The Injured Enemity
The Injured Enemity
The soup, stuffed with broccoli and a pinch of pepper made a delicious breakfast for Roma and daddoo, as I was just slogging on the marble floor of our 5-star mansion with the palm trees at the backside of our garden, a weird sight for me. "Samy, Mom's calling you....you seem nowhere...." shouted my pulpy Roma. I was just off my long nap, busy in lazy daydreams, when I felt my ears ringing, "Dear, Rahul will be visiting us this evening to discuss about the engagement date....Our Roma will soon become a part of the Sharma's. "My heart felt weak not because of her engagement, but due to the arrogance of that mad....insane....", I was a bit irritated by the just thought of Tash, as he was nicknamed. I went into a hangover air, when suddenly I felt my heavy back, "My Kiddy, you here. What's going on down?" and my Labrador handed me a sticky paper; he's a bit salivating on every thing he sees. I opened the paper, I was surprised, my conscience felt tampered by everyday news. Thousands of thoughts started freezing my spine, "Roma will you be able to start so soon? And how will you deal with these birds....your soon-to-be in-laws, in fact I will be messed at this....Damn." The wooden door opened, A lady in her twenties arrived, studded in green embroidery with the ornating diamonds from 'Lakshya', I remembered the owner offering me cheque, a signed cheque with my wish of worth to be written. But I hurriedly begged for a mere fifty rupees, I was really a little childish, it's unfortunately true.
"Are you already leaving our home for your dream man, didi?" and Roma laughed out loud "You will always be that small kid, Samir", pressing a kiss on my cheeks. She was looking amazingly bright like the models in Fair and lovely, but the magic they claimed of, did not occur in reality. She just pushed a card in my hands and went away dancing, jumping and flirting. I went for a hot shower, came back only to see a grand breakfast on the dining table. Wow....that's too great, I went down to the hall and as I picked one slice of my favorite cheese grilled sandwich, an another hand gripped my wrist. "No, No. All this is for my husband." I pulled my hand back and she told me, "Did you see the card I left it at your hands? It's nice naa....It's chosen by my mother....", she was just on the verge of completion when the phone rang. I quickly ran and picked the phone, "Kharbanda's here. Who's that ?" No sound, no voice. I spoke a thousand words to start, but in vain. Again it rang, again that same thing, no response and the third time my sister picked up the phone. Three hundred seconds passed, she started her 'Tandav' literally, she was really on the extremes when it comes to emotions and feelings. I was seated on the sofa, when mamma came with a big porcelain bowl in her hand, smelling of dal makhani and whoosh....all gone. My mom on the floor , my sister laddened in layers of dal and condiments....nothing can be done.
My mother's angry face, the guilt in Roma's eyes and a sprinkling expression of non - existent amazement spread all over, time for double celebration; after all Lakshya got immersed in dal - A dramatic household. "Will you please be on track, soon-to-be-Sharma bahu otherwise they will never accept you, got it." My mom was back in the kitchen but my sister's face became pale not for the wastage of dal or the fall of Rome that occurred a few minutes before, but she was scared for the evening in this yellow state. It's already eight, OMG....time for school, I considered college as school itself. My bag, my tiffin, my books and one thing I forgot....yeah I remember Sushu's tennis ball. Oh god, my pencil pouch....I searched it and it was there fortunately. Master Albert's College and I was late but as I entered, I was encountered with red eyes and frowned face, "You are worthy of praise . You should have arrived a bit late, Laopat sir would have welcomed you with a garland." Everyone was present there but some are happy, some sad and some even frightened ! "Mister Samir Kharbanda", I slipped straight to Maskal sir and his palms were tightened on a paper. Seems to be familiar .... Ayyo!!! Biology marks, the following reaction was amazing. "I would have shredded you into half, if you had scored a mark less. Study well, this mere 15 is not at all expected from you. Understood Kharbanda." I just tilted my head, not realizing whether it was a yes or no. I turned and was in face with that mad Tash, my soon-to-be-enemy-in-law, yes he was the brother of Roma's fiance.
Sushant took me in a corner and gasped, "Samy....Samy what to say and what not to say? We are in hot waters now." I told him to speak clearly what had happened , he poured out every small detail, I stepped back, my heartbeat skipped for a second. I felt my palms getting sweaty and my throat coughed a whole. Our college creative team was searching for someone who can play Draupadi, it was time for the Annual Fest and they have selected two kids out of a seventy, first was Samir Kharbanda that is me and second that stupid Tashan Sharma. It was imposed as a creativity that as both men and women are equal they were best enough to play opposite roles as well, and everyone outside was not at all interested to do that, even my dad will not cook a meal for a day and my mom will always boast of being a housewife not a managing director at the Lawns Ordinance Industry . But here the scene was different, even Vidya Balan can be Duryodhan and Maskal Sir turns into a mother of hundred sons.
Sushant and I were worried because the rule was that the one who won the role will be accompanied by the other on every practice, every rehearsal and till the final performance with every step, every make-up, every attire and what not. For me it was a dilemma, even if I get the role there is no survival with that Tashan, he's no more a human, just a mere statue of over-confidence and arrogance, and it makes me feel he will dominate me entirely after Roma leaves our home . The selection was to be announced by the end of the day, the whole day I was getting prickled, my skin twitched, I was not even present mentally during the lectures; by grace I was not noticed otherwise I would have been banished from the institution . No announcement was heard till the national song , but suddenly " Hello, students . We are pleased to announce the selected candidate for Draupadi , the role goes to Master Tashan Sharma and the accompanying side goes to Master Samir Khar...." I ran to the ground floor and Sushant blessed me luck for my fest journey with that Duryodhan in reality for whom I am the real Draupadi.
I was dressed in a velvet turquiose and daddoo got wrapped in a black suit to match his royalty. "Samir call your daddy", and within a minute we were on place to welcome the Sharma's. Rahul, his sister Sonam, Mona aunty and Rishik uncle were present to grace our hospitality and suddenly my mom asked , "Where's our Tashan?" Yes, he was now ours illogically. "He's practising for his annual fest." I only know how he does the practise, that foolish guy. They were served samosas , sandwiches for which my sister fought with me, white and green chutney, laddoos and rose juice. I was a bit happier for he was not here, my dreams were broken when Rahul said, " What kind of role are you involved in the annual fest ? " I was going to answer the truth when Roma interrupted, " He is not participating after all we require him for all the pre-marital tasks." She knew that if the truth comes out it can only delay the marriage, after all she was different from other flirty girls in dire need of making husband bend to her knees as soon as possible. The night passed out in a elegant manner with the dates confirmed to be next week and celebrations already started with my cupboard. I was really agitated by her upcoming tantrums, everyday her entrance in my room means old and dirty clothes to be dumped in my cupboards, it was just a piece of cake for her and when I restricted her from doing this nonsense her replies bewildered not only my body, but even my inner soul. " Cm'on Samy , its useless to keep a cupboard so empty of yours. You should be thankful for having me as your sister. " It would have been better if you had been a cricket ball, I would have punched you with my fist.
"Samir, you have to associate yourself with Tashan otherwise you shall be suspended for the whole term" scolded Professor Khan, no one was at all in favour of me, all my protests went into deaf ears. Tashan displayed his face as simple as sweet and ought to be prized for his artificial behaviour, here everyone was unaware about this arrogant pillar standing in our college. Having my lunch with Sushant and some other guys in the canteen , I heard a scream, "You need to be present in the Seminar room at 3 P.M. sharp, got it Samy." My troublesome life was initializing today and that too in this premises, I went there and saw no one. Is it a prank? No it can't be, suddenly the doors closed and there was that arrogance. "Tashan" I just spoke when he came out and said me," Unworthy of being my companion . Be my slave got it or otherwise you know what can I do. " He angered me, but I also knew that on the other side of the cliff was my school's order. Next day we started practising, I have to see every step of his, even though some were wrong and if I stood to rectify them, "You stupid, slummy boy. Don't ever doubt my skills. Better mind your tongue." and I was just awe-strucken by his hilarious behaviour. "Mam ,Samir is not at all helpful. He tries to make me fall during practice and even teases me " , these all complaints and scolds following them were becoming intolerable by me . Why should I suffer for this guy ? I am also having some self-respect , some kind of dignity . I will show him his path, it's final. My didi's wedding day was also nearing the edge and the annual fest clashed against these family functions .
My didi Roma cladded in a 'Manish Malhotra' lehenga studded with gold and diamonds, along with the beautiful necklace and earrings from TBZ was looking stunning ready to be taken to the aisle. We, means I and Tashan met each other and greeted with embrace when I whispered, " Today you just wait and watch." He eyed me and in response I showed him to be in control, after all it was his brother's D-day and of course, my didi's. I deliberately stood beside him to show my first master act, I kicked the man standing before him and the man was Karan , Tashan's maternal cousin who reacted swiftly by kicking Tashan back so badly that he almost troppled down. I saw him from the side of my eye, yes....good buddy....now suffer these pains. They both almost got into a fight when the other members interrupted and asked them to stop all that nonsense. I was happy and then in our customs, during the wedding the girl's side are to offer the first food to their in-laws by their hands. I was waiting for this very occasion , everyone was done except my rival Tashan. "Tashan , it's the tradition. At least accept a little." and I came front to give him the kick of hotness with real spice in his life. I pushed a whole puri stuffed with chillies hot and strong." Aww....You betrayed me.... I will see you later." My didi's wedding was really wonderful and then there were tears of separation in our eyes as she sat in the flower decorated Mercedes. Yes, she was taking off and we waved goodbye to all our in-laws, mine was a special one with kicks and hot smell.
Next day I went to the college and everything was fine. Almost five days gone, but he was nowhere, I mean Tashan. Though I never appreciated him and never liked his attitude, but somehow I felt about him. "Sushant, where's Tashan? He is absent for the past week almost." Actually he's at home. I came to know that he was badly injured during your didi's wedding and so may be he will unable to make it to the fest." I was feeling guilty, but at the same time I was proud to make him realize his mistakes, how he complaint about me on false account? How he insulted me and then tried to enslave me? But I thought if he doesn't make to the annual fest, then the role would be given to someone else and again selection rounds to take place or what if the skit part would be cancelled? Tashan was actually a skilled artist and he was required for the fest. I felt something bad, I was unable to gulp down my throat at the very thought of his condition. The whole day, I was busy in his thoughts, of course for the first time in my life I felt like I have committed such a huge mistake for which there can't be any forgiveness. What should I do? Should I meet him personally and ask him to forgive me? But then Tashan will never forgive me for sure since the person who has always made me small in front of everyone, who has never shown a bit of love to me.... why will that person forgive me for doing him harm when he was innocent? Who's wrong- me or he? Innumerable questions, thousands and thousands of thoughts startred rotting on me, what should I do? The next day my mom waked me up saying,
"Tashan's dad called this morning. He wants to meet you at his place urgently." I was worried about his father's sudden desire to meet me. "See Samir. I don't know what happened that day but it's sure for now that Tashan will not be able to do that role of a lady...." and even then I didn't met Tashan.
"Kharbanda, now it's up to you. Do what you think right either take this role of Draupadi or bring Tashan back anyhow." The creative team was behind me and I was behind someone else , they were waiting for my reply and I chose the latter option. I went straight from college to the Sharma's home, today how I felt as if I am about to die and my pulse were rising abruptly. Roma opened the door and she was just going to embrace me when I went straight upwards; "Tashan...., Tashan...." I screamed. And I saw him laying on the bed in the last room, with bandage on his right leg and he was reading a novel.... it's "Ben Hur", our story seems the same only difference is that between me and Tashan exists enemity from the very beginning. I knocked the door, once, twice, thrice but no response and I turned only to hear, "Come in." I shivered looking straight into his eyes, there was absolute silence and then he spoke, "Please sit beside me, Samir." I was dumb, I just looked at him and he was saying something which I didn't hear, maybe the guilt in me kept me from speaking anything. Suddenly a firm shake on my shoulders alerted me, "What happen to you? You used to never be so silent and from the past thirty minutes I am speaking and you are just quiet." I started crying, tears poured like my favourite cartoon Nobita, they were enough to create a Ganga river. Tashan held me tight and took me into his arms, I was melting in his arms and he was just tight around me like a magnet. I told him about all that happened on the wedding day and who was the real culprit behind all this.
"Please leave me alone. You have hurt me, what I used to do was just jokes and some pranks. But you have responded well in your terms." The person who just a few moments before embraced me like a father is now abandoning me like a selfish boss fleeing with my hard-earned money . I went home, "Eat this cupcakes and this milk." But they were left as it is on my table for almost half the day and in this way , three more days were past and no calls, no messages nothing. On the Sunday, the college team called me to say "We have decided to enroll you as Draupadi. You know everything...." I kept on hold the call and it finished. No sooner had I kept the phone than came another call flashing " RIVAL " and I picked it up only to hear, "Meet me at Cafe Day , 5 P.M. sharp." I arrived at time but saw him sipping a glass of water, he's always before time. He pretended to be so busy that I was a bit confused for his calling me to this cosy place, did he hooked up at me to put me in custody or was he going to slap me on my pink cheeks or the worse he will kick me to revenge his situation. "Please take your seat. I didn't call you for forgiving you or punishing you as well, I just wanted to know whether I am supposed to take the role or are you fine with it ? I mean you go for the role if you wish." I was quiet and he was just looking at my face as if he will bite me. I was not going to take this role seriously so he is bound to accept the dictum. "O.K. So being quiet is an affirmative response to my question. So the matter ends here." And I shouted a loud " Noo...." even the other customers at the cafe were surprised.
He was furious in expression, he said, "That's right. Then I will make it to the role but there's one condition to be fulfilled." I was shocked that he is till considering me a slave perhaps and the condition came as "You need to accompany me at every occasion even outside the role whether I am in college or at a party. You should become my bff, not just a friend and forget all the things that occured between us before this day." I was in tears, I felt my throat got struck. I embraced him tightly and he held me close to his chest our hearts were almost touching. We were ready to start our rehearsals from the next evening. I and Tashan were busy almost all night on the phone regarding all the stuff related to the different roles, the costumes and our fun moments, next day we were at his home. He was almost making himself look as Draupadi with the cosmetics,particularly the Lakme lipstick. His mother walked into the room just as he was about apply her new lipstick.She was startled. He was startled. "What are you doing with my lipstick? It's new...I haven't used it so far. Couldn't you have waited?" He smiled and handed it back to her." I forgot to tell you...I am playing Draupadi in our college production...rehearsals start this evening." I and the dashing Tashan went to the school auditorium and started our act. Slowly and steadily, our steps moved in tune with the dialogues.
The day came for which we were waiting so long, he was a little nervous but I assured him that everything will be right. During the play, he acted so fabulously that I joked post-performance that even real Draupadi will be surprised to see the duplicate one. Everyone including parents of both sides, Roma didi and Rahul, other audience were congratulating the play members. Finally at the end when the participants were asked to speak a few words on their experience when Tashan said,"Today what I have done here on the stage is not because of my skills or talent, but all this is my friend Samir's love and loyalty towards our friendship that is immoral . I love you Samir, I love you..." and I replied with the same. I and Tashan embraced each other, thus our friendship became a long-lasting one.