The rain was pouring down incessantly determined to execute a plotted revenge and the trees were swaying to the tune of the gushing wind supporting the cause. Nature seemed at its fury best to destroy the window pane that seemed to stare at it, being no less than a bitter enemy, and nothing seemed to salvage its pride and position than to shatter its transparent opponent into trillion pieces and force the particles vow never ever to resurrect again to becoming anything close to a brittle existence.
On the other side, the garden was anointed with a rainbow hue and every leaf was gently crooning to songs of promising good times; a scenario capable of setting aside worried brows and involuntarily coaxing a stone heart to break into a smile; a smile that signified the moment as the one for which life seemed to have been worth living leaving no more desires for the self than those sprinkled by a loving companionship.
I sighed, while handling my tumultuous mind and a heart in despair trying to share its space with contentment in the happiness of a dear one. What else I could do? When the Man in my Life, who, I thought, knew and together we, so I thought, could have scripted our love story, was busily giving final shape to the blockbuster release of his betrothal announcement to none other than my own sister!
Yes, Yes, Yes I was caught. My heart was saying “yes” and my head was saying “No”.
A sister just about a year elder to me was more of a twin and nothing less than an elder sister too. We had shared almost all of the must-haves in a girl’s life. But not love, not the man in our lives; even Siamese twins would exercise their right exclusively. But destiny had planned otherwise. Never for a moment did we guess that the numerous nights we spent describing our own Prince Charming to each other was the same Abhay Chawla. This had to happen and I should have known it while scratching my itchy nose, rubbing my palpitating left eye and tumbling over Preetho, our neighbour’s one and only jet black cat on that black sunday.
Abhay’s family and ours had known each other for generations and it came as no surprise that we children also bonded well. If he is around, mom and dad never used to bother asking the routine around Where? When? With whom?... so on and so forth. Such was Abhay, to parents, to me and now I realized to my sister also.
It was one of the routine Sundays when I and Di, as I chose to call my sister, went out for our routine shopping accompanied by Abhay. We treated ourselves to a sumptuous Gujarathi thali at ‘The Rajdhani’ and trotted towards ‘Clothline’ our regular joint at the City Centre Mall. While Di moved towards the cosmetics I was busily rummaging through the newly launched chic summer collection when a glance at the shop’s gate revealed that I had been picking, trying, short listing, mixing and matching for couple of, which seemed, hours. Di seemed to have done with her shopping and strangely enough she had also paid her bill, evident from the bag that she was carrying from the shop. Both she and Abhay were standing near the railing overlooking the road and the cosmopolitan spread out, a pretty scenic view from the top floor of the mall.
I stood there rooted, staring at them and not normally and logically breaking into a quick wrap of my shopping session, for there they stood a feet apart from each other a minute back and now they inched closer, close enough to … My throat went parched and my hands trembled as I saw Abhay gently holding Di’s hands, seemingly pulling her towards him and positioning his fingers to shift her hairlocks on her left siding behind her ear.
Suddenly I found myself trying hard to shake myself out of a deviation which, while nearing the all-very- clear end of my love life, seemed to have caught hold of my hand. I tried hard but the grasp only grew stronger. My exasperated self took a turn to face and find Bali, the familiar and friendly sales girl, giving me a stern stare to tell me “Please take a shopping bag or if you do not wish to take them, please keep them back”. I was stupefied! Here I was trying to cope with a grim reality that had suddenly chosen to present itself before me, with no warning whatsoever, and this girl was speaking Chinese! Bali shook my hand again, to check if my look was one of a caught on camera. For sure, she could not have known, for I had transformed into a living corpse! Bali shook my hand again to let go of something and it did take me one complete cycle of a sand clock to realize that I had stuffed some of the clothings into my handbag. I mumbled and fumbled while coming to terms with my present and future and managed to hurry towards the door when the wish does-not-happen inevitable reached my ears “I love you, dearly”. At that moment the world came crashing on my dreams, naturally, and my love embraced another girl.
Every day and night there forth, conjured to face the reality. I ate, slept, blinked, breathed in and out. Atoms were coming to blows. Torrential rains dared to wipe out everything but for that thin stream of sunshine that fought back to keep chaos at bay. Di was my Di, dear Di, after all.
A pat on my shoulder shook my thoughts. A pair of puffed eyes greeted me with a faint smile; a scene, familiar, seen in the past few days in my own mirror as one of my desperate attempts to come to terms with love lost forever.
“Do you know the Prince Charming, I used to tell you about?”, Di asked. I looked around, lest I give away. But she was in no mood to stop and see but continue “He was none other than…” and before she could complete it, I in all my unconsciousness blurted out the name, immediately to be met by her “How did you know?” I hugged her “Oh! Di” and hid behind the cheer that crossed me from nowehere. “I am not his angel”, she rued. My eyes that had been soaking wet for a week hid a chuckle behind “Is it?” when Di continued “It is Shelly”
Shelly? Shelly? Did you say? It was my turn now. That poker nose, the arrogant lass who would look upon everyone and everything as a master of all that she saw and surveyed, who would not spare an effort to let out Preetho on unmindful simple souls like me. Only a weirdo like her could call a cat “Preetho”! The missing pieces of the curious Sunday were falling into place. My mind set upon the task of settling scores with Shelly while Di indulged in the details of the conversation that took place between her and Abhay over the railing in the Mall including the “I love you, dear” drenched in an act of brotherly affection.
Till now, I thought that only the world had come crashing down but now I wished for a big bang in the universe threatening to tear apart none other than Shelly alone.
We hugged, let out loudly the wails that had been hiding behind the tears. Together in hope, together in happiness, together in sorrow, together in comfort. It did not matter which won - the heart or the mind.
Di was Di, my Di after all and I was I.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda