Joined: 12 August 2006
I didnot recieve many entries as per the participants so I decided the winners on my own, here the winners
A Modern Fairytale
It was the first time I've ever felt this way before. It was almost surreal, simply too good to be true. How could someone so majestic be real? I will never forget this day, this new sensation; the first time I laid eyes upon this beautiful angel. There is an aura about her that is so inviting, so peaceful. I know I have to see her again, I just have to.
Aditiya Kumar Diwan was lost in these thoughts as he lay in his bed, all traces of sleep gone. He was oblivious to the fact that he had an audience watching him as he reeled in the day's event. A beautiful woman, not too much older than him, finally broke Adi out of his spell.
"What happened Adi? Where have you been lost for so long? I've been in your room watching you for almost 10 minutes now, but you didn't stir once!"
"Preity Mausi! When did you come in? I didn't even hear you. I'm just tired. I went to explore Kullu today, so I was just thinking about all the sightseeing I've done…"
"Oooh…I see. And how did you find your new home, our serene little village?"
"Oh Mausi, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I have to go back to pay another visit." He started dazing off again, lost in thoughts of the beauty he encountered today. He snapped back into reality when he realized his Mausi was looking at him in wonder and changed the subject. "Anyways, have you heard from Dad yet? When is he supposed to arrive?"
"Day after tomorrow. You are really excited na? But missing your mom also I'm sure."
"Yes, cannot wait for Dad to come home. He'll be able to show me around better, and get me familiarized with the people here as well. I miss mom too, of course. Hope she comes back soon. But I have my pyaari Mausi na!? You've taken care of me so well, that I've not even missed Mom's presence so much."
The Diwan family has been a respected family in Kullu for generations. They have a major reputation in buisness. Adi and his parents lived in Mumbai almost all of his life. Presently, his parents have been abroad, traveling for some business so meanwhile Adi is in the hands of his Nana and Preity Mausi for the next six months. Adi has a special connection in particular with his Mausi. Due to the fact that she is only 7 years older than him, they are more like best friends rather than aunt and nephew. Adi yearned to tell her about the girl but for some unexplainable reason he couldn't.
Why am I getting so ahead of myself? There may not be anything to tell. She'll unnecessarily start teasing me. Better to keep it to myself he thought.
They bid goodnight and Adi fell into a peaceful dream filled of a beautiful girl running through the fields laughing…
The next morning Adi was in a rush to start "exploring" again. His hyperactivity was not gone unnoticed by his dear grandfather.
"Adi beta, where are you off to in such a hurry this morning, and that too this early..? Anything special?"
"Hi Nanu, no.. nothing.." If there was one person Adi couldn't hide anything from, it was his Nanu, Purshottam Diwan. Adi didn't even dare try to come up with a lie, so he just kept quiet instead.
"You know Adi, the last time I was thing anxious and jittery, I was going to secretly meet my future wife."
"Wife?!?! Nanu, I haven't even come in front of her yet!!"
"AH HAH! I knew it! Adi beta, you can't hide anything from your old man here. I can see the twinkle in your eyes," Nanu replied mischievously, "So c'mon, tell me about her."
Without needing any more prodding, he began to divulge about the encounter from yesterday.
In the other side of Kullu, not too far from the Diwan Mansion, stood a young woman lost in thought by the bridge overlooking the waters.
Who was that man yesterday? His face seemed so familiar, but so distant at the same time. He is surely not a regular here, but yet he seemed so familiar. So weird, I saw him everywhere I went yesterday. He was so close to me, yet so far. Was it intentional? Was he watching me? Ya phir, by chance we kept meeting..?
UOF! Pankuri! Why are you lost in thought of a strange man you saw yesterday?! So what is it to you if you kept encountering him yesterday? If you wanted to talk to him, why didn't you yesterday? You had the full opportunity!
Pankuri Gupta, born and raised in the small town of Kullu, continued her scolding and argument with herself. It was the only way she knew how to think and process information. And this stranger from yesterday... yes, he was definitely something worth processing. He had a sincere look to him, a rare kind of innocence that seemed comforting.
And how would you know if he is innocent and comforting or not?! You've not met him before nor have you talked to him before, have you?! You had every chance you could have possibly needed yesterday, yet you did NOTHING about it. Now suffer! And stop wondering if he'll show up today! He's a stranger, stop thinking about him!!!
And she was off, continuing her reprimanding at herself.
It was the sound of soft tinkles that caught his attention in the first place. Undoubtedly it was the soft tickering of payals, getting louder and louder. Adi whizzed around to see who it was from but what he saw when he turned around stopped his breathing. There she was, the girl from the previous day, the girl from his dream, the girl he could not get his mind off of, the girl who he searched the entire town for, dressed in a simple red and gold salwar suit, dancing away as if her life depended on it. Her dupatta was tied at her waist, illustrating her feminine curves in just the right places. Her movement held some sort of hypnotic magic that locked Adi's eyes on her and nothing else. The more she moved the more he was drawn to her like a moth to the flame. He had to get closer, he had to know her. Yes, he was utterly hypnotized by this mystical beauty.
Her breathing was ragged and heavy when she finally slowed to a stop. Dancing was her passion, the only thing that calmed her body and soul. And this secluded old Mandir was her favorite place to dance. She danced like no one was watching. And honestly, no one was watching… Until today. When she caught her breath and looked up she gasped, completely startled. It was him. He was watching her. What was he doing here? She found him. Or he found her. It didn't matter, whichever it was, he was here! This was her chance to talk to him, reach forward and ask him why he was invading her thoughts, who was he? But she couldn't move. She was glued to the spot, entrapped by his intense gaze. She felt her face flush, her heart pounding, but she couldn't move. She noticed him start to move, moving closer to her, but she still could not move. When he was close enough that she could fully admire the drowning depth of his eyes, he stopped. He smelled of sweet spice, a fragrance so intoxicating she could hardly keep straight. Ever so slowly he leaned in and whispered "You're so beautiful." He then started to reach up to touch her soft cheeks but stopped midway. He lowered his hands and before she could utter any word, he was gone. She could almost feel the stranger's hands touch her cheeks. She yearned for the contact but suddenly, all she was left with was a pounding heartbeat, a rush of blood to her face, and knots in her stomache, none of which was caused by her dance.
Back at the Diwan Mansion, a storm was brewing, by none other than Adi.
"Adi, why have you called this impromptu family meeting? What's going on, yaar? I've just arrived and you're already concerning me. Have you gotten yourself in trouble already?! You can't stay put without your dad, huh?" Harish playfully teased his son.
"Okay... Okay. So I've called you all together today for a particular reason." Adi looked around nervously at the faces of his father, nana and Mausi. Oh boy was he nervous. His encounter with her left him shaken and trapped. He paced around the living room a bit more, trying to gather his thoughts together. How to begin? Nana has a knowing twinkle in his eyes, but keeps quiet, letting Adi talk.
"I was walking around Kullu the other day and.. " He hesitates, not sure where to begin and how to begin explaining this intimate emotion. "I came across this girl--"
"I KNEW IT! I knew my son would catch the love touched air of Kullu!!! YAHOO! Who is she? When should we go talk to her? Does she love you too?!"
"DAD! Let me finish. Kaash it was this easy. It's not as simple as you're making it to be! I don't know who she is… Or where she lives, or even what her name is, hell, I haven't even heard her voice! All I know is, from the moment I've laid my eyes on her I've been attracted to her. It's more than just her beauty. She radiates a peaceful, calm vibe. When I see her, I want to get to know her, I want to tell her how beautiful she is, and how her sweet aura attracts me… I know it's crazy but I feel like I'm destined to be with her. You know, when I saw her again today by chance, she was dancing at the secluded mandir and—"
"Wait, so you fall for a girl you don't know, don't talk to her, don't find her whereabouts, by chance run into her again, dance with her but STILL don't talk to her?!?! CRAZY BOY!!!" Scolds Preity.
"No Mausi, I did talk to her! I told her she was beautiful, then I ran out! And I didn't dance with her! But now that you mention it.. Hmm, maybe I should have.. " He starts daydreaming again..
Adi's response attracted a playful smack from Harish. "Oh Romeo, Romeo, Romeo. I understand you're trying to be romantic and all, but didn't you think you've forgotten a step in the process? Maybe, like, I don't know… introducing yourself and getting her name??"
"I don't know what to do now. That's why I've called you all together. I need your help. I just know that I need to see this girl again; See her, understand her, figure out why I can't stop thinking about her."
Adi once again lost himself in the thoughts of his dream girl, while on the other end, Pankuri faced the same plight as him.
Pankuri lay down for the night, to collect herself after the day's event, to unwind and calm herself. Her encounter with him left her strangely alert and dazed. She's never felt this alive before, alive, yet peaceful and calm at the same time. This new, exotic-eyed man had reawakened her old childhood long dream of a prince coming and whisking her away and giving her comfort, family, love and a sense of security she's been longing ever since a child.
Pankuri is an orphan. She lives in a hostel, with other girls her age with some variance. The matrons are all very nice and comforting, but they're not family. She has plenty of friends, knows everyone in town, but still even amongst the crowd, she's alone. She's loved and adored by all. Her spunky, carefree attitude attracts everyone, but no one realizes the loneliness and insecurities she hides. Ever since she was a child, she's held onto this fantasy that a handsome prince will fall in love with her and take her away, giving her the family she's yearned for. She knows it's an unrealistic dream, but hey, there is no harm in fantasizing right?
The past few encounters with this man has seemed almost surreal to her. It's got to be true good to be true. It must be a dream. Fairytales don't come true. Pankuri spent her night convincing herself that whatever happened earlier that day had to be a fragment of her overactive imagination. There is surely no way a handsome prince like that would look at her in that way or think she's beautiful. But then again, how did she envision such a charmer? Surely her imagination isn't that creative, nor has she seen anyone like him before that she would make it up. And the sensations running through her ever since? No…those strong feelings most definitely could not have been made up. But the question remains, who is he? Why is he here? And why can she not get him out of her mind? Last thing she did before she drifted off into a peaceful sleep was pray with all her might that she sees him again…
The next few days were a blur of passing. By day Adi was helping his dad get settled in, and by night he was dreaming about Pankuri. He was settling in, getting busy falling into the norms of the new lifestyle that he did not have a chance to look for his dream girl again. That didn't stop him from thinking about her every minute he was awake though. On the fifth "Pankuri-less" day Adi and Purshottam went to one of the hostels that the Diwan group funds. Purshottam is the main sponsor of the hostels and he strives to give each and every one of the residents the comfort that he has. Now that Adi is staying in Kullu for at least some time, he thought it was a good idea to introduce Adi to all the matrons that take care of the hostels.
It was in the lobby of the last hostel they were visiting. They were getting ready to leave when the familiar sound of soft tinkles stopped Adi dead in his tracks. It has to be her. Sure enough his eyes found the one he's been dreaming about day and night. His dream girl.
"NANU! IT'S HER!!!"
It took Nana a second to catch up with what Adi was talking about, but the urgency in Adi's voice made it clear. When he looked to see who Adi was pointing at, a slow smile crossed his face.
"Ahh, of courseee. This is Pankuri darling. I should have known you were talking about her."
"What.. Pankuri? You know her?" Adi asked completely confused.
"Yes, I know her, Adi. I know her quite well." Nanu suddenly turned pensive and a sad smile crossed his face thinking of Pankuri's lonesome years growing up in this hostel.
Everyone in town adored Pankuri, but he had a special place in his heart for her. He saw in her eyes what most people overlooked. He adored this girl like she was part of his own family. And at this moment he was ecstatic that his grandson was heads over heels for her. Nanu took them back home, and in the privacy of their living room he told them all about Pankuri.
That night Adi couldn't sleep. He tossed and turned, his mind full of nothing but Pankuri. But unlike previous nights, where his thoughts were of wonder, this time, his thoughts were full of sympathy and sadness for this beautiful girl. He was falling for her hard. It was weird, he knew, but he also knew his feelings. He wanted to give her everything she didn't have, everything she deserved. He wanted to hold her in his arms, and never let go. He wanted to fill her life with light and laughter. He knew what he wanted, and what he had to do. He just hoped that it was what she wanted too.
The next day Adi went back to the secluded mandir where he saw her dance. He went in hopes that it will give him some sign or indication of what to do next, but when he arrived, he found her. Pankuri was not dancing, nor was she laughing like he'd previously seen her. She was crying. He didn't know or have the guts to ask her why she was crying, but it confirmed what he had to do. He timidly approached her. The sound of his arrival made her look up. Even with red rimmed eyes, she was beautiful. Heartbreakingly beautiful.
"I'm Aditya Diwan." The name Diwan rang a bell as she was close to Purshottam Diwan. Her suspicion was confirmed. "Purshottam Diwan's grandson"
Her eyes warmed and she mustered a sweet smile that elated Adi's heart. "I can see the resemblance now." No wonder he seemed so familiar.
Gaining some reassurance and courage, he stepped closer to her and continued. "I am sorry for the other day. When I saw you dancing, I couldn't help myself. I meant what I said. You are beautiful. You've managed to invade my thoughts since the first time I set eyes on you. This may sound crazy to you, but I cannot get you out of my mind, Pankuri, and I don't want to. "
Seeing her confused look that he knew her name, he proceeded to explain, "I saw you when I was with Nanu yesterday, and I told him about my irrational feelings… and he told me about you." Adi stopped and shyly looked up to gauge her reactions.
"They… they are not irrational feelings.. I-I-might be feeling them too.." Pankuri hesitantly confesses. This cannot be happening..! Is this really happening??
Without over thinking, without letting his fears tie him down, he blurted out, "Marry me Pankuri. I know this is crazy, but I cannot stop thinking about you. I want to get to know you, everything about you. I want to make you mine, and give you all the happiness in the world. I want to wipe away the tears, and never let them fall again. Will you let me do that?"
The sincerity in his eyes was overwhelming. He meant it. They had the rest of their lives to understand each other, and where this desire between them came from.
"Yes. Make me yours, and you mine. Wipe away my tears, and love me. Let me fill your life with laughter and life. And let's make this fairytale come true."
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