Friday, February 22, 2013
One Shot (OS). Sahib, Biwi aur Dusri Aurat
So this story, or One Shot, I had penned down, sometime ago, when the Sheetal track was going on and so now I thought why not just post it on my blog as well. This story is my take on the track, and also how I see life. Why is it important to be or to like one or the other? Well of what I have seen of life, it plays majorly in the grey shaded areas, wherein black and white both exist. A relatively new take on the 'other woman' after all every other person who is not Khushi is not necessarily bad or even evil
Sahib, Biwi aur Dusri Aurat
"So what did you tell them?" asked Rishab while sipping his coffee.
"I told them, Arnav is not the father of my child." Sheetal replied in a calm voice.
"And why would you do that, wasn't this Arnav-Aarav business the main reason for coming back to India?" Rishab's voice was tinged with apprehension. While Sheetal remained quiet, her memory trailing back to just about an hour ago.
The office was almost empty except for Arnav and Sheetal, and Sheetal was also almost done now so she approached her Boss's cabin to inform him that she was leaving. But as she neared his cabin, she could hear voices.
"Who is that? Probably Khushi." thought Sheetal to herself.
"How could you do this Arnavji? I love you more than my life, I love you even after all you did to me. I trusted you when no one else would and this is my reward? You betrayed me Arnavji." and this was followed by silent sobbing of a broken woman.
Sheetal decided to go inside, but as she pulled the door a little the sight stopped her in her tracks. Arnav was holding Khushi, it seemed as if the woman would fall if her husband didn't support her. He took her to the chair and settled her there and was now hovering over her. Arnav cupped Khushi's face tenderly and asked,
"What happened darling! Why are you so upset?" his voice was tinged with tension and nervousness, the state of knowing the answer and still not wanting to know it.
" Khushi, I have been noticing this since the last few weeks, you are not yourself anymore, you are not my pagal wife anymore. Please tell me darling, what is this about."
"How could you do this to me ..." but Khushi's complains were swallowed by Arnav as he took her in for a hungry kiss. Kissing her desperately, as if there was no tomorrow, as if letting go of her lips meant the death of his soul. And Sheetal saw this, not just the kiss, but what it meant for the two, how two souls were intertwined in such a way that separating them even slightly meant killing both.
Khushi broke the kiss first. Silent sobs still shaking her uncontrollably. Arnav saw her delicate figure, he noticed that she had thinned even more over the last few days. Of course he had noticed, she had not been eating well lately. She looked really weak, almost sick. Well he knew that she had been sleep deprived for sometime, he knew she had just pretended to be asleep by his side, he knew it because he had done the same. Her eyes looked hollow, shadowy rims surrounding the glittery depths. He wouldn't admit it ever, but even while others might have described her with adjectives like ghastly, to him she looked hauntingly beautiful, almost sublime.
"Hauntingly beautiful!" Where had he heard this before? He wanted to remain focused but still his mind wouldn't listen. "Could you really ever control your mind?" It was funny that of all the people, ASR would raise such a question, a man who had boasted of his controlling abilities almost all his life, until, yes until this wrecking phenomenon called Khushi happened, and a slight smile played on his face, but it was cut short when reality nudged him in the ribs, as he heard her sobs and saw her trembling form.
His wife now lay scattered on the floor, and he sat right beside her, one of his hands on her hands and the other slowly massaging her hair. What did he intend through this physical contact, he was not sure. Did he want to impart power, give away his everything to her? Or take. Take what he needed at the moment, something that only his Khushi could give him. An assurance of love that everything would be alright in the end. His mind once again trailed back, visiting an address not very far off, when his Khushi had took him in her embrace, when she had embraced that fourteen year old boy whose nights had been haunted by a nightmare, a nightmare he knew was not just a nightmare. Would she hug him again, will she find it in herself to put it all together, just this once. Rectify his mistakes like she has always done. Build again that home which years ago his own actions had ruined, back when he didn't even believe in the possibility of that home for him.
Well maybe the caller and the receiver were not holding the telephones to their ears all the time, but their connection, the telepathic wire that connected their souls was connected, all the time. And maybe that was the reason that Khushi was asking herself the same question at the very same moment, did she have it in her, to put it all together, all over again. Well to be honest, she could do it, she was prepared to do it, after all when she had agreed to marry Raizada, she knew what mess she was getting into, and at this point an almost invisible smile played on her lips, which very soon died as she realized that it was different this time, very different. This was about putting things behind, pretending all the while that nothing happened while knowing it in your bones that it did, and that there was no way to undo it. Right at that moment, she felt his lips on hers again and it seemed wet, a little more than usual. Was it because of her tears, she thought trying to open her eyes after a while and as the daze left her slightly she saw tears, his tears, a broken man kissing her. Kissing her with such gentleness and yet such desperation that it seemed that his heart might actually break in two pieces if she pulled back. But wait he had her heart now, so will it be her heart shattered like a broken mirror if any of the two let go, even for air?
Did he know? She asked herself while looking into his tear filled eyes still as close to him as humanly possible. And she knew the answer. No test reports were needed anymore, as she saw her fear mirrored in his eyes. She wanted to believe him. No, she did believe him. All he had to say was a "NO" and no report not even her Devi Maiya would be able to convince her that he was after all a man, mere mortal, a selfish one at that, and especially when it came to keeping her with himself, and that it was almost natural for him to lie. Nothing, just a NO from him and all would be fine once again. But why wasn't he saying anything. Her mind was hazy, not able to form any clear patters, any coherent thought as she kept repeating soundlessly, "say No please just say NO" all the while kissing him, not wanting to separate even for air, he was her air.
Unobserved by the lovers, a pair of eyes were watching the whole scene unfold. While Sheetal saw him hold her, oh so possessively, she tried remembering when had he held her like that in their seven months, six days old relationship? Ya ya she knew the answer, never. When she saw him kiss her, kiss her for his love, his life, to hold himself together, to survive, she remembered all those times she had kissed him, oh yes he would never initiate a kiss and even when she did all she could feel was cold almost mechanical lips against hers for a very short minute maybe. And then that silly college fool Sheetal would use all her imagination to make it feel warm and to make herself feel wanted and needed when she thought of him and his mechanized kisses in retrospect. No, she could never let this happen, she of all the people knew very well how much a broken heart hurt. She hurriedly made a call. And then decided to intrude, just one last time. She knocked the door, in fact she had to knock for quite sometime before she heard the sound of the two bodies separating and probably moving a little apart trying to gather themselves and then without waiting for an invite, because she knew she wouldn't get any, she walked in, avoiding the two pair of eyes which, however were also trying to avoid her, she purposely moved towards the table where she had earlier seen Khushi keep some papers and had assumed what they could be.
"Oh god just one last time let me hurt them, well I know they don't deserve this and I have absolutely nothing against them. But this little thing would be my little revenge for all the times they have unintentionally hurt me, especially now with all the soulful kissing and all and also because she knew this would probably be the last time she could even try to do this because of the course of action she had just decided to take. And so she almost whispered a "Hi!" to Khushi and then moved towards Arnav saying she was done for the day and then lightly hugging him. She felt his body stiffen at the light touch and that little bit of thread she had used over time to sew her little heart broke again, well she had no one to blame now, did she? Just a few seconds and she moved away, but she had felt the cold this time, maybe she had lost her imaginative powers over time, she'll have to work on them again. And she smiled slightly at her silly mental note.
The silence in the room resembled that of a cemetery, she could feel Khushi's anger, almost see it in fact and almost touch their pain. Well she just couldn't take it anymore, so she casually moved to where Khushi had dumped the papers before under the pretense of keeping the files she had brought with herself. She looked at the papers and pretending to be intrigued by what it was she lifted it. She had seen two bodies shift slightly as she picked up the papers but then probably both decided to act against their first impulse. Just about then Khushi's phone rang and she saw her pick up her phone after quite a few rings, well of course she wouldn't want to appear weak in front of her rival. Sheetal knew exactly what this call was about. Well, now all she had to do was to try looking all shocked and horrified after looking at the DNA reports, she didn't really need to see the papers to know that these were indeed DNA reports. But first it was her turn to be surprised, genuinely surprised that is, as she heard a slap, oh yes she first heard it and then felt it. No it wasn't Arnav, but to her surprise it was his demure wife Khushi. Well the woman has gone through a lot on her account lately so she could maybe let go of this one thing. And then she surprised herself by her acting skills, first pretending to be shocked then guilty, as she said,
"You know then."
"Oh yes. I just received a call from the hospital and they told me about a certain dirty trick a certain someone has played." came the wife's haughty reply. And this was followed by silence for a while while everyone tried to take in what had just happened
"I am really sorry Khushi. This is all my doing. I really don't know why I did this, why I acted in such a selfish manner."
But it wasn't Khushi who spoke, but rather her husband.
"Well, I am guilty here." she made a dramatic pause almost enjoying her new found talent, ya ya she was weird and she knew it but then who isn't?
"Arnav I am guilty of manipulating these DNA reports." and She continued, "I know what I did was evil, but who doesn't want a luxurious life if given a chance. I am really sorry Arnav, Khushi. Please forgive me, though I know you never will and I cannot complain." and tears flowed down her face, from god knows what secret source, she hadn't planned on tears.
"You did what?" and angry ASR was back. "You bloody almost ruined my life, our life. You almost killed us, you wicked bitch." "Just leave and don't ever show us your face again or I will kill you. I promise, BITCH, I WILL KILL YOU." and his tone told her to not take it lightly.
"What! he said he would kill you, seriously! Now who would have thought back at college that ASR could be so horribly dramatic." Rishab sounded more amused than anything else.
"Well I don't blame him or them. When your past stares you in your face, what is one supposed to do?Especially when that past has a face, face of a child, who will never even let you think, ar delude yourself that it never happened. When I first proposed him in college he had made it very clear that he was not capable of love. No blurry lines, no maybes, just a simple statement, stating fact, 'I don't love." He used to be so arrogant, he thought he could actually control things." A wide smile on her lips as she continued, "You know Rishab, I almost felt a sadistic pleasure, seeing that arrogant man broken, terrified to lose his love. Oh yes! love got him, finally. He is a new person now, you wouldn't even recognise him, if you met him now."
"Hmm! Well actually if you think about it, who could have ever thought that one day he'll find love." Rishab said, a playful smile on his face.
"We don't find love Rishab, it finds us. And believe me if it was we who had to find it, I would have had dibs on a certain Mr. ASR long back." Sheetal reflected his playfulness.
"And I would have called dibs on you, the very first moment I lay my eyes on you." his voice a curious mixture of subtle playfulness and subtle genuineness.
"Rishab we have went through this, many times."
"I know, I know. You don't need Arnav or me, for yourself or for Aarav. You are a strong independent woman, blah blah blah. But I need you Sheetal, I always have and I always will."
"Rishab. I really don't know what to say." and a little pause followed while both tried to collect their thoughts."You know today when I saw them kissing gently holding on to each other at first. And then when I quietly peeked in one last time, and saw them fiercely kissing as if locked in some kind of tongue battle, I knew what true love was supposed to be like. No what true love really is." she stopped for a while and then continued again, "What if we don't find that. And believe me after seeing their making out session I am not settling for anything less." she smiled playfully at this, making a joke out of all things, as she always did when Rishab proposed her.
But he was not going to take a no this time and her last dialogue was all he needed as he leaned and kissed her full on her mouth. After a while when they broke, Sheetal's face was tinged with a slight red, as she said, "Oh you should have just done this long back than trying to persuade me with your arguments for all these eight years." And Rishab knew he finally won her, his life.
Unnoticed by them, a figure had been watching them all along, listening to all their talks and finally a tear escaped her eyes as Anjali Raizada turned back, moving towards the main gate of the hotel, thinking to herself, "Hey bhagwaan! just once, just this once forgive me for lying, for I don't have the courage to tell Chote or Khushiji what the truth is. And that woman, my sweet little bhabhi has sacrificed all her happiness for others all her life, wouldn't you allow her to be a little selfish just this once? And then Sheetalji doesn't really need Chote, she is strong. Oh someone needs to cite her example, to make people understand that 'the other woman' needn't always be bad and evil, you know. But Chote, he needs Khushiji and Khushiji needs Chote, to even be able to survive. Please god forgive me just once." And she bumped into someone right at the gate, she hurriedly muttered her apology and was going to move out when she heard a familiar voice call her,
"Anjali Singh Raizada! ASR! is it really you?"
And she lifted her head
"Vedaant Dikshit?" her voice was slightly more high pitched than normal and her cheeks a little flushed. After all, this is what happens when you meet your first crush after a long long time, nai?
"So a piece from the past again, what would this be like?" thought, Anjali Singh Raizada.
PS: Here this was my second attempt at story writing, thanks a lot for sparing your time and reading it