Thursday, 25 June 2020

Last Part : CLOSURE?TO BEGINNING

After they enters the airport,  a awkward silence prevails between them .there is so much to tell but the situation is like that one of them is not finding any words to start the conversation and the other is finding it even difficult to look at the other's eyes. It actually feels really embarrassing to be like this. So, to avoid that discomfort Shilpa tries to break the silence with some casual talk. She clears her throat, "Umm. . .Is Di all right?.." she asks .



 Its like that he suddenly comes to earth " Huh. . .yea . ..yea . .she is fine . . ."



" Di is really a sensitive person . ."She says with a small forceful smile. Even these casual talks are taking so much effort from her.




"Yea that she is . ." he also smiles a little as his situation is no better than her and he is really struggling to form even a total sentence to articulate what he wants to say to her.  Why always God put him in such exams? Why can't he get some easy way even once in his life? May be God feels it really amusing to test him like this.



She can realize his condition pretty well. But she doesn't want to face it. Only these last minutes, if she can avoid this time then she will be out of his reach. She so wants to rush out from here but why her legs are not listening to her? It is as if jammed there. And her stupid heart which is craving and yearning for some more time with him is also making it all the more difficult for her. No, she can't let her heart take over now, Now when she is successful to reach till here. And with every strength of her mind she orders her legs to move and speaks up, "Ummm . .Armaan . . .I think I must get going . . .there is much to do . ..u know so many formalities . . .so  se. . see u . .take care.  ." and she turns back immediately closing her eyes lest it will throw out her pretence of coolness. But as soon as she starts to move the voice sounded behind, "Shilpa.. ." And she stands on her foot frozen. She knew what's coming by his tone but didn't want it to hear. She clutches her fingers into a tight fist 'Don't do this Armaan . . . .Don't make it more difficult for me' she thought.



Armaan is so much disturbed with the notion of how to proceed. He knows Riddhima has trusted him to do this. But it's no way near easy. Not when she is hell bent on avoiding him. So, how can he make her speak? Its not like that the talking is going to be on some funny or happy terms neither It is possible that he will go and ask her strait out of blue and she going to blurt out everything. It's way more difficult. Very much so as it is really uncertain that which way the conversation can go or what reaction or outcome it will bring. As he is sure he doesn't want to hurt her more than he already has. He comes out of all these unsettling predicaments hovering in his mind when he hears Shilpa's hurried goodbye and looks at her retreating figure. He knows she is again running away as there is still some time left for the flight. But he can't let her do it this time. So he calls her back gathering all his courage and saw her stop in her track but still not facing him. He shrugged all his thinking about how to make a meaningful talk and just hands it over to the almighty. He always sucks at poignant discussion, or that he thought and decides that he will going to say whatever comes in his heart as that is the only thing he can do now. He comes in front of her. It's a now or never situation for him. It's the last chance he has and he has to do it. He can see her eyes tightly shut. He again called her " Shilpa. . .."



She opens her eyes.  There is pleading for him to stop. But He will not listen to it .At least not today." Shilpa  . . .I . ." he starts but gets cut off by her.



 "Armaan . . .pls . ." She voices her plead. Her eyes are getting teary and everything is getting blur. The pain is rising in her heart with every passing second. It's now too much for her to even hear his voice let alone hear what he wants to say.



"No Shilpa . . .not today" he speaks in a firm tone making her shudder. "  u r not going to stop me today. . .last time u didn't gave me any chance . . .but this time I will not let u go without listening to me for once . . ." his voice is a mixture of both request and order which didn't let her make any protest. She can not move . He always has this kind of effect on her. She kept silent lowering her eyes and he continues with a deep breath. "Shilpa . . I. .  I . . want to apologize. . ." he utters softly. His strong tone turns into a guilty one.



She closes her eyes for controlling her tears which threatens to spill any moment and then looks up at him, " Apologize?. .Apologize for what Armaan?" she asks.



He looks at her eyes for some time and then says in a mere whisper "U knows for what . . ."



"Then don't Armaan." She looks away from him. Her voice shows a lot of conviction. May be it is better to tell him what she thinks than to see him feeling guilty for what he had not done. If she doesn't tell him now then he may bear this weight on his shoulder all his life. And how can she let that be when everything she had done till now is only for his happiness   ". . .I can never regret what happened and by apologizing, u will only insult my feelings. . . what happened  . . .no one of us can be blamed for it . . we can blame only when the wrong is done intentionally. . .u had never said anything to me . . .It was me who imagined things . . . u know Armaan ,before I met u I was a simple girl with different thoughts ,ideas and a set aim  . . .but u came and every thing changed . . I don't even realize . . .how u entered in my life and when u became an important part of me . .." She looks at him to see that he is staring at her with an unreadable expression. She tries to muster up a smile which hardly comes out. She takes a sigh and continues, "All I knew is that from then on I am a changed person .  . .  Armaan, u show me a different world that I never knew existed ,U made me feel differently and I just flowed with it. . .And it was an amazing feeling. . .Its like touching an rainbow . .So many colors and so much light. . but the light was so bright that it made me blind to the truth that laying in front of my eyes. . .and when the rainbow all of a sudden disappears I was left in darkness.  . and there was no way out of it. . ." She stops seeing Armaan's cloudy eyes. She knows her words had hurt him. It had made him guiltier than ever. She never wanted this to happen. She had started to tell him all this just to rid him of his guilt but she didn't realize when she got carried away. It felt that the dam had broken suddenly and every emotion that she felt till now had come out like a flood. All she knew is that there is no one in this world who has the right to know this secret of her other than him. But now she just wants to snatch that pain and hurt from his eyes. She controls her overwhelming urge to just take him in her arms and make him feel good but she knows that she doesn't have the right to do so. She only has her words to do that job " But Armaan . . .I can never blame u for anything. . .yes, I am hurt but that does not take away that beautiful feeling I experienced just because of u. . . I will always be grateful to u to show me this wonderful new world of feelings and emotions.  . . . its only because of u that I can feel like a new human being . . .May be our destinations were never same but u know what?. .  Bua always said that 'its not that every road leads to a desired destination, but the journey itself can give u so much to cherish' . . .and now I know that what she said is right. . .as I am never going to forget this journey " she smiles.



Armaan stares at her astonished all through her talk. What is this girl? Is she for real? He has hurt her so much but she doesn't have any complain instead she is thanking him???? What had she seen in that jerk Armaan that she fall for him? And moreover how can she still love him so much despite of knowing that he is incapable of giving it back to her? He is feeling an excruciating pain erupting in his heart which in turn making his eyes misty. For the first time in his life he wants to blame God for making this little innocent girl go through this much pain. How can he be so unfair? She deserves much, much more better in life. But he also knows that by blaming God he can not shake off his own responsibility. He should be blamed as much for where he had gone wrong, He felt ashamed of the fact that Shilpa is trying to make him feel better even if he is so totally at fault. His voice gave away the indignation, "Shilpa. . Even if u wants to make me feel good.  . .but that can not let me be off hook for my deeds. . . I know that I was wrong. . . if I have prevented u before u should not have faced this much of pain. . .If only I was not been an insensitive jerk all along . .Then. . ."



His self accusation stops hearing Shilpa's words, "Prevented me? U really think u can stop someone's feeling?" she gives a soft chuckle, " Armaan emotions can never be prevented. . .u can not put barriers on ur heart and ur feelings. . .if it was possible I would hav . . ."she left it incomplete. If he thinks that he can prevented her from falling in love with him then it was the most stupid and impossible thing on earth. If it was possible then she would have been out of love with him that instant when she got to know that he can never be hers and moreover she may have not even fall in love with him at the first place. But then love always has the knack to intrude in the wrong time and with the most unexpected persons. She left a sigh and then again starts. "The thing is that it was destined . . and however we may hav tried it would hav happened. . .And its better that we should just accept it . . but. . .but I hav to agree"  and her serious tone turns to some what mischievous  ". . that u definitely were an insensitive 'jerk'. And that I know from 1st day and u only admitted now" she finishes with a chuckle on her teasing in order to make the situation light and she succeeds as he also chuckles and rolled his teary eyes at her claims. She is sure one amazing person he hav ever come across in his life. And may be its just destiny that their paths hav crossed at some point of time and now their paths are going to separate. The loss is irrecoverable but still inevitable. And he just wish that this new path of her life leads her to a destination where she gets all that he is incapable of giving her or may be more.



 After the small joke Shilpa again turns serious and looks at him "U really wants me to be happy Armaan ."It is more of a question than a statement. When he nods his head slowly she smiles and then says. "Then always  be happy Armaan. . all I wanted is  u to be happy. . .and u are happy with only Riddhima . . .and she is with u . . .I always wish u two to be together . . .so be with her and be happy . . ..if u want me to be really happy . . .u have to do this for me. ." Her eyes are again getting hazy with tears..



His eyes are also blurring. But he tries to smile which fails miserably. He wants to say something but words betrayed him so he just nods. He can not but marvel at the depth of her feeling that she still cares for his happiness even when it is going to give her so much pain. He wonders if he deserved to be loved that much.



"Keep my Di happy .Armaan. . .she. .she loves u very much" tears are getting difficult to hold on with every second as they are in no mood to listen to her preventing.



" I will. . ." he found his voice but it comes out as a chocked whisper.



" Good. . .and to do so, u urself have to smile Mr. Sadu. . ." wiping her tears ,she tries to make a last effort to humor. They both tries to fake a laugh but her tears came back again washing out her pretence. It's really hard.. Much tougher than she had thought, to just leave him, and go. It's taking her every bit of self control but she knew it is rapidly slipping out of her hand.



"Call for the passengers of flight no 3562 for California., to please board the flight." Announcement sounded.



 That is it .She has to go." So. . .I guess . .This is it . . .I have to go now. . ." she tries to gather the last bit of her courage to smile but she knows that she is failing big time. Her tears are not in her control anymore and Armaan's teary eyes also not helping her at all.



"Can u do me a last fever" her voice is shaking badly.



He looks at her without saying anything



" Don't forget me. . . "  There, she is defeated., her eyes pleading to him.



" I will not. . .I can't. . ." his voice is also shaking. He is sure that in this life time he will not be able to forget her.



For Shilpa its feeling like life is sucking out of her. She does not want to go .She does not want him to let go .but she knows that she could not do anything. She is helpless and so is he. She has to go. She must go …She has to leave him for her sister, for him and for herself also .He can never be hers. They r never meant to be but she never can prevent her heart from loving him. She had forced her heart to stay quite and caged her feelings till this time, but now, in this last moment she could not suppress it any more. It is screaming to come out. It's tearing her from within and she gets helpless in the hand of her heart. She can't hold up the musk anymore. She looks at him with tears flowing down her eyes," Can I please. . .One last time. . ." she asks through tears and slowly forwards her shaking hands to touch him for one last time. The agony; the pain; the helplessness, all coming out like a river from her eyes.



He stares at her for some seconds .What she is asking is difficult and may be wrong also but is everything about right or wrong? None knows better than him how it feels to go away from his/her love just for the sake of their happiness. He can still feel those horrific days when he had to do the same. Those cold, cruel and brutal days are still etched in his heart He can never wish even his enemies to go through the same. Let alone Shilpa . She is way too precious for him. And now at this very moment he can see that same emptiness in her eyes that once was in his. No, he can't let destiny make another lost and shattered Armaan in her. He will do whatever in his hands to take that emptiness from her eyes. He slowly bends his head to her level with moist eyes.



She comes closer and touches his cheeks with her shaking hands. She tilts her face and softly placed her lips on his forehead lingering her lips there for some time savoring and preserving the moment in her memory for a lifetime.



Armaan closes his eyes and two fat tears drop accepting all the pure and selfless love, all the waiting, all the craving and all the sacrifices this girl has made for him.  He can only give this much.



But to Shilpa, the moment she kissed his forehead all the sense of right and wrong got blur. All that matters at that moment to her, is the man in front her whom she had loved with each cell of her body; all the beats of her heart and all the sense of her being. All she knew that she have only these last minutes of being with this man for whom she has yearned and craved for all these years, and she wants to live these last minutes with him. Her lips lowered and she sucks the teardrops from his eyes lovingly. He looks up to her eyes and can see her eyes are flickering from his eyes to his lips as if asking for permission and then she leans in. .



With her lips inches away Armaan backs off slowly whispering a soft "Sorry." Then he looks at her eyes and mumbles, "I am sorry . . .Shilpa  . .I . ."  He can not complete his words as his voice chocks and he lowers his eyes conveying his inability.



 Coming back to reality she immediately takes her step back. She looks at his lowered Eyes. She knew that she have asked for more than he can give her. He knows, she knows that this is the boundary that he can and will never cross. But her love for him is beyond these boundaries. It can not be bound in them. She will always love him and cherish this moment all her life. She will always thank God for bringing this man to her life who taught her the meaning of love and given her the only family she has. She has immense respect for this man and it only grows every time just like her love for him.



"Last call for the passengers of flight no 3562 to California." Again the announcement sounded.



 She once looks back at the boarding area .Now she have to go. Then she again turns at him while his eyes are still lowered. She can feel the tears he is holding back. Now there is only one last thing left and she can not leave or live without saying it,



. "I love U . ." that is it.. And nothing is hidden anymore.



He looks up to her eyes with his bloodshot ones and he can see the purity of her heart that can be seen through the tears that are brimming in her eyes. He can see that she is not asking anything in return: she is not asking him to reciprocate her feeing it is just that she wants him to know that there is another girl in this world who loves him like crazy: she wants him to acknowledge her feelings for him even if he can never return it. She is not saying this to claim anything, she is just saying it to show him how much she meant it and how much he meant to her. Nothing more.  He can see it all in her eyes and he obliged, as he slowly nods his head and whispers a soft, " I know. ." ,conveying his acceptance and telling her silently that her massage will always be safe in his heart. The tears that he is holding, breaks the dam. It is true that he can never give her the love that she deserves but the respect this girl and her feeling for him have in his heart, will always remain there and will only increase.





She looks at his eyes searching if he had done all this out of sympathy for her. But No, she can not find any trace of sympathy or pity in his eyes. It's respect that is shining in those blue oceans.  Just pure respect. Respect for her and respect for her feelings to him .And at that moment she felt proud. Proud of her decision. Her face broke into a big and genuine smile for the first time in these two years through her tears. Her eyes are beaming with new found glint and she murmured a slow heart- warming ," Thank u. ."



She now feels free. It's like that she has just discovered what was holding her back. It's the insecurity; yes it's the insecurity that she will never be able to tell her true feelings to the man that she loves most in this world. It's the feeling that May be she will die with the truth buried deep inside her heart and he will never get to know. It's the fear of being lost in the crowd of so many people who came and gone in his life without any significance. She owed him this truth and by hiding it from him may be she has left some part of her indebted spirit caged in the past. Its not that he hasn't realized her love for him but uttering those three words loud and clear to him made a hell lot of difference. There is no hide and seek any more, everything is in open. Clear like daylight. To day by uttering those words to him she has just broken the shekel of past. It feels like suddenly bright light and fresh air jumped in a dark room. Its feels sunny and it feels being alive. . .again. Her heart is now smiling. It is now breathing. Now she realized what Riddhima meant when she told her to let it out. She thanked her Di from the core of her heart that she had given her this chance.  She feels peace in her ever restless heart like the storms have suddenly stopped. And the sun is lurking from the cloud.   She got all the strength and power that she needed all of a sudden. She feels confident, not weak. And with this new found conviction she wipes her eyes and speaks up with a sure smile and firm tone. " And now,. . . it's time to go  . .So . .Armaan Mallik . . .goodbye. . ."  She now no more has the fear of being non existence from his life, his heart. For a matter of fact she knows, though not love but she has surely made a permanent place in his heart. That's all she ever had wanted, to live in a small corner of his heart and he has given her more.



He stretches his hand and holds her one hand and opens her palm. She looks towards him confused and then with his other hand he placed something in her palm and closes it, and then leaves her hand. She opens her palm and saw there is a small silver idol of lord Krishna, the god she worships, in her palm. She smiles and her eyes become teary,



"He will show u the right way in life. . ." he says indicating the idol



"Thank u Armaan.." she said looking  at the idol teary eyed still smiling from heart



" Shilpa." she  looks up at him smiling hearing her name . . .



"Take care. . ." he just wish that this girl gets all the happiness of the world.



"I will. ." She smiles big. And then turning back starts to walk towards the boarding area, .'Thanks Armaan. . .For accepting my feelings. I know u Can't love me back. . . .Neither I want u to reciprocate my feelings nor do I want u to come to me. . . I just wanted to say out my feelings to u one last time and I did and u let me. . . now I can feel my heart is free  . . .u let it free. . . . Armaan, u r the person who once opened my heart to this beautiful feeling of love and now u again r the person who opened my heart to a new life and I will always be grateful to u for this. . .Riddhima is ur love and I want u to be with her. . .As for me, I will not going to lock my heart anymore and  will let it flow. . . I know that u wanted me to forget u and live my life.  . .  I can not do that Armaan, I can never forget u . . .I love u and always will. .  . .But from now on u and ur memories will be my strength . . .and I promise that I will not hold myself back. . . .I will embrace my life as it comes . . .And may be some day when I will find my ground and my legs will not shake anymore I will come. . . to see my family. . ." she continues walking with her trolley.

           

              She just stops at the entrance and looks backward. She saw Armaan still stood there. She smiles at him and waves and then turning back she looks at the Krishna Idol in her hand and presses it tight in her palm as if taking the power and then she smiles, a bright smile that she used to smile before. "Welcome to new life. . .Shilpa Malhotra." She talks to herself and then enters the boarding area. . .



     "Love can touch us onetime and last for a lifetime,

      And never let go till we are gone;

      Love was when I loved u, one true time I hold u,

      In my life we'll always go on;

     Near far wherever u are,

     I believe the heart does go on;

     Once more you open the door,

     And you are here in my heart and;

     My heart will go on and on…….." 

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