Joined: 02 November 2010
A warning first.. this is very different from my usual mushy stuff.. this gloomy...
The soulful voice f Lata Mangeshker filtered into his consciousness.
Lag ja gale ki phir ye hasin raat ho na ho
shaayad phir is janam men mulaaqaat ho na ho
lag jaa gale se ...
He tried to move and found his movements restricted. That had him open his eyes in a flash and found himself bound in a chair and he was gagged.
What was happening...who was behind the attack that had him bound here?
A secondary voice joined the singer and he relaxed... Madhu! His eyes twinkled with delight as he prepared himself to have another round with her. Going by the decorations she was about to sway him with romance... but where was she? His eyes scanned..
He seemed to be on the roof top of an incomplete building. The place was decorated with red roses and lighted diyas. The sweet smell of the roses permeated into the air around them and the sky spoke of approaching night... and she emerged from behind one of the pillars lighting more diyas.
Her eyes flickered to the place he was and she stilled for a moment noticing him conscious.
"RK you are awake!" she stated the obvious with a forced gaiety. Blowing out the candle she walked towards him, slowly as if each step was put before the other with deliberate movement. She was wearing a red salwar, in similar shade to the saree he had presented her with for their last encounter. The lights from the diyas reflected off her skin making her glow like a beacon against the backdrop of the setting sun. He couldn't take his eyes off her.
"I am sorry about this," she said indicating his bound state, "but you see I was not sure if you would have come if I had asked ." She paused, "For you to be here today was imperative. ... to see the outcome of your revenge..."
He moved in his chair as if straining to cut the ropes and she watched him struggling for a moment. "It won't come loose, I have learned dong this from the expert, Mallik. You will just hurt yourself!" Up close he noticed the dark circles under her eyes and the paleness of her cheeks as if she was ill.. She had lost weight. Yet there was a strange beauty about her. The dark circles under her eyes contrasted with the bright glow of determination in her eyes and the paleness and the gaunt look about her gave her a fragile, touch me not air.
"It is strange to be with you when you are so silent." She mocked and found his eyes flare up. "But today, I will speak without interruptions and you will be forced to listen. Until today you spoke...most of it lies or carefully worded half-truths meant to deceive, to prey on my emotions and I lapped it all up blindly." She smiled bitterly, "Never imagining that your ego was still ruling your actions. "
He had expected her to rant, to weep to plead to take her back... but this seemed different, this curious calmness so in contrast to what he had expected. It was disconcerting.
"Do you know how much it hurts to know that each loving gesture, each caress, each hug, each act of caring was a lie? It feels like something heavy is pounded on your heart, repeatedly, smashing it into tiny pieces that at times it is so difficult to breathe... something sharp pierces here," she touched her chest, " each time I remember you... and you are always in my mind! This is what you wanted for me, wasn't it? The burn I feel in my vacant eyes devoid of sleep, the ache that clogs my throat whenever I call your name in anticipation, at the sound of a footstep behind me..."
She shook her head, willing herself to clear the pain from breaking thru.. she wouldn't cry now, not before him, not when she seemed to be unable to do so otherwise.. feeling so dead. She drew in the anger that burst thru her, diverting her agony.
"Breaking my heart by just denying your love was not enough for you, was it? You had to give me hope with false promises... had to encourage me to dream so that when you left me with a bleeding heart, I would have with nothing to hold on...you have had your revenge... it hurts to know that in the months that we were together, my love was not enough to soothe your ego. To know that you still remember those four slaps, despite everything we have been thru together. Does it make you happy now to know that I will fear every smile, knowing that they are a mask that hides deceit ..is your ego satisfied now , now that it knows I will shrink away from every tear knowing it could be an attempt to break your defences. You have not just broken my heart, your hatred has marked my soul."
"And this is what you wanted for be... To live a life when each moment I will crave for death that will end my agony. Each breath I draw will be a burden to the empty shell that I have become... each breath reminds me of the moment of your triumph and my misery witnessed by the elements of the nature. There is no solace ... nothing that could help me to break this shackles of pain that bind me. so know this your revenge is complete... you have won..are you satisfied?"
"You condemned me to a life of death, devoid of happiness, hope... scared with distrust and pain. You want me to die a little everyday... long drawn out death where your hatred runs thru my veins like a slow poison...killing me slowly. I feel the death of Madhubhala Shamsher Mallik who was loving spirited and wouldn't bow down before injustice..."
Tears slipped past unbidden. She brushed them away not wanting herself to weaken.
"No one understands... may be you will...you said you have been thru betrayals. They hate you and wonder how I can love you still! But love is not a switch you can turn off at your will. Is it? They want me to hate you...and I do..." she hunkered down before him.
Cupping his face within her palms she said, "I hate you RK.. I do... I hate you for what you did.. for deceiving me...for making me dream with false promises that you never meant to keep," she dropped her hand and bend her head down, " but I hate myself more...for trusting you... for loving you.. for knowing that even my best was not enough to heal you. I hate myself for wanting to hate you."
She stood up and moved away restlessly .
"I can't find solace in anything...just as you meant it to be. Whenever I think of comfort all I can think of is the need to feel your arms around me ... your voice teasing me , calling me Biwi."
She turned back to him.
"Yet leaving me with my agony you never turned back to see if your plans succeeded ..why? Have you lost interest in my tragedy already? Not a month has passed and you have decided that you have had your fill?" her eyes blazed up. "You thrust me into a lifetime of darkness and you have decided that my fate no longer matters to you? I won't let you call "pack up" that easily. As you are my love I am your obsession, remember? My ruin was your obsession. Such an obsession that you were willing to open up the wounds of your past for me... to use the death.. the suicide of your father to break my defences. You made your grief a weapon to break me further."
She saw the anger in his eyes and smiled in satisfaction. She bent down to bring her on level with his, "You played the game of love to trap me.. . even tested my love to make sure I was ready to be dumped, now it is my turn to test you. Are you strong enough to face the death when it is before you?"
She saw the arrogance in his eyes and knew he must be smirking.
"Ah! I will miss your smirk, "she touched the corner of his mouth over the gag. He kept still holding her eyes with his, "And this eyes..." she lifted her hand to touch the side of his eye. They brimmed with unwavering confidence.
"You think I cannot do it, don't you? You think I love you too much to cause you a pin prick let alone kill you." She straightened and could almost hear his silent chuckle.
"Laughing at your success in calling my bluff, aren't you. I don't mind giving you the pleasure of this victory when I know it will be short lived!"
She walked towards the table and took the hip flask she had removed earlier from his pocket.
"You said this is what helped you to forget the pain of broken promises...then it became the sweet anticipation of revenge, right? " she raise d the flask to her eye level, " what if I take away this comfort from you? Will you spend sleepless nights like me, yearning for the bliss of sleep which makes me hope that when i wake up from it, I will find that all this was a nightmare? The sleep which helps you forget at least for a few minutes..."
She turned back to gaze at him, uncertain if she should voice the question that plagued her and knowing that he might not answer truthfully. Would she be able to take it whatever the answer was? But then his answer would not change her actions, so it shouldn't matter.
"RK, will you answer truthfully just this one question? Just this once?"
He didn't acknowledge. He knew what she was going to ask, the same routine filmy dialogue... 'kya tumne kabhie bhi...ek pal ke liye bhi mujse pyaar kiya hei?'
"It has been weeks since ... since you have...you have left me. In all the hours that have passed since, have you thought about me? Even if it is only to miss plotting new methods to torment me...have I ever been in your thoughts?"
He cocked his eyebrows in challenge, refusing her the answer.
"Please RK," she beseeched, "give me the truth this once...as a goodbye gift to your parted roommate.
Images flashed by in his mind.. the empty side of his bed ..remembering watching her sleep... calling out to Biwi to close the curtains to let him sleep some more... his hands reaching out to touch her ear ring that lay abandoned in the table... his hands lingering over her dresses as it was packed away...
"Thank you," she murmured and he realised he must have revealed the truth. "It kind of makes it easier to do what I have to do."
She closed hour eyes praying that she had the strength to see this thru. She brought in the times of their togetherness to her mind, let her mind fill with the purity of her love, pushing back his words of spite she concentrated on the feelings he invoked in her during the happy times ...the joy, the anticipation and the dreams, the strength of his arms as he saved her from death, the warmth of his palms cupping her cheeks, the feel of his lips...
She took his flask again, "You say this makes pain bearable ... Or is it a lie too?" she opened the cap and took a gulp. Her face scrunched up and she coughed, her eyes tearing up at the burn in her throat.
"Tastes bitter like you..." she knelt down before him and cupped his face again. " I want to say good bye..."
She spread her hand to the sides of his face and pulled his head forward. Then leaning in touched her forehead to his.
"I am sorry," her eyes were moist with tears, "sorry that my love was not enough to overcome your ego...sorry to love you despite the humiliation and my pride.. sorry for what I am to do..."
She pulled the cloth covered his face down and touched her lips to his. Closing her eyes she brought back the time he had kissed her to her mind... imitating the movement of his lips on hers and willed him to respond, pouring in all her love, her desperation an d her pain into it... tears slipped down her cheeks and she could taste them on her lips and knew he could too.
"I love you.." she whispered against his lips one last time before moving back and replacing the bandage.
"No one will ever love you the way I did... I gave our relation all I had, I surrendered myself to you, my pride, my family nothing mattered ... my love for you was beyond all that ... I gave up everything to be with you... YOU.. not your fame, your power or wealth. Yet you sentenced me to a life of agony.. Keep me alive to feel the pain of death in my every breath, with the burden of betrayal weighing me down... wasn't that your command? My love for you will not let me live and my hatred won't let me die!" she smiled. "But you know me ... I never obey your order to the word!"
The expression in her eyes filled him with apprehension... there was a wild spark in them, an anger that defied the calmness of her voice.
"I accept your sentence, but not the long drawn out one with the venom of your hatred suffocating me, destroying me inch by inch. You called pack up and finished the movie, giving in your 'the end'.
Then take this as the sequel to the same... to your game of Ishq and junoon. You wanted me to die and I will give it to you... but my variation of it...here right before you... "
He caught on with what she meant to do and shook his head frantically...the craziness in her eyes a clear indication of her determination.
"No!" he screamed soundless, straining against the bonds.
"You will not be disappointed I assure you, "She deliberately misunderstood his denials. " My screams of pain will be enough to keep you satisfied for a life time."
She looked around, ignoring his struggles, "You were always for grandeurs, RK's style! I hope I haven't disappointed you there... I have set the perfect stage for the death of RK's ex-wife, haven't I? The same elements that rule the nature to bear witness to my version of 'The End'."
She looked back at him, "You are right, I could not have hurt you, not physically... because seeing you in pain would have given me pain.. I couldn't end you without killing myself. You have become a part of me!"
"But I want to give you back the pain you have inflicted on me...a life of torment and agony... dead inside. These moments with me will take over your life... you will never be able to taste anything without remembering the salt of my tears on your lips.. you will never be able to hear anything sweet when the screams of my agony will never leave your ears... I take away the comfort you seek in liquor because you will remember that it became the fuel to the fire... she tipped the contents of the bottle on her." She looked at him in wild defiance. "You will never be able to see anything bright without remembering the flames that consume me... this is my penance for loving you... the fire will purge my soul of the venom of your spite!"
She walked away from him ignoring the horror that glazed over his eyes, ignoring his frantic attempts to stop her. Reaching the end of the floor that opened into the nothingness beyond, she looked down at the drop which would make sure that she could not be saved.
She called out to him as she observed the drop. "Like a good wife I have informed Bittuji how to find you... he will reach here once the show is over. I am sure you will not be in a state to drive."
She turned back to face him, "I would walk over the hot coals for your life, for your love... but I refuse to sacrifice my life by living a life of death to satisfy your ego. Goodbye RK... see you in Hell."
He watched, his limbs helplessly straining against the ropes that bound him, in horror of her setting herself aflame. Her torturous screams of agony echoed around him even after she fell off the parapet down into the dark night.
I don't know if I shud ask to like this OS... but it demanded to be written... Something inspired from the cruelty dumped on Madhu...a sort of explanation as to why I can't take any reason of "it was done for her sake.." Though here I brought in deliberation on her part to self- immolate, as an act to avenge herself, given the way RK broke her the chance of her killing herself was there in the showand RK himself pointed it out... all it wud have taken was a few weak moments... If she killed herself, was any reason worthy enough?Umm ... shall I end it here? Let me know... maybe I can add something really really short, but don't wish for RishBala here please
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