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Zahra Khan

Drama Romance


4.5  

Zahra Khan

Drama Romance


A Magic Lost - Part 1

A Magic Lost - Part 1

9 mins 278 9 mins 278

"kya hua tera vaada..woh qasam woh iraada...

bhoolega dil jis din tujhe woh din zindagi ka aakhri din hoga..*"


Rafi's* voice floated into the room singing about promises to never forget a long-lost love. It managed to wake me out of the slumber I was falling into. Suddenly I felt guilty - very guilty. Innumerable stories I have heard of people never really getting over the person that they loved. Not to mention innumerable songs, ghazals, and everything else under the sun. Everything had the same message - once you have loved with your heart, there is no getting over it.


As if on instinct the phone rang. Without even glancing at the caller id I knew who was calling. The same person who had called an hour earlier. The same person who had called yesterday and the day before too. The same person who used to call me every single day all those years ago. The same person whose calls I used to look forward to answering every second of the day. The same person whose brown eyes I had looked deeply into while lip-synching to Rafi's "bhoolega dil jis din tujhe woh din zindagi ka aakhri din hoga" which played in the background before bursting out laughing. At that moment I had thought that I could never be as happy as I was right then. Right at that instant. My hand in his, as both of us, laughed together and suddenly got as serious.


"You mean it..don't you?" he asked.

"Cross my heart and promise to drop dead..." I said.

"You mean it..don't you?" he asked, the pressure on my hand increasing.

"Of course I mean it..." I said as I kissed him passionately.


The phone rang again interrupting my thoughts. There was no escape. How long could I avoid this? I had to take the call. Yes, I had to! The phone stopped ringing. I started to breathe again.


When had it all started? Yes, the first time that I laid my eyes on him basically. He stood there, his hair falling all over his forehead, a lop-sided grin adorning his face as he waved to me. Who was this guy?

"Sameera?" he said.

"No.." I shook my head, wishing that I'd have been.

"Who then?" he asked.

That's when I realized that it was sort of a pick-up line. But instead of feeling enraged, I smiled.

"That was smooth..." I said.

"Was it? I must be getting good then..." he chuckled.


My heart started to beat a little faster from that moment. I found myself getting lost in nothing particular more and more. I greeted the silence as I enjoyed the feel of the breeze as it caressed my body, the rustle of the leaves as they vied with each other to fall at my feet, lost in the music that seemed to engulf my every movement always - everything was beautiful. Everything was magic. I was in love, for the first time in my life and I discovered then what the hullabaloo was all about. No, it wasn't overrated! Poets, novelists, shaayars* knew exactly what they were talking about when they referred to the magic of first love. Love so young, love so innocent, so naive, and just so out of this world! I treasured the feeling, the moments that I managed to catch a glimpse of him if I was lucky enough - to talk to him. Then of course one fine day he asked me for my telephone number and that started the series of calls.


Once a week, then twice, then every day, and sometimes more than once a day. Every time the phone rang, my heart gave a lurch. Every time my guess proved right, I would be smiling from ear to ear. He spoke with a deliberate depth and slowness in his voice. Now I realized that it was nothing more than a juvenile attempt to sound hoarse, but at that time I thought it was the sexiest voice I had ever heard. We would talk for hours. After the conversation, I would dutifully note in my diary every important topic that was touched over the course of their talk. I did not want to miss one thing about them. Not even a single word and I never thought I would.


Until of course some of the words did not remain as pleasant. Some went on to become downright ugly. I stopped writing in my diary when he said that he could not go against his parents and it was best if we left things as they were. I was aghast, but there was nothing I could do! I tried to coax him, force him, emotionally blackmail him, but nothing worked. He did not even have the decency to tell me the whole story. So like countless others' my first love had also ended in heartbreak and like countless others' I had also felt that I was the most miserable person in the whole world. Bit by bit, I gathered myself. It was the most excruciating task as I watched all my dreams wash away - one by one. The diaries which had been the source of so much joy were read and re-read which only added to my woes. I could not stop crying sometimes. I cried and cried and cried till I would pass out. I was sure I was going to die somewhere along the way.


But no, I did not. But yes I always felt that a part of me had died. I managed to lock that part up pretty securely and never thought I'd have to revive it again. The memories were there - to be revisited wistfully whenever a song like "kya hua tera waada..." played on the radio but that was it. There was no hurt anymore. First love had been overrated, I decided and went about my life with no regrets.


But somehow life always has this penchant for landing a sock on your jaw just when you think that everything is going so perfectly. And my life especially had this special knack of doing just that. Out of the blue, I got a call one fine day.


"Hello..." I heard after a brief pause. There was no attempt to be hoarse this time, the voice was naturally so and there was no mistaking who it belonged to.


"Sameera?" he asked.

In spite of myself I laughed. This was not what I had expected to happen in the millions of times I had fantasized about how it would be when I would meet him later in life. Somehow I had this, call it to hope or call it fatalism, that I would meet him.

"You...how?" I managed.

"Well, I will tell you all about it. Meet Me!" he said.


I had recovered enough by then to hear the warning bells going off in my head. I was not a giggly-quick-to-fall-quick-to-forgive teenager anymore. At least I was not until that moment. I steadied myself and in the most serious tone that I could muster managed...

"I am sorry, I can't see you" and hung up. I was shaking after I did that. The sock that life had landed squarely on my jaw had me staggering for some support. Alas! there was none. That was the way I had chosen my life to be. Never to depend on another person for my happiness or in my sadness. Now I felt alone. Completely alone. I sat down and for the first time in the last 3 years, cried. And cried and cried. This was not fair. Just not fair!


The phone rang again. In fact, it rang a lot after that. It was still ringing as I picked it up again, unable to ignore it any longer.


"So when do we meet?" The arrogance of that man! I wanted to slam down the receiver yet again. But then I reminded myself of the pact that I had made with myself not to act like an impulsive-quick-to-explode teenager.


"Who said anything about meeting?" I asked.

"I did..." I could imagine him standing on the other end of the line, a lop-sided grin adorning his face. Suddenly I wanted to see him. Watch how he had aged in the past - how many years was it? - almost 7 years. Gosh! This man made me feel more and more like a teenager - a lovesick one at that.


"How about tomorrow for lunch at the new Indian restaurant that has opened in your neighborhood?..." he went on.

Not only did he have my phone #, but he also seemed to know where I lived. How? Did he do some kind of research or something? Somehow that thought did not make me angry. On the contrary, I felt elated. I was afraid to look for a reason!


"Around noon? Is that ok..."

"oh! so you finally decided to ask me something..." I said.

The sarcasm was not lost on him but he chose to ignore it with an even more arrogance...

"Ok...I shall expect you around noon then..." he almost whispered.

"Don't!" I said and it took all my strength not to hang up the damn phone.

"I will..." he said as he hung up the phone.


The gall. The gall of this man. What did he think that this was? A Hindi movie where the heroine turns up wherever the hero commands her to, much against her protests.

Fat chance, I heard myself say as I turned my attention towards making a cup of very strong tea.


The repeated glances towards the clock told me the time was approaching 12 o'clock. I caught an image of myself in the mirror with

satisfaction as I found myself dressed in last night's pajamas. I was not going anywhere and the man's arrogance be damned, I thought to myself as I dug into the pizza I had ordered.


12 O'Clock. The hands of the clock merged into one and I raised a toast to my strength. That I had not given into the temptation to see and meet him. As soon as I drank to it, there was a knock on the door.


Who could it be? Maybe it was the pizza delivery guy. I must've made some error in giving him the exact money. Oh! boy, when would I ever get a hold of my finances. I opened the door, flustered, and found myself staring right into the deepest brown eyes, that I had never been able to completely forget. The magic was right there - right in front of my eyes...

Bibliography:

kya hua tera vaada..woh qasam woh iraada... (what ever happened to your promise? your promise, your plan)

bhoolega dil jis din tujhe woh din zindagi ka aakhri din hoga.. (the day I forget you will be the last day of my life)

Mohammed Rafi - A great Bollywood singer of yesteryears who sang the above song

Shaayar - Urdu poet



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