybody knew him as only Sam. There was a time when his face used to radiate kindness and humility. But that time passed away 5 years back.
He entered his office with his secretary tailing behind him, reciting the appointments he has today and holding a cup of coffee in her hand for him. Black, no sugar, as bitter and strong as him.
Mrs. D’souza, a middle aged matronly figure worked as his secretary. The only woman who could get through him with a look. He looked up to her and thought maybe the only woman who ever really cared for him. A very formidable enemy to the people who want to hurt him. A woman who was called Nazi behind her back. But who was the only mother Samrat has ever known.
“And Mr.Ahuja, Mr. Thyagi called and agreed to complete his end of the bargain”. Samrat’s cold and calculating eyes were not forgiving that day. He very calmly told “Inform Mr. Thyagi that am cancelling our contract, my lawyers will contact him soon and Mrs. D’Souza its Sam for you”.
Mrs. D’Souza just humphed and closed the door to his office while going out.
Samrat thinks, “This will teach Mr.Thyagi a lesson or two about me, he won’t dare to cross me again. Not this day not ever. Especially not this day”
He opened his Laptop but he couldn't work. That white flower and the look of shock on the girl’s face was bothering him. Like an echo he heard a voice “You know Sam, flowers are the most magical things on earth, they are soft, beautiful, fragrant and you know every flower symbolizes something, see this white flower, white means peace.”
He slamed his laptop close and walked up to the window. From his office on the top floor he can see half of the city, but he doesn’t notice them. He just absently glances towards the horizon and let his mind free fall in the past.
“Richa, richa please what happened, I have been calling you from last five days. You don’t pick your calls, your parents don’t say anything, you didn’t even come to college. Are you angry with me, did I do something to hurt you. Look Richa please tell me, if I did something I will get down on my knees and beg for your forgiveness but please talk to me, please”.
“Sam... Samrat, its over, there is nothing left to say. We have reached crossroads, its better we separate our ways now. Don’t try to contact me again.”
Sam had sent flowers to her house for many days only to learn that everything came back. When enquired he got to know she had left town. Supposedly got married to a rich guy. That’s when Sam became Samrat Ahuja. He wanted to earn money, he had laughed at his life which had become a cliché. Like a typical B grade movie, he loved a girl who left him for money. This realization came slowly to him and each realization hardened his heart and features even more.
Sam never understood his parents, neither did his parents ever understood him. Richa was the only person who understood him. He was not filthy rich but he was from a comfortable family, had enough facilities to live a good life. But now he wanted to be filthy rich, he got into his father’s construction business earnestly and in 5 years made it country’s best Architectural and construction company.
Now when he has reached his goal, he didn’t feel any relief, he still felt betrayed and lonely. His hands curled up into a fist and his jaw hardened. He slowly opened his fingers and saw his palm thinking he is fisting his hands more now a day. Once these hands held the most beautiful hands within them. He shakes off this feeling and kneads his chest to relieve the ache in his heart. He rings to Mrs.D’Souza “Cancel all my appointments for the day, and don’t let anybody disturb me. Am going out”. Mrs. D’Souza after a long pause said “Alright Mr.Ahuja, I will see to that”
‘Aah.. Thank you Mrs. D’Souza’
Samrat walked out of the office, got into his car and drove aimlessly and to his surprise he reached the same coffee shop where he used to meet Richa. It looked exactly like it did 5 years back. Samrat thinks he has already turned his back on most of Richa’s things, he has to turn his back to this coffee shop also. So he gets out of his car and walks to the Mall opposite the Coffee shop, but his heart was tugging towards the opposite direction. He roams around the mall without a destination, maybe after a long time, this is first time he is not thinking that he is wasting his precious time somewhere. And then he smelt it... that perfume, very familiar... like that half remembered dream... like an alluding tune in your head. He snaps immediately searching here and there, his heart is thundering, he can’t hear anything other than his heartbeat, his senses are suddenly very alert. He knows she is here.. she has to be here, this is her smell, a unique combination of her perfume and herself.
Before he reminds himself that he is not supposed to remember her, he is frantically searching, like chasing a shadow, his eyes looks everywhere for a girl in white dress. She has to be in white, she always wears any dress only if it has something of white in it. Then he remembers that he is not supposed to remember her. He immediately stopped and walked in the opposite direction and goes into some shop and then he notices that he is in a book shop. He simply walked in aisles trying to calm himself and collides with a woman, wearing black. He just apologized and walked away and then that smell again... he turned back to see that woman, noticing her now. She had her back to him, looking up some books. He didn’t know if he was right, but his senses were screaming out that it is her. He was not sure what he was doing when he called out to her “Richa??”
“Yes” She turned to see who called her and immediately turned her face away thinking “how did this happen, second day in this city and I had to face my past.”
Samrat called her again “Richa, is that you? Oh come on Richa, don’t turn away, don’t be afraid to face me. You do remember me don’t you?? Oh maybe you don’t, after all I was just a fling, how can you remember me. It’s me Samrat Ahuja, remember. Still no, ok let me freshen you memory, Am the guy whose life you screwed over to choose a rich husband. By the way where is your husband, or did you leave him also to find a new prey huh??”
Richa was trembling with sorrow, anger and guilt. “Shut up Samrat, don’t talk about things you don’t know. Its not like you are pining your life away for me. You yourself are quite famous in page 3 articles. “
Samrat lets out a breath trying to calm himself “You are right, you are not worth me to pine my life away for you. Well if you are so upright why are you not facing me and talking?? Afraid of the truth huh.”
Richa turns to face him “No, Because you cant handle the truth”. And she walks away, her head held high, but silently shedding tears.
Samrat was shocked seeing her face, that long line of mark of a healed wound. By the time he recovered to find her again, she had vanished.  He returned to his home, made himself a strong drink trying to decipher afternoon’s events. What had happened to her face, her lovely face was scarred, and she was wearing black and those tears he saw in her eyes. Was she regretting her marriage, did her husband do this to her?? A unknown rage gripped him imagining her faceless husband hurting her. He drank his drink in one go and tried to calm himself, tried to bring back the rage and anger of betrayal which he was familiar with. But he couldn’t get angry, he couldn’t find solace in rage today.
Next day Samrat expended all his resources to find her, and still it took 5 days to find her whereabouts and the truth that she was never married. He immediately went over to her apartment and banged on her door.
Richa opened the door and was shocked to tips of her toes to find Samrat standing in front of her scowling black with anger.
Before she opened her mouth to send him away, he just pushed her aside and entered the modest apartment of hers. Filling up the small apartment and looking around with that horrible scowl on his face. She closed the door eventually, walked up to him and with all the courage she can muster asked point blank “What the hell are you doing her, and how did you find me??”
“Oh I didn’t know you wanted to live in secret, and by the way am one the most influential person in the country now, I can find anything and anyone, anytime. Now tell me what the hell is going on here??”

“What do you mean?”
“I  mean that, you are not married, you changed your name to Ruchi and what happened to cause that mark on your face” He touches her mark with his finger, causing a hitch in her breathing.
She can’t believe he still affects her. Can’t believe that after all the resolution all she wants is to cry her heart out in his arms. She steps back from the close proximity and turns away “Go away Samrat, I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t want to answer you and I certainly don’t want to see you”
“No, I wont go until you answer me. I know you, or I knew you, you were the most humble and lovable person I had ever met, you cant get so heartless so fast without a reason. And Richa today I need my answers, the answers I have been searching from 5 years. You can change your name, you may wear black now, maybe change every habit that I loved about but you can’t change one thing that is the fact that I loved you and you owe me those answers”
After a long pause when she doesn’t answer, “What happened Richa, didn’t you love me, or was my love not enough?” The hurt in his voice broke her completely, she felt like he is just peeling away all the defenses of her heart string by string. She can’t hold back this hurt anymore; she can’t build up her defenses fast enough. Richa just collapses on the floor crying out.
Samrat immediately got on his knees and hugged her. He let her cry her heart out and after a long time, when she calmed down, he picked her up and settled her on the sofa beside him.
Then she started speaking, first haltingly between the sobs later more fluently with more force, she tried to get out every single poisonous feeling that she had buried in her heart.
5 years back, on the anniversary of Samrat’s and her decision to get married, Samrat for the first time couldn’t drop her home as he had got a call from his project mates that there has been a terrible mistake in the project which they had to submit the next day. Richa had shooed him away telling that she can manage herself. She had called a cab to get home and on the way the cab driver boarded 3 more guys against her protests and when she demanded she be let out, they did the most horribly thing a man could do to a woman, after that they left her to die in that abandoned building. The next day she woke to find that she had unfortunately not died but just horribly mangled and hurt beyond reasons. She had somehow called her dad, who had rushed immediately to pick her up. She was admitted to the hospital immediately and there she realized what had happened, how horribly her life was destroyed, the first feeling she felt was rage and helplessness, she wanted to call Samrat immediately and find comfort in his love but then her brain warned her against it. “What if he doesn’t want you anymore after seeing you like this”. Then her heart replied “More than that, how can you ruin his life with your disaster.” She decided then and there that she will severe all the ties with Samrat, she wont let him ruin his life just because her life is ruined. She cant let him share the burden of her scar.
By the time Richa had finished her story and cried somemore, she was totally exhausted and had fallen asleep in his arms. Early morning when she woke up, she found herself in her room, on her bed and no sign of Samrat. Even though she doubted that he may not be able to handle the truth, she couldn’t stop the tears from coming, somewhere in some corner of her heart she had believed that maybe just maybe he would understand.
 
Richa freshened up and walked up to her living room to find a beautiful bouquet of White flowers in a vase with a note.
My Dearest Richa,
You had once told me that flowers are the most magical things on earth, they are soft, beautiful, fragrant and every flower symbolizes something, white means peace. And they also symbolize you, you are the most magical to happen to me, you are soft, beautiful, fragrant. They may crush you, squash you but you still are my flower, divine and perfect. These flowers are for you, because you are just like them, you are cut, pricked and pruned but you still stand up and shower all your fragrance on others. You are still as pure and whole as you were always. Pick me, chose me, let me be the one who nurtures you, let me be the one who loves you, let me heal you. Black doesnt suit you, you are my white flower. I love you, always loved you. And after you finish reading this, if you still want me in your life, open your door. Am waiting for you.”
Richa immediately dashed to her door and opened it to find Samrat standing there with his heart in his eyes searching her eyes for an answer. She just pulls him and hugs him and thanks all the gods in the universe for giving a second chance in her life, for returning her love back.
(Ramya This is for your challenge, hope you enjoy reading it as much i enjoyed writing it)

Comments

  1. Nice story line... I think I have to give a second reading.... intricacies and twists demand that,, good one Nivi.

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  2. Awesome awesome now this shows how creative one can get with that image :D Superb i couldnt stop reading Nivi you are awesomely talented, keep writing you will go long way...

    The challenge give is best met by you I am speechless :D

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  3. The story starts with flower getting crushed under the toes..and ends with a crushed flower getting a new breath in its life...the narration absolutely delightful..the pain, the miseries, the sufferings, the frustration everything comes perfect like a straight line. Lovely write up Nivedita..I bow my heads for your talent..Hats off!

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. i am in love with the way you write!

    one suggestion, if i may -- pls think of changin the background image/theme. you write about life and emotions and love. the image looks like blood stains. its disturbing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.. and thanks for the suggestion .. will surely think about it :)

      Delete
    2. this new theme surely suits this space better! :)

      Delete

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