Friday, August 25, 2006

A Love Story: The Final Chapter

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie."

William Shakespeare
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I'm shocked!

"How do you know me?", I ask her.

"You were at that party... weren't you? The one at Khaitan House?"

"Y-yes... I was! Were you there too?", I ask.

"Ya, but I wish I hadn't gone..." She took another drag from the cigarette.

"Me too...", I say. I regret saying the words almost immediately after they come out.

We don't speak for the next two minutes. I'm a little uncomfortable with the silence so I look up at the sky, pretending to be in deep thought. The only thoughts that come to me are the ones I need to run most from.

"Walk me to my car? It's just round the corner", she instructs.

"How far?", I ask uncertainly. The thought of walking the street at 4:00 am with a woman I don't know is a little unnerving.

"It's ok, you don't have to", she says.

"No no... I mean if it's far I can drop you in my car. Why do you want to walk?"

"I feel like walking, do you mind? It's not more than a kilometer"

"Ok, let me lock my car." I run to my car, pull up the windows and lock it. I run back across the road, almost panting.

We walk.

"There it is...", she says, grabbing my hand.

I'm relieved.

She holds on to my hand till the time we reach the car. I don't sense any intention behind her doing so.

She leaves my hand to take out the car keys from her pocket. She unlocks her car and settles in to the drivers seat. She rolls down her window and says "Need a lift?"

"Yes. Of course." I smile and get into the car.

She drops me.

I get into my car and roll down my window.

"I hope you'll be ok?", I shout, hoping my voice reaches her despite the noise from the engines.
"Yes... I think I will." She smiles reassuringly. This time the smile is genuine.

I smile back. "Maybe I'll see you sometime, if fate permits..."

She doesn't reply.

Instead, she says "It was awefully brave of you... very few people can do what you did at the party tonight. I wish I could've done the same..."

Before I can reply, she drives off.

That's when I realise.

Ridhima! I tell myself. I should've guessed!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The moment Radha realised it was Varun, the smile escaped her face. For a brief moment, both of them stood transfixed.

"H-hi... Varun", said Radha, trying to force the smile back on her face.

"Hi Radha! How've you been? Long time...", said Varun, almost confidently.

"Oh... I-I've been good... you tell me..."

If Radha had any short coming, it was her fear of confrontation. Earlier, on the phone, she had told Varun very categorically, and curtly, that she didn't want to see him. Now here, standing before him, she was at a complete loss for words.

She wanted to say so much. About disappointment and hatred, about being let down and left behind.

In this time of poetic silence, the cruel rhyme of anticipation, most people in the vicinity found themselves a convenient excuse to clear the area. Radha and Varun were alone at last, much to His relief and Her worry .

While they stood there staring at each other, the last six years of their lives flashed in front of them.

How they had met, the artist and his muse. The coffees, the movies, the concerts, the parties, the cocaine...
How they had loved. Passionately, aggressively, hungrily, sometimes hurriedly...
How they had lived. In each other's houses, hearts, lives, dreams...
And of course, how it had all fallen apart seven months ago in the September of 2005, the month Varun had left for Paris.

He had left her behind, hanging on to a promise. In the last seven months the promise had been broken, again, and again, and again. And each time he broke his promise, a piece of Radha's heart had broken along with it.

"A million little pieces is what you've left me with Varun! When I think of you I feel nothing but malice!", Radha shouted. This was sometime in January, the last time they had spoken before tonight.

"I think you better move on Radha, this is not likely to work out.", Varun had said in response to Radha's outburst. Varun's tragic flaw was his inability to handle accusation. He too was an escapist, but of a different kind.

But today, 19th of March 2006, was going to be different. Atleast that's what Varun hoped, considering he'd come back to Delhi for good, just so that he could fall in love with her all over again. A chance which had outraged his parents, and many of his artist friends.

Varun spoke first, "Let's take a walk. Please. That's all I ask for."

He held out his hand, just like he used to. A tear surfaced on Radha's left cheek. She put her hand in his, and they walked. They walked for five minutes, hand in hand. Neither said a word.

Varun, as always, broke the silence.
"So I hear you've found yourself a boyfriend Radha."

"You're the one who asked me to move on."

"I know."

"Then why are you asking me?"

"Just... so what's he like, this R-a-h-u-l?", he asked teasingly.

"Oh, he's nice... he's sensitive, and he takes good care of me..."

"Nice?", Varun said, cutting her short. "I thought you hated nice!", he said in the same teasing tone.

"What are you smirking for, I know the chick you've been fucking since you got back. She's such a bimbette, it's not even funny. Isn't she here? Aren't you going to introduce me?"

"Hmmm, do I sense bitterness and hatred in your voice?", he almost laughed.

"So where is she???"

"Probably drunk, and making a fool of herself. After speaking to you I kind of told her to mind her own business. I've always hated women who can't handle alcohol." Varun sighed.
"Anyway! Back to you and me!"

"Oh come on Varun...", Radha said defensively. "My fascination with the artistic, the eccentric, and you ended that day, when you told me to move on."

"Really...?, he said, looking at her straight in the eye.

There was a moment of silence, and then one of what Radha thought was madness on her part.

They kissed.

Radha pulled away and said, "I-I can't... you don't understand..."

"Shhhhh...", Varun said, placing his index finger on her trembling lips. "I'm here now..."

"B-but Rahul..."

"I'm never going back Radha... never! I mean I'm here for good!"

There was silence again.

"You promise?", Radha asked, even though she knew every word he had just said was true. She knew him better than she knew herself.

They kissed again.

For the next hour or so, they spoke... kissing, hugging, touching at every opportunity.

"Wanna dance?", she whispered.

"Yes", he replied. "But right here."

They embraced, feeling each other's body, and fell into a slow, intense waltz. There is something about dancing without music that only lovers know.

They must have danced for about 30 seconds when they heard clapping. When Varun and Radha looked around, they saw friends and acquaintances cheering them on. They knew their's was not any love story, they were not just anybody.

From the corner of her eye, in the distance, Radha saw Rahul. There were tears in her eyes but he was smiling and clapping, just like everyone else. She went up to him and stood there, half guilty and half pleading.

"I knew", Rahul said. "I had always known.", still managing to smile a little. "I-I want you to be happy..."

"Thank You", she said, holding his wrist with both her hands. Then again, this time almost whispering, "Thank You!"

She ran back to Varun and embraced him.

While Radha was running towards him, Varun gave a thumb's up sign to Rahul, expressing gratitude.

Rahul replied with a same gesture and a smile.

Varun thought of his bimbette. He looked around, but he couldn't spot her anywhere. His attention went back to Radha, and he didn't think of anyone, or anything for the rest of the night.

"Poor Ridhima... she must be heartbroken!", Rahul heard someone say in the background.

--------------------------------THE END----------------------------------

28 comments:

maya said...

Unnervingly, hauntingly lovely. And I love the fact that everything is spelt and punctuated correctly. This goes for your previous posts as well.

Anonymous said...

luuuuuuuuuved it!!
luv it when it all comes together at the end!!!!
it was an AHA! moment fur me!!hehe
Tanushree

Archie said...

Brilliant!! We should put this up.. like publish it... or make it into a production or somethin!!
Fabulous work hun!
Mwah!

Viren said...

Well written. Liked the suspense. I agree with Archie(NOT). We could sell this piece to Balaji Telefilms. I'm sure Ekta Kapoor with the right amount of melodrama would be able transform it into one of those saas-bahu type episodes devoid of any substance and also make it last for about 10 decades and how Varun and Radha's love child falls in love with Rahul and Ridhima's alcoholic offspring. Some things are better left here in the sanctity of the WWW so as not be desecrated media and the like

Vasudev said...

There is a feel good factor in the story which is very apparent yet it is in a very beautiful manner silhouetted against the tragic heroism of the lead....Bohot better bui 2 the u..

mannat said...

Tanmay.. this is brilliant stuff. very well written and you've written the dialogues very well too. that is something not many people can do. i loved the story, and could actually relate some people i know to it. check the spellings of 'awfully', don't think there is an e after w, just verify. but very very good, u had me hooked till the end.

Ek ajnabeee said...

Loved your blog Tanmay! Can you solve one puzzle for me? Were you acting as Rahul or yourself?

Instead, she says "It was awefully brave of you... very few people can do what you did at the party tonight. I wish I could've done the same..."

Ek ajnabeee said...

And yes, I thought you might be interested in this link.

http://readverycarefully.blogspot.com/

Ek ajnabeee said...

No, I am not Dauni however you know me.

And as shakespeer said What's there in name so my name is not important however you feedback is. It is first time I am trying my hands on a story.

And i will leave enough hints for you to guess who I am.

And Tanmay, you asked me to keep in mind the basic character of the individuals while writing my story. I wish I was talented enough to do that.

I am sure you know whenever any famous novel/story is produced as a motion picture, people complain it was not as good as the book. The reason is people like to visualise the book the way they want. And not many people have the ability to view it exactly the way auther views that. And I am from the same group. But I will try not to take it too far away from your characters.
And it is still YOUR story.

Sugandha said...

Tanmay..brilliant stuff!! Not just this piece but all your other entries as well..agree with mannat on the way 'awfully' is spelt. Viren stop critiquing Ekta Kapoor and her creativity..people thrive on her soaps man...in Jaipur certainly they do..hehe. Solve some crosswords instead!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tanmay,
I came across ur blogthru ur profile on orkut.
good writing....i thought i must convey.
Tanvi

Ek ajnabeee said...

Happy Teacher's Day Tanmay!

By Your Favourite Student.

I know it 5-10 Mins early but I might not get a chance for next two days.

I hope I am not ajnabeee anymore :D.

Payal said...

Amazing.. truly fantastic!!
Will be back soon plz write more stuff like dis!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly written......u had me glued to my chair till the end..simply loved it..Is is based on anything that actually happenend?...I think NOT...The story is too melodramatic to be true. "Boyz will be Boyz"....I dont think they can see their girlfriends ditch them like that...

Anonymous said...

Amazing!!! I have read a few posts of yours... and I am going to put up a link to your blog on mine.

TS said...

Thanks a million!

Just a question, I clicked the link on your comment, but it says page not available.
Why so?

nemesis said...

dude...i like what u wrote and ur style...keep it up...

Anonymous said...

Good Work Tanmay,

Its excellent piece of writing. A pure suggestion if you can convert the same to screenplay or write a play and send for the commercials. Definately Ekta will take it up only you needto chnage the tile to something with "K".

Good job... keep it up.

Ketan Shah

STAR said...

HI TANMAY,

AWESOME WORK DUDE...... U SOUNDED SO INSPIRATIONAL MAN...... ALL THE BEST DUDE...... KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND DONT RUIN UR ART FOR ANY KINDA DISTRACTIONS...........

Pratim said...

Melodramatic however interesting.

vixenville said...

this is pretty killer!!!!
i loved it!
awsome writing.I am floored..great blog!

Aprajita said...

This is real good stuff. I could relate "Varun" to someone that I know very well.I liked the story, it is in someway related to my realtionship, however the end would be different.
Keep it going..........

Rajita said...

Great ending!

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