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The Last Chance
The woman who astounded me:
The Car ran on the busy roads of Mumbai as it proceeded towards the Oberoi Office. “Rajesh, take the longer road.”
Well, Rajesh had no other choice. He obeyed his master’s order.
Shivaay thought why he took the longer road. After all he had meetings, files and lot many issues lined up that held more gravity. But his mind was stuffed up with the thoughts of the meeting he had, just some moments ago. It didn’t fetch him some new deal or a project, but it certainly made him stop, look and realize how this City works; the meeting with Annika.
He did not touch the memories he made there for just some time with Annika. After reaching his Office, he headed straight to his Cabin, to pen down the memories he had rejuvenated while the long drive back.
Thursday, July 2015,
The Woman who astounded me:
My fate again had me in a situation where I was confused whether I had actually given away my past. But some things are just beyond explanation, just like I can’t explain whether I have totally moved on and the way I totally soaked in the moment with her, is again not explainable. She handed my wallet, and that’s when we started our real conversation.
I just said what I thought, what my heart wanted me to say, that I trusted her. She kept silent for some time while I answered another of my calls. As I was listening to the project details, I could sense her looking at me and noticing every movement I made, every expression that donned my face. After my on the way official call, she just reacted as expected.
“Mr. Shivaay, I think I should just leave now, you must be getting late.”
Of course not, dear diary, I wasn’t getting late.
After all, this was the moment that I was waiting for.
“The thing is, I just can’t let you go Ms. Annika, I mean you helped me, now it’s my turn to pay you back.”
“Okay, if you’re ardent to…. ”
” What about an Ice Cream treat? ”
” Ummm….. Okay….. But……you sure that you can spare some time? ”
” Of course, so…. come… ”
The hesitation was there, being two absolute strangers, we barely knew each other, but if one gets a chance to know someone better, why not just grab it?
We had our favorite one, Chocolate and carelessly sat down in the bus stop, shaded from the blistering Sun.
I could see her being constricted and I tried to open up. What’s better than asking of her whereabouts.
“Ms. Annika…… firstly I’d like to thank you for helping me and secondly…… ”
” Ya secondly what? ”
” The Ice Cream….. It’s all over your face….. Ha ha ha ha ha.. …. Sorry I just bursted…. But you really look funny….. ” I laughed and she was highly embarrassed. And after a minute’s silence, she accompanied me in the madness and kept laughing. I looked at her and seeing her laugh, can’t describe it dear diary, as if my day couldn’t have been better than this.
” Ms. Annika, you live nearby or….. ” I was really afraid of being direct.
” Ya, I live nearby, next to that 5 storeyed building. ”
” Oh, ok…. and what about your family?….”
Just as he was proceeding in the narrative, an abrupt knock on the door just blocked his mind’s flow of incidents.
” Yes, what? ” Shivaay snapped rudely, just irritated by her abruption.
” Sir, there’s a call for you….. Should I transfer it to y…. ” and before she could complete her sentence, he had already looked at his watch, it had struck 1 in the afternoon. He waved his hand in dismissal, for Shivaay knew who this was.
” Hello……… hello Shivaay, is this you? Shivaay, how’ve you been? I just wanted to talk to you, it’s been long while I have conversed with you, tell me how’re you…. Shivaay, you listening? Shivaay?…… “
The man on the other side, was so excited thinking that Shivaay had taken up the call. Only to learn that he had to be disappointed again.
” I am so sorry sir, it’s me….. ”
” Aarohi, I know, Shivaay’s Secretary, so he won’t take my call again, right?….. ”
Just before Aarohi could say anything, it was the ever apprehensive Amaya who snatched the reciever.
” Hey Om! Long time no see ha? You had promised you’d keep in touch, what about the skype chats we were supposed to have?”
“Amu, am sorry, but can I talk to Shivaay? I mean just let him know I want to talk to him, please! He’s my brother, we haven’t had a single conversation for years, please convey to him that I’ve begged him, to at least call me once……”
“Om you know him and his stubbornness, Om, are you there?” and just with this, the call went off.
Shivaay waved his hand in dismissal, to which Aarohi gave a consent. He asked her to tell Amaya to recieve it and let him know what Om had to say. Aarohi, in her secretarial efficiency and her proper observation of her boss’s personality, had already told Amaya about it, she as well as Amaya, both knew this, Shivaay would never take up Omkara’s calls.
“Shiv, just give me one valid reason of not accepting Om, just one and you’d be clear. ”
” Amu, you know, that despite of all these years, he hasn’t given me a single chance of absolving myself. I know I am wrong in rejecting him, but what he did was unacceptable.”
“Shiv you’re trying to explain me, the privy to all these incidents? He was wrong in doing that, but what was it? Love, right? He loves you Shivaay and you better know that yourself. “
He knew what she was talking of. But anyways, Omkara’s his brother, the baby brother, who had lost his only shelter, his haven, his older brother Shivaay, to his fate. And no one could be blamed for that, Shivaay thought.
Letting things go, was one of the things that he was worst at. Shivaay could neither forgive nor forget. They had been playing this blame game for a long while now. After the death of Om’s parents, it was Shivaay who had been his support all this while. Until that day, when Shivaay lost Radhika, and Omkara lost Shivaay.
Since then, it was the flamboyant Rudra, the youngest when comes to mischief, but equal to Shivaay when comes to responsibilities, was the one and only stronghold for Omkara. Despite the fact that Shivaay was his uterine brother and Omkara, his first cousin, he supported Omkara, and he silently funded Om’s educational expenses in the US. Not that Shivaay didn’t know of it, he knew that even if he tried to stop Rudra, he won’t be able to, ’cause Rudra wasn’t dependent on him. He had a label to his credit, was the owner of the most accomplished wine house, and had several breweries, made and grown all by himself. Shivaay had immense pride and respect reserved for this brother of his, who was much more hard working, that he thought, and did all his work silently, his success spoke of his remarkable feats.
While Rudra was the love of Shivaay, Omkara had suddenly become the bone of contention between the brothers. Shivaay had his own unaccustomed and unadjustable stubbornness and Rudra had his unadulterated love for Omkara. He would keep things to himself and despite of Shivaay asking him to let him know of Om’s whereabouts, Rudra rarely spoke directly about Om to him. And Amaya, was the only one who knew what was going on in the three minds.
All these things were clouded in Shivaay’s mind when he noticed Amaya who hadn’t left the room. She was checking the files, perhaps not to pay attention to him.
Silence was Shivaay’s best friend, so he rarely broke it. But he knew that this wasn’t what he wanted.
“Amu, I know you’re right. But do you think am wrong? Did I just ignore his needs? I never came in Rudy’s way, he did all that he wanted to. Am I not supposed to be hating him?”
“No, you’re not supposed to hate him, you need to love him, you think you fulfill all his needs by letting Rudy help him, send him money. But seriously Shivaay, do you think it’s all that you need to do? Can money suffice his emptiness? Can money listen to his pain and can it solve it? Do you think he is getting that care which you are supposed to give him? Can money be his mom and dad? Tell me?”
“Shivaay, you have been his mom and dad for the most of his life, and you have to be till the end. You can’t just miss out in between and leave him alone. People are imperfect, they are supposed to be. You can hate or just set aside others, but you can’t do that to your brothers, they are your own people.”
Amaya’s touching words made him calm down, but she had said this all, since that day, and Shivaay had been hearing this all this while. No wonder, he was hell headstrong. But this time, he just had an external influence hovering in his mind. Annika’s words ringed in his head. Guided by those words, Shivaay found a new meaning to what Amaya had just said.
I have two stories going on, for the first time here. That means I’ll be a bit late, but please bear with that. My exams are approaching too, so it might take some time. Till then stay safe, be happy and keep reading. Leave a comment, like or dislike as you all wish.
Lots of Bhalobasha,