Ashish. Neha couldn’t believe her ears. For about three years she had been
waiting for this moment. She was overwhelmed with emotions, tears filled her
eyes, her heart skipped beats and she felt jittery in her stomach. All she
wanted was a call from Ashish and now he actually was on the other side of the
‘Hi’ said Neha and
heaved a sigh. Ashish was nervous too; he was restless to make this call and in
all that eagerness he hadn’t thought what he would tell her. Ashish had been
missing Neha immensely; his life had come to a standstill without her. Yes he
had taken a long time to come to this realization nevertheless that didn’t make
his feelings any less real.
They were on call
with each other for the very first time after that fateful summer night when
they had decided to part forever. Their hearts leapt with joy and at the same
time were apprehensive about the state of mind the other would be in.
‘How are you?’
‘I am good. How
are you?’ replied Neha in a shaky voice; what she wanted to say was she was not
at all well without him. Nothing mattered without him and she was restless and
unhappy every moment with him.
Both were trying
their best to conceal their feelings from each other. Strange are the ways in
which the heart reacts. It chooses not to reveal its true feelings when that’s
all it yearns for more than anything else.
‘I went home
today. The maid told me you would be out for months together. Where are you
Neha?’ was all that he managed in a serious tone when all he wanted to say was
that he missed her and he was sorry at the pain he caused her. He wanted to beg
Neha to come back to him; he wanted to go see her at that very instant but
these words failed to reach his lips.
‘I am in Delhi at
Meenal’s, my friend from college if you would remember. I am going to Shimla. Actually
I have signed a deal to write a novel and I chose to do it from Shimla’. Neha
too already on the verge of tears wanted to tell Ashish how much she missed
him; his hug; his presence in her life. She wanted to scold him for he was wrong
and that they were only meant to be together and not apart as he had thought.
She wished to be able to see him. But alas she too failed in bringing the pain
in her heart unto her mouth!
Both had taken
away a piece of each other and that was a constant reminder of how wonderful
they were together as a whole. There was
silence at both ends; they say silence speaks a million words. Was it possible
that it was actually their hearts that were speaking to each other; one coaxing
the other to stop and listen to it!
There was a time
when Neha and Ashish would spend hours on the phone; they had so much to
discuss. Sometimes they would be up whole night talking. Neha’s hostel roommate
wondered what they could possibly talk about when they were together the whole
day! Today it was totally opposite; they hadn’t spoken to each other in years
still they didn’t know what to converse about. They knew what they wanted to
say to the other; but Neha for the fear of being rejected again and Ashish
skeptical of being thought of as one who chooses to be in a relationship at his
convenience forbade themselves from bearing their hearts out to each other.
Often one wonders that life would have been so simple but for the matters of
congratulated Neha for this new course in life in writing the novel both were again
quiet for a long time; not knowing what to say next. Just then Meenal entered
Neha’s room and when she came to know that it was Ashish she took the phone and
rebuked him left and right.
‘You have the
audacity to call her. I respected you so much but not anymore. Is this the way
to treat anyone; what the hell were you thinking. Go get yourself tested’
saying that Meenal hung up the call. Meenal was always like that. She would
blow up on your face if you had done anything remotely wrong by her books. More
so if someone hurt her friends; only god could save that soul then! Neha stood
there not knowing how to react at Meenal’s outburst. She wanted to speak to
Ashish, that’s what she had been waiting for since a long time. How could
Meenal hang up like that she thought! What if Ashish had something important to
tell her? But when Meenal hugged her and told her that she wouldn’t let Ashish
hurt her anymore, Neha realized that whatever Meenal had just done was out of
genuine concern for her. She smiled and thought that if Ashish had to say
something he would have told her by then. In a way she was content just listening
to his voice after ages.
Ashish on the
other hand was angry at Meenal to have come in between him and Neha. He had
always been particular in that; he would get irked very soon if people
interfered in matters concerning between the two. Though he knew very well
Meenal was just being a good friend but all that she said annoyed him too. So
instead of dialing again; he left his phone behind and did what he always did
when irritated and angry. He sat on his porch; beer in one hand, music on the
background and cigarettes on the other. It was the first time in months that he
had gotten drunk; he was troubled with how he would get Neha back in his life.
He realized it wasn’t going to be easy. On top of that his guilty conscience
was bothering him to the extent of not allowing him to divulge his love to
Neha; after all he was the one responsible for them going different ways few years back.
That night as Neha
sat admiring the starlit night sky she told Meenal how she had been waiting for
that one call from Ashish. She told him that she still loved Ashish and wished
to be with him more than anything else but ofcourse that would only happen if
Ashish ever decided to come back to her. Little did she know that Ashish had
already covered the distance of realization that led towards her, it was
perhaps just a matter of time for their happily ever after. She told Meenal how
content she was to have the sense of hearing his voice.
Listening to Neha,
Meenal realized she perhaps shouldn’t have hung up the phone. She held Neha’s
hands and asked sorry for reacting that way. But she also told Neha that she shouldn’t
build hopes around this call, as Ashish had changed a lot over the years. Why
else would he in the first place end their relationship? Meenal ofcourse was
only saying what any good friend would have and also she didn’t know of the
turmoil in Ashish’s life without Neha. Would Neha listen to Meenal or give that
hope a window of opportunity to lead her back to Ashish? Would she listen to
her friend who wanted nothing more than her good or would she listen to her
heart which had been saying loud and clear to go back to Ashish? They say by using your heart as your compass, you can
see more clearly which direction to go perhaps it was Neha’s moment of listening
to her heart before it was too late!
PS:A story I had written very very early on at the start of my blogging days.