Joined: 15 June 2012
Joined: 09 August 2012
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Joined: 09 August 2012
Arnav relaxed back into his seat….he tried to get a comfortable position for his nightly sojourn for he knew that sleep would allude him as always…..he looked at Payal and Aakash sleeping in the row next to his ….Payal's head rested on Aakash's chest and his on her head….he had one arm draped around her snuggled form….they looked like the perfect picture of matrimonial harmony…..he stared at the empty seat beside him…..the seat seemed like it reflected his life….empty and bare…..just a frame with no life…..everytime he looked at his best friend and Payal….he couldn't help but fell jealous….jealous and miserable….for he knew he too could have had this sense of belonging….this support of love….this peace of contentment….. he would have all this and more had it not been for his insecurity and stupid pride….
He closed his eyes and felt the memories rushing in on him as always…..never was there a moment when he didn't miss her….when he didn't remember her crazy antics and her unstoppable words….
The things you did, the things you said….
Keep coming back to me and make me smile again….
He remembered all the times they spent together….all the times that she cheered him up after a bad performance…all the times she was his torch-bearer through a dark tunnel…how she helped him through a lean patch when he wasn't in form and helped him accept life the way it was….gave him the courage to face come what may….she made him feel invincible…..
You showed me how, to face the truth,
Everything that's good in me, I owe to you….
Even after all this time of seperation, his heart refused to believe that she was gone…..he felt like she would come back into his life any moment and make everything perfect again…..
Never gone, Never far….
In my heart is where you are……
Always close, every day,
Every step along the way……
He opened his eyes again and looked around….all his teammates were fast asleep….and who could blame them….this was a pretty uneventful 16 hours flight to Australia where they would be playing the next series…..this was like their final frontier…..if they were able to clinch this series they would become the number one test team….a feat that Arnav really wanted to achieve….and so did every one of the fifteen member Indian squad …..so did the 1 billion people back home…….
He looked to make sure no air-hostess was around, and flipped open his cell phone…..he opened a picture of Khushi….it was taken on his birthday….she looked beautiful in a royal blue dress…..that, he'd decided, had been the day he had fallen in love with Khushi Kumari Gupta…..after her manouvers to get him to his surprise party at mid-night, she'd left no stone unturned for his formal bash that evening…..it was the most wonderful setup…..everyone was there and Khushi graciously played the hostess, the party being thrown by her agency…..and through all this, she'd even found time to get him the perfect gift…..it was in the middle of the celebrations that she'd come to him….
He'd amusedly noticed the use of his first name….."Hi Khushi…..thanks for the party….it's really great…!!"
"I'm glad you liked it…."
He noticed that she was biting her lip nervously….."Is something wrong Khushi??"
She looked at him startled and flustered….."No…..nothings wrong…..its just that….I have something for you….."
Arnav shifted uncomfortably……"Khushi you don't need to….."
"I know….but I wanted to do it…..come with me….."
Saying so she pulled him to the balcony……it overlooked the garden of the hotel and the huge fountain…..she stopped and took out a neatly wrapped package from her bag...after a moment's delibration, she handed it to him…..
Arnav looked at her curiously and then took the gift…..
"Open it…."Khushi urged him…..
Arnav nodded and began to unwrap it….when he saw the present, it left him speechless and misty eyed…..it was a picture of him and his dad, taken before he was to play his first Ranji match…..it was beautifully framed, and etched on the frame were the words…..
"REMEMBER YOU'RE NOT ALONE, REMEMBER I'M WITH YOU……"
Khushi spoke in a soft voice….."The words are from a song my dad wrote for my mom when she was in the hospital….he used to sing it for her daily…..it is my favourite song….."
Arnav looked at her with tears in his eyes….."Thanks a lot Khushi…..this is the best gift anyone has ever given me…..thank you for understanding me….for….everything…..you've made today the best day of my life……"
Khushi smiled at him and took his hand….."Our fathers are always with us Arnav….look up….you know that star, the one that shines the brightest, that's your dad…..he's looking at you and smiling….he glows with his pride in you….I never knew him, but had he been here today, I'm sure he would have been the proudest father…..and the happiest too….."
Arnav looked at the star and then back at her….Khushi was still gazing into the sky…..she looked ethereal in the moonlight…..her hair flying with the soft wind….her face shining…..she looked just like the angel she was….she was so engrossed that she didn't notice that Arnav had taken her picture and stored the perfection in his heart and his phone forever……….
The buzz of his phone brought Arnav back to reality….he saw that it was a message from Anjali….he opened it….
"Fixed you an appointement for tomorrow 5p.m. with the head of the chat show I spoke about….sent you the address too….please do it!!"
Arnav shook his head….his sister had become obsessed with this interview….since the time Khushi had left, Arnav had left the interactions with the media to Aakash…he'd given no interview in the past ten months….he didn't want to give this one too but Anjali had asked for this interview as her birthday gift saying that it was her favourite talk show and she would love to see her brother in it and as they were going to Australia anyway, he should do it……Arnav, who'd never turned down a birthday request from his younger sister, couldn't say No and so he had agreed……he would go there tommorow and see what all the fuss was about…..!!
Joined: 24 February 2012
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