And Love Blossomed

Part – 1

Ayesha sat in her room, toying with the idea, whether she should persist and ask. Ever since she’s seen the videos and pictures, it always crossed her mind, to probe more. All of which lead to googling the name and see what all news can be scooped out. It all started two weeks back when accidentally she came across an Orkut profile, and just out of curiosity started digging into the profile. The guy had reached his limit of friends on the profile, which looked funny. The videos section, lead to the profile owners’ private-not so private video. The guy, Samanvay Sinha, turned out to be a singer, and the song sounded refreshing and fabulous. Two weeks was enough of a time period to find about Samanvay, his biography, photos, personal details, education, career line up, and girl friends. All seemed so perfect, a 26 year old, with good academics background, an engineer turned artist, a respectable job quit to pursue own ambitions, good looking, and a girl friend agreed to, in one of the articles she found on net.

Last three days went in doing a write-up about how she’d say it all discreet and subtle in a scrap to Samanvay; and then scrapping off the idea, feeling the absurdity involved in it. A person with so many fans, would he even bother to give it a look, and what if she’s wrong; would end being mocked at and a subject for laughter from whosoever read it.

Ayesha couldn’t hold it any longer, and decided that today be it the day, mockery or revelation, she’d just do it. While typing the verse she had decided, she could feel her heart thumping so loud. Even in the darkness and silence of the house resting through the night, she could visualize sharp bright red and white flashes of some energy in front of her eyes. Ayesha felt her stomach knot with whatever was just beginning to happen. She kept persuading herself, telling it’s just a scrap in an ocean of others. On completing it, she posted the scrap; telling herself nothing can be done now, what’s done is done. She gave a long disdain look at herself in the mirror and quickly clenched the big pink diary against her face and cried the night away, till tears refused to soak her pillow any longer.

It was pretty much a late rising for Ayesha on 11th October 2008. She pulled on her quilt and lay for another thirty minutes past 10:00 AM. She still felt weary from previous night, but had to make calls to her boss and update him about the gone week’s progress in the department in his absence. Post lunch hours, she decided to spend the day drowned in the songs by the new sensation Samanvay Sinha. She was alone in the house as she refused to go to some acquaintances marriage along with the extended family she resided with, in the Malik Villa. As the songs began to fill her head, she set the keys to the lock that guarded her precious moments of her life, in the big pink diary. Quickly flipping the pages, she read aloud what was transcribed on the page.

“Akdam tikdam jhakdam
Aankh kholke bhaagna
Main chupi hongi dur, bahut dur
Lekin mujhe khojna tumhara kaam
Girre to mat rona
Bas mera naam le lena
Half time karke
Phir se start karenge”
She felt disgusted immediately, and kept talking aloud. ‘So what makes you think Samanvay is ever going o respond to such idiosyncrasies posted by a frenzied fan?’ ‘A message which has no heads or tails and would mean nothing is under the scanner to be comprehended. Great work Ayesha!!! Pat your back!’ ‘Wow now you can monitor a series of such messages on his profile for a very long, long time!!’

Her useless ramble and the instinct to delete the scrap, was interrupted by a phone call from her boss, who was keen to understand the status of the advertising campaign designed for their Mumbai client.

Part – 2

18th October 2008, Ayesha was giving last minute updates to her clients in Mumbai, working from home. The brief times when the client would call for a break of 30 minutes every 3 hours, for breaks and discussions with their superiors, Ayesha would get lost in the ravaging jungle of thoughts she’s been having since messaging Samanvay, the new sensational singer in the country. She just didn’t get the opportunity to check on Orkut since her last login on 15th October, a Wednesday, with no activity at her page disappointing her and leaving her heart sink. Around 11:00 PM she wrapped up her work, had quick meals with Mom, who waited till she was done, kissed her good night; and headed straight to bed. A ‘just in case’ thought crossed her mind, and she opened Orkut with a sigh and no expectations. She clicked on her scrapbook and went to fetch water. After settling back on the bed, she glanced at the screen of her laptop removing her screensaver.

In the pitch darkness the only light that came was from the laptop screen tuned to the lower light displays. All Ayesha could hear was the fan of her system, and the loud flow of blood through her veins from the ear to the heart, heart to the hands, her left back till the very end of her left thigh. Ayesha suddenly required an inhaler, despite being non-asthmatic. Was she hallucinating, coz of too much of brain activity with the client? Or has she over read and over done over Samanvay Sinha?

Ayesha couldn’t believe her eyes, and slowly read what was messaged back to her. She suddenly wanted to scream in joy, wanted to throw things out of her table on the floor, wanted to just let out the stored energy. She read, and reread umpteen number of times. She picked her pink diary and flipped the pages back to where from she wrote that message. The next half was exactly what it had to be.

“Arre ghoos moos phoos
Meri aankhe khuli rehti hain hamesha
Tujhe main nahin khojta
Itni buri rhyming karti hain
Main jab bhi gaata hoon
Taali bhi nahin bajati
Tera naam leke kya karoon
Full time deta hoon
Gayab ho ja”

A sense of Deja-vu was filling her from inside, and then a new scrap showed, which read, “Saman se mili Ayes”. Ayesha could hear herself say ‘Oh My God, he’s online!!!’, and didn’t know what to do next. She waited for 5 minutes, thereafter surrendering to the idea of replying. She went back to his profile and saw he had deleted her previous scrap, and she was delighted. She wrote, “Aur poora hua Samanvay”. Immediately returning back to her page, and closed her eyes, as if meditating, for close to 10 minutes; but it seemed forever to her. Refreshing the page, a new message, a mobile phone number rested with no text to precede or follow.

She grabbed her phone, and typed the numbers, but took another lifetime to press the dial. With the ring she just couldn’t control her contentment, suddenly she felt like she was a 10 year old again, jumping and crying in joy as she played in the park with a friend. The mobile kept ringing the other end, with no heed to be received. The moments beginning to get tense and frightening. She cut the call, fighting back the tears and wondering whether she’s been fooled around and poked fun at. But how was it possible, how could ‘The Samanvay Sinha’ write that text. It all started confusing her, when her phone started vibrating, and she was getting a call from a new number. She checked and found it’s the number provided by him, and her mind started playing games, asking her to reason out. She gave up the fight and received the call. Silence prevailed, and she kept listening hard to notice any sound if at all. There was heavy breathing both ends, she thought she would die out of curiosity and paralysis of thought.

“Meri billi aakhon waali, pyari si Ayes”, said the voice from the other end. She couldn’t believe what she just heard, and heard herself crying, “Saman!!” They ended up crying together, uttering “Ayesha” and “Saman” in brief intervals.

Part – 3

Samanvay was at Vaibhav’s house for a night stay. All 5 band members of his band decided to call it a night at Vaibhav’s place, to discuss about the programming of their new album. It was nearly midnight and the group members were busy catching up with personal lives on the internet, when they heard a crash. They looked around to see Samanvay sitting in a slumber holding his head, and his mouse dangling from the other end of the table touching the ground. Tushar, the drummer of the band, rushed towards Sam, as the called him. He signalled the rest of the 3 to join in, and now Samanvay was crowded by Vaibhav and Raman, the guitarists, Mohit, the keyboard player. They saw streams of tears shining on his cheek. They shook him, and when he let go off his cradled head in his hands, he was still crying soundless. He just hugged Tushar, and said “She found me!” The guys didn’t know whether to be happy or sceptical and annoyed about the revelation. Raman instantaneously asked aloud, “Who’s she? Is anybody stalking you? Some fan acting weird?” eyeing the orkut page open on the desktop. Samanvay shook his head and replied, “My prayers have been answered, my life is back”.

All chorused and asked, “What are you talking about?” to which he replied “She found me!” It sounded confusing, but before anybody could probe further, Sam’s mobile started ringing. He didn’t answer it for long, thinking how he’d talk and would they still be able to relate. In the process he missed the call, and had to answer the quizzical faces of his band members. “It’s her, I just gave my number on orkut. I need to talk to her now”. He didn’t stay long enough to listen to “On Orkut???????” and headed to the balcony, settling himself against the walls, overlooking the Marine Drive at the 9th floor of the building. He felt safe with the fact, nobody here could see or hear him crying and going through the tumultuous brain activity, and seeing him weaken before a girl on the other line.

The world seemed to have paused, they felt like going back in the time machine, where everything was so beautiful and they were together. And today they were together again, and beginning to get their souls intertwined. The ecstasy was taking over them, for it was some 10 minutes and all they could utter were names.

Samanvay asked Ayesha, “Where have you been all these years? You never returned after that day!” Ayesha knew how difficult it would be to answer to that. She just closed her eyes and muttered, “But I found you again, and am so happy for that”. The words just didn’t make to the end of the line, all what poured were emotions and feelings. He said “life wasn’t the same since that day; I missed every moment without you around!” She said “I promise I won’t leave again!”

The night seemed so long that day, and they talked so less. Samanvay started laughing shortly later, and said, “Well you know I sing, but I don’t know anything about you, what you do these days?” Ayesha managed a smile and filled him in about her work as a marketing executive in one of the companies in Delhi. Then about what she did after school, her graduation. What are her parents doing now and their extended Malik family. After finishing her story she waited for him to begin his, though she read all she could after googling him. He said “Am like an open book, the whole world knows about what I did after school, and graduation.” She smiled and said “Yes the internet proved to be pretty resourceful in gathering details about him, and the innumerable pictures of his.” She admitted googling his name and the in depth research she indulged in before trying to be suicidal, messaging a strange verse from childhood years on his Orkut profile. He too admitted if it had not been that verse, he’d never recognize her. The so many times he would bump into some ‘Ayesha’ he would get hopeful, but be disappointed soon. Destiny had it in this one time!

Part – 4

The weeks and months that followed after the rejuvenating reunion, every night was spent together when each pulled out hidden chapters of their lives and moments, without each other, and what made them crave even more. The ways they created an imaginary replica of each other to survive those painful years. Those letters he wrote, not knowing where to address to; and that pink diary of hers which was christened as ‘My Saman’ by her. He spoke about his music and the salvation that it brought along to his soul. He talked about so many songs he wrote for her, and how one of the hit numbers of his second album was in her remembrance. He talked about his band members, his new friends and the old ones he’s in touch with. She reciprocated about the same line of thought. They spoke about their interests and hobbies and career progression.

One day Ayesha felt she just had to ask, so she fidgeted a little and blurted “Saman! You know after all these years I feel I am living again. And the idea of you being with me makes me smile at the world today. I feel like all the pain just evaporates when we are together. I know what this is turning into, a path where from we cannot return. And if God forsake anything happened again, I would be devastated.” Ayesha bit her lips and reluctantly continued “Saman! You do have a girl friend right? I read in one of the articles on the internet. Are we being fair to her? Doesn’t this sound like the beginning of an ugly ending?” Samanvay was silent for long and said “Ayes, do you remember Chaya? We used to call her Cha! The girl with too many poodles!” Ayesha replied with a snort “Yes how I hated her for winning those basketball matches at school always. How she used to bug me, when I wouldn’t listen to her poetic masterpieces. Cha poo Cha” Samanvay and Ayesha started laughing after she concluded her comment.

“Ayes, if it wouldn’t have been for the Gupta’s, everything would have been different today. In the crossfire between elderly Gupta’s, Sinha’s and Malik’s; we got caught in between. All the fights and scuffles, that we had nothing to do with, tore us apart! And nobody ever told what actually transpired, causing such havoc among families grown up together for three generations. That very day 10 years back, I can never forget, our families were at war on the streets of Sher-e-Punjab. Not one sane person could stop the blazing of ageless friendship and the nurturing relationships. We were asked to keep out of everything, coz we were kids, but that night I realized; things wouldn’t be the same again. When I saw you walk away with your parents, I for once believed we could still meet. And the days that followed, I went every evening to Bejanwala’s juice center; hoping you would be there too. I never saw you after that! The night of a June summery month, I rushed to your apartment, with Chaya on receiving the news; the Malik’s are leaving Mumbai for good. Only to find, the baggage was all gone, and so was the family. I couldn’t just believe how you went off, without promising you’d be back”, continued Samanvay.

After a minutes silence, Samanvay began, “Ayes, I cried the night to Chaya and kept telling her, how I’ve loved you every day and every night. How we fought for small things all those years we grew together. How I never took you sister like, while I went camping all around calling everybody sisters. How I loved the smell of your hair, and would run to catch a seat next to you in the classes. How I would always end up being in the opponent team to yours, at basketball, so that I could do a one-to-one with you. How the last pages of my notebooks was filled with your name, and I refused to share my notes with anybody. And love blossomed and filled my heart, pumping in your feel every second.” He choked and couldn’t continue further, letting her know, how much she meant to him.

Part – 5

They were crying together, like they smiled and laughed together. Samanvay told Ayesha that how in the days after she became absent from his life, he found comfort in Chaya. And how Chaya made it a point to never leave him even for a day, but the nights were always consumed in Ayesha’s thoughts and memories; he couldn’t dissolve in his grief. He tried his best to lead a happy and content life before his parents, but deep down he missed his life, coz his life was somewhere in Delhi unaware of his condition. So many times he wondered whether she loved him as much as he loved her. One fine day when he couldn’t bear the emptiness, he decided to make his career as a song writer, as writing felt like redemption. Samanvay said “I started my journey to become a song writer, ended up being a singer. What’s strange is the songs that were my pain, and written in remembrance of you, turned to be selling like hot cakes. And I became a rock star!”

“In all these years one pillar of strength I’ve always had along with me, has been Chaya. She helps me with my finances, as now officially she’s my financial advisor. One of the days when she was back in Mumbai, from London, we decided to hit some place for some time together. We were spotted together, and tagged by some over the board fan, who asked me whether I am seeing her. After a brief pause, Chaya confirmed that we were together”, stated Samanvay. Before Ayesha could acknowledge or even respond, Samanvay was quick to add on “After the fan left, Chaya looked at the bewildered me, and said, Sam till the day you meet up Ayesha again, you can safely go round telling people you have a girl friend! So nobody will bother you or worry you unnecessarily. And when Ayesha is back, all three of us can be together like in school.”

Ayesha managed a weak smile and mumbled “So Chaya is your girlfriend?” Samanvay continued, “Not anymore, she got to hear from my end, about my life being back. She wishes to see you when she’s in India next. And I too now yearn to meet you and see you. It’s been a decade, since I last gave my life a good look.”

The following months weren’t easy for Ayesha and Samanvay, coping with the all new love, stronger and more beautiful than when it began. The fears they shared upon the reaction they would get from their estranged families. One morning, in the month of March, the New Year had already set in, and the couple were looking forward to a change; Samanvay was woken up by a message in the early hours. It read “Saman, I am coming to Mumbai for 3 days, for a clients meeting. I will be in Mumbai, today evening. I will be at Bejanwala’s juice center at Andheri, if it still exists, around 7:00 pm. Love Ayes.” Samanvay was wide awake, and didn’t know what to do first, jump around or call up Chaya, or just close his eyes and feel the moment. He decided to pack his bag with those letters he wrote to her; and left for Chaya’s place after lunch.

Ayesha couldn’t contain her excitement, and her face glowed more than ever, with the thought of being with her love. Even the fear of being reprimanded by families, wasn’t anywhere close to keep her, from looking forward. The day of 13th March 2009, seemed to be the longest in her life. She’s never before experienced the knot in the stomach as fierce as it was today, or as it was when she left for Delhi 10 years back.

Ayesha reached Bejanwala’s juice center early, after receiving proper directions from her client’s office. She saw the center deserted and was wondering whether she was at the right place. She heard someone call her name in an unsure way. She turned around to see a woman who looked her age, and she herself being unsure, asked “Chaya?” Chaya laughed and hugged Ayesha, and commented “Hey cat eyes, you still look the same; those big green eyes, and a small nose, I could always pull you out from a crowd of thousands! You know how much I’ve waited to see you again. I am so happy for Sam, and you.” Chaya offered to get back to her place, as the center starts crowding post 7:30 pm; and with the high drama that would follow when Sam and you set eyes on each other, the crowd could go ballistic!! Ayesha gave a coy smile, and they headed towards Chaya’s house.

Part – 6

The continuous pacing across the hallway at Chaya’s place instantaneously halted when a car came and shrieked to a stop. Samanvay stood transfixed at the spot, and waited for the ladies to come in. Chaya walked in first, and then after a whole of 5 minutes came in Ayesha. She stood at the entrance looking ahead, and got transfixed as well. Suddenly the hallway was filling up with an aura unexplainable. It seemed like eternity engulfing the beings in that room. All motion ceased, and the only sound that came was the beats of the heart, and the flush of blood enter the brain, abyss the pretty faces. Next moment they were in each others embrace. It felt all so magical, to be able to gaze at the power that bound them. Now they weren’t two anymore, but one! Samanvay cradled her head and brushed aside her hair to see her eyes clearly. Ayesha wrapped her arms around his waist. They were speechless, and decided its best to not try; and just let the emotions flow out as in feeling and touch. They had so much to talk about, but felt it could be done later.

They had no idea how long they stood like that, when they were interrupted by someone who shouted, “What do you think you are doing?” It took them a moment to realise their moment was intruded by someone unexpected. They saw Chaya’s face recoiled in horror and looked across the other end to find, Abhishek Sinha standing with astonishment. Samanvay gave a surprised tone “Bhaiya?” Abhishek came towards them with such swiftness, for once Ayesha thought he would strike at them. Ayesha and Samanvay held hands close and tight. It suddenly felt their whole dream world fell shattered. Abhishek clearly seemed disapproving their reunion, and shouted at Samnvay “I always knew you had a thing about this Malik girl, the years you wrote secret things and hid them away, the songs, and the interest to know each Ayesha till a certain point.” The grip of the hands between them tightened. Abhishek looked at Ayesha and said “If you love Samanvay in true senses you have to leave immediately, before I call mom and dad, and your parents come to know too. And if you think you won’t, then you shall be the root cause for any tragedy that happens, like my dad getting a stroke.” Samanvay just couldn’t believe his ears, and shouted back “If you’ve known all these years I’ve waited for her, what makes you think your threats will break us. And what about dad getting strokes and all, nothing of that sort will happen ok! I will talk to them.” Abhishek couldn’t accept the open defiance, and said “Alright if that’s what you want, let me tell you we’ve been suspecting things for long, and they got confirmed this morning when you forgot to delete her message; so now all of Sinha’s know.” Abhishek continued “Well seems your moment is short lived now, mom dad are in the car waiting for my signal to walk in. So what you two can do is enjoy your last moments by doing whatever best you can!”

In came the whole of Sinha’s, and Samanvay tried cajoling them, but none seemed to reciprocate. He tried all ways he could, by reminding the closeness they shared once a decade back. When these tactics didn’t work he spoke about how much he and Ayesha loved each other, and couldn’t stand another heart break. But none of the Sinha’s softened. Chaya tried to persuade as well, and Ayesha was on the verge of begging. Ayesha kept wondering what went so bad 10 years back, that now they have to fight and beg, to keep their love alive. The final blow came when, Mr. Sinha announced that he’s a heart patient and is feeling uncomfortable, if all of this doesn’t end now, he’s worried a stroke may be on the way. It was like choosing between the people who’ve reared you and the girl who is his life, thought Samanvay. Ayesha looked at Samanvay and let go his hand and opened her bag, to fish out her pink diary. She looked at him, tears streaming down her face and said “This is My Saman, I give my life to you today, please take good care of him. And am sorry I couldn’t keep my promises.” Samanvay looked at her in disbelief and the words that were said, made him grip her hand again. Mrs. Sinha saw the extraordinariness in the moment, and addressed to Samanvay and Ayesha “We always knew from the day you were born, there was something about you too beautiful, that kept you close to each other. But bad things happened some years back, which we feel is not important for you to understand. We were aware always, none but the two of you were always the most affected. Nevertheless this is how it is supposed to be. You must let go each other, and start new lives.” Mrs. Sinha looked at Ayesha and continued “You should really go, and none of this would be told to Maliks. Please!”

Samanvay thought he would collapse any moment, he kept thinking about all these years without her, and how happy he was in the past 6 months they were together; and now again for a lifetime she would be gone. He pulled out a parcel from his bag and gave it to her. Just one last time they hugged each other and cried till Abhishek pulled Samanvay towards their end. When she started moving towards the door, she looked back longingly once more, and before she turned; Samanvay declared, this one is for you My Ayes, and he sang,
“I swear to you – I will always be there for you –
There’s nothin I wont do
I promise you – all my life I will live for you – we
Will make it through
Forever – we will be
Together – you and me
Oh n when I hold ya – nothin can compare
With all of my heart – ya know Ill always be – right
There
I believe in us – nothin else could ever mean so much
You’re the one I trust our time has come – we’re not two
People
Now – we are one – ya you’re second to none
Forever – we will be
Together – a family
The more I get to know ya – nothin can compare
With all of my heart – ya know Ill always be – right
There

Forever – we will be
Together – just you and me
The more I get to know ya – the more I really care
With all of my heart – ya know Ill always be…
Ya know I really love ya – ya nothin can compare
For all of my life – ya know Ill always be – right
There”

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