Joined: 10 July 2005
Hello! Yep, long time eh?... So despite everything, addat se majboor,
the ramblings came tumbling again. I am not going to say anything about the
current track... Just that I've had this idea in my head... for a very long
time, even before the current track. And finally, I got time to type it out. I
actually have it almost complete, but it turned out to be quite long. So I am
posting it in three installments. Let me know what you all think -
comments/criticisms/suggestions, etc. And yes, I promise this one I will
finish. And like I've said, its pretty much done anyways, I just need to post
This one goes out to all my fellow companions on the camel ride, *shout out to the SR crew*
Oh, and one last thing, I'm a rambler and a sucker for details, so... I hope you don't fall asleep
Mohabbaton mein jeene waale, khushnaseeb hain.
Mohabbaton mein marne waale bhi, ajeeb hain.
Azeen hai humaari dastaan, jaan-e-mann,
Faanslon pe rehte hain... phir bhi kareeb hain.
- Suhaan Kapoor, "Jaan-e-mann"
"The Dust as it Settles"
Siddhima OS by desi chic
Her fingers grazed gently, delicately... over the softness of his creaseless forehead... his unkempt mane... returning hesitantly just above the eyes, the ones which never blinked. The ones that did not flicker in their impish tone that always seemed to brighten the dimmest moments, nor did they go that impossible shade of darkness when she was his captive... nor did they transform into that hue of dreaminess which crept up slowly when she was afar, yet his breaths met hers despite the distance. As she poured herself into these pools today, like every other day, the sadness of her own grief-stricken eyes stared back at her, as if to mock her situation. Every day, despite the anxiety it caused her, she went through this ritual of sorts, gathering herself together for this moment of intimacy that she hoped would one day bring out the meaning of life in her monotonous existence... She had tried every time to relieve that pain from her gaze so that it would not misplace the hope in the midst of the ache. She wasn't mourning, she was always hopeful. When all the lights were turned out, she stood at the ends of the night, holding a candle at her door... one day, the lost would come home, she felt it somewhere deep within. Yet when it actually came to facing the vast white of these orbs, the walls she built every day, came tumbling down almost immediately. Each time, she would stifle the sorrow and briskly leave the room to resume her duties as Dr. Riddhima Modi.
Modi, she thought with a strange clarity. The name was hers by him, yet he never forced it upon her. Her fingers had at some point paused in the forest of his hair, and how they rekindled with awareness... travelling the length of his jaw. And then something inexplicable happened, her index finger continued further, falling faintly over the end of his upper lip. The room had numbed in her world, which seemed to comprise only of this moment, this gesture... Dancing to some unknown tune, her finger outlined his lips... her face nearing the softness of his cheek. And then just as abruptly as the unexpected feeling had erupted, her fingers, her face, the air... stilled. She could feel the tenderness of his warm breath tickle her skin, and for the first time in a long while, she felt... alive.
"Modi..." she whispered, not realizing her thoughts had come alive in the air, rustling it awake once again. It lingered there for a few seconds, much like her estranged posture... and suddenly her body unravelled and she felt the back of her head roll back against the chair. As if on cue, the curtains of her eyes fell over, shutting out the room and its contents, and time itself.
A cloud of confusion sat above her, weighing down harder with each passing second. Exhaustion swept across her nauseously, and the air in her lungs seemed to have gone stale. Her eyelids were heavy with sleep, and she desired the night's blanket to warm her cold existence. Shutting out the world, she pushed into the leather of her seat, hoping for a minute of peace. But even behind the safety of her closed eyes, she could see Armaan's memorable features contorted in something she could not comprehend. As her mind's eye shifted, there stood… Siddhant. The details of his features were etched in with such clarity it stunned her... the hue of his eyes, the curve of his nose... the slightly bigger lower lip that gave him such an adorable aspect. A pressure built in her chest, and she realized she had stopped breathing. The world seemed to be a haze. A cloud seemed to have taken over as the images disappeared, giving way to new ones...
[Note: Dream/reverie within a flashback]
"Sid..." her voice trailed off, much too weak against the calm expression over his face. Was it calm? She suddenly couldn't tell. Surely, this couldn't be so easy... could it? How come her heart was pounding against her chest so hard. He could hear it perhaps? It always amazed her how easily he could decipher her. In fact, at times she felt he knew her more than she had ever known herself... she was so utterly vulnerable against his penetrating gaze. Her eyes bore into his dark orbs as though her entire existence was captured his glassy mirrors. "Ssh..." Time crept up in calculated strides, and she felt suddenly very self-conscious. His finger tip lingered a moment longer on her lips, and she only seemed to realize it now. His skin was soft, alive... much like the earth after the showers... and as his touch left her lips to find the side of her face, she felt an inexplicable rekindling.
She felt as though the water were engulfing her, separating her from the ground... she was somewhere between the earth and skies. She closed her eyes for a brief moment, allowing his hand caress the tenderness of her awakening skin. The back of his hand felt rough against her soft cheek, but she felt thankful for it. It seemed to be her only link to reality – the reality she so dreamt of. Somewhere in between relishing this moment, a fear seized her feeble heart. Was this real? Was he here, holding her face... memorizing her features like she had his... The thought drew her away from the distant paralysis, and her eyes fluttered immediately open... meeting his dark ones, filling her with relief. A gentle, unheard sob escaped her chest. It took her a moment to realize there was a space between them... his hands stood loyally to his sides. His posture firm, observant... intimidating against her own vulnerable self. She suddenly felt ashamed, her eyes downcast living the grief that tortured her heart. Between the gentle whimpering of her choked breaths, her lowered gaze traced the footprints left behind by his feet. An estranged feeling of envy tugged inside her now. She felt a raging desire to capture the imprint in the soft sand, make it her own. Her heart raced furiously, and she felt her chin being pushed upwards... until her naked gaze was level with his incomprehensible one. Between the blurriness of her vision, she caught the gentle haze that now hovered over his. A part of her crushed inside as she recalled the events that had brought them to this moment.
A wet streak tore down her cheek, unwillingly declaring mercy. If it had voice, she fathomed it would be screaming right now, hoping for a saviour... And as though its silent cry had reached the ears of the unseen, it was saved from falling to dust. Her eyes followed to the side of her face, where a single drop of transparency sat in the middle of his extended palm. He had saved her time and again... and yet again. Love was war she realized, and he was her soldier. She would be nothing without him. Her eyes followed his as they looked from his palm... to each other. If it were not for him, her tears would have mixed with the dirt, unnoticed, worthless. A knot turned within her, as she watched him bring his palm upwards, towards his mouth... where it was made forever his.
His hands now found her face, taking it into their gentle hold. His fingers grazed the outskirts of her features, casting them into memory. She closed her lids again, hoping against hope. At some point, she found her forehead meet his... Her hands found his neck, travelling clumsily around to the back, hoping for the impossible.
They stood like this for moments uncounted... the waves crashing and falling around them unnoticed. High in the sky seagulls competed for voice, calling into the wisps of air. The bubble in her chest had evaporated. Her senses deadened to anything but his presence. His head had at some point travelled to the side of her face... burying into the deep end of her neck, resting there... She could feel the wetness at the fringes of her shoulder, and felt a quiet relief as her arms wrapped tighter against him, holding his frame close.
... The movement between them slowly rekindled, and the rhythm of her heart picked up. Beads of perspiration formed at the ends of her forehead as he removed himself from her... breaking away. Her lips whispered something incoherently into the air but his eyes had again returned to that unfeasible shade. Her heart began to sink... as his footsteps retreated from her... widening the detestable gap. Her mouth opened again, but nothing came out. Everything was going wrong...
She watched in despair as the length of grainy sands fell at the mercy of the crushing waves. Their ferocity did not shake her... but as her eyes lowered to feet that brought her there, she saw nothing. Her gaze ran across the distance of the sand, silently pleading... all in vain. The water seemed to take everything... the footprints... the sandals... and a part of her she was sure she could not live without. Then how was it that she stood still here, in this moment, watching with blurry eyes, the long figure running... away... With each step, he became smaller... now almost a grain of the sand beneath. Yet, she blinked, furiously, hoping it was all but an illusion. As her eyes re-opened, her knees began to lose their strength, and she crumbled... meeting the dust in the horrible realization that there was nothing else left... nothing, but dust. A lump formed in her throat, while the breaths she took seemed to suddenly suffocate her. How was she alive, when life itself, had just walked away... before her helplessness. She recalled how this came to be... it was her fault.
[End Dream/reverie within flashback – back to first flashback now]
[End Dream/reverie within flashback – back to first flashback now]
Her breathing hitched while her curtains flipped open in a fret of anxiety. Her chest was heaving and her pulse had driven out of her grasp. With shaky hands, she grasped the end of her duppatta, dabbing vehemently at her face. A cough escaped her parted lips. Getting up, she realized her eyes were blurred. Siddhant. She had to talk to him. It had taken her months to find life again, and she was not going to let it get away this time. Again, she felt the scratching in her throat, cough. Continuing to dab her forehead with the chunri she fumbled around the room, the only thing on her mind… Siddhant.
As if someone had heard her prayers, the door slammed open… "Riddhima!... Tum teekh toh ho" She struggled to straighten herself, holding on to the edge of the desk for support. Between her heavy eye-lids, she caught hold of the face hovering over her. Each detail of his features laced with unabashed concern. "Tum teekh toh ho?" An unexpected rejoicing filled her… as though having suddenly realized something. Despite her constricted breaths, a stubborn smile lifted the corners of her lips as she whispered his name… "Sid…"
"Riddhima, aag lagi hai, we… have to get out of here… chalo." That was the last thing she remembered, besides feeling her bodyweight become another's as she fell lose… giving way to the darkness that followed.
The reddish hue tickled her awakening senses, while her throat burned. Her body ached in places she didn't even remember. Exhaustion plagued her every inch. Her blank mind wandered… resting on his worried face. Siddhant. Her eye-lids were heavy and her efforts at opening them turned to dust. Siddhant, she remembered. Aag, he had said. A growing unease now prompted her efforts and she pushed her eyes open, her vision momentarily blinded by the sight. With a few tiresome blinks, she saw the smoke… it was everywhere… Chaos surrounded her… wails, sirens, screams… broken glass, shattered dreams… worthless rubble, torn souls… all turned to dust. Nausea enflamed her senses and she struggled to get up. She was lying somewhere… at the back of a vehicle, with the doors open. Sitting up, she noticed the white coats, the beeps of machines, the medical conversing… Running her fingers through her hair, she faintly caught a voice… a familiar one… with a familiar name… "Riddhima," she looked up in a haze… Armaan. Armaan was safe, she was happy. Her gaze again shifted to her surroundings.
"Dr. Siddhant… hello…" Sid. Her tired limbs found some strength as she pulled herself out, onto her unstable feet. "Riddhima, ruko, tum kahan ja rahi ho…" she could hear Armaan's voice. But it was distant. She had to find Sid… that was all she could think of. It was now or never. A cough tickled in her throat and she released it vigorously. Her body shook with the pressure, while her hand fumbled for the duppata. As she groped for it, she realized it was not there. Her eyes were heavy, and she heaved a sigh, coughing yet again. Her hand remained protectively around her neck as she walked blindly calling for something… someone… him.
His arm stretched out instinctively to reach for her… but she was outside of his grasp. "Dr. Armaan, patient ka BP badh raha hai." He looked to the side for a moment, where a gentleman lay unconscious, multiple injuries visible on his body… who knew what he had sustained beneath the layers. Again, his mind and eyes turned to the wobbly figure walking away… her feet shuffling the earth, her voice low, but clear to his senses… "Dr. Armaan…" She kept walking. Riddhima, he took the name mutely, knowing her to always respond even to his thoughts. He waited, his breaths counting… but she didn't stop. A knot turned inside of him, a blanket of disappointment and grief shading his heart. The bitter truth loomed before his hazy eyes, as he watched her continue… unaware of him. As he watched her walk away, he felt a part of him slowly breathe it's last… "Dr. Armaan, please!" Blinking away, he tore himself away from what was obvious long ago, notwithstanding the light of hope he ignited each day… Turning towards the unconscious figure beside him, he took hold of the lifeless arm. "Nurse, BP monitor laeeye."
[End Armaan – back to Riddhima]
"Suniye, aapne Dr… Dr. Sid… dant ko dekh… dekha," she asked each passerby with a glimmer of hope. With each negative shake of the head, her determination grew and she found her feet carry her with more grace than she knew.
"Sidddd!!" She called around aimlessly through the chaos. It took her a few tries to realize her voice was not cooperating with her efforts. Amidst the disorder, her body again shook with the coughs, which were slowly deteriorating, but the burn in her throat flamed…
"West wing mein… sab… jal…" Parts of harried conversations met her ears as she tried to make sense of it all. Nothing made sense… Siddhant, tum kahan ho, she pleaded silently. A mixture of panic and despair rushed through her exhausted state as she stood at a distance from the entrance to the west wing.
"Dr. Riddhima… rukiye, wahan… koi nahin ja satkta…" She heard some voice try to gather her attention. She shrugged away as an arm tried to pull her back. Siddhant… She looked through the glass of the lower level of the building. Smoke came from every direction.
Squinting her eyes, she looked upwards… the blue skies were covered in smoke. Only fragments of the ambar could be seen with any clarity. Somewhere, behind that grey chaos, there lies an infinite, undeniable blue… and somewhere beyond, people said there was someone, something, who turned the dials of time… Even above the layers of the smoke, there was an ultimate truth, constant, unchanging… That truth suddenly meant everything to her. The truth was, her life was meaningless without him… so if her breaths were still going, that must be an indication… that they were meant to be. Her mind swirled with a thousand thoughts, all amounting to blankness.
"Haan… Dr. Siddhant aur kuch aur log wapas andar gaye hain, logon ko bahar le aane…" Her senses awakened as she heard the name through an unknown voice. He had gone back inside… to save others. Her heart fluttered in a mixture of relief, admiration… apprehension. A dying cough stung inside her throat and her body flailed again as she released it. Struggling for composure, she walked towards the crumbling structure… the window glass shattered about. A sharp pain raced against her determination, rushing from the base of her foot to the corners of her body. Her eyes squinted, trying to shut it out… Siddhant.
The image before her closed eyes dulled the aches of her physical being. She began to live the reverie again… His nimble fingers left delicate imprints as they captured her face in their grasp. The trembling of her knees ceased as he hushed her quivering lips… "Riddhima…" Her gaze awakened again, as realization dawned on her. As her shaky fingers travelled the length of her jaw line… over her cheeks… at last falling upon her lower lip… It quivered underneath her touch… It wasn't a dream… Her eyes froze, catching his distinctive features capture hers through the broken glass that once composed a window… He had come to her office… caressed her skin alive… and gone… just like that… Her vision clouded with emotion as she realized even at this distance, nothing seemed to exist beyond them. The sounds fell to the background… the pains of her body numbed… the dials of time, amiss. They said that time never waited anyone… indeed. It seemed as though time itself, had rushed ahead of them… while they stood behind, dumbfounded, alive in memories. Her mind raced down memory lane… All of the moments with him grasped her like a tornado… jerking her into reality. Acidic moisture stung her vision, but she refused to blink… too afraid to lose the image. Despite the chaos that separated them, she could feel his gaze ponder over her… mulling her appearance, her existence, her wajood… Its you, she wanted to scream… mera wajood tumse hai Sid… She was not sure, but as if to respond, his eyelids closed for a brief moment, telling her something. It was not a time for words, but she suddenly felt the desire for them. In their relationship, words meant nothing… the essence of their bond lay in the unspoken. Today, as she stood here, ragged and tired, but determined for life, she felt the need to hear his voice… Kuch kaho na Sid… kuch bhi, she pleaded.
Between the fragments of her gaze, the lemony yellow of her veil caught her attention as it hovered over his mouth with the help of his hand. The irony was inexplicable. His thoughts had kept the messengers of death adrift from her, while her duppatta shielded the unhealthy fumes from consuming his breaths. If her heart were his, his breaths were hers also. He knew. She could sense it in the contours of his face, he knew… Something fluttered in excitement within her. From the depths of her came a strength that was beyond comprehension… and her numbed feet tingled with life. Slowly, she took a step forward. The effort left her gasping, but everything depended on the next step… and the next.
… The earth was on fire, and when she blinked, she realized with alarm, so was her world. As she looked up at him now, her breathing paused. Realization dawned on her gradually… accompanied with horror. While her glossy mirrors shone in his reflection, his revealed nothing… Their emptiness bore a hole in her chest. "Sidd…" she breathed. She could feel the unseen arms take hold of her as she watched the few shards of glass holding the structure together start to cave in. "Sid… Sid… Sidd…" She wailed while incoherently trying to ward off the hands that withheld her. Acidity stung her face, while her own voice sounded foreign… unreadable… He continued to stare at her, and she continued to fight, failingly. As the stoned framework crumbled before his image, all of her efforts dissipated almost immediately. Hollowness replaced whatever spectrum of feeling that once was a part of her… And then the world turned black.
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lovely OS..thanks so much for writing it....
Joined: 31 May 2010
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