Monday, 10 February 2020

Part 10 : I See You!

Armaan looked down at shilpa's face and saw her bottom lip tremble as the nurse took off her bandages. Without a word he took her hand making shilpa hold on to him tight making armaan comment: just relax!

 Shilpa tried to smile: I'm okay!

On the Dr. Manan insistence he let go of shilpa's hand and came and stood at the foot of the bed. The doctor instructed shilpa to open her eyes slowly and try and focus her eyes on her surrounding. Armaan felt his breath get stuck in his chest as he waited for her to say something. He saw her lashes lift the deep green of her eyes trying to focus as she blinked her eyes and then he saw the realization in them. He felt his heart elate when he saw the dawning shock and then the happiness when shilpa exclaimed: I can see! I can see!

She made a sound which was a cross between a laugh and a sob: Maasi! Ammy! I can see! (her eyes swept across the room and then stopped at Armaan and she asked in wonder) Ammy?

Armaan felt her gaze as a scorching brand as he smiled: at your service! (though he tried to keep it light it felt as if they were the only two people in the world as armaan walked to her and sat beside her on the bed)

Shilpa lifted her hand and gently traced one side of his face: Ammy!! (her voice full of wonder)

Her fingers swept across his smooth brow, then glided over the taut skin of his cheek bones, her touch almost reverant as her gaze lingered over his mouth and then swept up to his eyes.

Armaan with a smile even though his heart thundered at her touch: told you I'm not perfect!

Shilpa looked at him with shimmering eyes: to me you are perfect!

Armaan stilled at her words he pressed his hand to her's which was cradling his face and then turned his face and pressed a kiss to the palm of her hand. Shilpa felt heat suffuse her her face and her heart beat do a tango.

Armaan lifted a hand to her face and ran his thumb across her bottom lip: there is so much I want to say to you! There is so much I want to hear from you, all those emotions that I see swimming in your eyes.

Shilpa tilted her head into his touch and looked into his eyes: but you won't!

Armaan gave a small smile which did nothing to hide the sadness in his eyes which was reflected in hers: I want to! I swear to god, I do! But …

Shilpa: I know!

Armaan: no you don't! its just that I gave my word!(he shook his head) I was so damn smug! I thought I could control the world around me, but then I came here and met you! (he looked at her with wonder in his eyes) you changed my world without my even realizing it. Not only that I started to change and now when I've changed I realize that I can't stay! (he saw the pain in her eyes) I want to! I swear I do but

Shilpa pressed a finger to his lips silencing him: I know! I know because I know you Ammy! You always follow through but you can't this time (she said it with a smile but her eyes shimmered with the unshed tears) so I'm not going to hold you to your word.

Armaan took her and kissed the palm and then the inside of her wrist as words were beyond him. Shilpa caressed his face smoothing the skin under his eyes: you look tired! Working too hard!

Armaan: what else do I have?

Shilpa: don't! let me go!

Armaan: I can't!

Shilpa: I'm never far away from you!(smiling sadly) I'm always here (she reached up an lightly placed her lips on his forehead) and here(pulling back she placed her hand on his chest right above his heart)

A shudder ran through armaan's body at shilpa's touch making him close his eyes. Once he opened his eyes he was alone in the room making him get up swiftly and look around: Shilpa! Shilpa! SHILPAAA!

Armaan sat up with a start his mouth open as if calling out shilpa's name, he looked around and realized that he had fallen asleep in his office. The past month had passed in the same pattern, armaan worked day and night and some nights he even forgot to go home. Armaan got up from the sofa he had zoned off and walked to the window looking out at the city which was also waking up. Armaan picked his ceel from the table and dialed a number and waited for it to connect: Hello! Manan!

Dr. Manan: hey armaan! Whats up? You're up early!

Armaan grimace as he realized the time: sorry! I didn't see the time!

Manan: no! its ok!

Armaan: just wanted to ask about Shilpa! How is she doing? Have you been in contact with her?

There was a pause from Manan end: Armaan! Shilpa is fine! This is the adjustment period as her vision has been restored after so many years (hearing armaan's sigh of relief) armaan! Why don't you call her! I'm sure she wants to hear from you! (recalling shilpa's downcast expression since armaan had left)

Armaan pressing a fist to the window: I can't! its better this way! Let her move on!(feeling an argument starting) I've disturbed you so early in the morning will talk to you later.(he cut the line)

Armaan turned around and started gathering his stuff so to go back home when the door opened to his office and in walked Atul.

Armaan: hey! What are you doing here so early?

Atul looked at armaan taking his disheveled appearance: what are you doing armaan?

Armaan looked questioningly at him: I was working late and fell asleep here on the sofa now I'm gpoing home to freshen up!

Atul in all seriousness: Armaan! We've been friends a long time and I've worked with you from the start. I know you when you are happy, angry or sad but what I don't understand I your current mood. So just answer one question for me armaan where did you disappear to all these months.

Armaan looked at atul: what has that got to do with anything?

Atul: everything! Do you think no one has noticed? You've changed armaan! You're no longer the same guy who was so focused on taking this company to new heights. Something happened I can see it in your eyes, so tell me, coz I'm your friend and I can help.

Armaan shook his head and smiled sadly: nothing is wrong! I just realized that I can't control the world!

Atul: who is she?(when armaan glanced at him sharply)tell me! We can talk to Singhania make him understand! I'll talk to her so that there are no misunderstanding!

Armaan laughed but without humour: Atul! Singhania will not understand! Do you honestly think he is going to let go of this golden opportunity to be associated with the Mallik's.

Atul: but what if you tell him that you are in love with someone else.

Armaan: he doesn't care!(running a hand through his hair) plus that was the deal his help for my agreeing to his proposal.

Atul: so he'll push his daughter into a loveless marriage! 

Armaan smiled cynically: comeon atul! As if in these circles people care about love!

Atul: your family does! (looking at the sardonic expression on armaan's face) will you lie to your family!

Armaan: no! I'll tell them the truth!

Atul: just not the whole truth!

Armaan: maa and dad are coming tomorrow Singhania is going to talk to them!

On the other side Shilpa woke up in the morning, she opened her eyes and immediately shielded her eyes against the sunlight that flooded her room. She lay there and recalled the dream she had, which was actually a conversation she had with Ammy. She sat up in the bed and shook her head at her foolishness as she realized that even in her dream she had not seen Ammy's face but the conversation they had, had left an ache in her heart.

Shilpa got up and after freshening up went in search for her maasi to have her breakfast.

Shilpa finding her in the kitchen: maasi! Whats for breakfast?

As they sat down to eat maasi kept looking at shilpa trying to judge her mood as there was a brightness in her eyes, the tone of her voice was lighter.

Maasi: beta! You sound better today!

Shilpa smiled: I'm sorry maasi! I know I have worried you a lot! But I promise from today I will not worry you more.

Maasi saw her smile and smiled back: beta! I love you and want you to be happy! I'm just glad that you are feeling yourself. (they both continued eating and then maasi) we can talk to your daija today and get Ammy's details.

Shilpa looked up at her maasi and replied seriously: I'm not going to contact Ammy!

Maasi giving her a distressed look: but why not? Plz let go of the anger and think rationally!

Shilpa: I'm not angry! (she gave a sad smile) Maasi I have always understood Ammy even when he never spoke out loud. His silence spoke volumes (she shook her head) how can I not understand what he wrote in the letter.

Maasi confused: but beta! What?

Shilpa: Maasi! Since I've met Ammy, throughout this time we've spent together these months he never once went back on his word. Even small things like meeting at a specified time or my insisting on getting on the swings. If he said he'll take me that meant he always did (she looked back at the memories) but now he can't be with me! I will not lie to you maasi!! It hurts but I know this in my heart that it hurt him too. The letter he wrote was for me to have closure because whatever the circumstances he knows he can't come back.

Maasi: but are you not even going to try?

Shilpa: for what? To make it tough for both of us? No! because I know what I would've wanted for him! I'm going to let him go maasi!

Maasi: will you be able to forget him?

Shilpa gave a tremulous smile: I'm not even trying to! Ammy has given me so much he made me feel something that I had always dreamt of or read about.(Shaking her head as the memories became painful) I can never forget him but I'm going to remember him as a wonderful memory.

Maasi had tears in her eyes as she listened to shilpa and realized her baby had indeed grown up: what are you going to do?

Shilpa: live! (then smiling brightly) come on maasi! This is a new beginning and I'm going to go all out for it.

Maasi got up and hugged shilpa: I'm so proud of you!

Shilpa hugged her back but her smile wavered and she bit her lip to stop herself from crying.

Later in the evening shilpa stood outside in the yard her heart so full of emotions that without her realizing she had tears streaming down her face.

Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Tu sukke sukke sapne vi pijj gaye
Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Rove palkan de Kone vich neend meri
Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Hanju digde ne chot lage dil te
Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Rut birha de badlan di chhaa gayi

On the other hand armaan was being driven in his chauffer driven car to an event that he had to attend. He continued to look out at the darkened streets

Kaali kaali khaali raaton se
Hone lagi hai dosti
khoya khoya in raahon mein(As they reached the venue armaan got out of the car and turned around standing still for a sec for the photographers to click away at him and again he started to move forward)
Ab mera kuch bhi nahi (feeling more alone than ever before he shook hands with people as he worked the crowd)
Har pal her lamha, main kaise sehta hoon
Har pal her lamha main khud se yeh kehta rehta hoon( as he kept talking to people coming up to him suddenly he felt a touch on his shoulder and turned around)

He saw Shilpa standing smiling at him, she gave him a light wave and beckoned him towards her, even though he knew it was an apparition  he took a step towards her

Tujhe bhula diya, oh,
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Phir kyun teri yaadon ne
Mujhe rula diya.. oh (he came back with a start as someone called his name and armaan turned away)
Mujhe rula diya .

At night when armaan was going back home his mind kept going over the letter he had written shilpa before leaving
Teri yaadon mein likhte jo lafz dete hai sunaai
beete lamhe poochhte hain kyun hue aise juda.. khuda,(on the other side shilpa was lost in the memories of their time together
Khuda mila jo yeh faisla hain
Khuda tera hi yeh faisla hain
Khuda hona tha woh ho gaya (both armaan and shilpa sat alone in their rooms in darkness and wandered what they were suppose to do)
Jo tune thha likha

Tujhe bhula diya, oh,
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Phir kyun teri yaadon ne
Mujhe rula diya..
Mujhe rula diya .

Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Tu sukke sukke sapne vi pijj gaye
Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Rut birha de badlan di chhaa gay

The following day shilpa decided to start a new, she decided to put away all the memories of armaan. She had not still seen the sculpture she had done of armaan as armaan had returned it in a box to her. The box had been lying in her room so she took the box to her studio to stow away, that done she opened her desk drawer and got out the box of cigars and the letter he had written. Taking both the things she stuffed them under her clothes in the cupboard. The words of the letter were burned in her heart but she still could not make herself open the letter and look at it. As she put the things away she felt her breath hitch making her sit down and press a hand to her eyes to stop from crying.

Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Tu sukke sukke sapne vi pijj gaye
Naina Laggeyan Baarsihan
Rut birha de badlan di chhaa gay

Armaan's parents came back from their Europe trip and were ecstatic to see Armaan. Though armaan was also happy to see them there was still sadness lurking in his heart. Armaan sat in the midst of his parents whoo were regaling him with the stories of the trip when armaan looked up and found shilpa sitting across from him. He sat still  not listening to what his parents were saying as he saw her smile and wink at him. His heart screamed

Dol pal tujh se juda thha,
Aise phir rasta muda thha,(later armaan found his father talking on the phone to Singhania making Armaan's heart freeze)
Tujh se main khone laga,
Juda jaise hone laga,
Mujh se kuch mera

Again armaan found himself with Shilpa in his imagination as he found her laughing and circling around him. His heart leapt at the sight of her
Tu hi mera liye abb kr dua,
Tu hi is dard se kar de juda,
Tera hoke tera jo main na raha,
Main yeh khud se kehta hoon,

Tujhe bhula diya, oh,(Shilpa closed her closet and looked around the room, hoping)
Tujhe bhula diya, oh(Armaan was working out in his gym hoping to stop seeing her in his mind hoping for peace that eluded him)
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Phir kyun teri yaadon ne
Mujhe rula diya.(he broke down and fell to the floor his head falling forward as a tear escaped from under his lashes)


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