Healing of the hurt souls
"... I would like to Welcome everyone to this grand Annual day program. Hope you all enjoy the performances..." The vice principal concluded his opening speech as the host took over the stage. Finally the most awaited day had come. Two months of continuous hard work and planning of the students was finally going to pay off. All the students were set for the day. The stages had been made up and the preparation was perfect. The students and guests present were whispering and gushing about how beautiful the whole set up was. All the performers were ready and everyone others were involved in their own world. But among all the chaos and excitement, a face was sitting in front of the mirror, lost in her own thoughts, the bitter sweet memory of the past. Her eyes glistening with tears.
"Dad.. How am I looking??" Sharon went in front of her dad backstage and asked him. "Beautiful.. You are looking so beautiful Shar..." Her dad smiled and replied. "And what about the dress??" Sharon asked excitedly. "Hmm.. It's not beautiful you know..." He said, frowning.. "Infact it's extra beautiful..." He smiled and replied. Sharon's frowned face immediately lit up with a smile. "So?? All set to rock??" Sharon's dad asked her. "Yup.. All set.." Sharon smiled and replied. "All the best Shar.. And I'm so proud of you.." He patted her head and blessed her. "Aww.. I love you dad.." Sharon said and hugged him.
"I love you dad..." Sharon whispered. Her eyes were glittering. It was the first annual day after her dad had passed away and it felt incomplete. Never had Sharon missed him that much as she missed him today. All his praises for her dance, his teasing, the blessings and best wishes, annual day felt incomplete without them. Even the introductory speech. Not that the vice principal had given some bad speech, but without her dad saying those last lines, Sharon felt that emptiness. "I want you back.." Sharon whispered and let few drops of tears flow. Then she quickly wiped them and continued staring at the mirror blankly. Swayam was passing through the room when, he noticed a familiar reflection in the mirror. Without even thinking even for a second, Swayam went and kept his hands on Sharon's shoulder. "Hey.. What happened??" He softly asked. "Don't you miss your mom??" Sharon suddenly asked, taking Swayam aback. "Hmmm..." Swayam did like thinking and took the chair beside Sharon. "No I actually don't you know.. Because, I know, though she is not there to wish me or hug me or pat me, but her blessings and her wishes are always with me..." Swayam tried to maintain a smile and replied. "But yaa.. I do miss my dad you know.. I had missed him throughout my life.. He never attended any of my performances, did not even once visit my set during my show. He is there, I know he loves me, but he never ever shows me.. A you know what, that's the worse part. When you have no one and you get ignored, it's actually ok, but when you have someone, whom you know loves you, but still they ignore you, that's the saddest thing.." Swayam trailed off, smiling a sad smile. "Hmm.. Why is your dad actually against dancing??" Sharon asked, trying to divert both their minds. "He simply does not like it. He thinks it's not a career option... He wanted me to work at our industries, after finishing college of course, but I joined dancing, and then I some how acted as well, and that too beside my college, that's why.. So basically, he is not against dancing, he is against me choosing dancing as my career..." Swayam said, trying to lighten the situation. "Hmm.. I see.." Sharon said thoughtfully. "If you don't mind Shar, What exactly is between Avantika ma'am and you??" Swayam asked, seriously. "She hates me and I hate her... It's as simple as that.." Sharon said, smiling sarcastically. "Woh toh dikhta hai.. I had meant to say why??" Swayam again asked, sensing that Sharon was comfortable talking about it. "Because, my dad, he kept all the property in my name. And, Avantika had actually wanted all of them. So.. Because of that, she started hating me, and due to she hating me, I too started hating her.." Sharon chuckled lightly and replied, flashing her diva attitude. "Tum na.. You are.. Completely crazy you know.. I mean.. "She started hating me and due to she hating me, I too started hating her.." Like seriously??" Swayam said, mimicking Sharon. "Swayam??" Sharon Sharon asked slowly. "Hmm?" "Are you making fun of me??" She asked, suspiciously. "Actually yes.." Swayam smiled sheepishly and replied. "You.. You stupid guy.. How dare you make fun of me huh??" Sharon asked in a demanding tone, hitting Swayam with her fists, jokingly. "Arre..." Swayam started, but chose to trail off. "Anyways Sharon, so, all set now??" He asked smiling. "Yup.." Sharon replied. Sharon had felt much lighter and better after talking to Swayam. "Waise Swayam... Wobble heads collection.. Isn't that quite weird?? Like, I have seen people collecting coins, cards and all those stuffs.. But wobble heads.. Thoda different nahi hai?" Sharon asked out of blue. "Hmm.. You know Shar, as you said, coins, cards e.t.c. Toh sab log collect karte hai.. But wobble heads... No one.. That's what makes me.. Swayam na?? And anyways, who wants to be predictable, being predictable is too boring.." Swayam smirked and said. "Ok.. Enough of talking now.. I guess it's time for our performance.. Bahar chalte hai.." Swayam said and forwarded his hand to Sharon, instead, she stood up, and once again pecked Swayam's right cheek quickly and started walking as if she did not do anything, there, Swayam was nearly in the verge of fainting due to the shock. "Swayam.. We'll be late..." Sharon went back to Swayam, held his hand and literally dragged Swayam out of the makeup room. Through half way, Swayam finally got his senses back, and he realized that Sharon was still holding his hands. "Shar.. What the hell was that??" Swayam asked, whispering as softly as possible. "Who wants to be predictable, predictable is so boring..." Sharon said, mimicking Swayam and still holding his hands, she pulled him upto the stage. "Now.. The upcoming dance performance is quite a special and probably the most awaited one of the evening.. Yes guys, it's none other than Sharon Rai Prakash and Swayam Shekhawat our AGS and GS, and the college dance team captains, on the stage now to fill your hearts with a beautiful duet.. A round of applause for them guys.." The host announced. Both Sharon and Swayam wished each other and even the whole gang came and wished them both. As Swayam and Sharon stepped into the stage, the whole crowd burst out into cheers and applause.
The song started and so did them. Their steps and heart beat, both synced. The song they were dancing was slow and emotional, yet romantic. It was a Sharon-Swayam duet after all. The world vanished for them, all that left was them, the stage, music and their steps. Swayam slowly lifted Sharon by her arms and twirled her. She slowly came down and Swayam did a perfect cartwheel. Their dance was so ethereal and beautiful, the whole auditorium went silent. The audiences were gasping at each and every lifts and turns. Only low whispering of appraisals could be heard. The passion, the respect, the love both of them had for dance, and well, each other could be seen clearly through the dance. Only that few could understand the latter. Both of them, waltzed through the stage, spreading pure magic over the audience and their hearts. They danced like it was the last time they were dancing together, as if if was heir last chance to see each other, be with each other. In short, they both danced like the boss of dance they were.
"...Alvida..." As the song ended, Swayam felt a sudden panic grow inside him. His breath started growing irregular and he slowly started gasping. The crowd burst out into cheers and Swayam did not wait even for a moment. He walked out of the stage quickly and ran towards the changing room. By the time he reached the room, he was already short of breathe. Swayam was struggling to breathe. He tried calming himself down but all in vain. He could not find his pump and each second was growing more harder for him. "Swayam??" He heard a voice at distance. And he felt someone running towards him. "Swayam??" It was Sharon. Seeing Swayam rushing out of the stage like that, Sharon had got worried and she too had followed him. Without wasting a second, Sharon started searching the room frantically. There, Swayam was coughing uncontrollably. After nearly giving up, Sharon saw a small white object lying beneath the chair. It was Swayam's pump. She grabbed it, shook the medicine and handed the pump to Swayam. He literally snatched the pump held Sharon's hand tight with his free hand. After nearly four pumps of the inhaler, Swayam's breathe was finally steady and clam. His hold on Sharon's hand loosened and Swayam finally spoke. "Thank you so much Sharon..." He smiled lightly and said. "Don't you dare speak anything... Just shut up... I can literally hear your heart beat right now.. Medicine acche se nahi rakh sakte the?? Idiot..." Sharon hissed. "Oho.. Then you too shut up.. Main bhi aap ka heart beat yaha tak sun raha hu..." Swayam replied trying to speak in sudh hindi.
There was silence all over the room when suddenly both of them burst out laughing. Sharon slowly hugged Swayam, well, in a friendly way.. ;) As soon as they broke off, they could hear foot steps coming towards them. "Sharon-Swayam.. Kya phada hai yaar tum dono ne.." "Awesome job guys.." "The audiences are still clapping.." "You guys nailed it..." "Excellent job guys.." The gang burst out into chatter of praises. Only Simmi Taani and Kriya had guessed what must have happened. "Swayam...You all right na??" Kriya asked. "Yaa.. I'm perfectly fine..." Swayam replied, not wanting the gang to know about his asthma. "Hmm.. So guys.. Group performance after 30 mins.. Let's meet here after 15 mins and we can get ready.. Ok??" Simmi announced and asked. "Yaa cool.." Everyone murmured and left, except Simmi Sharon and Swayam. "Umm.. Guys.." The three of them heard a voice. They turned back and saw Mrs. D'souza, their economics teacher standing holding her little daughter. "Ok.. First things first, Sharon-Swayam.. You guys rock.. Excellent..." She smiled and said. Mrs.D'souza was everyone's favorite. She was friendly and behaved like friend to the students. She was young too. And Sharon Swayam and Simmi were her best students anyway. "Thank you ma'am..." Both Sharon and Swayam said in unison. "Umm.. Actually I had a small request.." Mrs. D'souza started. "Anything for you ma'am.." Swayam said in a gentlemanly fashion. "Well then.. Can you take care of Myra for few mins.. I won't take more than ten mins.." She said pointing toward the child. "Yaa.. Sure ma'am.. We'll take care of her..." Sharon smiled and took the child in her arms. As soon as Mrs. D'souza left, Sharon started cooing to the child. She was laughing and playing with her, the little Myra too enjoying with her. Within a snap, Sharon turned into a small child, tickling and giggling along with Myra. Swayam was very closely observing her. The way she smiled, the way she laughed, the way she handled the little girl. Her child like innocence. And Simmi was observing Swayam. The way he looked at Sharon, the way his lips curved into a light smile. Simmi pulled Swayam slowly backwards. "You love her na...??" She asked whispering as softly as possible. Swayam was taken aback. But there was no point hiding it from Simmi. Even if he would deny it, Swayam knew Simmi would find out the truth anyhow so he decided to agree with her. "Hmm.." He turned towards Simmi and smiled shyly. "Aww.. Look at you.. You are blushing..." Simmi wishpered bit loudly, but only Swayam heard it, as Sharon was too busy with Myra, even to notice that Simmi and Swayam were also present in the room. "Shh.. Pata chal gaya na.. Now, don't make any sound..." Swayam hushed Simmi. "Ok..ok.. I'm leaving... And mujhe pata hai you got attack.. Take care.. Group act mein phadna hai..." Simmi chuckled and as she was about to leave, she turned back. "You two look beautiful together.." She smiled and whispered. Swayam lightly smiled. He watched Simmi's retreating figure, turned around to see Sharon still playing with the child and sighed. Keeping in mind all that he had to suffer, however, he knew he was lucky. Swayam slowly moved towards Sharon and kneeled beside her. "She's so cute na??" Sharon asked chirpily. "Hmm.. Can I hold her??" Swayam asked. "Yup.. Here.." Sharon handed the girl to Swayam. She was around one year old and could only speak short words. Little Myra's favorite word was "Choco.." Well, "chocolate" was way too hard for her. As soon as Swayam held the baby, she started giggling. Swayam was softly tickling the baby, smiling and cooing to her. The next thing Swayam did, made both Sharon and baby Myra burst into fits of laughter. He took his tongue out and with his free hand, pulled his nose upwards. He was making faces. Actually funny faces. "Arre.. Meri baby itni has kyu rahi hai??" Mrs. D'Souza entered and even she started laughing seeing Swayam's face. She knew what had happened with Swayam, and though he joined the college later, Mrs. D'Souza really admired Swayam for his talent and dedication. She was one of those few people apart from Sharon, Simmi Kriya and Taani who did not believe in the mask he had pulled off. Same thing was for Sharon as well. Gautam Rai Prakash was a dear friend of hers. Though much junior than him, he had always treated her like his friend, she also knew how close Sharon was to her dad. Seeing both Sharon and Swayam all laughing and happy, she felt a surge of unknown happiness creep into her. "Umm.. Guys, I think it's time for you people to get ready for your group performance. I'll take Myra.. All the best.." She took the baby and left, giving a knowing smile to both Sharon and Swayam. No sooner had she left, the gang entered and after loads of chattering and chaos, finally everyone started getting ready.
"Mind blowing performance it was, wasn't it.. No wonder they are the official dance team of the college. Once again guys... A round of applause for everyone who performed. Hope you all enjoyed today... Thank you..." The host said and left the stage. The Annual day was finally over. Everyone had changed their dress and as Sharon was passing through one of the corridors, she banged into someone. Luckily both of them didn't fall. Sharon removed her hair strand from her eyes and and who was standing in front of her, made Sharon blink twice. "Sharon Rai Prakash..." The person whispered.