Finding Love11 mins 708 11 mins 708
Priya loved being in her cocoon of dreams. She often dreamed and believed dreams come true.
Jai, a contrast, is a practical man, never living in dreams or the past. He knew the bitter truth about life and was well directed and focused, never letting sentiments overtake intellect. In simple words, he listened more to his brain than to his heart; or he simply turned a deaf ear to it. He doesn’t remember the last time he and his parents dined together. His father travelled extensively for work, while his mother stayed busy in her social life. They were three different souls under one roof, whose lives seldom coincided.
Jai unknowingly had built barricades around his heart, not letting anyone trespass it, but little did he know they would be broken soon.
Priya sitting adjacent to the window was scribbling in her diary, and a subtle smile stretches across her lips. Her diary was a world in itself for her. She weaved this world in her diary and sealed it carefully with a small lock, lest somebody should read and mock at it. “Hi, you think this lip colour matches my dress?” interrupted Shilpa, the fashionista, breaking Priya’s cloud of thoughts. Posing a disinterested look Priya said, “Why do you even ask me? You know I am the wrong person.”
“Whose lecture is it now?” asked Anand, Jai’s classmate and close friend. He was one inclusive in Jai’s limited social circle.
It’s college’s last year. Mrs. Brigenza, the drama teacher enters class.
“Why the hell on earth would you, a cold and passive person take up arts as an elective subject?” asks Anand.
“That is because it needs no work, and I can dedicate that time to accounts. I don’t want any discrepancy in the last semester. Just missed merit with one mark!”
“Hail Jai, the businessman!”, mocked Anand with fist at his chest.
“Attention class! This year we have to present a play for the annual cultural fest. You’ll be groomed in voice modulation, acting skills, body language, dialogue delivery etc. Pull up your socks for some good rehearsals. Priya would direct the play,” says the teacher.
“The actors chosen are Rakesh, Shekhar, Shilpa, Anand and Jai...”, Jai was startled. Did she just announce my name?, he mumbled under his breath. “What the hell? Acting? This is certainly not my cup of tea..What is wrong with them?”, spurted any angry comment from Jai.
Jai wouldn’t allow this. He was naive for any performance, for he had never expressed himself unrestrained. He stormed his way out as the bell rang. He stood in front of Mrs. Brigenza. “I want to withdraw my name.”
“Pardon Mr. Sahai! Don’t you know each one of you..”.
“Yes but, I cannot act, I cannot do all this foolish..” He realised and held back his words.
“You should have thought about it before enrolling for the course.”
“Not a matter, I wish to change my elective subject.”
“I am sorry, no seat available for Chemistry. You shouldn’t waste energy my lad. You shall be fine.”
A defeated Jai came back to class.
“What happened”, asked Anand.
“No choice. Eh!” Jai punched his fist on the desk, only to be hit by the protruding nail. “Ouch”.
Tuesday afternoon, drama students assemble in the practice hall. Jai drags his feet with much effort and seats clumsily on the farthest seat.
“Rakesh, Anand and Shilpa please come ahead to read your lines”, instructs Mrs Brigenza. Anand is pleased to have Shilpa next to him.
“Not this way. Rakesh, you need to emphasise on the last expression”, calls Mrs. Brigenza. Priya delivers her inputs wisely to every participant, asserting Mrs. Brigenza of her choice of the director.
After a dry primary run, Mrs. Brigenza calls up the next set of artists including Jai.
“Where is your paper Mr. Sahai?”
“Umm. Which paper?” Mrs. Brigenza tweaks her eyebrows in frenzy, disapproved of Jai’s callousness.
“I have the printouts of everyone’s dialogues,” interrupts Priya in a kind tone, her face glowing in the sunshine from the window slit. Jai had never taken heed, but today he was thankful to Priya.
“Will you take some doing Jai to put life into your character and dialogues!,” said the impatient teacher, exhausted after the first class of rehearsal.
The bell rings and it was a relief, more for Jai than it was for Mrs. Brigenza.
After poor performance from Jai after repeated attempts, Mrs. Brigenza, in middle of the rehearsal announces, “This needs some critical improvement. I give the responsibility to Priya. Since you are the director, the onus lies on you.”
“Relax. It’s okay. Priya will make things work. Just like that!”, ushered Anand pressing Jai’s shoulder.
“I don’t care. I hadn’t asked for this stupid role. And what the hell is Priya going to do.”
“Hi”, said Priya in a befriending tone to Jai at their first practice session.
“Are you fine?”
“Then should we start with the rehearsal?”
“Let me make one thing clear. I am genuinely not interested. I took up drama thinking it’s going to be passtime. I want to concentrate on the core subjects. And now I am stuck!,” expressed Jai in an adrenaline. He quickly composed himself, mindful of talking to Priya whom he hardly interacted with anytime in his college years.
“I know, I understand,” comforted Priya.
“You would be able to do your studies. It’s not that difficult, once you feel what you express.”
Jai though not completely convinced, could not overlook at Priya’s conviction and good nature.
“Okay, you repeat after me.”
Jai repeats, getting a little better.
“I shall wait for you,” said the prince to the princess.
“Why are we doing this? Does this really happen in real life?”
“Oh it does. Certainly. Love is great- The greatest thing and healer.”
By the end of the session, Jai was little confident. “Thank you Ms. Priya. I never knew you were so talented.”
“Thank you. But I think everyone has one’s forte. Thank you for your generous appreciation Mr. Sahai.”
“Please. It’s Jai.”
“I am so jealous of you,” Shilpa nudges Priya.
“I wish I could be the director and train Jai,” Shilpa gets into her dream world.
“Shut up,” says Priya before the Math teacher enters class.
At the second practice session, Priya is engrossed in writing her diary. Jai overlooks her diary finding Priya totally lost and unaware of his presence. He snaps his fingers. “Oh! I am sorry, I just didn’t realize,” says Priya hastily locking her diary.
“It’s okay. What’s with the lock?”
After 10 takes, Jai performs average.
In the break, Jai asks, “Isn’t this unrealistic letting your love go away for uncertainty’s sake?”
Priya replies, “This may sound philosophical.”
“I believe if love is true, it will return. And so thinks the king.”
Jai is moved. An emotion is spilled inside him. He looks at Priya. He thinks can love be so beautiful? Was he missing it all the while?
The play becomes a hit. Jai was changed. He felt he had discovered himself newly. He understood the meaning of free expression, of shackle-free love. Yes, maybe he falls for Priya.
On the farewell day, there is a lot of buzz around.
“Rose? For who?”, questions Jai to Anand.
“I have to say it today.”
“All the best.”
As Anand goes ahead, Jai picks up a yellow rose contemplating.
Shilpa accepts Anand’s proposal.
Priya enters, her hair curled up, she looks dazzling in her red long dress.
Jai thinks about sharing his feelings. But then, Priya hugs Shilpa and says, “I am very happy today. He said yes!”
“Who?” Shilpa asks bewildered.
“Rohan, I had told you, the singer. An art lover.”
“But you never mentioned..”
“You know I am not very comfortable sharing all this. But today I cannot contain my happiness.”
All are shocked than surprised. Shilpa manages to smile.
Jai stops Shilpa from telling her. “No, let her be. She is happy, so I am good,” Jai says silently.
Rohan turns out to be an unruly guy, imposing restrictions on everything, even on her writing.
After 8 long years in a five star hotel, Priya walks in elan, dragging her suitcase. Clad in formal pencil skirt and shirt. She lifts up her glares checking for her reservation.
“Sorry ma’am we have checked the database. There is no reservation.”
Hearing the chaos, Jai, owner of the hotel comes out of his cabin.
“There is no reservation marked for ma’am Sir”, replies the receptionist politely.
Jai cannot see her face, she is turned and is busy on her phone. Jai looks into the system.
“They have made an urgent booking”, Jai turns at the familiar voice, one of the many things his ears had been yearning for years.
He looks up and their eyes meet. “Jai,” she stumbles.
“Priya...Priya...what a pleasant”, Jai manages to speak, his throat choking with emotion.
He notices something unusual. The girl who never cared for artificial looks was wearing make-up, too much for Priya! The pure glistening in her eyes had deemed, the curly lock of hair was tied in a neat bun. It was more a face undergone some sorrow and heartbreak?
“OMG. You haven’t changed.”
“But you have.”
“Not surprised, owner of this mansion?”
“Yeah!,” smiles Jai looking down.
“You always knew what you want from life.”
Jai is startled at Priya’s remarks. Why has she turned so negative and obsessively practical?
Something wasn’t right. Something hadn’t gone right in the past.
“So we catch up for dinner? Of course, if you are available Mr. Sahai. I guess it suits you the best ever”
“Sure, but on one condition. I am Jai.”
What had just happened? The moment he had been waiting, lost hope that it would ever come true, was there- Priya was back!
(Jai informs Anand and Shilpa and Anand drop by to catch up.)
“So Shilpa’s also here? That’s nice to catch up with friends!”, said Priya.
“You know she mocked at me- perfect marriage isn’t true. But it happened to her. The guy she loved and got married! That wasn’t the case with me!”
Jai looks at her. There is silence. As he was going to ask the reason, Shilpa interrupts. “Hi”
“How’s you ? Such a long time!” says Priya. “Wanted to meet and surprise you, but I was surprised! You never told me Jai is here, has a hotel and all?”
Shilpa looks at Jai.
“Still secretive!” comments Priya.
“You never told me what happened. What went wrong between you and Rohan?”
Jai was growing anxious. What must have happened?
“I hate talking about it.”
“It’s okay, relax. You don’t need to ..”, comforted Jai.
“It wasn’t as I expected. He didn’t want me to write, thought it was all stupid. I was stupid to have thought rather imagined. My ideas were wrong,” Priya breaks down.
Jai wanted to break the glass in his hand. Why would he do that to Priya?
How Jai wished, he could tell her that she wasn’t wrong; she had changed the perception of life for Jai.
“I have to go”, Jai excused himself for a call.
Only few including Shilpa and Anand knew he had turned a guest RJ for three days of the week, where he had discovered the other Jai, that Priya had helped him find.
Shilpa and Priya reach the latter’s room. They lie down on couch. Priya turns to the radio channel.
“Hey, this is 92.2.” “Yes, I love it. Only this has any place for love in my life.”
Shilpa knew something was still there between Jai and Priya.
In the next meeting, Shilpa tells Jai, “When are you going to tell her. If you don’t, I will.”
“You won’t,” Jai says sternly.
On the day of checking-out of the hotel, Priya meets Jai.
“So, Jai, no plans about marriage? Just good going with business?”
“Ah..well, didn’t find the right one.” says Jai
“There’s no ‘right one’,” Priya quips. “There is,” Jai says under his breath. Their eyes meet, but no one prods further.
“I hope you find what you’re looking for. Good bye.” There is a surge of emotions, Priya puts on the glasses, much like a shield.
She drives off. On the way to the airport, Priya tunes in to 92.2.
“Do not abstain. Learn to let go. If it is true love, it will come back.”
Priya brakes. Something in her heart points at Jai. Is it Jai? No, he and RJ? Love? No way.
She remembered Jai excusing himself at the party to report somewhere urgently. What if he wasn’t Jai and the dialogue a mere coincidence?
Whatever it was, Priya decides about listening to her heart one last time!
She takes a u-turn, searches for the studio.
“Can I meet Jai. It’s a little urgent,” she hurriedly blurts at the reception.
“You mean Rehman?” That was his on-air name.
“Can’t allow you in Ma’am. He is on air.”
Yes, it was him, it was Jai. May be she was right. May be true love did exist!
“Can you just direct me to his place. Please!,” Priya almost begs.
She overlooks from the glass pane, it was him over the mike.
Priya had never felt this desperate.
“Jai”, she lets out a silent shrill.
Jai could have just hoped the least. Jai sensed something from the sound proof window.
There was only silence. Their eyes met and smiles crossed instantly, and at the same time, tears too.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?,” Priya speaks in her mind.
“I always remembered your words- if it is true love, it will come back!” Jai replies, only to be heard by Priya through that soundproof glass.
Priya closes her eyes, spilling out the emotions.
Soon, Jai is alerted by the radio jingle. It was time for a break for RJ.
He storms out. Jai let out his arms, he reciprocates the same feelings, unrestrained, the emotions suppressed for so long, were finally let out.
Priya runs towards him and they hug tight. They didn’t have words, they didn’t need them!
“I knew if it is true love, it will come back!” Jai reassures.
She hugs him again. Jai cuddles her, finally is overwhelmed by having her in his arms.
Meanwhile, Shilpa and Anand reach the floor. They had come to convince Jai to see her off at the airport, maybe one last time. They were overjoyed on seeing them both finally together!
Jai goes back to the studio, to play Priya’s favourite track “Jaane tu..”, not before announcing, “Dedicated to my love!”
They had found their love.. Priya had quit the businesswoman role. It was never meant for her.
Jai continued with his hotel business and enjoyed the other stint with himself too.
Priya finally wrote her story, with the line “And they lived happily ever after” as she had always wanted.