Posted: 12 March 2006 at 1:32am
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A day passed, then two. Kripa had successfully avoided Angad altogether. Every morning, she would make an excuse and go to the city before he woke up, and when she returned, spent most of her time. Angad had finally decided to talk to Kripa, but never found the opportunity to do so. This frustrated him, and Naina noticed his irritability.
"May I come in?" Naina stood in the doorway of Kripa's room. Kripa looked up from the drawing she was working on, surprised. Quickly, she got up. "Oh, Aunty, please do." Naina walked in, and sat down at the edge of the bed. She looked around the room, and was impressed at how artistically it was set up. Snapping out of her stance, she sat on the edge of the bed, fidgeting with the rustic-hued sheet. Kripa slowly pulled up a chair beside her, and sat down. Half an hour later, Naina emerged from Kripa's room slightly frowning. Angad saw this and immediately his thoughts went back to the other night. He really needed to talk to Kripa. After Naina went to her room, and Angad saw the passageway cleared, he made his way to Kripa room, only to be stopped short in his tracks by Naina's stern voice.
"Angad, come here please, I need to talk to you" This can't be good, Angad thought. "Mom, I…" he pointed towards Kripa's room in desperation. The rigid look on his mother's face indicated to Angad that this was no time to argue. Heaving a sigh, he dragged his feet to his mother into the room. Naina motioned him to sit down. After a few moment, she finally spoke up, her voice much less animated than it had been since she had arrived in India. "Angad, did something happen between you and Kripa?"
Angad furrowed his eyebrows, and then cocked one up. Kripa hadn't told her anything? "W-why do you ask, mom?" he said finally.
Naina took a deep breath. "Angad, when we first got here, Kripa seemed okay with this marriage. Dare I say it, she was happy about it? I'm guessing that up till then, she trusted that her parents would choose her a life partner that she could life happily with. But, now, she seems to be doubting that fact."
"But now she seems to be doubting that fact" the words stung into Angad's being.
"She told me that she wanted to build her career, and that she was having second thoughts about this marriage." Naina continued. "And, honestly, I doubt that is the case."
Angad, of course, did a half-assed job of convincing her that Kripa was probably having a bad case of the jitters, and that he would make sure everything is okay. Though he really did mean the last part. As he was coming out of the room, he saw Kripa clad in a black kurti and jeans scurrying down the stairs. He'd lost another opportunity to talk to her. He was about to retreat to his room when he found Kripa's door slightly ajar. Curiosity drew him towards it. Entering it, he too, was pleasantly surprised at its artistic yet contemporary set up. He laid on the bed, feeling an unusual calm. Turning his head towards the side table on the right, he found a little black notebook. It had no decorations, no labels, nothing. Nonchalantly, he began leafing through it, assuming it was nothing more than a school notebook. He was wrong, so very wrong. The notebook had a few odd sketches Kripa had made, which impressed Angad. He turned one page over and that's when the entries started.
What does it feel to be loved by a man? Clandestine meetings in refuge of sunsets, the thrill, the touch, the embrace, the kiss, the poetry, the love, the passion. Fingers entwined, grasping onto a delusional fantasy. Why? Why is love a mere mirage? A stinging illusion that blurs reality and all that we stand for? One trace of his fingertips, one brush of his lips against mine, one silent look of affection is all it takes. And I am forever lost in the depth of emotions. Overwhelmed, yet strangely content.
Angad's heart skipped a beat. He kept reading until he reached the last entry.
An end, or as some say, "This is just the beginning"
He saw a few dried up translucent stains that he could only guess were tears. With a heavy heart, he closed the notebook and placed it on the table. He turned around only to find Kripa standing at the doorway, with a mix of emotions playing on her face: incredulity, disbelief, anger, and a hint of hurt. Angad knew things had just gotten a whole lot worse.