Forever? Maybe not.

But maybe the cupid struck the right arrows that day.
maybe the arrows hit the right places.
maybe…?

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A/N- With this story I complete one year of writing stories. It has been a beautiful one year. Thank you for your love and support .
This story is roughly based on the lovestory of Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi. It doesn’t aim at hurting anyone’s emotion. Enjoy it as a story and learn a little about love too.

Happy Reading Folks !

Before leaving, she looked into the mirror one last time. With shivering hands, she straightened her bindi. Dressed in a traditional kurti and a pair of rugged jeans, she reflected her inner chaos.
She passed the room clouded with smoke and inside that little chamber rested a man in his late fifties, a newspaper in one hand and cigarette butt in another. The man took to his feet, came close to her, hovering above her tiny body and whispered with a hidden rage, “Don’t you dare look so beautiful and hit the club. I know my kind, we are an easy prey. I don’t want another man to fall and never learn to rise again.” She freed herself from his claws and went away without paying any attention.

Before going any further, She is Avantika, Avantika Chauhan, and the man with the subtle threats is her husband Mirza Khan. Avantika, a freelance poet, wrote mostly in Hindi and was trying to better her works while Mirza was a famed artist who painted his canvas with the colors of Avantika. But unfortunate as his fate was, Avantika never loved him enough nor was he free enough to spend time with her and give her the love she deserved. Twenty years either was tortured by the other. They were tied in a bond which neither could break because they were equally alone, lonely and brilliant to find someone else.

………………………………………………

The first two performers were already down and the audience was loving them. It was her turn. She exhaled the problems and went up to the stage. This was her first Poetry Slam and a one filled with love to start with. Scanning the audience for the last time her eyes rested on another pair of blue ones. A smile flashed from that end and poetry was what escaped.

After the slam was over, they had a dinner to attend and that was when the blue pair of eyes got a name, a friend and a place in her heart.

Siddhartha, an accomplished poet of the time, melting fleshes around the country with the heat of his words. He was a man of few words and even fewer emotions. Love, affection, relationships, foreverness, intimacy, lust were only a part of his poems.

But maybe the cupid struck the right arrows that day.
maybe the arrows hit the right places.
maybe…?
They hit the heart of a poet dead by heart and a woman tied in the knot of a lifetime.

There’s a thing about fate and destiny neither have been seen nor can be decided. In this world of injustice, pain, and cruelty a little love found its place and blossomed, making one’s poems true and the other’s life worth one.

Siddhartha once described their relationship as,

वो चाय की पहली सुडकी थी,

तो मैं अधजले सिगरेट से निकलता आखरी धुआँ।

It was the most beautiful thing happening to two individuals in their mid-forties.
It is true, love always finds a way. Love arrives when it has to and when you know it is the love you deserve everything falls into place. Everything just fits!
Both of them were so engrossed in each other that their poetries and works reflected the love and respect they felt.

Avantika was a free bird again. The rustic cage of twenty years finally broke open. Mirza and Avantika went separate ways.

Siddhartha and Avantika were made for each other. Their relationship was above the world of materialistic possession and physical intimacy. He found love in her slurps of tea while his poems over a few stubs of cigarettes, that’s where she lost her heart. Even twenty-four hours a day were short for the discussions they struck,
the poetries they shared and
the love they felt.
But there’s a thing about love, it has to be taken care of like an infant. You need to express,
you need to talk,
you need to confess,
you need to let go of the boo-boos
you need to hear and above all,
you need to understand the unsaid.
That’s where they lost their ways.

तारीफ़ों से चीख उठता है जनाब का दिल,

उनकी आँखों में देखा है मैंने,

बस जुबाँ पर कभी आने नहीं दी उन्होंने,

भूरे सी डायरी में आवाज़ों को कैद किया करते थे।

Funny, how it took a poetryslam to make and break two hearts.

While one yearned to hear the emotions hidden in the pages of the diary, the other turned blind eye to the silent requests made.

She just happened to lose her soul in their cup of relation so much so that she never realised when she was holding onto an empty cup, where emotions and expressions never had their place.
And for Siddhartha, he lighted up the story like his piece of cigarette, smoked it, let it affect his system and put it out when half finished.

In the echoes of their verses, a few cups of tea and some half burnt cigars they felt so much love that they never knew when the sound of their beating hearts was hushed,
Lub-Dub hush!

Lub-dub Shhhhhhhh!

They were caught, reflected and absorbed in a dark, dingy ally meeting an immature ending like several other incomplete stories whose shrieks still haunt those wandering the streets.

-Dash

Ink and Paper

If you ever comeback,

I’ll be here waiting for you. 

With Those voids and some wounds too.

But this time, I won’t let you

 color my scars again; For,

You are the ink and You are not

 supposed see the paper’s pain.

You’re not supposed to see the paper’s pain.

Like those disclaimers before the movies, I thought my life bears no resemblance with others, just a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person is a pure coincidence. But the paper proved me wrong. The letters scribbled on it mocked at me when I told them my story. And then I realized you were the ink to my papers. 

You came to me like a summer breeze , hot ,warm and making me restless. Your presence was something I had always feared. But slowly, as the summer turned into rains, and it started to drizzle, you showered me with your attention, love and care. And I started dreaming about your touch. Gone were those hostility and those ignorance. You made me come in terms of my past and made me spoon the threads of a beautiful dream. 

You know, we all are like these white papers. Everything leaves an impression. A dot, a line , a tangled mess of doodles, a tear drop or any stain, everything leaves an impression. Even some deep stretched wound of those who are close to us, leaves a mark. Still the paper remains white. Bearing all those scars on its soul, it craves for the ink which would see beyond the white of its heart. You were like that ink to me, Which poured itself on me and covered all those scars, with the color of its being. 

Sometimes I do wonder, Does a blank paper matters to ink , as much as the ink matters to it?Does the ink feel proud to leave its permanent imprints on the heart of papers? Or its just another notch in its belt!? . Does it craves to touch that used sheet of paper, as much as the paper wants to be kissed again.!? Does the colorful ink ever gets intrigued by the blankness of the sheet!? I often wonder, does it know , how much it matters to the paper to bear it’s marks for the rest of it’s life!

Even the paper feels jealous about the other blank sheets. They have what, she lost. Time! They are still pure. She thinks about the other 100 pages the ink had touched . They have what she is yet to achieve. Experience! She compares herself with all those blank sheets and also with all the written ones. Does the ink find them more beautiful than her?Has it told more stories to them?Has the ink ever told them about her?The page wonders, Is she the only one to fall in love with the ink or are there many! It wonders Which page is the ink’s favorite one!. Does it care about the pages as much as they care about him!? 

 Unfortunately,no one asked the ink about it. Had they asked, a new piece of paper could have refrained itself from falling in love with the ink. That’s the fault with the readers. They never ask. They only trust the ink. Had they known the deceptive nature of the ink, they could have tried to listen those suppressed sobs of the papers. The cries which still echoes in the spaces between two words, the echoes which could be heard in the untouched parts between the lines.They could have seen the unrequited love which remains hidden in the commas and semicolons. And could have felt the torments of heartache which are witnessed by the periods and full stops. Had they known they could have stopped the ink from scribbling more and more poems on papers and in return stealing away bits and pieces of the innocence of the page. But unfortunately, no one ever asked, nor they have ever tried to hear.

You know, That’s why I blamed me, the people around me and you, for what had happened between us. The way you touched me to the core, the way you drenched my heart with your tears and the way you made me fall in love with the protagonists of your stories. The way you kept on writing poems and stories about Us and the way you kept on Scribbling the lessons from the past. And the way you vanished from my life, without any bye, without saying anything ,had  left me craving for more . But no one ever cared. Not even  you! You’re supposed to steal my scars, you were supposed to color me with your kisses. I was supposed to take all the burden away from your heart. I was supposed to soak those tears of your bleeding heart. We both did our job. But in between I fell in love and you didn’t. Or was it like you said that you fell in love and left me waiting for you forever!? Had I known I wasn’t sufficient, I would have saved my self for someone else. For someone who after caressing me, wouldn’t have left me . Now see, I’m everything but blank . You will never come back to me. But someone will. Someone will come back and read me again and again. Someone will take me in hands caress those wounds given by you.He will be intoxicated by the way I smell, but would never know I have drowned myself in the aroma of yours.  Someone will fall in love with me. But he would never know me the way you did. He could never leave an impact on me the way you did. He would fall in love ; But not with me. He will fall in love with the girl you left behind. 

Time would change. The white of the paper would gradually turn into yellow. But the marks on it would still glow in pride. The words signed by the ink wouldn’t fade away. Time could not heal these wounds of the paper, it can only make it grow older with it. After some days, the corners would be tattered , but still those inks would matter. Those words, those wounds now define the paper. The scars she was trying to hide would now become her identity. May be the ink would return to it, after realizing it’s worth, but it wouldn’t be the same old blank sheet, naive and eager. The ink might try to reunite with it again, but that would only deepen the wounds, stealing away all the beauty of those scars. Now the paper knows, they were star crossed lover, for one has to die if they wish to remain together . 
I used to think you to be the journey which  I never fathomed the courage to complete. But those ruffling paper sheets spoke to me  of destiny. Perhaps I wasn’t destined enough to be your destination. Perhaps to you I was the journey you would cherish forever or never. Perhaps the miles that you crossed would be treasured in the space beneath your heart or would never even never cross your mind. Perhaps when you complete that dream story of yours may be , may be some where I would be in the acknowledgement section or would be somewhere in the pile of rejected sheets.Lets just hope that  I at least makes it to the acknowledgement section.But I would be lost in the crowd. That uniqueness of mine wouldn’t matter to you anymore! Would it!?After all ,the story is about achieving the goal and I was not even a mile stone. 
I would not try to make you come back, but I’ll wait for you. Wait for the day when you will come back and see how you had helped me to grow. How those small bits of your heart has now become the Alma matter of my survival. I would like to see that pride in your eyes, in the same time want to see that helplessness of not being able to touch me again. If you ever decide to come back, you will find me the way you left me, but what you couldn’t figure out would be the way I will flaunt my scars. For , I have learnt to believe in the power of being broken . For Now I believe in Scars being beautiful. 

I have crumpled myself. Tried to burn myself. I have leapt in to the ocean and I have flown into The hurricane, but no one had been able to erase those imprints. So I decided to flaunt them. I’m not going to tell them to you, coz you could never notice. Like a paper I haven’t been granted the power to pour my heart out. You are the ink, you are the one to speak. I was the one to get drenched and I’m still getting drenched. I’m yet to make people believe,that it’s not me but you. 

 The first time when I was drenched, it was raining blood from your heart. Now when I make people cry, I rejoice those tears, thinking it to be you. I’m living in these stolen moments, when people believe it’s my story and offer their condolences.

 But you know, I wish someday, they could see it all along. I wish they see the resemblance between the lies told by the ink and see the helplessness of the papers. Some day, I want a fellow to go to that never read  acknowledgement  section and  seek out for me. I believe those colors of the ink would fade in the waves of time. But what about those imprints! I want the fellow to touch those scars and feel how deep the wounds were! I want him to learn the beauty that lies in those scars. I want him to see the voids only love can create. But don’t worry, I would make him understand you. I would tell more about the restlessness ,ink had and how the paper wasn’t enough. I would tell him about your dreams and how I was just another step.

In the mean time I wish for you to see me, smiling and living without you in those stolen moments of yours. I don’t want you to see how much I have suffered. If you wish to come back, come n see how much you had mattered.
If you ever comeback,

I’ll be here waiting for you. 

With Those voids and some wounds too.

But this time, I won’t let you

 color my scars again; For,

You are the ink and You are not

 supposed see the paper’s pain.

You’re not supposed to see the paper’s pain.
But you know! deep down I still crave for your touch. Tell me how am I supposed to forget someone who has made me what I am today!?Does the paper ever forgets the ink which craved it’s story as her identity!? Perhaps it dreams about all those moments and day dreams about the kisses. Perhaps it still wants the ink to see her smiling and fall for her all over again.

I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. To a stop where there would be only you and me. To the time where you belonged to me, Where there would be no memories and there would be no dreams.To a stop where the parchment wouldn’t be needed to change, where the ink would only tale about the present. Where there would be no complain from the paper and the ink would not crave for more. Where the snapshots would be beautifully framed in black and white with no colors to fade and with no journey to be ended. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of Time to a stop. 

And sometimes I just want to move on. To be old , ratteled, withered and to be forgotten. You see, this heart , it never stays at a point. It knows it’s incomplete without you but still it always wants to prove that I’m better off without you. I have been here and I have been there but I have never been at somewhere I belong. This restlessness is not anxiety, neither is love . I can’t define it now. But I know someday it will going to define. Not your imprints on my soul , not the ink on the paper rather the experience we have had and the story we have waven is going to last till eternity and is going to define me.

Yes! The paper has never been blessed enough with the power to express of its own but it will tell stories that will definitely make people to think about the ink. And I might not be a mile stone in your journey but I will be that Cross road which will be the turning point of your journey. A book is nothing without the acknowledgement and you’re nothing without this lost part of yours. So, Here I’m waiting for you to succeed, so that when you come back and look at me I could say, no it’s not you but me. 

From being it’s not me To it has always been me, I have came a far way! In the process of finding you,I have found myself. You’re going to matter me Everytime I breath, every time I die a l’ll but from now on I’m not going to let you define me. It’s my story and I’ll project it the way I want. I’ll not wait for you to come back . I’ll move on and with that the corners of pages will bent and began to fade away and so will the ink . 

When it rains memories

ସ୍ମୃତି କେବେ ଶୀତ ସକାଳ ର କଅଁଳ ଖରା ର ତାତି, କେବେ ଝଡ ବତାସ ର କଳା କିଟୀମିଟି ରାତି ।…..

I looked at the passing trees. The trees which seemed to be in a hurry to leave me alone. For the first time in a while I decided to peep into the closed window of my heart. Perhaps it was the crowd , the hustle bustle of the station that made me come in terms of my inner demons. As,they say silent nights know our cravings, but the loudest of thunders in the scroching sunrays throws the reality on our face. So, this crowd which I was a part of n of n which in return was a part of me, urged me to turn those pages of my diary. 

As the bus roll down the road, it took me down to the memory lane. Where there were too many of hidden memories. The memories which , when confronted left me in bewilderment. Memories which were like the soft rays of a winter morning, melting all those layers of snow and bracing the skin for a warm start of the day. Memories which sometimes were like the dark nights of the hail storm, one touch of it and everything you knew would be devastated. Some deja Vu and a feeling of nostalgia. That’s what they gave me. All my strength used to vanish at once and I become the old sailor having a broken boat in the name of ship and completely in mercy of the waves of time. I fear this black hole of memories which has the power to make me time travel could leave me in the past too. I have ,there for locked that chamber of my heart and blown the key away in the ocean of work. But I have forgotten ocean never keeps anything thrown at it, it returns it back to the shore. Sometimes with the algal growth of memories and sometimes wiping away the dusts of ignorance. In my case, it was the inorance .

It all had started in a bus jurney. Similar to this. Journey from Balasore to Bhubaneshwar .A journey from past to Future. As usual I had engrossed myself in a book. Distracting my mind from the sadness of leaving my family and trying to suppress the fear of being alone in a new city with unknown people, I was focusing on the wit matching between Marrien and Elnor. I was thankful that my adjoining seat was empty. But then out of no where he appeared. Tall, fair and with an angry formidable look. I read the name on his ticket. Abhigyaan Samantaray. A bulb lit in the back of my head. Abhigyaan Samantaray, Rank 1 of our University Entrance Exam. I gingerly sat looking outside of the window. He came and sat there . The first thing that attracted me towards him was his book choice. He was enjoying the Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy. I had fantasized similar moments good knows how many times. A person with similar taste in literature sitting beside me and we both discussing about the novels and politics. But that day , perhaps it all happened in my head but not a single word came out. 
But we did argue. We argued on the writing styles of contemporary authors and argued over the political issues of the country,but they were not in the way I had imagined. They were heated and he was not the one to lose. We were competitors. He was from Science and me,From Arts.It was not only the Debate stage where we faught . We faught in song competition. We faught in Literary clubs. Two egoistic people fighting for their Postion at the top,we were such an example.  

After one of those debate sessions,I was the only girl left. It was getting dark. And it started to drizzle. In my head I was planning ways to get into the hostel in time. Just when I settled for ruuning in the rain trying to get drenched as little as possible, he offered me his umbrella and left me transfixed. Like a thunder bolt, he disappeared into the rains. 

Was it the umbrella carrying his enigma or the rain making my senses go numb, I don’t know,But That crazy angry guy somehow managed to paved his way into my heart that night. I used to admire his wits and prospective a lot. Now when the admiration got a glimpse of the heart lying beneath that angry young man cover of his, it was hard not to fall for him. 
Again, one day I was going to the library.This time I had his umbrella with me. Suddenly the wether worked as the cupid. He was coming out of his hostel and it started to rain. He took shelter under a tree near by and I made a mad rush to him. He looked at me with something unreadable in his eyes. I opened his umbrella and without looking at him went near him. Our Shoulders were touching and he put a hold on his umbrella.
I didn’t know when my wrecking heart became so brave. I was here standing beside a man , a man after my father whom I have started to admire ,fear and like simultaneously. But unnaturally it felt good. I felt safe under that umbrella in an unusual whether. Perhaps it’s his presence which made me feel safer. But what about the butterflies and the picking up of heartbeats. My heart thumped so fast in my chest that I feared he could Listen my racing heart beats. 

We started our journey towards the Library. Everything seemed to be perfect. Even the heavy downpour , the roaring thunders seemed to play an archestra . But then the fate had to do the last dance. With a strong blow of wind , his umbrella bent down and was broken into halves. I was dumbfounded. I was like,”How am I supposed to go now! N moreover how am I going to return his umbrella. Perhaps I have to buy him a new one”. Deciding upon buying him a new one, I looked at him. He was looking straight at me. Raindrops going down his cheeks and making him look younger than his actual age, made it impossible for me to look at him without blushing. I averted my gaze and fumbled a Sorry. When I got to the point and asked him, not to worry about his umbrella as I would replace it with a new one he brust into laughter. I didn’t know how to react at first. It was the first time I was seeing him laugh. He had a rich voice. And when he laugh, it’s like someone had stroke some cords of my heart. It was contagious. I joined him. And within few seconds we both were laughing hysterically without a care in the world. We were at the middle of the road, stuck in heavy rain without any means of protection still laughing like children. He dragged me along with him and we went to a nearby temple. As we sat on the stairs he started humming a slow Melody. Unlike other times, this time we are in the same team. We cherished those moments as much as possible. In the meanwhile he took my dupatta and dried his wet hair with it. 

It stopped raining . A smooth breez was sending shiver down our spins. He took me to the near by tea stall. We cheered to the new found Friendship of ours. Or may be we feared to name this relationship too early. 

After that incident the final semester came . We were too caught up in our own preparation that we didn’t have any time to meet or let alone to engaged in any kind of debate. Some accidental stolen glances and some stolen gossips that’s what I had of him. 

The finals were over. We returned to our home. I never got a chance to confess my feelings for him, neither I got to confront him. More over it was that time , when it wasn’t lady like to ask a boy’s hand for marriage. And when I didn’t know his exact feelings for me, I decided it was better to lock him within my heart. 

In the graduation day , I went to congratulate him with two packets in my hand. One had a black umbrella with his Initials engraved on it. And another package containg my wedding card. 

I told him to open the card. He read it and silently returned it back to me. Then turned his back and started walking away from me. It felt like twisting knife into the flesh of mine. I called him . He stopped. I went to him and asked, “Mr. Samantray won’t you come to my wedding!?” With a faint curve he declined the invitation stating some emergency at home. 

I took the hint and didn’t contact him afterwards. But he was there in my every poem in my every story. I had left my heart to him and now when my heart bleed into the papers it was only to make him alive. My creations made me feel connected to him. My husband used to say, jokingly, if he ever learns about this hero of mine he would kidnap him and strangle him with his bare hands. I laugh with him but my heart skips a beat and within that skipped beat ,I used to pray a little for his longer life. 

But it seemed life was never fair to me. 25years after my marriage,One fine day my husband asked me to get ready to meet his boss who was in the hospital. When we went there, it seemed the time had stopped and I was living a nightmare. Abhigyaan was there. Lying on his death bed. I had no courage to face him. I needed a support. I clung to my husband’s arm. He opened his eyes and looked at us. At first a faint smile touched his lips when he saw my husband but when his gaze fell upon me, something sadder crossed his face and untamed tears fell. From both of our eyes. He asked Swadin,my husband to bring his umbrella to him. Even after 25years I had no problem in those handwritten engraved initials of his. He took the umbrella and with it’s support he tried to stand up. I could not see him struggle . I went to help him. He held my hand . I helped him to lie down. With my hand in his he closed his eyes. He closed his eyes and never open them again. I cried and cried. I cried for how many hours I don’t know. 

My husband did all the rituals. We came home. I went to my study and burnt all those diaries , poems and stories of mine. With the departure of Abhigyaan Samntray a part of mine also left the earth. 

Life was smooth, without any ups and downs. But something was missing. My passion. Though I knew it was missing, I had no wish to find it. Life was monotonous, so was my muse. I never lifted that pen again. 

It has been 15years to that incident. I have never looked into the memories of Abhigyaan again. But today’s rain!! it brought memories and unfortunately this time I didn’t have his umbrella to protect me from getting drenched.Perhaps this was life’s way of teaching me to dance in the storm. 

🎭Nayana🎭