Posted: 09 March 2012 at 1:29pm
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Samrat came out of his thoughts, and saw Benji walk away with Arnav and Khushi, while Raunak and Siya waited for him. He nodded his head, and they all walked out of the jungle in silence. When they reached the college, they saw Uday on the gates, talking to the Principal of the St Stefens. Just then, Gunjan arrived with Adhiraj, who was carrying her bag. Gunjan had lowered her face, and tears flowed down her face at a stretch. Her face had turned a shade of red due to the constant crying. A part of Samrat shouted that he was wrong, Gunjan wasn't pretending with him, but Benji's confident words shook his inner voice, and he looked at her with indifference. Just then, the police came along with Shyam and his men. Uday saw them arrive, and without wasting another second, he went and punched Shyam on his face. Shyam was so taken aback by the sudden blow, such that he instantly fell down, a stream of red gushing from his face.
"Gunjan ko haath lagane ka soch bhi kaise liya tumne? I will make sure ki is galti ki aisi saza mile tumhe ki tum zindagi bhar yaad rakho", Uday said with menace in his eyes, as he talked to the police inspector for a few seconds. Samrat heard the Principal come and say,
"Mr Uday, dont worry, aapne keh diya, wahi bohut hai. I'll see to it ki these guys are punished as they deserve to be, aap mujhpe chhod dijiye. Aap kyun is maamle mein pad rahe hain, mera bharosa kijiye, main sab dekh lunga"
Uday, now Mr Uday, as Samrat came to know, was satisfied to an extent at the Principal's words. Samrat also realised that Mr Uday was an influential person, no wonder even Benji did not want to interfere in between, and no wonder Gunjan was with him. History was repeating itself. He saw an image of Mallika flash in front of his eyes, of how she'd left him for some other rich guy. He saw Gunjan under the same light, and his heart filled up with disgust.
"Chalo Gunjan, humein nikalna hai", Uday spoke coldly, as he motioned Gunjan to go and sit in the car. Gunjan looked up in their direction, as her eyes gazed on all of them. She looked at Arnav for a few seconds, as she tried to say something, but held back her words. Then, her eyes looked into his, with a different feeling. She looked at him intensely, trying to convey something, but all she saw was an indifferent, cold look. Samrat had distanced her from himself, and it scared her to see the hatred for her in his eyes. She gave him a questioning look, when he just broke the eye-lock and looked away. He missed the look of pain she felt as soon as he turned his face away.
"Gunjan, maine kaha chalo yahaan se", Uday again pulled her by her hand, and dragged her to the car. She passed directly in front of them. Arnav lifted a hand to stop her, but no words came out, as they both gave a helpless look to each other. She crossed Khushi, and away from Uday's gaze, she placed something in Khushi's hand, which Khushi immediately shut close. Adhiraj followed Uday and Gunjan, and went with them in their car. Samrat looked at them until they disappeared from his eyes. Benji said his last byes to Arnav and the others, and assuring him once again, he also left in his car. Samrat also thought to say a bye before he left, when he saw Khushi open up her palm, and call all the others to her. Samrat stood at a little distance, but from where he could hear Khushi's voice clearly.
I know jo bhi hua us se tum bohut upset ho, i wish it had never happened. But jo ho gaya, we can't change it. And remember what our 6th grade's class teacher used to say? She had said that don't think about the things you can't change, just accept them, and look at their brighter side, they're sure to have one. I know woh bohut boring teacher thi, probably the most boring teacher we've ever had, but aaj unki kahi baaton ka matlab samajh aata hai. There are some things, which we can't change, ever, so just let them be. Today i had come, because i missed you all, especially you, Arnav. You know you have a very special place in my life, like, you were the first guy i had ever liked, lols. It's easier to admit it now, because i know it was past, our past, a beautiful past that i'll always cherish. Hamara aaj different hai, we're different, hamare raaste different hain. Tumhare pass Khushi hai, aur mere pass koi aur, ye do log, jo hamari zindagi ko actually complete karte hain, our real soulmates. But that doesnt mean that our relation has changed, we were best friends then, and we'll be the same till the end. Siya will tell you about Suhaani and Adhiraj, wo dono bhi ab meri life ka important part hain, but they know about you, my bestest friend. Aur isiliye main tumse milne aayi thi. Koi kuch bhi kahe, tum galat nahi ho. Tum to sirf mere dost they, mere bachpan ka sabse pyaara rishta, jo aaj bhi zinda hai. Main tumse milne aayi thi, because i wanted to, tumne mujhe yahaan nahi bulaya tha. Isliye tum khudko blame karna band kar sakte ho. Ye tum aur main achhe se jaante hain ki tum na aaj galat ho, aur na us time they, jab main yahaan se gayi thi. Tum sahi keh rahe they, main wapis aayi kyunki apne gusse ko bhulakar jab maine khule dimaag se socha, to samajh aaya ki tum mujhe protect hie to kar rahe they. Tum aur main, dono jaante hain, tum sahi ho, isliye please, meri khatir, guilty mat feel karo.
Khushi, tumse main kya kahoon, i have no words. I don't know tum mere aur Arnav ke rishte ko kis angle se dekhti ho, i have no clue. Par jitna time main yahaan thi, maine tumhari aur Arnav ki aankhon mein ek doosre ke liye wo pyaar dekha hai, jiske baare mein log sapne dekhte hain. Arnav itne time baad mujhse mila, mere saath laga raha, lekin wo tumhe ek bar bhi nahi bhula. I saw him losing his gaze again and again, kyunki wo tumhe dhoond raha tha. Uski restlessness uske actions mein thi, i know him too well not to notice it. Tum jab mujhse mili, tumhari smile infectious thi, it took over me. I could see that you were genuinely happy to meet me. You had no qualms with having me there, you were satisfied seeing the calm smile spread on Arnav's face. I fell in love with both of you, honestly. And i'll always pray for you both to live a happy life. Main jaane se pehle tumse sirf ek ye promise chahti hoon, ki tum Arnav ka khyaal rakhogi. Main jaanti hoon ki mujhe ye kehne ki zarurat nahi hai, lekin dil ki tasallee ke liye ek bar bolna mera farz hai. Aur rahi baat meri, to meri chinta mat karo. I too have found the one for me, and tum sab us se mil hie chuke ho. Buri nai hai meri choice, haina? I've realised he reciprocates my feelings as well. I am hoping ki wapis jaake sab theek ho jayega. And i promise, abki wo tum sabse theek se baat karega, unlike this time. We'll all meet, keeping aside our past, with a beautiful future. Until then, we'll stay in touch. I've written my mail and number neeche, will talk to you, par sab kuch thoda theek hone ke baad. Until then, take care all of you, i'll miss you. Siya, Ron is a great man, treasure him, and Ron, Siya ko kabhi bhi hurt kiya na, you'll see the worst of me, soch lo. I love you all, bye...
Khushi stopped speaking, and lifted her eyes from the letter to look at everyone around. Raunak and Siya smiled a bit through their tears, while Arnav hugged Khushi and stood as such for a while. Khushi rubbed his back, and consoled him as she heard him sniff silently.
"Arnav, Pari aaj bhi aapki wahi dost hai, kuch nahi badla aapke beech. Aapne padha na, unhe aapse koi shikayat nahi hai, wo aapko galat nahi samajhti. Apne upar ye guilt lekar jeena band kijiye. Pari bhi samajh chuki hain ki aap unka hie bhala karna chahte they. Aur unhone kaha hai na, ki wo wapis aayengi, bharosa kijiye un par. Mujhe un par yakeen hai, wo zarur apni dosti nibhayengi, ye mera vishwas kehta hai. Abhi unhe jaane dijiye, unhe apni zindagi sambhalni hai, apne pyaar ko paana hai"
Arnav broke the hug, and wiped his tears away as he nodded.
"Tum sahi keh rahi ho, Pari ko bohut kuch theek karna hai. Aur ab to uske saath uska pyaar bhi hoga, jo useh himmat dega, useh support karega. He's a lucky man. I'll wait until she's ready to meet us"
He gave a smile, and they all walked towards the college, and didnt see Samrat standing as they all left. Arnav may have let Gunjan go so easily, but Samrat won't do that. She had hurt him bad, and she would have to pay back for that. Let her come back to the college, he would do something, that she'll be embarrassed, that too in front of her whole college. He walked towards his car, and started thinking what he could do to hurt her back.
"Gunjan Bhushan, kal tum college aao to sahi. Samrat Shergill ko dhokha dene ki saza kya hoti hai, tum jald hie samajh jaogi"
Samrat went back home, and the day passed off without any major event. He didnt see Suhaani throughout the day, and wondered about her whereabouts. His mother informed him that she'd gone to spend the day with some friend. He thought she would be with Adhiraj, and brushed off the rest.
Next day, the early morning sun rose, shedding its rays on Samrat's eyes, that flickered due to the sudden light. He had slept late at night, thinking about the time he'd spent with Gunjan. He hated himself for cherishing those memories, but he just couldnt help himself, and this angered him even more. He slept restlessly the whole night, and woke up early, at the sun's first light. Filled with anger and hatred for Gunjan, he got ready and left for the college.
In the college, all his friends stood near him, busy talking to each other. They were discussing the various tasks that they'd done for the newspaper. Samrat stood silently, resting next to his car, making his silent plans. Just then, they saw Adhiraj's car enter the gates, and rushed towards it. They knew Gunjan came with him, and eagerly rushed to meet her. Adhiraj got down the car after parking it. Samrat's ears stood up, and his eyes lifted, as he heard the passenger gate open. He ignored the curiosity inside him as his eyes rested on the door. He was shocked to see the view that greeted him.
A tired looking Suhaani got down from the car, and joined them along with Adhiraj. They both said simple hello, and talked in monosyllables only. When asked about Gunjan, Suhaani looked at Adhiraj questioningly, and he shook his head. At this, Suhaani replied that Gunjan wasn't well today, so she had taken a leave. Samrat knew she was lying, it was visible in her eyes. Everyone fell sad at this, but that was when the bell rang, and all moved to their classes. Samrat waited a bit, and walked with Adhiraj and Suhaani.
"Guys, Gunjan ko college bulao, chahe thodi der ke liye hie sahi. Humein aaj newspaper ke liye material submit karna hai, so that it can go for printing", Samrat said.
"Ye lo Samrat, ye sari files ready hain, Gunjan ne bheji hai. Tum inhe ek bar padh lo, aur print ke liye bhej sakte ho", Adhiraj handed over a few files to him, as they walked. Samrat was now highly pissed off. He had to take his revenge, and by absenting herself today, Gunjan was angering him to the limits. He moved to face Adhiraj and stood infront of him, blocking his way.
"Adhiraj, cut the crap. Gunjan ko kya hua hai, kyun nahi aayi wo?", he asked directly.
"Bhai...", Suhaani tried to speak, but he stopped her by his one look. Adhiraj looked at his determined face, and gave in.
"Uday ne useh college aane se mana kiya hai?", Adhiraj let out the reason.
"Kya, Uday as in wahi Uday jo kal wahaan aaya tha?", Samrat couldnt believe his ears.
"Haan, Uday, he thinks it ain't right for Gunjan to come to the college. It has bad influence on her. She's changed a lot, during the past days. And Uday loves her too much to let her change, for anything. Her family is also very worried about her, but none of them protest against Uday. And right now, she's been put under a kind of house arrest, so she can't come. Uday ne uska phone le liya hai, and she isnt allowed to contact anyone. Wo ghar ke baaki logo se bhi nahi mil sakti, sivaaye thodi der ke", Adhiraj ended. Samrat could make out the helplessness in his voice.
"Is she alright?", Samrat couldnt help asking.
"She is, and she ain't. She isn't saying anything against the punishment, because she agrees that she was wrong. But i could see it on her face, that she wanted to come today. Kal ka saara din hum uske saath they, aur aaj subah jab hum college ke liye nikal rahe they, it was visible to us ki wo kitna desperately aana chahti thi. Uske face pe ek alag si feeling thi, jaise ki agar wo aaj na aayi, to pata nahi uska sab kuch kho jayega. We wanted to help her, lekin hum kuch nahi kar paye. I felt so useless...", Suhaani sounded frustrated.
"Suhaani, it's ok. Uday zada din tak us se gussa nahi reh sakta, us se itna pyaar jo karta hai. Wo jald hie wapis aa jayegi", Adhiraj put his hand around Suhaani and walked away. Samrat was lost in his thoughts, when he heard Adhiraj call him back.
"Samrat, Gunjan ne kaha tha ki useh tujhse kuch zaruri baat karni hai, shayad newspaper ke baare mein kuch hai. Baki log us se thodi der mil sakte hain, tab wo humse bhi baat karegi. Wo theek 11 baje Suhaani ke phone pe call karegi, but she can talk only for 5 minutes, Uday ne itna hie allow kiya hai. Please garden mein aa jana, hum tujhe wahin milenge, aur yaad se time per pohunch jaana yaar", he spoke and left.
Samrat was thinking over all that Adhiraj had said. Uday loved Gunjan a lot, and by the looks of it, even Gunjan loved him back. Her letter to Arnav and Khushi was also a proof of it. He should be angry at her for using him like this. But instead, he was hurt, and it pained him to think of her with someone else. He wanted to hate her, but thinking of her being locked inside the house, he felt an urge to help her. Did Uday really love her, if he was capable of locking her away from the whole world? He was torn between his feelings of hatred for her, as well sadness at her being locked in her own home. He was unable to decide what did he want. He wanted to blow something up right now. He went for his classes, but paid no attention to any of them. All he could think of was Gunjan, when he recalled he shouldnt think of her. Just to kill time, he started reading the articles that she had written for the newspaper. He flipped through them, when his eyes stopped to read one of them.
'Love is hard work, and hard work sometimes hurt, but what it gives you, is more that you could ever expect, more than you would ever deserve. It gives you a happiness you can never imagine. Love takes off masks that we fear cannot live without and know we cannot live within. It's a little haven of refuge from the world. The feeling of security that envelopes you in your lover's arm, is unexpressible in words. Love without friendship is like a mansion built on sand, never stable. Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each includes the other. The biggest and only happiness in life, is to love and be loved. I realised it, when i fell in love, and saw the same feelings in his eyes. He may try to hide them behind his indifferent and sometimes rude behaviour, but i can read through it all. Still, my heart needs an assurance, which only his words can convey...'
Samrat's heart constricted as he read those words in Gunjan's beautiful handwriting. She was a person who didnt believe in love, and yet she'd written so much like she'd already explored the depths and dungeons of love. Maybe she had, as she'd admitted, maybe she'd written all of it for Uday, Samrat wondered. But the mere thought of Gunjan being in love hurt him, and he recalled last night. When they'd kissed, he had realised something. He realised that his feelings for Gunjan were way beyond infatuation. They were pure and heavenly, and he knew he loved her. She made him feel like no one else could, by a mere glance of her. She did things to his mind and heart, that he couldnt explain, even to himself. She brought out the deepest of his emotions, and stirred something right in his heart. She was different, and made him feel so too. He was unaware of everything else, except for the one girl with whom he was head over heels in love, Gunjan Bhushan. He regretted not telling her earlier, maybe things would've been different then. But now, all was changed, she belonged to someone else, and maybe loved him too. This was why even when he wanted to hate her, he just couldnt. He couldnt bring himself upto hating that one face he desired to see all his life. Surrendering to his feelings, he spent the rest of his time.
Right 15 minutes before 11, Samrat went to the garden, and stood next to the wall, resting himself. The silence of the garden soothed his astir senses, as he still lay caught up in his thoughts. He couldnt decide what he wanted next. He loved Gunjan, there was no doubt about it in his heart, but she belonged to someone else. And going by the words of Adhiraj, Uday was not unknown to her family, infact he had a great influence on them. So did they approve of him? Probably yes! Maybe they approved of him due to his financial status. No doubt he himself was no less when it came to family background, but he was a stranger to them. And he didnt even know anything about her. Her parents, her financial status, he was totally clueless. But there was one thing that kept the ray of hope in him alive. That time in the jungle that she'd spent with him, it wasn't letting him move forward. All those times when she looked at him, as if searching deep through his soul, told him that she loved him. The sparks that both of them had felt whenever they were close, had only one meaning. This one thing kept him from hating her, from thinking that she could cheat him, from going away from him, one thing, that she loved him back. He had seen it in her eyes, that she felt for him way more than plain friendship. And this made it difficult for him to take a decision. His chain of thoughts was broken when he saw Adhiraj and Suhaani come in his direction, and he also moved towards them.
Adhiraj and Suhaani entered the garden, just a minute before 11. And as if it was their cue, Suhaani's cell started ringing. She immediately took the call and put it on the speaker mode, only to hear an anxious Gunjan's voice.
"Haan Gunjan, kaisi hai tu? Wahaan sab kaisa chal raha hai? Uday ne tujhpe gussa to nahi kiya na? Usne koi aur punishment to nahi di? Dekh kuch bhi hua hai to bata de, main immediately wahaan aa jaoongi, sach bol rahi hoon...", Suhaani kept on speaking, when Adhiraj put his hand on her mouth.
"Suhaani, useh bolne to de!", he said, and Suhaani nodded with him. Samrat watched the pair in amazement.
"Thanks Adhiraj, Suhaani tu chinta mat kar, main theek hoon, koi problem nai hui tum logon ke jaane ke baad. Aur tu chahe to shaam ko mujhse milne aa sakti hai, Adhiraj ke saath, tujhe milna allowed hai. But guys, mujhe us se zaada important kaam hai. Mujhe Samrat se baat karni hai, useh phone de do...", Gunjan's voice came. Hearing no sound from the other side, Gunjan again spoke up.
"Guys, please urgent hai, Samrat ko phone do na, kyu nai de rahe ho tum useh phone, you know i don't have time???", she spoke now frustrated due to her friend's reaction.
"Errr, er Gunjan...", Suhaani tried to speak.
"Haan Suhaani, now would be the time jab tumhe kuch bolna chahiye, answer my question", Gunjan sounded irked.
"Gunjan, Samrat nahi aaya", Adhiraj finally spoke up.
"Kya???", Gunjan's surprise and hurt was audible in her voice.
"Haan, humne bakiyon ko bola hai Bhai ko dhundne ke liye, unka cell bhi try kiya, but koi faayeda nahi hai. Wo call nahi uttha rahe...", Suhaani replied as she again pressed the green button on Adhiraj's mobile.
"Par guys, tum samajhte kyun nahi, mera us se baat karna bohut zaruri hai, kuch to karo...", Gunjan pleaded.
"Gunjan, tu jaanti hai Samrat ko, wo apni marzi ka maalik hai. Woh jab tak nahi chahega, useh hum nahi dhund payenge. Itna bhi kya zaruri kaam hai tujhe us se? Tu humein bata de na", Adhiraj told her.
"Adhiraj, mera time khatam ho raha hai, please kuch karke dekho. Mera Samrat se baat karna bohut zaruri hai. Mere liye jeene marne ka sawaal hai, please kuch karo Adhiraj, please...", Adhiraj could hear Gunjan's tears between her voice.
"Par Gunjan, aisi kya baat hai, kuch to bata...", Suhaani asked her worriedly.
"Guys Badi Maa phone lene aa gayi hain. Please ek aakhri bar useh call try karo...", Gunjan literally begged them. Suhaani dialled Samrat's number once more, but no one took the call. Finally she gave up.
"I'm sorry Gunjan, kuch nahi ho saka", Suhaani spoke, full of remorse, but the only reply she got, was of the tone that indicated that the call had been cut. Suhaani looked at Adhiraj with eyes full of guilt, and he could do nothing but assure her of her innocence, as they both left the place.
Samrat looked at their retreating backs, and wanted to call them, but his voice was struck in his throat. As soon as he saw them entering the garden, he moved in their direction, and hid behind some bushes right next to them. He could clearly hear each word they spoke. His ears stood up as soon as he heard Suhaani's cell phone ring. After the series of questions thrown by Suhaani, finally Gunjan spoke up. Her voice filled his ears, but she sounded tired and broken. Though her voice soothed his restlessness that he'd felt on not meeting her, but he knew she wasn't alright. His heart could feel it, she was in pain. Adhiraj and Suhaani only heard her outer plea, but Samrat, he was able to listen to her heart's turmoil. She had wanted to talk to him, about something very important, he could recognise it in her voice. He could feel his cell vibrate in the pocket of his jeans, but he knew he couldn't take the call. At one point, listening to Gunjan's voice, he had that urge to go over to Suhaani and snatch away the phone from her, but it took all his self-control not to reveal himself. He craved to talk to her, as he clutched the bush for support, in the process, he hurt himself with the thorns that pierced through his palm. He could now feel the pain in his body, which was until now only audible in Gunjan's voice. The desperation in him hurt even more. But he stood firmly to his decision, and didn't talk to her. Finally, Gunjan's voice was no longer heard, and he succumbed to his feelings, falling on his knees, as a few tears from his face fell down to moisten the earth beneath him.
Samrat had taken a decision, for himself, and Gunjan as well.
Samrat was now sure of his feelings about Gunjan, he loved her, from his deepest heart. Though he had been unsure some time back, but now, late though, he knew she was the only person whom he could ever love, and want to spend his life with. With this realization, came another one. Uday also loved Gunjan, to a great extent. But there was one fact that Samrat knew, his love for Gunjan was much greater and deeper than Uday's. Uday may love her however much, he may be the world possessive about her. But Samrat's love went way deeper than one could imagine. Gunjan was his life's light, she gave him a hope, a reason to be happy. She made him feel that life was worth living, she made him feel the happiness and the sorrows. She made him realize of the difficulties, because of which he realized the satisfaction that the joys gave to him. Uday was just no where closer to what Samrat felt, Gunjan was dearer than life to him. But this wasn't important, what was important was that whom did Gunjan love? Gunjan was attached to Uday, he had witnessed it himself, and if Benji's words were to be taken into account, she loved him. Samrat disagreed at this, Gunjan may be deeply related to Uday, but she wasn't in love with him. He was very sure of it, he had seen it in her eyes, she felt something not for Uday, but for him. In fact he doubted that in some remote corner of her heart, she may even be in love with him. But that couldn't happen, Gunjan couldn't love him, she shouldn't love him. He may want to be with her, but it was only right for her to choose Uday. Samrat had heard Suhaani about Gunjan's family in general, and once she'd let slip of something about Gunjan'd dad behaving with her in a very obnoxious manner. He'd tried to spill out the whole matter from her, but since then she'd kept totally mum on this subject. He'd also observed that Gunjan never talked about anyone in her family, except her Benji jeej, and her sister, Benji's fiance, whose name also Samrat didn't know. Gunjan's family had accepted Uday. Going by this, he figured it was only right for Gunjan to go with Uday, and he wouldn't create any more complexities in her life, than there already were, by telling her that he loved her. She deserved to be happy, and ofcourse, Uday will keep her happy, he will take care of her. Samrat will have to keep away from her, for her to be happy. Tears slipped on, as he hugged himself, sitting there for a long time.
Samrat had come home early compared to other days. He went straight off to his room, and crashed on the bed. In the evening, he felt a sound of light knocks on his door, and stirred in his sleep. When the sound of the knocks didn't subside, he spoke in a weak voice,
Suhaani entered the room, carrying a tray, and shut the door behind her.
"Suhu, tu???", he asked in surprise, gettin up a bit.
"Haan Bhai, ye dekho, main aapke liye crushed strawberry shake layi hoon. Mujhe pata hai ki aapko strawberry nahi pasand, lekin mere haath ka bana ye shake aapko bohut pasand hai", she spoke with a smile as she went to stand next to him.
Samrat immediately straightened up and sat, his back resting on the bedpost.
"Wow! Kitne dino baad tune ye shake banaya, la pakda mujhe", he moved his hand forward to take the shake, but a gasp let out his mouth when he held the glass. Suhaani saw him wince, and then the reason for it. His hand was full of dried blood, which had now appeared again in a fresher form, due to the pressure of the glass. Suhaani got worried, as she rushed to his bathroom, and ransacked the cabinet for the first-aid box. She found it and ran back to him, tending to his wound. All this while, she mumbled to herself in anger, and when he tried to speak something, she shut him off with her glare. When she was finally done, she spoke up.
"Bhai, aap kya bachche ho, dhyaan nahi rakh sakte khud ka? Pata nai kaise chot khaate ho, aur to aur aapne iski bandage bhi nahi ki? Infection ho jati to? Aas pass kya ho raha hai, kuch khabar bhi hoti hai aapko...", she looked up to see him grinning.
"Suhu, shake garam ho jayega, us se pehle pee lein? Mujhe bhi yaad hai ki tujhe apna shake bilkul thanda chilled pasand hai", both of them looked at each other for a few seconds, and laughed out loudly. They sipped on their shakes, and after about 5 minutes, Suhaani spoke up.
"Wo actually Bhai, mujhe na... aapse milna tha kyunki.. kuch baat karni thi, zaruri hai", Suhaani spoke hesitatingly, and saw a flash of hurt cross his face.
"Oh! Mujhe laga ki waise hie milne aayi hai, to spend time with me, like older times", he answered. A pang of guilt formed on Suhaani's face as he spoke.
"Wo Bhai...", she tried to speak, but lost words.
"Rehne de Suhu, un baaton ko chhod. Tu bata tujhe kya kaam hai?", he tried to smile between his words, but knew it was of no use. He was too much hurt today, that even a fake smile couldn't form on his face.
"Bhai, aisi baat nai hai...", Suhaani tried again, but he didn't let her complete.
"Maine kaha na Suhu, chhod de. Kaam kya hai ye bata?", he said straightly. Suhaani saw she could do nothing to pacify his pain, so she came straight to the point.
"Bhai, tumhare aur Gunjan ke beech kya chal raha hai?", she asked him. Samrat looked up from his shake in astonishment.
"Kya? Kya bola tune, main aur Gunjan? Usne kuch kaha tujhse?", he asked her back. Suhaani shook her head in a no.
"Usne kuch nahi kaha, isiliye to aapse poochhne aayi hoon. Pata nahi Bhai, lekin kuch to hua hai. Gunjan waha ghar mein band, aur useh kisi se baat karne ka chance mila, to wo aapse baat karna chahti hai. Aapko bola ki us se baat karo, to aap aate hie nahi. Us se poochha ki aisi kya zaruri baat hai, to kuch nahi bataya, bas aapka hie naam japti rahi. Aur baad mein to ye poochhne ka bhi mauka nahi diya, mili hie nahi humse. Jab hum uske ghar gaye, to usne ye kehlwaya ki wo kisi se nahi milna chahti. Hum kitni der wait karte rahe, par wo nahi maani. Usne to ye bhi keh dia ki hum us se na milne aayein. Useh punishment mili hai, aur jab tak wo khatam nahi hoti, wo kisi se nahi milegi. Adhiraj aur main pagal ho gaye hain Bhai, ye soch soch ke ki useh kya hua hai, aur aap is equation mein kahan fit hote ho? I know ki aapse related kuch to hai Bhai, per kya, ye nahi samajh aata. Kahi... kahi aap dono ke beech kuch hai to nahi... i mean kahi aap dono ek doosre ko...", Suhaani spoke worriedly.
"Suhu wo... sach ye hai ki...", Samrat thought of taking it all out, of telling Suhaani everything, because he was tired carrying the burden all alone.
"Nai Bhai, main bhi kya sochne lagi, aap dono ek saath, aisa ho hie nahi sakta. Pehli baat kyunki jab Gunjan aayi thi, aap us se nafrat karte they. Aur baad mein bhi aap dono kabhi dost nahi bane. Aap logo ka to neutral sa relation hai. To phir aisa kuch to possible hie nahi hai. Waise bhi Gunjan jaisi ladki aur aap, no chance. Main bhi na, bas kuch bhi bakti rehti hoon...", Suhaani kept on blabbering, and her words played in Samrat's mind again and again. Samrat and Gunjan just could't be together, they were not made to be, and Suhaani's words just confirmed to this fact. It hurt him to admit, but now his decision did seem the right one. Though a part of him had hoped that Suhaani would support his love for Gunjan, but guess not, his fate wasn't in his favour. He decided to finally put a rest to the things.
"Suhaani, St Stefens mein meri aur Gunjan ki ladayi huyi thi, something about the articles for the newspaper, and it got pretty nasty. Aaj phone per shayad wo usi ko sort karna chahti thi, par i didn't want to get into it again, isliye main nahi aaya", he told her, and saw her face which showed surprise.
"Bas! Itni si baat thi? Main aur Adhiraj to pata nahi kya kya soch rahe they, the way she talked, as if it were a matter of her life. Gunjan bhi na, useh realize ho gaya hoga, ki usne galti ki, aur aapko sorry bolna hoga. Saying sorry is also so important to her. Hey Bhagwan, kya karungi main is ladki ka? Anyways Bhai, aapne mere dimaag pe se itna bada bojh halka kar dia, thank you so much Bhai, bye", she said this, and ran off to the door. Samrat saw her go, when she stopped and turned back, looking at him for a few seconds.
"Er Bhai, aapke saath time spend karke bohut achha laga, like older times. I still love you Bhai, a lot, no matter what, coz you are my bestest Bhai", she came running to him, kissed him on the cheek, hugged him, and went off. Samrat smiled at her actions, but when he remembered his conversation, he came back to his reality, of nothingness, of being lonely.
Time passed by in a similar manner. Samrat was broken at heart, and hid it well from the others. Gunjan's absence uplifted the hollowness in him, and he made no efforts to make it well. It was as if he was punishing himself, and he wanted to do it properly.
On the other hand, Gunjan had lost everything, since the day Samrat had refused to talk to her. She recalled the hatred in his eyes, when she'd left from St Stefens. She tried to figure what had caused that reaction out of him, but ended up clueless. She cried her heart when she stayed in the room, but when she was with the others, having food, she talked to them normally. She'd stopped meeting everyone, Benji, Adhiraj, and Suhaani as well. She didn't want to face Adhiraj and Suhaani's questions regarding Samrat, and is she met Benji, they would also want to meet her, so she avoided all three of them. Uday had probably seen through her farce, as he had come to her room, apologized for such a strict behavior, told her that he did it only because he was worried for her, but now he knows that he was wrong. So he's lifting the punishment, and she could go back to the college. What surprised him, was that Gunjan refused him. She said with a straight face, that her punishment was not over, she hadn't suffered yet for the pain she'd inflicted upon him. He tried hard to convince her, but she didn't budge from her decision. When he told about this to the other family members, all he got was their dirty glares. They all tried to make her see reason, but failed. Everyone was worried for Gunjan, the way she was punishing herself so roughly.
VERY VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
Well! I know you guys hate me for my long absence from the forums, for not updating regularly. But i guess i just found a way to solve that. Actually i didn't, someone else did it for me. I'll stop beating around the bush, and come straight to the point. This part, was the last part that i can give to you all. Unfortunately, i am terminating all my ffs. The reason for this is very sweet, laiden with bitterness, and quite personal. Please do not be worried, i have no hidden tragedies, just a bunch of intermingled issues. In the present situation, i am leaving the forums as well. I have so much to say to you all, but words are too few. All i can say, is thank you for reading all the crap i came up with, and taking time to appreciate it as well. You all have been a very very very important part of my life, and honestly, i can't express it any further. I know, everyday people leave, and new people join, but do me a favour guys, please don't remember me. Forget me asap, and move on, because there won't be a chance that i'll see you people again. I really really hate myself, for ending the stories mid-way, that connected you all with me, but trust me, i don't have an alternative. Just a little request, please don't hate me for doing this. I hope you all shall understand.
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