Lamhe…Vele Lamhe…Vele Pal yeh
Idhar Udhar Tehl Rahay…
Sehmein… Sehmein Dil Bhi…Bina
Mar Jaiyyan Tere Bin…Marijaiyaan Re…
Khanak listened to Shaantanu's voice
boom through her stereo for the fifth time in a row. She'd been playing his
song nonstop from the moment she laid her tired self down in the cold bedding
of her hotel's room. It's where she'd been staying after having that huge fall
out with Shaantanu over his misunderstanding involving Sunny. Duks had been the
one who had stopped her from heading to Dhulwadi that day when she was ready to
leave this city and hurt behind her. She had argued with him until she couldn't
anymore and he had promised her that he is not going to tell Shaantanu or
anyone else of her whereabouts. Not until it was the right time. The last time
she had left it hadn't been a good enough reason and he'd came after her in the
middle of the night with Daadi and Sunil's approval. Now she had left him again,
but it's a lot more serious this time. She doesn't know that his home life has
fallen completely apart with Madhavi and Khushboo Bhabhi's constant "I told you
so" statement and looks. She doesn't know that he feels even more betrayed with
every passing day…hour…moment.
The feelings that had been building within
her were confirmed earlier tonight when she realized that with all the lies and
the games and with everything that had happened with Sunny that she was the one
to still get hurt. She knew in that moment when he yelled at her so fiercely
infront of his friends. He had accused her of something she couldn't even
imagine doing to him, it had broken her heart completely.
She listened to his voice, its gloom
and its sound. It was completely different from what he usually sings, upbeat
and inspiring. As evidenced by all the albums he had done, mainstream pop was
usually what got him vocal with his lyrics, but this was completely different
in both genre and feel. The lyrics were achingly sad, and it pained her so much
yet she still played it over and over again. His music was her favorite. She
listened to the words; he had clearly written this song all about them. She
loved that, she loved that all his songs were special to him. Each one came
from his heart and each one was about something he cared about or liked. He
cared about them; he wrote about them, he sang about them. She got it now; his
music was a part of them, not just a part of him. That's why for the last eight
months that they have been apart living in the same city, she had bought every
CD of his every time she saw one at a store, at the mall, or just passing by
some random stall on the street where the bridal Boutique she now worked at was
located. She had been her self-respecting, stubborn self and insisted on
earning to support herself on her own. Duks was the only person who came by to
visit her from the other side of the town where people drove in big cars, had
big houses, made reservations at the finest Mumbai restaurants, did everything
in elite style and class…did everything like her in-laws and husband have been
doing all their lives.
"Duks Bha Calling"
She turned the music down and sat up
in the lone bed to answer her flashing cell phone
"Khanak Bhabhi main Hotel se das
minute durr hoon…app se milna tha…"
"Sab theek toh hai na Duk Bha…?"
"Umm..main…main mill kar bata ta
He had hung up without saying bye.
She walked tentatively up to answer
a faint knock on her room's door. Her husband's best friend stood there with
Chinese take out boxes in his hand a faint smile. She smiled back and invited
him in. She wondered why Duks had called appeared at such an odd timming; it
scared her a little bit.
"Sab theek toh hai na Duk
Bha...? App iss tarah…?" There had to be something wrong, why else the
sudden appearance with food.
Duks noticed the scared tone in her
voice. She didn't know what to expect and quite frankly he didn't either. There
was something she needed to know about Shaantanu.
"Khanak Bhabhi pehlay kuch kah
lay, phir araam se baat kartay hain." He looked up at her while settling
the boxes and plastic cutlery on the small wooden table. She remembers her
husband teaching her how to eat with chopsticks exactly like the ones Duks is
holding in his hands.
"Jee..." She said with a
small smile and sat down on the chair across from Duks. They ate in silence.
She used the plastic cutlery instead of the chopsticks.
"Shaan ja raha." The words
left Duks's mouth and her suspicions were confirmed. Something had happened,
she just knew. "Hameesha ke liye shayad..." Her heart broke in little
pieces. The man she loved had resorted again to walking away, running away.
Every time things seemed like they might get better with him they never got
better they just got worse. It was so unfair to him…to her...to them. She
thought leaving him would have at least given him his space and he would keep
his focus on his music. Shaantanu was a talented, a natural at what he did; He
had earned a name for himself through his music and despite everything she is
proud of his accomplishments.
Duks could see the concern on her
face. He could see her eyes questioning, sad, for her husband. He could see
that she genuinely cared…still cared. He knew that because even his best
friend, her husband also cared…still cared. The two of them surprised him a
little each time he looked into their eyes and saw concern, attention, care…it
probably surprised him because it was so rare for him to see two people be so
torn apart yet still sewn to each other at their hearts.
"Ghar mein sab kuch badal gaya
hai Khanak Bhabhi…voh yahaan iss tarah nahi reh sakta…"
"Aaada ne kuch kaha kya…?"
"Voh toh kuch kehtay per Madhavi
Aunty…App jaanti hain ke voh app ke baaray mein kabhi kuch galt nahi sunn
"Pata nahi…pehlay jaanti thi per
"Itnay mahinaay hogaaye…app…"
"Bha app ne vaada kiya tha…"
"Jaanta hoon aur issi liye aaya hoon
yahaan…Appko Bhabhi sirf kaha nahi samjha bhi hai…Aur Shaan ko toh hameesha
Bahi he samjha hai…lakin iss rishte ko yun bhikra hua nahi dekh sakta…aur ajj
jo dekha ussay baad…"
"Dekha…? App ne kya dekha…??" Khanak
"Voh pehlay vaala Shaan nahi raha
Khanak Bhabhi…humaray saath bethay huye bhi saath nahi hota…abb toh uss kay
ghussay aur junoon ne bhi uss ka saath chod diya hai…haar gaya hai voh apnay
Duks words pained her, she felt and
knew what he was going through, she always did. Her eyes burned with moisture.
"Ussay sab kuch chod ke jaanay ne
sirf app rok sakti hai Khanak Bhabhi…iss waqt kissi bhi zidd aur puraani
galtiyoon se zayaada Shaan aur app ka rishta hai…main app dono ke pyaar ko kabhi
nahi samajh sakta kyunki khud abhi tak pyaar nahi kiya…lakin itna jaanta hoon
ke meray dost ko sub se zayaada zaroorat app ki hai…sirf app ki…"
"Kab ja rahay hai…?"
"Kal shaam saath bajay ki flight
hai…London ja raha hai…"
"Studio nahi aagye gay kal…?"
"Ayega…Sam aur mujh se millay bina
"Jo kuch hua uss ke baad Rahul ne
Shaan ko sab kuch bata diya tha…usskay baad Shaan ne kabhi Rahul ke baaray kuch
nahi kaha…Rahul ki company se contract bhi
khatam kar diya…Sam aur Rahul ke beech bhi bahut kuch badal gaya hai…"
She sat there in silence. Duks
observed her for sometime before he reaches out to the empty take out boxes and
picks them up from the table.
"Khanak Bhabhi main abb chalta
hoon…kuch bhi galat keh diya hoon toh…."
"Nahi Duk Bha app ne kuch galat nahi
kaha…Dinner ke liye thanks…"
"Hmm… khayaal rakhiyaay ga apna…"
She walks Duks to the door and shuts
it close when he steps out in the empty hallway of the hotel. Her body
resembles her sinking heart against the door and her tears flow out like a lost
river trying to find its shore. She misses him.
He is almost done packing his
belongings in his charcoal grey luggage piece when he feels something in the
inside zipper. He searches it out and what he finds makes his facial creases
more visible...he sighs…it's her picture from their Honeymoon…her playing in
the waves like she controlled them…dressed in faded Capri and puffed sleeved
His fingers traced the photo frame
and he looks at it with longing for a few minutes… the sound of his buzzing
cell phone alert him and he places the photo back in his luggage as he answers
"Yeah Sam…nahi main bas packing
finish kar raha tha…Hmm…30 minutes mein Studio araha hoon…okay…see you then…"
He walks in through the studio
doors, dodging the reporters and paparazzi at the entrance. His aviators used
to be enough at one point to keep his cover but his baseball cap is starting to
become a necessity as well.
"Good Morning Sir…"
"In your Studio Sir…"
He expresses his gratitude to a
familiar face that dealt with public relations and such. He'd never paid enough
attention to learn her name. It's almost as if he was incapable of even trying
His baseball cap flung from his hand
to the wooden counter above which his guitar and several other musical
instruments were hanging. It's the first thing on would see while entering the
Studio. There is a recording box at the left made out of sound proof glass.
"Lights toh on kar leti Sam…" He
says flipping on the switches himself in the dark studio.
The lights reveal what he wasn't
expecting at all. Her petite form that he feared of forgetting. Those pretty,
dark eyes that he would lose himself to. Her delicate hands adorning kangangs
that Daadi that given him to place in her hands. Her distinct lovely scent that
always gave away her presence. It all came back in that one instant that left
his heart questioning his mind of her existence. Was she really in her sight…?
He needed to sit.
She sat next to him on the edge of
the Studio's stage folding one leg behind her and placing her hand on his
thigh. At her touch he lost what he was going to say for a moment, her tiny
little hand was stretched out and placed gently on his thigh letting him know
she was reality…she is here. He could feel her hand through his jeans; he could
feel the searing heat of her touch through the fabric. It was as if she was
branding him with her console, but it was a good feeling, a nice feeling, a
feeling he'd missed way too much. A feeling he would always need in his life,
something he had been living without painfully for so long.
"Itnay din kahaan thi Khanak…?
Mujhe se durr itnay din kaisay zinda rahi tum…?" He questioned looking in
space of the empty Studio. She still had her eyes on him.
"Jo gaa rahay thay app uss he ke
saharay jee rahi thi…issi intezaar mein ke aik din kabhi app mujhe dhoond lay
"Mujhe laga tum Dhulwadi mein
hoon…vahaan gaya tha per tum vahaan nahi thi…tumharay Bai aur Aada ko preshaan
karna theek nahi laga toh bahaana kar ke vaapis aagaaya…"
"Aur abb…? Abb kyun ja rahay hain
yeh sub chod ke…apna music…dost…parivaar…"
"Inn sab cheezoon mein sirf music
mera apna hai Khanak…aur kuch bhi nahi…"
"Aada ki kuansi baat per ghussa hai
Shaantanu….? Aisa bhi kya keh diya Mummyji ne jo app yeh sab chod kar ja rahay
"Dad ne toh kuch kehna he chod diya
hai mujhse… aur Mom jo kehti hai voh sunay ki bardaasht abb khatam hogaye hai…"
"Aur aggar ajj main app ko kaho na
jaanay ko…kya app meray liye ruk jaaye gay…?
Only she was capable of making his
absolute decisions seem uncertain just like that. Only for her would he lay his
heart out, open it up completely to her with no inhibitions. Giving in to
everything that she wanted out of him, only she brought that kind of effect.
Only he was capable of saying the
sweetest words to her. He was the only one who would lay his heart out like
that for her. Only he trusted her like that. Only he was totally and completely
honest with her and revealed to her his heart. It made her feel special. It
made her feel like she was important, like she was needed. He needed her; he
needed her in his life. If only he knew how much she needed him, how much she
needed him to need her. He could always depend on her. He'd messed up and He'd
learned his lesson. She wasn't going to leave him anymore, not ever again.
Both of them needed each other now
for the rest of their lives. They were independent and had their own things to
do, he his music and she her designing but even still they were in an entirely
co-dependent relationship in an entirely vital way. They needed each other to
survive. They needed each other to be there just to listen. She would always
listen. She would always be there. She would never leave again. Ever.
"App aggar ziddi Maha Purash
hai toh main bhi app ki Patni hoon," she laughed. And that was all he
needed to hear to know it was true and to believe in it. "Na main abb kahi
jaaogi…aur na app ko jaanay doongi…" She assured him anyways.
She was enjoying this moment with
him. It was a little sad, because she could tell he was a little sad, but she
needed to ask him this now or never, she needed to know. No matter what the
answer was she needed to know and clear it up in her mind. She hoped it
wouldn't backfire on her.
"App ne uss din jo kuch kaha,
kya sach mein app ka bharoosa mujh per se uth gaya hai Shaantanu?"
He looked at her intently wishing
she hadn't asked him that. He could see the worry in her face. He could see the
fear in her eyes. He felt as sad for her in that moment as she probably felt
for him for giving up everything he cared for in his life. People kept screwing
with him and he was so brave and enduring in trying his best to keep at least a
few of his genuine relationships intact. Sunil and Akshay were there for him
but their business and work related kept them occupied. Daadi was the only one
who consoled him when she'd find him alone in his room. He hadn't even gone in
to his own room which was their bedroom ever since. He just couldn't bear the
burden of the things in it. They all reminded him of her…the bed, the dresser,
the windows, the wardrobe, the luxury bathroom with his and her sink, and
everything else. Even the certain areas in the house where he'd often find her
reminded him of her. After finding the whole truth from Rahul he had been
guilty on all accounts and hated himself for every word he had said to her that
night. She had been hurt enough. He'd rather die than hurt her more. He never
wanted to see his Khanak, his wife hurt.
"Nahi, jo bharoosa main tum per
pehlay karta tha voh bharoosa tha he nahi Khanak…aik aadat thi…lakin abb khud
se zayaada yakeen…khud se zayaada bharoosa hai mujhe tum per…" he tried to
say it with as confident a voice as he could. It was true what they said, you
learned in pain. He had learned a lot. But right now his brain was stuck on
kissing her and he instinctively leaned in. He gingerly placed his lips over
hers and pressed gently and softly. He couldn't rush this; he didn't want to
rush this. He hadn't kissed her since that night in the rain when he had met
her at the gate, dressed in red. It had been way too long. The Goosebumps ran
down both of their backs, it caused the hairs on the back of Shaantanu's neck
to stick up, it caused her to involuntary, slowly let go. That kiss was heaven,
that kiss was tender, it was the touch of the man she loved. It was the realization
that they had missed out on so much. Bittersweet bliss.
"App ke saaray gaano ki
copyrights mujhe chahiyaay…" She kept her eyes closed a second longer. He
looked at her and surprised himself at the bit of relief his heart felt. It
made him happy to have her to himself as his wife. "App puri duniya ko iss
tarah humari baatein bilqual nahi bata...sorry, gaa kar suna nahi sakte," she smiled a flirty smile
and he swore he fell in love with her all over again. She grabbed his chin;
"Maha Purash ke secrets bhi hotay hai!" He smiled shyly at her. She
dipped her head to his shoulder, not wanting to leave, but feeling the
conversation probably dwindling down to an end. "Aur abb app London jaaye
gay toh meray saath, varna nahi." She squeezed her hand a little on his
thigh leaning in to place a soft kiss on his cheek. His cheek that looked so
well defined with this new haircut of his. He had such great features, she
loved him so much. It hurts her to have to leave as she needed to get back to
wind things up and come right back to him, but she was grateful nonetheless for
these moments, for that kiss...
She moved away from him and
reluctantly headed for the door. She was the sexiest little thing and she
didn't even know it. Walking away from him with a little swing to her hips, her
churidaar formfitting, her odhani neatly placed around her neck, different from
so many other girls. She was always different, she was always better, she would
be his forever. He wasn't going to let her walk out that door. He'd never let
her leave again. How could he? With one kiss his whole body heated up, with one
soft peck on the cheek his sensations were altered. With one stare, one smile,
his knees went week. She thrilled him. She was his everything. His solid rock.
The one he could depend on. The one he didn't want to have to call anymore,
because she was going to be right there with him. So in a way it amused him
that she was heading for the door, if only she knew what he was thinking.
Her heart stopped. She had wanted
him to stop her somehow. To say something else, any extra word just so she
could hear his voice a little longer, just so she could stay a little longer.
"Jee?" Oh please let it be something she wanted to hear. She wasn't
sure of what he was going to say. He was more than sure…his voice was calm,
poised, soothing, "Main abhi saath aa sakta hoon tumharay…" It wasn't
a question it wasn't a statement, it was just truth, it was what she wanted to
hear. "Aik Rockstar meray saath chalay ga toh I'd be honored…!"
He smiled at the vulnerability in
her voice, at the relief on her face. He was making her happy. He loved to make
"Vaisay hum ja kahaan rahay hain…?"