Then,Now and Forever

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?And thus friends, we have come to the end of this session. It was a great interaction and hope you all benefitted from it. Time and again I have been insisting on one single mantra ?Content Is King, so let?s write great content and grow together. Thank you all?, concluded Aaradhana in her feminine yet loud voice.

In midst of applause she waved and turned to leave, a cool breeze made her hair flow away from her face and from side view one would never miss her sharp features and beautiful stature. Krish too did not miss, but unlike others he was taken aback, his face suddenly became expressionless and tried hard to control his emotions. ?AARI?, a whisper passed his lips.

As if by intuition se turned back, ?did anyone call her?? she thought, but before she could come up with an answer she saw a tall person move towards her in long strides. Her shock was so obvious that her attendant hurried towards her asking if she was unwell.

?I am alright?, she managed and almost ran to the exit.

Aaradhana! An author of many fiction and inspirational speaker was running away, away from a painful past. Her speeches were most sought in the literary world; budding authors always looked upon her for inspiration.

In her early 30s Aaradhana was bliss to watch, she had the perfect body every woman would strive hard for and she carried herself well to match her beauty. Although her profession required her to move from place to place and work long hours, none did show in her face. Her bright eyes were a reflection of serene.

She had come to Bangalore for speaking in a program organized by a popular website www.writeupcafe.com. Very nervously she walked with trembling feet and sat in her car.

?Aari!? called a familiar voice from far away, but before she could get trapped she hurried her driver to start the car. The mirror showed Krish jogging towards her, ?thank god? she thought, her relief soon turned into anger, ?How dare??

 

1997

?Excuse me! Could you tell me where the English Department is?? inquired Aaradhana.

?Did you ask English Department?? asked a deep voice from behind.

?Yeah!? she was irritated, ?Who asked him?, she thought.

?Well, it is the second building to your right?, he said in a voice that was trying to hide a smile.

?Thanks?, she muttered annoyed and turned off.

However the voice and his expression disturbed her for a long time. Days and months fled by, Aaradhana learnt that the owner of that deep voice was Krish a PG student in the same department. A literary enthusiast Krish was always seen participating in competitions or other events. He was athletically built and quite popular among girls.

At the college fest, during her second year their lecturer asked her to debate on a particular topic, her co participant was Krish. Attracted towards him from the first day, she avoided getting anywhere near his vicinity, however this debate required them to work together and Aaradhana tried her max to remain distant.

Krish seemed to be a very composed person, he never tried to flirt with her nor did he have a word out of line, within the week during their preparation they became good companions.

They spoke regularly to one another initially about the competition and later about their dreams, life, and family and so on.

Their friendship grew and they started spending more time with one another. They made it a habit of meeting her in the evening and having tea together in the canteen, they would talk and talk and then leave for their respective homes. Finally it was time for Krish to leave.

She had come to see him off to New York for his internship.

?Could I also try to get this internship next year?, asked Aaradhana with enthusiasm.

?Hey! Come on you should not waste your time doing this, it?s for publishing, you start writing as soon as you complete UG and become that author you want to?, reflected Krish

?Yeah you are right, I shall do that. But do not forget the Sunday calls?, it was more of a request than a suggestion.

He assured her with a grin, and strolled towards the check in.

 

?To the hotel mam?? questioned the driver. ?Mam?? he asked again when he saw that her expressionless.

?Yes! No! What did you ask? Oh! Take me to the airport, it?s time to leave.? She muttered. It took some time to come back to the presence.

 

?Your flight is late by 2 hours mam, due to bad weather?, said the flight assistant. She was travelling to Chennai her hometown.

She bought her favorite coffee and waited in the lounge.

 

She had finished her degree with good grades; her passion towards writing had grown by leaps and bounds, however her writing skills had to be honed more, hence she joined a renowned publishing company doing editing and ghost writing jobs. Though the pay was just peanuts, the experience she acquired was priceless.

Rukhmani, her senior editor made it a point to teach her as much as she could, it was more like a mother daughter relation than a senior subordinate one, and this made Aaradhana learn quickly.

During this last one year Krish had never missed calling her on Sundays. They would also chat whenever possible. At times she would reach office earlier in order to chat with him. Their companionship grew and they became more close to one another each passing day.

It was during such a chat that suddenly the topic came up, marriage.

?My parents are in search of a boy for me? she typed

?What do they expect?? He asked

?What?? questioned Aaradhana

?What kind of boy do they want?? replied Krish

?Would they wait another year for a boy who is going to set up a publishing company?? he further enquired.

?What are you saying?? continued a confused Aaradhna

?Will you marry me?? came an immediate response.

The internet signal suddenly went out, Aaradhana was in fact relieved, she could not reply in haste. She was confused with herself, these were the exact words she had been waiting to hear all these years yet she did not have the nerve to answer immediately, she wanted time.

Aaradhana planned out how to speak to her parents; she needed their consent before accepting his proposal. She rang up to her parents and spoke to each of them giving an account of her feelings for Krish and how right it would for them to get married. Her parents quoted various reasons such as family background and caste and were adamant on getting her married to someone within their relatives.

Finally after long hours of verbal communications, fights and consoling they said yes. All this took one complete week.

Sunday approached and Aaradhana was waiting for Krish to call her, but to her dismay, he did not call, nor was he seen online to chat the next day. Another week followed without any communication.

 

?Aaradhana!? She heard her name being called; she turned towards the voice to meet those black eyes filled with anguish. Clad in dark blue suit and a briefcase in hand Krish was looking very handsome. Her heart began pounding very fast, it was becoming painful with every beat, her hands trembling she took her bag in hand and began walking.

?So you are Aari, the great Aari! God! If only I had associated earlier!? his voice was strained, as if he were in pain.

She was annoyed, why this entire act when it was she who has to be in pain.

?I have a lot of explanations to do. Give me a few moments.? said Krish.

?I don?t want to listen to anything, my flight is due soon.? She retorted exasperated.

?Aaradhana, I really have to be in Hyderabad today otherwise I would not mind coming all the way to Chennai to get things straight.? He pleaded.

This is the first call for Ms Aaradhana, Passenger travelling in Indigo flight to Chennai, a voice from above announced.

?I have to leave NOW? she said ?bye? and walked off

Krish was left staring at her spellbound, he was in fact very happy to see Aaradhana after all these years. He sat in the lounge with a sigh, cursing his demanding clients.

 

Ten years passed and still he had fresh memories of those days, there was a project to be done to finish his internship, yet Krish was occupied completely in thoughts of Aaradhana. He was not able to concentrate on his project and this made his guide unhappy.

His guide Dr Ronald was a very practical man and had taken very few students into his internship. He was bothered that even after repeated warning Krish did not work to his full capacity in this project. He even went to the extent of reprimanding Krish and had finally said if progress is not shown the project would be rejected and that meant repeating 6 months of his course.

It was the eager to end this trouble in concentrating on his work that Krish had opted to express his feelings to Aaradhana. He had expected an immediate acceptance, but her silence and cutting off from chat hurt him. He waited for a week and yet got no reply. Her silence killed him.

He fell in love with her from the first time he saw her, and the feeling grew with time, he could not take silence from her and was very disappointed.

His project was rejected; he took as it her fault than his. He was fuming with anger, it was exactly then that his father called him to inform the sudden demise of his mother. Although he knew of her weak heart, he could not stop from linking it with Aaradhana. Somehow everything that went wrong seemed to be her mistake.

He returned to New York after the last rituals, for two weeks he had made no effort to contact her. In his rage he had not informed her of his visit to India or the death of his mother. Anxiety and disquiet took the better of him; the calm person in him took a back seat. All he wanted to do now was throw her away from his life. It was in this condition of mind that he wrote an email to her.

 

?How dare he?? thought Aaradhana sitting in the flight, her face was red with anger. The last person she had wanted to meet on earth was Krish. She could not stand the thought of listening to his explanation. How would he explain about his email- the one that turned her world upside down?

After waiting for two weeks Aradhana tried to call Krish, but he did not receive the call. She checked if he was online, but it seemed that he was too busy to log in. She sent mail after mail asking what was happening and subtly telling him of her consent to his proposal, but received no reply.

It was then that she got an email from him. She was very happy and opened with a lot of expectation and began reading it slowly.

Dear Aaradhana,

It was stupid of me to have made such a proposal. In fact I did not know what came upon me when I had typed those words.

Every time I think of it I feel ashamed and even confused. It must be the work pressure that bewildered me totally. I wanted to tell this to you last week but my mother?s sudden demise made things difficult.

The truth is that I wanted to discuss about Ruby to you, the fellow intern about whom I have told you earlier. I had begun developing a liking towards her, I wanted to discuss with you on how to ask her to marry me, and I was in fact planning to ask you to suggest a good way to propose to her. Hope you did not mind.

Ruby was great help these last few days and I would not have recuperated from these tough times if not for her. We have planned to get married soon and I am very happy that it would facilitate my citizenship application too.

Regards

Krish

This seemed to be the last straw, her voice trembled, and she read it again to make sure she made no mistake. She wanted to cry out loud; she wanted to curse; she wanted to do many things. All her efforts to get consent from her parents, all her wedding plans, her dreams everything faded away in a second. She congratulated him and said good bye in her reply, she meant it and never tried to contact him after that.

She began concentrating on her work and became very good at it, she became busy and was travelling worldwide on different writing projects ? she became AARI

 

?Excuse me!? she heard the person sitting next to her say. It was then that she realized that the plane had landed. She was tired and went straight to her home. While unpacking she put the TV on to listen to some music.

?What explanation did he want to give? she pondered ?and why he would want to give an explanation, he had mistakenly proposed, and I accepted. Stupid of me.? She was ashamed to think of the laugh he and his Ruby would have had when they read her mails.

?Flight crashed? she was not sure if she heard it right, she looked at the TV to check. There was flash news about a flight crash saying that the flight that was flying from Bangalore to Hyderabad crashed mid air.

She suddenly felt as if the ground under her feet was moving, a churning feeling inside her stomach welled up, her room began rotating swiftly and all of a sudden everything blacked out.

 

?Aari!? she heard the very familiar voice, the voice which always made her happy. Krish! How much she loved him, oh! A sigh left her lips.

?Aari, get up? he said

?Am I in heaven? she managed feebly

?Oh dear! How are you going to find out if your eyes remain closed? Open your eyes darling!?

?Krish?? she called out while opening her eyes with surprise, ?but the flight?.

?I missed it, I couldn?t let you go once again? he said cradling her face.

?What about Ruby?? she was adamant

?Which Ruby, don?t you know there was no female interns with us, you dull head!? he said tapping jokingly on her head.

After getting Aaradhana home from the hospital, Krish made her sit comfortably on the recline sofa and began telling how he had come to his sense after a while and found the mails she sent for him. He tried to contact her but she had changed her location and email address too. He had come to the conclusion that she had married someone else. He had set up a publishing house at New Delhi and tried to forget her, but could not.

?So the Bangalore visit?? she enquired, ?was it an accident?

?No my dearest! I was trying to trace you for the past four months and finally found you? he said and went on to explain that his friend Ramesh had a recent break up and to his horror his fianc? sita had ended her life jumping down from her apartment. This made Krish worried about Aaradhana, he somehow wanted to see her at least once. He was sure that she would have followed her dreams to become an author and began searching in literary circles.

?It took four months to trace you? he said, ?and exactly at this point we were getting big business from Germany which I could not miss, otherwise I would have met you yesterday in Bangalore rather than today?.

?If it was not for the broken relationship of Ramesh and Sita, I would never have tried to contact you?, he explained ?and we would have spent our lives in remembrance of each other.

?Yes! I thought you were happily married and settled in US? she added sheepishly.

?So?? he asked ?Will you marry me??

?Yes!? She whispered resting her head on his shoulders

This post is part of the contest Spin your Story on WriteUpCafe.com

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