Every Love Story Has 2 Angles
Copyright © Hitesh Nariani 2016
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.
First Edition: 2016
and all those who inspired me
BEFORE YOU READ
Before you start reading this book, I want you to stop for a moment and spare me a minute or two. Firstly I want to thank you for purchasing this book. I am also a reader and love to read good books. Rating of a good book differs from reader to reader. Many of us start reading books/novels to improve our vocabulary and communication skills and to achieve good efficiency in English Language. So before you start reading this book, I want to say that my book doesn’t fall in that category. I am here just to provide a good story, a story I feel worth sharing. If you love to read books/novels just for fun or for good stories then my friend this book is for you. If you are here for improving your skills, then honestly my friend this book isn’t worth your time. There are many far better writers in the market who provide good stories along with great language skills which might help you in achieving your purpose. To be honest to my readers, I made this declaration. If after reading this you feel this book is for you then go ahead. I hope you will like it…..
A Destiny Awaits Everyone……
“kuch yaadein mitaye nahi mit ti
kuch yaadein chah ke nahi mit ti
samjh nahi aata ki tum kiska hissa ho”
In life is everything written or it happens like that only. The turns we pass through, were they there to happen or are they driven by our own actions. Are our action driven by our own self or there’s some other external force.
Is there anything called destiny?
Do you believe in destiny? Do I?
In life why sometimes, someone becomes so important to us that our whole life is changed. We all have heard of Love at First Sight, but many a times we don’t even know what a person would become after years of knowing or years of unknowing. All we are left in the end are memories. And memories…………. Memories are too strange, sometimes they make us cry and sometimes they bring back smile on our face.
We have often heard others saying,” Everything happens for good. You are destined towards something else” If things happens for good then why it’s impact fall on us. Why this regret, pain and guilt exist. WHYYY???
Is destiny really there? Did it played its role that time? Will it play its role again in uniting us? Was that really a Destiny?………. Lost in all these thoughts was Sam (Samar) when his phone rang….
Today is the happiest day of my life. I feel like I am in the 7th sky. Finally a dream has turned into reality. A wish has been fulfilled. In the beginning I don’t know why but I was feeling a bit nervous. Though it wasn’t the first time I was doing this. I was confident about what to say but still some nervousness was there. Might be because I didn’t want to disappoint her. I was eagerly waiting for her at the cafe.
We met for the first time in our school days and since then she has been there in my life. I know everything about her. Her likes- dislikes, her preferences, her interests, her past.....her ex... As far I know they were going good, infact at its very best but then something happened which destroyed her completely and forced them to fall apart. She never discussed properly about what went wrong between them and I never forced her to do so. She was hurt, badly hurt. I could see tears in her eyes, pain in her voice. She was having a difficult time to recover. I tried hard to keep her jolly. It was bit difficult and took time but slowly and steadily she is back to normal now. She has recovered
But I don’t know when, in our those days together, I fall for her. TRUELY, DEEPLY, MADLY. Three months ago I proposed her for the first time but she refused saying that she needs some time. And I gave her, her time to think, her time to make her mind, her time to decide, as she now means world to me so she has all the time in the world to take her decision.
But today I was again proposing her. Restlessness was getting better of me. I feel that time has finally arrived. I was eagerly waiting for her arrival and finally she did after 15 long minutes which felt like an eternity to me. She was perfectly dressed in White top and Denims and was looking extremely gorgeous in that outfit. She was looking around to see where I was seated. And then she noticed it. She smiled and waved to me. I too waved back with a smile.
“You are looking gorgeous” I said almost getting lost in her
“Thanks” she replied with a shy smile. “You too looking smart”
“Thanks but not as much as you.” I winked. She was just mesmerizing me and getting over me.
She blushed. “OK.OK.” she replied to stop me. She knew that I can go on and on like this.
“So how was your day” I continued the conversation after she settled herself and we placed our orders.
“It was nice. Nothing as such great happened. Tell me how was yours?”
“Mine was fantastic. Enjoying the off, relaxing at home.” I said completely feeling the joy of the leave.
“Today, you were on a leave?? YOU OKAY??” she said sounding concerned. I like her this concerning nature.
“Yes, I am perfectly all right.” I replied confidently to assure her
“Then, why an off?” she asked
“Just like that yaar. I wasn’t in any mood to go for work today.”
“Ohhh…Anything special today” she asked in a teasing way
I flaunted a bit as she caught me on a wrong foot “Yes absolutely, today there is something special.” I replied playfully
“What’s that? What’s that?” she asked getting excited.
“Today I was to meet you. And meeting you is no less than special” I replied smilingly and winked her.
“Shut up Jeh” she said smiling at it as our orders arrived.
“So what was the important thing you wanted to discuss?” she asked while taking a sip from her favourite Oreo Shake.
Listening to it my heartbeat increased.
“What’s so hurry? We have plenty of time. First let’s have our food, then we can talk about it there.” I said pointing towards the lawn besides the cafe.
“OK” she replied
Then over the course of our evening breakfast we discussed about all the things in the world like newly released movies, sports, politics, how the currency devaluation was affecting her company, our hobbies, novels, our parents, families, and our favourite MR. SHAH RUKH KHAN.
I just love to spend time with her. She make me feel alive. With her time passes away quickly. Every passing hour seems like a minute only. After we settled our bill, we moved towards the lawn. It was still evening. Weather has turned cloudy. Strong wind was blowing around and Sun was about to set. Nature too was building the mood for me. We were walking bare foot over the grass. Silence was filling the gap between us. I was trying to gain more strength to say it. The feeling of it and the strong breeze were giving me shivers.
“Jeh, You OKAY?” she enquired as this was weird for her from my side.
“Yes, I am good, just trying to gain more strength to say what I want to.”
“Ok. Take your time.” She said with a smile as we continued walking on the grass.
After a moment I stopped, turned towards her, took her hands in mine and looked straight into her eyes and said………..
It was raining. Tasha turned on the wipers of her car. She was happy. Rain always makes her happier. She and rain share a special bond. Though she was driving cautiously but her mind was continuously drifting as she was getting lost in her thoughts….
“Ever since then, I have never tried to go into any sort of Relationship. My past haunts me. I can’t think about falling for someone. Memories of past don’t allow me. I can’t see myself in that state again. And what’s the guarantee that it’s not like the last one. The fear don’t allow me. It is said that as long as you live in your past, you can’t proceed in life. So, I have finished the pending deal of ifs and buts with my past, but moving ahead this might cross me again, this time by different means, different ways, different style, different person, different effect, may be greater than previous one or might possibly a pleasant experience. Thinking it as a possibility and giving life a second chance was the reason that today I finally accepted Jeh’s proposal.
‘What’s gone is gone. If it doesn’t stays with you, then it wasn’t meant for you. No use of crying over that. Just stop lamenting the loss of temporary things. Open your eyes. Look around. Look at the millions of opportunities lying in front of you. You can still get better than what you are lamenting for.’ Best lines said by my favourite author RAJ K.SAXENA. It took me time to implement that. Thanks to all the support I received from Jeh. He has stand firmly and strongly beside me ever since then or better to say even before that. He has given me my time to recover, to be strong, to be me. Slowly and Steadily I am getting back on track. I am much happier. It would have been difficult for me if he hasn’t been there in those days. I owe to him a lot for what he has done for me selflessly. We know each other since our school days and he knows everything about me.
I had hurt him many times in my those days of weirdness. But he never took my remarks seriously. Or possibly he was hurt by my those harsh comments, but never showed me as if he was. He received the share of pain which he wasn’t worthy of. I didn’t want to hurt him more now. So I accepted his proposal to give him the happiness which he was deprived of because of me. I could see how happy he was when I said YES to him. The expression on his face was priceless. I wish I could stand on what I committed.
Life has already gone up and down many times. I don’t know what destiny lays ahead for me. But I wish I could undo what happened…..” Tasha was so deeply lost in her thoughts that she didn’t even realised that it’s raining heavenly now, car’s wipers have stopped working and she has taken a wrong turn. And when realisation strike her, it was already too late. Her car banged hard with the truck parked on the roadside and everything went blank….
Weather has changed more drastically since then. It is raining more heavenly now. HEAVY SHOWERS. I was having a hot cup of coffee and was standing by my room’s window. No matter how hard this rain may be, I was loving it. The feeling of love was making it more and more joyous for me. I thought of calling her, to get the immense feeling of this weather and to have some romantic talks with her. I even made my mind about how I will start the conversation, in a typical SHAH RUKH KHAN style. Getting in full mood and making deep imagination, I dialled her number. After 7 rings she picked up my phone.
“Hello” said an unfamiliar voice from the other side
I checked my phone to see whether I dialled the right number or not. I had.
“Hello” I said sounding confused “May I know who’s speaking?”
“Hi Jeh, this is Sara from XYZ hospital. May I know whose phone is this and how are you related to the owner of this phone?”
All my imagination shattered after listening to it. I got lil worried too.
“This is Tasha’s phone. And I am her friend.” Boyfriend I wanted to say, but didn’t. “What is she doing in the hospital? Is she okay??”
“I am sorry to inform you my friend that Tasha has met with an accident few hours back and has just been brought to our hospital.”
“WHATTT???” I said or better to say yelled as I was shocked at it
“Yes. We were actually just thinking about how to contact her parents and you called up at the same time. Can you just give me their number or inform her parents about it?”
“Ya sure, I will inform them about it. But please before that tell me is she serious?”
“Sorry Jeh, we can’t say much about it now. She has got an injury on her head, only after operation when she gains consciousness we could know if it’s minor injury or a major one.”
Listening to it my heart sank and my eyes became moist.
“I will be right there and will also inform her parents about it.” I said as I got bit emotional.
“Relax Jeh everything gonna be all right.” She said to console me.
After taking a long breathe and calming my emotions I called her father and informed him about it. I picked my car from the parking and just rushed towards the hospital. Throughout the journey my mind was filled with bad thoughts. I tried to wipe them away but they just keep emerging again and again. It took me 25 minutes to reach there. I ran towards reception where they guided me towards the Operation Theatre, where she was being operated.
Her parents were already there. Her mom was crying in a corner. Her dad was trying to calm her down. For a moment my heart broke and the thought of her passing away crossed my mind. But then I noticed that the Red light was still on, this means operation was still going on. I took a long sigh of relief. I gave a glass of water to her mother and sat by their side to give them the moral support. Her dad then informed me about what doctors said when they reached there. We were discussing about it when Dev, her younger brother, arrived. He was downstairs, completing the formalities regarding forms. He too took a note from his father regarding Tasha’s condition and what doctors said.
After he settled himself, I continued, “Who brought her to the hospital?”
“A lady brought her here. She left few minutes before you arrived.” Her dad replied
“Did she witnessed the accident or did she inform how accident occurred?”
“According to her when she reached at the spot she saw that car was banged on with the roadside parked truck, Tasha was lying unconscious in a pool of blood. She also said that car’s wipers were not working. So possibly this could be the reason of the accident as it has been raining heavenly today.”
I was quite silent after that. All I could was thank that noble lady who saved her life at the right time.
Four lives were at stake right now. As more and more time they took more and more nervous we became. Finally two hours later operation came to an end. Doctors informed us that operation was successful and she is out of danger now but she is still unconscious so we can’t meet her now. She will gain consciousness by morning and that time only we could know whether there’s any internal injury or not.
We were relieved after hearing the news of successful operation but tension was still there. Now it’s only in the morning we would know better about her condition when she gains consciousness. All we were waiting now was for tomorrow.
It was decided that Dev will stay in the hospital and I will drop their parents home.
Though we were going back but none of us will be able to sleep tonight. Sleep was a far try.
Seconds seems like minutes, minutes seemed like hours, and hours seemed everlasting as clock kept tickling and I don’t know when I fell asleep.
We reached hospital just when she gained consciousness. She was looking good. She hugged her dad tightly. “How are you now, Beta?” he asked
“Feeling better. Just a little headache.” She replied
“You gonna be fine soon.” Her dad said tapping on her head. She just smiled at it.
On it dev said “Dad, I told you na, nothing is gonna happen to our Moti. She’s gonna be all right.” Everyone in the room laughed at it. “Shut up” she replied by beating him on his arm.
She then waived to me and said, “Hi”
“Hi, feeling better?” I enquired
“Yes” she replied with a smile.
“Dad, Where’s mom?” she asked
“Beta she has to go to Pummy Aunty’s house. She needed her assistance badly”
“Wow. Her daughter is here in the hospital in this state and she has gone assist others. She doesn’t love me.” She said it in her dramatic tone, the tone we all were surprised with. The tone that was missing from past few years, the tone we all loved.
She just moved in her position to look beyond me, as if she was searching for someone.
Before I could ask her about it, she said,” I told you na dad. No one loves me. See he hasn’t arrived yet. Even after so much has happened with me he hasn’t arrived yet.” She said in her same childish tone making faces.
Her dad just laughed at it. “Who hasn’t arrived yet? Whom are you talking about?”
“Sam, dad. Sam. Where’s he??”
We were shocked at it. We weren’t able to understand her. Why was she asking about Sam now? Why? We were just looking at each other blankly, not knowing what to say. Her dad managed to say, though hesitatingly “Sam…… beta, how could he be here??”
“What do you mean by how could he be here?? …. Ohh sorry!! I forgot.” She said slapping her forehead. “He has gone to Bangalore for his business trip. Otherwise he must have come running by.” She said cheerfully. “By the way dev, have you informed him about it?”
“This seems to be a case of retrograde amnesia.” Doctor said. We all were present in the doctor’s cabin discussing about what happened. “Well, when she gained consciousness, I asked her few questions, answers of which surprised me” ……………
“Hello doctor” she said smilingly
“How are you feeling now?”
“Better. Just little pain here.” She said pointing to her injury on her forehead.
“That will be better in a day or two. I need to ask you certain questions to know better about your condition.”
“So, what’s your name?”
“How old are you?”
“23”she said which surprised me.
“Ok. Do you remember what happened with you and how you landed up here?”
“Ya. I was not cautious enough while crossing the road and was hit by a fast running car.”
“Ok. Final question. Which year is this?”
“WHAT??” we all said in unison.
“Yes. These were the replies she gave me. Mr Singh did she had an accident prior to this in 2013 like this she said?”
“Yes. She had an accident at that time. But that was just a minor accident. She suffered just a small injury on her forehead.”
“Okay. And by the way who is this guy Sam, she is asking for again and again.”
“Actually Sam was Tasha’s boyfriend. They were together for almost 6 years and were quite serious about their relationship but 2 years ago they separated their ways.”
“It’s a long story.”
“Mr Singh problem here is that, your daughter has suffered a retrograde amnesia.”
“Retrograde amnesia?? What’s that?”
“In this patient forgets some part of their life. In your daughter’s case the shock of this accident has sent her back to the shock of previous accident as a result of which she doesn’t remember a thing of what happened in her life in last 3 years.”
“Oh! That’s the reason she is asking about Sam again and again.” Dev said.
“So what next? How to bring her memory back?” I asked.
After thinking a while doctor said… “I think…. You have to bring Sam back.”
“Bring him back? But Why? Why we have to?” I asked sounding worried
“By seeing your daughter I think that he was one of the most important part of her life. And also you said that they were quite serious about their relationship. So for her to be back to her present you have to bring her past back. You have to bring Sam back.”
“Yes, he was an important part of her life. But Sam is history now. So why we have to bring him back now?” I said
“Can’t we tell her the truth?” her Dad asked.
“Yes you can. But what will you tell her?” doctor asked.
We didn’t have an answer to it. He was right. What we will tell her and how. She won’t be able to believe it. She won’t be able to get it. It already took her so long to get over it and now again. She won’t be able to bear it this time. Doctor understood it from our expressions.
“Now you got it. It could be dangerous for her if we tell her now about it. Once Sam comes we will inform her about her accident and her amnesia.” Doctor said.
“No he can’t be here. After what he did with my sister he can’t be here.” Dev said in anger.
“He’s the only option I am seeing now.” doctor said.
“Let it be like it.” Her father said calming him down
“Do you have his number?” doctor asked
“No” we said
“Umm…. Do you have any other info regarding him like where he is or if he’s married or not.”
“No. We haven’t heard anything about him from past 2 years.”
“I think we should ask your daughter about it. Might be she remembering it.”
“How could she, its long time back.” Dev said
“Possibly she does. If she thinks its 2013 then possibly she do remember.” I said analysing the situation
“Absolutely right. It’s in our subconscious mind where all things are stored. We never forget them, and it’s her subconscious mind which is active now.”
“But what’s the possibility that he’s still carrying the same number. He might have changed it.” Dev said
“We can only hope that he’s still having the same one” Doctor said
“But what if he refuses to help us?” Dev said trying everything to avoid calling Sam
“Then we have to think of something else. But presently we have to hope that he agrees.” Doctor said “So guys get on the mission of finding Sam.” “And one more thing, act as if we are in 2013 until we tell her the truth” He added while leaving the room.
The number Tasha dialled was out of service. We were not surprised when she dialled the number without looking for it in the directory. We stopped her from dialling the number herself but were unsuccessful. It would have been difficult to handle the situation had he answered. But the number was out of service. This resulted in restlessness and uneasiness within her. Her health deteriorated on not able to recall Sam’s number as she got an anxiety attack. “Had she dialled the correct number?” I wondered.
The situation became quite tensed. We have to find Sam at any cost now. But where the hell is he? He is the root cause of this problem. He caused a problem then and is again causing it now. Why ever he existed in her life? Why? My patience was giving up on seeing Tasha like this. I can’t see her like this. For her to get better we have to look for a way to find Sam.
We went to his house which Tasha’s Dad remembered but the house was locked. Neighbours said that the house is vacant from last one and a half years. We contacted their friends from college but neither of them was able to help us. We searched for him on social networking sites, but failed. His profile doesn’t exist. It seemed that man named ‘Samar Yadav’ doesn’t exist. We too were getting worried now. What if we are never able to find Sam? What will happen to Tasha? Our hopes of finding Sam were diminishing by each failing attempt. A thought crossed my mind “What if Sam is no more? Has he actually done something wrong or was he suffering from some deadly disease because of which he allowed himself to be proved wrong in her eyes as he never came back for an apology or for any type of explanation. Or it’s also possible that he committed a suicide after that.” I shivered all these thoughts away. Too much reading of fantasy books can do this to your mind. These things happens in stories only and not in real life but these were looking as possibilities to me as none of his friends has listened about him from past 2 years. “Where has he eloped since then? Where??” I was getting frustrated at it. My mind was getting angrier and angrier at it when Dev came running.
We can’t believe it. Standing in front of us was Sam’s Mom. She was having a chat with one of the doctors when she noticed us or maybe Tasha’s dad.
“Namaste Sankalp ji” she said with a smile
“Namaste Priya ji” he replied with a smile. Dev also greeted her
“You all here?? I hope nothing is serious.” She said reading our faces “Or is it?” she asked sounding worried.
We then informed her about all that has happened ….Tasha’s accident, her amnesia, her present mental stage, her continuous questioning about Sam, her desire to see him and how important is he for her to recover. Listening about Tasha’s condition she too got emotional as tears were there in her eyes. She has always treated Tasha as her own child and was always by her side until the unexpected happened…..
“So can you please contact Sam and ask him to be here.” Tasha’s dad requested her
“Yes, I will but before that can I see her?” she asked with full motherly emotions.
“Yes you can. She is upstairs. But act as if there’s nothing wrong between Sam and her, and currently we are in 2013”
She looked little puzzled at it.
“We haven’t informed her yet. Doctors said that it will be good if we inform her about it after Sam is here as it could prove little dangerous for her otherwise. And, what will we tell her and how? Her currently mental stage is at that point where they were perfect for each other. So we can’t tell her the truth as she won’t be able to bear it.” I replied explaining to her.
“Okay, I will keep that in mind” she replied
Tasha was delighted to see Sam’s mom. She was happy to know that now Sam can be contacted.
“Hello, Beta.” Tears were there in Priya ji’s eyes as she saw Tasha “How are you feeling now?”
“Don’t get so dramatic Maa (she often used to refer her as Maa). I am fine and will be better in a day or two, so please stop crying.” she replied smilingly
“Okay I won’t” replied Priya ji and smiled back to her. “By the way, how it happened?”
Tasha hesitated a bit and flaunted a bit with her words “Actually I wasn’t careful enough while crossing the road and was hit by a fast running car.” She said as she bowed down her head as if accepting her mistake.
“Beta I told you so many times to be careful while crossing the road, but you never listen to me. See how worried everyone was because of it.” said Priya ji
“I am sorry Maa” Tasha said innocently holding her ears by her hands
Priya ji smiled at her this gesture and said “Next time be careful”
“Yes I will be. I promise” Tasha said keeping her hand on Priya ji’s as they shared a smile among themselves
“Where’s Sam, Maa?” Tasha finally asked “His phone is out of service, your phone is not reachable and there’s no one picking up phone at home. Is everything alright??” she asked sounding worried
“Calm down beta, there’s nothing to worry about. Actually Sam lost his phone, so he had to get his number block. Also I wasn’t at home, went to Kanpur to meet my brother, so that’s why no one was picking up the phone at home. It’s today only when I returned I came to know about you.” she replied handling the situation perfectly
“Ohh. So that’s the story… and here I was getting worried unnecessarily.” She replied “Now please contact him na, I am missing him badly.” she said making a sad face. Her dramatic style was on.
“I will leave a message on his colleague’s phone. He will call me back when he sees it”
“Ask him to be back soon” Tasha said sounding desperate
“You know him na, he will come all the way running”
“Yes” she said feeling a little shy as she blushed
“You take some rest. You need it.” Priya ji said tapping Tasha’s cheeks
“Okay maa” she said
Outside Priya ji dialled Sam’s number
“Hello beta, how are you?
“You need to be back here now. It’s an emergency.”
“Sam, this is about Tasha”…..
Sam’s Narration ……….
I was in Bangalore when my phone rang. It was mom
“Hey mom” I said
“Hello Beta, How are you?”
“I am fine. You tell, everything fine there?” I asked as I found little tension in her voice
“You need to be back here now. It’s an emergency.”
“Sorry, mom I can’t come. There’s an assignment here in Bangalore, I am working on. It would be difficult for me to be there.”
“Sam, this is about Tasha” she said stressing over it.
My heartbeat increased listening to her name. “What happened to her?” I finally managed to ask
“It’s a long story. I can’t explain it over phone. The important thing is that you need to be back here.”
“Mom… Don’t play with words. Just tell me what happened? And by the way where are you exactly?”
“I am in XYZ Hospital. Tasha is admitted here as she has met with an accident.”
“Once again….” I said unable to believe it.
“Yes, once again. But this time she has suffered a retrograde amnesia because of which she has lost her memory of her last 3 years.”
I slammed my hand on my face. I didn’t expect this. I never saw this coming.
“Doctors are saying that it’s only you who can cure her.”
“Okay. I am coming. Will be there by tonight.” I said as I hung up the call.
Over the years I have trained myself to get control over myself, over my feelings, my emotions, but today, listening to it I was losing a bit. Though it wasn’t much evident from my tone or from my expressions but mom is mom, she will understand it.
I called my seniors and informed them about the emergency. They allowed me to go. I booked my ticket in the evening flight to Delhi. I was preparing myself for the night. I had to be strong. I can’t let myself to loose control over myself. And after what happened 2 years ago, I can’t let myself to get carried away. I had to be strong. I had to be. I know my decision. I know what I chose.
How will I do it……… Will I be able to do it……. Has anyone thought of the answers…….. My mind was filled with these thoughts as I boarded my flight.
As compared to other days, there were many vacant seats in the flight today. I settled myself on my window seat. In the row adjacent to mine, a small child was playing with keys in his hands and was passing a smile to me. I smiled back and waived to him. He got excited at it and started laughing loudly as he stretched his little hand towards me as if to shake hands. His mom holded him back and started playing with him. I closed my eyes and sat back to relax as flashback of memories started……….
Eight Years Ago………
FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE
It was my first day in college. Finally getting admission in Delhi University was like a dream come true. I was in a hurry, looking here and there for my classroom, as I was already late for my first lecture. In this hustle, I collided with someone.
“Hey, watch out.” said an angry sweet voice
“I am sorry” I said as I took a note of her. She was perfectly dressed in a white dress, with an orange handbag by her side and a beautiful looking face.
“You better be” she said in a rough tone.
How rude…… I thought
“Mistake was yours too. You too could have been careful.” I replied to her harsh comment
“Excuse me mister. I was careful. It was your fault.” she fighted back pointing a finger at me
I gave up the fight. There was no use of arguing with this rude girl and creating a scene on first day in college.
“Do you know where’s room no: AC-2?” I asked
“No” she replied at instant “Actually I am too looking for it” she said
I looked at her with a gaze “I don’t believe it. She is my classmate” I just hope that others are not as rude as her. I stopped a passing guy, “Hey bro, do you know where’s Room NO: AC-2?”
“Freshers??” he asked staring at us as if we were mouth-watering dish standing in front of him
“Bro, currently I am getting late for my lecture. You can rag me later.” I said
He laughed at my bold reply “It’s right there at the top floor.” He said pointing to a room.
“Thanks buddy” I said with a smile
“Best of Luck” he replied
“Thanks” I said rushing towards the room leaving that rude girl behind.
When I entered the classroom, a young professor was already there in the class. I asked him for his permission and he allowed me to enter. An interactive session was going on between him and the students. Every student was introducing themselves and was telling something about them. After a minute or so that rude girl too entered the class and professor let her in too. I was hearing others cautiously to know what kind of person they are and who could be a good friend. After few minutes my turn arrived.
“Hello everyone. I am Samar Yadav or you can call me Sam, as everyone does. My interests are adventurous sports, reading good books, thriller games, Mathematics which most of you don’t like, Sudoku and every other thing that involves application of mind.” I said it loud and clear.
“Good” professor said “So Sam what does your father do?”
“Sir, he was an army officer.”
“Was???” he asked sounding confused
“He died 6 years ago in a war.”
“Ohhh… I am sorry” he said feeling bad for discussing it’
“It’s all right sir. I am proud of my dad. He died fighting for his country. He lived for his country and died for it. Not everyone in life is given chance to serve his country. I am really proud of him. He’s my hero.”
Everyone present in the class clapped at it.
Professor was also smiling at it “So Sam, do you have any interest in army or will you join it?
“Sir, currently I have no such plans to join the army. I haven’t given it a thought. Currently I want to help my mom with her tuitions and other works. But one day I might join it, day when I feel that my country really needs me.”
“It was nice knowing you Sam. You may settle down” he said sounding impressed by me.
“Thank you sir” I replied and asked his name
“Nitin Arora, your economics professor” he replied
I settled myself and introduction session continued. It was her turn now.
“Hello, myself Tasha Singh. I love to swim, read novels and watch movies. My favourite subject is Eco and I am a crazy fan of Shah Rukh Khan. He’s my all-time favourite.” She said with lots of excitement, specially last 2 lines. Everyone laughed at it.
After the class was over, some of my classmates came to me for a formal handshake and acquaintance. We all were leaving for the next class which was in another room. I was getting out of the class when someone called me from behind. I turned to see who it was, and found that it was her, Tasha. Not again I thought. I was about to leave when she said “No Sam, please wait”
“What happened now? See I am in no mood in continuing the fight……”
“I am sorry.”
“What???” I asked to reconfirm whether I heard it correctly
“Yes, I am sorry. Mistake was mine too, and I was too rude with you. So sorry for that too. Actually at that I was upset because of two jerks who met me at the entrance which totally worsened my mood and I ended up being rude with you. I am sorry for that” she said in a gentle tone making a sad face.
“It’s okay. It happens. Mistakes do occur when something happens for the first time. And what a moment is it if it is not rememberable for a lifetime. We both will remember it for a lifetime.” I said winking to her
“Yes. Yes. We will” she said laughingly “Friends??” she asked stretching her right hand towards me for a handshake.
I first looked at her and then at her hand. “Friends.” I said as I reverted back as we shook hands.
At that time I didn’t knew that what that normal handshake will lead to.
Other teachers were not that interactive. She sat by my side in lectures that followed. She was also moving by my side wherever I was going.
“Why are you following me everywhere?”
“Do you have any problem?” she asked
“No, not at all. But you could be with other girls of the class. Befriend them. You can have lots of girly chats with them and go out with them.” I said explaining my point
“Ya but actually” she said looking left and right & moving closer to me and said in a low voice “Actually I feel I am bit safe with you”
I looked at her in confusion and she understood it from my expressions.
“The way you handled that senior. I was scared by the way he was looking at us. But you saved me. And I believe that you will handle them well again and I won’t get ragged.”
“Okay then come with me.” I said smiling at her stupidity.
“Also seeing you those jerks won’t dare to come near me.”
“By the way what they did?”
“No point of discussing.”
“Okkk… But what if they caught you when you are alone or if seniors found you when I am not around” I said in a teasing way.
“Don’t say like that yaar.” She said making an innocent face.
All I could was laugh at her stupidness. We were having a little chat when some guys blocked our way. The fear she was fearing off was now standing right in front of us.
“Freshers??” asked the guy looking at us
“Yes” I replied coolly
“Come with us” he said
“Where??” I asked
“Don’t ask questions. Just come with us” he said signalling us to follow them. I nodded and signalled him to move. Tasha pulled me back. “Are you mad?” were her expressions as she was looking tensed.
“Why are you so afraid? Don’t worry. Everything gonna be all right. I am there with you.” I said looking straight into her eyes for the first time and giving her some confidence
This gave her a little boost as we moved with the seniors. We entered a giant room which seemed to be like a giant auditorium. Looking at that room it seemed to me that this room might be used for addressing, discussing and questioning a larger crowd. There were many first year students like us siting on desks, all looking scared. Compared to them, Tasha was now looking quite relieved. We settled our self in the third row. I noticed that 4-5 seniors were discussing something in a corner. I was getting a gut feeling that it’s about something else. After around 5 minutes one of them came forward to take a central stage.
“Shall we start?” he asked one of his teammate. She gave him a thumps up signal
“Why is everyone looking so scared?” he asked looking at all fresher’s expressions
“Haven’t you informed them what it is about?” he asked his team
They shook their head. “It must be your idea Tina” he said looking at one of the girls & shaked his head
He turned towards us and said “Guys, calm down. Just calm down. No one here is going to rag you. We are extremely sorry for scaring you all. Actually our VP, sorry ex-VP is little naughty. So it was her idea from her mischievous brain to startle you all.” I could hear the sigh of relief my batch mates took. Hell of scared they were. He continued “Actually this is just an interactive session between you and us. By the way, myself Abhay. We have organised this session to inform you all about various societies that are there in college, upcoming sports events and other functions, programmes, events that happens in our college in which you might have an interest in and want to be a part of it. My team will inform you about them and if you have any interest in them then you are welcome. And also if you have any problem, query or any kind of complaint then you can come directly to me” he said with a smile and signalled his teammates to take the central stage.
One by one they introduced themselves and informed us about various societies of college and upcoming events. Soon the atmosphere of the room became interactive. Seniors were good. As I had an interest in sports I gave my name for it. On the other hand Tasha who had a great interest in Drama gave her name for Dramatics Society. I was carefully listening to the conversations that were happening when Tasha started tapping on my arm.
“What happened?” I asked in a low voice moving towards her.
“Hey, look there.”
“Where??” I asked looking confused
“Outside the class, there” she said with a slight movement of her head.
I noticed 2 boys out there.
“These were the jerks I was talking about I hope they won’t create a problem” she said sounding worried
“Don’t worry.” I said looking at her and giving her the confidence. I then gave a second look at those boys. By looks they looked crooks.
I waved a hand towards Abhay. He caught my movement and came towards us. I narrated him what Tasha has said about those 2 guys and how they might cause a problem. Abhay had a good look at them. “Don’t worry. They won’t cause a problem. I will handle them” he said with a smile
“Thanks” I said as we shaked hands.
After he was gone I said to her “I told you na there’s nothing to worry about. You were taking tension unnecessarily.”
“Thanks” she replied with a beautiful smile
“As your both problems are solved, you can stop following me now.” I said
“You want to get rid of me?” she asked in an innocent tone
“No… Actually… You only said that there were 2 reasons for following me. First were the seniors and second were those two jerks. As both problems are solved now, so no reason is left for you to follow me.” I said shrugging my shoulders
“Sam, why you wanna leave me alone everytime?” She said in her sweet childish tone.
I didn’t understand what she was trying to say. Before I could even ask her she began “In morning also you left me behind. You never thought for a while that what if some senior got hold of me or something else happens to me.” She said and performed this in such a dramatic way that you won’t stop laughing at it.
“Why are you so melodramatic?” I asked shaking my head
“Why you always want to be alone?” she asked
I didn’t respond at it.
“OKAY. FINE. I AM GOING” she said thumping her feet, moving slowly and slowly ahead, and tilting her head back continuously as if expecting me to call her back.
Such a drama queen she is. Seeing her the way she was behaving no one could say that today we were meeting for the first time. Why I have to bear this melodrama, I wondered. I finally said “Wait. Come back.”
She stopped and smiled at it. “Really?? You want me to come back. Don’t you want to be alone?” she asked in a teasing way
“You coming or I leave” I teased her back and motioned to move in opposite direction.
“Wait. I am coming.” she said and came rushing and caught me by my arm.
“You are such a drama queen” I said looking at her
“I know” she said feeling proud and appreciating the not-so compliment
“You are like this with everyone or I am a special case or today’s something special?” I asked her
“No, I am not like this everytime.” She answered thinking a little. “I am like this only with friends, friends I like.”
“You only know me for few hours.” I replied at that being surprised with it
“So what Sam. Sometime lifetime is not enough to know someone and sometimes a moment is enough. We can’t predict anything from the beginning. So better to go with the flow. Whatever is to happen will automatically fall in place.” She said this in a lil serious tone.
We settled ourselves in our seats after collecting our orders. I initiated the conversation
“So what’s your father’s profession?”
“He’s a scientist”
“Oh… cool…. Mine was an army man.” I said biting a piece of French fries
“Ya, I know. Heard that in the class.” She said in a low tone
“You are from Delhi only or from outside?”
“We are from Delhi. We live in Safdurjung area. And you?”
“We live in Karol Bagh.” I said as her phone rang.
It’s mom she said. I could hear only one side conversation
“Ya everything good”
“Yes, I am having it.”
“Ya, I made friends” she said looking at me
“Okay mom. I will take care.”
“Bye” she said
“So, Sam who’s your favourite hero?” she started immediately after hunging up her phone
“I don’t have any. For me my father is a hero, every army man is a hero.” I said with certain pride.
“I know. I know. I know that every army person is a hero. I too respect them for what they do selflessly for our country. I want to know who’s your favourite Bollywood actor or a favourite TV actor.” She asked “like in my case. It’s SHAH RUKH KHAN, the king of romance.” She said with certain pride.
“I don’t have any. I don’t watch TV programmes and movies.”
“What??” she said as she was bit shock by it. “You don’t watch movies and programmes” she said still unable to believe what she just heard.
“What’s there to be shock at it?” I asked her “I don’t have an interest in them plus I don’t have time for it.”
“What do you do?”
“I work. On weekdays I go to sporting complex to help little kids there to improve their game. And on weekends I work at nearby BOOK STORE-CUM-LIBRARY, maintaining records and arranging books. Sometimes I help my mom with her tuitions. So I am not able to get much time, and when I do I prefer to watch sports channels and news.
Her eyes became larger. “Wow, Sam you are simply great” is all she could say
College’s first day has finally come to an end. We were at the college’s gate. She hasn’t spoken much since then.
“You Okay??” I enquired
“Ya… I am fine” she said
“Then why are you so silent?”
“Just thinking… How life could be so different for different peoples. I never thought it that way.”
I didn’t respond at that. I understood what she was trying to say.
“Bye Sam. See you tomorrow.” She said with a smile
“Bye” I responded as we went into our respective directions.
“How was your first day in college?” my mom asked
“I don’t know. It was too weird.” I responded not sure about how to describe it.
“Why? What happened??”
“Don’t ask… Why you women are so complex?”
My mom laughed at that. “What happened Sam? Who was that girl?”
“Tasha. Half mad… No even more than that.” I said and narrated all that has happened
“Seems to be a nice girl to me though little dramatic. But she could be a good friend.” Mom said
“Ya… but I hope tomorrow she won’t follow me that much.”
“Sam… why you always want to be alone?”
“Mom… not you…”
“I am not saying anything wrong. It’s good that someone is taking interest in you & wants to be a good friend of yours”
“Leave it mom. I got to go. Getting late.” I said and left for the sports complex.
I thought that I would be able to maintain a good distance from her but wasn’t successful in it. From next day onwards she started sitting beside me and we started hanging out together. Gradually, some other classmates too became our friends. But most of the time we preferred to spend together alone.
About a week later, auditions for dramatics’ club started and she like always was feeling a bit nervous about it.
“Why do you get so nervous on small, small things?” I asked her
“I don’t know. Just feeling lil scared.” She said
“Why are you fearing so much? It’s just a small audition. No one is gonna kill you if you didn’t perform well.”
“I know. But I don’t want to get rejected. I want to be a part of it”
“You won’t get rejected yaar. Trust me, you will be a part of this play. You are so melodramatic and such a drama queen that you will easily get through it. So, why are you scaring so much?”
“Because it’s a role of a lead protagonist”
“So what? You are already playing this role in your real life. And playing it very well. If you can play it well in your real life then you can do it easily in your play too.”
She was shocked at my such a lame explanation
“Just be calm. Don’t try to act. Try to perform. Imagine the situation, put yourself through it and then perform. Believe me it will come out as the best. And I know that you can do it. So just relax.” I said with a smile. She smiled back and looked more confident.
After few minutes they called her in. It was her turn now. She went inside. I myself wasn't sure of what was going to happen. I just did what RAJ K.SAXENA said, “Just let it be. Put confidence in other person. Even if you yourself aren't sure about it. Still say it. Just say it. You never know which of your line will motivate them and they will come out with their best. You don't have any idea what your confidence might bring in them. It's their dream, their wish, their desire. Only thing they lack is confidence and faith. Provide them with that. Even if you yourself aren't 100% sure about it, still say it. Say it and witness the change”
She was on stage now. I gave her a thumps up sign as she began her act.
And much to her surprise, she performed really well as she got the standing ovation from every one and undoubtedly bagged the role of lead protagonist.
“You are a good actor.” I said
“Yes. Yes. I know.” She grinned, appreciating herself
“You can make it a career” I suggested
“No, not as a career. I love to act but not that much to make it a carrier. It’s just like a small hobby for me.”
“I think you should give it a thought. And you never know, you might get a chance to work with SRK” I said in a teasing way but not reflecting it with my words or expression.
She became excited at it. Her eyes became larger. Her face had a big smile as she had already started imagining a scene with SRK. But then she got it. She understood mischief in my words and beated me on my arm and we both ended up laughing at it.
Next day it was my trial and I insisted her not to be present there.
“Which sport you want to be a part of?” Asked the teacher
“Give me any, whether it’s basketball, football, volleyball, tennis or table tennis”
“Impressive, but why not cricket?”
“There are already too many for it.” I said looking at the great crowd that was there for cricket. “Also I want to be a part of sport that keeps me more involved” I completed as everyone present there was surprised at my answer.
“Let’s see if you are good in playing also or in talks only” he said challenging me
“Sure sir” I said with a smile, accepting the challenge.
He put me through various tests and I performed well in them.
“You are a good runner” he appreciated. “You could be a part of athletics team.”
“No sir.” I said “I don’t like running like that only. I want something around or want something to chase to”
“Ok… No problem… you can go now. You will be informed when’s the training” he said
“But sir, I want to do it in weekdays, in college timings only”
“Why??” he questioned
“Sir, I have other things to do in remaining period of time”
“What work?” He asked
“I have some” I said having no interest to discuss it with him or anybody else
“Look if you are good at it, then don’t think that things will happen according to your timings. If you want to be a part of the team then you have to here at the time allotted to you, otherwise you won’t be a part of it.”
“Ok, sir. It’s your choice then” I replied with a smile and left without waiting to listen to his response.
“Come na. See it’s so good.”
“No Tasha. I don’t want to”
“Please, please, please. Come na.”
“No Tasha. I want to attend this class. If you want to go then you can go”
“Come-on yaar. When weather has become so good, so romantic then being loyal to studies is not justice.” she said persuading me.
Tasha was trying to drag me out of the class. Weather outside has become pleasant. It was about to rain and she was going crazy about it.
“It’s about to rain, Tasha” I said justifying the reason to stay there in the class.
“That’s why I am saying yaar. It’s about to rain and I just love it. Rain is beautiful. Rain is desire. Nature’s beauty is enhanced by rain. Nature becomes more attractive. Just listen to the noise of the rain, it’s like music to ears. The odour of the sand is so awesome. And the strong breeze totally freshens you up.” she said each and every line with so much feel and expression that my temptation too raised. “Also this rain is far better than these lectures” she added
I was not able to understand how to respond. I was trying to make up what to say when she said “Come na Sam. I don’t want to go alone. It’s only about 1 lecture. Please… please… please…” she said almost pleading
“Ok. Ok. I am coming” I said instantly. If I hadn’t, then she would have either eaten my brain or would have cried.
“Thanks” she said delightly and hugging me by my arm.
Weather outside has become more pleasant now as cool breeze was blowing. We were going to our favourite spot on the top floor. From there one always gets a good view and with this weather it will be a more pleasant one from there.
“You love rain very much?” I asked to confirm
“Ya” she replied
“Why are you so crazy about it?”
“Rain brings joy to me. RAIN AND RAIN AND RAIN. I just love the rain. I don’t know why but just the essence of it delights me. Nature becomes more beautiful, more charming after the rain. Everything around feels so lovely, so dearly and then just look at the heaven and feel more of it. I love to be washed away by the rain and there were so many occasions in the past where I was completely washed away by the heavy rain” she said it all very excitedly and her expressions changing line by line. I was just looking at her and listening calmly to her beautiful explanation about the rain. She defined it so beautifully that I remembered lines from RAJ K.SAXENA’S novel “Rain is like a nature’s blessing to inspire people, a foul play to bring love birds together and a way to cherish the beauty of the earth. Rain brings it all.”
“Wow, what a beautiful description…” I said “But what about aftermaths, muddy ways, floods, water filled on roads, water loggings, insects, etc.”
“So what…. Everything in the world has aftermath. Rain helps in spreading greenery around, helpful for farmers in growing crops, also proves good for forest animals, it also helps in water restoration, rain water harvesting and so on. There are so many advantages of rain”
“But what, when it becomes excessive causing floods, damaging lifestyle of people, damaging crops and even causing problems to animals.”
“Ya, I understand. Excessive of it is bad. But this thing I can’t control. And you don’t spoil my mood talking about that” she said in an aggressive way
“Okay. I won’t.” I said giving up the argument “Enjoy the rain.”
We stood there silently for few minutes when she said “You know, when I was in school I wrote a poem on Rain….. Wait. I must be having it”
She opened her bag, dragged out a diary from it and gave it to me. There were many poems, short stories and articles in it
“You love to write too… Wow” I said appreciating her talent. “So, you carry it everywhere?” I asked
“Yes. I carry it everywhere with me. I don’t know when and where something will inspire me, so I carry it with me to pen it down immediately as later on I might forget and won’t be able to right it that well.” She said
I appreciated her thinking and was turning through the pages when she suddenly snatched it back from me and held it closely in her arms.
“Why are you going through everything? I gave it to you only for that poem” she complained
“So what’s wrong in it if I see your other works too.”
“No. You can’t. There’s lot private in it.”
“Ohh… Privacy… What’s so private in it?” I asked teasing her
“I am having something and nobody is allowed to see it” she said blushingly defending herself.
“Okay. I won’t see that. Just show me that poem” I said
“Promise me. You won’t see it.” She said pointing a finger at me and demanding a promise like a kid will do.
“I promise” I said smiling at her this behaviour.
She opened that page and gave it to me and was observing me very closely. I acted as if I was turning the page. She just jumped at it preventing me to do so. “Sam. You promised me.” she shouted. I laughed hard at it. “Calm down. Calm down. I am not turning it.” I said
She understood my mischief and beated me on my arm. She sat back on her position and made a strange face. I again teased her in the same way. This time her mouth opened for a second but then she closed it back.
“Ok. Ok. I am not doing it again.” I said to end it
Even if she hadn’t asked me for a promise, I wouldn’t have read it. I appreciate privacy. I have mine. I was just playing with her. Her expressions were worth seeing.
“It’s nice” I said after reading her poem and handed her back her diary.
“Thanks” she said
“You love to read also na?” I asked to confirm
“Yes, love to read, stories, articles and books” she answered
“Then try RAJ K.SAXENA’S books. You will love them”
“Is he good??” she asked
“He writes good. Though he is not that famous, but his novels are worth reading.”
“Ok. I will try them.” “You having 1 now or at home?” she asked
“No. Actually I read them in library only”
“I will buy it then.” She said “But currently I am feeling hungry. Let’s go to the cafeteria and have something with this rain.”
“Ok. Come.” I said and helped her getting down as we left for the cafe.
Days passed by as we started getting closer to each other. We used to spend most of the time together playing, eating, discussing about various things, things we both had interest in it. One such day we were sitting at our favourite place on the top floor and were having a discussion about our families.
“So you are always a centre of attraction in your family” I said
“Yes. I am loved by everyone. They all take a great care of mine.” She said cheerfully
“So, that’s the reason of you being so dramatic”
“Ya. You can say like that.” She said smiling at it. “So, what about you?”
“What do you want to know” I asked.
“Tell me anything about you being from an army family and everything related to it, how you feel etc.” she said unable to frame it properly
“I didn’t get you” I said
“See, me being a civilian will never be able to understand the feeling of an army family. I have seen them in Tv’s and movies only. So I want to know what you feel being from that family and what you feel when your family members are on duty, especially at the time of war” she said “And I hope I am not hurting you by asking this?” she asked to reassure
“No. Not at all” I replied. “You have asked a very serious question” I said after a couple of seconds.
“Telling about my father, as a child I used to miss him a lot, especially on my birthday. I used to feel bad, but would also think logically and will realise that it’s not his mistake either. He is on his duty. My mom is strong but she used to cry sometimes, times when my father’s duty was on border and war time was around. My mom thinks I haven’t seen her crying but I had, that too many times. People celebrate festivals with their family but my mom and I used to celebrate them without Dad.”
“Don’t they get leave at festival times?” She asked being confused at it.
“They do. But not all. If they all are given leave then who will look after our country.” I replied with a smile
“And what about those who are never able to return? Despite of this why their family members are ready to send their son/daughter to the army and too happily?”
“Miss Tasha, we are an army family. That spirit is in our bloods too. The spirit which inspires the soldiers to fight for the country at the battle field. That family support that no one else could understand. And the man who dies on the battlefield is not an ordinary man. He’s a man who has died for his nation, which is being respected. It’s a feeling of pride for them. Like in my case, I am proud of my dad. If one dies, other replaces, that’s the theory of we army family.” I said “But the problem is that people take army for granted. They think that it’s their duty and they are paid for it.”
“Ya people do. But what about the sacrifices they do in exchange of their life. They risk their life for us. These things people don’t understand. Also I think our government should also take special care of army and seriously do something for them” Tasha said in a frustrated tone
“Ya they should. Moreover, when I listen in news about army shootout and about martyrs, I feel very bad for them and their families and would think how they could have been saved had there been some special arrangements done for them by the government” I said
She got little emotional at all this and asked in a soft voice “will you join army?”
“You know my answer.’ I said “My mom is ready to send me but I am not willing to go just because of her. But if someday I feel that my country needs me, I will surely join it”
I turned towards her. She was looking bit distressed.
“Don’t worry. It’s not necessary that I will be on borders only. There are many other departments like intelligence department, research department etc. I can join any among them” I said but still her expressions remained same. “And Tasha, I am not joining it right now. So cheer up.” I said. She tried to smile but her expressions refrained her from doing so as she was lost in some kind of deep thinking.
“I love you”
“I love you??”
“Yes, I love you” “Really?? Is it to be like this…?”
“No. No. No. It couldn’t be like this” Tasha said
We were at her rehearsals. She wasn’t happy with one of the scenes of the play. Scene where her hero proposes her. “Think of something good” she said to the director
“This is to happen like this only. And we don’t have much time to think. We have to go with it only.” He said being unhappy with Tasha’s views
“It’s never too late to do something. We always have time. If we all think about it for a while then we might come up with something better. We all should give it a try guys, come-on.” she said cheerfully
“Tasha, this time we have to go with this only. Next time we will surely improve it.” he said. Tasha was disappointed at it
“Actually I think she is right. I too find this too naive. We should think for a while and come up with something better” said one of the member of the play.
“See….” Tasha said to him presenting forward the view of other girl as others too supported them.
“Okay. We have 15 minutes. If we are able to think of something then we will go with it otherwise you have to settle with it.” he said finally agreeing to the plea of the team
“Okay. Done” she said as everybody there got busy in thinking for a better proposal
“Sam, you also try” she shouted from the stage. “Ohh hello, why me?? This is not my area. You all think of it. Don’t drag me in it.”
“Sam at least give it a try. We all are thinking about it.”
“No, I can’t. You think, after all you are a SRK fan. You will definitely come up with something good being inspired by him”
“And you are a RAJ K. SAXENA fan. So you can easily come up with something brilliance from his works” she said to silent me.
“Okay.” I said finally giving up the argument once again as time was running out.
I sat back on my seat and closed my eyes to think of something. When I opened it back, I saw her moving to and fro on the stage, talking to herself, trying to think. Suddenly something in me rose, I stood up and moved forward looking only at her and said……….
The sounds of the claps brought me back to my senses. I myself was surprised at what I just said. Was this me who actually said it…? I wondered… Rounds of claps were going on as I noticed Tasha, whose mouth was half-open as she too was surprised at it. The situation became a bit awkward for me so I escaped from it lying that I had some work in the library and left instantly.
Later in the evening, we were walking back to our bus stops. Both of us were silent, unable to decide how to initiate the conversation.
She finally broke the silence and asked “What you said today, you actually said it to me or was it for the play only?”
This question gave me shivers. I just smiled at it and asked her, “What do you think, whom was it for?”
“I think, you said those lines for me.” She said each and every word slowly and slowly, noticing my expressions and increasing my nervousness “OH MY GOODNESS Sam. You are blushing” she said getting over joyed “So this means…..” she said in a bit teasing manner
“No, it’s not like that” I said trying to control my uncontrollable smile. “The way you are saying, it’s……” I was unable to say anything clearly as I myself wasn’t sure about what to say.
“Na. Na. Na. It’s something else Sam. That was for me.” She said it again in a teasing way
“Stop teasing me yaar. It’s isn’t like that.” I said still unable to stop my smile
“Okay. Okay. I am not saying it again.” She said and chuckled
“What would have been your response if that was for you?” I asked her after a while, this time in a bold manner, shifting the moment of awkwardness towards her
“So, it means you are accepting that it was for me.” She said again in a teasing manner shifted that balance on me.
“I am asking it generally, what would have been your response if it was for you.” I said, this time facing her, looking straight into her. She didn’t replied at it and turned her gaze away from me.
We were now standing at the bus stop, waiting for her bus. She hasn’t said anything since then. I was about to talk to her when her bus arrived and she got onto in it. I turned to leave when she called me from behind. I turned back towards her.
“Don’t you want to know my answer?” she asked. There was no response from my side as I was waiting for her to finish it. “It is yes, if what you said was for me” she said with a smile as her bus departed. I smiled back and waived her.
“Hawaon ne phir apna Rukh moda hai
Kuch undekha anjana sa hona hai
Raste se kuch badalne se lage hai
Manjile kuch nayi si dikhne lagi hai
Undekha anjana sa kuch hone laga hai
Hawaon ne phir apna rukh moda hai”
“Why you said yes to me?” I asked her next day in the college
“I said it is yes if what you said was for me.” she said playing with the words smartly
“Exactly that’s what I am asking why you said yes?”
“So, this means that you are accepting that you said that for me.” she said excitedly. Her eyes became larger because of happiness.
I tried to make up what to say and flaunted a bit “Ac… act… actually… I am not sure…”
“Not sure??” She asked sounding confused
“Yes. I am not sure.” I said getting up and moving away from her. “Last night also, I was thinking about this only. What I said was actually for you or was that for the character as I am myself surprised at what I said” I said still confused at for whom I actually said that lines for.
“Ohh…. Whole night you were thinking about me…” she said teasing me “That’s why I was getting so many hick-ups” she chuckled. I just stared at her to be silent. “Okay. Okay.” She said raising her hands in defence.
“Do you remember how that happened or anything of that time?” she asked this time in a bit serious tone.
“You asked me to think. I closed my eyes for it and when I opened then I saw you and then……….”
“Everything came out on its own…” she completed
“Yes…” I agreed “so it means…..” I asked symbolling “I love her?” (I first pointed myself, then formed a heart and then pointed at her)
“Yes” she replied with a smile and reverted my symbol “You love me” and “me too” she added. She was looking much happier now.
I don’t know what her reaction would be, but I had to say it. “Sorry but we can’t be together.” I said facing away from her.
“Why so, Sam?” She asked in a very innocent manner
I was thinking of how to say it. She got something wrong from my expressions and said, “Sam, just be honest with me about it.” this in a serious tone
“Yaar, why are you making so serious face?” I said looking at her “I just wanted to say that we can’t be together now. It’s only a while we know each other. Give it some time. Let us know it better, know each better and then take a call on it as I don’t want us to end up by blaming each other in the end” I explained
“So, say it like that na” she said complainingly “Actually it’s a good thought. I like it.” She said with a smile and agreed to it.
So it was decided that we will give it time, let our feelings develop and then decide over it.
We were having a gala time together. We were going good until that devastating incident happened.
Back to Present…….
We were in the doctor’s cabin. I was standing with folded arms by the side of the wall to the left of doctor’s desk. He was informing me about Tasha’s condition and what we all have to do now.
“So, Sam are you ready for it?” Doctor asked
After a moment of silence I said “Yes… But before that I want your permission uncle.” I asked Tasha’s Dad.
“You have my permission. But just be cautious with what you do. Don’t do anything of that sort which might prove dangerous for her.” He said
“I will take care of that.” I said
“Okay then, we can now go to her room.” Doctor said getting up from his seat.
“You guys move, I will catch you in 5 minutes. I need to use the washroom.” I said and left the doctor’s cabin.
I was looking at myself in the mirror, trying to get moral spirit before I face her. I need to keep myself calm and compose. I can’t let myself get carried away now. I have to be strong and bold. I calmed my nerves and split some water on my face and went out with bold and practical mind-set.
She was lying on her bed and was having some rest when I entered her room. It was after 2 long years I was finally seeing her. As I entered her room, she somehow realised my presence as she opened her eyes and looked towards the side of the gate from where I entered. Her eyes brightened and her lips curved upwards as she saw me.
“Sam” she said. I could sense it from her tone that how delighted was she to see me. I smiled at her.
“Sam, Sam, Sam. Where were you? I was so worried….” She said it in her old typical innocently sweet manner taking my hands in hers as my heartbeat increased with her touch.
“You were worried…..” I said complaining “You had an accident. You are here in this condition and you were worrying……” I said “You even realise what went through me when I heard about it?” I said, this time touching her face as old emotions rise within me.
“You would have cried a lot.” She said to tease me
“No. I didn’t.” I said instantly and took my hand back
“Sam, Sam, Sam. You can’t hide it from me. I can see it in your eyes.” she said smilingly looking into my eyes. Even after so long she could understand me so nicely. Has anything never died between us or this is because of her condition, I wondered…
I tried to control my smile “Cut it short. You tell how it happened?”
“I will tell you but don’t be angry at it.” she said
“I wasn’t cautious enough while crossing the road and was hit by a fast running car.” she said demonstrating it from her hands.
“Can’t you be bit cautious?” I said hitting her lightly with my fingers on her forehead. “Where was your attention at that time?”
“Was deeply lost in your thoughts” she replied in her romantic tone
“Don’t try to flaunt me.” I replied with a smile
She smiled back. “By the way Sam, Where were you? We were all so worried.”
“As you know, I was on my official trip to Bangalore. There I don’t know when my phone slid from my pocket and when I dialled it from my colleague’s phone, my number was not reachable. So I had to get it blocked.”
“You could have called me on my cell” she said
“I tried, but yours too was not reachable. And I don’t remember Dev’s and dad’s number. So…” I said justifying that there was no way I could have contacted her. “And also Mom too wasn’t here. So it’s today only when I came to know about you.”
“My cell might have got destroyed in the accident.” She said trying to remember it
My job was to lighten her mood before we inform her about her condition. So I initiated some of our old talks which kept her involved and lightened her mood. Just when I started feeling that that’s the right time to call everyone in and inform her about her amnesia when she said “Sam I want to discuss one thing with you.”
“What’s that?” I asked
“From past few days, ummm… I mean after the accident everything seems weird to me.”
“Weird as in??” I asked
“The way everyone was behaving. Dad… Dev… doctors…Everything… everything around seems so different. You too looking different. Different in looks, style, body…. Everything seems not okay to me. I don’t know why…” she said giving stress on her memory trying to know why she was feeling so.
“Calm down. Just calm down. Everything is all right. There’s nothing different. Everything is same like it was. So just don’t stress yourself.” I said to stop her from over stressing herself and causing a problem. “Reason why you are feeling like this has an explanation. An explanation the doctor will give.” I said
“Doctor??? Don't tell me that I am suffering from some deadly disease and it's because of that and I am going to die.” She said it rapidly in her dramish way
“Just shut up” I said in a stern voice “Don’t talk rubbish.” She became quiet listening to my stern voice
I called the doctor and others in.
“Tasha listen calmly and patiently to what I am going to tell you now.” He said as the atmosphere in the room became quite tensed. Tasha was feeling nervous, so I took her hands in mine.
“You said that, you were hit by a fast running car.”
“The accident you are talking about happened 3 years ago…….”
“What……” She tried to speak but doctor cut her short
“Wait, wait. Let me complete.” He said as I calmed her. “That accident happened 3 years ago in 2013 and currently we are not in 2013. It’s 2016.” Doctor completed
She can’t believe it. She just looked at me in horror, unable to digest what doctor just said and asked for reconfirmation. I nodded to confirm that she heard it correctly. It’s 2016 and not 2013.
“Few days ago, you had another accident. The shock of which has sent you back to the shock of the previous accident, because of which you were thinking that it’s 2013. In medical terms we call it retrograde amnesia.”
She was listening to the doctor very carefully. Her expression changing with every shock she got. Her restlessness increased as she was still unable to believe, what has happened with her.
I tried to calm her down. So her dad. But this time, this was bit difficult as she was muttering things…. “How could I simply forget what has happened with me in last 3 years.” She tried to stress her mind, trying to remember anything she might of last 3 years but was unsuccessful. She was in tears… “Daaaddd… How could I just……. Why I am not….. Why……”
“Calm down Tasha. Calm down. You will remember that soon. So, don’t panic. It’s just temporary. In few days everything will be like it was. It just a matter of time and you will remember everything.” Doctor consoled her
“And I am also here na. I will make you remember everything. We will recreate our moments.” I said looking into her eyes. “Now take some rest. You need it badly.” I said touching her face with my hand. “And don’t try to stress up your mind by forcing it to think. We all here and we will build your memory again” I said smilingly looking at her. She finally smiled back. We were leaving when she called me from behind. I turned toward her.
“Aren’t we engaged yet?” She asked looking firstly at fingers and then at mine. I shook my head
“Then when we are going to be?” She asked out of curiosity
I looked at her Dad for support
“Soon… In about 2 months.” her dad said at instant, which surprised everyone except Tasha.
None of us was happy with his response, but knew that that was his instant reaction to Tasha’s surprise question.
“Have you prepared yourself for questions she might ask now?” I asked everyone.
“What type of questions?” Jeh asked who was now looking bit frustrated.
“Like she asked now.”
“Say it clearly.”
“She might ask for photos and any other thing as a memory of past 3 years, which we know we don’t have or she could ask any other question like that. So at that time what will we tell her? How will we answer them?” I said explaining my point “Have you thought of anything?”
“No. But there aren’t any pics. She destroyed all pics she had with you” Dev said tauntingly, trying to realize me what I did.
“Good. At least we can say that the pics were in mobile and mobile got totally destroyed in the accident and we are having no back up of it.”
“Those things are not of worry. We will think of them when time arrives.” Tasha’s dad said. “But now what? What we have to do now?” he asked the doctor.
“Just go with the flow. Let things happen and try to repeat some of the incidents that occurred in the past that she might remember easily. Try to make her remember in small- small parts.” Doctor said
A PHONE CALL
“Everything okay there?”
“Ya to some extent”
“Good. But doesn’t remember a thing of past 3 years”
“Good for you I suppose”
“I don’t know. You know the reason why that happened. Could possibly happen again”
“Do you think she will recognise me?”
“I don’t think so….”
“Should I come? Maybe seeing me, the villain of her story she might remember everything and then you can come back with me”
“No, it’s not time. We will do it after our work is over”
“You tell, any progress there?”
“Yes, to some extent. By the way, it’s just few hours since you left”
“We don’t have much time. Every passing hour is precious for us”
“I know and don’t worry. We will finish it within time. You take care of her.”
“Okay but keep me informed about any progress.”
“Surely I will because at some point we might need your assistance.
“Okay then. Bye for now.”
Only her dad was there when I returned after attaining the call.
“Your mom had some work so dev has gone to drop her.” her dad said even before I could ask “Sit” he said gesturing me to sit beside him
“So, Beta how’s life?” he asked after I settled myself near him
“Good” I replied with a smile
“Sam, I really want to thank you for coming. I don’t know how we would have managed it without you. So thanks for being here.”
“No need to say thanks uncle. I had to be here, no matter what. It’s my duty” I replied with a smile.
“I don’t know what exactly went wrong between you two or what she saw, but one thing I am sure is that you can’t be wrong. In all these years I was confident that you can’t do anything wrong. I was waiting for you to return for an explanation or anything of that kind butt never came back…..” he said
This surprised me . He still has trust on me like he had earlier. Why?? I wondered. He continued “Even if you had done something wrong then why don't you apologize...” “Apologize?? Now??”
“There’s never too late to do anything. See, in life, we all commit mistakes, we all take wrong decisions, we all make wrong choices. It happens. It’s what life is about. But one thing we never do is apologize. We don’t apologize for mistakes we commit and just carry the burden of it in our hearts. Instead we should talk one to one to that person and apologize for what we did wrong, as apology relives you and lessens your burden.” He said explaining me what I already know.
“I understand it uncle but here I meant that she doesn’t even remember a thing. So apology here…….” I said explaining him what I exactly meant earlier.
“Yes, that’s also a thing.” He said realizing her current situation “But will you say it after she recovers?” he asked
“Why you want me to do it? After what she has passed through in last 2 years because of me… you still want me to be in her life… Why??”
“Because I want my old daughter back. She has changed a lot since then and it’s only you now who could bring her back. You are the reason for her happiness.”
“And I was also the reasons for her unhappiness, her tears, and for her suffering” I said
“That was because a part of her was separated. It was because you weren’t there. With you she is joyous, but without you she isn’t like she used to be”
I smiled at it “You look everything so optimistically”
“Seeing things from different angles sometimes solves big crises” he said and he was right about it. Sometimes it do work and no one else could understand it better than me.
“But do you think she will accept it or even she would be ready to listen to it?”
“She will take some time but she will accept it” he said with a smile.
“But the point here is not about apology, it’s about truth. Truth that nobody knows. Truth which is far different from what she thinks.” I said
“Truth?? What's the truth?” he asked being surprised at it as the realization struck me.
“What I had just said?? Had I done a blunder here?” I wondered and just shook my head at it
“Okay. I understand. You can’t tell it. If you could you would have done it long before. But you can see what damage your 1 lie has caused. Truth might not have done that much as you would have easily managed the situation.”
“Really??” I wondered “Had I made a mistake in making the right choice??”
“Think over it Sam, as not everyone in life is given a second chance. You have got one, to tell her the truth, to make correct choice.”
“I will think about it” I replied with a smile
“And I promise that I won’t discuss it with anyone until you yourself tell her the truth.” He said “And I am happy to know that I wasn’t wrong about you” he said with some pride
The news came as a big shock to me. I lost my memory of my last 3 valuable years. How is it possible? How it could be gone like this in a simple accident? How I can’t just remember anything? I tried to think deeper and deeper, but failed. Finally I gave up. I can’t remember anything that could have seemed to have happened after that accident in 2013. But my memory prior to the accident in 2013 is still fresh in my mind. I do remember my parents, my family, my childhood days, my Sam, how we met and how we ended up loving each other. I remember everything.
I still remember, it was my first day in the college and I was quite nervous about it because of the ragging that might happen with me. I became extra cautious, after my mood was totally spoiled by those 2 jerks at the entry gate. I was moving cautiously, looking all around for my classroom and also not to get caught by the seniors. And in my that anxious moment, I collided with a guy. I became little scared at that time but then something in me rise and in very next moment I quickly I decided to get over this guy whoever he was and blame him before he do so and get over me.
“Hey, watch out” I said in a little anger tone to scare him so that he won’t fight
“I am sorry” he said accepting his mistake. But because of frustration of my earlier incident I ended up saying “You better be” This triggered him up and he said “Mistake was yours too. You too could have been careful.”
He was right that mistake was mine too and I should accept it but instead I said “Excuse me mister. I was careful. It’s all your mistake” as I didn’t want him to cause a trouble to me later because of it.
I was relieved when he gave up the fight at that very moment but was in a shock in very next moment when he asked for room no: AC-2. This guy is my classmate. SHIT. SHIT. SHIT. HAD I DONE A MISTAKE HERE? I don’t know what he will think of me now and what he will tell others about me. I wondered
He stopped a passing guy and enquired him about it. But the way that guy was looking at us totally scared me and I don’t know whether anybody noticed or not that I took few steps backward. This was me and on the other hand was this guy, who was talking so boldly, so confidently to that senior.
“The room was on the top floor” said the senior pointing towards a room. My classmate left immediately, leaving me behind alone. “How could he?” I said in a bit anger in my mind “And why would he?” I got my answer “After the way I behaved with him, why would he?”
I felt really bad about the way I behaved with him.
Professor was already there when I reached my class. The professor was nice and allowed me to attend the class despite of fact that I was late. An interactive session was happening in the class as everyone was introducing themselves to their new mates and it was his turn now, the guy with whom I collided. He introduced himself as Samar or I think Sam will be better. There was lots of confidence in the way he spoke, a way which sometimes I do lack. I was just staring him from behind, listening cautiously to his each and every word. I felt bad about his dad but the way he said everything impressed everybody in the class. I was now feeling guilty for fighting with such a nice guy and thought of apologizing after the class. And I just hoped that he would listen to me and accept my apology.
After the end of our class, I was just waiting for everyone to leave. When I saw him leaving, I got up from my seat and called him from behind. He turned towards me, shaked his head and turned again to leave when I said “Please wait”. I apologized for my mistake and much to my surprise he accepted it happily without any drama and we became friends. I sat by his side in next 2 classes, followed him wherever he was going and when he asked me why I was doing so, I told him about my fear. He laughed at my explanation and allowed me to move by his side. But then came in front of us were some seniors who asked us to follow them to which Sam coolly agreed.
I pulled him back. “Are you mad?” were my expressions but he just looked into my eyes and said, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t worry. Everything gonna be okay. I am also there with you, so just chill.” This gave me some confidence and I became bit relived.
We entered a big auditorium where I saw many other students who were looking tensed and on the other hand here was Sam, who was looking relaxed and confident. Seeing him like this I too became relaxed. The tension went totally off air when Abhay said that it was only a mischievous act of their VP. I would have killed her, if I wouldn’t have met Sam. The amount of tension she created, almost killed me. But as the conversation went on I became calm and realized that seniors were not that bad as I had thought earlier.
Conversations were going on in the room when I noticed those 2 jerks outside the class and showed them to Sam. He had a look at them and then much to my surprise he waived his hand to Abhay and informed him about my problem. I was happy by his this gesture and thanked him for it.
Only few hours had passed since we met but I started feeling some kind of attachment with him. I started behaving with him in my dramish way, a way I behave with my family and with some of my friends only. Respect for him increased as I learned more about him in the cafeteria. He is truly a jam of a person. He is like a super hero for me. I wondered how my life was so different from his. I never had a friend like him, so realized how life could be so different. Though we bid goodbye to each other at the bus stop but I wasn’t able to get him off my mind as whole day I was thinking about him and ended up writing about my this new lovely friend in my diary.
After that we started hanging out together and became good friends. I still remember how nervous I was for my Dramatics audition, and was getting restless. But the way he motivated me, changed something in me as it automatically deleted all negative energy in me and filled me with positive vibes. This certain change helped me in bagging the role of the lead protagonist. Day by day our friendship grew stronger. We used to tease each other, make fun of each other and used to spend some good time together.
Rain drives me crazy and it was one of the days when the weather has changed beautifully as lovely drizzly rain began. I was insisting him to come with me but he wasn’t listening to me as he wanted to attend that stupid boring class. After persuading him a lot he finally agreed to come with me. We were at our favorite spot on the top floor where I gave him my diary to show him my literary talent. Instead of reading that he started flipping the pages quickly, so I snatched it back from him. Had he flipped few more pages then he would have seen all that I have been writing about him since we met and I don’t want him to see it. If he had read that then I would have felt shy to even face him. I had written all about my feelings, special bond towards him and a feel that I have started loving him. Love his nature, his smile, his sense of humor, his golden heart and most importantly for the type of person he is. I don’t know how he would have reacted had he seen it. I don’t even know if he is having a same feeling or not as nothing was ever evident from his actions, or from his behavior or from anything. So I can’t allow him to read it. If he is too feeling something like that then he should say it first, not me. Because it’s only a boy who proposes, not girl.
One fine day we were discussing about our families. Being a civilian I never had an idea about the life of an army family so I asked him about it and what he informed me increased my respect for the army but I don’t know why I was feeling sad about his views regarding joining the army. Maybe because of the explanation he gave about it or maybe because I love him and I don’t want to be apart from him. What if something happens to him too? I just kept thinking about it, imagining him as an army man in different situations leaving home for duty, he in a battlefield and never returning from it, and many other situations like it. My mind was in chaos. Me in extreme confusion of what I should actually feel, how I should react. Two days passed like this only as I kept re reading what all I have written about him, conversations we had and that time it struck me how stupid I am. How selfish I was being. How can I do this? I can’t put my personal interest over my nation. I should be happy for him. I should be proud of him for what he is willing to do for his country. Army is in his blood. I scolded myself for even thinking about it in a negative way. Also I don’t even know whether he loves me or not, or will love or not, or we will be together or not. I don’t know anything, but one thing is sure for now is that I will support his decision of joining the army, no matter what. I will be by his side like his mother.
The day I was waiting for has finally arrived. He proposed me…. The proposal in the play wasn’t good, so I asked him to think about it. And in it he confessed his true feelings he was having for me. He said all that by just looking at me, getting lost deeper and deeper in my eyes. This was the first time I was literally seeing something from his side.
Sometimes it’s like that we ourselves are not aware about our feelings, and when it comes out, it comes out in a way we our self are surprised with. Same was the case with him. He wasn’t sure about what he said was actually for me or for the character. But I knew that it was for me. I saw it in his eyes. And when he asked my response on it, I understood that he was getting on point. I was well prepared for this type of conversation. I was dying for it to happen. So I played with words, teased him, and tested his patience. I thought of extending it for few days but something in me stopped. I took few steps back towards the gate and told him my response. His smile told me what it meant to him.
This was the happiest day of my life. The dream I had been dreaming of was finally a reality. It was so overwhelming that I couldn’t sleep that night. I just kept rolling in my bed. His words kept echoing in my head and I just couldn’t help myself falling more for him. I was excited about the day to follow. How will he behave? How will I? The excitement of it couldn’t let me go through sleep.
Next day, I dressed myself perfectly. I selected my best dress for the day and double checked myself in the mirror. I was looking good. I reached college excitedly to know what lay ahead. But what he said gave me a little shock. My heart broke for a second, but then I understood his point of view too and we decided that we will give our feelings some time to develop and then take a call on it.
Day by day our closeness increased. We were going good. We were having a fantastic time together until that devastating incident happened.
26/11 Mumbai Attack, the attack which shocked the nation as Mumbai was under great terror for 3 Days. 164 people died and more than 600 were injured. Whole nation was lamenting the loss, the damage that was caused.
This attack had a great effect on Sam, as he was left heartbroken by it. For days he won’t speak much, he won’t eat properly and won’t attend classes. Seeing him like this I too was in tears. I understand his feelings for his nation, for people of our country, for army and how heartwarthing that incident was for him. But lamenting a loss of something can’t over turn that incident. You have to get over it. You have to be strong. We all tried everything to cheer him up, but were unsuccessful. Time heals everything we thought, and we gave Sam his time to recover.
Days passed, and new year arrived and with it a new Sam. He was looking quite changed. He was happier, was looking fresh and confident though still little emotionally defeated, but far better than he was a month ago. There was a change in his behavior too as he was always ready to skip classes to go out with us. Maybe because he wanted to keep his mind diverted. He used to stay back with me in my dramatics club and would even participate in it. We started going out for movies, shopping, adventures etc. We were having a great time together.
Sometimes we used to fight, sometimes we used to argue but will never miss our late-night conversation in which we will always end up blaming each other and would laugh at the stupidity over which we fought. Sam made this rule, “Whosever mistake it may be. He/she will settle it by night/before night dawns and other person had to listen to it no matter how angry they might be. He made this rule as He didn’t want other person to have a disturbed sleep because of it” or better to say, he didn’t want me to have a disturbed sleep as he knew that I tend to overthink on situations like that and would end up ruining my sleep. So he made this rule.
After our First Year Examinations in June, he took me to his house. It was the first time I was meeting his mom. I had talked to her on phone only earlier when Sam was left disheartened by the 26/11 Attack.
“Hello beta” she said hugging me.
“Hello Aunty” I replied with a smile.
“How are you?” she asked
“I am good. And you?”
“I am also fine. Come inside” she said welcoming me
“Am I also welcomed or I should stay here only.” said Sam after we left him on the gate
“No need to come. You can stay there” his mom said jokingly “or in fact get something for her from nearby store.”
“I told you Sam, wherever I may go, I will always be the center of attraction” I said adding to his mom’s comment.
He smiling shaked his head and left.
“You make yourself comfortable while I get some water for you.” Her mom said
“There’s no need for any type of formality, aunty. It’s like my house” I said I don’t know why
“Ya, your future house” she said this time teasing me. I blushed at it
“Oh my goodness, you look so pretty when you blush” she said
“Thanks” I replied still feeling shy about it.
“No need to feel shy” she said as she left to get something for me from the kitchen.
This pause in our conversation gave me time to get over my moment of awkwardness. When she returned, she had a big tray in her hand filled with so many items and still she sent Sam to get something for me from the market. I was shocked at it.
“You have got too much for me. There wasn’t any need of it.” I said
“It isn’t that much.” she said looking at the small buffet she has arranged for me. I thought of replying but then I understood that a Mom will always be a Mom. She will never change.
“So, how are your mom and dad?”
“They are good.” I replied with a smile
“And your younger brother Dev?”
“He is too having fun. As usual, always busy in his notorious activities.” I said
“It’s his time. Let him do it. Will become good as he gets older.”
“That’s why we don’t scold him much” I said when moment Sam returned with a big hand bag in his hand and passed to his mom. She took the bag with her in the kitchen. I saw her closely leaving the room, and when she was gone I pulled Sam towards me.
“You have informed everything to your mom?”
“Yes” he said smilingly understanding my moment of awkwardness
“Shouldn’t you have informed me about it?” I asked or better to say demanded
“No” he said shooking his head and still smiling “If I had, then I wouldn’t have seen this expression on your face.” he said bringing his face closer to mine and looking straight into me.
I gave him “I am gonna kill you” expression when their landline rang and disturbed our short sweet moment. He went to answer it, as his mom returned with so many things again. I almost had a mini heart attack at that moment. When he had given the bag to her, I thought that he must have brought something for the lunch or maybe some daily use item for his house.
“So many snacks again…… I will die of it…. I had to have lunch too….” I said to her mom
“It isn’t that much” she said again “And there’s much time left for lunch” she said looking at the clock.
Surely, today mother and Son had plan to kill me by food
“Sam, help me with this. I can’t have it all by myself.” I said almost pleadingly when he returned after attaining that call. He laughed at my condition and said “Sorry, I can’t… Had to go somewhere.”
“Where are you going now?” His mom asked
“Malhotra uncle needs my help urgently. So go to go there. But I will be back by the lunch time” he said and left.
And here I was left back in his home alone with a table full of plates of snacks and nobody to help me with it.
“Aunty, don’t you feel alone without uncle?” I asked hoping that I hadn’t touched the sensitive topic. We were in the kitchen and I was helping her with the preparations for lunch.
“No, not that much. Sometimes I do, like when Sam is not at home and I have nothing to do. At that time I do miss him”
“It would have been very difficult for you to everything manage after him” I said
“Yes, but not that much. I always knew what my husband’s work is about. He was out on his duty for most of the time in a year. For days we won’t talk, for months we won’t meet. So, that time somewhat prepared me for it. Though his absence do matter at times but Sam is here to fulfil them and I am proud of him. He too took responsibilities at an early age because of which he is slightly different from other children of same age group”
She was right. Sam was far different from our other batch mates. I thought of asking her opinion regarding why she is still ready to send Sam to army even after what happened with Uncleji. But then I shivered it from my mind as I knew what her response would be. I thought of shifting the direction of the conversation.
“So, Sam has informed you everything about me and what all has happened between us?”
“Yes, almost everything.” she said and I just hoped that he hasn’t informed her about what he said while proposing. If he had then I won’t be able to talk face to face to her.
“What all has he informed you?” I asked out of eagerness
She smiled at it. “Don’t worry. He hasn’t told me anything personal.”
This calmed me. His mom was smart as she understood what exactly I wanted to know. Mommy Cool is what I think we should call her.
“But trust me. More than lot happened on your first day.”
“Yes, a lot happened that day” I said shaking my head remembering that day.
“He realized it late. But I knew that day only that something of this kind is gonna happen between you two”
I was surprised at it. “How??” I asked
“He’s my son and no one knows him better than me. He has never ever talked so much about any girl and hasn’t spent that much time with someone on first day only. And when he informed me about it, I knew that something is going to happen soon. And it happened…..” she said smilingly looking at me, feeling proud of her instincts.
Lunch was ready and Sam arrived on time. We 3 had lunch together in the dining area and had a conversation about our examinations, our expected results, about my life, career I wanted to opt and future choices/opportunities that lay ahead for me.
Our First dance together…..
It was our farewell to our seniors and we organized a good one for them. That day I was perfectly dressed in my Blue Saree and was looking pretty. On the other hand Sam was dressed in his light pink shirt with a grey coat and was looking Darling. I was witnessing the function from one corner when Sam approached me and asked “Will you dance with me?” stretching his right hand towards me.
I was delighted at it… Our first dance together… Wow… I gave my hand in his and he took me to the dance floor. As the song began, I felt that I was deeply lost in him, lost in his eyes. I never felt so close to him as I at felt that time, it was as if that our souls touched each other. They did the talking. They did the performance as I was just getting lost deeper and deeper in him.
Though I had met Sam’s mom many times since then, but he was yet to meet my parents. I was nervous about taking him home. Though my parents know that Sam is a good friend of mine, have heard about him many times from me and even talked with him over phone this New Year but have never met him.
I had no idea of how will I take him home because at that time Dev was a big trouble and every one was annoyed from his pranks and also I don’t know how my parents will react to it. But parents are parents. They understand you before you say anything. They asked me to invite him to our house for lunch. I was delighted to hear it and informed him about it. Two Days later Sam arrived at our house. My parents welcomed him and he like a very good boy touched their feet. Dev tried to surprise Sam with his pranks but Sam was smart enough to catch it which impressed Dev a lot and also scared him off Sam a bit. Everyone was happy to see that we finally have someone to scare Dev. Sam settled himself as the normal style of welcome in Indian houses started with lots of snacks and juice. Sam’s expression were same as were mine at his house. I wanted to sit with Dad and Sam to listen to their conversation but my mom called me in kitchen for her help.
Over the course of the lunch, discussions were about what Sam was planning to do ahead in his career, his ambitions and his goals. Looking at my parents I could easily tell that they were very much impressed by him. He has done his job perfectly. Though my parents didn’t say much about him after he left but I knew that they liked him.
Final Year, My final play for this college.
This time it was very special for me as this time Sam was also participating with me and that too in the lead role. One more reason to be excited was that this play was a romantic comedy like our real life.
I still remember. It was one of the day of our rehearsals when I was seeing him rehearse from one corner. Seeing him like that, I just wanted the time to stop. The way he was doing it, the way he was saying everything seemed so perfect for me and I wanted him to remain like this. I didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want him to change. I just wanted to grab him hard & never let him go. He’s my Mr. Perfect.
Play turned out to be the best we have done till date as we end up being the runner-ups. This play gave me my happiest and closest moments with Sam. But just few months after these lovely moment, time of separation arrived and we have to be apart as I got admission in Pune for my further studies and Sam got job in his uncle’s company. I was happy for him but was sad for the distance that was to come between us now.
I was sitting on the terrace of my house with Sam, who was trying to lighten my mood and cheer me up.
“You should have also applied na” I said to him complainingly.
“Why are you being so sad at it?” he asked
“Because I don’t want to be without you. I don’t want to be alone”
“But at some point of time you should learn to be alone as life is different at different – different times. You never know what may happen ahead. So you should be prepared for all that”
“No, I don’t want to be” I said “Sam, talk to your uncle about my job too. We can work together” I said with bit of excitement this time.
“No, No, No, You can’t. You can’t change your dream for me” he said
“And, and, and according to the rules of the company you can’t get personal with any of your colleagues. So….” he said making it clear that I can’t work with him.
I wasn’t sure that what he said was in actual or he said it just to keep me out. So I gave up the argument. I had to go. I wasn’t able to find anything convincing to say to stay. But then I thought of some drama.
“Who will take care of me now?” I asked in my childish tone
“You never know, you might find someone there and you………” he said in a teasing way
“I what??” I asked to reconfirm that what I understood was actually what he intended to say or not. I got my answer very next moment. I was right
“Shut up” I said slapping him on his shoulder and turned my face away from him.
“Come-on yaar. Stop your drama and listen” he said putting his arms around my shoulder. “You won’t be alone there. We will talk over phone once a day and sometimes I might come there to meet you” he said
“Promise??” I asked
“Promise” he replied with a smile.
One week later I left for Pune
My 2 years of torture finally ended. The time which seemed like an eternity has come to an end and now I was back in Delhi. During my stay there I missed everyone badly, specifically Sam, but he adhered to what he promised. And when I am back now, he is out of the city for most of the time.
3 month passed like this only. One day when I was getting out of my office. I wasn’t careful enough, I was checking my mobile and was lost in some deep thoughts when I was hit by a fast running car…….
Back to Present….
Two years ago Tasha destroyed each and every proof of physical memory she had with me, i.e. our pictures, her diary and gifts. She destroyed them all. Two days later when she was discharged from the hospital, she enquired us about them. She asked about them so that seeing them she might remember something of last 3 years. But as we weren’t having anything, we made excuses that pictures were in our phones only which are now damaged and she lost her diary one day while returning from her office. Though her parents showed her pics the family had together in last 3 years which might be helpful for her regaining her memory but were unsuccessful and Tasha was left heartbroken as she wasn’t finding anything that might help her in regaining her moments of her lost 3 years.
Except Tasha’s dad, everyone else was bearing me just for her, whether it was her mom, Dev, Jeh, her friends whom we informed about the situation. But that doesn’t matter to me. I am here just for her and once my job is over, I will be gone.
One week passed and she was better now. Her external wounds have healed. But she is yet to remember anything of her last 3 years. I told her about some of the moments we had in that one year of our togetherness, but that too wasn’t of any help. We all have to think of something else now to help her to recover.
A phone call……
“Yes a bit but she is yet to remember anything”
“You tell, anything important?”
“Yes…. Actually we need you here”
“Yes. And this time it’s really big”
“Okay, I am coming. Intimate me about the situation there. Will be there by tomorrow”
“What will you tell her?”
“You don’t worry. I will think of something. See you tomorrow”
“Okay. Bye for now”
Tasha started insisting that she too wants to come with me to Mumbai. I tried to convince her not to but she wasn’t ready to listen to it. This time her mother was supporting me as she didn’t want her daughter to go anywhere with me but her dad was supporting her and started convincing me to take her with me. For this type of situation only, I had brought my mom there to convince Tasha. But she too started supporting her. I asked doctor for his help in it but he too wasn’t of any help as he gave Tasha permission to travel. Now I was left with only one option, to convince her to not to accompany me. So I took her aside.
“Tasha you can’t come”
“No Sam, I want to”
“I am going there for my official work only. We won’t get much time to explore the city”
“But at least we can have some good time together” she said
“Tasha…. Try to understand…”
“Sam, please you too try to understand. This trip might help me in some way to regain my memory of my lost 3 years. And you won’t work for 24 hours there, we will have our good time together. So please don’t say no. Please, please, please” she said her last line in her typical style.
“Okay, you can come with me.” I said finally giving up the argument
“Thanks” she said and was about to hug me when I stopped her and said “But on one condition. You have to listen to whatever I will say”
“Okay done” she replied with a smile
“Okay then. Start packing your bag. We have our flight tomorrow morning” I said and left
We were in our flight. Tasha wrapped her hands around my arm and placed her head on my shoulder.
“Sam” she said
“I feel that my memory will never return. I will never be able to get to know what all happened in my life in those 3 years.”
“Don’t say like this yaar. Sometimes things do take time. So don’t worry. You will remember everything soon.” I said reassuring her
“I am finding all these things peculiar. Everything seems so weird. My diary is lost, no photographs, I mean anything that might relate to those 3 years isn’t there. So how will I remember everything now? How?”
“I am also finding this strange but it’s in actual that we aren’t having anything much last 3 years which might be of help to you. But everything will seem all right to you when you will regain your memory. You yourself will realize how it all happened.” I replied with a big smile
“Also I felt that the behavior of mom and Dev was bit odd whenever it was about you. Has anything gone wrong in those years because of which they are behaving like this?” She asked sounding worried
“I didn’t find anything different in their behavior. It is just that they are worried about you. That’s way it might have seemed a bit peculiar to you”
“Possible.” she said “Sam, I am finding one more thing bit strange. I don’t know why I am feeling this that it’s happening after a very long time. We sitting like this and everything we are doing its happening after a long period. Also in the hospital when I saw you, I don’t know why I got a feeling that I was seeing you after a long period. Why I am feeling like this Sam? Why???”
This question of her silenced me. Her questions are getting dangerous one after the other. And I have no answer to them. I had to stop this now otherwise I don’t know what she might ask next
“I think we are in a wrong flight. We should have taken a one for Agra. Accident has seem to have done some mental damage.” I said jokingly to lighten her mood. She chuckled at it.
“And, you are on a trip, so no need to think about these things and getting worried unnecessarily. Everything will automatically be all right. So just calm down and enjoy the journey” I said.
“Okay” she replied with a smile as she turned her head towards the window and got busy in viewing outside from it.
We reached our hotel after heavy rains delayed our flight. I asked Tasha to go to her room as I had some work to finish before. After she was gone, I moved onto their restaurant area where someone was already waiting for me.
“So you weren’t able to convince her”
“No” I said shaking my head “I tried but wasn’t successful”
“But now you have to be extra cautious”
“Ya I know. With she being around it will be difficult to carry on the work… But don’t worry I will manage”
“I know. By the way should I order for you something?”
“No thanks. I will have it later.”
“Ok as you wish”
“Where are others?”
“They are there where they should be.”
“And the project information?”
“It’s in this pen drive.”
“Okay, I will go through it”
“See you after dinner then”
“Okay” I nodded and left the restaurant area.
I went to her room and asked her to relax for a while and informed her that we will meet for lunch in 2 hours after which we will go out to explore the city. I then went to my room and got involved in my work.
2 hours later I knocked the door for her room. As she was taking bit time to open it, I got involved in cross checking myself and was setting my hairs a bit when she opened the door.
“Lets…” I said turning towards her and that was all could I say as I went speechless…. She was looking damn beautiful and I was just mesmerized by her beauty. I was just staring and staring at her, getting deeper and deeper lost in her. She chuckled at it which somewhat brought me back into my senses. “You are looking gorgeous” I said
“I know” she said and winked.
We then went to the restaurant area of the hotel and had our lunch there after which we left for our first destination of the day.
We reached our first destination of the day in about half an hour and Tasha was overjoyed to see it because it was SHAH RUKH KHAN’S house MANNAT.
She quickly ran towards his house and started clicking selfies with his house. She asked me too, to click her pic with his house and the name plate of his house. There were many other crazy fans like her who were doing the same thing, i.e. getting themselves clicked with his house. I don’t understand what craze it is to get yourself clicked with his house. It’s like any other normal house. I also noticed a girl in the passing car blowing kisses to Shah Rukh’s house. This is just insane I thought. But very next moment I realized that this is all what fanism is about. They are great fans of SRK and anything that makes them feel closer to him, someway related to him, cherishes them and they love to capture a moment with it.
I was busy in observing the nearby area when Tasha returned.
“So finally finished with all your photos?” I asked her.
“Ya.” she said “Guard informed me that he is not here.” she said sounding sad
“Naturally, he won’t be here at this time. He is a big star and a very busy guy. He has so many projects to handle. So he can’t be here at this hour” I said
“I wish he was here. Had he been here, I would have hugged him tightly and kissed him on his cheeks.” she said. I was surprised at this response.
“Oh hello, I am here” I said sounding bit jealous
“So what. He’s my first love”
I laughed at it and left her to enjoy the moment with his house.
After that we spent some time at Bandstand where Tasha slipped badly because of the sleekness of rocks and her bright lovely dress became dirty. She was very disappointed at it. So I took her to shopping because nothing delights a woman more than shopping. She bought dresses for her, her family and wanted to buy some for me too. But I refused saying that, “I don’t need any. I have plenty of them”. But she wasn’t ready to listen to me.
I tried to escape but she caught me by my arm and pulled me inside a shop and unwillingly I had to buy. There was no point of arguing with her if she had made up her mind on something. Also you can’t win an argument with a woman.
After we were finished with our shopping, we had our dinner outside and then walked back to our hotel which was just 10 minutes away. I dropped her to room and after bidding goodnight to her I again went out. That night I returned to my room at half past three.
For Next 2 days I was absorbed in my work only, so we spent most of our time together in hotel only. We had our long and deep conversations. She being unaware of reality of what happened between us was still in her old bubbly romantic mood. But I wasn’t. I know the truth. Though there were times I wanted to go close to her, to be more absorbed in her, to get lost in her, to love her, to hug her back but something in me stopped me every time I think of doing so. I don’t have any right. She might not remember it, but I do. Everything between us ended 2 years back. Nothing remains between us now. I don’t know what destiny lays ahead, but I just hope this ends soon otherwise I might lose control over myself.
DAY 4, 10^th^ August 2016
We had an early lunch that day and went out to explore the city further. We passed through the famous Bandra-Worli SeaLink. Build over Arabian Sea, this road links western Mumbai with the Southern. The southern part of Mumbai looks much different from the Northern. It looks much more developed than remaining in terms of infrastructure, roads etc. Also here we got to see many tall buildings like Imperial Tower: the tallest residential building, Antilla: Mukesh Ambani’s dream house and many other tall & famous buildings.
We reached our first destination of the day, “The Gateway of India” one of the old archaeological site of India. Built in the times of British, this is one of the centre of attraction for tourists in the city. It is also said that the last British troop to leave India following Independence passed through this gateway, thus signalling the end of British Rule. The Gateway of India has sea at its other end which enhances the beauty of this place. In the background of the Gateway we could see many ships standing in the sea. From the Gateway we boarded a motor boat to have a round in the sea and to visit Elephanta Caves. We passed through those stagnant ships. I looked behind from that point, city looks beautiful from there, a one to fall in love with.
After a while we returned from Elephanta Caves which Tasha didn’t like much. And now we were standing right in front of Taj, where that disastrous incident occurred. Images of 2008 attack were still alive in my mind. The feeling of being there was totally a different one. Even the thought of the sight of that incident shivered me. Expressions of my face changed a bit as I got little emotional. Tasha understood it and folded her hands in mine. This calmed me a bit. We stood there for a while, appreciating the beauty of the area with sea, Taj and the gateway around.
Half an hour later we reached Nariman Point, the end point of Marine Drive, a place where land meets sea and is a very beautiful place to visit. The aroma around, the beauty around and the feel of the atmosphere will make one forget everything. There were many people who were standing and sitting on tetrapod rocks, thus enjoying the awesomeness of the place closely. Tasha too insisted to go but I refused as she might slip on those chambers and hurt herself again. I was just being extra cautious. So we sat on the pavement. The cool breeze and the sounds of the waves hitting the rocks were making the atmosphere awesome. From this point whole city could be seen. And under the dark sky, the lightened city looked more beautiful from here. We sat there for quite a while after which we started feeling hungry, so we visited Bachelors, one of the best outlets of the area. This place is well known for serving varieties of shakes. This outlet works till late night and is visited by many famous celebrities due to which they have a great Goodwill in the market. We settled ourselves, placed our order and had a lite meal there.
We were having a nice and happy day together until when I received a text message.
Ever since Sam received that text message, his behavior changed completely. We quickly left that place and were looking for a cab. He was moving fast ahead and I was trailing behind. I keep on asking him what’s wrong but he wasn’t responding at it. On my continuous insisting he finally stopped, turned and looked at me in great anger. “Tasha….” he said as he closed his fist to calm down anger in his words and symbolled me to be silent with index finger of his other hand. I was shocked by his this behavior and got really upset with him. I had never seen him behaving like this all these years. He turned back and started moving fast again. Finally after 10 minutes we got a cab, and we left for our hotel. We didn’t have any talk in the cab as I was angry with him and he too wasn’t interested in having any type of conversation at that time. We reached our hotel in about 45 minutes. Being angered by his behavior, I was moving fast, this time leaving him behind. He called me from behind and asked me to stop. I halted and waited for him to arrive.
He came and stood in front me facing me. After a moment of relaxation and calming himself down he said “I am really really sorry for the way I behaved. There’s some serious problem with the project I am handling which might prove disastrous, and this blew up my mind because of which I ended up behaving like that with you. So, I am sorry for that.” he said. I didn’t respond at it. I understood his problem but was still upset with him and he understood it. “See, currently I have to solve this problem first. I will get back to you later and then you can fight with me as much as you want” he said trying to add some humor. “But for the time being smile please because I can’t go to my work with you being in this mood” he said touching my left cheek.
I finally smiled at it. “Okay but be ready for the fight as this time I am going to have a big one with you.” I replied adding to his humor, as we laughed at it and went to our respective rooms.
As I was feeling a bit tired after our long journey, I went to have a hot shower to relax myself. When I returned, I heard Sam’s voice. He was yelling at someone, “How could you miss that? I told you to be very cautious about it.”
Has he gone mad? I thought. Whom is he shouting at and that too this loud? Our rooms were on opposite ends, facing each other and I could hear that very clearly inside my room. So I went to inform him about it and ask him to be bit calm and talk softly. I was about to knock his door when I realized that he has forgotten to lock his door, and the door was bit open, possibly the reason for his voice being audible outside. How careless he could be?? I wondered and entered his already opened room. As I entered, I saw many papers scattered here and there on the floor. I moved cautiously so that not to step over them. There were 3 more people in his room and each of them was engrossed in some type of work. Sam's back was facing me. He was half bent and was taking out something from his bag. “Sam, What's.......” I said as everyone present in the room turned towards me at an instant and were shocked to see me.
But more than them was I, as I saw a gun in Sam’s hand and also in other’s too. He looked behind me and saw that the door was half-open. I too had left it like that. His expressions changed and was looking bit angry. He turned towards one of the guy in the room and signaled him to close the door. He quickly rushed passed me and closed the door. After absorbing my moment of initial shock, I finally managed to say “Sam, what’s….. guns” but that too not clearly unable to frame it properly as I was still unable to digest what I just saw “Tasha calm down, just calm down. There’s nothing wrong that we are doing. Currently we are getting late as we have to reach somewhere, but I promise that I will tell you everything once we are back” he said and signaled his team to move.
“Tasha” he said turning towards me and put his hands on my cheeks, clubbing my face in it and asked “You trust me na?’ I nodded in response. “So believe me. There’s nothing to worry about. I will let you know everything once we are back. But till then be in your room and don’t talk to anyone about it” he said and added “and don’t call me on my phone no matter how late it may get. I will call you myself and if I am not able to or I am unable to come then either of them, Akira or Karan” he said signaling to guy and the girl who were now standing behind him “will come to take you. Until then be in your room, be alert and be calm” he said
“Ok I will” I replied agreeing to his command as he left with his team.
More than four hours passed and still there was no news about Sam. I wanted to call him desperately but couldn’t do so. My mind was still filled with the scenes I saw in his room. Worst thoughts crossed my mind as I got bit restless.
Finally, there was a knock on the door. It must be Sam I thought and quickly ran to open the door. I was about to open it when I remembered his words “be alert”. I watched out through the peephole to see who it was. I saw carefully. It wasn’t him. It was that girl who was with him…. Ummmm…. Akira, yes that what he told me. It was Akira who was on the door. So I opened the door as she isn’t a threat. I observed her closely. Her hairs were scattered and she was running out of her breath. It could be felt that she has come all the way running.
“Everything Okay?” I asked as I found her little worried “Come inside and have some water” I said. She came inside and had water from the water bottle lying on the table.
“You feeling good?” I asked sounding calm but still desperate to know about Sam. She nodded at it.
“ Now tell, is everything okay?? An d where’s Sam?” I finally asked
“Will tell you in a while. But before that I have to tell you that we have to leave this place now. So quickly take your small purse with you and keep all your important documents in it.” she said
“What??” I asked as I was surprised at it.
“Yes and do it quickly as we don’t have much time”
“But where are we going?” I asked
“I will tell you everything once we are out of this place. So get your bag ready quickly as we have to leave ASAP”
I quickly adhered to what she said and got my purse ready. We rushed out of the hotel at instant but this time from the back gate, which surprised me. A car was already waiting for us there. We quickly got on to the car, which was being driven by Karan and left the place at instant. After we were out of that area, I asked her to tell me everything.
“Tasha there’s a truth that you don’t know, and promise me that you won’t discuss it with anyone else.” she said
“Ok, I do. Now please tell me everything” I said being unable to stop my desperation.
“The truth is that, we are not just common people. We are a part of Indian Armed Force’s secret intelligence wing RAW (RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS WING)” she said
“ What??” I said as I was in more shock now. Sam works for RAW??? Really?? Is that so???
“Yes, it’s true.” she said confirming my doubts
“And currently we are on one of our missions” she said
“Ohh… Now I got it, why Sam wasn’t supportive of idea of me accompanying him. It was because of this mission… But where’s he now?” I asked
“He’s in hospital” “What?? Hospital..... Why?? Is he okay??” I asked
“No actually… He’s been hit by bullet and is now being treated in the operation theatre.”
I Samar Yadav, member of INDIAN ARMED FORCES’ secret agency RAW, had never planned to join it. It just happened to me. I still remember………..
2002 The year of my father’s death
I was sitting on the stairs of Varanasi near river Ganga after immersing ashes of my father’s mortal body [Ashthi Visarjan] in it. In my hand I was holding his final letter to me, which I received today morning.
When you will be reading it I don’t know whether I would be alive or not. If it’s so, then don’t be sad about my death and don’t cry much. You have to be strong because from now on you only have to manage everything. In life you will face many difficulties ahead, so don’t be upset on small-small problems. Try to find a solution yourself and be strong from inside because no one can beat you until and unless you yourself loose from inside. So be strong and always remember that:
[Aasan nhi hai jeena yha,
Zindagi ki rah mai mushkile hzaar,
Zinda toh wo hai jinke ankhon mai hai sapne haseen,
Aur dilo mai unhe puri karne ki chah,
_Agar aise ho tum, _
Toh Zinda ho tum,
Zinda hai zindagi,
Bass, iss chah ko apni zinda rakhna,
Chahe jitni bhi ho mushkile,
Uss umeed ko kabhi tutne na dena,
Sapno ko kabhi chootne na dena,
Hazaro lut jaane pe itna gam nhi hota,
Jitna sapno ke tut jaane pe,
Bass, Dil mai apne uss umeed ki kiran jgaye rakhna
Chaho toh sab kuch hai aasan]
Chaho toh sab kuch hai aasan.
Always keep your will power strong and do whatever you want to do in life, achieve whatever you want to, follow your dreams, but if some day you feel that your country needs you and you need to do something for your country, then at that time do join Indian Armed Forces, even it’s for 1 year only, but do join it. It’s my small dream to see you work for IAF. I will feel like I am reborn to serve my country and do what I missed. My wish will be fulfilled. But for fulfilling my dreams I will never want you to disown your dreams, you wishes, your desire, your life.
If at any point of time in life, you think of joining it, then do contact Malhotra uncle. He will always be there to assist you. And joining IAF doesn’t mean that you will be on borders. There are many secret agencies of which you could be a part of and about which Malhotra Uncle can inform you in detail. In the end I just wish that you end up being better than what you really want to be in life.
Take care of yourself. Take care of your mom. Be fit. Be fine. Be happy.
“I promise Dad, I will join it someday, day I feel I am ready to join it. I promise Dad. I promise.” I said looking at the heavens as tears rolled down from my eyes.
I told mom about it and she like every other married woman supported her husband’s wish. When I asked her, “Who will look after you if something happens to me too?”
She said that, “Don’t worry about me. If you want to join IAF, then join it. Don’t resist it just for me. I can look after myself. So, nothing is gonna happen to me.”
After that I met Malhotra Uncle many times. He doesn’t have a family, so he treats ours like his own. He informed me about various intelligence and secret agencies of IAF and also how he himself was a part of one. I started working on my fitness and mental skills. I don’t know when time will arrive, but I wanted to be ready for it, both physically and mentally.
26/11 Mumbai Attacks. Attacks that changed everything. I was left devastated by that attack. One day I was sitting on the stairs of my house when Malhotra Uncle arrived.
“Hello Uncle” I said not feeling to talk to
“How are you feeling now?”
“Sam I know how devastated you are by that incident and how unfortunate it was for the nation. But nothing could be achieved now by just remorsing for it. It’s time to respond. Time to answer them. Time for justice. We couldn’t stop this one but we can stop ones to come.”
“So, Sam do you think it’s a time to take a call?” he asked
I understood now what he was trying to say but I still had one question in my mind and I asked him “Why you and Dad have so much confidence regarding me doing well as an army man?”
“Because we can see, what you can’t. You have potential to be the best. You may not understand it now, but will definitely realize it later in your life.” He replied boldly “So, what’s your call on it now?” he asked.
I thought for a while. I then stood up, took two steps forward and said “Yes, time has arrived. I am ready to join”
He smiled “Okay then. Tomorrow, 10 AM sharp, meet me at my home”
“We will start with some basic things. In our job we have to be more observant. We have to judge people by their behavior. Also you should know better about the places, the area that you are going to. Google is always there to guide you, but you learn about them better when you visit them personally. Start from here only, from Delhi, go out and explore the city. From now on you don’t have to be regular with your college classes. You just have to score marks which you can do very easily.”
“But where should I go and with whom?” I asked
“You can go anywhere in Delhi, whether it’s Hauz Khas, CP, Rohini, India Gate, Chandni Chok, Malls, etc. There are so many places to go to. You youth know better about them. And you have your college friends. You can go out with them.”
“Okay” I said hoping that my group will be ready for it
“And apart from that, continue your regular fitness exercises and one more thing, join your college’s Dramatic Society.”
“Dramatic Society??? Why??” I asked as I was shocked at it “Why should I join it? How will it be of any help?”
“See, In this job at various levels you have to perform various roles, you have to act, you will be having different identities for which you should be prepared beforehand and you should know how to act in various situations. So, your college’s Dramatic Society will help you in preparing for it.” he said
“Okay.” I said understanding what he was trying to say.
After that I started doing what he told me to do. One year later, my other training also started which included Karate, Kickboxing, Martial arts, shooting and everything for which an army man is prepared. And in 2012, I was finally accepted as a member of RAW.
Since then, I am working with them. I with my team have successfully failed many plans that were made against our country.
In July 2016, NIA contacted RAW for their help in one of the projects. They sensed a serious threat over the country ahead of country’s Independence Day i.e. 15th august. Upon getting the news, we spread in different parts of the country and trails led us first to Kolkata, from there we went to Bangalore, and from there we were led to Mumbai, where we currently are.
Today, after I left the hotel with my team, we reached the place where terrorists were hiding. It was all dark there. I was leading my team in and was moving ahead. We were moving cautiously ahead and were careful when suddenly a bullet was shot which pierced my right shoulder and I fell behind by its force. We quickly took guard before any other bullet is shot. Seeing me lying, my team got worried for me. I signaled to them that I was ok as fight between us and the terrorists started. After many rounds of gunfire, firing from their end stopped. We waited for a while and then got out of our guards. I moved cautiously ahead as we checked each and every body of the terrorists to see if anyone among them was alive or not, when suddenly one of them who wasn’t dead yet fired another bullet which hit me on my stomach and I fell on ground. My team reacted at instant to it and fired many rounds at him in anger thus killing him. I moved back a little and took support of the wall.
My team came forward to take me to the hospital but I stopped them and said “I am Okay. Check others and see if you can find some documents here which could be of help to us as we still don’t know what their actual plan is”
“We will do it later, after we drop you to the hospital.” Akira said
“No. Do it now. Anything could happen here, after we leave this place. So do it now. I am fine. Nothing is gonna happen to me” I said
“It’s an order” I said in a firm voice making myself clear. They got back onto their work though in a bit anger. I was seeing everything around carefully and I don’t know when and how I fell unconscious.
And here I am now, still unconscious, in the operation theatre, being operated by the doctors.
Doctors informed us that operation was successful, but we can’t meet him now as he is still unconscious and will gain consciousness by next morning only. I was sitting on the desk outside his room when Akira came. She gave me a cup of coffee and sat beside me.
“So, what are you thinking?” she asked taking a sip of coffee from her cup.
“I am still unable to believe that Sam works for RAW” I said.
“But the reality is he does.” she replied with a smile
“It was never evident to me by his actions or behavior or maybe it was, I can’t say as I don’t remember last 3 years of my life” I said feeling sad for myself. “Did he ever inform me about it?” I asked her
“No he didn’t.” She replied “We can’t inform anyone about our identities. Our identities are purely confidential. Today, in your case we had to inform you about it as we had no other option. If the situation wasn’t like this then you would have never know about it.”
I understood what she was trying to say. They can’t reveal their identity to anyone as it is top secret. Suddenly the thought of his mom crossed my mind, so I asked her, “His mom knows about it??”
“Yes, she does” she replied
“Then he should have informed me too. I too would have kept it a secret.” I said feeling sad about it.
“I wish he had. Things would have been so different had he informed you about his work.” she said looking down.
“What do you mean?” I asked sounding confused.
She thought for a while and said “There’s a truth about your past that you don’t know. Nobody informed you about it because it could have proved dangerous for you. But now as you know our secret, I think it won’t be dangerous for you”
The truth about my past 3 years?? Why nobody informed me about it? How could it have proved dangerous for me? I wasn't getting anything. “What's the truth?” I asked
“Though it won’t be dangerous but still listen to it patiently” she said
“Ok. I will” I said as I was getting restless.
“So, the truth is that 2 years ago you broke up with Sam.” “What???” I said unable to believe what she just said “Sam and I broke up 2 years ago.... Are you kidding?? It can never happen.” I said in a bit harsh tone, defending our relationship
“It may seem to you now. But it actually happened. That’s why there was no proper record of last 3 years. No photos, no diary, nothing…. After your break up, you destroyed each and every memory you had of him.” she said stressing on every word and justifying her argument.
What??? We actually broke up... Ohh... Now I get it why everything seemed so weird to me. Everyone's behavior towards Sam, family's reaction when I asked about him in the hospital, lame reasons they gave for loss of diary and photos. I understood everything except this, why did we had a break up? Why??? As I wasn't able to find any answer to it in memory, so I asked her about it.
“It’s a long story. But before that let me brief you about our job. See, in our missions we have to perform various roles to fool our enemy. Sometimes we have to act as siblings, sometimes as rivals and sometimes as a couple. And during any of our missions, we can’t disclose our identity and job to any one at any point of time, no matter what, as it might prove dangerous for everyone.”
“Ya, I understand. As these missions are top secret, you have to do it. I understand. But what it has do here??”
“It has a big significance here. It was 31st December 2013, new Year eve. We were on one of our missions to bust a big drug deal that was to happen that night. Sam and I were acting as a couple that day. We entered the lawn area of the hotel, which was decorated beautifully for the day. Everyone was in a party mood. DJ was playing good songs and many people were having dance together ahead on the floor. We settled ourselves on one of the table and from there we were keeping a good watch on the members of the gang. And we were not alone there. Some of our team members had already taken a seat near us while others were at their respective positions. Suddenly we realized that one of the members of the gang had become doubtful of us, maybe because of our continuous watching and was informing his gang about it. Seeing their gazes turning towards us, we quickly moved on to the dance floor and started having a dance together to eliminate their doubts. We were dancing while keeping a watch on them. We were smiling constantly to fool them and were having a chat on their positions without any one being getting aware about it. After a while Sam saw one of the members of the gang signaling others after which they started to leave the place. Maybe the time had arrived. Sam came close to me and informed it in my ears and asked me to send a signal to our other team. After they were gone, we with our team too left that place immediately.
After successfully busting that gang when Sam returned, he never expected what laid ahead for him there. You showed him the picture of us together and asked him about it. You said that one of your friend was also there that night at the hotel, clicked that pic and sent it to you. The timing of the pic was very bad. It was the time when Sam asked me to send the signal. But from the picture, a totally different message was drawn. You also said that your friend was about to talk to us but we left quickly, maybe because Sam saw her and got scared, so left immediately. But in actual we were after the gang that time.”
“So I broke up with him for this?” I asked being unable to believe that a picture with a bad timing made me do that. How stupid I was…
“No. No .No…. At that time Sam was able to convince you that I was just his office colleague and that was just a normal dance with a bad timing of pic. We never saw your friend that night.”
“Was I fully convinced?” I asked to know whether there was still some doubt in my mind or I was convinced by Sam’s statement.
“I don’t know.” she said “At least for him you were as you behaved normally with him after that and also apologized for doubting him”
I would have been fully convinced. If I still had some doubt then I wouldn’t have behaved like that. “So when did it actually happen??” I asked to know what exactly the reason for our breakup was.
“6 Months Later…. In Hyderabad. Another mission. Another identity. Another Role. Sam had his booking in a hotel. As we had to review our plan once, before we head for our late night encounter against an illegal arm supply gang, we entered the hotel from its back gate and entered his room cautiously so that not to be seen by anyone. We were analysing our plan when someone knocked the door of our room. We were surprised at it as we weren’t expecting anyone. Unexpected guests at this time could be risky, so Sam asked me to hide as he went to open the door.
He opened the door and was shocked to see you there.
“Hi’ he said
“ You here?? How come??” he asked sounding puzzled as you entered the room.
“Aren’t you happy to see me?”
“Yes, I am but how do you got to know that I am here. I didn’t inform anyone about it.”
“I saw you in the morning when you were leaving for the work.” you said looking around in the room as if you were searching for something.
“Okkk” he said as if he caught your lie “How come you here?”
“I am too here for work” you said still looking all around the room
“You looking for something?” he finally asked
Listening to it you became a bit cautious. “No, nothing… Was just seeing the room. Is anyone else also here?”
“No. I am here alone.” he said as we sensed some trouble “If you saw me in the morning then why didn’t you stop me?” he asked
“I was getting late for the work, so thought of surprising you in the night. But you are not at all happy…” you said complainingly
“Yes I am” he said smiling at the level of your lie.
“I hope you aren’t busy”
“Yes, I am. I have some work to finish”
“You can do it later. Let’s spend some time together here. We aren’t able to get much time together since last few months. So let’s spend some here.”
“No Tasha. I have to finish this work now.”
“Sam please na…..”
“No Tasha” he said in a firm voice
“What work do you have?” you said with tears in your eyes “Tell me… What work you have… Spending the night with that bitch.”
“Whom are you talking about?” he asked in a bit anger
“Where is she?”
“ Who??? There's no one here.” he said frustratedly
“Sam, don’t lie to me. I saw you entering the room hidingly with her. So don’t try to lie.” you said… We were caught. You saw us entering. But we can’t tell you the truth no matter what.
“ So what??? I told you that she is just my office colleague. And we are here to finish our assignment.”
“Ohhh… If it’s like that then are you hiding her? Why you entered like that? Tell me Sam. Why? You could have entered normally. You could have introduced us. But…….”
“There’s no one hiding here. She has already left.” he said when suddenly my phone rang and I had to come out of my guard.
“See Sam….” you said as more tears rolled down from your eyes as if you still had some hope that what you saw was all wrong, but seeing me in there all your hopes were broken and you left the room crying.
“I am sorry” I said to him
“It’s not your mistake.” he said as he ran behind you.
You had a booking in the same hotel and were on your knees, crying when he entered. He came near you and got down on his knees to talk face to face to you.
“Tasha, listen to me…..”
“There’s nothing left to listen now Sam. I have seen everything from my eyes.”
“You have seen nothing and sometimes things aren’t like what you see from your eyes.”
“If it isn’t like that, then what’s the truth?” You demanded
“I can’t tell you now…..” he said not facing you
“You can’t because there’s none. I tell you what the truth is. Truth is that you don’t love me anymore. You are no longer serious about our relationship. You are not honest about it. You are no longer loyal to me.” you said stressing each and every word. “And you were right. Things aren’t the way you see them. I saw that you still love me deeply but you don’t…..” you said as more tears rolled down from your eyes.
“I love you Tasha, believe me. I have always loved you and will always love you. Trust me” he said
“Ohkk, if it’s like that then you have to choose between me and her now. If you truly love me, then you have to come with me now and promise me that you will never meet her.”
He got frustrated at it. “Tasha, do you even realize what rubbish you are talking….. I told you that there’s nothing like this between us… But still…..”
“Last time I believed you Sam, but this time I won’t. I have seen everything from my eyes. If you love me then you will come with me now”
“Sorry, I can’t come with you now.” he said “Why Sam?? Why?” you demanded
He was about to answer when his phone rang. It was me on the line.
__]“I am really sorry Sam about what happened, but it’s time. We have to go”[
__]“I am coming” he said as we hung up
“Where are you going? You aren’t going anywhere.” you said stopping him
“Sorry but I have to” he said as he got up to leave
“Sam, if you truly love me then you won’t go.” you said from behind but he didn’t stop.
“Sam…. Samm….. Sammmmm” you yelled from behind as he left and you were left back broken in tears.
When we returned you weren’t there in the hotel. We were looking for you everywhere when Sam received your message which said that you don’t want to see his face ever in life and everything between you two is now over…………..” Akira finished telling the story.
I was in tears… How badly I misunderstood him. On one hand was he, who was performing his job responsibly and on the other hand was I, who doubted him, blamed him and ended our 5-year relationship without giving him a chance to explain. How wrong I was……
“He never came back to explain about it or tell me the truth???” I asked
“No, he didn’t” she said shaking her head. “He never returned........ Why didn't he?? He should have. I might have said that in anger at that time, but I would have listened to him.”
“Because he believed that’s the right thing that could have happened.”
This surprised me... “How could it be?? He should have told me the truth that he's working for RAW.” I said last word cautiously looking around so that not to be overheard.
“He said that you once said to him that you can’t live without him, you will prefer to die if something happened to him and the type of job that we are involved in, our lives aren’t in our hands. Anything can happen to us in any mission, so that’s why he never informed you about it. And being tagged as a cheater is what he thought is the best that could have happened in your relationship”
Is he mad?? How could he even think like that? I would have always supported his this decision and be by his side, no matter what.
******************I don't remember how much I would have cried after our break up and I don't want to know about it. One thing that was still in my mind was that if everything between us ended 2 years back then why did he return? Why he agree to help me in this situation?? Why? This question was confusing me so I asked Akira about it when she returned
“Because he still loves you. What matters for him is your well-being, your happiness, your success. You broke up with him but he couldn’t. You might have left him but he didn’t. You might have gone away from him but he was always near you. You were always on our watch. One of our man would always keep him informed about you. He was always around you, to see if you are all right or not and to make sure that you don’t take any stupid step.”
I was shocked at it. I was on continuous watch... He cared for me even after that... Why he love me so much?? Why?? I cursed myself for breaking up with him. I shouldn’t have done that. But, Life has given me a second chance. Chance to love him back. A chance to correct myself. Chance to cover the loss lost 2 years. Time to give him what he deserves. Time we both missed. It's Time to love.
“You feeling good?”
“Okay then take some rest” said the doctor and left when Tasha entered.
Seeing her I could easily tell that she has been crying. She sat beside me. She was looking down, sideways but not at me, as if she was unable to make an eye contact with me.
“You were crying?” I asked her.
She nodded still not facing me as her eyes became a bit moist
“Don’t cry dear. I am fine.” I replied cheerfully “It’s just a………”
“I am sorry Sam” she said cutting me short and was now facing me “Sorry?? Sorry for what??” I asked as I was surprised at it. Why is she saying sorry?
“I am sorry for breaking up with you 2 years ago” she said. I was shocked at it... Is her memory back?? If it's so then why is she saying sorry, she should fight instead.
“Is your memory back?” I asked her, fearing off the response
“No… Actually Akira informed me about everything that happened 2 years ago and Sam I am really sorry for what I did.”
“Is she mad? Why did she…..” I said in anger and throwed my blanket off from me. What was the need to tell her the truth? It might have proved dangerous for her.
“Sam, Sam calm down” she said cutting me short “She told me because as now I know your truth, she thought that it might not prove dangerous for me. That’s why she informed me about it and I am fine. Nothing has happened to me. So calm down” she said giving me confidence that she is fine as she knows the complete truth.
“But still…. What if something might have happened to you?” I said thinking about the possibility
“But it hasn’t happened… So no use of thinking about it.” She said
“Ohkk” I finally said agreeing to her. She was right. There’s no use of worrying about the situation that hasn’t happened.
“So Sam please, forgive me na……” she said with tears in her eyes
“OK. Ok. I will. But before that please stop crying.” I said.
She quickly wiped her tears and passed a smile to me. I smiled back. I was feeling relived. The burden that I was carrying in my heart is now lightened. I was feeling much happier now. The feeling of getting her back in my life was amazing. We were just looking at each other and were getting deeper and deeper lost in each other when Tasha said “Why you love me so much Sam that even after I left you were always there around me, protecting me, caring for me and you even returned in my life just to help me to recover, knowing that I won’t be yours once my memory returns.. But still you came. Why Sam? Why? Why you love me so much?”
I smiled at it. “I don’t know why my heart loves you so much & why it cares so much about you. And I don’t need a reason to love you. Just a feel of you being around is enough for me to love you, to care about you, to look after you” I said as she was a kind hypnotized by my response.
“You are so bad” she said smiling
“I know” I replied with a smile and winked at her
“But still Sam, you could have told me the truth. If you had, then that wouldn’t have happened.” she said still feeling sorry for that incident.
“I tried…. In fact I was about to. But before that you said that you can’t live without me and you will prefer to die if anything happens to me. Now you only tell, how I would have informed you about it after listening to that.”
“I don’t know why I said like that at that time, but one thing is for sure that I would have always supported your this decision and be by your side.”
“But at that time the way you said that, I assumed that……” I said
“You assumed…You are an idiot Sam. A big idiot. You say that you are a big fan of RAJ K.SAXENA, but forgot his that line ‘Don’t make assumptions without completely knowing the truth. These assumptions, misunderstandings, communication gaps causes the worst difference in any relationship. So don’t assume. Ask questions to know the complete truth. Don’t misunderstand. Give them a chance to justify themselves, a chance to defend themselves, a chance to tell the truth. And don’t let the communication gap to cause a problem. Talk as much as you want. Kyuki baat karne se hi baat banti hai.’ she said it in a whip.
“Wow, you remember it by heart.” I said applauding for her wonderful recitation of his line “If it’s so then it applies to you too.”
She flaunted with her words as she knew that she was caught on the wrong foot… “Yes… but it was started by you… If you have adhered to it in beginning only then that wouldn’t have happened”
“Leave it. Let it be. Sometimes a gap is too required to strengthen a relationship. It helps us to know how strong our bond is. It helps us to become more mature and be perfect for each other. It helps us in strengthening our love.”
“Ya, it does. But still…….”
“Leave it na…….” I said
“Okay, as you say” she replied with a smile and hugged me when Akira entered
“Hello Sam. How are you feeling now?”
“Good.” I replied “Is everything okay? You looking tensed”
“No. Everything is not all right. There’s a bad news. Some of the members of the gang left before we reached there.” “What?? How could you say that?” I asked as I was bit shocked at it.
“We got the news that there were 20 or more people there. But we got the bodies of only 17. So this means that some of them left before we reached there. And our intelligence (department) has confirmed it”
“Shit. This means that threat is still on”
“Yes” she said
“Have you got any evidence from there or any document that could be of help to us?”
“Yes. We have got them. The good news is that we now know what their actual plan is. But this time, it’s really very-very dangerous.”
Her expressions gave me a nervous feeling. She looked at Tasha and thought whether to discuss it in front of her not. I understood it and asked Tasha to go out. Tasha too understood it and went out.
Akira continued “Their plan is to cause 3 Bomb Blasts at Red Fort on 15th August at the time of PM’s speech”
“What??” I said. I never expected this. This plan was even more dangerous than what I imagined
“Another cause of worry is that these bombs are non-traceable. From their blue prints it’s clearly evident that these are plastic explosives, so non-traceable by metal detectors”
“What???” Shocks were not ending for me. This is becoming tougher and tougher. But then something strike my mind. “Wait a sec” I said “If you have found the blueprints then this means that they have already made the bomb. If it’s so then they can’t take it by plane as airport security is too high for them and I don’t think they will take the risk of taking it by road. So the only option left is by…”
“Train” she completed
“Yes. By train. But we are bit late. They must have escaped the city by now. It’s only in Delhi now where we can bust them.”
“Good thought Sam, but how will we recognize them? We don’t have any idea regarding who they are or how they look like. And we can’t simply check each & every passenger there. They would definitely get alert by it.”
“Have some patience… I am coming to it…. Show me the aftermath pictures of the place.” I said.
She showed me all the pictures they have clicked of the place, of blue prints and of the dead bodies. I was going through them cautiously when one of them caught my attention. The guy in the pic looked familiar to me. I thought for a while trying to remember where I saw him and then I got it. I called in Tasha and asked for her phone. She passed it to me happily and again went out. I opened the gallery of the phone and started flipping through the pictures we clicked near Gateway. And finally I got what I was searching for. Man in the boat behind Tasha is the same one lying dead in the other pic. He was the same guy I was dubious of and the reason why we boarded the boat that day. From the pic of Tasha’s phone it was clearly evident that there was another man accompanying this man as they were having a talk. I quickly searched for this second man in the pics Akira gave. He wasn’t there in them. So finally we have a lead. If this man was with them and he isn’t there in these pics then this means that he is one of them who has left the place before we reached there. So if we can get him then we might get hold of others too.
I asked Akira to check CCTV footages of last 12 hours of all railway stations to see if this man was there and to send the pic of this man to all check posts in case they planned to escape city by road and take train from somewhere else. I also asked her to check nearby area of that place and see if we can get any CCTV footage from there may be an ATM might be around or anything else.
“Okay” she said and left to do work that was assigned to her.
“So, Tasha now what?” I asked resuming our conversation from where we left it.
“What do you mean by ‘now what’? We will start our relationship again.” she replied cheerfully
“And what about Jeh then?”
“What about him??” she asked sounding confused. She didn’t understood what Jeh had to do here.
“On the day of your accident you accepted Jeh’s proposal for marriage.”
“What??” she said or better to say she almost yelled. “Who told you about it?” She asked
“Jeh himself. It was few days after you were discharged from the hospital. He was looking depressed. As he is one of your good buddy and also supported you a lot after our breakup, I asked him about it. At first he was reluctant but when I insisted, he told me everything. He told me how much broken you were after our break up. How he helped you to be back and how he fell in love with you. How much he loves you. And how much delighted he was when you finally accepted his proposal… He told me everything….. and trust me, he is madly in love with you.” I said as Tasha was left in a shock.
Shocks from her past 3 years were not ending for her. She became quite silent after that. She didn’t have any idea what will she say to Jeh now. Unwantedly this has now became a love triangle and in the end of them has to end with a heart break. She don’t remember why she accepted Jeh’s proposal or if she loves him or not as she don’t remember anything of that period. Misunderstanding and assumption has caused a big problem for her. Whom should she choose now? Jeh has helped her in her difficult time and was her side, the time that arrived only because of her stupidity. But she don’t love him. She love Sam and she now know the truth too. So whom should she choose? Whose time is it now to lament. As she love Sam. She can’t let him go. He has already suffered a lot because of her but not anymore. She will go with him. But what about Jeh? What will she say to him? How will she encounter him? How???
“Sam, we have got something” Akira said “The man you recognized was seen at BOMBAY CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION this morning around 7:20”
“Is there any train…….”
“Yes. At 7:25 AM” she replied before I could even complete my question
“Was anything evident from his actions that someone was with him or anything else?”
“No. Nothing of that sort.”
“Okkk. Inform our Delhi team to be ready at the stations tomorrow. And we might need local support too, so ask them to be ready with it”
“Already done” she replied “But there’s one problem. We only know about this 1 guy. What about others? How will we catch them?”
“He will lead us to them. We will not catch him on the station. We will follow him. And with his help we will get hold on others”
“What if there are some more people with them for the attack?”
“I don’t think so. Whoever has made this plan wouldn’t want to ruin it by involving too many people in it. There are already many in it. So I don’t think there would be any other person other than them. And once we get hold of them, we would know who is behind it. So, this first guy is very important for us. We can’t miss him.” I said
“We won’t. You don’t worry. You take rest. We will handle him.”
“What do you mean by ‘you take rest’? I am not having any. I am too coming with you.”
“No Sam you can’t. Your wounds are still fresh. So you should rest.”
“I am fine and I can have my rest after this mission is over.”
“No Sam you can’t. Try to understand. You need rest badly. And don’t worry about the mission. Gaurav Sir is there to lead us”
“Akira, This is an order. I am coming to Delhi and that’s final.” I said in a firm voice making myself clear.
“No more discussion on it now. Get the bookings done”
She didn’t give up. She asked Tasha to convince me but failed. She called our seniors to stop me but they were too unsuccessful. They knew that there was no point of arguing with me over it as I won’t listen to anyone. They knew that I don’t leave any work unfinished. As this mission is my responsibility, I had to be there until the last man involved in this plan is arrested.
We boarded late night flight to Delhi. Tasha too was with us and she had to be with us until this mission is over.
12^th^ [*August 2016 12:00 PM *]
After having a good discussion with our extended team we were at our respective positions on various railway stations of Delhi, waiting for that train to arrive. More than 30 of our officers were placed at each railway station. Some of them were playing the role of vendors, some were as customers, some as travelers, while some of them were there in CCTV rooms to keep a good watch on the train in case anyone among us misses him.
Finally the train arrived at the HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN RAILWAY STATION at 12:30. I was at the bridge above and was keeping a good watch from there on the passengers getting off from the train. Train left the station after 2 minutes of its arrival but the man we were searching for wasn’t seen anywhere. I asked my team in the CCTV room if they saw him anywhere on the station but they too refused, which means that he hasn’t got off here. So now he will get off either at New Delhi Railway Station or Kishanganj Railway Station of Delhi, where our team will be waiting for him. We informed our team at the New Delhi Railway Station to be ready. We still looked for him there for few more minutes. And after we were fully satisfied, we left the station.
“What’s the status Gaurav? Have you find him?” I asked
“No, we haven’t. We are still looking for him.” he said sounding tensed
“Don’t worry. We will find him. If he hasn’t get off there, then he will surely at Kishanganj. So be calm.” I replied
“No Sam. The real worry is that I think he is not there in the train”
“Don’t talk rubbish. He will be there only. Just wait and have some patience.”
“No Sam. I don’t think so”
“How could you say that?” I asked
“The stoppage time at this station is for 30 minutes. When he didn’t get off from the train after 5 minutes, some of our boys went inside to look for him and they have already searched 3/4th of the train by now but still haven’t seen him anywhere.”
This too tensed me a bit. “Call me after the search is over and train leaves” I said and hung up the call.
My mind started working. Where has he gone? If he hasn't got off at both the stations and isn't there in the train then where has he gone?? He was seen at the Bombay Central Railway Station at 7:20Am and at time there's only one train which leaves for Delhi. If he isn't in the train now, then where has he got off? Where?? I searched for the schedule of the train and quickly went through the lists of the station but couldn't find anything that might be of help to us. I went through them again, but this time slowly and then my eyes freeze on one station just before the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. How could we missed that? I scolded myself for not looking at it earlier. He must have got off at that station. We have caused a big mistake here which might prove hazardous. I was thinking about all this when Gaurav called. “He isn't here. Train has left.”
“He got off at Okhla” I said feeling disappointed
“What??? Okhla.... Shit... Shit.... Shit... How could we miss that?”
“I am also thinking the same thing. How we missed that. But still inform Kishanganj team to be at their positions only, in case your team might have missed him in the train.”
“This is a rare possibility but still I will inform them and to be extra cautious.”
“Okay then, see you at the headquarters.” I said and hung up the call.
And as expected he wasn’t seen at Kishanganj too. We missed him. Only lead of this case is now gone. He got off at Okhla. Now, we have to plan everything again to get hold off him and avoid the attack.
Our search operation began. Me and my team reached Okhla Railway Station and started questioning vendors, Coolies, Auto Rickshaw Drivers, Taxi Drivers and all other people who were present there at the railway station if they have seen the man in the photograph.
Finally after half hour of enquiry, we were finally able to find someone who has seen this man. A small vendor there said that he saw a man looking similar to him going from the back side of the railway station. We were surprised at it?? Back side?? Why? There's nothing at that side. It's only an industrial area. We asked the vendor if there was any other person with him. He refused. He said that he saw only 1 person...
If he has gone there alone… then where are others? I wondered. We have to find this man quickly to get to know about other’s location. I asked the vendor if there’s any lounge, restaurant or anything of that kind there. He said that there’s none but if we walk ahead on that route then after around 15 minutes we will reach Mathura Road and from there if we go towards Ashram side area then there are many lounges and guest house in between.
We thanked the vendor for helping us and were leaving for the Mathura Road when he added that the man was carrying a big blue bag with him which beard a symbol of lion on it.
A symbol of lion on the bag….. I thought. I don’t know whether it will be useful or not but still I thanked him for it. We left for the Mathura road and asked our other team to be there.
“Sam, it’s also possible that he might have taken a taxi or Auto from here.” Gaurav said.
“It’s possible but if he had to take it then he could have taken it from station only. There was no need to walk for 15 minutes in this weather and come here just to take a taxi. Also this road looks busy. It’s difficult to find anything in midway here.”
“What if someone was already waiting for him here in his or her vehicle?” Gaurav asked
“We will find that soon” I said and sent our team to enquire all people on the way between Railway Station and this road about this man.
After 1 hour of enquiry we found a watchman who saw a man carrying a blue bag with him between 12:30 Pm to 1:00 PM. He didn’t saw his face but was sure that he was carrying the same blue bag which the vendor at the railway station described. We asked him if anyone was accompanying him. He after thinking for a while said that there wasn’t anyone accompanying him. He was all alone. We thanked him for his help and progressed ahead on that route which joins back to ‘Mathura Road’ but at different location from where we started.We enquired nearby people if anyone among them has seen a vehicle parked there for too long between 12 PM -1 PM. But that too wasn't of any help as none of them remembered anything of that kind.
After all these enquiry I became confident that he is staying in nearby lounge only and also according to the vendor at the railway station, there are too many in this area. So he had to be here. We sent our team to search all lounges, rest houses, hotels that lie within a radius of 3 Km.
“How are you so sure that he is still in nearby lounge?” Gaurav asked after our team left. We were sitting in our car which was parked on the roadside.
I showed him the map. “See this map. This Mathura road links Mahatma Gandhi Road which passing through Sarai Kale Khan goes straight to the Red Fort area. So he had to be here only as this is the best route for them.”
He had a close look at the map and said “Ohh… got it… But what about others? How will we find them? We have no idea about them, how they look like or where they are?”
“Don’t worry. He will lead us to them.”
“Sam, we don’t have much time now. We just can’t wait for them to meet.”
“I meant that he will inform us about his partners”
“Will he?” he asked being doubtful about it
“Yes he will” I said
He was still having a look at the map when he said “One thing I am not understanding is that why he got off at this station? If he wanted to follow this route for reaching the Red Fort then he could have got off at Hazrat Nizamuddin too. Back side of the station links Mahatma Gandhi Road”
“What??” I asked sounding surprised.
“Look” he said as he showed me the map
I saw it and became thoughtful when something in my mind #ringed#. According to our investigation till now, he got off at the station alone. Other two are not with him. So this means that they might have got off at Hazrat Nizamuddin or at New Delhi Railway Station. As we had no idea about them, how they look like or who they are, they could have easily got away. We were looking for this man only and in it we have missed other two. They could have easily got off at either of the stations. I had no idea why this man got off here but one thing is for sure now. One of them has definitely got off from the train at Hazrat Nizamuddin.
I asked Gaurav to go with his team and enquire all lounges and guest houses on the back side of Hazrat Nizamuddin and see if anyone has checked in there after 12:30 PM. I also asked him to keep the backup team ready there.
I called my other team at the head office and asked them to send the full CCTV footage between 12:30 PM to 1:30 Pm of Platform No: 3, where the train arrived and of Platform No: 6&7 which leads to the exit, i.e. backside of the Railway station.
Thirty minutes later I received it on my laptop and I got busy in viewing them.
Gaurav and team were at their positions, doing the work that was assigned to them. I was going through the CCTV footage of the station from all the angels. I was going through them cautiously when I noticed something. I was about to Zoom in at it when my phone rang. It was Karan.
“We have found him” he said
“Great job.” I said delightedly “Where’s he?”
“He’s in Vijay Guest House on Western Ave”
“You saw him? Is he there in his room?”
“Ya, just saw him when he was returned to guest house from somewhere.”
“Okay. Be ready. I am reaching there in 10 minutes. Till then cover the guest house area and get people out of there without him being getting alert.”
“Okay” he said and hung up.
I closed the work I was doing and left quickly for the Guest House. When I reached there all of them were at their respective positions.
“Which room is he in?” I asked Karan as I loaded my gun
“He’s in Room no: 0025” he said.
We covered the area of his room from outside. I asked Karan to break the door and enter. He did what I said as we entered his room. He was relaxing on his bed when we entered and got up immediately as he was shocked to see us. But then he very coolly raised his hands in the air. I pointed my gun at him and said “I will ask you only once, where are your other mates?”
“I don’t know” he replied coolly as if playing with us.
“Okay then. Over to you Karan” I said and turned
Karan slapped him, punched him, kicked him, grabbed him by his hair and banged it on the wall. He did everything to make him speak. That man was on ground now but still wasn’t ready to speak anything.
“Tell me where they are, otherwise I will shoot.” Karan said placing gun on his head to scare him. But he wasn’t scared at all.
He started laughing devilishly “You want to shoot? Then shoot.” he challenged Karan and continued his devilish laugh
“I am serious” he said “Tell me they are, otherwise I will shoot” he said this time in more firm voice.
“ You can't shoot me officer until you know where others are. You can't do anything till then. And by seeing your expressions I am 100% sure that you have no idea where they are.
Only thing you can do is to scare me and make me speak. But I won’t. I am not gonna tell you about them no matter what.” he said loud and clear “There will be blasts BOOM BOOM BOOM and you won’t be able to do anything about it officer” he said and laughed devilishly. “You want to shoot? Shoot. Shoot. Come-on shoot” he said to Karan, playing with him and continued his devilish laugh.
This angered me. I turned and fired 4 bullets at him. Two on his knees and two on his foot. He was down on ground crying in pain. I went to him and bended down on ground to talk to him. “Now it’s your choice, you want to cooperate with us or die from suffering. Because we are not going to take you to the hospital until your both partners are under arrest. If you want to be treated then tell where others are, as your death won’t matter to anyone neither to us nor to them. So say, you want to die or you want to cooperate with us.”
He was still crying in pain when he finally said “I don’t know about David. I know only about Bob. He’s in Amper Guest House near Nizamuddin Railway Station”
I knew that he wasn’t lying but I still stared him with a gaze ‘I don’t believe you.’
“See, you have to trust me. I am not lying. He’s there in Amper Guest House. This was our plan that we will board the train from different stations and will deboard it at different, in case one gets got, others are safe. That’s why I got off at Okhla, Bob at Nizamuddin and David was to get off at New Delhi Railway Station.” he said. I stood up from my position and turned. I smile as my trick worked. I called Gaurav and informed him about Bob’s location.
15 minutes later he called back. Information was correct as Bob was under their custody now. But he too was saying that he had no idea about David’s location.
“If he is not telling then shoot him.” I said
“Shoot him?? Really???” Gaurav asked not believing what I was saying
“Yes. Shoot him on his forehead” I said
“Okay. Got it.” he said and disconnected the call.
Karan was looking at me in disbelief not believing what I just said on the phone.
2 minutes later, Gaurav called again
“Trick didn’t work.” he said “Seriously he has no idea about it”
“Okay” I said and hung up. The trick was to shoot him with a rubber bullet to scare him. But this didn’t work. He has having no idea about it. I bent down again and asked him “Where’s David?”
“I have no idea” he said in a scary voice
I took out my gun and pointed it down on his foot. “I am not lying. I seriously have no idea about his location” he said. I saw terror on his face. The one who wanted to terrify the world was now himself in terror. “If you don’t know where he is then how were you to contact him?” I yelled at him. He hesitated a bit. I fired another bullet near his foot missing it by an inch.
“We weren’t to contact him. Plan was that we will meet him at the petrol pump near Feroz Shah Kotla on 14th August at 11:30 PM. And from there he will take us to his location where he will activate our bombs” he said it all in one breathe.
I was somewhat satisfied by his response.
“Okay Karan, give him some basic treatment and bring him to the headquarters” I said getting up and left the room.
We were at the headquarters. We were showing them the CCTV footage of New Delhi Railway Station to help us identify David. We showed them the footage again and again from different angels but still they weren’t able to find him. I asked my team to play the footage of Kishanganj Railway station taken via a spy camera. I asked for it, in case he might have got off here instead of NEW DELHI RAILWAY STATION. Only 10 people got off at Kishanganj but David wasn’t among them according to his men. If he isn’t there in the footage of this station, then where is he?
“How does he look like?” I asked them.
“He is having a good beard and a moustache” Bob said
“And you weren’t able to find anyone with similar look?” I asked
“No” he said
So all the time they have been looking for a man with a beard and moustache like him…. If they aren’t able to find anyone looking similar to him then this means that he has either shaved his beard or he was wearing a fake one. I asked my team to play both the footage simultaneously. I asked those terrorists to observe each and every person very carefully and see if anyone among them with beard and moustache will look similar to David. We were going through the footages very carefully observing each and every person very closely when something in the second footage caught my attention. I asked my team to zoom in at it. I turned my gaze towards the bags of those terrorists lying in a corner in the room and then to the one in the footage. Though the bags were different in size and color but there was a one similarity in them. The symbol of the lion. I asked my team to paint this man the way these 2 were saying. And I was right. This man is David. He’s very clever. He got off at different station and changed his look too, so that even his mates are not able to identify him in case they are caught. He is very very clever but not more than us. I asked my team to get his photo in all different looks in case he changes it again.
Now the question arises, where to look for him as it is difficult to predict him. He could be anywhere in the city. I opened the map of Delhi and marked all the places involved till now. Okhla Railway station, Vijay Guest house, Nizamuddin railway station, Amper guest house, Kishanganj railway station and petrol pump near Feroz Shah Kotla. I looked at the area of Feroz Shah Kotla very closely. Feroz Shah Kotla is near Red Fort. He has called them there at night, possibly because no one will see them there at that hour. And getting a cab at that time is a rare possibility. So this means that they were to walk to his place. So he must be in nearby area only. And by looking at the map, I got the feeling that he must be in Daryaganj area as it is near to both Feroz Shah Kotla and the Red fort.
So, now it’s time for final action. I asked my team to get ready for final adventure of the day and to inform Daryaganj police station as we will need their help.
We were in the Daryaganj area. With the help of police constables we splitted into different areas searching each and every rest house and lounge there. We were all connected to each other via Bluetooth. After around 30 minutes we heard Gaurav’s voice “We have found him. But he has escaped and is now on the run”
“Cover him from all the sides” I ordered my team
We continuously informed each other about the direction in which the terrorist was running and finally with the help of police constables who know this area better, we were able to cover him. He looked around in all the directions to look any space for escape, but there was none. He was caught. He took out his gun and shifted it from one person to another, unable to decide to whom to target or to shoot or not as there be more than 20-25 guns that were facing him. If he fired at anyone by mistake then he would be #buried # by the bullets.
He throwed his gun away and started clapping “Wow 25 people just for one. This shows what you are. I am here all alone for my mission and you are here in a herd. Such a coward you are. If you have guts then come one by one and fight with me. I will show you what I am. Come-on” he yelled challenging everyone “Got scared?? Indian force get scared...” He said and started laughing loudly.
I moved forward and said “If you think like this then die thinking like this” I said and fired the bullet from my gun which hit him right in the center of the forehead.
“I don’t love to waste time on useless things” I said to the body lying dead on the floor and turned to leave. “Every criminal will try to waste your time by involving you in useless talks, so that he gets a chance to escape. Don’t get involved in them. Do what your job demands you to do to.” I addressed to the team staring at me.
Within next 48 hours, all those who were involved in this plan were arrested. And on 15th August country happily and joyfully celebrated its 70th Independence Day with its national flag flying high in sky.
“I am really really sorry Jeh.”
“Don’t be sorry Tasha. It’s not your mistake. So don’t be sorry for it. And what matters for me is your happiness and it lies with Sam. So you should go with him only. And seeing you two back together I too feel that someone somewhere is waiting for me too. I just have to wait for her to arrive. So don’t worry about me. My time will also come” he said with a smile. He then gave a hug to Sam and wished us luck.
“He’s so nice” Sam said.
“Ya, he is” I said smiling as we saw him going. After he was gone I said “So, Sam when are you proposing me again?”
“Propose again? Why??” he asked sounding confused.
“Sam we broke up 2 years ago, and today we are starting our relationship again. So you should propose me again.”
“I am not doing it again. And by the way it was your mistake. Your misunderstanding caused it. So you should do it.”
“Sam, in the hospital I proved to you that it was all started by your stupid assumption. So you should do it Sam”
“Sam….” I said in my innocent tone
He looked at me smilingly knowing that he can’t say no to me and was about to say something when his phone rang. He answered it.
“Now” he said stressing on it as he was looking surprised at it
“Okay. I am coming” he said and hung up the call
“Sorry Tasha, you have to wait a bit more.” he said
“Why?? What happened?”
“Another mission awaits me. So got to go.” he said
“Not nowwww” I said feeling #disappointed # “Okay, but be safe and return soon”
“I will” he said with a smile as he hugged me and kissed me on my forehead
Sometimes all you require is to wait. Wait for your time to arrive. Wait for your love. If you two are to be together then you will definitely be together. If, not now then maybe few years later. But you will definitely be together as every love story has its own time. So give things some time as time absorbs everything. We want everything in our life but don’t want to wait for it. We lack patience. All we require is to wait for a while and let time lighten everything as everything can’t be achieved in a quick time. Your time will arrive too. Your time to love. Your time to live and you will have everything you have dreamt of.
It’s not only one person who writes a book. There are many people in the background who are reason for this success. Firstly I thank my parents, for allowing me to pursue my dreams and support me as a result of which I am able to complete this book and publish it. I want to thank my lifelong friend Prakarsh Saxena who helped me during various phases of this book, discussions with whom helped we to come up with new idea, a twist in the tale which made this story a bit different from other love stories. I also want to thank Purnima Gupta, who provided me various info about our army. Being from a non-army background, I wouldn’t have managed to put it that well. She, being from one, provided me with certain points which helped me to portray my idea in a better way.
Other Credits: Naina Chellaramani, Kanika Rajput, Kanak Joshi and not to forget Amazon, for providing me a platform to publish my work.