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ajeeb dastan he ye.....


Meenal was wearing a silvery pink saree and gliding through the room, talking to everybody. She was welcomed in every group and everybody knew her or wanted to know her.

Meenal was tired of smiling, but this was her job. She was the person responsible for this event, and she had to make use of this opportunity to its maximum level. She was just walking towards the refreshments counter when the waiter handed her a slip and vanished. Meenal was bemused for a moment, but she opened the chit and in it was written a single line “Has it really been 6 years?”

And she knew who wrote that, nobody else could have written that, only him. She looked around her searching him. But among the throes of black suits, finding a guy was next to impossible. She tried to find the waiter who gave her the slip, but seemed like he just vanished in thin air. Oh she knew he was looking at her, he would never want to miss the opportunity to see the expression on her face when she read the letter. So she searched in the direction of all the logical vantage points from where he can observe her. But maybe she was late.

At that point someone came and addressed her about the event, and she had to forcefully bring her attention back to the minute at hand. As she finished her conversation and was about to turn towards the refreshments table, someone brushed past her. At that moment the whole world suddenly seemed to have stepped into slow motion. And she could vividly remember turning back and trying to look at who was it and when he turned back and gave her a charming smile. It was him, it was him her mind screamed with her heart. And before she could react, he had melted into the crowd as if he was never there.

By the time the party ended and she had sent off all the guests and climbed her car, Meenal had almost.. almost forgotten about him – Or so she thought.

Meenal turned on her ignition and her radio spurted to life. She had a long drive home and she was exhausted, but still body was pumping with adrenaline. She didn’t know it was because of the event or him.

 She had driven some distance when the baritone voiced RJ in the radio said “This old melody specially dedicated to Meenu from an anonymous friend” and the radio started singing “Yeh raat yeh chandni phir kahan… sunnle dil ki dasthan”.


 

 Meenal had to smile at his obvious attempt to gain her attention. And she remembered, how whenever they had a fight he would for hours together dedicate beautiful old melodies to get her to notice him. And she also remembered, he was always a very big romantic, all these romantic gestures. Which would make any other women just swoon at his feet. But reality was much different.

 Meenal reached her home, she changed her dress, freshened up and sat outside in her balcony while the background Manna dey and lata mangeshkar were beautiful singing “aaja sanam madhur chandini me hum…….”
 

Meenal had to believe in fate today, as everyone of her and Nikhil’s favourites were being played today. “Nikhil” she signed thinking about him. He was a wonderful man, full of smiles, fun and surprises. A very good singer and he never ever felt self consicious to sing in front of strangers to woo her. He was a fun person, with lots of love in him to share. His dancing eyes were always smiling.

They were still in college when they met through a common friend and from the first moment something sparked between them. And he was relentless in his pursuit to woo her. He was everything a girlfriend would dream about in a boyfriend. And moreover, their tastes were very similar. They liked old melodies, same kind of books, same kind of movies and same kind of adventurous mind with regard to food. Life was fun when around Nikhil. He did everything that a boyfriend should do, he even put heroes in the movies to shame, she had it all the Roses, chocolates, gifts, caring, loving, everything. And boy did she fall hard for him.

And before they could analyze the situation more clearly, they had moved in together and that time, it was not something you told anybody that you live with a boy.

Meenal laughed to herself remembering all those times when her parents called and all those lies she told them. But she never regretted living with him for about a year. He was amazing in everything else, the only thing he lacked was in taking things seriously. Everything was a big huge show for him. Everything was about play.

Oh how they fought for tiniest things. She could remember the fights like seeing it on TV.

“Please Nikhil, you got to share some chores, I cant do everything”

“Then don’t do Meenu, come on now forget about those dirty dishes, why don’t we have a nice fancy dinner outside tonight? Huh”

Meenal didn’t want to remember the bad memories, she sighed and started to prepare for bed. When the radio started to sing “yeh raatein, yeh mausam, nadi ka kinara, yeh chanchal hawa….”

 

And she thought “God!! are you bored sitting upstairs there and thought oh lets toy with meenal today huh”

This song was very special to her, as when still in the initial stages of attraction with him, he had sung this song for her in front of her friends. And she had blushed profusely.

Tears welled up in Meenal’s eyes. Oh why this is affecting her so much. It was her decision to move on. Oh why did it still hurt to think of him. She felt like she had a hole in heart and every time wind blew through it burned more and more.

Meenal steeled herself and thought “Enough is enough meenu, now shut up and go to sleep” and stubbornly she went under her covers and switched off her light.

 Nikhil switched on his lights. He couldn’t sleep, how could he. He had potentially from his own two hands had very beautifully killed all the peace which he had gained painstakingly.

He got up from his bed and walked to his kitchen to drink cold cold water. Oh he needed cold no doubt, the outside chill weather was doing nothing to calm him down, whenever he remembered how Meenal looked tonight. She had changed he thought. She was the most serious and logical person he ever met in his life, but her smile held promise of all the fun in the world. He had been mesmerized by it. When they started to live together he understood, she was one of the most logical and practical person he had ever met in his life. For her everything was important. But he used to make her laugh and feel free. He remembered how she looked in her all too logical clothes and spectacles, she was pretty then but today she looked like a woman, elegant, gorgeous woman.

“Damn” he cursed himself, he was doing it again. Every time he thought he had a grasp on his mind, it just slipped away to merrily think about her. He remembered it had just taken one look and he had melted again for her, dissolved himself in her presence.

He went back to his room and switched on the radio, an ancient piece he had from many years. And the radio came to life with a song “ajeeb dastan he ye, kahan shuru kahan khatam….”

 


Nikhil silently looked up as though he could literally see through the ceiling, the sky and clouds and see God sitting up there giving a mischievous smile.

This was the song which Meenal had sung in her husky voice in the quietness of dark for him. She didn’t have a golden voice, but he felt like her voice touch his heart. And at that moment, the flirtation had taken a serious turn for him. He was never serious in his life, but this thing between them became very very serious for him.

He remembered holding her small soft hands within his big warm hands and feeling like he could just sit there for eternity, feeling this. He didn’t know what it was he feeling. But he knew he had never felt it for anyone before and will not be able to feel for anyone in future.

After a long advertisement, the radio started singing “chalo ek baar phir se ajnabhi bann jaaye hum dono….”.



Nikhil had to laugh at the game fate was playing with him.

Nikhil remembered the last time they had met. She had got a offer in Delhi and he didn’t want her to go. When she had openly just asked him why. If only he could have answered her why. He remembered sitting there at their favourite spot and thinking how to stop her and he had not noticed that he was silent for almost an hour, while she was waiting for him to answer her why. When she had said gotten up to go, he held her hand to stop and a single word had spilled out of his mouth “Please”. That single word held all the desperation, hurt and love he felt for her.

At that word, her eyes had become all warm and sweet, and she had knelt down towards him and said “You have to tell me why should I stay, Nikhil, please give a reason. I need a reason. Are you understanding?”, he couldn't say anything. The famous chatterbox Nikhil who used to talk about everything was not sure enough to talk about his feelings towards her. He knew he was digging his own well. But somehow even when he was facing the prospect of losing her, for the first time in his life, he didn't have any gesture to show her how much he loved her.

When still Nikhil didn’t say anything other than another “Please”. Meenal had said in a shaky voice “Maybe its time we give a little time and space between us. Maybe then we can see it in a different perspective.” That had killed Nikhil on the spot. But he knew he is the one to blame himself.

And the radio in the tea stall was singing “Lag jaa gale ki phir ye haseen raat ho na ho… shayad phir is janam mein mulakat ho na ho….”

 

And she had walked away. And that was 6 years back.

Space and time did change his perspective. Meenu didn't go alone, with her went his heart and soul. Nikhil for the first time started seeing life in terms of living to fullest than hoping from one minute to other. And 6 years later here he was, still aching for her in his life.

But seeing her today had sparked all the old feelings in a second.

Nikhil thought with longing “God she looked like an angel, no like a star.. no she was looking like Meenu, my meenu, incomparable”

He knew now for sure that he had to do something about it now. He knew he had lost the game with fate. Nothing had changed about what he felt about her. 6 years of training and he crumbled into pieces at one glimpse of her. He thought by sending her the note and dedicating the song, he would play havoc with her mind. But he was affected more by it than he imagined. She might even been sleeping soundly already forgotten about him.

Far from truth Meenal was wide awake staring at the ceiling and willing her body and mind to relax and go to sleep. Looked like it was not going to happen.

By the time she gave the fight and decided to get up from bed, it was 5 in the morning. She just freshened up and took out her jogging shoes. And today went for a very long jog, so that she can tire herself. She had the day off and she had purposefully not planned anything. And she thought, after the long jog, and even longer hot bath, her body might just loosen itself and fall asleep.

By the time Meenal was back from her jog, there was a small bouquet of flowers sitting on her front steps with her newspaper and milk packets.

Meenal took everything inside, threw her newspaper on the dining table, put the milk to boil, but still didn’t open the letter in the bouquet. She made coffee for herself, sat on the dining table with her newspaper. And read from front page news to sports section, still ignoring the note. And when she knew she didn’t have any more reasons to stall her time. She opened it, few lines were written in it. 

“Am ready to explain my please.. Are you ready to listen?... I will be waiting”

Meenal knew exactly where he will be waiting. But what she didn’t understand was Nikhil was someone who thrived to write long lovely letters, where did this clipped version of notes fit the bill. And how was he so confident that he doesn’t have to even explain anything and she would understand after all these years.

With all these questions, for one moment she thought she should make him wait and let him think that she didn’t pine her 6 years waiting to hear a word from him. But the next minute, she was rushing towards her bathroom to get ready.

Within in an hour she was ready to leave and still she felt that she had wasted a whole day. She started her car that song started play “Tumne pukara aur hum chale aaye…”.



 She again cursed God for creating clich├ęs in her life. All the through the way she was preaching herself to stay calm and aloof in front of him. But when she parked her car and saw him leaning by his car waiting for her, she knew calm was something she could never achieve around him. Her breathing sped up and her walking slowed. But she couldn’t move her eyes from his eyes, which were looking at her with such intensity that she could feel the heat of it till there.

As she came and stood in front of him and smiled at him. But her smile held a lot of questions and he could see it. He said in a cool voice “I knew you would remember”.

And she thought again and smirked “God, he hasn’t changed much, still so self confident over his assumption that I would know”

But then he said “If you had not come by evening, I was ready to come to your home. Afterall just because I remember doesn’t mean you should”

Meenal did a double take listening to his words. He was really speaking so humbly, so seriously. Then doubts surrounded her “Was he acting or this was for real”

He took her hand and all her thoughts suddenly got focused on his hand, the warmth, the firmness. He was telling something but she couldn’t hear it over the sound of her heart beat, when he tugged her hand, she understand he is asking her to sit down with him.

As she sat down he said “You haven’t spoken anything. God I just missed listening to your voice, please talk something”

She said “Hi” but it came out all coarse and broken, she cleared her throat and tried again “Hi”

And he smiled, and she fell for him all over again. She thought helplessly “How can I be so weak”

Then she said with as much coolness in her voice as she could muster “You wanted to ……… explain something”

His smile vanished and his eyes turned all serious at her words, she berated herself for ruining the moment, but she wanted to hear him desperately.

He took hold of her hand again and said “I thought I had moved on, I thought I don’t want you anymore. But yesterday I saw you after 6 years and it just took me 6 seconds to break down all my defenses and realize that what a fool I was to have let you go, that I never moved on from you, that I will always want you more than you can imagine.” He stopped to look at her and she was waiting with her heart in her eyes for him to finish.

He didn’t turn away, he just looked into her eyes with such fire in them and said “Please give me another chance, please stay with me, please let me make you happy, please let me love you, please…”

Meenal was looking at him in surprise and fear, all her questions had suddenly become inconsequential. But how to believe her ears. Had life without her had really made him serious and different. She couldn't decide that if she was still in love with that fun-loving-happy-go-lucky Nikhil or she wanted to fall in love with this serious-to-the-core Nikhil. She knew that he had never been more serious in his lifetime. She looked up to him and then she saw the glint of mischievousness in his eyes, this laughing dancing eyes were still the same. He was still the same person she had fallen in love with years back, but now he also knew that what was between them was important. What they felt for each other was worth saving. Tears dropped from her eyes and she smiled, and she nodded yes. His face broke into such genuine smile that, she knew she had done the right thing by choosing him. He hugged her with such fierceness that it knocked the wind out of her and a laugh.

And the radio was singing merrily in the tea stall “aap ki nazaron ne samjha pyaar ke kabil hame….”

 
 

 

 

Comments

  1. nice!!

    but in real life it rarely happens :)

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) ha ha ha... that's why it is still in form of story. thanks for reading

      Delete
  2. The flute which is very simple to look..but produces wind out of it. Like wise..the peppered musical extravaganza, and a symphonic love orchestra brings a fresh air. simple tale narrated something like a perfect musical notes steals the show. All the songs plotted here are just apt..and gives the story line a perfect backstage from where meenu can sing and nikhil can dance. A perfect potboiler. I liked it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In any stories..dialogues are important..this is one such story..where heart beats, the emotions play a perfect symphony..and it almost overtakes the words. The characterisation of meenu, nikhil just echos this logic. while reading the story, i felt like, am standing in some corner, and reading their faces. A nice way of telling a story with made to order music set pieces. Hats off once again to you one more "nivi" special!!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for such wonderful words.... I finally made you say 'nivi special' for this story huh. :)

      Delete
  3. Lovely. Beautifully narrated.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I absolutely loved the story! its got such a beautiful rhythmn attached to it. Keep writing more such stories for us to enjoy :)

    www.subzeroricha.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) such nice words to hear.. thank you for reading

      Delete
  5. Thanks for giving a title to your blog post of my most favorite song.

    All the songs mentioned here are ever green and they are unique each other.

    Really good article indeed.

    http://badari-poems.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete

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