Anything For You

Part – 1

“Why do I have to go anyplace? Cannot I just be home, and maybe sleep away the evening?” whined Gauri before her mom. The reply was a ‘No’ which upset Gauri to all limits. So Gauri had to comply with the idea of going out with her cousin and brother-in-law to wherever they decided to hang out. A well deserved change and some fun after college just finished and she decided to head to Mumbai.

The next thing Gauri knew was that her cousin and their big friends circle decided to meet in a pub and enjoy the evening. The thought brought dismay to her face, and she kept wondering how she would kill time; especially when she didn’t particularly appreciate any of her cousins’ friends.

The fun and the twitter that filled the pub every place just added on to the restlessness. Gauri’s thoughts kept meandering towards Shefali who was supposed to be in Mumbai, and they were supposed to spend the weekend together. When she couldn’t help out the boredom setting it, she decided to chit chat around with the pub guys on the counter. And gradually she spoke to those guys and enquired about their lives, profession and how did they land up in such places. At odd times a few guys tried checking her out, but she gave cold stares, which made them leave immediately.

Jatin was busy staring at this girl sitting at the counter, who looked splendid in the pinkish dress she wore with cargo pants and the curls that fell over her shoulder. What appeared more intriguing was that nobody accompanied her, and she was sipping water from Bisleri bottles. People who accompanied Jatin noticed the overt glances he kept giving that end. Jatin managed to coax his friend Sameer, to accompany him till there and help him strike a conversation.

As per the plan, Jatin would somehow begin with something, and signal Sameer to join them, who would be introduced as Rohan. People had suppressed giggles, wondering howcome Sameer succumbed to such misadventures proposed by Jatin.

Jatin approached Gauri and stood next to her asking for a cocktail, and with lots of efforts managed to strike the conversation. Gauri seemed disinterested, but tried being nice as she started getting worked up with the idea of fun getting all tipsy. When Jatin couldn’t go beyond knowing the name, and she’d just finished her Bachelors; he made the signal.

Sameer pretended to ask for another cocktail, while Jatin introduced him to her, as Rohan. Gauri kept staring at the guy, for a while that maybe lasted a minute and extended her hand and said, “Hi, you are Sameer Kothari! I just read that article about you published in last weeks Sunday Magazine”. Jatin didn’t know which direction to look at and he simply walked away, with Sameer following him smiling all the way.

The later part of the day at the pub, some annoying guy came around Gauri trying to get really social. She couldn’t put up with it any longer, and twisted his arm and jerked on his knee; to get him pinned on the floor and shouted to back off. Many were audience to the warning, and Sameer quipped before Jatin, “Among all girls hanging out here, you had to like just this one?”

Part – 2

Being home alone and Shefali not being back to Mumbai as promised, weekend up the sleeve meant hanging around with cousin and her bandwagon of friends. She had to concede to the idea, as it meant an outing anyways. She regretted the decision when she realized the most happening place for her cousin meant a pub. Once again she had no idea how to deal with boredom, when somebody just called her name from some place. She turned around to see Ravi heading towards her way. They were batchmates at the Engineering College at Bangalore she did her Bachelors from. And he proceeded for an MBA at Mumbai. She was pleased to find a familiar face among a sea of strangers. He introduced her to his friends from the institute and they all sat together.

Tara, Ravi’s friend was busy texting a number which read, “You have no idea what goodness I’m gonna do for you. And you need to thank me always for the same!”

The next thing that Gauri knew was that the guy who came and sat across, was the one who tried talking to her, introduced his friend wrong and left immediately without a word! A couple of his friends followed as well, including Sameer. And well Jatin would need to be thankful to Tara always!

It was an evening that turned out to be good. Meeting Ravi, and talking to his friends, and the weird guy trying to make a conversation. And being caught staring at Gauri. Around 8 p.m. she left the pub, glad to head home and do what she loved the most. Her aunt’s place was to be her home as long as she worked there, and her first love had to be there. And she was pleased to return to the one hour session with the Chancellor Standard 5 piece drum-set that made her the drummer of the college band ‘Dhwani’ at Bangalore.

It was an amazing feeling to get to the house that has been her destination for 22 years, when summer holidays came knocking in school/college. That was like an added advantage of why she readily accepted her relocation to Mumbai in campus placements. An aunt’s place close by to her office and grand parents house to chill out on weekends. And today almost 2 weeks after landing in Mumbai, and the cousins gone away; Gauri felt good being at her grandparents place. She decided to go for a long evening stroll and reminiscence those years playing around with colony friends, catching cats and loving the fragrance of the place. Just when she was thinking about those fun games she played with Khushi, a girl who lived in the opposite building; who eventually became an athlete; she realized somebody come running behind her. She turned her back to face the person in defense. “Hey Gauri right?” said Sameer Kothari. He added in quick succession, that he was hanging around with some friends, when he saw her pass the colony closeby and decided to drop a greeting. Gauri smiled and exchanged greetings, when Sameer asked, whether he could walk with her if she were ok. She agreed, and they started walking not knowing what to talk. Sameer broke the silence asking her about her opinion about his music. She said it was good, and the band numbers were wonderful.  A large part of their talk drifted towards Sameer’s band called ‘Phoenix’, and the way he has been rocking around the Engineering colleges and creating a niche for himself. It was great for Gauri to associate with his ambitions about his music, although she kept it to herself about her being a drummer and musically connected too!

Gauri’s 30 minutes thought of stroll, turned out to be 2 hours. And it was nearing 7 in the evening, when she dropped Sameer to the by-lane that lead to his cousins’ house where he was on a stay for 2 days. She waved a good night, and started walking towards the road that lead back home. She was hardly some 50 meters, when some girls went by running around and pushing her hard. As she managed to keep balance, and turned around to see where the rush headed; it took around 2 minutes to realize the sticky situation. There were about 8 girls surrounding a guy, and he tried getting back and avoiding any confrontation. Gauri edged closer and realized Sameer was trying hard to be nice to the female fans that got excited seeing him. That look on his face and the eyes that showed shuddering helplessness. The next thing Gauri knew was she somehow managed to wiggle through the girls, and stood right in between Sameer and the fans. She kept persuading the girls to move away, some eventually did, when she raised her voice to a threatening pitch. Some still persisted, and out of sheer anger she just turned around facing Sameer and pushed him hard enough backwards to break the circle and drag him to a distance. The pure force was strong to deter the fans from persisting, and with the crowd growing on to watch the commotion, when Gauri felt Sameer would be safe; she walked away in a velocity of a pace.

Sameer had to run to catch up with her, and when he was walking with her; all the while Gauri looked away from him. They must have walked for 20 minutes with absolute silence. She reached outside her grand-parents home, and decided to call it a day. So she almost instantaneously said a good night, and walked away, retreating behind those trees that covered the view of the building.

Part – 3

The evening next, she was accompanied by her aunt and mum, to the society shopping place closeby. All the time that her aunt and mum were buying the groceries, she kept checking out the posters stuck at the walls around, and the people that crossed her. A while later she saw her mum talking to a middle aged man, who looked approximately mum’s age. They were laughing around, when her mum signaled her to join them. The man was introduced as Mr. Karmakar, who worked with mum, before she got married. And then Mr. Karmakar called out to 2 guys, one of which seemed familiar. When they grew close, Gauri kept staring at them; wondering about the strangeness. One was Mr. Karmakar’s son, and the other guy was his sister’s son. Before any introductions could be made, the other guy smiled and looked at Gauri, and said “Hi Gauri, how have you been doing today?” He proceeded to address others and said that they’ve met before and infact just had a chat while walking yesterday. The rest of the conversation followed in Marathi, of which Gauri couldn’t understand even one bit. She was always weak at learning new languages, so she simply backed away and started looking around. Sameer came up to her and asked her about her plans for Saturday. She was reluctant to answer that, and looked unsure of what to answer. Without any hint, Sameer turned to her mum, and added that he was a singer of a band, and they are organizing a show for some fund raising. It would be a great if Gauri came as well, and saw the band playing. Gauri tried butting in and refusing the offer; but her mum just nodded stating Gauri would indeed love to. Her protests fell on deaf ears. So it was planned that Sameer would pick her up on Saturday afternoon.

Sameer messaged Jatin in the night, saying he wouldn’t believe about what has been happening from past 2 days. And Jatin could as well get happier and look forward for Saturday. Sameer was getting a set-up fixed, for the two to meet.

Gauri kept protesting all the way, coming up with the idea that how could her mum be sure of the singer, and just allow her to go with him. Her mum replied that she knew Mr. Karmakar all too well, and his sister too. Plus she felt no signs of trouble with her going and attending a band’s performance. Her mum knew she could always protect herself very well, and her love for music was almost a life she couldn’t live without! In the night she called Shefali and updated her with the happenings, and all the while Shefali kept smiling. Shefali promised she’d be back before next weekend, but meanwhile Shefali had a work for Gauri, since the pub that she would go with Sameer was close to Shefali’s place. Gauri had to give an amount of 4000 to one of Shefali’s friend named Rajiv, who would pay the amount as her bills to her landlord.

Saturday afternoon started with a bang, the energetic ‘Phoenix’ rocking the Hard Rock Café, with livewire music. For people who were fond of metal, the place seemed like a heaven. Gauri chewed her cheek almost when the drummer of ‘Phoenix’ began his solo act, followed by Sameer on the electric guitar and the vocals. She almost wanted to get out there on the platform and do the beats. Meeting Sameer’s friends and finding Jatin too was somewhat annoying, yet she was so engrossed at the band’s performance that she largely ignored stray comments here and there. How the 2 hour jamming got over, nobody realized till the last song from ‘Phoenix’s’ album ‘Restructuring’ played! It was time to head to the place; Shefali said Rajiv would come to collect the amount. Sameer offered to take her to the place and she agreed since she wasn’t acquainted with the area.

They were 5 people stuffed in Sameer’s car, including Gauri. They went about chatting all along the way, till Sameer stopped the car some 50 metres from where Rajiv would come. There was a guy standing out there, but to what Shefali had described, the guy didn’t match. Gauri immediately called Shefali, enquiring whether somebody else knew she was coming to handover the money to Rajiv. Shefali refused, though adding towards the end, that Rajiv was in the office when she informed him! Shefali got tensed and asked her what was the matter, and advised not to go over until Rajiv came. Gauri sat there in the car biting her lips for 2 mins, before she asked Sameer to let her wear his Addidas sports shoes. He was taken aback, but since had no clue gave it to her. More surprises were in stock when she removed all the jewellery she was wearing – earrings, rings, and watch and placed it on the cars’ deck. Before she got out of the car, she looked at the surprised faces of Sameer, Jatin, and their two female friends. She coolly added that since this was their area, it would be great if none of them stepped out of the car, no matter what happened. And they wouldn’t receive any calls that were made to her mobile, which she placed next to her jewellery. By the time she turned and started walking towards where the guy stood, the second guy arrived, who looked more like the description.

Ten minutes into the talking, and Gauri kept getting calls from Shefali. Sameer had the instinct to pick it up, nevertheless his female friends reminded him of Gauri’s remark. Ten more minutes, and everybody were wondering what was taking her so long to just handover the 4000, maybe some formalities needed to be done. And that other guy short, little on the heavy side, wheatish and looking like a junkie kept approaching Rajiv and Gauri; who kept ignoring him. He went from the left and from the right and left again; only to be ignored. Meanwhile Gauri’s phone rang for the 20th time when Sameer decided to receive it, and put it on loud speaker. Shefali in a hurried and anxious tone enquired “Gauri why weren’t you picking?” when she was interrupted by Sameer stating that Gauri left the phone behind. To which Shefali questioned in half belief “What do you mean? Who are you? Sameer? Where did she go? Is that other guy also there? How long has it been?” With so many questions his way, he reciprocated saying “Yes I am Sameer, and the other guy is also there and she’s been out there for almost 20 minutes now”. Sameer and his friends weren’t sure, but they thought they heard a panic in Shefali’s voice and somewhat shaky and tearful when she spoke next in rapid explanation describing the other guy. Before Sameer could confirm her description of the other guy, one of the female friends shrieked and said “Oh Shit!!!” Immediately everybody turned towards the source of the reaction and Sameer cut the call.

Part – 4

Gauri pushed the other guy with so much force that he was thrown out of the pavement they were standing on. She then rushed to pull his shirt and dragged him to a considerable distance. When he tried resisting she kicked him with all the energy she had. He tried covering his face when she dragged him further down the road and started screaming at him, and kicking hard at him. People started gathering, but none tried stopping her; coz she started using all her self-defence lessons.

Shocked and stunned back in the car nobody knew how to react. It all just happened in seconds. There that other guy came in from the back and said something, which wasn’t ignored this time. Gauri took a sharp turnaround and lunged at him. And then followed the fights. Rajiv also didn’t see it coming, so he was equally shocked, but did nothing to stop her. Jatin raced out of the car, to try to intervene; but all he could do after reaching there was stand at the corner and try talking to her. The rest of them back in the car, kept wondering why wasn’t Jatin getting in between and doing diplomatic talks. Sameer had no option, but get out and do something. He asked Shreya one of his female friends to give her floaters to him, as he was shoeless at the moment. He rushed to the spot, stared at Jatin and held Gauri from behind. The next thing he knew was get an elbow in the stomach. She refused to let go off the other guy, and kept bludgeoning him with blows and kicks. With whatever she kept yelling at the other guy, it was pretty sure that the guy in some point of life at office had misbehaved with Shefali, which left her nervous for a couple of days. The reason behind the breakdown reached Gauri’s ears, and she swore that very day that whenever she would get the opportunity; she would kill him! Things were getting out of control when Sameer came all the way around her pushed her a little behind and stood between the other guy and her. For a moment Gauri was dazzled and kept looking back and forth between him and the car. Sameer chanced upon her confusion and pushed her farther away from the beaten up guy. She was fuming and looked like a mad bull and jerked her hand of his grasp, took one look around and started walking the road opposite to the beaten guy, eyes lowered down and head turned towards the right side; away from the glances of onlookers. She headed for the car picked up her stuff and her sandals and moved on ahead. Her pace was fast, and Sameer had to run once again to reach her and they walked in silence to wherever Gauri decided to take a turn and head straight. Sameer kept feeling awkward and uneasy like he did the day they walked together after she bailed him out. His thoughts were halted when he realized Gauri stopped walking and was standing near a park, and he had gone some distance ahead.

She broke her silence and looked into Sameers’ face, saying “I know that was a set-up back at the pub – Jatin and I. Hey look, am being nice to you just coz your mum is known to mine and I understand your music. But it would be great if you didn’t try indulging into something like this in future.” Sameer tried avoiding eye contact but somehow gave in and kept staring at her. She didn’t flinch even once and continued “Jatin looks intelligent but we can’t hang around together. He didn’t have the courage to even come closer when I was bludgeoning that jerk out there. He tried playing safe, and if this is how he is; never in his life will be able to tame my outbursts. As in for the afternoon, thank you for inviting me. I loved it! However things turned ugly later, of which you have been a witness.”

Gauri looked away finally and started walking away, turned around once and said “I had asked you not to get out of the car! You should have listened! I like your music, good luck for them!” Before Sameer could respond she flagged an auto and left off for home.

Part – 5

A week later, Gauri was fiddling with some music one late evening, when the door bell rang; and her mom asked her to come out and meet with somebody whose name was lost in between her loud music. She went to the living room, to find Sameer sitting there. He asked for a walk together. She was reluctant yet agreed. They went out together, and she was back home within 30 minutes; as he was spotted by enthusiastic fans and they felt it unsafe to walk more. They hardly spoke, besides her getting a call from Shefali who by then got to know the whole of the details from Rajiv. Shefali was returning on Friday night, and they decided to meet on Saturday morning.

Thursday morning she went to buy things from the store close by, when a guy came from behind and greeted her enthusiastically. She turned towards him, and questioned whether he’s shifted his base to this locality; now that he’s seen so frequently! He smiled looking sideways and said “Maybe this place just attracts me” and stared into her eyes. He walked her back home, and decided to chat with her mom for a while. By then her mom gave her the message that Shefali was expecting her Saturday morning around 10. Sameer added that since he was getting back home, Saturday morning too, maybe he could drop her there. Gauri couldn’t believe why this guy was working so hard to talk to her. And why her mom just kept giving in. She got tired rolling her eyes, and said ok.

Saturday morning they were off to Shefali’s place. Gauri looked fidgety on some occasions and calm and peaceful at others. She looked at Sameer and added that he better stay in the car when they reach. Shefali was already standing out almost on the roads, when the car halted. She didn’t look pleased even for a moment, and the moment Gauri stepped out of the car; Shefali sent a volley of angry words towards her. Sameer couldn’t tell whether Shefali was really too pissed off, or was it affection covered by anger. He decided to go with the former reasoning, after all whatever Gauri did with the other guy wasn’t highly appreciative! It continued for almost 10 minutes, and he wasn’t sure whether he should drive away. He kept wondering why wasn’t Gauri objecting or justifying herself. When Shefali could talk no more and felt like out of words and expression and her eyes started getting teary, Gauri moved towards her, held her hand and looking into her eyes said “Anything For You”. That moment touched Shefali and Sameer turned and drove away, who didn’t know how to deal with the emotion.

Gauri started with her work and the initial days were fun with not much of work, so she used to retreat very frequently to her drums. One of such days she was in her room, beating the rhythms out; when she was so engrossed; she never knew 3 people entered the room and were watching her perform. She might have drummed almost endlessly if she hadn’t seen an image of a person on the window. She looked around and froze, to find her aunt and Sameer standing there with some third guy, presumably Sameer’s friend. She gulped hard and felt like she’s just been discovered doing something nobody needed to know! When her aunt left the room, Sameer went towards her and gave one glance at the drum, and incessantly said “You are the drummer of my band! We will be performing a gig-night together next week at the Hard Rock Café. Practice starts tomorrow evening at Kunal’s place.” She was staring hard at him, unable to comprehend what he just said and he immediately asked her to drum at the leads he generated mimicking the musical tones.

Part – 6

Their first gig was a big hit, overtaking the crowd with their powerful energy, and the crowd liked the new drummer. He asked Gauri if she didn’t mind continuing with the band. She showed her willingness to be a part of ‘Phoenix’ by turning at his doors one weekend, and shifting her gear to his workplace. He dreamt of ruling the country with his music, and now with a strong team he was sure they would be making waves by the end of next year when he would release his third album. Meanwhile he had lots of work to attend, the prime being passing on his forte to Gauri and training her as his strong hand. Between those sessions, they stole sly glances of each other and grew in love. Their music spoke more of the blossoming of love, and the livewire the emotion created. Nothing was hidden from the people who knew them all around. Those days and months began to intertwine them among themselves in a bond tied by red strings so strong, they were quite inseparable. She acquired every soul of his into hers and laced it with her fragrance and gave it back to him.

It was time the third album was ready to be released, and by then she grew to become his bastion.

It was their third performance on the grounds of Mumbai post the album release, where ‘Phoenix’ would play their 3rd album. It was to be a grand evening, where the rock bands of Mumbai would perform to raise funds.

The crowds seemed to throng every inch closer to towards the stage, as every band performed. The ramp that was made to reach in between the crowd seemed threatening for anybody to just step onto it and walk away from the stage. Though many lead singers decided to not take the risk; when ‘Phoenix’ entered, Sameer decided to take a walk and feel the vibes. As they rolled out their numbers, it was the 4th walk up-down the ramp; and the crowd grew excited and overwhelmed the onlookers backstage. When Sameer decided to walk for the last song of their performance; he stole glances with his band members who certainly looked forlorn with the idea. Nevertheless Sameer inched towards the crowd, and in the final few stages when Gauri on the drums was doing a solo act; suddenly the crowd grew louder in the sound produced. A few squeals here and there, and the rest of the members of ‘Phoenix’ and hosts realized that the ramp just broke and a stampede happened at the face end of the ramp. Sameer fell somewhere in between, or what exactly happened no one was sure off! And to add to the panic some body just out of sheer excitement lighted some cracker which flew around and landed someplace where flames started rising. The ten thousand crowd that was there to have fun, rushed to find exit points resulting to severe stampede. Pleas made by hosts and volunteers fell on deaf ears. The security folks were also helpless and couldn’t control the situation.

‘Phoenix’ stood shattered and stunned on the stage, wondering where their lead singer disappeared. Horrified faces of theirs kept thinking of worst that could have happened, and almost instantly shaking their heads in disbelief and hope that Sameer would be fine someplace. Gauri broke in tears and kept persistently calling Sameer, but there was no answer from that end.

It took almost 3 hours for the Police and volunteers to clear out the crowd. Fire extinguishers took an hour to bring down the blaze towards one exit point, the firecracker had started. Ambulances were called and the badly injured were taken to the hospitals. Some suffered from burns, and were treated immediately. The whole atmosphere changed from the one of fun filled night to a mourning night. There was no news of anybody locating Sameer as yet. Other bands supported and stood for ‘Phoenix’ as long as it would take. Family and friends came and kept pleading the Policemen to keep searching and frequent announcements were made. Nevertheless the search started getting tiresome, and there was no news of Sameer as yet. The grounds were clogged in pockets with the injured and aid providers.

Part – 7

Gauri couldn’t take it anymore and insisted to go along with one of the searching parties. Before anybody could call onto her, she ran ahead calling continuously for Sameer! She kept finding people injured, and more injured. Calls kept going through but no familiar ring tone sounded any place. It was nearing midnight and search parties had given up, but Gauri wasn’t ready to call it a day, and she said to herself that he’s somewhere close around, to keep going. She had to make several false start calls back to the hosts, informing them of an aid needy person. The exhaustion was showing on her face, and when she couldn’t move any further; she looked around and shouted to herself prodding to go on. The accompanying search volunteers could see the tiredness on her face, and suggested once or twice that she retreat and they’d continue. But she would look around and shout again to herself to keep moving on. Several occasions she had her eyes filled to the brim with unstoppable tears, seeing the state the people were in. Her heart refused to let go, and her pulse raced harder with each person she turned over on the ground. And then retreating to a distance so that the doctors could take them away. She didn’t want to leave empty handed without finding him. So while the search party was assisting an injured person, she broke out of the circle and ran in each direction she could, checking out as many people as she could. Along with the runs she kept calling his name, and ran almost like she was doing a relay race in circles. Some search workers came assisting her, but she kept changing direction so frequently they didn’t know where she’d turn next. And then she just collapsed, crashing on the ground! With emergency calls made to the hosts, some odd 10 people were running in top speed to the distance where Gauri collapsed. When the first search party member closed in to the place, he realized Gauri clung on to the body and kept calling onto him. Sameer was immobile and lied calmly not trying to move any body part.

He could remember the snapping of the ramp, and falling before a huge crowd who got so excited with his proximity that they all started pushing hard, and he got so sandwiched in between that nobody could bail him out. They kept pushing him away from the stage, and then fires erupted. And he felt being tossed around by the same crowd that loved him!

Gauri kept calling onto him and sobbing hard, yet the happiness of seeing him alive made her just cling on tight to him. They were silent for long periods, and she kept looking to the right side while holding onto him, crying hard for some while and then serenity prevailed. They were transfixed in that position for odd 10 minutes, when nobody spoke anything, and Gauri kept away from looking at him; and rather towards the right. She turned to face him, staring into his eyes and reached to hug him, whispering in his ear “Anything For You!”


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
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
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

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

Finding Anamika Somewhere

Part 1

A gal named Anamika, her 3 guy friends. All spoiled brats from wealthy families, though good in academics. Met first time when she got into the college basketball team. She loved being in their company even though they were senior to her. Anamika chummiest pal Sameer had trouble with his parents, since they never had time for him. They were busy expanding their business prospects. Sameer’s dadi was his best friend, and though he was a brat he was sincere and kind enough before her and loved talking and sharing about himself before her. She guided him, taught him the rights and wrongs. Sameer’s had his troubles – drugs, boozing, and cigarettes. But Anamika tuned his life. Along with Anamika came Neha, a love at first sight. Anamika got to know about Sameer’s interest for Neha as he would always end up popping at places Neha went, and Neha too felt this hunk guy seemed to be perfect. So one afternoon Anamika got both of them talking, and now they are engaged all with dadi’s permission. Dadi loves Neha.

Anamika’s second chummiest pal Rohan doing his architect job in NY. Well furnished cottage and staying all alone coz he hasn’t a gf as yet.

Anamika’s third best pal Raghav in Mumbai along with Anamika and Sameer into his software business with dad.

What’s common between Anamika, Rohan, Sameer, Raghav – nothing and everything. All of them were into drugs and out of it. But Anamika never came out. Her life was always freaky, living on the edge with overdoses. She knew she was adopted, coz each time it was screamed into her ears by the oldest to the youngest member of the Malhotra family. She hated Rohit to the core, Rohit her older bro sharing same parents – older to her by 9 years. Anamika didn’t get much to see about him. And when she did, she refused to talk or acknowledge. She despised Shalini visiting their places and Rohit spending time with her. She got into trouble many a times coz of Shalini’s word and then she was on one side and whole of Malhotra’s family on the other.

Anamika loved biking on Sameer’s pulsar. The speed always enthralled her. She used to get high on alcohol and drugs even at her room during functions and close her room and give Raghav missed calls. And then Sameer would know something wrong has happened. It was one such family get together day 3 years back, Anamika was high on alcohol and crying in her room. Sameer was there with Raghav in his Esteem to rescue her. He climbed the tree leading to Anamika’s room balcony. When he got her down all he could here were screaming and shouting Malhotra family. That day he heard it himself why Anamika wished never to return to this place, why she loathed everyone, why she felt she was in heaven when on drugs. Anamika was seen drinking and all the accusations and dirty secrets started pouring in:

Anamika was adopted and that was the family’s biggest mistake. They should have let her be done with instead of being considerate. And there Sheela was silent, Anamika’s mom as of now. It was Sheela’s favourite housemaid Chaya who was beaten black blue 23 years back by her fiancé who got her pregnant and then left her to die. There was born this fragile gal with no one immediate to look for. And Sheela wanted a daughter after Rohit. So despite the Malhotra family’s  BIG NO she went ahead and adopted her. 23 years and Anamika is still listening to the fact she is of bad blood. Not a Malhotra and some dirty creep. From 5 year old nieces to 50 year old aunt’s all have things to tell Anamika, ‘she should be thankful she was given shelter and give things in return, the best being leave’. Sameer got so mad he broke the chandelier he could see when he was getting down and carried Anamika to his car with Raghav starting the engines. Sameer on his way back got to hear, ‘you filthy boy as filthy as her, never come back out here’. Then Anamika was very seriously ill, with dadi taking care of all the expenses. Sameer and Neha couldn’t stop crying. Rohan came from Australia to be by her side. She recovered in 2 months time but scars were there forever and now Sameer, Rohan, Neha, Dadi and Raghav; all bore them.

Two months back as of today Anamika is very excited and tensely glancing at her pic on her computer for today she and her net friend called AngelEyes are going to exchange their pics after all the chatting and calling they did on private numbers since past 2 years. Its 10 pm, Malhotra’s are busy in their social lives like all business hogs. AngelEyes signs in and greets Angel [Anamika] with the usual tones they do in. 5 mins of talking and AngelEyes and Angel both are ready to send their pics online.

Part – 2

Angel had met AngelEyes coz of the similarity in the id’s. They gotten close and spoke of everything without taking names. Neither did they reveal their true names. All they knew both of them were from Mumbai, and 2 months later AngelEyes coming to India from UK for some personal work and when they’ll be meeting Angel will adorn herself with a majenta pink and blue salwar kurti, even if it looks weird coz that’s the colour they decided, and she would wave a yellow scarf. AngelEyes would wave a green scarf. So the promises are made and the pics are loading. 50%…..80%….90%…98%…100% Both of them all set to open, and they did. It was 10:25 pm then, not a word from AngelEyes or Angel. Angel left her pc and messenger as it is and went and got a sip of 3 spasmoproxy’s. She closed the lights and tried sleeping but couldn’t. She popped in some more of spasmo’s.

There on the other end AngelEyes cancelled the lunch he was to have with Kamini, Chris, Kevin, Grace and Shashi.

Resultant of 7 spasmo’s Anamika got up around 12 mid day. Her eyes were all puffed up and swollen with all the crying previous night. Sameer had been desparately calling to know about yesterday’s exchanges. She got up and went in the shower and cried like never before. By 2 she was down in the living room, got the keys to her car and went straight to marine drive where Raghav was waiting. Sameer came by shortly and was hugging Anamika all over. Raghav and Sameer noticed the swollen eyes and searched her bag. There they found a printed not so good but clear version of AngelEyes. Tears rolled down Sameer’s eyes as well as Raghav’s. Anamika held Sameer tightly and together they went for biking, and all the while Anamika cried at Sameer’s shoulder. Together they fagged with a promise of not letting Neha know Sameer did.

Days went by Angel used to login but in invisible mode and keep staring at the screen and after an hour or two would switch off and cry endlessly into the night.

4 days before as of today’s date marriage of Sneha at Malhotra’s. Anamika’s bade papa’s daughter. Everyone’s having a gala time and so was Anamika fagging, sniffing and boozing. There’s too much of excitement in the house every relative from all parts of the globe are coming home and everyone’s going to share the space with special arrangements. And everyone is ready as well not to spare Anamika with their small and big taunts. Sameer’s and Raghav’s and Neha’s calls and places are the ultimate rest rooms and hidden Hawaiian experiences. Sheela’s happy as well, Rohit is coming home after brief 4 years. Earlier they met at places like Delhi or Amsterdam for short periods during official business’s cutout for convenience. And with Rohit, his 4 friends are coming. One more couldn’t coz of some urgency. Everywhere there are screams; cook the gajar halwa soon. Rohit’s arriving in 30 mins.

Anamika meanwhile is busy smoking cig after cig in her bathroom and applying kajal, washing it off, smoking and applying another layer. At a distance i.e. downstairs she can hear sangeet and mehendi function going on. And the screams by none other than Vaishali who’s so excited with Rohit’s homecoming that when her chachu reaches home, the 6 year old is running all over the place.

Part – 3

Rohit’s home, washed and had lunch, and his friends and he are busy with the huge crowd and peeking at the mehendi on people. Anamika is all dressed up for the day after smoking nearly a pack of cig’s. There she comes down the hallway and stands at the staircase showing the living room where the buzz is. Suddenly there’s a huge laughter sound. All Anamika could see was everyone pointing at her and laughing away to glory. And there was Maahi bua who said you luking like a chamar. But Anamika was not interested, she kept staring ahead with tears flowing and smudging her kajol. And there was Kirti di who said aloud, you filthy girl all dressed up in the ridiculous combination majenta pink and blue salvar kurti and yellow scarf tied on the wrist as if going for a mujra, truly showcasing the filthy background she’s from. That was enough for Anamika, she stood there for whole 15 minutes with people mocking at her, all the Malhotra’s; and she ran back to her room and bolted it. Anamika rummaged through her cupboard, threw out all the clothes and started sniffing the white powder she got herself from Aman. 30 minutes and she was on the floor sniffing the powder and ignoring Sameer’s miss calls. 30 minutes more and Sameer and Raghav came for their princess. Went right in between of the extended Malhotra’s to the lawn and the tree which led to Anamika’s room. Got a brick and broke the window amidst all the shouts and rascal calls and threats to call the police. Raghav unbolted the window, then both of them got in and saw Anamika on the floor all a strew. Sameer was all in a fit seeing the amount of powder and called Aman immediately, you bloody @##$$#, if anything happens to Anamika, man Aman you are screwed for life. I will get you behind the bars. 2 more calls by Sameer and Raghav, and Sameer carried Anamika down to the living room and out to his car the way she was, meanwhile Raghav cleaned the room, got the powder tucked in the bag along with some clothes. The whole of Malhotra’s witnessing the fall of it all and that too in the mehendi rasam before all the guests. The blood shot eyes of Sameer glanced everywhere and he spit on the floor when it met with the eyes. There came Rohit after a while, when the car was pulling off. Raghav applied the brakes and yelled: “hey the secrets no more, everyone knows and says: Anamika’s adopted and filthy, so you too better believe it. Go and ask your parents about this filthy blood that has stained Malhotra’s for 23 years.”

Anamika was droven to Neha’s dads clinic and dadi was there with the amount they needed for docs to remove the overdose. On the bed Sameer saw Anamika all pale and lifeless. Neha was standing by his side and whispered she’s messaged Rohan about the situation. Sameer asked to be left alone while Raghav went for medicines. Quietly he touched Anamika’s forehead and kissed her there. Tears fell and he swore he wouldn’t let it all happen again. No matter what now its time his parents give him something and that would be a court custody of Anamika to dadi if he is not considered adult enough or get Neha’s Chachu’s help. It wouldn’t make much of difference to Malhotra’s as long as it is hushed up and for the nosy people around it can always be clarified as Anamika’s education.

2 days before as of  today Anamika is brought home at Sameer’s place. His apartment is housing Raghav, Neha, Dadi, Anamika and Rohan when he’s back. Anamika is terminally ill with the overdose showing very little responses. Most of the times she’s unconscious. Her frail body is taking in too strong medicines to fight out the damage she’s done to herself. Raghav’s cursing himself why he asked Anamika 3 years back to try the powder they were sniffing, all just for fun and challenging her. The SARR apartment is dull and dark with the pains crawling all over the place. Anamika is on glucose and doesn’t even feel a thing when she’s washed by Neha or fed by Sameer or caressed by Dadi. Mehul calls up Neha, and in a hurried tone she goes and speaks to Sameer. Sameer is all in a burst and shouting. With the commotion Raghav and Dadi come to investigate and find Neha shaken up. Dadi takes the phone and speaks to Mehul and says everyone is ready by 5 pm and Mehul shouldn’t be late. Sameer protests but dadi assures nothing will happen out of place. Let a chance be given to see their viewpoint. Sameer sulks and apologises to Neha, gives her a hug and returns back to Anamika.

Its 5:15 pm Anamika is still unconscious, Sameer strokes her hair n walks out to the living room where Raghav and Dadi are seated at one end of the sofa, Neha on the Diwan awaiting Sameer. Mehul stands upright seeing Sameer and waves a goodbye and asks to be given a miss call when they are done wid. Opposite to Neha are seated 5 people, 2 Indians and 3 Whites.

Its 5:35 pm and the room is quiet, no one utters a word and Neha finds the scenario very tense n moves out to quench her thirst even while she hasn’t spoken a word. Kamini as she introduced herself makes the call “Neha please be seated, I guess no one would require much of liquids as no talking is being done.”

Part – 4

Neha reluctantly seats herself next to Sameer and feels the hotness in his composure. Rohit clears his throat and begins “I don’t know much of you guys but you must be really very close to bring her home” and looking at Sameer he says “As I gather you are Sameer coz some S was very close to Angel”. Sameer bursts suddenly and in outrage yells “Hey you don’t utter anything about Angel. I don’t want to hear a single word about it. Have heard too much of AngelEyes and the stupid stuff around it. Ohh and now you talk of Angel. What were you doing when she was there adorned with those silly colour combinations. Ohh I forgot you’re just another Malhotra. Didn’t you hear she’s a filth staining Malhotra’s for 23 years. Let me make it very clear, am not taking any more of this nonsense. Opening my cards I am going for court custody of Anamika and let me see who stops me.”

Neha stretched to hold Sameers hand and pulled him to where she was sitting. She could feel the burning sensation, but didn’t let go her hand off him. He too was clenching her hand tightly.

10 more minutes of complete silence and Dadi cleared her throat and said “Rohit why are you here? Please make the clarifications you want to the sooner the better. It’s not helping much, the stares and growls. We don’t want to waste much of time over nothing. As for Anamika’s custody, we’ll talk later about it, but its high time she requires a new place and I’m with Sameer on that decision.”

Rohit clears his throat again, while Chris shifts his position. “Two months back AngelEyes and Angel were all set to exchange their pics. It was a new kind of relationship for AngelEyes as before he had always disclosed his identity within matter of days; but this time AngelEyes had to wait till Angel was ready. In the 2 year process AngelEyes felt wonderfully connected with Angel, shared almost his whole life, and discussed his friends and family, but Angel never spoke about her family. Among friends too Angel took initials and insisted on doing so. Angel took time to get the trust she wanted from AngelEyes and started divulging about herself. Each day 5 past 10 pm Indian time, both would eagerly switch on their pc’s and would be connected for hours together. AngelEyes called Angel on private numbers too.” Raghav interrupted “It was his number that got the calls.” Rohit continued “The relation grew and Angel started talking about Devil someone she hated badly – her brother and how she’d loathed on Lini. AngelEyes too spoke about his family and disturbed matters within which he wasn’t aware of ever and no one told him. AngelEyes spoke about anonymous and how he was unconcerned about anonymous. AngelEyes’s 5 friends Kamini, Kevin, Chris, Shashi and Grace were updated everyday about any new development. The relation was perfect with advice giving sessions, the councelling, the laughter, the sing-a-songs. One thing was missing and that was the crying and tears. That too arrived 2 months back when AngelEyes and Angel exchanged pics. AngelEyes was shocked to the core to find Angel was none other than Anonymous.”

Rohit continued “I was shocked and didn’t know how to respond. Simply sat and stared at the picture for hours together. Had no idea what must be transpiring at the other end. Finally after 2 hours of staring, got up and called Kamini. Kamini, Chris, Kevin, Grace and Shashi all by my side, everyone was so excited to know the series of events. I had to coax myself to tell them Angel was my sister. And I wondered at God’s play of work – here I talk to some girl from India for 2 years completely as strangers w.r.t identity, and completely as known folks for other matters, and there she is anonymous the other Malhotra who’s been kind of invisible for me for years. Lonely I had cried and sulked. Each day I used to login with the hope Angel would come and talk with me like early days. Each day I used to write something and erase it all. Each day I used to think was Angel thinking about me. Each day I used to think was Angel smoking and boozing. Every day I felt like calling home and asking for anonymous, but changed my mind wondering how others would react. I felt when will I reach Mumbai and stretch my arms to find Angel by my side. I wondered what Angel must have been thinking after seeing me. Would she hate the Devil more or would she love AngelEyes.”

Everybody was silent, and the stillness was interrupted by a phone call. Neha was up already as if she had sensed, and it didn’t take much of promptness from her end to vanish. She was back within 5 mins and placed herself next to Sameer. The tranquility still persisted. Chris cleared his throat as if wanting to add some bit, but the clearance ended just there. Raghav’s eye’s looked bloodshot and in his heavy voice he said “So what do we gather from whatever you said? I think you’re wasting your time out here. There’s a marriage at your place, you are needed out there.”

Part – 5

The statement from Raghav didn’t deter them from being still seated out there. What followed was more of silence and more of uncomfortable shifts and twitches. In a soft tone Rohit said, “I want to talk with Angel, but this time it would be to discover someone who has been lost for the past 2 decades”

The moment Rohit uttered, Sameer hit the ceiling “Where were you for 2 decades? All of a sudden what makes your think of such a great decision? To make it very clear no Angel exists and never try getting close to Angel. What do you know of Angel besides 2 hours of chatting everyday with her, where she didn’t talk much of herself? So you want to see the real Angel right, come I’ll show you how ugly she is.”

Sameer was already up in rage and was burning wherever he could be touched. Raghav, Dadi and Neha were all taken by surprise, so were the rest of the people the other end. The hollow looks on everyone’s face didn’t leave Sameer from not throwing another tantrum out of rage. Neha could see him fretting, but before anyone could say something to easen the atmosphere, Dadi declared aloud “Sameer take these people inside if all of them wish too, for they must know the ugly her.” Neha looked on dumb towards Dadi, but soon gained her composure coz Dadi was glistening, as if some thought had struck her.

There in the room, someone was curled up among blankets. The blankets looked huge and a small frail body in between seemed like not existing. The spring hair, as Rohan used to tease, was strewn all over the pillow, and there Anamika lied numb and white. Neha declared “A small ghost!!” Sameer went closer and sat on her side and started stroking her hair. At that moment it looked as if Sameer was never angry, nor did he ever scream in fury. The serenity on his face glistened the moment he saw her. No one made a sound, even while calling Rohit all Sameer did was point at him and curl his finger upwards. All the while the others remained where they were; at the threshold of the room. Sameer didn’t ask him to be seated so he was standing and peeping. What he saw next was completely horrendous; his Angel was white and sleeping peacefully. Her closed eyes still showed signs of the bloodshot red it must have been. She perfectly looked overdosed with something he didn’t know off. Rohit motioned towards her and muttered “what was she on?” Sameer replied without looking up “drugs” and motioned Neha to come up and whispered something to her. She conveyed the message to Rohit and there Sameer was all alone in the room staring at Anamika. He called upon Dadi and told her about his fears of not wanting to loose Anamika in the hands of these people who know nothing about her, and the insecurity he was sensing about himself and her. Neha and Raghav joined in, Neha declaring Rohan will be in SARR apartment by 2 am tonight. Sameer heaved a long sigh and said “Anamika is their’s, no matter what these people say, we won’t handover her to them; otherwise she’ll end up doing the same thing to herself again. And I have this insecurity creeping in within myself, she’s our daughter and I would like she remains so forever.” The end of this statement brought tears in everyone’s eyes. Sameer held Anamika’s hand and sobbed like a small kid with his doll. Dadi placed her hand on Sameer’s head, brought in Raghav and Neha closer forming a small circle and said “We’ll give them one more chance to see her when she’s conscious” The defiance showed on everyone’s face, but Dadi’s smile prevailed.

Part – 6

Sunday a week later of today, Rohan was busy musing Anamika with his cookery styles while Raghav looked on and commenting “Anamika just beware of what he makes, some sources have told me his food can  kill even ants” which was followed by a roar of laughter from all corners of the SARR apartment. Neha simply stood at the balcony and looked on to Anamika who was smiling as if nothing’s happened with her from the past 10 odd days. Anamika was briefed a day before as to Rohit wanting to see her. Her face was stone white since past ten days, and no twitch of muscles showed either. It looked as if she didn’t hear what was just told to her. She gazed at something others couldn’t see infinitely. Neha struggled to live upto the silence in the mood. The others found it equally uncomfortable. Rohan hugged Anamika hard and took her along with him for a biking session. She was back all happy and giggling. It looked nothing less than a small girl happy going around, just that Anamika was 23 and the drugs she’d taken had distorted her beautiful face. Yet she giggled each time her eyes met Rohan’s which would give a hint of some mischief being done. The pink candy floss she was having messing it all over her hands and lips. Crackling on the poor jokes which she was never devoid of, with Raghav and Sameer. Neha looked on towards this 23 year old baby of SARR apartment. And Dadi gave big grins to each one. Everything looked so happy and beautiful, but the pain pierced hard.

Rohit’s come along with Kamini, Chris, Kevin, and Grace. All five of them looked very inseparable; however it was something like Angel’s people and AngelEye’s people. Normalcy seemed to be picking up in the room. All were placed at the rug by the wall next to the fireplace with blankets to warm them. The interiors gave a very warm feeling, with the fireplace lit, dark clouds forming in the sky, hence the little wee bit of light of the sunset being prevented from reaching into the rooms; but the hearts were very cold. AngelEyes was all ready, but Angel was nowhere to be seen. Without her this meet seemed no worse than the last one. The room started getting tenser and Kamini made the call for Angel. Nevertheless before she could complete, Angel came into the room and snuggled in between Sameer and Rohan. Her appearance was nothing less than a wild ghost walking in the baby blue night dress. Anamika didn’t bother to greet anyone of them nor did anyone prompt her too. Among the astray wavy hair all over her shoulders and her face, she glanced up and directed her sight to where she wanted. The look was very cold, with narrow black eyes minus any expression on the face. Chris thought she looked nothing less than a vampire on a hunt. As soon as it met she dropped her eyes back and concentrated on snuggling closer to Rohan and she rested her head on Rohans shoulder. Kevin and Grace who hadn’t uttered anything so far came in together, with Kevin later deciding to let Grace go for it. Grace began “Hi Angel, how are you doing?” Rohan corrected Grace “she’s Anamika!” Grace started all over again “Anamika so how you doing lady?” Everyone looked on towards Anamika to say something. But it seemed she was engaged in some other thought coz she kept staring everybody skeptically. Rohan stroked her hair, got closer and whispered something to her. Anamika began “I’m fine, thank you” with a good educated accent. The moment she uttered the four words Rohit stirred and it looked as if suddenly all his senses were roused. Dadi had figured out it would be a tough session for Rohit to put something across and get a response from Anamika, so did the SARR apartment occupants. Nevertheless she gave each one an assuring look as to nothing would turn ugly. Neha too had immense faith in all the three blokes’ coz whenever Anamika’s around they never go wild or hell breaks loose even when they are having volcanic eruptions within. They love her far too much to not let things go ugly.

Rohan stroked her hair and rested his head over hers, whispering. Neha looked on with tears in her eyes. It looked nothing less than Rohan with his kid, alike to what it looked when she was with Raghav or Sameer. A smile crossed Neha’s face with a thought ‘All these 3 blokes would end up being very good fathers’ Her thought process was permanently broken when she glanced around and saw each of Rohit’s people staring towards Anamika’s end as though they too were having similar ideas. Then a message in Neha’s cell further broke her thoughts, Sameer had messaged “Am loving what’s going around here. And I can sense some elating feeling within all of us, coz definitely the guy is jealous.” Neha looked up at Sameer at caught one of his naughty mysterious smiles. Raghav broke the mesmerizing moment with clearing his throat and coaxing Rohit to begin with what he wants to tell. Rohit gave a long pause, looked at his watch, drank water and meanwhile Raghav filled the gap asking Rohit “Do your parents have any clue what you upto, and your whereabouts?” Raghav’s question sounded as if he were a teacher questioning his pupil, whereas here it was a 32 year old guy. Rohit began “Anamika how are you doing”. There was silence in the air. Rohit continued “You still look very ill and weak.” Rohit had prepared what all he would talk, but at this moment his preparation seemed to fall very short of every word. Angel was sitting right in front of him, everything from within held his throat, words were not coming out.

Part – 7

Rohit was thinking “Angel was very clearly listening to him but showed little response. She was being protected by her people who were people outside her family. It was supposed to be me who had to protect her. But today I mean nothing to her, not even one bit of her soul longs to be with me. Why am I feeling jealous of Rohan caressing her? Why is it hurting me so hard? Why, when I haven’t seen anything about her since years? Why, when I wasn’t there when she grew up? Why, when I was no where around to shout at people when they called her filthy? Why, when she hated to being among Malhotra’s she had no escape route? Why, when she wanted to cry, instead of me, Sameer was there to hug her tight? Why, she came in and walked to snuggle in between Rohan and Sameer, instead of coming for me? Why, Rohan Sameer and Raghav seem to be the closest people to her? Why, when Angel’s around, Sameer is not going wild like he did the other day? Why I keep thinking of Angel, even when I know Anamika and my Angel are the same? Why, I don’t have a face to go and hold her hands and give her a huge hug? Why, that day she was dressed in my decided colours, majenta pink and blue salvar kurti and yellow scarf tied on the wrist; something from within didn’t let me stretch my arms for her as I had promised? Why, I felt restricted to even move, leave alone protesting her being insulted? Why, I smiled and was party to what Mahi buaa said after she rushed back to her? Why, I have no answer to her stares? Why, my preparation is not working out here, whereas people back in UK call me a very good orator? Why, I don’t know what I am doing here with nothing to express myself? Do I have any reason for being here? What do I ultimately want, Angel / Anamika back in my life, on the PC or truly in my life? What could I do to love her more than Sameer, Rohan and Raghav did; so that she forgets them? Am I not sounding too selfish, especially when I have seen nothing about her, and they have almost lived like a life together and got her out of the death bed? Is it I have a soft feeling towards Angel, and find it hard to believe she’s Anamika; and I wanted to tell Angel that day before we exchanged pics that I loved her ways, but thought otherwise? Is it wrong I love Anamika, coz it’s just the name that changed and not her? Why can’t I love Anamika, coz I hated or was not bothered about her since past 2 decades?” These moments seemed forever and Rohits questions never ended. His thoughts were snapped when he saw Sameer had locked his eyes to his. Rohit glanced at the watch and realized it had been 30 mins into his thinking, and Kevin, Chris and Raghav were into talking something very gravely. Kamini was trying to fill Neha. Rohan was on a call. Angel was now snuggling next to Sameer, holding him tight around his waist as if she never wanted to let him go. Sameer too looked like Anamika’s dad stroking her hair. Sameer spoke to Rohit “you were introspecting yourself, thinking why you are here, and you have no words to talk about?” Rohit was taken aback and startled with what Sameer just said. Rohit thought he just saw a sly smile on Sameer’s face and kept wondering “Oh no it seems Sameer’s read my mind” Sameer continued in a comforting tone “while you were busy, your friends got into talking with Anamika’s; so nevermind your friends trying to fill up something from their end. But things won’t really work unless you do the talking. You can still think as to what? But its ultimately you who needs to tell why you’re here and what you want to talk” Rohit thought “Sameer didn’t seem so peaceful before” But what caught his eyes was Anamika falling asleep in Sameer’s lap. Rohan ended his call, came back and checked her out and planting a kiss on her forehead and holding her hand and warming it up with his. Neha came in a while; from somewhere inside the room, handing over the line to Rohan and giving one glance at Anamika and stroking her hair. Dadi declared Anamika is still very weak, so falls asleep within 40-50 mins every two hours, and will be awake in another 10-15 mins.

Rohit cleared his throat, but this time he didn’t go wandering in his thoughts. He gave a glance to everyone in the room. Saw Sameer and Anamika sitting very close to each other, Sameer hugging her from behind, and she fidgeting with Rohan’s kurta. Rohit began “I have no right to be here, I am not worthy of even apologizing. Anamika if you permit me for once I would like to address you as Angel” Anamika looked on at Raghav, Rohan and clenched Sameers hand, they gave her a nod; and so did she too to Rohit. Rohit continued “ Angel I thought before we’d exchange our pics I would tell you I loved your ways, indirectly speaking I loved you; but thought otherwise so kept it to myself. Then we exchanged pictures and that was the end to AngelEyes and Angel. How I wished you would come online everyday after that day. I used to write things and erase it off, coz I knew you would never read them again. But I missed talking to you badly. It was like I had got a chance of knowing ‘Anonymous’ but soon after it was revealed, I lost ‘Anonymous’ once again. I came back to India thinking all the while how we’d get into talking, how I’d see you in my colours. The colours part happened, but that day I let you down; something from within just didn’t allow me to stretch my arms for you. I am also ashamed of being a party to mahi buaa’s musings after you went running up and the ongoing fun trivial talks for musing during the marriage days. I want you to be a part of me as well at one end. I am so small I can’t even apologise for what Malhotra’s did to you for so many years. No one ever told me what was going on in the house. I used to meet mom and dad at odd places, not been home in years; and when I was; you were so small that I refused to move you around with me where ever I went. Also when Shalini came into my life, I hated the way you behaved with her. Besides that I was always unconcerned about you, so I named you ‘Anonymous’ and that’s how I used to address you among we cousins. Shalini meant my first love then, and the idea of using my time being with ‘Anonymous’ was something I detested. So I used to send you to different places for some work or other. I would leave you at places and disappear with Shalini. I would never listen to you even if you tried from your end. I saw you crying but was never bothered, when among cousins. Years passed and everything got disconnected, I forgot about ‘Anonymous’ coz now you didn’t exist for me. Even when I met up with mom and dad, there were so many things to talk about, than ‘Anonymous’; besides mom and dad from their end never spoke a word about you. Nor did any of our extended family. Angel when I heard your small disclosures about how you hated Devil and Lini, I used to feel sorry for you; but before I could tell you to give me a chance to love you; things got out of hand. I wanted to help you and be with you, but again I couldn’t call up home and after so many years ask about ‘Anonymous’. And now too I am before you, don’t know what to tell you, don’t know how to love you, don’t know how to make you believe in me for I have failed you for so many years. Wednesday am leaving for UK. I just wanted to meet you. I wish I could have you by my side and love you more than Sameer or anyone did, even when they are your best mates…….”

Part – 8

Anamika yelled, and cried and screamed all of a sudden “I used to come online everyday thinking you would too, but like always you disappeared leaving me alone. And how dare you call Sameer my best mate” Anamika by then had become a mad freak; she got herself freed from Sameer’s hug. She was sobbing hard, and among these loud crys she was yelling at the top of her voice. Anamika became uncontrollable, the rigorous movement added to her galore of becoming wild. Raghav, Sameer, Rohan, Neha and Dadi all sprang up at once, trying their best to calm her down. But fire had already struck. She rushed to Rohit, held him by the shirt and screamed, “they are my family, I am their daughter, each one of their’s. No one on this earth can love me more than they can. Sameer is my Dad, Rohan is my mom, Raghav is my tougher mom, Neha is my best mate and best gal I share secrets with. Dadi is above everyone.” Rohan pulled Anamika away from Rohit and tried hugging her. But this time she wasn’t prepared to be hugged, instead she kept trying to pull herself away and kept moving towards Rohit. Anamika kept yelling “What have Malhotra’s given me, haven’t you heard I am a filth staining Malhotra for 23 years. What are you here for? You used to always leave me and disappear, why have you come for me now. I hate you, I will hate you always, Devil becoming AngelEyes won’t make my hate go away. I longed to be with you when I was small, you used to always leave me alone and run away. I wanted to be loved, to be someone’s pet. No one cared for me in Malhotra’s. Can’t you see what I have done to myself all over the years? Did any one care even once how I am living, what all I do? No one did, but these people did, and today in their house you are telling you can love me more than they did if give you a chance! You have no shame and face of yours. None of the Malhotra’s have, none of you have ever stuck to your promises or words ever. And me despite being a filth I have stuck. What have you to say for it? I don’t want to see any one of your faces ever. I want to be away from all of you. The best is I kill and ruin myself, anyways who cares even if I live?” Anamika had gone psychic screaming like this, Sameer went crazy seeing her go down on the floor. The drugs started hitting on her. Everyone went red, Rohan, Raghav tried not crying. Neha held on to Dadi and sobbed hard. Chris, Kevin, Grace, Rohit and Kamini were all shaken. Sameer got a shot from the closet and injected into her. Anamika kept screaming till 5 mins when she dropped completely flat on the floor. Sameer held her in his arms. Rohan and Raghav rushed to her. They held her and formed a close hug and cried for her and Sameer kissed her on her forehead and held her like a doll close.

Early Wednesday morning, Anamika got up with reluctance. She didn’t want this day to happen, but Sameer promised it won’t be for long. Come Jan next year and all will be fine. Her luggage was readied, and she went and spent 30 mins each with Raghav, Neha and Dadi. Thereafter Anamika couldn’t just leave off Sameer and cried endlessly holding onto him.

At 8:30 AM Wednesday, Anamika boarded the flight; gave a long sigh, tears rolled her eyes; and she wished she wouldn’t have to return but just for the sake of Sameer, Neha, Raghav and Dadi. The flight took off and she hugged him and was crying. He said the future is thereafter going to be bright and happy like the SARR apartment occupants always wanted.