This was the exactly
the sound which was invading Khanak's ears as she sat admist the noisy
environment. Perhaps she would have avoided, had it been actually the swarming
insect. But no, it was actually the
noisy crowd, which resembled no less than the bees, atleast for Khanak, who had
no other option than to be alone in a rather noisy party, sulking at the sofa ,
sometimes angrily glaring at the rather oblivious Mr. Irani, sometimes
twitching her forehead as it throbbed like hell.
"damn it..How I wish I
never came to India..na I would have been part of this stupid deal nor I would
have been sulking here"
She never liked parties
and this wasn't an exception. However it
was an addition for sure as this was actually Shantanu Khandelwal's movie
success party thrown by his producer.
This time Shantanu
Khandelwal wasn't her only victim of anger, rather it was Mr. Irani, on whose
insistence she had actually agreed to attend the party. She could have bid adeui , but the fact that
she still has had to have a final word with her clients for the meeting and
site visit, inshort her professional commitment was stopping her.
Finally her patience
bursted. She stood up, ready to leave.
Stratled by the sudden call,
she turned back.
"Do I know you?" Saying so, she glared at the young lad,
angered at his audacity.
"Ofcourse not..but v
don't need introduction, do we?"
"Then am sorry, I can't
waste my time."
She tried barging
ahead, but was stopped. To her horror, it wasn't a single person, but rather
almost 4-5 rouges.
" Hey dudes, we all
know her, don't we?"
model..who won't recognize her"
Khanak glared angrily
at the speakers
"Get the hell out of
here" She was furious.
"Relax baby, we are
only here to give you company, afterall we can't see you being lonely"
"Thanks, I don't need,
now get lost" Khanak lashed out at the
"oops..u need it babes,
we know, Shantanu Khandelwal has used and thrown you out of his life, but don't
worry we won't"
This was enough to
raise her temper. She wasn't a meek girl who would cry and shout
for help, rather a strong person who knew how to set people right. Fire was oozing in her eyes, hand raised, but
it stopped. All because of the pricking words, which came as a striking blow to
" And yeah, we will
definitely play as a guardian to your orphan child'poor thing"
She stood there
trembling, her vision got blurred with the tears, ears burning, as the rouges
around her continued laughing and poking fun.
All her life she had faced the pain of being an orphan and this was one
situation, she never wanted her son to face.
But God wasn't harsh'.
Bemused, the guy turns
around to encounter the owner of the voice.
It was Shantanu
Pushing the guy away,
he comes forward, holds Khanak by her shoulder
"Honey..what are you
She looks at him with
almost blank expression.
"ah! What? Comeon
darling, we need to go,don't you remember we have a son"
She is too disturbed to
reciprocate. He guesses her state.
"and who are these
jokers?..hmm..ur fans?..oops I think I saw this guy" His attention now turned to the guy, who was
now staring at Shan.
" aha! You were the one
right whose facial contours I changed that day?" Shan almost squeezed the rather angrily
staring guy's cheeks.
"hmm..i guess you have
recovered a lot and I hope you don't want a repeat"
Shan's voice was low
yet affirmative, sounding like a warning.
Without any arguments
or chaos, he could manage to get Khanak away, but''.
Again! Before he could
realize, she had escaped again, not be4 stomping his foot.
But he didn't excused
her this time. Fuming with anger, he ran after her, sometimes strodding, sometimes running.
Finally, she stopped,
thanks to a brick in the way. However
both never realized they have reached the basement.
"WTh is this? and stop
running away ..stop trying to escape from me, from my life"
He didn't even gave her
time to recover.
"U stop following me!
Stop chasing me" Slowly getting herself up, she shouted at him.
He tried giving her a
helping hand, she pushed him away.
"Go away! I don't need
your help, your sympathy!"
Limping her way to the
bench near by, she managed to make herself hit.
" Damn it Khanak! Stop
blaming me for everything"
"Ofcourse I will. You
are the reason for my problems. I was happy having no1 in my life. .."
He could sense her
voice was slowly getting modulated.
"mujhe jhoota sapna dikhaya, apne duniya mein legaye, phir
pagal banake sabke beech akele chod diya'and aaj phir se apne us jhooti duniya
mein you tried dragging me in and aaj toh mujhe'."
She was almost crying.
" Khanak..i know how
you are feeling, but this is how the world is. You can't escape every problem,
you have to face it."
"I can face everything,
I won't bother anything people say to me, par y my son?..Uski kya galti hai
Shantanu? Y shld he hear names?"
"galti uski nahi, its
his parents who couldn't stay together even for his sake"
"He doesn't needs a
father. His mother is enough"
The above conversation
might have been an argument, but it wasn't, rather a calm one between two
individuals, sitting opp to each other, not facing each other, still knowing
each other's heart.
" I lost many things,
lost my peace of mind, got nothing in life. Main nahi chahti hoon mera beta bhi
wahi face kare. Bas ek request hai,
please chalo jao hamare life se. Tumhare paas toh sab kuch hai na, plzzz let us
stay in our world"
Her voice was trembling
"I lost too Khanak! I
lost everything in love!"
She looked at him
stunned. They were now facing each other.
" God took my father
away from me, My mother threw me out of her life, my wife walked away from my
life, my son has never been allowed to be mine.
I have nothing left to be called my own. I have lost my soul Khanak!"
She looked at him in
shock, baffled. His voice was choking.
Her eyes were blurry, yet she could see his tears. Her heart ached, in his pain. Slowly her hand raised, to wipe his
tears. He closed his eyes as he felt the
touch, the love. He couldn't allow her
to take her hand away. She allowed her hand to be trapped between his hands,
allowed him to kiss her hand.
They might have been
stayed away from each other, yet their hearts were together. Their love was
still there, this time in form of pain. Finally, neither the glittering stars,
nor the shining moon nor God himself could stop them from feeling each
other'pain, from easing each other's pain, from hugging each other!
Time flew in form of
seconds, then minutes. It was almost an
hour, when they finally broke off from the embrace, that too thanks to a sudden
He stood up, after some
surveying, finally found the source,
"Arey you okay?" Helping the young girl, Shan asked.
"ah..I ..I..You are
Shantanu Khandelwal! Oh My God!..." The
" I can't believe am
seeing you in flesh! God! I cried so much that day when my frnds told me abt
meeting you in d mall, which I missed"
The girl was going on
and on. However he wasn't paying any
attention, His eyes were fixed on Khanak.
"Ah..I am sorry young
lady, you need to excuse me now."
"Hey but atleast gimme
He grew restless as he
could see Khanak getting up from the bench, as if to go away. Quickly signing on the girl's hand, he
" I think I have seen
this girl somewhere" His fan wondered.
"Khanak! Khanak! Ruko
She stopped. Turned back, but this time she wasn't angry.
Rather she had a smile.
"Tum kabhi nahi
sudhroge hai na?"
" hmm..as long as am
there I will always be there, walking behind you..as I know you can never take
care of yourself.
" aha really? Then y
don't you appoint yourself as my bodyguard?"
" My pleasure to serve
you, my royal princess "
His bowing gesture was
however ignored as she walked away, not be4 shrugging him off.
" Shut up and get lost"
He was left behind,
stunned and amused at the same time.
"Hello! You can't go
away like that'you can never dare to face the world alone, Infact guts hi nahi
He kept on shouting and
finally she reciprocated. She turned
back, almost marched towards him, limping.
However he was ignored
as she brushed passed him.
"Jag gayi meri Jhansi
ki rani" He smiled to himself.
He calmly followed her
as she went back to the party.
" Hello!" She patted on the rogue's shoulder.
The guy turned back, shocked to see the furious and raging
Khanak, yet calmly staring at him. And before he could realize'
"Don't you ever try to
look at any girl around you"
The guy was too shocked
to react as he stood like a statue admist the crowd, some whispering among
themselves, some laughing at him.
"Mr Irani! Mr Irani!"
Poor Mr Irani had no
other option than to rush to obey her summon.
"If you are done with
this stupid party of yours, will you care to discuss about the meeting or care to arrange of my going back!
He looked at Shan who
was calmly wittenesing the whole thing.
"Do the honours Mr
Irani" Shan said in a soft voice.
Her command was
She sat on the bench,
blankly staring with blinking eyes, sometimes biting her nails, sometimes
yawning as her poor brain tried hard to capture the incoming signals , yet
failed everytime as the rather complicated signals brushed passed
tangentially. She had always been a good
student in the class, but blame it on her getting too tired or d boring
lecture, she was finding it hard to concentrate. She gave up and rather decided
to concentrate on her sleep, ignoring the lecture, ignoring the calls.
There was no response'
"Kha'.naaak!! How dare
you sleep in the class!"
"I am..I am..so sorry,
sir..I '" She woke up with a bang.
However she was amazed.
There was no classroom, there was no bench, no lecturer with a stick. It was a dream!
" You felt asleep? Kab
se I have been calling you"
She gave a quite sullen
look to Shantanu as he was the actual reason for her dream, for her fatigue. It
was on his insistence rather compulsion that she had to come to the site and
waste her time since 8 in the morning.
She looked at the
"Its already 8:30. I
think I need to go"
" Shld I drop you? If
you want, you can wait. I'l go by 9..waise bhi it might rain"
" No thanks, I will
agreed. But, nature perhaps wasn't that
kind to her. By the time she stepped out, it was raining heavily.
Still she remained
undeterred and decided to wait for the autorickshaw. She looked around, there was no1.
"Kisiko khoj rahi ho?"
Startled she turned
back to see a strange looking lady, hair ruffled, clothes torn. Initially Khanak got scared, but still could
muster courage to reply, though in a ignoring tone.
"Aye hayee chori,
jhooth na bol..hai woh yahin pe..barsaat ke andhere raat mein tujhe akele na
chodega..Sath leke jayega tujhe apne sath, apne kamre mein. Sare gile shikwe, sab kuch door kardega
tumdono ke beech se..tere in geele kapdo ko bhi'suhane mausam mein, sulagte aag
ke paas hojaoge dono ek.."
The lady was perhaps
blabbering and talking rubbish, yet it was enough to scare the hell out of
"eww! Stop it!"
She ran away from
there, only to collide with something hard.
She turned back, to see the lady smiling and waving to her. She turned her face away to face the person
standing in front of her.
"Maine kaha tha na, you
won't get any transport, aab chalo mere sath"
"No..I..I will go
myself..waise bhi we have to go to opp directions"
" Exactly..thats y I
can't risk to drive my car to anywhere else and you are def coming with me, to
"No way!" She exclaimed
"Why? You don' t trust
"ahmm..no..i mean yaa,
but I need to get back to Ahaan. He might be crying"
" haha..No darling, Am
sure by now he must have been gone to sleep"
"No..I know him, He is my
"That's because of my
He earned a rather
"What, yakeen na ho toh
Reluctanctly she agreed
to use his phone to call Meghna.
"Hello Meghna, whats Aaan doing? Ro to nahi raha hai?
Actually I am stuck here"
" Hello..Khanak, Is it
Shan's number? Is he with you?"
"Yup..Am here with
Khanak , Meghna"
Meghna was surprised to
hear his voice, delighted to hear they were together, regardless of the reason
though. She din wanted to disturb them.
"umm Khanak, you don't
worry about Ahaan. He had his dinner and is now sleeping. You take care."
She kept the phone.
"see, didn't I told
you..arey akhir beta kiska hai"
"haan, tumhara hi beta
hai- careless, selfish and irresponsible, like his father"
He gave a stare.
"Thanks for the
They walked to the car.
She is about to open
the back door.
"I think I am not your
Frowning, she stops
opening the door and instead opens the passenger door and gets inside.
"Now why have are
Khanak's question was
however ignored as the car came to a sudden halt. He opened the car, got out and started
checking out something.
"Shantanu! Am asking
"shauck hai mujhe, raat
ko gadi se nikal ke rain dance karne ka"
He made a sarcastic comment, only to earn a angry stare from her.
"Car got punctured?"
"what are we going to
"well, its just 2 to 3
kilometers to the hotel"
struck her as her mind went to to lady's words..('adhi raat mein gaadi kharab hogi')
She shrugs in fear.
"What?" Shan is astonished at her sudden decision.
"Are you mad?"
"kyun? Shelter toh hai,
I can stay here"
"are you sure?"
"fine, do as you
wish..phir koi jangli janwar ya chor aye toh save yourself"
He left, leaving her
behind along with fear.
She was scared, yet too
stubborn to go with him. Getting inside the car, it din took her much to
realize she was actually inside a car, standing in a middle of a road at a
dark, rainy night. Her fears increased
hearing the sounds of dogs and wolves and suddenly''
"woah!!" She rose up , shocked as her car was suddenly
invaded by a strange looking man. All she could do was, shut her eyes and
recite the hanuman chalisa.
Thankfully Lord hanuman
was kind enough.
"I think I should go,
yahan jangli janwar ya jangli insaano ke hathon marne se ache hai I allow
Shantanu to gobble me up"
Fortunately, she didn't
had to walk much, as he hadn't gone much far.
On the other hand,
though Shan had left alone, yet he was anxious about Khanak and he actually
felt relieved as he realized Khanak was coming behind him.
stopped. She stopped too. He turned back.
"What? I thought you
are going alone, toh I should accompany you"
He couldn't help
chuckling at her innocent excuse.
Finally they reached
while I come back" Switching on the TV,
he offered the remote to Khanak.
Unfortunatel y or
perhaps it was her bad luck, all she could come upon was the local cable
channel airing some flop movie .
"No! Go..go away, don't
Ironically this was
Khanak shouting to herself seeing the guy coming closer to the girl onscreen. But her shouts was in vain and there was no
other option than to shut off the idiot box.
She turned here and
there to survey the room and coincidently or unfortunately the first thing
which caught her attention was the fire place.
'Sulagti aag ke samne' Her
mind went back to the lady's words.
Startled she gets
up. She wanted to run away. She din
wanted to be weak, she din wanted to surrender herself.
Thankfully before she
could fall completely, a pair of hands rescued her. She looked up, only to be
lost in his drugged eyes. She closed her
eyes feeling his touch on her waist, as his bare torso touched her.
"You are drenched
Khanak, kapde badal lo" He said in a
soft husky voice.
Before he could
realize, she had pushed him hard.
"Don't you dare try to
come near me. Tumhe kya laga, I won't get your actual intention.."
"Khana..ak.." He tried getting up
Pata tha mujhe. Yeh barish (pointing outside), gaadi ka kharab hona, yeh..yeh bina kapdo ke
aana (waving her hands at him), yeh fireplace (pointing in the direction)..everything
is planned hai na? But you know what Shantanu Khandelwal!, I will not allow you
to touch even my finger"
"Arey Shutup Khanak!
Kuch na sahi, atleast for sake of humanity, gimme a hand"
She couldn't refuse
"And for heavens sake,
rain was God's planning..dis fireplace was the Hotel owner's planning and how
else do you expect me to bathe, kapde pehnke?"
His plain explaination
actuall embarrassed her as she realized her stupidity.
actually the lady'she incited me, infact scared me"
"and you believed her?
Khanak! She is a road side physcho!"
" Nothing that you are
any different" He said in a low
"You said anything?"
"Nope..go and freshen
He could see her twitching
her lips as if something was bothering her.
"You want something?"
"ahmm..actually I don't
"dress? Don't wry, I
have d solution"
To her surprise, his
cupboard had about half a dozen ladies' dresses. But instead of a thanks, poor Shanatnu got a
"What? Ashka ke kapde
hai yaar, she left few of her dresses"
She left for the bathroom, without saying anything,
leaving him behind confused.
He announced ,
arranging the plates on the teapoye as she came back from the washroom.
The dinner was going
"Shantanu! Kitne baar
kaha hai don't sit like that when eating"
Her sudden scolding
Shantanu always had
this habit of stretching out his legs on the table, eating, with the plate on
his lap, an act which had always irked Khanak.
Today also was the
same, except the fact that neither they were like Husband-wife nor it was their
"I..i am so sorry" She realizes her mistake.
"No..its okay, actually
meri galti hai"
The rest of the dinner
went peacefully and it was now time to hit the bed.
" You don't need to
sleep on the couch, we can adjust"
Khanak offered Shan to
share the bed as he started to arrange the bedding on the sofa.
"No darling, this
arrangement is for you"
His sudden and rude
declaration shocks her. Yet, her ego was too strong to resist and beg.
Sleep was far away from
Shantanu's eyes as his eyes were fixed on the tiny petite figure on the couch.
He couldn't resist
himself from going near her. She was
lost in sleep, yet he could sense her discomfort as she sometimes cuddled
herself, sometimes stretching her legs.
He couldn't help admiring her innocent beauty.
Slowly he removed the strand of hair on her face. He couldn't stop the tear escape his eye and
all he could do was plant a soft kiss on her cheek.
"My burthal bacha..how
can your Shantanu be rude to you and allow you to suffer"
Carefully and slowly,
he manages to lift her up and gently places her on the bed, not before making
sure to not wake her up.
The sunlight felt on the eyes, causing them to
blink. The voice of the chirping birds felt on the ears. He sat on the bed,
eyes fixed on the figure beside him as the latter tried hard to overcome every
hurdle coming in way of a peaceful sleep. But it failed and finally the eyes
popped open and a smile formed on the face.
never expected this warm greeting.
"OMG!" She sat upright startled.
"What am I doing her"
"yaa..yaa, what are you
doing her" Shan was too quick to
"dats my question"
"how will I know?
Perhaps you came on ur own"
" No..I ..I was
sleeping there..on d couch"
Seeing her sight shift
to the couch, Shan got enough time to think of a cooked up story.
"Kya?" She turns back at him stunned.
"Neend mein chalne ki
bimari and mujhe?"
never told you this but yes, tumhe neend mein chalne ki bimari hai"
"really? No1 told me
"I think you shared
your bed only wid me Khanak"
She stared at him in a
"ah..I mean Ahan is a
baby, toh he won't know"
"I really walk in
"yaa Khanak, tabhi toh
hamesha I used to cuddle you up"
His last line
"umm..whatever, I am
going to freshen myself and go back home"
"shld I drop you?"
"plzz..just as a
Thus ended Shantanu and
Khanak's one day of being together. They
stepped out of hotel, together. No1 perhaps noticed them, except'