You,me and the lift.
The lift opened,revealing nurses,doctors awaiting their respective floors.And then,there was You.I glided in,straightening my collar and acting non-chalant by your presence.By the move of fate,I was brushed to where you were standing by the crowd inside.Sudden and uncharacteristic nervousness hit me,and for the first time,I had a tough time settling my gaze at a single place.I somehow managed to let calmness take over me and I began receding from you,finding myself right behind to where you were calmly standing.Safe and secure from your sight.Afterall,why would I want to show you the growing and unmistakable effect you were having on me?And there you were,almost indifferent to my presence,waiting for your floor,so that you could return to work.And here I was,trying my best to control the overwhelming feeling to look at you.And then,you had to,just had to,brush your hair aside,exposing your neck.I had to mentally almost slap myself from looking at you and your luscious hair.I couldnt even take the liberty of inwardly grinning,afraid i would invite strange glares from the grim nurses and doctors who were trapped with me.Seeing you in the lift,calm and petite in a light green Indian suit,surrounded by the crowd,stirred emotions in me which I slowly and unwantedly began to notice.By the grace of God,the lift door finally opened to our floor and in a span of almost a second,I regained my slipping senses,and there I was-cool and calm headed as ever-the charming and never faltering Armaan Mallik,who was,for the first time,swayed by unknown feelings today.I strided out of the lift with confidence,pretending almost nothing hit me while inside,which was the biggest lie I could make myself believe.The moment outside,I began conversing with your sister.I had to put every awkward feeling I went through a while back aside.Far far aside from me.So that it never reached me again.I casually mentioned(and lied) how annoyed I was at your presence in the jungle to Anjali,to which your temper,once again,flared and there I was,enjoying myself again-enjoying myself seeing you flustered with your cheeks turning all shades of red at the mention of the jungle incident.What I wouldn't give to see you all tensed up?You are definitely a sight worth seeing when you are hit with taunts.I loved how the awkward situation in the lift shifted to such a light moment and I was no longer,the hesitant person I felt in the lift.I knew,somehow, I won this round too.But somewhere,I knew I was going to lose very soon.And you in the lift,surrounded by the crowd inside,was the exact reason why.
The flower pot and your green dupatta.And You.
I wasn't the nervous wreck I had been earlier anymore.I had come to terms that I was terribly attracted to you.Period.But I did not want to believe I was in love with you.For now,I was content in seeing you scream and shout at me.And probably even avoid me.I knew things had changed between us but I dint care to find out if this was love.All I wanted was to know how you felt,and if you noticed the underlying currents of 'something' between us.Thats all I wanted.
The time was perfect.You were avoiding me.And I had to make use of this opportunity to gauge your feelings.I saw you walk in through the door and before I could notice anything further,you stopped mid way,trying hard to release your dupaata which had,very graciously,fallen on a flower pot.Even the sight of your dupatta leaving you allured me!I chanced upon this.I allowed the charming and confident Armaan Mallik take over me,set my anxiety aside,and went for it.I went ahead,tenderly picked your fallen dupatta and placed it slowly around your shoulders,being intentionally,very intentionally,careful.I congratulated myself for every move in my mind and noticed every contrasting expression on your face.You were first startled at my sudden close proximity,then nervous when you noticed I was,in real,picking and placing your dupatta around you.I loved the sight of seeing you slightly embarrassed and evidently hesitant.Your plan to avoid me was clearly not working.And I was winning again.I couldn't help but smile.You were,by all means,trying to bottle up your growing feelings towards me,which your face was giving away.I knew you could feel the slight tension and heat in the atmosphere around us,and this was the perfect chance to shoot the question.Very calmly,I put my question upfront-'Do you still want to know what has happened to me in the past few days?' I dint know the answer myself.And here I was asking you.Maybe you could tell me?And maybe then I would come to terms with it?I knew your answer would be a straight no.And so it was.You dint want to hear it from me-Dint want to hear that you were all I could think about then,dint want to hear that you were driving me crazy with every little thing you did.And I knew why.Your very immediate and assertive 'No' to my question answered it.You were afraid.Afraid of hearing the truth about the way I felt.Afraid you would say the same things I would have told you-that you too,were attracted to me.I could sense myself gaining advantage here.And I smiled again.Both of us knew the truth and it could not be hidden anymore.But before I could proceed any further,we were interrupted by your sister.But I knew,this was the end of playing hide and seek.There would be a time you would stop hiding and I would stop seeking.
It was your dupatta that did it today.Shook me again.Shook me so hardly that all I wanted was your dupatta to keep slipping time and again,with me always being there to put it where it belonged.
8.30 pm-Day 70
It was clear on the night of my bike accident that you cared for me like none other.You were in love with me.And,most importantly,you knew that I sensed this.And,thus,you decided to never come face to face with me.Was that your strategy to avoid your strong undenying feelings for me?Well,if so,then I'm glad you chose this path,as this only led to you being caught in the most vulnerable position ever.I knew you loved me,and I would go to any extent to hear what I wanted to hear from you.
You feared.You feared that i would create a perfect opportunity to extract the truth from you.You knew I was capable of doing so.You knew I could any minute revert to the old charming,assertive and confident Armaan Mallik who knows which buttons to press and which chords to play.You knew I could make you mine if I wanted to.It would have been child's play for me.And you were afraid.So,conveniently, you brought along Atul to check on me.Atul-perfect enough to stir any possible discussion between us to some bizarre context.And this is what you wanted.No discussions,no talks,nothing between us.I shot my pending question to you later when Atul left-'Itna darti ho mujhse ki atul ko saath layi?' And you were caught unaware,almost lost for words.Obviously,that was the truth.You were afraid and Atul would have been the perfect guardian.But for how long?Not every time there would be an Atul guarding you.You had to shed your inhibitions.But I also knew you wouldn't need my help in doing so.You cant deny love for long.It would overshadow all your insecurities one day.And I was willing to wait.I was willing to see you restrain yourself each passing day.
'Tumhari heartbeat erratic hai..Kabhi dheemi hoti hai toh kabhi tez.'..this is what you told me while nervously checking my heartbeat the other day.And instantly,I guessed you weren't talking about me,but yourself-'Tumhari ya meri?'.There.I had said something which ran down your spine,and you were hit with nervousness.I loved looking at you then,because I could see how much trouble you took to supress the love you stored for me.Your face was almost expressionless,rigid.But I knew you would come along.
I got back to my duties the very next day.I was paired with you to check on Gappu.And your anxiety began.How could you work with me?You were not even looking at me in pursuit of avoiding the slightest of eye contacts.How would you possibly interact with me while discussing an important patient?You got worked up,and I could sense it.I could sense the hesitation every now and then.While passing a file,I accidently touched you and you almost shivered.I instantly noticed and apologised.My touch lasting a mere second on you gave you gooseflesh and yet,you claimed there was nothing between us?When you proceeded to insert a thermometer in my mouth to check my temperature,your hands trembled like never before.You were that afraid of my proximity.For a moment,I sympathised with you.You were loosing focus on your work because of my presence.I could sense you were being defeated.Defeated by Love.I smiled at myself,wondering how long we were going to act like strangers,how long were we going to avoid eye contacts,how long were you going to retreat yourself the moment you noticed my presence?Was loving me becoming a scary affair for you?
But I had decided.I wouldn't try anymore.How much more could I have done anyways?The only person who could open your eyes to reality was yourself.And I would wait till then.But until then,I would not take a step forward to you,as that's what you wanted.
11 pm--Day 90
I was tired.Exasperated.And felt like I was playing a lost battle.
What could have been the problem?You knew I loved you like crazy,I knew you did too.Or atleast started to.Then why were you so hell bent upon not professing what you truly felt for me?I was sick and tired of seeing you try to avoid me at every little chance you got.You wanted to run away from me and that hurt.Hurt real bad.After all I did for you,if this was the kind of treatment you thought I deserved,then I could no longer act like a love sick puppy around you.I decided our ways needed to be different now.Because that's what you wanted,was it not?Or atleast that's what I thought so.Until the time I realized you felt the same way I did.
The wound from the bike race was still fresh and less healed.I felt the dressing come loose,and I sensed blood oozing out,drenching my shirt.I needed to redo the dressing,and soon.I went into the first nearby ward,and began administering myself first aid,but in vain.I couldn't reach the wound and the pain was not willing to subside.Nothing was going right,and my mind was in a muddle.I suddenly sensed you.I dint need to look back.I knew you were there,but couldn't fathom why.I could feel anger,fury and all the buried hurt in me rise like fire.Every time I saw you,I could only feel rejection in return of the love I gave you.And I detested this feeling like none other.And here you were just inches behind me.Before I could do or say anything futher,you realized I was in need of help and you decided to offer some yourself-'Main madad kardu?'.All I could feel was the burning sensation of the pain from my wound and the scarring hurt you showered on me during the past few days.Why would I need you for assistance?All I wanted is for you to leave.But,you remained undeterred-'Main kar deti hoon'.Exasperated,I handed you the cotton.You took it delicately from my hand and began dressing the wound.It hurt.You dressing me hurt.I couldn't guess why,but it hurt.You noticed and probed-'Dard ho raha hai?'.That was it.That was the last straw.And my fuse blew.Did you really not know how much torment I had to go through since I'd met you?I almost gave up my life for you during that bike race.Even after that,you'v seen me suffer and you'v seen the longing in my eyes for one simple 'Yes' from your side.Were you really that afraid from confessing your feelings?And now you ask if I am OKAY?At that moment,I could only feel increasing spite for you.There was love in the spite too,but I wanted to make the spite more visible to you.And so,intentionally,I replied with malice in my voice 'tumhare diye gaye dard se kam'.I felt satisfied,I had been meaning to retaliate to the games you'd been playing with me for the past few days.And I did so today.I was contended,but only for a minute.I turned back and saw you in tears.Tears that were not willing to stop.My spitefulness towards you began to dissolve.I was concerned.What changed?And then,you said it.Not once,but seven times.'I hate you Armaan'.You chanted these four words so passionately that I could not help but bring to force the old commanding Armaan Mallik,who achieves what he wants to.You were crying relentlessly,and I firmly concluded that there would never be a more perfect time than this for you to realise your love for me.Sure you hate me now,but you would not a second later.The self assured streak in me was back,and how.I pulled you to my arms assertively,not caring whether I was hurting you or not.I needed to hear those three words I'd been dying to set my ears on.I knew the perfect retaliation to your incessant 'I hate you'.I said what I had been feeling since the time I met you-'I love you.',and I dint stop.I strengthened my position by throwing a strong willed 'I love you' against every forceful 'I hate you' you chanted.I knew you would relent.And you did.You had to.The building tension and passion reached its saturation point,and you had to release your emotions sometime.Your real emotions,rather.I finally heard you say those three words,and for the first time in my life,I felt as if I had never heard anything else so beautiful.And so giving.I had succeeded.I had compelled you to confess something which you had been burying for so long.Hurt and anguish always gives way to some form of love.And that day,the hurt in both our hearts gave way to something so beautiful,that I would always cherish each moment that succeeded that.
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