Archive for the ‘Novelette’ Category

Mountain, Sunrise and Pastry

Posted: November 10, 2017 by Aarzoo in Fiction, Novelette
Tags: , , , ,

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This is a continuation of a write up posted earlier. If you haven’t read it yet here is the link to it  Mountain, Sunrise, and Pastry.
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Taran wanted to tell her how much he loved her. He wanted to live all his life with her. Yes, the concept of sharing whole life with one person was very much weird to him. But after meeting Aarzoo and spending time with her, he could spend all his life with her. He wanted to tell what exactly he felt for her. All he could do was just blow off the candle and cut the pastry as a gesture of accepting her proposal. Aarzoo was happy af. He had never seen her this happy. She was so excited that she got up and started dancing. With her, life was always like a festival. It was like celebrating each and every moment coming their way. Seeing her this happy, he felt like he could do anything to keep her smile that wide always. He didn’t realize when did she get back to third standard’s science classes teaching about echo in the mountains. She started screaming to the mountains, ‘He loves me too’. The echo sound coming back from the mountains was mesmerizing. He held her hand and she looked at him. He wanted to say a lot. Instead, he chose to bend on his knees holding her hand. He removes the chain he is wearing and pulls his mother’s ring in the chain. He sees confused and surprised and happiest looks on her face. Showing the simple yet beautiful ring to her and asks,
“Ms Aarzoo, will you be my Mrs Aarzoo?”
She was shocked was an understatement. She didn’t expect him to ask it right away. She was still digesting the fact that he had asked her out for marriage, he said
“Please wear this ring soon. My knees are paining already”.
“Of course yes, silly”
She said and wears the ring. The ring didn’t fit her ring finger, so he makes her wear it on her little finger. That ring was very special for him as it used to be his mother’s favorite ring. He could never ask her why was that her favorite ring. He suddenly missed his mom.
“I thought your knees were paining” Aarzoo brought him back to present and he stands up. He just hugged her. He had heard and read many times that when you hug a person you love, you subconsciously close your eyes while hugging them. He felt that folklore for the first time in his life. He could feel that happiness too.  All his insecurities about relationships just vanished. Everything just seemed beautiful around them. The rising sun, mountains and of course the pastry. He pulls her out of his embrace. He holds her face and tells
“I love you Aarzoo… very much. Thank you for coming into my life and making the world a better place to stay in”.
He pulls her into his embrace again. Hugs her like hugging his life.
“I love you too Taran” he heard her say.

I love you too Taran.

This voice was ringing in his head. The voice in his head takes him to another flashback, to the time when he heard her say it, for the last time, to the time when he saw her beautiful smile, for the last time. It was when they were preparing to welcome their child into their world. She looked calm even with the labor pain. She was being taken to the labor room. She was in pain and still, she managed to smile to tell him that she loved him too. Inside there, the doctors took little extra time to realize that she wouldn’t be able to take that pain anymore. She couldn’t even kiss her child. One way came in their beautiful daughter and the other way she left them, left him alone with their daughter.

I love you too Taran. He heard this voice in his head again. A little faintly.

“Dad” their twenty-three-year-old daughter’s voice brought him out of the flashbacks.
“Yes, sweetheart”
“No wonder why mom chose this place for that special memory. This is beautiful. Can I rob this beauty to share with someone as special?”

 

Picture courtesy: clicked by me.

 

 

 

 

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Betrayal (episode 3)

Posted: July 20, 2016 by Aarzoo in Fiction, Novelette
Tags: , ,

Betrayal

Thiya was driving through these roads after years. Though she was tired by the five-hour long drive, the memories of her childhood and her parents made her fresh. Even after being there after ten long years, she remembered each and every part of the town. Town was transforming into a city now. Before visiting Mr Roy, she headed towards her home. She wanted to spend some time with her parents before surprising her uncle.

*A few months ago*

After switching off the phone Zahir was thinking about his encounter with Thee.
‘I never thought I would ever see her again. It has been more than a year, I have been looking for her. But, why was she looking at me like she was a stranger? She was pretending to not know me or what?’ He spoke to himself. Zahir ran out to find her and get answers to his new questions.

The scene at the parking shocked him.Thiya was fighting a group of five men. They might have tried to do don’t know what. The scene was just like an action movie scene. Like the hero fighting the few goons all at once. He helped her fight the goons. She didn’t realize until when she accidentally hit him while beating the last goon.
“What are you doing here? ” She asked kicking that goon away.
“Getting beaten by you for helping you fight the
goons” he said filled with sarcasm.
“Very funny”
“Yeah. it is. Anyways, who were they?”
“Goons, trying to take advantage of an alone girl at a lonely place! who else. Thanks for showing up.”
“Pleasure is all mine.”
“Hey, I hit you so bad, it is bleeding. Wait.” She opened her purse and removed the cotton and a cream to wipe the blood.
“Hey, I am fine. It doesn’t hurt. Let me drop you home first.” He said while she was preparing the cotton.
“Nothing is fine if too much of blood is flowing. Let me first clean it to see whether it is a deep cut or not. I just hope it is not.” She made him sit on the bench there. “Okay, it might burn a bit. But, you will be fine.” “I am fine Thee.” She started wiping and cleaned the wound. ” And .. here you go. Done.” She said while sticking the band aide.
“Thank you.” She just smiled at him in a reply.
“Are you a doctor or something? ”
“Well, I am no doctor. I just have a lot of experience of cleansing wounds of my own like this.”
“That is why your purse has the first aide box rather than the make up box! ”
She just nodded
“I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. Now, let me drop you home.”
“Come, let’s walk.” They were walking in awkward silence.
‘I don’t know why Mr Roy asked me to protect her from his anticipated attacks. I mean, she is a good fighter!’ Zahir thought.
“So, Kalarippayattu ha? I must say, you are a very good fighter” He asked to initiate the conversation.
“Yeah. How do you know it? Very few know about it” She was surprised.
“Don’t get me wrong Thee… Don’t you remember the Kalari School days? The time we spent together there ?”
“Which School? I have heard this name for the first time.”

*Present*

When Zahir asked her about the Kalari school days, Thiya felt like she was close to the answers of a big list of questions on her mind during the last year. The three years which she had forgotten completely, what she did during the time, how she knows this martial art, who all did she meet during that time and most importantly the person behind tatoo of ‘Z’ in half heart on her left wrist! She had met with an accident more than a year ago. because of the brain injury, she had no memory of a few years before it. Thanks to Mr Roy, that he was there with her during all the time. And Zahir some what returning to tell her the stories of the time they had spent together, it felt like a zigzaw puzzle almost solved. But then, someone telling Zahir to get revenge of his parent’s death from her, his mysterious locations made her more confused about Zahir.

With all these thoughts, she reached her home. She saw, that she wasn’t the only person visitng her parents that day. She went inside to see who is there. It wasn’t too dark inside. She went to the temple and lighted the lamp in front of her parent’s photo. With the lighting of lamp, someone switched on the lights of the room.

It was Zahir. He was more than happy to see her there.  He squeezed Thiya in a warm tight hug. Confused, Thiya hugged him, smiling and blushing.
“Wish you a very Happy Birthday Thee. I knew you’d atleast remember your last birthday and our deal to your spend every birthday here.”

 

 

Pic Source  : Google

 

Betrayal (Episode 2)

Posted: June 10, 2016 by Aarzoo in Fiction, Novelette
Tags: , , ,

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“So, you can tell me what is bothering the beautiful lady”
“It is none of your business handsome.” She was rude and blunt to him to show how disinterested she was.
Thiya prepared to leave. As she turned her back to him, he pulled her towards him and hid her in his embrace. She at first struggled to get herself out of the warm and comfort filled embrace, but then his hold was more strong. He started to pat her back, to soothe her. She stopped struggling to feel the comfort. She felt like she knew this embrace. She felt like this man is someone she knew since ages. She felt better now. With this soothing thoughts, she could see flashes of how people she loved, left her, used her, abandoned her. With these flashes with a sudden jerk she pushed him. With this sudden attack he was taken aback. Confused that what happened to her suddenly!
“Don’t ever show me your face again” was all she could say at his face. She left the disc with water filled eyes which never flowed.

After she left, his phone rang. He got irritated on seeing the caller’s name.
“I am close. Don’t call me every freaking hour now” he spoke angrily and switched of the phone without listening to a single word.

Thiya now was now hacking his email account to know with who else he was interacting. Unexpectedly it  was a few second’s game.
She was checking his emails. He has received mails recently from only one email address other than her’s. It was named as Anuj Sharma. She had heard this name. She noted this name on her note pad and started reading the mails. The contents of the mails shocked her. They had all information about her. Like, who she was, where she lives, who is her friend and how rich she is. No one other than one of her parents’ good friends, Mr Roy knew who she actually is. After her parents’ death in an accident Mr Roy had sent her away from the city and didn’t let anyone know where she was and took care of the business empire behind. She was told that it was for safety reasons. This means that this man knew her parents too.

Something caught her eye in the mail
‘Zahir, go get her. Take your revenge. Of your parents’ death.’

She had to find out who this Anuj Sharma is. Who were Zahir’s parents. Why is he relating their death to her? She could get there answers from Mr Roy.

“Wait. Revenge? Is Zahir here for some revenge?
If at all it was revenge, he never harmed me, nor did he even try to take advantage of me!
Why do I have a feeling that Zahir is someone I know already?” She spoke to herself.

She prepared to leave for Kerala. That’s where Zahir was and Mr Roy too.

Betrayal (Episode One)

Posted: June 1, 2016 by Aarzoo in Fiction, Novelette
Tags: , , , , ,

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Her computer system was her life. Almost every day she fell asleep working on her laptop. Not working actually, learning. Learning new lessons of computer language and hacking, different software and their use.
She came up with a new technique of finding out the location from where the email came from. Though she already new one, she was experimenting another technique where one can find exact location if the sender has sent the mail through series of locations to confuse. For experimenting, she used Zahir’s mail. And when she read the result, she was shocked. Not only shocked but confused, angry, annoyed and had too many questions in her mind.

Few months ago

“I don’t care. All I know is that you are coming. Thiya, please come… this would be last time I would be spending time with all of us together.”

Her friend Tanu, just closed Thiya’s laptop and pulled her out of her room.

“Okay. I am coming now. Stop pulling me like a culprit now.”

After a few minutes, they were at a club. Thiya thanked for the day being a weekday for very few people were there. They were waiting for their other friends to come.
Tanu caught a guy looking at Thiya. She thought of throwing a challenge on her.

“Thee, seeing that man?…” pointing to the guy she said “he has been staring at you since we are here, go and hit on him” she completed winking at her.

Thiya understood her wink. She was challenging her. And Thiya was in no mood to accept the challenge. So, she just continued to drink.

“Where are the others? Don’t tell me you never called them all!” she was getting irritated and Tanu could see it all on her face.

“God, Thee you are so… yeah. I invited no one else.” she gave in.

“We could have beer on our terrace too yar… let’s go now, I am feeling suffocated”

Before could Tanu say anything, that handsome guy came to them.

“Mind me buying beer for the beautiful ladies here?” he asked.

“Thank you Mr. Let-me-buy-you-a-drink, but we are leaving…” facing towards Tanu, “Lets g…” she didn’t find Tanu there.

“Your friend left you alone. Want me to drop you back ?”
She cursed Tanu for doing such stupidity.

“No, thanks. I can go by myself.”

“That’s rude.”
“I know”

“Btw, why are your tears not coming out of your eyes?”
“Because they aren’t tears!”
He rubbed his finger near her eye to take the drop of the water from her eye.

“This is a tear. C’mon Thee, you can count on a stranger for the story behind this” she became a bit acceptive.

“It is Thiya. Only my friend can call me Thee.”

“I am Zahir. Pleased to meet you Thiya.”

Present

Thiya was in mixed feelings. She didn’t believe what the screen showed. But then, her technique had no way to show a different location.

‘He told me he was in Delhi for some work. And the location shows somewhere in Kerala’

She changed a few commands and tried again. It showed the same location. She then checked all the emails he sent her. They were all from different places all over India. While during all the time, he claimed to be in Indore.

She then checked the locations with the old technique and they all showed Indore!

She now felt glad that she never told him about her working with the hacker’s team. Now, all she wanted to know is who is he if he is not what he claims to be and why is he playing this love game with her.

 

Pic source  : Google

 

 

 

Sometimes, it is not only about love.(Episode 3 last)

Posted: September 12, 2015 by Aarzoo in Novelette

Present.

Just a two hours of sleep was like hours long sleep. It was a new morning. With this morning Niyati and Yash were going to start a new life. Though both of them didn’t wanted to start it this way, but they wanted to live together.

Yash, Niyati and Nirav got ready by 9 and left for the restaurant nearby for breakfast. The restaurant was almost full still they managed to find an empty table. This place was lively still peaceful. There was some peace in that chaos. The waiter came and asked for their order. And like always, Nirav ordered ‘One kesari bhath and three plates idli’. The waiter went. They spoke nothing. After a while, waiter brought their order, still they spoke nothing. Nirav thanked the waiter.
“Guys, you will get married in a few hours now? You will not die! Cheer up” Nirav tried to cheer up his friends. It was an unsuccessful attempt though.
“What if our parents don’t agree for our marriage? ” Niyati looking at nothing in the kesari bhath’s plate asked them.
“They will agree. I am sure. You both are their only children. They would not talk for a few days maybe. But eventually they will agree. I am sure.” Nirav assured them.
“And what if they decide to not to allow us as a part of their old age?” This time Yash was unsure about the outcome of their marriage.

“I am sorry Yash, I can’t marry you. We can’t leave our parents like this”
“I too can’t marry you Niyati. Not against our parent’s wishes.”
“Guys, they will agree with your marriage. Trust me.”
“No” Both of them said together

Then they returned home and pretended like nothing had happened. The parents never realized what their kids left behind and the kids never realized why they left it all behind.

Sometimes, it is not only about love (Episode 2)

Posted: August 24, 2015 by Aarzoo in Novelette

Ten years ago.

“Mom, I am at Niyati’s place. Nirav and I are learning accounts from her. Shout for me when ever you have to go anywhere.” Yash said to his mom while putting his books in his bag.
“Some day accounts, some day stats. What do you do at college?  The professors there don’t teach you or what?” His mom, Mrs Sanghvi said sarcastically. “Okay, don’t forget to take this puris I made. Niya’s mom loves them.”
“Okay mom.” Yash didn’t bother to answer about the professor story. He just wanted to go to Niyati’s place. The next door. They were neighbours. Just when Yash closed his home door, Nirav came climbing the stairs. Nirav lived in the building next to theirs. Niyati’s mother gave a warm welcome to them. For the next few hours, they had fun more and studied less. This was their daily’s time table. Some  day at Yash’s home, some day at Nirav’s and some day at Niyati’s.

They three, almost grew up together. They were always together. As far as the three were together, nothing else bothered to them. Their families too were best friends. Their fathers went for the morning walk together, their mothers had their evening walk together, shared good recipes and sometimes even problems for which the friends gave solutions. Their neighbours often talked about their friendship and sometimrles envied them too.

Like this only years passed by. From Junior college to under graduation. Then Post graduation. They were together even though their fields being different. Nirav saw some spark between Yash and Niyati. The tuning they both had with each other, the tension Yash had whem Niyati was once ill, the care Niyati takes of Yash. She even knows which accounting theory Yash is weak at. And lot many such things he saw.

He knew his friends never had a love story, they would never understand this love. He will have to be the cupid here. And then, he made their story as a goal. He made them realize this during their first year of postgraduation. They realized and accepted and confessed their love for each other. Till here, it was all very easy. The next step was as difficult. Parents. Yash coming from a gujarati family and Niyati coming from a bengali family, they, inspite of being best of friends, would never accept this marraige. Yash, at first tried speaking indirectly to their parents about getttig them married, both gave the same reply
“We are best friends, great neighbours and they are very good human beings. But turning this beautiful friendship into a relation, that too in a different religion, is not good beta.” They, in their place were right, Yash’s family haven’t even eaten onion, potato and such roots where as Niyati’s family loves fishes. Though they celebrate similar festivals, but ways are different. Yes, if given a try all could be great. Still, Nirav thought something can be done. He still saw Yash and Niyati together as a family. They spent three years like that only.

Nirav became a HR Manager of a big corporate house of Bangalore. Yash became a General Manager of the company. And Niyati became a Senior accountant of another big company. Now it was time when their parents started looking for prospective spouses for them. And, now it was their time to stand for themselves. They said, we want to get married. And then don’t know why, their parents started hating each other. Never spoke to each other infact didn’t allow their kids to meet even. Nirav’s parents too, couldn’t do anything.

They lost hope. For the dream life they were seeing since two years.

Yash and Niyati were on their journey to their dream life. A life which they always used to discuss, which they always used to think about. Yes, some elements will be missing though in the real life. Which dream comes 100% true!

Both lost in some thoughts, sitting by the windows in the train, the noise of the other train passing by disturbed their thoughts. Niyati checked her phone, it was 4.45 am. Almost five hours since they left home. She was imagining the scene at her home in the morning, when she would be found missing. It was very scary for her. On the other hand, Yash was thinking the same too. He didn’t want to leave his parents, but then he also wanted his happiness. He had made up his mind that, after they get married he would console his parents and get them to Shimoga. Shimoga, where Yash and Niyati will start a new chapter of their lives.

Now that their thoughts were disturbed Yash went and sat next to Niyati and hugged her. And whispered in her ears,
“No matter what Niyati, I will always be there with you. And all will be fine. What ever we deserve, we will get it.” Niyati, spoke nothing just nodded and sat like that, in his arms. Like every girl, she felt secured and safe in her soul mate’s arms. Soon, the train arrived at Shimoga’s station. This place was like heaven. The peace in the air itself was more than enough for anyone to forget the worries. Yash had been here many times before. He was in love with the city. And was sure Niyati too would like it. He got down the train and helped her to get down.
Their friend Nirav was waiting for them at the station. Yash and Nirav hugged each other. Nirav felt like he was seeing Yash after a long time. Last few weeks were very long for them. Nirav hugged Niyati too. He welcomed them to their new hometown.
“Welcome to Shimoga. Hope the journey was fine.”
“Yes. The journey was good. Thanks buddy.” And Yash hugged him again. Nirav pulled Niyati in their bromance for a group hug, like they usually had. Nirav removed his phone and clicked a pic of their faces from below. Thanks to the flash on the front camera too for the good shot.

Nirav, Yash and Niyati were best friends since High School. They were in the same field untill Masters. Three of them chose different fields for masters. Living in the same locality helped them to keep their bomd stronger. Yash and Niyati confessed their love for each other after their masters. And it was Nirav who made them realised that ‘they were in love’.

Nirav drove them to ‘their flat’. For now they three would be sharing it. Nirav just opened the door, and the home was very peaceful in the dark. That peace was disturbed by the light Yash switched on. Yash showed Niyati her room. Kept her bags in the cupboard and said, “Take rest for a some two hours. We will go to the registrar around 10.30 am. So be ready by nine. So that we can have our breakfast and go. Take care.” He kissed on her forehead and closed the door behind him.

Niyati thought it was all happening very fast. By noon, Niyati and Yash will be married. When once they had lost hope about their marraige.

Yes. A lost hope gave them strength. And now they are here.

cute-li

“Kabir…” She wished Kabir hadn’t heard their conversation. Because she had decided that she would say him all about her illness that night after his convocation on the way to home while returning. Fortunately or unfortunately, he seemed like he didn’t hear anything.

“Di, I called you so many times… You aren’t receiving anyone’s call. I got worried.” Kabir didn’t see Varun there first.
“Oh shitt.. We completely forgot about the programme we are here to attend. We were so lost in our talks. Btw, Kabir, this is Varun.”
“Oh.. Hie Varun bhaiya. I didn’t notice you. Mahi was searching for you too.”
“You know him ?”
“Yeah Di… Varun bhaiya is Mahi’s elder brother. I was going to introduce you to him :P.. Seems like you have met already.”
“Oh ya.? You didn’t say me anything about him before…”
“All that explanation later. First I am getting late for my programme and are you guys coming ?”
“You go ahead. We’ll come soon.” Sneha said. Kabir understood it was a sign for him to leave and disappear as fast as possible and as there was still some time for the programme to start, he didn’t insist them to come soon.
“You are The Sneha about whom Mahi keeps talking all day?” Varun, quite surprised and quite shocked to know that world is indeed a small place asked as soon as Kabir left.
“What do you mean by ‘The’ ? And she keeps talking about me all day?” Sneha too was surprised that Varun was Mahi’s brother. She didn’t knew Mahi had a brother. But now she was feeling glad after knowing it.
“Yes. She has been talking about you since a week. And by her talks, I badly wanted to meet you. I had never thought we would meet like this.
Does Kabir know about your cancer?”
“No. I tried a lot many times to tell him, but couldn’t. I will tell him tonight. After the programme.”
“I hope he can handle it.”
“I would like to know what Mahi used to talk about me…” It was like Sneha at that moment didn’t want to talk about her cancer anymore.
“Some other time. Btw, I want to know whether you are planning to sit here and chat all night or would like to go and see our siblings’ programme. I want to see my sister on stage. She is getting the Best student of the year award.”
“Oh is it? Come then lets get in and see them on stage.”
“Yes. Come on in.” And as they started to walk towards the auditorium, Sneha lost her balance and held Varun’s hand to balance. Suddenly she lost her consciousness and her grip on hold was getting loose. Varun held her and gave her his support and didn’t let her fall. Took her to the nearest stairs for her to sit.
“Sneha, are you ok?” She couldn’t even speak. Varun thought it must some side effects of her cancer. He was patting her cheeks and she laid there unconscious. He didn’t know what to do. And it struck him that the Chief guest at the event was a very celebrated and a good doctor. He called the principal and asked about the doctor. Meanwhile, Kabir comes to check out for his sister. He sees Sneha and somewhat understands what has happened to his sister. So, he calls the doctor whose name and number he had seen on the file in her room of which he had clicked a photo of the file.

“I have called Dr. Avasthi, one of the best oncologists in town. He is on his way. And the coincidence is he is the chief guest for today’s event.” Informed Kabir.
“Why a oncologist Kabir?” The Principal asked him. He knew Kabir personally and was one of his fav students. Kabir too respected him. The principal was his friend more than his mentor.
“My sister has cancer sir. I don’t know what, when how and why? I sneaked in her room today and found out the reason behind her tension and sadness.”
Varun was shocked by the strength Kabir had. He respected by the way Kabir reacted to the situation. He held his arm, and hugged him. Kabir, almost started crying. Varun could feel his tears falling on his shirt. On the other hand Mahi was waiting for Kabir to return as the programme was about to begin and he was supposed to do the welcome speech. The principal says to Kabir,

“Kabir, the programme is about to begin. You were going to make the welcome speech. Will you do it or should I say someone else?”
“I don’t want to leave my sister alone.”
“Kabir, I am there with your sister. And the doctor would be coming any moment. You go ahead with your programme.” Varun said. Kabir had to agree as he had the responsibility to welcome the guests too. And so he goes to the auditorium and the principal walked behind him confirming Varun’s presence with Sneha.

And the doctor arrived soon, with an ambulance behind. He checked her and made necessary calls at the hospital and made arrangements there for her treatment. He said Varun that he will come as soon as he can leave the event. Varun went with Sneha in the ambulance. He texted Kabir that they are at the hospital. They very soon reached the hospital and they hospital people were waiting for them. And immediately started the treatment. Treatment happened for not longer than thirty minutes. Varun was in a mixed feelings while those thirty minutes. He just wanted to see her, talk to her.
Varun suddenly wanted to rob all her pain and leave her with happiness and glory.

After the treatment, Sneha was shifted in another room where she was still unconscious. The room was cool, pleasant and silent. He sat on the stool next to the patient’s bed and held unconscious Sneha’s hand and as if she was listening, he started saying her.
“Sneha, I don’t know if you are listening to me. I want to take care of you, want to see you happy every day, want to share your worries and give you all my happiness. I want to take care of Kabir as my own brother. I want to make your last phase of life beautiful. I know this might sound crazy, but I am in love with you. I love you before I met you, from the stories what Mahi used to say everyday, I love you since the first time I saw you, I know you were not smiling then, I loved you more when we were in the church. I love you. And I want to keep loving you, till your last breathe.”
Varun didn’t know whether Sneha had heard this all, but he knew some how she would know what he feels.
Sneha suddenly opened her eyes and saw Varun holding her hands and sitting besides her. She saw around to figure out where she was, she found the room some what like she had visited the place earlier. It took no time for her to realize that she was in the hospital where she was being treated. She was wondering how did anyone get to know that she was being treated here.
“Kabir?” Is all she could ask. She tried to get up.
“Ssshhh… you have to take rest.” And he made her lie again.
“How come I am here?”
“Kabir knows about your cancer. He said he got to know about it today morning. And he only called Dr Avasthi and them we are here. He will be soon here.”
“Varun… If anything happens to me, will you take care of Kabir?”
“Sneha… I will. I want to take care of you too.” He didn’t know whether Sneha has heard it all what he just said a few minutes ago, “Sneha,” he held her hand again, “I want to take care of you, see you happy. I love you.” He said it again in short. Sneha had heard it all. “I wish I could love you too Varun.”
“You don’t have to love me back Sneha. I love you and that is what I care about.”

And just then Kabir came in running. Sneha got up and Kabir hugged her. Like he had seen her after years.
“Di, I can understand why you didn’t say me anything about your cancer. Know I am with you. I will not allow anything to happen to you.”
Sneha didn’t speak anything. Kabir felt her weight on his shoulders. He couldn’t anything.

All he could do was make her sleep again and closed her eyes. Varun kept his hand on Kabir’s shoulders and Kabir hugged him. He stayed that way till he do not know when.

cute-li

He wished he could lock those tears of his sister back there. He wished he could protect her the way she did him. He promised to himself, ‘No matter what Di, I will never leave you alone.’

They started walking towards the auditorium and were talking about how they had fun in the part of the campus. How they used bunk a few class and have fun here. Though the fun part was of Kabir and Sneha’s part was her badminton game. She never missed a chance to play badminton at college. And she was the Badminton captain of the college. And to keep up with the pace, she always practised the game when ever got a free lecture or mass bunked a lecture. She never missed her college days, but always missed the time she spent on the badminton court of the college. Again she got lost in the games she played there.

“Di. Di, I am talking to you Di. Are you listening?” Kabir was wondering what she was thinking about. He saw the name on the file. It was some hospital’s file. And it read as Patient : Sneha. He was wondering what is that Sneha not telling him. What is she hiding from him. He thought if possible he will talk to her about it while returning or will sneak into her room and search the file and find out what is the matter. Till then he decided to not to think about it.
“Di, come and meet my teachers first. Listen all good about me and ignore all the bad. :D”
“I will love to listen complaints about you. Tired of listening that same thing. Your brother is a very nice boy. etc etc. Didn’t do any mischief during last two years ?”
“Di… “ Kabir knew his sister’s sarcasm. And loved it.
“Okay. Come.”
After getting into the auditorium, Kabir and Sneha were busy meeting the teachers and listening all good they could speak about Kabir. And every teacher had one complaint too. They said Kabir is very mischievous. And we let him do the mischief because his mischief makes the class lively and less boring. And Sneha was wondering what cool teachers. In her time, on doing some mischief she was punished to stay out of the class many times. It was like school at the college. Then she met her teachers and took a seat in the centre, right first seat from the aisle. And she was looking at the pre-programme mess the students and teachers were going through. Just then a young girl looked like a student there and a man were climbing down the stair of the auditorium. He too with the girl spoke to the teachers like she did a few minutes ago. He seemed like that girl’s brother, didn’t look like a father or friend. She for time being just got curious who was he, handsome, good sense of dressing, good perfume and best thing, beautiful voice. She knew not many guardians of classmates of Kabir, but she wanted to know him. She couldn’t figure out why, but she wanted to. He finished his talk with the teachers and started climbing the stairs. He saw Sneha and asked her,

“Hey young lady, can I sit with you this evening?”
“Yeah sure. I am already bored sitting alone!”
“Oh… So don’t like your company ? is it ?”
“Not exactly. Right now I don’t want to be alone.” Sneha didn’t know why she is saying this to him. Whose name also she do not know. He sat next to her. No one spoke. There was an awkward silence. She couldn’t bear this silence and so she asked
“Want to see our campus ?”
“Sure” And He stood up first, Sneha waited for him to get into the stairs, and then she got up. She had to hold his arm to avoid to lose her balance. His firm arm didn’t allow her to lose her balance. They walked out of the auditorium and she first took him to the chapel. he removes his shoes outside the chapel. She says –
“We can wear our shoes inside the chapel.”
“If I would enter a temple which I daily do, I would remove my shoes outside. This too is a temple for me.”
“Yes. That’s true.” Sneha walks in with her sandals on and he without his shoes.
Sneha kneels in front of Jesus the way she always did. She always used to come here, even before joining the college when at school. She just felt in peace when she spoke to Jesus kneeling there. And that peace she never got at any other church in town. May be the peace is in the place. Whatever it was she always felt relieved there.
“I come here very often. Even before I joined the college. I first had come here with my classmate. Then very often I come here. Especially after my mom dad’s death, I came here to cry. No one except him saw me crying since then. I usually try locking up my tears in my eyes and they would flow out once I reach here.”
“I see how special this place is for you. I wonder if I have such place, where I can cry!”
“You will have one. If not somewhere else, this chapel is the best. No one will see you crying here. It’s my experience. ;)”
“Haha. Yes. I can see that.”
“Come, I show you the badminton court where hot girls usually play badminton and cool boys watch them playing.”
“There would be no players now though. Did you have someone who would never miss to watch you play badminton?”
“Watch me ? All boys of my class would wait for my turn to come up. “
“No wonder.”
“I had no friends at school or college. Just classmates. Maybe because I couldn’t trust anyone.”
“We have to risk our trust to have a great friend. If we have chosen a wrong person, we will learn a lesson or else will have great people in our life.”
“And I took damn long time to understand it.”
“Well. Better late than never.”
“And this time, I am very late.”
“Means?”
“Ignore that. Come, I will show you our library. I have read many books here.”
“It is hard for me to ignore. Any ways, I would love to see a library. I have never seen one.”
“What? you haven’t seen a library ? I am surprised ? Is it because you don’t like to read books?”
“Yes. What is so shocking about it? No. In fact I love reading books. But library and me don’t go together.”
“It is strange.” They walk to the library in the building just opposite the badminton court and near the chapel. Sneha was not sure why she was opening her heart to this stranger whose name also she do not know. She doesn’t even know who he is, what he does. All she knows about him is he is trustworthy, he is a well mannered man, he is adorable. She wanted to know more about him. She thought she would know more as fast as she could.
“I don’t even know you and I am opening my heart to you. I find this strange.”
“This is not strange mam. We are strangers. And strangers are the only people who you don’t want to impress. You are yourself with them. And yes. This do not happen with all the strangers you meet. The tuning you share with them makes you feel like someone whom you can share you heart with.”
“Is this all experience talks or just knowledge and philosophy?”
“Till now it was all philosophy. Just experienced it all.”
“So, Mr…” Sneha didn’t know how to ask him his name and what he does. And he understood what Sneha wanted to ask.
“I am Varun. I am a Chartered accountant. I work with a MNC here.” He puts forward his hand to shake hands with her. Sneha puts forward her hand too.
“Hi Varun. I am Sneha. I work as a interior designer with a architecture firm.”
“Pleasure to meet you.”
“Pleasure to meet you too.”
“Btw, we will miss our sibling’s programme inside. We must go.”
“Varun, I don’t want to go inside.”
“All cool Sneha?” With in a few hours they met it was like they knew each other for years. And Varun was worried for her. He wanted to borrow her pain and never return them to her.
“Varun. I just want to sit here. In open. Not alone.”

“Okay. Come. We’ll sit on the stairs there.” She agreed. They sit on the stairs on the playground there. They sat for almost an hour and they spoke nothing. Varun started worrying more. Because the way she asked him to stay with her. He badly wanted to know what was bothering her.
“I am dying.”
“What ?” Varun was shocked when Sneha said this. It was like He had found someone who could be his life partner and she is talking about her death. May be in near future. He was more devastated than shocked. He didn’t know why he felt more broken than shocked. Why Sneha became so important. Why her death news is hurting him. So many whys. He kept them all aside. And just hugged her. She buried her face in his firm chest. He let her cry. And patted her back. Held her head. Held her firm. Sneha kept her hands on his shoulders. She didn’t know what to do. She looked up, at him. He kissed on her fore head. And asked her to explain what she said.
“I am suffering from Ovarian Cancer, which is very rare for my age.”
“Final stage ?”
“Yes. I have only a few months. And I am worried for Kabir. What will happen to Kabir after me.” Before could Varun say anything, they heard a voice calling for her. It was Kabir.
“Di.”
“Kabir…” Sneha wished he didn’t hear their conversation.

cute-li“Di, where are you ? We are getting late.”
Kabir was searching for Sneha. He came to her room to check if she was there or not.
“Di… Di, we are…” Just then he saw a file unknown to him on her table. He just bent to look at it Sneha came in.
“Yaa Kabir, tell.”
“Di, how long ?”
Kabir was tired of waiting for his sister to finish her work so that they could leave for the Graduation ceremony of his college for he completing Junior College.
“And what is this file. It doesn’t looks like your office file.”
“I am almost done. We’ll leave in five minutes.
Yeah. This is someone else’s file. One of my client forgot this on my table.”
“Okay. I am ready. I’ll grab the keys. Di, can I drive today ?”
“No. It is a busy day today, and cannot trust the traffic.”
“Di please,…”
“Do one thing, drive in the return. It will be late, and roads too would be empty.”
“Okay. Cool.”
These teenagers. Want to learn everything as soon as they come across anything new.
“Di, I don’t want to be late on my last day. I am the college captain yar. Come soon. And I don’t to get late by getting stuck at this silly traffic. Di.”
“I am almost done Kabir. Only two minutes. Go grab the keys and wear your shoes. I will come in two minutes.”And Sneha came out holding a bundle of folders and kept it on the table near the main door.
“Di, you look gorgeous.”
“Shut up Kabir. Lets go now.”
Sneha was shutting the door and Kabir was talking to her about the function that evening.
“Di, I want you to meet Mahi today. She is a lovely person. I like her.”
“I know she is fab. You like her. Why don’t you say her?”
“Di, how come you know that I like her ?”
“I am your Di. You have grown up in my hands and in my care. I know it even before you know that you like her.”
“Di…” Kabir hugged her and said “ I love you Di.”

Don’t know what happened, her eyes got wet and her tears fell on Kabir’s shirt. He felt it too. He let her cry. And didn’t ask anything about it. He thought he will ask after returning from the college.
“We’ll leave Di?”
“Yeah.”
On the way, no one spoke anything. Kabir was excited about the evening and worried about Sneha’s tears and Sneha was busy thinking about something.

She got nostalgic about her college days too. Her world of fantasies, where for her love was in the air. This fantasy was short lived Just after finishing her 12th boards exams, their parents met with a fatal accident. They were broken. She had big career options in front of her and this big loss, she couldn’t bear it. She didn’t have such friends who could be a shoulder to cry on. And Kabir, five years younger to Sneha, didn’t even know how to react. All Sneha and Kabir had was them and their parent’s big sum of insurance money. Their distant relatives gathered and decided that the ‘kids’ will live with the younger brother of their father as he do not have any children and will take care of them as his own kids. Sneha didn’t want to leave their home, but had to. So, they shifted to their uncle’s home. Uncle’s behaviour was warm and nice, and Aunty loved them like her own children. But after a few months, suddenly they started behaving weirdly. They started looking for prospective grooms for Sneha. She wasn’t bothered. for she thought, she will refuse to the guy and stay away from marriage as far as she can. But the uncle and aunty played with her, and got her married somehow. And Kabir, he never complained about their so bad behaviour with him. Sneha stood for herself and her younger brother. Filed a divorce. Meanwhile during the procedures, she got to know the evil motive of her uncle of grabbing all the money from them and made her case strong. And soon within a year after their parents’ death, they returned to their home. Sneha and Kabir, started living at their own home, where they grew up with their parents. They could feel their parent’s presence in every corner of the house. They could feel safe and secure there. Now, after that incident they didn’t allow anyone to interfere in their lives except for them. Sneha had made up her mind that whatever happens, Kabir will be her first priority. She completed her studies working on part time along with studies. Though money was never a problem for them, she didn’t wanted to waste a single rupee. She took care of Kabir like a mother, loved him like an elder sister and was a best friend of him. And now, after five years, she was working hard and gave him best education in town. He is the smartest kid of his age. Very talented dancer and solves any Shakuntala Devi quiz in short time. Though Sneha worked hard for this. She taught him how to think out of the box, she taught him to dance while expressing his feelings, She taught him to get up as soon as he falls. And he learnt a lot else from her. He learnt to not to complain about what he doesn’t have, he learnt to stand the trouble he may face. He was young boy and still he was so very matured. Sneha loved this part of Kabir very much.

They reached the college and Sneha didn’t move.
“Di, where are you lost ?”
“uh?”
“We have reached. What happened Di ? All good na?”
“Yes.. All good.”
“I know you are missing mom dad now. I too badly wished they could see me taking the ‘Student of the year’ trophy.”
“They are proud of us.”
“Yes they are. Come lets go.
Btw, What will you do for two hours before the program starts?”
“Kabir, I have studied here only. Will sit in the chapel of our college, meet old sisters in the convent and walk and revisit my collegel days.”
“Really Di? I don’t think you will revisit the college days! Meet the sisters and come and sit in the auditorium. Grab the best seat you want. And enjoy watching we kids doing fun of nothing.”

Kabir knew, that his sister if let alone for more than an hour will start thinking about what happened during last three years. He didn’t want her to think about it anymore. He wished he could help her. He wished he could lock those tears of his sister back there. He wished he could protect her the way she did him. He promised to himself, ‘No matter what Di, I will never leave you alone.’