Happy new year all! Some folk suggested I write a OS for the new year...so I did. And I decided not to call it Naye saal ki ye ek kahaani
! Here's to new beginnings, much love and happiness to Abhay, Piya and everyone out there. Cheers!
This OS begins where Saturday's episode ends, with Abhay and Piya hiding behind a rock after Abhay saves Piya from Danish. OS: A new beginning
"C'mon Piya, lets go."
"I'm tired. And hungry. I'm not walking a step till I rest for a while and eat something."
"You can rest for 5 minutes. There's no food here. You'll have to manage for a few hours till we get to the nearest village."
"Uhhh. Abhay. Do something. It's a forest. There must be fruit or something I can eat."
"Piya, prioritize. You almost died in there. Its more important that we get to the nearest sign of civilization soon than finding something to eat."
"I'm tired. I can't walk a step." Piya whined. Abhay looked at her for a minute. "I thought you weren't as silly as Tracker and T, but clearly you are just another bird-brained female."
"Let's go. I'm not hungry." Piya got up and ignoring Abhay's hand, she walked away. He followed her.
"Wrong direction Piya. We're going this way." He said patiently.
"Whatever." She went in the direction he was pointing. Righteous indignation gave her the energy to walk for the next hour. By then, her stomach was growling, her head was splitting and her feet ached. She wasn't speaking to him either, and as he never introduced any conversation on his own, they walked silently with Piya following Abhay. Suddenly, he stretched out an arm and plucked something from a tree.
"Here, eat this apple. Sit down. We can stop for a bit." He said, holding out the fruit to her.
"Is there water somewhere. I should really wash it first." She said. Then she saw the look on his face. "On second thought. No need. Its perfectly clean." She bit into it. He plucked her another one. She polished them both off.
"Don't you want one? Aren't you hungry?"
"No you don't like apples, or no you're not hungry because you're like a Superhero who never gets hungry or thirsty or tired like normal people?"
"No to everything. Are you ready to get going?"
"To use your favorite word, No." said Piya.
"I'm tired. I want to sit for 10 minutes."
"You can have 5."
She took her slippers off and stretched out. Her feet were red and swollen where the straps of her slippers had chafed her feet. She massaged her feet, trying to alleviate the pain. Abhay stood up abruptly.
"Where are you going?" she sounded frantic. He walked to her, and knelt at her feet.
"Give me your foot." He demanded, pulling one foot towards him.
"Abhay, what are you doing?" said Piya, trying to pull her foot back. He held it in a tight grip. Then he began to massage her foot, running his hands over her sole and then the top her foot in rhythmic fashion. His hands were gentle, but firm and strong. She felt the pain ebb away slowly.
"Abhay, that's amazing. Where did you learn to do that?"
"Nowhere. Quiet, let me focus."
"Listen up, Sadu Raichand, you have my foot in your hands, and you're giving me the best foot rub I've ever had. I'm going to talk with you, and you're going to reply. Got that?" she said, putting on her best badass attitude.
"You can say whatever you want. I may or may not reply."
"OK, Khadoos. So tell me, what's your favorite color? Oh, wait, don't answer that. I already know the answer to that one. Its black, right?"
"Actually, its blue."
"What! But you always wear black."
"You are such an enigma Abhay. OK. Tell me, what's your favorite food to eat?"
He actually flashed her a quick grin before answering. "Pav Bhaji." He said.
"Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Did you actually smile? Wow! I wish I had my camera. I'd have put it in the college newspaper. 'Sadu Raichand smiles' would have been the caption."
"I thought you were tired. Shouldn't you save your strength?" asked Abhay.
"One last question." Said Piya, pleadingly.
"Have you seen Shrek, Abhay?"
"Have you seen the animation movie Shrek?" she asked
"Err. Yes. Ugly, green ogre, swamp, beautiful princess, talking donkey. Yeah, I've seen it." Said Abhay, puzzled by her question.
"So, in Shrek, he's an ugly ogre who pretends to be a surly beast, but he has a heart of gold. He falls in love with a princess who's beautiful by day, but turns into an ugly ogress by night. And they love each other for what they are, not what they should've been"
"Your point being?"
"I may not turn into an ogress at night, but I have grey areas in my life. It's not all sweetness and light with me. We all have secrets in our closet. And if you're not what you seem to be, that's fine with me. I'll understand." She said quietly.
"You want to know who I am and what my secrets are?" asked Abhay, staring at her.
"No. I want to tell you that I don't care who you are, and what you're hiding. I love you." said Piya.
"Abhay, I love you. OK. Deal with it. I'm not saying you have to love me. I'm just saying I love you. And I will love you no matter what happens. I don't care about your past, your secrets, or anything else."
"Piya, don't." he stood up, and turned away from her.
"Look. I'm not asking for anything. I'm just telling you how I feel. I've said what I wanted to. Lets go. I'm ready." Piya stood up. "Oh, and thanks for the massage. That's the best foot rub I ever had."
They walked on silently for a while. Then, Abhay turned to her suddenly. 'Did you mean all that?"
"Yes." She said, breathlessly.
"I'll be honest Piya. I don't love you. I feel something for you, I can't see you hurt, and I won't deny the attraction between us. But I'm not in love with you. But, if you think you can handle all my baggage, I'm willing to try."
"You mean that?" she asked, all smiles.
"Yes. Much against my better judgement, I'm willing to give it a shot. I'm warning you, it'll be hard." Before he could say another word, she'd thrown herself into his arms, and was hugging him tightly. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close. They stayed that way for a minute, before she pulled away.
"Onward, march!" she said gaily, walking ahead.
"Suddenly, you're all energetic now?" asked Abhay, surprised.
"You've put me in a good mood Aby Baby!" she said.
"Piya, I said I'd try. If you call me Aby baby, its off right now." He said threateningly.
'How do you prefer to be addressed? Sweetie, darling, Abhaykins, Jaanu?" she asked, to annoy him further.
"I like Sadu Raichand just fine, thank you!"
"Hmm. Sadu it is then. Aur jab bahut pyaar ayega, I'll call you Khadoos! OK?"
"Sure. Whatever makes you happy, Piya."
"And what will you call me?" asked Piya.
"Your name, Piya."
"But what about a nickname, you know, just between the two of us." He decided to play along, since she obviously wasn't about to let it go.
"Because you talk too much." Said Abhay, smiling at her.
"Another smile. Ohmigod, Abhay. If you distribute them at this rate, you'll run out soon. Where's my camera when I need it! Damn!" she quipped.
"Piya Basanti re, kaahe sataaye, aaja!" he hummed to her. "We still have a ways to go, c'mon." Said Abhay, catching hold of her hand in his. They walked hand in hand for a while till they reached a clearing. An open stretch of flat land lay in front of them. They were out of the forest. The sky was orange pink. The sun was a small golden speck in the distance, peeking out slowly between the mountains that flanked it on either side. They stood there silently, drinking it in, hand in hand. Piya leaned back into Abhay. He wrapped an arm around her waist, and tucked her chin under head. After the sun rose, he bent his head down and turned her slightly in his arms. He kissed her lips gently, almost as if he were afraid she would break. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
"I promise, I'll try Piya. I'm not the best thing for you, but you are the best thing for me. And I'm selfish, I want to be happy. So, I'll try."
"We'll make this work, Khadoos! Chalo, lets go, I'm hungry again!"