The Brighter Side

Life is a journey and in this journey we meet many people. Some people leave a mark on us which remains etched in our hearts and their words always echo in our ears. We follow their footprints, for we know it is their light which will bring out the best of us. At times, our journey may seem as a labyrinth but that’s what makes it beautiful. We all grow up by nursing someone else’s sorrow, grieving through someone else’s grief and being happy in someone else’s happiness.

‘You think it’s my mistake? FINE! Put the blame on me.’ ‘You have this habit of gathering sympathy from your daughter by portraying yourself as the victim.’

It was hard for me to concentrate amidst all this noise. I went to the living room, slammed the door and went out. I headed towards my safe haven.

I saw David sitting out on the porch. He waved at me. The wrinkles on his face were prominent. Age leaves its marks on everyone. His hands were trembling, yet he had the enthusiasm of a kid. It is quite weird for a fifteen year old teenager and a seventy year old man to be friends. Ever since I was a toddler, we would go out for fishing, catch butterflies together, and eat mangoes in his orchard. He would tell me stories and I would listen in awe.

I sat next to him with a gloomy face. ‘What’s the matter kid?’ he interrogated. ‘Well, same old fight. Don’t they understand that they have a daughter who has her board exams in the next three months?’

‘Grownups are quite complicated, kid. Give them time. Things will be fine.’ he assured me with a smile. ‘I’ll never spoil my child’s life. Seeing my mom and dad makes me question true love and the institution of marriage. You say sweet nothings to each other, the love gives you butterflies in your stomach, you start dreaming about that someone and then it fades away with time. You even start taking them for granted’, I went on blabbering.

‘Hold on kid and take a deep breath. I’ll tell you a story now.’ David mumbled. For me his stories were always the best part of our friendship. David cleared his throat and started narrating.

“Let me take you to a time, some 50 years ago when I was a totally different person. I would rarely initiate a conversation with someone. Back then in the third year of my college, I was in love with a girl, Savannah. I don’t know when and how I had fallen in love with her. I would always find her in a conversation with someone with a smile on her face. People used to praise her for her helping nature. She had the aura of honesty of a child, the energy of a teenager and the maturity of an adult. As they say Destiny has its plan, I finally initiated a conversation with her. I would talk to her for hours. She was a beautiful chaos, someone with whom I could be myself.

Hiding my love for her was getting difficult. I finally mustered up the courage to confess my love. I knew that this would either crumble my heart into a million pieces or it would make my life beautiful. I had hope lurking in my heart. I confessed to her that I was in love with her and she reciprocated my love. Life was bliss with her. Our love coursed through the rise and fall of situations. At times we had problems but I knew I loved her and she knew she loved me.

After college we had to stay in different cities. The distance would make us crave for each other even more.

During Christmas, I had gone to visit her place. The door of her house was open. I entered the house and found the entire room lit with candles. Savannah was on her knees with a ring. ‘Will you marry me, sweetheart?’ I couldn’t stop smiling. She looked resplendent in the dim light. ‘Will you answer my question? My knee is hurting’, she muttered. ‘Yes’ “

David blushed as he completed his story.

 

‘Dinner’s ready. Come in before the candles blow out’, the voice came from behind us.

Savannah stood behind us with a smile on her face. She looked beautiful as always.

‘I hope someday you change your opinion about love and marriage, kid.’ David said as he got up to go inside. I wished them good night and left the place.

…….

Twenty years have passed since the day David narrated his story. David taught me what true love is. The magic that accompanies it lights up lives and it is greater than any other emotion. As they say ‘falling in love is easy but staying in love is special’.

 

 

 

From strangers to soulmates

‘Ayesha!’ Ayesha! It’s already 5 p.m. he will be here anytime. Get ready’, Mrs. Arora shouted at the highest pitch of her voice.

‘Mom, I am not sure about an arranged marriage. How can I stay with someone I hardly know? I can’t marry him’, saying this Ayesha slammed the door of the bathroom.

 

After half an hour Ayesha was sitting in front of the mirror applying Kohl to her eyes. She looked stunning. ‘Why am I doing this? I can’t spend the day with a stranger? Why are we creating all the fuss? Look at his profile pic mom. He looks so formal. He doesn’t even smile.’

‘You have talked to him over the phone thrice. You will get to know him once you meet him. He is a nice guy. You both will make a perfect pair’.

Ayesha gave a disgusted look. Arguing with her mother was pointless.

 

The doorbell rang.Mrs Arora rushed to open the door. Ayesha glanced at the mirror and sauntered towards the living room. She was too nervous to take fast steps. It seemed like a door to fallacy. She did not want to regret.

He was sitting on the sofa, dressed in black tees and blue denim. He had the kind of face that could make one stop in one’s track and turn around to have a second glance. His infectious smile never left his face. Any woman having him in her life would consider herself fortunate. His eyes caught Ayesha’s attention. They were light brown in color. His face had the innocence of a child. Dhruv Malhotra, the guy who was supposed to be Ayesha’s date for the evening, whom Ayesha’s parents had selected for her.

Dhruv looked at Ayesha and smiled.

‘Aunty I’ll definitely have a cup of tea the next time I visit you all.’ Ayesha’s mother smiled and blessed Dhruv.

‘I’m waiting for you outside’ saying this Dhruv moved out. Ayesha closed the door behind her. She could feel her nerves tingling like being tickled with a small feather.

 

He stood there leaning against his bike. He looked calm and composed.The moment their eyes met his infectious smile caught her into its grip.Dhruv engaged Ayesha in conversation

They went to a cafe. He was interesting, someone you could spend the entire time with and not get bored with. ‘I want to take you to my favorite place in Banaras’, Dhruv muttered.

Chattering around endlessly they came to a halt.

The majestic magnificent holy River Ganga stood ahead of them. People had gathered at the ‘ghat’ for the evening ‘aarti’.It was serene and blissful. Ayesha had spent almost all the evenings here but today was special. The place had never looked so beautiful before. The beautiful ‘diyas’ floating in the water had lit up the entire place. The rustling of the leaves and the cold breeze added to the beauty of the place. Dhruv moved the strand of hair that had fallen on Ayesha’s face and tucked it behind her ears. Ayesha told Dhruv about her dreams, her ambitions, and her childhood fears. She narrated everything with the innocence of a child and maturity of an adult. She was at ease. They sat under the starlit sky for hours. The silence was soothing.

 

‘When I was a kid I used to come here almost every day. After moving to Delhi, I missed this place the most. Today after so many years, I feel the same. .Ayesha, your presence makes all this even more beautiful.’ Ayesha glanced at Dhruv.Her beauty roared into his life. She moved towards him and moved her hand to hold his hand.

Dhruv brought tea for both of them from a nearby tea stall. He looked up at her from his cup of tea only to reflect the affection that he had for her. It made her blush.

 

Dhruv dropped Ayesha at her home. ‘Thank you so much Ayesha. I have never felt like this for anyone before. You have given me the best evening of my life. I want to become your friend first and then your husband. I want you to do everything that you like. I want you to walk by my side always. I hope to see you soon.’ He waved at her and left the place.

…………………………..

 

Ayesha felt someone nuzzling her neck. ‘May I have the pleasure to take my dearest wife out for dinner?’ Ayesha came out of her thoughts.

The velvety sough of the spring breeze mingled with his voice. His voice has become the favorite track of her playlist. She turned towards Dhruv and kissed his lips.

‘I’ll be ready in five minutes.’ muttered Ayesha

Dhruv and Ayesha have been married for two years now.

Sometimes the unexpected turns out to be the best thing. Love like faith is a marvel. It’s the unexpected that changes our life. At times you don’t know someone and then all of a sudden that someone becomes your life. That’s how it is!!

 

Ray Of Hope

Faith is a marvel yet no human life is excluded from it. Man is a mere traveller ; the wanderer borne on the breast of swift flowing river would console himself with philosophical reflections of numerous meetings and partings in the world.

‘Happy Anniversary, my beloved wife’, the card read. Ryan wrote a message and finally sealed the card in an envelope. He had a smile on his face as he walked to the bathroom to shower. He wore his favorite shirt that Jamie had gifted him. Thinking about Jamie creased his lips.

He started reminiscing their first meet. It was a friend’s wedding ceremony. Ryan never was a sociable party animal. He usually avoided social gatherings. He was not someone who would initiate a conversation. So he was standing alone in the corner of the hall when he heard a chirping voice. His eyes instantly caught sight of a beautiful girl; a girl with an angelic frame magnificent like someone stepped out of the fairy tale. She had big almond shaped eyes, a stunning smile that never left her radiant face. She was enveloped with a scintillating black dress. His heart skipped a beat. “She is ravishing beautiful,” he mumbled to himself.

Ryan snapped out of his dream and grabbed his breakfast downstairs. He traversed to his dreamland again. That night he mustered up courage to talk to the girl who had the potent to take it to a million heights or crumble it into million pieces. When he conversed with her he discovered her to be annoyingly beautiful yet interesting person. Jamie and Ryan started meeting each other frequently and he was head over heels in love with her. Jamie had the aura of honesty as a child, the energy of a teenager and the maturity of an adult. Those moments added a new charm, a new aura to his life. Ryan’s parents instantly adored his choice and after a year of courtship they were married with the decision to ride the longest ride with each other.

‘Stop dreaming Ryan. Jamie must be waiting for you. It’s your second year anniversary and you are behaving like you just met her yesterday’ he muttered. He took the car keys and drove down the streets. He bought some orchids thinking Jamie would love them. Ryan finally arrived at the place and parking his car strolled into the building. He pushed open the door and his eyes fell on the most beautiful person in the room. She looked resplendent. Jamie was lying on drab bed with her eyes shut. There was a nurse standing by the side of her bed and attending to her. The room was surrounded by the monitors. The monitors to measure her heart-beat, her breathing rate. Several wires were connected to different part of Jamie’s body. Ryan sat beside her and placed the flowers on the table. He kissed her knuckles and started reading the message he had inscribed to her.

“Dear Jamie.

Happy Anniversary. You are the most beautiful person I have come across my life and you will always be the most beautiful for me. When I met you, you were the best thing that ever happened to me. As the days pass, I can’t help but fall in love with you more and more. Without you my love, my life would be incomplete. Thank you for completing me. I would always you till the end of time.”

He closed the card and moved his hand to wipe a tear that trickled down his face. The nurse went out of the room sobbing. Ryan knew Jamie would not respond but he knew Jamie could hear his heartbeats and listen to his voice.

Jamie was in coma for past two months. Ryan used to come and meet her every day. A doctor came to the room and said, “Sir I guess you should leave the patient alone. It’s not safe for her to have visitors.” Ryan kissed her forehead and left the room with a glance to her beautiful face.

Ryan could hear people murmuring outside the room.

“She would never wake up yet he still has a hope lurking in some corner of his heart. I feel pity for the guy…” Ryan went to them and said, “Our love has coursed through the rise and fall of the situations. I know it would continue to carry us through the future. It’s not always about staying together. Jamie and I are meant to have our longest ride together,” saying the melancholy yet light of in his heart Ryan left the place with a smile.

The last flight of FREEDOM

The world is a stage and we, the creations of the Almighty are mere actors playing our parts. Life is a journey and every single person in this world has got a different story to verbalize.

Life was almost perfect for Jenny. She was loved and adored by everyone. Though her parents were not rich, yet she could find happiness in small joys of life may it be the chirpy birds that coos or the nature stuffed with the beautiful yet astonishing wonders like the Moon or stars. Fairy tales are so much easier to blend in and its happiness is just like a soap-bubble. And how much pleasure it may shower you with, it doesn’t last forever.

Jenny was on her way to school with her parents. She always liked to sit between her father and mother on the scooter. She had just closed her eyes like she did to feel the wind on her face when in a flash of seconds, her life transformed. When she opened her eyes, she found herself amidst the unfamiliarity of a place. Her head was spinning like a cart-wheel and her vision was hazy. She tried to jerk free and move but a hand stopped her.

She saw her aunt sitting on a chair next to her.

“Where am I? Where are mom and dad?”

Aunt replied, “Jenny, you are in the hospital. A lorry hit the scooter and you were badly injured.”

“But where are mom and dad?” Jenny questioned her aunt.

Aunt said, “Jenny I am very sorry. The doctors could not save your parents.” Jenny was too shocked to voice some mere words. Just a few hours ago she was enveloped with happiness being with her parents. The world had crumbled under someone’s feet and she couldn’t even do anything.

The next day, aunt took Jenny to her abode that she called home. It was a one bedroom congested flat. Jenny took in her room and did not meet anyone for five days. She was stuck in the darkness of the room that synced with the melancholy of her heart. She would just watch the dawn break into a new day and set for its evening. She would watch the kids playing in the park and then hurrying home with their parents. And then she would reminisce about the good old days she had spent with her parents, she would reminisce about the dreams in her eyes and the passion in her heart that every fifteen year old girl possessed at her age.

One evening, her aunt came to Jenny’s room and handed her an exquisite clothes and a make-up kit.

“Get ready Jenny. We need to go out.” Jenny followed the orders of her aunt on her instincts. Aunt took Jenny to a crowded street where everyone was dressed up in glittery clothes and packed with bright cakes of make-up. Jenny started feeling a bit conscious.

They went to a shabby house that looked like one of the cheap motels Jenny had seen in movies. Aunt conversed with a man and took her to a room. The room was dimly lit and displaced. Aunt smiled at Jenny and said, “Jenny stay in this room. Be nice to everyone who visits here and if someone asks your name don’t mention it as Jenny but a fake like Charlie”, saying this her aunt left the room.

Jenny sat on the bed quietly baffled to the words left from her aunt’s lips. She was feeling insanely uncomfortable succumbed to the aura of the place. Suddenly she heard the door open. She watched a man in his early forties enter the room. The man started pacing towards her slowly. Jenny could her the rash breathing of her heart, awkwardness crying out at its peak. The man touched her cheek and caressed it. She couldn’t understand anything but her mere voices of protests died in her throat. She tried to jerk away but his grip on hers was firm. The things that sequentially followed was no less than a crazy nightmare. She couldn’t move, nor could she voice the pain in her heart that screeched aloud. She just stared at the white, worn out ceiling and tears dried in her eyes.

The next morning she found her aunt in her room. She didn’t say a single word to her aunt.

“Jenny, I will explain you. Please understand I am not rich. I cannot afford to send you to school. This was the only solution.” Jenny turned around and whispered, “I don’t know any Jenny. My name is Charlie.”

Every night Jenny would go to that place and meet the customers and satisfy their desires and quench their thirst. It became a routine for her. She didn’t had a heart anymore, she didn’t even recognize that image when she stood before a mirror. She had forgotten the Jenny who used relish the little joys of life. Everyone knew her as Charlie, Charlie-the hooker. Every night the customers would phrase their heart out in front of her and she would patiently perceive those heart-aches. She had her pain, her remorse that ate her away moment by moment and the untold grief in her heart stuffed up. She always craved silently for loved and care but she was just an object, a toy to quench the needs of men for just a night and thrown away the next day.

One night Charlie fleeted in the strings of a dream. She herself holding someone’s hand, the hand of her mother and caress of her father. She could feel the protection of her father and the care shadowed motherly love. The moment she opened her eyes she found herself stuck at some place she could hardly even recognize. She felt like an actor trapped in a recondite play with no hint of the plot or narration. She resolved her unknown puzzles and realized the solution that triggered in her mind. She knew there was one way she could have the love, the care she craved and longed for. She stepped up to the terrace with battled emotions and with the whims of her inner voices she took the last step of her life, the last flight that she thought would unlock her freedom.

As the dawn broke, people noticed a body lying on the road smeared in blood. The crowd gathered around her but dismissed the idea of knowing her. The police were called to investigate the matter and finally dropped the case without the proof of any evidence. Her body was buried at the local church graveyard as a customary infliction on the people. No one stepped to her funeral, no one placed the flowers of love at her grave. She was an embodiment, a mere toy in people’s life, a forgotten thing that the world would never miss. But no one knew the melancholy resided in her heart, the untold grief that had killed her even though the body lived on.