It was almost hours of darkness when they arrived back to their domicile, Mumbai. Everyone back in the plane was awfully quiet.
With their mouths closed and minds screaming in agony.
Riding on the plane was unusual; everyone wanted to be alone, without any disturbance, so they could just listen to what their minds were blaring and also avoid it from being heard by others.
They all are broken, yet, they didn’t want to add burden to others misery.
Maybe that’s the reason they say; compassion is to share the pain without sharing the suffering.
One such pain was trailing in her heart, at the very moment she felt she didn’t have anyone to carve up her pain with.
Standing amidst the crowd of Mumbai airport where people were coming and going in diverse directions, towards their destination, she was just staring at him, who was standing at a good expanse from her, with longing eyes.
Her eyes never left him from the past few hours, captivating in every moment of his, every word he spoke and every emotion he portrayed. Her eyes never felt like leaving him, she badly wanted to run into his arms, take away his pain and let him cry on her shoulders while she gave him support that he was terribly in need of.
He was looking so lost as if he was feeling very uncomfortable and stuck in an unfamiliar situation. Her heart sniveled at his stature.
She just wanted him to turn towards her, his eyes boring into her and asking her to help him, she would immediately run towards him without any uncertainties, but he didn’t even look at her, not even once.
With each passing second, the distance between them seemed to be increasing, their paths isolating from each other rather than mounding into one, making her heart heavy.
She just didn’t wanted to cry at the very moment
A car halts in front of him making him move a little back as if giving the space for the car to stop. She looks at him, as a person comes out from the car and gives him something to which he just nods, making the latter leave from there.
He seems to stop for a moment and turn around quietly, his eyes moving ubiquitously as if searching for something or someone.
Their eyes met and her heart skipped a beat, his eyes stayed on her for a few seconds, raising her heart beat. She inadvertently takes a few steps towards him but stops when she finds him averting his gaze and quickly settling in his car before scurrying out of the place.
Her heart broke, yet again.
This time it didn’t hurt, or maybe she was used to it to find any difference.
She elevates her head high, staring at the ceiling; suddenly she starts feeling overwhelmed with twinge. She couldn’t bear his ignorance anymore. He was hurting her, making her vulnerable again and again. She never knew, she could feel so much pain and still love the person who gave that pain to her.
Just once he takes her name, she would run to him.
She was feeling feeble, yet again, all the rational walls she fabricated around her fragile heart were crumbling down and she didn’t have any strength left in her to assemble them again.
“Meera” A familiar voice breaks her reverie and she turns sideways looking at the person who called her, Vansh.
She quickly composes herself and renders a small smile to him but it seemed like he didn’t buy her fake smile. He sighs profoundly before rubbing his palms on his temples and closing his eyes momentarily.
Meera looks at him in mystification and then averts her gaze towards Ridhima who stood beside him with an equally puzzled expression.
What happened to him?
“It’s really late now, wo- would you come with us? You just stay with us in our house. It wouldn’t be safe for you to go alone.” Vansh speaks with his voice depicting concern. Meera scoffs at his words.
He really wanted her to come to his house, even after seeing how his brother just left from there without even conceding to her?
“V-Vansh, it’s okay. I can— I will manage, thanks for your concern.” Her voice held no emotions, making Vansh feel gauche.
“I am sorry if I am making you uncomfortable but please come with us. It isn’t safe for you to travel.” Vansh partly lied, of course he wanted the safety of Meera but it wasn’t the actual reason for him to ask her to join them home, but because he thought she would be able to handle Sampath.
She is the only one capable to ease his pain, to enfold him in her affection, to make him deal with his ache and sufferings and to make him feel loved.
Ridhima just stares at her husband; she wasn’t too naive to deem what he was saying. She knew there was something that he wanted to tell but covered it by aiming at her safety.
Meera too was confused at him; here she was, dirging over her life and he was worried about her safety. But something didn’t settle in her, there was a tint of fear in Vansh’s eyes making her suspicious.
“Vansh, if possible we can arrange for a car for her.” Ridhima advises him nonchalantly as if trying to stop him from doing what he was doing.
Vansh just stares at Ridhima, totally taken aback when he finds her glaring at him. Her eyes held a warning for him and he just turned away towards Meera.
Meera noticed everything clearly but was still befuddled at what was happening. Having no choice, Vansh hauls before revealing the truth to Meera, who was staring at him in anticipation.
“I know you both suffered a lot in the past 8 years. He hasn’t been the same since that moment. He became exceedingly fragile, flimsy and emotional. He lived in a constant fear, fear of losing everyone. You both were in love; only you can understand him totally.” Vansh mutters softly, Meera gapes at him dumbstruck.
What was he doing? He was bringing back all those memories she never wanted to sense again. Her body suddenly felt overwrought with her breath becoming ragged.
“I am worried about him. After knowing the truth and the verity that I hid it from him, he has totally stopped interacting with anyone. He isn’t able to find how to get out of the misery he is facing right now. I want you to take care of him. I want you to-
“Stop it.” Meera screams, tears brimming in her eyes making Vansh pastel and Ridhima worried.
Meera couldn’t tolerate it yet again, she just couldn’t. All those bottled emotions were threatening to spill out again. She feared, if those feelings were overrun, she wouldn’t put up with this time. There was no strength left in her, not anymore.
“Just stop it.” She yells again and this time even her tears betrayed her by falling down her cheeks. She just swathes her face in her palms, unable to control her emotions.
How dare he? How dare he ask her to take care of his brother, who just treated her as if she was grime? Sampath was avoiding her as plague while all she wanted was his attention.
“Vansh, How dare you?” Ridhima snaps at him, making him staggered. Her eyes held pure anger and he felt terrified.
“Ridhima..I- I just…Meera, please stop crying.” He was really scared to see how pathetic Meera looked right then.
Ridhima just wraps her arms around Meera as she sobs hard, trying to control her but she knows no amount of support can compose her.
Meera squirms before moving back and wiping her tears away. She really didn’t want to come across as frail in front of anyone anymore.
She looked at Vansh, her eyes were vicious, making Vansh anxious.
“Who are you? His marionette?” She asks bitterly.
“You dared to speak about all these 8 years. What do you even know about what happened between us? He… He left me, alone, with all those memories we had. He broke me without me knowing about it. I gave him my heart not knowing he would return it back in pieces.” She seethes; her eyes were piercing and intense.
“He is hurt? Huh! Maybe he is. But you know what the reality here is? He smiles. He smiles at his sisters, a fake one though, so that they would not feel hurt seeing him in pain. He smiles at his brother, again a fake one, so his brother wouldn’t feel himself to be responsible for his grief. He smiles, because he loves them. He smiles at everyone but me. I am the adversary here-” She stops momentarily, her eyes brimming with fresh tears as he remembers his behavior with her. She then looks at Vansh, who was really dazed at her disclosure. Obviously, for him his brother is a saint.
“Don’t you see how badly he is overlooking me? Not even a proper glance and you want me to take care of him. Huh! Then what about me? Who would take care of me? You think I don’t have any feelings; that I wouldn’t mind anything he does and just take care of him unconditionally? Just once, only for once if he had asked for me, I would be more than happy to stay by him. He won’t, he will never and I don’t care anymore. What sin did I do? Loving him? Then why is he hurting me like this? His silence is stabbing me. It’s enough; I can’t just let someone hurt my emotions again and again. I just can’t.” Her voice held soreness. For her, her self confidence is more important at that very moment. She wasn’t going to fall weak. Not again.
Vansh stood rooted, he knew he was wrong in hoping for her support when his brother was avoiding her totally, but a part of him was selfish, selfish to see the smile on his brother’s face.
“I am leaving, thanks for your compassion.” Meera looks at Ridhima, who was at a standstill and feeling disappointed at her husband’s intentions.
As if on cue, Meera just picks her bags and leaves from there, grabbing a cab.
Ridhima turns towards Vansh, who holds his head low. She somewhere knows that he was worried for his brother but Meera was equally broken and he should have cared for her too.
“I just—I really-
Ridhima hugs him and he relaxes in her embrace. He just didn’t want to hurt anyone but he is totally miserable.
“You indeed hurt her. Remember one thing, she loved him so much that she just lost herself.” Ridhima whispers to him while he just stays in her arms.
I shouldn’t cry
I shouldn’t cry
I shouldn’t cry
I shouldn’t cry
She was mentally chanting. She was feeling so weak, so lonely and so equivocal. Her eyes were getting heavier and heavier with each second until a point where she couldn’t seize them to any further extent.
She leans towards the window and opens it not caring about the warning from the driver that AC was on. She was feeling asphyxiated and just wanted to loosen herself. She slants her head out of the glass and breathes deeply, trying to compose herself.
He isn’t able to find how to get out of the misery he is facing right now.
Her mind was continuously reiterating those words. Her life was totally confused, she just wanted some affection, even if it was a fake one. Unconsciously she felt her tears flowing down. She hates crying, but guess her life is just filled with everything she despises.
“Madam” She wipes her tears away and moves back before gazing at the driver, who called her.
“Y-Yes Bhaiya.” She nods at him to articulate.
“Madam, my son is ill and my wife is getting panicked. Can you please get down here and walk the further distance. I am sorry but I have to get home early.” His voice held pain and Meera nodded at him right away.
They were in fact in the vicinity of her house, so she can just stride to her house. Sighing, she gets down from the car before taking out her wallet.
She counts the money and places some extra money and gives it to the driver, who gets off her luggage from the bonnet.
“Madam, this is-
“Take care of your son.” Meera whispers gently and then notices the wave of gratitude passing through the driver’s eyes.
“God bless you.” He blesses her and immediately starts his car, retracing back and disappearing out of the position.
God, She mentally scoffs.
She then turns on her heels and starts walking, noticing her surroundings focusedly. When she finally was a few feet away from her apartment, her gaze fell on a familiar car which was parked over the left side and she stopped.
She was really familiar with the car or so she thought.
Unintentionally, her path turns towards the car and she finds herself standing by the door. She stops, it is his car.
What was he doing here?
She bends down to check whether it was really him in the car. She places her palms on the windowpane taking a clear look and halts when she finds him sitting inside with his head resting on the steering wheel.
It didn’t go well with her as she panicked seeing him in that position, she immediately knocked on the window until he finally got up. When he wakes up suddenly, he slowly takes into his surroundings and then looks at her through the window.
He then opens the door and leaps out of the car while she makes space for him.
What is he doing here?
She entirely didn’t have any idea about his existence over there. He was looking very uneasy and restless making her frown at him. Wasn’t he ignoring her presence?
“Sampath, Why are you here and what were you doing here? If I didn’t notice that you were here, what would you do?” She questions him fatally while he looks at her feeling perturbed.
“Sampath, I am asking you something.” She reminds him about her questions when he doesn’t respond to her.
“Help me.” She finally hears his voice after horribly waiting for his attention.
All that revulsion she previously had and thought of had immediately flew out as she saw his face which looked totally distraught.
“What ar-are you-
“Please help me. T-That house…I-I can’t..I-I…
“Sampath, what happened? You are scaring me now. Please tell me precisely.” She appeals to him when she finds him breathing heavily.
“That house, which I built to live in when I feel worse, is now suffocating me. I couldn’t stay there for a single instant. I ran from there, I want to run from everything. I wanted to run somewhere where I felt at home. I ran towards you.” Never did she see him this serious and sincere. He was telling the truth, the same truth which he was facing.
She looks at his face for a second and then averts her gaze as several thoughts fill in her mind. She remembered the last two days when he avoided her like she didn’t matter and again now he comes back to her, asking her to nurture him.
Even though she was deceived in the past, her heart cried out to trust him, to stand by him.
Why the hell is life so complicated? Why the hell is human behavior so convoluted?
She looked at him pointedly; he held his eyes low as if he didn’t want to have direct contact with her eyes.
“Sampath.” She calls his attention and he nods at her ever so lightly, not bothering to look at her. “I think you should go home now. Your family must be waiting for you.” He snaps his head at her and she recoils back, his eyes held so many emotions she couldn’t decode.
“Please” He pleads with her and her heart melts to some extent.
She tightens her lips and takes a deep breath. What should she do now? Should she accept him to stay? If yes, then could she take the aftermath thoughts after he left her the next day?
“Think prudently, this doesn’t sound pleasant. You must go home and to your family.” She says blankly before taking her bags and turning on her heels. Her mind was filled with several thoughts now, what she was doing was for herself, she thought. But something didn’t reconcile with her heart, a quarrel in her heart unsettled her.
For once, she turns and halts on her feet when she finds him standing rigid over his spot. He held his head low which made her heart twist. She walks back to him and stands in front of him.
“Sampath, what happened to you?” She reaches out for him and cups his face. He closes his eyes at her contact and she perceives it. His face becomes softer at her touch, his breathings turning normal.
This is it.
She knows he needs her at this moment.
“You should help me in cleaning the house now, it must be akin to a garbage pile.” She chuckles soundlessly at him while he snaps his gaze at her, making her wheeze when his eyes meet hers. He smiles at her enormously, making her heart skip a beat. His eyes held the same compassion as from 8 years ago.
She slowly takes her hands back when he nods at her. His smile cascades a bit when her warmth goes astray.
He then takes her luggage and places it in his car, as he drives his car into the apartment and parks it on the porch while Meera walks in from behind.
As soon as the door of the apartment opens with a small creek, Meera heaves a deep inhalation; a whole lot of work is waiting for her attention. She turns to her right and chuckles, when she finds Sampath cluttering her luggage in either hand.
She enters the house followed by him and then closes the door.
Sampath looks around and grimaces at the display, the house was chaotic and totally muddled.
“Excuse me, sir.” Meera snaps and he turns towards her. “I was really given a smaller amount of time to pack for my trip. So…
“I know, don’t worry.” Sampath mutters at her and then chuckles, making her red with embarrassment.
“Keep the luggage there; we have a lot of work to do.” Meera tells him and he obeys.
Sampath keeps the luggage safely before turning towards her, who was already setting all the mess neatly.
He looks around and finds himself blistering with the lack of air. He walks to the switch board and taps on the keys to finally launch the fan. He takes a deep breath and decides to take his shirt off, so he could help in cleaning the dust around.
As soon as he strives to take his shirt off, a shriek startles him and he turns back to Meera looking at him, with her mouth wide open.
“What a- are you doing?” She manages to speak, finally making him frown.
“Taking my shirt off.” He shrugs his shoulders as if it is just evident.
“I can see that, but why?” She answers to his phrase and then questions him.
“There is dust around so I am removing my shirt so that it doesn’t get grubby.” He says and she just stares at him pointedly. After a moment of silence, she just nods at him and leaves from there and into the room.
He just shrugs his shoulders before taking a small rag and starts dusting. It was really frantic and he was really exhausted after cleaning the whole hall room.
After taking a shower and getting dressed, Meera clandestinely peaks her head out of her room and looks at him.
She feels herself getting warm, as she takes in his form. For a thirty one year old, he is quite a muscled and strong man. The sweat glistening on his torso was making her perturbed. She was wondering whether her decision of letting him stay with her was anymore valid.
Snapping out of her thoughts, she slowly makes her way towards the kitchen. She was really starving and also knew that he was having the same state as her.
Her bad, she didn’t have anything stored which could be edible and sufficient for them at that moment. She turned towards Sampath, who was walking towards her. Her eyes momentarily gazed at his body, before she scolds herself for doing that.
“I..uhm.. Sampath, there is nothing amassed in the kitchen. I don’t know what to prepare for our supper.”She voices out, making him consider the variety.
“Can we order anything?” He suggests to which she refuses.
“This area is totally far-off, it will take much time for the food to arrive.”
“Are there any stores nearby? I will go and get something.” He mentions again. He was really starving.
“I don’t know, it’s late now.” She nervously looks around while biting her nails.
“Stop biting them, Meera.” He cautions her before going back to the hall. He puts his shirt on and turns towards her, who was looking at him decisively. “I will check around.” He nods as he opens the door and moves out.
She exhales noisily and sprints towards the sofa before plopping down. She leisurely massages her neck, feeling weary. There was a lot of work and she was happy that Samapth was with her. If not, she would definitely have fallen weak.
She closes her eyes in lethargy and leans towards the headrest when she hears the doorbell ring.
She frowns, he is back this early? Why was he ringing the bell?
She stands on her feet and strides towards the door, before opening it without bothering to check who was on the door.
“You came early..
She stops when looks at the person standing in front of her.
It was Sana, her neighbor.
“Hey” Sana chirps, making her fret.
“Hey.” Meera waves her hand at her. “Everything fine?” She adds as it was odd to find her neighbor at her doorstep.
“Yeah fine, I actually came to see you. You said you would return after a week right?” Sana queries her openly.
“My work was done, so I had returned back.” Meera kept it short and candid. Sana’s smile falters slightly but she was quick in composing herself.
“You might be hungry right? So, I came to ask if you have anything edible.” She says making Meera smile warmly at her.
“To be frank I don’t have one but it’s okay. I will manage.”
“oh! I had my dinner long back.” Sana pauses, thinking something. “I have these canned foods you know, if you are fine I will get them.”
Meera smiles awkwardly. “It’s okay, don’t worry. I will-
“Stop it now, we are friends right.” Saying so, she leaves from there towards her apartment, which was on the other side of the floor.
Meera feels pleased; Sana was always this genuine, caring and helpful.
Within a few moments, Sana comes back towards her and hands her over a few cartons.
“Maggi.” Meera squeals, making Sana giggle. Meera winks at her and hugs hers feeling fervent.
“Take care.” Sana leaves from there while Meera just nods at her.
Getting in, she immediately reaches towards her kitchen and starts making the food.
After what felt like a few minutes, she hears the knock on the door and leaps towards it. A drained Sampath appears from behind the door making her feel guilty.
“I couldn’t find it.”
Meera nods at him and he enters the house, a sudden smell clouts his nostrils making him wonder.
“Sana, my neighbor, she gave me those packaged foods. You know she is really sweet, she came here and asked me for my needs too.” Meera explains to him while moving towards the kitchen and taking out two plates. She cleans the plate with water and wipes it with the tablecloth.
She serves the food on the plates and walks back towards him, who was sitting on the dining table, eagerly waiting for her.
She chuckles at him and places the plates on the table.
“Damn! Feeling so hungry.” He exclaims before digging in his plate. As soon as he takes the first mouthful, he screams in pain. Meera snaps towards him in concern, he was blowing air on his tongue.
“Such a baby! You could have waited for a few minutes. The food is really hot.” She whispers, as she passes him a glass of water.
“I am sorry.” He whispers after calming his taste buds while she just glares at him.
He lowers his gaze and silently finishes his meal, why should he have to always upset her?
After completing, he gets up, takes his plate and walks towards the sink. He cleans the plate and places it on the dish holder.
He looks around and finds Meera still eating her food, or was just distractedly staring at her plate.
He plainly toddles towards the balcony to breathe in the fresh air that was flowing. The balcony had an enormous view in front, all the lights of the vehicles or the buildings were glistening under the conduit of the stars and moon.
The aura of tranquility around him was soothing him in a different way. He felt at peace, his heart was finally able to listen to its own beat.
After a while, he felt a charisma near him. Her fragrance encircled him, making him squirm ineptly. Taking in a deep breath, he controls his raising heartbeat and leans on the balcony railings.
“Are you okay?” Her soft voice makes him turn towards her, her eyes hold compassion towards him making him smile.
“Yes.” He nods at her.
She returns the smile before leaning towards the railings along with him.
There was silence around them; all they could hear was their increasing heartbeats. The tension between them grew rapidly making both of them nervous.
“Um.. Did you…Did you inform your family?” Meera asks him while fidgeting with her fingers while he just stares ahead.
“Yes.” His monotonous tone makes her tense.
The silence was killing both of them, the place was reminding them of the almost confrontation of their pain.
There was a time when even their words were peaceful but now even the silences are screaming.
“Do you want to know why I came here?” Sampath questions her, making her look at him. Her eyes locked with his while she just nodded her head.
“I wanted to be myself.” He takes a step forward making her gasp a little. “I was tired of faking to be okay. I was tired of putting a façade on my face telling me I am all right. I am tired of behaving normally when I am breaking inside.”
She shivers when a cool breeze hits both of them but doesn’t take her eyes off him.
“Why me?” She speaks softly, making his eyes soften.
“Because you own my heart.” His reply was sincere and she could feel it.
“Why did you avoid me all these days?” She asked him directly, she really wanted to hear. He stiffens before looking away. Meera frowns at him, taking a step towards him and making him look at her.
“Why did you stay away from and be treated like I don’t exist? If I am your heart, why did you not think to hear it? Why didn’t you share what you felt with me?” She bellows angrily at him while he just tries to close his eyes, unable to see the pain in her eyes.
“Why?” Her pitch rises making him flinch.
“I knew, you won’t answer. Why would you? You always like to play with me, my emotions and my feelings. You would just sulk within yourself but never share your grief, trying to gain sympathy from everyone. To prove everyone that you are alone and nobody cares for you. You always want to be in the spotlight. You don’t love anyone. You just—-
She gasps loudly when he closes the distance between them and hugs her. His loud weeping filled the atmosphere and her heart broke.
She knew that he had a lot piled up in his heart. He had to take everything out and she made sure that happened, by deliberately pushing him onto the verge of breaking.
She wraps his arms around him while he just keeps crying on her shoulder, holding her tightly. She felt her own cheeks getting wet.
“Please….Please do-don’t say like that…at least not you.” His voice wobbled, making her laugh quietly.
“I really wanted some space. I really didn’t know how to deal with it. I really didn’t want to hurt anyone. I really….
“Shh” She rubs her palms on his back trying to sooth him.
He moves his head back and looks at her as she smiles at him dearly.
“Sharing pain doesn’t mean hurting someone.” She whispers softly. “It gives you some strength to fight back all the problems.” She tenderly wipes the tears away from his cheek.
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” She sounded positive and suddenly he felt himself getting stronger.
Her warmth soothed him.
He warmly cups her face making her stagger while he just looks into her eyes.
He leans towards her and places a long kiss on her forehead, making her heart skip a beat. She felt as if she was knocked out of the breath. Her heart felt fanatical. The sensation of his lips on her skin made goosebumps erupt on her skin.
She closes her eyes as tears escape gradually. She was feeling the warmth invading in her which she had craved for. She opens her eyes to take a quick glance at him. His eyes held the same warmth she had seen in him 8 years ago. She knew what his eyes were telling her.
She stops him from speaking by placing her fingers on his mouth.
“I am not ready to have the sense of hearing those words. I just don’t know how I will react. I just need some time.” She whispers softly and he finds himself nodding at her.
“Don’t give up on me.” Her eyes confirmed how vulnerable she was.
“I won’t” He whispered, making her shatter into a wail as she embraced him securely, trying to bask herself in his warmth.
What had he done with their euphoric relationship? This woman in front of her doesn’t deserve the pain she was having. He wanted to take her pain away; he was ready to do anything to see her smile reaching her eyes.
If only life was easy.
Hello Munchkins, hope you all are doing good.
I hope that you all liked the chapter, a long one I know but this was needed to maintain the emotion constant.
Sampath or Meera
Whom you you understand more?
This was how they were, broken but beautiful.
How could that happen? My heart felt really emotional hearing about his shocking demise. I may not know him personally, but owing to the fact that I loved his alt balaji series ‘Broken but beautiful3’ and also the truth that he is no more is so heartbreaking.
Looking at how broken Shahnaz is, made every one feel vulnerable. It made us realize how cruel life can be. His mother too was vulnerable. Hope they can cope with this sorrow.