Hello people....how is everyone doing?
Thank you so much for all your comments......I couldnt reply to each one of you this time but know that I have read them all.Also thank you for the get well soon wishes...they mean a lot.
Jenny : That is such an amazing vid! The song, the choice of scenes....perfect! Already watched it so many times.
So onto the next chapter where we will take a trip into Sid's mind.....one of my favorite places.
While writing this chapter, I was listening to the song Behne De from Raavan.....I think that song definitely is one of Rahman's best works. So this part is hugely inspired by first few lines of that song.
Chapter 20Arrey aankh se boondh gira koi, chingari ka tukda jala koi
Mujhe Behne De
Umeed ko aag laga zara, sehra ki pyaas buja zara
Ghann itna baras ke galne lagun main paani ke upar tarne lagun
Contrary to Sid's belief, normalcy had not returned...it had merely deceived him into believing that it had.
Yes they were back to their normal selves with each other.......talking to each other properly, freely without hesitation, they didnt avoid each other and that discomfort was gone but that was it.
He had assumed that his temporary insanity had vanished too but he was sorely mistaken.
In fact, that insanity seemed to grow more and more and he started fearing that it would become permanent.
He had never in his life been more aware
of Shilpa as he was now.
Every little aspect of her captivated his attention.
He found his gaze always being pulled towards her especially when no one was looking.
He found himself listening intently to every word she said.
Everything she did, even it if was as simple as chewing her pen in thought or flicking her hair out of her eyes, he found himself staring in wonder.....of course when no one looking
He found himself restless during the nights as he waited eagerly for the morning to dawn so that he could see her again.
He couldnt even do something simple as shopping without thinking about her.........if he was out grocery shopping, he found himself buying things which she preferred.
Just yesterday he had been shopping for new clothes.....he had picked out a black shirt for himself which he had really liked but had put it back quickly because she always reprimanded him for wearing too much black.
He wanted to pull at his hair in frustration......since when had everything been about her?
And in a bid to prove to himself that she didnt control his preferences, he purchased that shirt.
No one decided anything for him......he made his own decisions.
It was stupid but he felt angry at her for.......for what exactly even he didnt know.
He felt like a magnet drawn towards her with this indefinable pull.
It made him dazed and confused him to the extreme.
He didnt like it.....this feeling of not having control.
Over the years, he had worked hard.......extremely
hard to develop a firm control over every aspect of his life.....his professional life, his work, his personal life, his behavior and most importantly himself.
So much so that he was known for being the most inexpressive person......which was in complete contrast to his old self.
But that was the whole point..........he did not want to be his old self.
It was only Shilpa, Naina or Yuvi who could decipher him what was going on in his mind even if he maintained a deadpan expression on his face.
But now.....now he found that control wavering.
It was slipping from his fingers and into hers
And he didnt like it.......he detested
Riddhima's whirlwind entry into and exit from his life had developed within him a very severe aversion to changes.
He liked things to be how they were supposed to be....in a routine fashion with no diversity
Just last week Shilpa had him chasing her around a fountain splashing water on each other........it seemed ages and ages since he had let himself go like that.
He couldnt deny how good it had felt.
But it unsettled him too.
Putting your emotions on your sleeve meant people could know what you were feeling..........it meant giving them the power to hurt you.
And he had swore never to let anyone do that to him again.............But Shilpa........
She was slowly and steadily breaking through all those locked doors behind which his heart was hidden.
But he had to stop this weirdness otherwise he would lose his sanity.......which had already started.
Little did he know though that in the coming days, life would teach him a lesson that there was nothing he could do but stand by and watch................literally
He was walking towards the ICU when he saw her coming from the opposite direction talking to one of their colleagues.
She didnt stop to talk to him as she seemed in a hurry but she did manage to give him a dazzling smile as she passed him.Wait
.........her smile could be described as sweet or charming even .......but why did the word dazzling come to his mind?
She had already disappeared round the corner when he was struck heavily by the fragrance of lilies.
His feet came to a stop.
It was her signature scent and he had always been aware of it.....but he didnt understand why on earth it seemed to tantalize him right now.
After a few seconds, he realized how very foolish he must look standing in the middle of the corridor looking dazed......all because of a damn perfume!
He quickly walked away, highly perturbed by his bizarre behavior.This is becoming a serious matter. Lesson No. 2
He was haunted yet again by his madness two days later when he had been on his general rounds of the hospital.
He made sure to visit each ward, each department personally everyday.
Shashank had entrusted him with a huge responsibility with this hospital and he took utmost care in fulfilling it.
He was talking to the senior matron of the maternity ward, Sister Ellie who was giving him a general update.
They were standing right next to the nursery and he ran a casual glance through it.
He looked away but immediately looked back again.
There, standing inside, was Shilpa holding one of the babies in her arms.
Even though he couldnt hear her, he could make out that she was cooing to the little bundle.
She seemed unaware of anything else but the baby as if no one existed except the both of them.
There was an unsual glow on her face as she gazed at the small pink face of the baby.
She placed a finger in one of the small hands and the baby immediately wrapped her tiny fingers around it.
The smile on Shilpa's face grew as her eyes twinkled with joy at the gesture of acceptance.
He was unaware that he had abruptly stopped talking to the nurse who was watching him with a lot of interest.Kids these days
, she thought. Cant recognize what is right in front of their eyes......literally.
He felt a tug at his heart...........he had never in his life seen such a vivid illustration of innocence.
Involuntarily he raised his hand and touched the glass in front of him........mirroring the unexpected longing within him to touch the pure moment he was witnessing right now...........to capture this picture forever in his mind.....wanting to experience, even if it was just for a second, that bliss he had always wanted to share with Riddhima.
The mere thought of her name shook him out of his trance, breaking the illusory glass walls that had encompassed him for those few seconds........
He turned back to sister Ellie who was giving him a knowing smile.
"I .....", he found himself having difficulty to speak,"I need to go for the other rounds too."
He quickly walked away before he got tempted to look into the nursery again.
As he moved away from the maternity ward, he wondered just what the hell had happened back there.Why.....why was she invoking such intense emotions within him?
Emotions that he had assumed would never visit him again.
But they had.....and it was only because of her.
--------------------------------------------------Lesson No 3
She drove carefully through the rain-drenched streets, a pair of windshield wipers going back and forth on the front glass of her car.I saved the person I wanted to save and I dont have any regrets over it........
She didnt know how many times her mind had repeated those words........she didnt know how many times his voice had rung in her ear saying those words..........she didnt know how many times she had remembered the look on his face when he had uttered those words.
There were just words but they seemed to give her a lifetime of strength and hope.
Strength that she needed to face the fact that she had would have to spend her life loving someone who would never love her back.
Hope that one day she would have that strength.
The possibility that she could matter to him so much, that it had made come to her when Riddhima had been right in front of him, was more than she had ever expected.
A soft smile played over her face as she recounted the ' war' that had taken place between them after the pageant...........she hadnt heard him laugh so freely since so long that it had almost sounded musical to her ears.
Maybe that was all that she needed to get ahead in her life....his smile.
It was well after seven in the evening when he drove his car into Sanjeevani's parking lot.
He didnt have any case on his hands right now except for some impending file work so he had taken an off during the day........something he rarely did.
He glanced out of his window and noticed that the rain still hadnt let up.
A fond smile came over his lips as he heard his mother's words in his head.......I have told so many times to carry an umbrella on your car. How much space does it take up anyway? Or does your generation find it uncool to be seen with one?
Getting out of his car, he ran quickly towards the entrance....and yet somehow still managed to get soaked.
He entered the hospital moving his wet hair out of his eyes.
Heading towards the elevator, he didnt notice the receptionist ogling at him with dreamy eyes.
She parked her car right next to his but failed to notice it in a hurry to get inside the hospital without turning wet.
Once inside, she noticed that she was completely drenched and grumbled at herself for not carrying an umbrella.
She stopped in front of the the elevator and was so was busy rummaging through her bag for her office keys that she didnt notice the tall frame of the man standing next to her.
At first he did not bother to see who was standing next to him.
A subtle flowery scent wafted towards him and he cursed himself.Was he hallucinating now?
He made a mental to request Shilpa to change her perfume....any other flower except lily. Of course he could imagine how ' well' that conversation would go.
He shook his head irritatedly to get rid of that imaginary scent.
But it didnt work and the scent hung persistently in the air.
Realization dawned upon him and he turned his head to find Shilpa......a very wet looking Shilpa next to him, her baby pink dress clinging to her like second skin.Oh no.
He had been hoping to complete his file work properly with no distractions around him
What was she doing here at this time?.........Pediatricians usually didnt work late nights.
Feeling someone's eyes on her she turned and found Sid next to her.
Her face lit up, "Sid! What a coincidence."
It was only then that she noticed he was as soaked as she was, his black shirt plastered to his chest,his damp hair sticking to his forehead.
No wonder she had seen the receptionist looking so dazed.
She pulled her eyes away.
"Uhh so", she tried to hide her sudden nervousness, "late night duty?"
"No....", he answered, thinking to himself that his pending file work would remain just that....pending. "Just some file work. And you? How come you are here at this time?"
"Oh I came here at Dr. Kalpana's insistence. She performed a C-section today morning and the newborn is quite weak. He needs to be observed every few hours.Some emergency came up and she had to go so she asked me to fill in a for a few hours."
Before he could answer, a bell dinged and the elevator doors opened.
Stepping inside together, Sid pushed the button for the top floor but before the lift could move, two other doctors stepped inside talking animatedly.
Sid felt relieved.....he wouldnt be alone with her even for these few minutes and his disloyal brain could be diverted.
The elevator ascended but it kept stopping every now and then.
They had been standing near the doors but as people kept pouring in, they found themselves moved to the back of the lift.
Sid stood with his back touching the lift wall and Shilpa stood slightly in front him.
He to tried to keep his gaze fixed to the red light, that kept moving over the number buttons, but it kept reverting back to her.
Only a side of her face was visible to him and he could see a few drops of water on her face as they kept rolling from her hair, down her cheeks.
A really wild crazy urge came over him to trace those raindrops with his finger.
Really angry with himself now, he looked away.
Suddenly he sensed something .......something wrong.
He instinctively looked ahead to see one of the doctors from the orthopedic department staring appreciatively at Shilpa.
Of course she seemed unaware about it as she was busy fiddling with the zip of her bag.
A rush of possessiveness, so primal in nature, swept through him as his eyes fixed the doctor with the most deathliest glare he had ever received.
If looks could kill, the doctor would probably be writhing in excruciating pain right now.
The orthopedist visibly gulped and looked away not wanting to mess with the head of the hospital and putting his job at risk.
The elevator stopped and more people stepped inside. The doctors in front of Shilpa, who were still talking non-stop, moved back all of a sudden making her almost lost her balance.
Automatically, out of reflex, Sid's hand caught her by the waist to steady her.
She breathed a sigh of relief that she hadnt embarrassed herself by falling down....but relief was suddenly replaced by an acute awareness of the hand holding her waist, strong and protective.
He moved his hand away resisting the urge to hold her a just little longer than was necessary.
She straightened and instantly her back collided with his chest.
Her eyes wide, she tried to move but there was simply no place.....the lift was completely jam packed.
They were so close that she could almost feel his breath on her neck.
She turned her head slightly to the right to glance at him discreetly from the corner of her eyes.
A shiver ran down her back when she found his dark orbs looking right at her.
She quickly looked ahead and kept her gaze firmly fixed on the elevator doors.This is not at all good
, she thought to herself.
The minutes ticked by excruciatingly slow.
Her heartbeat was ringing so loudly in her ears that she was sure others could hear it too.Why did she find herself in such situations?
There was something seriously wrong with his head.....he was sure of it
He was standing in a horribly cramped lift, completely soaked to the bone and yet he could feel nothing but warmth.
And all he wanted to do was to embrace that warmth.
She clutched her hand bag tightly.
Loving him was one thing but she didnt like fate torturing her like this by bringing him so close and yet so out of her reach, over and over again.
Regardless of how much it affected her, she was not going to let it affect their friendship.
Unknown to her, Sid was thinking something along the same lines.
She was his friend....his confidante........he knew he was very fortunate to have a friend like her in his life....but that was it.
He wasnt going to let fate make him think otherwise by bringing them in such unexpected situations.
Fate didnt control his life anymore....he did.
Right on the heels of that thought, the lift finally stopped at their floor and the other people made way for them to get out.
The lift doors closed behind them as they stepped out and looked at each other hesitantly.Will the awkwardness be back again?
, he wondered.
"See you then", she said giving him a small smile and walked towards her office.
No it neednt be back, he realized as he too turned around to head to his office.
What had happened back there had been an insignificant moment which had caught him by surprise....that was all.Yes, insignificant
............he resolutely ignored what the other possibility could be.
He was not going down that road no matter how much his mind pestered him.
Maybe it had just been his imagination.
But then he recollected something and immediately turned back towards her.
Watching her walk away, his mind still reeling from what had just happened in the lift, he realized something and his eyes widened as he was gripped by a dangerous feeling....as if he was standing on the edge of a cliff and the forbidden waves crashing below were beckoning him to jump.
And suddenly he knew, with surprising clarity, that it was not his imagination.
He was not the only one who had been tempted by the waves......she had been right there with him.
He had seen it in her eyes when she had looked back at him not-so-discreetly in the lift.
And ironically, the significance
of that scared the hell out of him.Behene de mujhe behene de mujhe behene de
Behene de ghangor ghata, behene de paani ki tara
Sagar mein jaake girna hai, behene de nadiyan ki tara
Edited by sidsk - 30 March 2011 at 12:32am