Joined: 05 March 2013
Joined: 05 March 2013
Happy Birthday to Dazzler Nisha (Susegad)! An early update for Sheen, hope you feel better soon!
Chapter 15: A walk in the clouds
A/N: The cable car/ropeway described here is not the one in Mussoorie. I changed the description a bit to reflect the one I had been on. Mussoorie information courtesy of Wikipedia, photos courtesy of Krati5.
The trip will be described in one more part so some of the links to people and events and also Geet's POV will be in the next update.
Thanks for being here and reading my story. The only thing that makes me write more is to know that it matters to someone out there so please do leave me some feedback. Just to get this off my chest only 1/3 of the people I PM actually like my update and of those only 1/3 or less will comment. I may be wrapping up this story sooner than I expected.
Kabir watched Maan enter the bus from under his cap. The rich boy that he hated, tall, good looking, first in class, the one who never had to make an effort to impress anyone. Heck, he was even handed a booming business on a platter. He hated Maan in a way that a common man hates a rich man in an air conditioned car having ice cream on a hundred degree day. The hatred of the haves versus the have nots. He actually thought himself as a have never. Maan had earned special position on his hate list for winning the match against his high school team causing them to be eliminated in the semi finals. His scholarship had been shot and the partial scholarship that he qualified for barely covered his living expenses. His street smarts and slick tongue was enough for him to have some wealthy friends who made luxuries like today's trip possible.
What was the rich boy who could have his own personal car drive him to Mussoorie doing on a college trip on a rickety bus packed to the gills. He saw Maan sit by the cartoon character called Adi. From the exchanged high fives it looked like the geek had invited him to come. Well, they were out of high school but a little basketball on the picnic grounds would hurt no one and if none of the professors were referees, who says a punch here or a blow there would not happen. Kabir settled back more comfortably in his chair listening to his gang and their chit chat. They were making plans to make a beer run in town once they reached the campsite. He made a slashing his neck indication that made the conversation stop completely as Ms. Iyer passed by them. He was sure she was on her way to scold Maan and turned in his seat waiting for it to happen. Instead she just thrust a college wrist band into his hand and walked back to her seat. Typical, he thought, pandering to the rich spoilt boy. What else would the professors do?
Hi! I suppose I should have said Dear Diary. I am not used to having a diary so this is my attempt at writing something down. I know mom used to say that writing things down gets them out of your mind and puts it on paper so you can evaluate your thoughts better. All these thoughts that are present now, I have no wish to share with anyone so I am going to write them here. It will sound like a bunch of random stuff but I suppose as long as it is off my chest I will be able to not drown in them. I wonder how should I start this. Maybe describing my day for a start. Should I name people or not? Well I won't name her until I know what she feels for me because I don't want anyone to assume anything about her. This is just me, so all things about her will go in here as her. Her name will appear only when I feel that she feels about me the way I do for her.
So Dear Diary, I went on a college trip today to Mussoorie. Yes I have been there before but this one was only because she was going to be on it. Adi called me this morning to tell me about it and in true "Dhoom" style I grabbed my bike and chased a bus. Someday when she reads this, she is going to shake her head and burst out laughing at all I am writing here.
The trip was uneventful to begin with. For the first three hours on the bus, I mentally willed the girl, who Adi is interested in, to lose some weight. You are surprised about Adi's interest in a girl aren't you? Don't be. She is the same one who used to torture him in his final year of high school. I remember him whining to me about her. Adi could sputter so much in the office against her but despite all my attempts to make him bold, he could not open his mouth in front of her. Anyway seems like he has hit his head on something, I should really get the company doctor to check him, cause now he is interested in said girl Pinky. Pinky who was facing her, blocking my view and chatting non-stop. Try as I might I could not even hear her because Adi was on his own path to match up the vocal speed of his crush. I was hoping on the way back that we could switch seats and I could sit with her.
Right before we reached Kempty Falls, Ms. Iyer, or as I call her my personal dragon, got up and told everyone the time to return to the bus and warned us that no one was to go into the falls or get wet. As if anyone would listen. Almost everyone on the bus including Professor Shetty ran in towards the waterfall as soon as we saw it. I stayed back to watch what she would do. Most of the boys took off their shirts and stood under the cool waters of the falls. I was last to go in as I watched her roll up her salwar to reveal her silver anklets. Even her feet are beautiful, I remember thinking as she walked over to the outskirts of the falls. Water drops landed on her face like tiny diamonds over pearls reminding me of some words.
chehre pe jami boonde dekh ke yaqeen aaya
ke phool khilte hain gulzar ke ilawa bhi
(contributed by Naureen (Koolsmile), Gulzar=garden)
****** FLASHBACK *****
Adi who had already picked up a swimming ring waves over to me. I roll up my jeans, remove my shirt and tie it around my waist to go stand under the cool icy water. After the long hot summer, it feels wonderful to be here. There is a whole bunch of splashing and screaming from everyone as we get wet. While I am the recipient of many admiring glances, I notice that she does not look my way. Pinky yells to us after a while that they are leaving and Adi and I decide to join them. Her eyes shift away from my vest clad body and I quickly put on my shirt noticing her discomfiture. The sun dries our clothes as we head to the main street of the city, Mall Road. Hunger pangs hit us and soon Adi, Pinky, her and I hasten to grab some fast food.
Mall Road is full of street vendors, cafes and restaurants. The town is less crowded than usual as schools have reopened. While I would have opted for a cafe, they stop by a street side vendor. My mind is busy making an inventory of all her likes and dislikes. She opts for a extra spicy sandwich, crust cut out, split diagonally in half. She does not drink soda but has ketchup almost as a side dish. The vendor seems amused by her order. I decide on the same with cheese added, mild for me not spicy, yes for soda and hold the ketchup. Pinky has already ordered a long list of her wants and we all eat hungrily.
While weaving in and out of the roadside shops, we hear voices from a pub nearby where Kabir, Rishi and a few other boys from our college are guzzling beer. Both Pinky and her are shocked at the sight and they look at Adi and me as if wondering whether we were like those boys too. Even before I have a chance to tamp down my irritation a scantily dressed female dashes into me taking me down with her in her mad rush. I am annoyed and she apologizes before running off. Looking over at Adi, Pinky and her, I notice her averted face with distaste written all over it.
It was not as if I have purposely done that. My pride takes a bashing and unknowingly a hurt creeps in. I am shocked that she would think that way about me. I want to walk out of the situation to compose myself. Some part of me angrily wonders what exactly does she thinks of me and I start walking away a bit faster than the rest of them.
My feet carry me over to the entrance for the Ropeway to Gun Hill. Just wanting to be away from her for the moment, I get a ticket and enter the ropeway car that is waiting. It is a four person cable car and unfortunately they will not leave until there are four people to start with. Frustrated I turn to the window and watch the rope wires and the cog mechanism that will pull the cable car forward and up. When the doors close behind me, I turn around to find Adi, Pinky and her in the car with me. As the car starts, the jerky movement scares Pinky and she knocks on the door and has the doorman let her out. Adi of course follows in her wake. Great, now I am locked in with her for the journey. On any random day, it would be my dream come true but in the wake of my current mindset, it had the makings of a disaster for me. I look her way in exasperation.
I can see her clutching the side pole with her eyes crunched close totally unaware that the other two have left. Without warning the cable car starts to venture upwards. I sit down not at all interested in the view. The cable car continues on its upward journey oblivious to the two souls inside it one closing their eyes to everything and the other refusing to see her. The lush green of Doon valley is at our feet as we head upwards into the skies.
Gungana Ne Lagi
Tanhaiyaan Muskuraane Lagi
Sargoshi Kare Hawa, Chupke Se Muhje Kaha
Dil Ka Haal Bata, Dilbar Se Na Chhupha
Sun Ke Baat Yeh Sharm Se Meri Aankhen Jhuk Jaane Lagi
I keep my eyes closed unwilling to look at her. I am surely strong enough to bear the temptation of someone who thinks poorly of me. For the first time I have willed myself away from her and that wish was not to be fulfilled. As if in punishment, the cable car feels smaller and my senses feel flooded with her presence. Her scent fills up my breaths. It is true that when you close your eyes all the other senses are stronger as if in compensation. My body has a radar that seems tuned to her and I hear her teeth chattering. I look over to see that she is shivering in fear.
I utter my first ever words to her to reassure her. "Main tumhare saath hoon. Darne ki koi zaroorat nahi hai".
Hai Sapna, Kiska Meri In Aankhon Mein
Ek Nayee Zindagi Shaamil Ho Rahi Saasoon Mein
Kisi Ki Aati Hai Sada Hawaon Mein
Kisi Ki Baate Hai Dabi Si Hoton Mein
Raat Din Meri Aankhon Mein Koyi
Parchayee Lehraane Lagi
My whole body wants to rush over and comfort her yet I will myself to stay still as I start narrating in a moderate tone of voice trying to divert her from her fear.
"Aankhen kholo aur kudrat ki sundarta dekho".
"Tumhe pata hai, at an altitude of over 6000 ft, Mussoorie is a very popular summer treat and is also called the Queen of the hills". It is also considered a top honeymoon destination but I doubt that this fact will ease her so I stoically continue with facts I had learned on my last visit here.
"This ropeway will take us to Gun Hill which is named so because in the old days a gun was kept on top the hill and was fired at noon to indicate the time. Once we stop at the top we can get a bird's eye view of Mussoorie and also experience the magical view of the great Himalayan peaks including Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Gangotri. Gaumukh from which the holy Ganges river flows is in the Gangotri glacier".
"This state is also called Dev Bhoomi, the land of the Gods."
My slow even tone has soothed her nerves. I see her open her eyes cautiously and peer out while standing and clutching the side of the pole. I can tell she has never been at such an altitude as her curiosity takes over and she beams looking at the view below.
Now that she is over her fear, my work is done. I don't want to sense her and I don't want any of her thoughts or actions to have any effect on me anymore so I avert my eyes from her. My senses betray me yet again as I hear the faint tinkle of her anklets, her slight gasps as she stares at the scenery and the fragrance that is simply her. Her dupatta flutters in the breeze covering my face as if mocking me as it touches my cheeks and lips.
Khamoshiyan Gungana Ne Lagi
Tanhaiyaan Muskuraane Lagi
Dil Ka Ye Caravan, Yuhi Tha Rawa Dawa
Manzil Na Humsafar, Lekin Main Meherbaan
Teri Woh Ek Nazar Kar Gayee Asar
Duniya Sawar Jaane Lagi
Khamoshiyan Gungana Ne Lagi
Tanhaiyaan Muskuraane Lagi
A distant memory makes its way into my mind's eye and I see my parents hugging inside a cable car in Switzerland with a view of the Alps in the background. Mom had a picture of that along her bedside table. No such luck in my future I think to myself.
Suddenly there is a swaying of the cable car as it halts perilously mid way. I stick my foot out into her path in an attempt to stop her from hitting the side of the cable car as I feel her being thrown to one side. She lands on top of me clutching tightly at my shirt. I want to bring my hands around her to hold her and to stabilize her but my pride will not allow it. After all I am Maan Singh Khurana not any roadside romeo that anyone would think anything about me. My heart may be with her but my pride is well and strong within me.
In her attempts to stabilize herself she is more and more close to me and I refuse to breathe her fragrance in. My will fights with my mind as I can feel her attempts to upright herself against me. I don't want to see her eyes at this moment while I am battling myself but as she continues to slide on the slippery floor I have no choice. I open my eyes trying to strictly focus on the problem at hand. The inventory my eyes conduct is not something I want to dwell on. The tiny mole near her cheek or the amber and golden flecks in her hazel eyes, the slight swell of her lower lip, the inviting small gap where her neck meets her collarbone.
Haya Se Kehdo Khuda Haafiz O Meri Jaana
Hai Ghadi Milan Ki Khudaara Laut Ke Na Aana
Raat Ka Parda Hamari Hi Khaatir
Saje Hai Hum Bhi To Tumhari Hi Khaatir
Jaise Jaise Tum Pass Aate Ho Saanse Ruk Jaane Lagi
For the first time in my teen life I am totally out of sync with my heart, mind and body. My head, heart and mind are all wishing for different things right now. My mind wants to hold onto my pride, while my head tells me I am overreacting but my heart only wants to hold her to me. I grit my teeth and follow my mind when I see her hair entwined in my black shirt. Both of our hands reach to unravel it at the same time, mine laying on top of hers now. My reflexes work in sync with my mind and I quickly remove my hands from over hers. As both of us retreat, I stop her with one hand and gently disentangle her hair. She slides once more over me due to the slippery surface before standing up and going to the other side. There is a deep blush on her cheeks which adds fuel to the sensory fires already burning within me. I put my fingers over my nose pinching my eyes shut. If I had a parachute I would dive out of this cable car at this very instant.
The cable car reaches the summit and I walk to the line to go back down again instantly. My internal radar tells me that she has other plans however. She has walked over to the railing to see the distant peaks of the Himalayas. The view is stunning but I don't want to be here at the moment. My ego which has barely made its appearance in my life so far now stands between us as tall as the mountains that surround us.
My phone rings and I look to see that it is Adi. I answer with a "Hmmm, bolo".
"Maan, why did you leave in a huff yaar. You know Pinky told me about that girl falling down on you. It was not your fault so you shouldn't be embarrassed. Even Pinky and Geet were disgusted by her flaunting herself like that in the middle of the market...".
I look at her realizing the enormity of my idiocy. She was disgusted by that girl not me.
Adi continues "... Maan, Geet is OK na. Pinky was saying she is scared of heights, toh she is fine na. Pinky is getting worried".
"She is fine. Tell Pinky not to worry, I am with her", I mumble my reply ending the call.
I shake my head realizing that in all this she was never at fault and I have made a huge mistake. As fast as my anger had come, regret rushes in. I never even tried to look at things from her point of view. In my haste and quick judgment I have lost a golden opportunity to enjoy my time with her. Her good opinion of me I have always wanted and craved and yet by behaving so rashly I fear I don't deserve it. I wonder if she is as angry with me as I am with myself now. Have I lost everything?
I turn to her and notice a crowd of drunken boys heading her way. Without another thought, I quickly get out of line to stand between them and her. As they approach she slides close to me almost hiding beside me. I look down at her as she inches closer to me scared of them. I feel her trust in me and I angle myself towards her in a protective posture.
She covers her nose with her dupatta not liking the smell of beer that the boys reek of. At that very second, I promise myself never to drink. The crowd of boys stumbles away from us talking loudly amongst themselves.
I stand with her at the railing looking at the far off Himalayas. In front of the majestic mountains I find myself lacking at this moment. If love should be as strong and high as the Himalayas, why do I feel myself so small now?
I had promised myself to walk with her come what may and yet at the first hint of something not going my way I broke my promise. If she walks away from me now, I only have myself to blame. I await with bated breath to know my punishment. Am I going to get a chance to redeem myself? Will she even consider a rash person such as me to be her friend?
She is looking at the view with peace and happiness on her face. I notice that there is an awe of seeing nature at its finest in her. One day I promise myself I will show her the world, if she lets me. Shyly she turns to me and smiles.
Something that seemed lost is found again and I smile, happy not to have lost my treasure.
We are left with what we always have between us, our silence, yet I am strangely content and feel overwhelmingly blessed with it.
As if nature had decided to shower us with her blessing, the clouds that were over the valley part and the sun shines beautifully. The skies have turned a deep azure blue. I feel that one could almost reach up and ask the Gods for anything and it would be granted. I look down at her face glowing in the golden sunlight and realize that in this moment, I want for nothing else.
We stand together looking down at the world beneath our feet.
Khamoshiyan Gungana Ne
Tanhaiyaan Muskuraane Lagi
VM of the song. Hope you enjoy it
Precap: Her head rests on my shoulder and I realise that her earring has come off and got stuck in the shawl.
Trip continues, Geet's POV
Nigam, Lata Mangeshkar
Movie: One 2 Ka 4 (2001)
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Juhi Chawla
THANKS ALL FOR THE SUPPORT.
Thanks to Mari (mayyo13) for proofing all my work.
PLEASE MENTION IF YOU LIKED THE MUSIC ON YOUR COMMENT.
PICTURE CREDIT: GEET PICTURE GALLERY
VIDEO CREDIT TO THE UPLOADER
Joined: 07 February 2011
Joined: 07 February 2011
Walk in the clouds… The title itself speaks of serenity & beauty. You did justice to it in the whole update. The music selection was bang on… It reflected the whole feel & soul of the part. I must say the music that you add in each part is so apt & all of them just make it to my playlist. Khamoshiyan jo inke darmiyan thi who gungunane lagi…. Itni madhur bangayi ki ek muskhurahat ne saari tanhayee mita di…
Kabir…. Hmm new character, Very interesting! I would not want to typecast him now… and just view him as someone who has had wrongly perceived people through his own lens of insecurities. He feels grass is greener on the other side …. Just as defence mechanism to safeguard self from accepting his own complexity he faces day in & out.
Dear Diary opening innings was during this trip…. He is so apprehensive & unsure that he doesn't mention her name. I liked the way he started writing it, he actually spoke to it as a friend would… as that's what a personal diary is. He misses his Mom so compensates it with this diary writing speaking his heart out here. He notices minute details.. And makes it a point to be aware of her likes & dislikes under guise of accompanying the group.
Geet's order of the sandwich… spicy with crust cut out & diagonally half one, speaks a lot of her nature & traits.
This part made me adore Maan for various reasons. I know he behaved like a khotta by assuming stuff… but then he was blinded by his own fear of rejection, insecurity & apprehension of being misjudged as he doesn't open up much to others so whether she will understand him as his mom used to. What made me like him so much were…- his want for Geet & him to become someone in future like his parents… That shows his purity of thoughts & also depth of his feelings. Also how in spite of all that he misinterpreted & was angered yet he didn't leave her alone to face her battles, he was there for her whenever needed. 'Main tumhare saath hu.. daren ki zarrorat nahi..' he distracting her & diverting her fearful thoughts by stating facts of the place. He saving her form those drunk boys… & also promising self of never to drink just because she couldn't bear the smell… speaks a lot about this man… can I have him for me …. Clone bhi chalega…
Also loved the subtle intimacy on the cable ride & also while sightseeing … all of which perceived & experienced through high on alert senses.
His regret on knowing his misinterpretation of her expressions & then later fear of losing her by his deeds of misjudgement was all overshadowed & washed away by her that one shy smile… Beautiful!!
The promise of walking on the same path makes an appearance again… I liked that he has made this advice one in his conscious but then tends to forget it but then still works on it.
Continue when you can… Special thanks for updating even when it's such a hectic time for you with work, family & all of us behind you for updates… Thanks so much for such beautiful part…
Joined: 06 February 2012
Joined: 25 August 2012
Joined: 06 February 2012
Joined: 05 March 2013
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