Joined: 10 July 2005
I wrote this ff in like two/three weeks... Just an idea that popped into my head. It's three parts long and dedicated to Iqbal Khan and Pallavi Subhaash as Shiv and Gauri respectively, from Karam Apna Apna. Hope you like it!
"Irony Of Fate"
Desperately, she took the glass upon her lips allowing the clear liquid to soothe her chaotic senses. It was as if she was held captive in the testing grasp of those eyes ever since her arrival.
She stood staring at the woman before her with an understanding smile plastered onto her face when in reality all she could make out was Mrs. Agarwal's lips move to some words beyond her reach. She cursed herself for feeling so, but it was just this strange sensation she could not explain and it made her uncomfortable. Between the half-present nods of the head, her eyes took a side-glance at the figure at the far corner, casually seated at the other side of the lavish bar. A clear liquid also chimed in the glass held in position by his sturdy fingers. He was clad in a crimson dress shirt accompanied by a black trousers and blazer mirroring the depth of a night's sky. The mysterious eyes seemed to be searing through the fragile glass through which a faint reflection of a shade of blush could be seen. Suddenly his head turned slightly, and she felt her eyes dart away from the sinfully intriguing sight.
He had arrived here with the intention of extending a polite "hello" and fulfilling the formalities of a business client not wanting to engage in or having and interest in the social ramblings of people. But upon reaching the premises, his eyes had fell upon a sight that had forever held him imprisoned. Trying to get a grip over himself, he jerked his arm down onto the solid marble of the counter demanding a refill in a mannered fashion. Bringing the drink to his lips, his eyes closed as the cool liquid ran the length of his throat. Breathing a curse, he opened them as the same image haunted him underneath the supposed "safety of closed lids". Turning his gaze back, he again perceived the figure in the near distance. Her sleek body was adorned in a colour he recalled seeing through his own reflection, with a thick streak of black running the edges of what one could call a designer sari. The end of it was perfectly layered in sequence up to her shoulder, allowing the travelling eye a corrupt sight of the relaxed midriff. The mysterious tresses were intricately pulled up into a graceful bun, clasped together by an equally gracefully refined gem. Simple chandelier jewels hung from the oddly appealing stranger's ears, their blackness reflecting the night's age. His eyes trailed her sleek arm arriving at where a simple yet sophisticated ornament encompassed the petite wrist… As a whole, the figure carried an aura of classy delicacy magnetizing his eyes.
Without realizing it, her knuckles had turned a pale white at the sudden pressure being applied as she held the wheel. It was very odd, but she still felt so self-conscious. It was as if those eyes were still here… Somewhere close, taking in her every motion. A chill ran the length of her spine and she fumbled anxiously for the button on her side, while trying to keep her eyes fixated on the road ahead. A deep sigh escaped her lips as the cool breeze hit her face. In a state of hyper-vigilance she continued on, realizing the need to hurry and get under the soothing water of her shower.
As she arrived at a crossroad, she pushed on the breaks. Her eyes darted to both sides. One was the so-called "safe" way, whereas the other one was risky at this time of the night, but appealed in the "short-cut" sense. She looked over to the "safe" passage and realized that taking this course it would take an extra half an hour extra to get home. And then her gaze shifted to the other side… Looking out of her window, she perceived a single moon resting apart some uncertain clouds. Sitting back, she closed her eyes momentarily.
"Kehte hain aisi raathon mein do chahne waale milte hain" (They say that two passionate lovers meet on such nights). She looked over at Kaya whose eyes reflected a dreamy essence and she knew what her little sister had been warmed over… Vivan, her fianc. She smiled affectionately and was genuinely happy for her, but somewhere she felt reminded of the great lacking in her own incomplete life…
Opening her eyes, she shrugged off the paining thoughts and headed forward, cutting a risk.
It had only been minutes while driving and she realized how deserted the area was. As far as her sight could reach, she perceived the dark illuminated only by the guiding light of the moon. She chuckled lightly at the thought. People sought guidance from the stars and here she was, following the moon… What a fate she had received. A shade of deeply embedded pain distorted her usually calm self, and she gripped the wheel tighter determined not to allow the sorrowing thoughts invade her day… Not today.
As she drove along lost in her thoughts, her eyes trailed the road and at some point caught an object in the near distance. Arriving close, she realized it was a car. Burning in curiosity, she hit the breaks and noticed a familiar shade of rose…
Getting out of the car, she first took in the scene with hesitation. The car was fine, and approaching it, she breathed in relief seeing the owner too was fine. However, the person seated in the vehicle had their head aimlessly resting on the wheel. Getting closer, she instantly recognized the face… The stranger… Taking a startled step back, her hand went to where her heart resided. She looked around and whispered a call… But only the silence responded. Now standing before the apparently unconscious person once more, she contemplated her choices. Bound by morals she could not allow herself to drive off with this man stranded in such a condition. Ultimately, she decided to call the police… But then waved off the idea instantly realizing that was one of the last things she could do for her own sake. Frustrated, she crossed her arms over her chest… Biting her lip in agitation… Her eyes grew big at the staggering understanding of the only thing she could do… Take him with her. But… How could she take a mere stranger to her house… with her? What would people think? But then she couldn't endanger his life for herself, and plus she had purposely not acquainted herself with any of her neighbours.
She cursed under her breath as her arm struggled to manage the broad figure. The man blinked… As his arm extended over her shoulder, she felt his warm breath kiss the skin of her other side. Her body tingled at the strangely familiar contact... And trembled at the pleasantness. She turned her head away, avoiding the reek of alcohol from his mouth. After much effort, she finally got him to sit in the passenger seat, and drove into the night…
While continually cursing herself for undertaking this straining responsibility, she somehow managed to get the man to the parking lot of her apartment. As she got out, her eyes went towards the skies… Not a star in sight, nothing but the moon, which seemed to be mocking her pathetic situation. And as if things couldn't get any better, she felt a fine droplet touch her shoulder and snake its way through her covering.
By the time they arrived at her door, the fabric of her sari now desperately clung to her supple skin. She took a glass at her estranged companion whose robust figure bulged beneath the now pitiable crimson shirt. Taking his arm, she carefully rested it upon the side wall and pulled his other arm around her midriff securing it with her own arm, so as to disallow him to tumble over. With her free left hand, she fumbled with the key into the lock nervously. Was it just her, or was the lock being extra stubborn today? Curses… She had become so bitter… and now this… Suddenly the grip on her lower half tightened and her eyes looked to the side, and down where his one arm was now accompanied by the other securing her in his embrace. The nervousness crept into her at more depth now, but adding to it was a bizarre comfort… Rightness. She closed her eyes… The garlands of the most preciously picked flowers… A silky sage garnered in velvety rouge and white pedals… The red veil… She shuddered and opened her eyes once more, immediately turning to face the stranger with determinacy. He looked half conscious now, while the head continued to droop here and there. The face held a roughness to it, but she also perceived a touch of untried softness. Automatically, her hand traced the firm jaw-line as a goofy grin played upon the mysterious lips. His unshaven chin tickled her skin and she felt at some ease. Again, the grip on her lower half tightened as he stifled a fall breaking her insidious thoughts. Taking his arm over her shoulder once more, she led him in… Somehow closing the door behind.
They were welcomed by a mystifying darkness and she stood unmoving for a moment as if deciphering what to do now. With her one hand, she fumbled for a light switch and when failed, let out another curse. Feeling her way with the rather un-free arm, she made her way towards some direction unknown. At perceiving a hard surface hit her knee, she slightly bent down and felt a smooth surface. Carefully, she pulled the man down to a seating position while she stood straightening herself.
Clapping her hands together, she was thankful for the light. It was one of the good investments she had made in life, a lamp which served it's purpose through the sound of her hands pressing against each other. It was rather dim right now and she realized how badly the bulb needed to be replaced, and made a mental note before heading towards the closet.
Caught in mid-step, she felt a force pulling her backwards. Momentarily shocked by the movement, her eyes closed… While the lethal combination of the comforting warmth of her body against another's and the teasing sensation of hot breath on her skin threatened her senses…
Since the time they had been in the car, she had heard the voice murmur something under unstable breath… Now it seemed to be breathing the same… Except she managed to catch some words… abhi… zinda… hoon… toh… jee lene do…
Hesitantly she opened her eyes to an intensity driven gaze challenging the endurance of her senses. A strangely familiar musk engulfed her sanity, threatening to break the threshold of her restraint. For the first time that night, she got a clear look at him… this stranger. Frankly, he was "handsome" in the truest sense of the word. Her eyes trailed the well-defined jaw line, down the unshaven stubble… over the finely dimensioned lips. Her gaze lingered there for a moment as she searched for remnants of her sanity. Quickly, she followed his firm nose towards… the eyes. They were ignited in an uncertain ferocity of a suppressed passion, while a distinct softness filmed the surface… Faintly, she felt something against the back of her head… and a soft rattle of something it the floor. As her soft hairs cascaded down, she felt the trance break. Quickly, she averted her eyes for the sake of survival. What is with this man? He just… uff!
She cursed under her breath once more for being so easily swayed, and that too… by a mere stranger. In an instinctive confidence, she turned back towards where the soul-piercing eyes burnt a hole into her existence. Was he mocking her? A sudden rage gripped her innards… She was trying to help him and… and then her eyes took in the entire situation. She found her arms desperately encompassing his neck, while her body was pressed intensely close to his. It didn't help that their clothes were soaked and urgently clinging to each other… While he continued to flash an enticing smile between an unstable state, his arms took a protective hold behind her back and crossing over her abdomen. She felt a glint of surprise at the firmness of his hold despite the obvious affect of the alcohol. For a pause in time, she let the moment pass… And then wriggled. But he did not budge, nor did his eyes. With much effort and caution she did not let her eyes wander towards his gaze. Struggling became more of a task and she let out a deep breath before preparing to give into the constantly building impatience accompanied by an essence of anger. Doing so, she felt the warmth only increase… But it was not just that… Hesitantly once more, she took a side-glance and felt the flicker of anger subside as the handsome face drifted closer to hers. She shuddered as she realized where the hazy almond eyes were preying… Her lips quivered, and she tried pulling back, but to no avail. As the face appeared but a breath away, she felt her heart race… Mixed with an unexplainable excitement. The murmuring… She shivered as his mouth brushed against her lower lip… jee… lene do…
Much to her relief at that point the grip on her loosened. She watched in awe and exasperation as the sturdy figure melted onto the soft surface of her bed. A moment passed in immobility as her eyes continued to hold the figure in her gaze… Suddenly she gets up, looking away. Frustrated and disgusted with herself, her hand raking through her loose tresses as she attempts to calm her nerves. It had been so long now… so long she had maintained herself. Hid herself from all eyes, the questions… herself. And along comes a stranger and she… She felt the tears threaten as her vision blurred in anger and disappointment. Taking a deep breath she opened her squinted eyes. Goosebumps ran across her body and she desperately rubbed the length of her arms, while her eyes darted every which way. After an endless pause, she turned gently to look at her guest… He was sound asleep…
The shower had felt so good… the water running down her body helped relax her chaotic nerves and tone down her edginess. As she rummaged her wet hair with the towel, her eyes fell upon him again… He had not moved. The only sound in the room was the softness of his breath. Setting the towel at the edge of the bed, she approached him. His shirt had completely soaked through and she realized that at this rate he was bound to get a cold. Tentatively, she bent down… Her fingers cautiously worked on the buttons, as her eyes took his face in their hold, occasionally shifting. As she pulled the clothing apart her eyes fell upon his impressive bulk, searing through the weakness of his undershirt. She closed her eyes quickly for sake of shame… And then nervously re-opened them. He seemed completely unaware. Carefully, she lifted his arm and brought it around her shoulder removing his shirt. All that came from him was an oblivious moan. Finally she managed to pull the damn thing off and threw it aside. Breathing heavily, she calmed herself. And then looked at him. His head was buried in her neck as the firm arm was casually dropped over her shoulder. It was the strangest thing she thought as she carefully pulled away his face… She smiled despite the circumstances. Again, she vigilantly tugged at his undershirt and liberated the material from hugging his figure. Before her mind could betray her again, she dropped the man diligently onto the surface while unknown to her, her hairs tickled his skin. He moaned again, as she froze mid-step, her muscles screaming in pain. Before she could have time to think, she felt herself being pulled down as he made his body comfortable across half of hers. Her chest heaved as she realized what had just happened.
Lifting her head slightly, she saw him cosily snuggled up to the one side of her body, an arm surfacing her petite frame, while his face hid just above her chest. Sighing deeply, she let her head fall back. Curses… With much effort, she pulled out from beneath the broad figure and bitterly removed the man's shoes. Taking the towel in hand, she walked out with not but a pause or look back, while the tears threatened once more…
He stirred in clear irritation as a blinding streak of light hit his face… A moan left his tongue as he squinted his eyes, opening them to a sight he had never imagined even in his dreams. A figure clad in the most pale of satiny blue stood with their back faced to him. In the midst of it all, a gentle breeze meandered through the silky curls extending the length to the mid-back. Curiously, he rubbed his eyes while fixing his position so now he was leaning on his elbow. Behind the mysterious figure lay a breath-taking view of nothing but the sky… As far as he could see… The soft blue beamed back at him.
Calculatedly it seemed, the figure turned and his eyes met with the soft hazel innocence of another pair. Instantly, he recognized them… Had he been in a typical situation, a million questions would have zipped his mind, and they did too… But over-reaching such questions was the sheer presence of this wonder whom his eyes relished. A moment passed in awkward silence and finally his trance was broken. She shifted towards the dresser as her satiny robe floated obediently behind. As she turned back to him he caught glimpse of a hint of exhaustion in her stride and a flicker of guilt arose within him. "Chai?", she asked holding a cup towards him. He remained silent of a moment and then took the cup placing it half-knowingly towards his lips.
Now she walked back over to the window, the eyes searching the skies… He sat up in bed still in a state of awe and surprise. Relief swept over as her calm voice soothed his rigid muscles. "Aap soch rahe honge ke aap yahan kaise?… Ek ajnabee ke saath… " (You're probably wondering how you got here?… And that too with a stranger…) He looked up immediately, as her eyes trailed towards him.
She paused and looked at him. His eyes asked her a million questions and she let out a deep breath before turning her gaze back towards the open skies. In a calm tone she narrated the previous night to him, leaving out the details still haunting her…
At the end, she turned to face him and he looked at her earnestly for a moment. Setting the cup aside, his posture relaxed as the arm casually hung over his forwarded knee. Flashing another enticing smirk, he whispered a "thanks" and apologized in a genuine nature.
She returned his smile with a faint one and proceeded towards the exit of the room when his voice made her stop in mid-step. "Suniye" (Excuse me). Her eyes closed as her lip quivered again, she just wished he would leave. Gathering some unknown confidence, she turned and gave him another subtle smile.
"I'm… Gaurav Khanna… Kya mein aapka naam pooch sakta hoon?" (I'm… Gaurav Khanna… May I ask your name?). The voice… She could swear she had heard it before… Closely… very closely. She had not noticed earlier due to his two-words, but now it lingered in her ears… He seemed to sense her reluctance and shifted slightly… "Shivani Oberoi."
The sound of the pen pierced the unbearable silence as she brought her hands over her face. Stabling her chin with her clasped hands her eyes drifted towards the flying curtains desperately trying to shield out the intensive moonbeams, but all in vain. Letting a sigh escape her tongue, she pushed back into the soft leather of the couch, closing her eyes. She had been sitting here now for over an hour and essentially achieved nothing. "I'm… Gaurav Khanna…" The voice had resonated in her ears since the passed week…
Attempting to get a hold of herself, she got up and wandered towards the small kitchen. As she pulled out the glass, she realized her fingers were trembling. Encasing it in both her hands, she tried sealing out her own doubts and walked towards the refrigerator.
The distinctive sound of glass breaking into shards filled the restless calm of the air, as she turned to face the sudden noise… There was a knock on the door… a reflection of urgency and impatience evident from the tone…
Her eyes looked into nothingness… The lacking in life suddenly seemed weigh her down deeper into the strangely familiar hole. Her head fell back against the pillar and the eyes closed in agony… as it all came back in sequenced flashes. The joyful laughter… the heavenly decorated alter… the resonating mantras… the sacred rounds around the holy fire… the sindoor… the black beads… the room… and most poignantly… the veil… The veil that never had the chance to reveal its treasure… She felt the warm tears run down her cheeks. One would have thought her tear ducts had dried out by now… But the wound was still fresh despite the lapse in time. Slowly, she opened her eyes as her gaze fell upon the shards still cluttered on her kitchen floor… The remnants of a dream… Turning away from the paining sight, she felt her eyes fall upon the figure in the full-length mirror garnishing the pillar across from her…The woman starring back at her seemed suddenly worn by fatigue. Her once vibrant eyes now looked hollow as they sought a wonder never meant to be… The skin that once used to radiate in the darkness even, now paled to a mournful shade… Her gaze fell lower… and her eyes squinted as something caught her attention… Her shoulder… the sleek neck… Imprints of a suppressed passion vibrated across the skin… She looked now towards the direction in which she felt the marks… An overwhelming disgust formed itself on her face as she desperately tried to rub off them off… Tears stung fiercely at her eyes as she vehemently rubbed her hands at the indents. At some point, the realization of her pathetic attempt hit home as she leaned her head back once more… A moment passed in excruciating silence and she finally looked at the disarrayed reflection once more. Diligently, she pulled the veil over her shoulders… and closed her eyes as the faint sound of thunder rolling on the other side of the window seeped in…
Gaurav Khanna sat rigidly at the edge of the soft bed… The luring eyes fogged in shades of confusion… disgust… regret… need… A blank expression allowed only the most penetrating of eyes to view the chaos underlying the bemused state. His hands silently covered the blankness momentarily… As they slid away, one could gather hints of the turmoil through the redness edging the usually ignited eyes… He slithered a hand through the silky layers trying to calm the nerves… but to no avail… What was he thinking?… What had he planned to do with her?… The thoughts screamed out at him… and all that came in response was… I don't know… All he could think was… her. She reigned every aspect of his life since that fateful encounter… Curses…
She sat as a lifeless heap of darkness fallen upon the descending stairs as the gentle breeze dared to breathe in the stillness… The hallow eyes reeked of a loss… a strange longing… a piercing array of questions… He felt the colour drain from his cheeks at the sight. To be the cause of someone's scattering as such… A chill threatened the composure as his feet strode silently towards her… Ceasing before the unaffected figure. A gentle layer of film glossed the man's eyes as he fell on the stair, with not but a look of acknowledgement by his companion. As if to escape the pressurizing guilt, his eyes looked away… searching endlessly for the words… "I… I'm so… rry… Pata nahin… pata nahin mujhe kya hogaya tah… I mean…" (I… I'm so… rry… I don't know… don't know what had gotten into me… I mean…)… In a moment of uncertainty, his eyes fell upon the unmoving figure… A frustrated sigh left his slightly parted lips as he turned his attention back to the floor… His fascinating voice began in a calm tone, taking the figure next to him by surprise as her eyelids momentarily shunned out the world… "Gau… Shiv…ani… Zindagi ki lehr bhi kya ajeeb hoti hai na… Mera matlab… Aksar hum nikalte hain apni tanhayion ko rahat dilaane… aur bheed mein… auron ki aankhon ka veeranapan nazar nahin ata… Bhatakte rehte hain hum banjaron ki tarah… Aur phir kissi din koi miljata hai… " (Gau… Shiv… ani… Life is so strange na… I mean… Often times, we get out to relieve our loneliness… and within a crowd… we fail to recognize the same vacancy in others' eyes… Wander we do like nomads… And then some day, we come across someone…) He shook his head and smiled as if trying to shake off an unforgettable past… But something made him go on as he struggled to contain it all… "… Mein bhi un banjaron ki tarah hoon… Lekin meri kahani tohri alag hai… " (I am like one of such nomads… But my story is slightly different…) The pause was enough for him to capture the now attentive eyes before him, into his gaze. Despite the situation, he couldn't help but smile generously as she stared back at him with a sympathetic expression. Looking away, he continued along the same tone… "Maine toh mehfil mein khud ko hi kho diya…" (I lost myself in the celebrations at my own will…)… She turned away, self-consciously bringing her legs closer to her chest…
A moment passed in silence… abruptly interrupted by her laugh expressing a nerving sarcasm. He looked at her with surprise and awe… "Kya ittefaq hai… " (what a coincidence…) She smiled at him pathetically. "… Mehfil mein doh khoye hue insaan kissi andheri raat mein miljaate hain… " (… Two strangers lost in a crowd meet up on some dark night…) Her eyes lingered on him for a moment… As though looking through the physical, as a soft film began to form on the outskirts… Sensing the sudden weakness that was threatening her composure, she turned away, now probing for something on her open hands… And pulled them out of sight vehemently…
A lump formed in his throat as he looked over at her now… What made him do it, he perhaps could never tell… But there was an odd certainty in his words… "Gauri?…" He noticed how her limbs went loose within that very second… Her already pale face now dried of all expression as she turned to face him… The instantaneous expression of her eyes told him… She knew…
She looked at him blankly… Suddenly she found her mind work through memory lane, as if to confirm the dreaded facts of the scattered shards she had not too long ago attempted to gather.
She shifted nervously on the little space her petite body covered on the large, soft bed… yet there was that strange excitement any woman at this stage in life felt. Her thoughts ran to the previously performed rituals… The soft touch of his skin as he made them bound forever… Despite being the only one in the room, she felt the colour rush to her cheeks… Mrs. Gauri Shiv Kapoor… The name echoed in her thoughts, as her heart ran in anticipation. For all she had ever known, Gauri had forever been Shiv's… He was the only one she had ever thought of… loved. All her childhood dreams… the wishes… everything… She had devoted to him. He had went abroad for studying and come back to find out he was to marry her as per both the families' wish. She had been rather nervous and afraid of his reaction, but was satisfied as Badi Maa assured her he would never do such a thing… Besides, they had been the inseparable childhood buddies… All that had changed was that he had not seen her in five years… and she had not seen him. But still, she was sure… Even if he stood in a crowd, her eyes could pick him apart from all… That was her Shiv… Even if she ever lost touch with his appearance, there was one thing she would never… could never… distance herself from… His voice. She had had the opportunity to talk with him once on the phone a year back… All she had been able to catch due to the joyous conversations behind her however, was her name… The way in which he had taken it upon his lips… It seemed to claim a new aura… As if it had only been meant to come from those mysterious lips… A shiver ran through her body as the recollection of the husky tone… God, a mere thought of his did this to her… She couldn't imagine what would occur when he…
Suddenly her mind wanderings were interrupted by the sound of the door opening. Her eyes darted in every direction under the comfort of the red veil… Finally she closed them… tight. And waited for her heartbeat to return to normal, her muscles to relax… her dream to come to reality… She never knew that the dream was to remain but a figment of her imagination… He sat down and a moment passed in unbearable silence. It was strange, but she had at that point felt a fear of some sorts plague her mind… Without much knowledge of the fact, she had bundled some of the fabric from her dress into a tight ball. Her eyes remained closed feeling his intense gaze pierce through the feeble cover acting as the only barrier between her and life... His warm touch upon her supple skin took her by sweet surprise. As he opened her hand, she felt the crisp texture of paper slide onto it's surface. "Gauri..." her eyes closed again at the potency in his tone... But before the moment sunk in, her senses perceived the distinct indications of his exit...
Was it just her, or did everything seem to numb... Without lifting the veil, she brought the paper before her with shaky hands. Her heart reeked in pain as she read the distantly familiar handwriting... Something stung at the edges of her eyes, as she comprehended the stunning words... Apparently he had not been as keen as her in the idea of their union... He had wanted to be something first... He felt he was just another person... She read the last line over, emphasizing his non-stature… What?… He perhaps may be another person to himself or another… But to her… He had been… everything… The damned "sorry" suddenly enraged her… The tears from her eyes had already soaked through some parts of the paper as she threw it aside disgusted… More at herself than anything… How had she allowed a childhood caricature to become the essence of her existence? Throwing off the dupatta, she allowed it to lifelessly fall upon the floor… as she stared at the etchings on her hand… Suddenly it was as though her knees had turned to rubber… giving way… As her silent shrieks of pain filled the vacancy in the room… her life… and Mrs. Gauri Shiv Kapoor were lost… giving way to… Shivani Oberoi…
The world seemed to all of a sudden narrow as her eyes widened at the horrifying realization… He looked on regretfully as she slowly pushed away from him… Her petite hands fumbled on the floor behind her as she proceeded to get up… Only to fall down as her feet failed to cooperate… He jerked forward to support her… But her extended hand indicated him to remain… He looked at this woman… Fierce tears stung her eyes as she squealed under the pain. Holding anxiously to her ankle, she continued to distance herself from him…
At some estranged moment in time, the implications of his irrevocable action seemed to exaggerate before him as his eyes reflected a mixture of passionate emotions. He stared at her intently as she trembled in anger… frusteration… helplessness… "Ssss…" her pained voice claimed him fully as he approached her once more, only to be revoked. The fragmented words slipped from his lips without warning as he looked at the flow of blood coming from where the glass had met with her hand… "Ga..uri… dard ho…" (Ga…uri… the pain…). Her eyes beamed in fire momentarily, giving way to torturous vulnerability… "… Dard aur mera rishtaa bahut purana ho chukka hai Mr.Kapoor… aur waise bhi… dard ki baatein zakham dene walon se achi nahin lagti." (… Pain and I have a deep bonding Mr.Kapoor… and anyways… talks of pain do not sound convincing from those who give wounds…)… The words throbbed in the silence.
He moved towards her as she struggled to keep her stance… But time had worn her mind and body… He stared at her blankly as her body fell limp in his arms…
Jab tadapta hai kabhi apna koi… Khoon ke aansoon rula de bebasi…
Jee ke phir kya karna mujhko aisi zindagi…
Jisne zakhmon ko marham nahin diye…
Zindagi ne zindagi bhar gam diye…
Jitne bhi mausam diye… Sab nam diye…
Her head throbbed, weighing her down as she slowly opened her eyes to the sight. She sat upright while putting pressure on her arms. As the surroundings came into focus, she stretched a hand towards her head. Awe-struck, she brought the hand to her face as memories of a fateful night clouded her eyes… She looked over to the other side of the bed, where sheets were ravelled so as to indicate a previous occupancy of the space. Her thoughts were interrupted by the gentle knock of the door… the one which had closed off life… "Gauri beta, tu uth gayi… Chal acha hua. Ab tabeeyat kaisi hai teri bacha?" (Gauri dear, you're up… Good. How are you feeling now?). She stared wide-eyed, the only cracked words escaping her lips were, "Ba..di Maa..?" The latter smiled warmly as she softly caressed Gauri's face, planting a gentle kiss on her forehead. Nikhila's eyes lingered on the woman before her, as though memorizing the lapse in time. With watery eyes, Badi Maa ruffled mumbled some words and left. She stared after her blankly, as the door shut behind. Her eyes looked forward once more into nothingness… As though they were deciphering dream from reality.
"Sach hai…" (Its true). She looked up at him starring down at her clad in all but a towel at his lower half. Soft droplets of water lingered luxuriously on his bulk, as he set the towel in han aside. Immediately, her eyes downcast while he smirked at her innocence despite all. A sudden rage gripped her as she faintly recalled their faithful encounter. He seemed to note her anxiety as his hand fell upon hers, which crumpled the satiny sheet. She looked straight into his eyes at his touch, and pulled back vehemently, looking away once again. Her entire body was quivering as she passed through the various stages… anger… frustration… anxiety… helplessness… vulnerability…Struggling against his determined arms, she was equally adamant. She felt his eyes map her in a tone of finality, before protectively coating his arms around her. Her body trembled in fading struggle… and eventually gave way…
Moaning softly, she turned slightly to her side, while reaching for the switch… A flicker of light momentarily blinded her eyes as she picked up the receiver. "He…llo…" she whispered sleepily. Silence… Her eyes were closed, but the expression twitched in knowing and a hint of annoyance. "Shiiiv… aadhi raat ho chuki hai… aur aap do ghanton mein mujhe chaar baar phone kar chuke hain… mujhe neend ahrahi hai aur aap baap beta tang kar rahe ho… kabse laag maar raha hai…" (Shiiiv… It's halfway into the night… and you've called me four times in the passed two hours… I'm sleepy and you two father-son are forever irritating me… he's been kicking since so long). "Gauri… tumhe kaise pata hume beta hoga? Mujhe yakeen hai ke beti hogi… bilkul tumhare jaisi." (Gauri… how do you know it will be a boy? I'm positive it will be a girl, just like you.). She frowned momentarily… and then smiled. "Shiiiv…" she whined again. She could feel him smirking on the other end and let out a defeated sigh. "Acha joh bhi ho, aap dono baap-bacha baatein karo aur mujhe sone do…" (Ok whatever it is, you two talk while I sleep…)
A smile danced on his lips as he quietly entered in the room, closing the door softly behind. His gaze fell upon his unknown wife… and the phone resting upon her stomach. Approaching her, he whispered into his cell, "eh bacha… apni mummy ko Happy Birthday nahin bologe?… Chalo, hum dono ek saath gaate hain…" (Eh baby… Won't you wish your mum Happy Birthday?… Ok, lets both do it together…). Her eyes shot open instantly as his voice resonated musically in the air. As she sat up, he caught the twinkle in her eyes as he laid a small cake on the little table afore. After lighting the candles while singing to her, he approached her. She sat at the edge of the bed, a smile playing on her lips. He kneeled before her, just taking in her innocent face… And then his eyes wandered to where she breathed his name, "Shiiiv…" … Tilting his head slightly, he melted his lips on hers in soft kiss. He could sense her smile fade into an appreciative response. Pulling back, he stood up offering his hand. She looked at him shaking her head, and let her hand sink into his, while the other rested supportively on their love.
"Kya maanga?" (What did you ask for?) his eyes questioned as she forwarded the little piece to his mouth. She paused for a moment… "Ittefaq…" (Coincidence). As he took her in his protective embrace, her thoughts wandered to the passed two years of life… He had never asked her why she had called herself Shivani… And she never asked him for his choice… But it suddenly hit her…
The Irony of Fate… Life had brought her right back to where she had started... The man whom she hated the most, was the one who made her whole… Ye Gauri sirf apne Shiv ki hai…
The End and Beginning
Joined: 10 July 2005
Joined: 19 November 2006
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