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The Walk Away

The Walk Away

14 mins
242


            

The evening fell on the skyscrapers. The sky got painted with a shade of tangerine and slowly the sun started fading at the skyline. Janvi opened the enormous French door of her paint house apartment and stepped out to the balcony to get drenched in the waning rays of the sun. She spread herself leisurely on the exquisite armchair at the south end of the balcony. Her maid came to the balcony holding a tray in her hand carrying a delicate Sadler Barrel teapot filled with fine Darjeeling tea accompanied with two low fiber handmade cookies. She placed the tray on the white tea table beside the armchair and poured the liquid gold from the pot. Janvi barely looked at the activities being performed beside her. Her eyes kept gazing the horizon slowly turning into violet. In a very polite voice the maid remained her of the dinner she needs to attain in Taj on the second half of the evening, another pointless gathering of enormously rich women in name of charity but mostly to flaunt their new jewelers and designer outfits and handbags. Janvi instantaneously felt weariness to her bones. The remembrance of all those faces painted with expensive makeup and fake smile gave her a crunch in the stomach. Over all these years she also mastered the art of flaunting her exorbitant possessions in a very worldly way but somehow it doesn’t bring her pleasure anymore.


Rohit her multimillionaire husband was on the second month of his tour to England. Their company had to sign a very important export deal with a British farm which would fetch them another little fortune as always. More money, more power, more, more, more would get added to everything. And even more to the lonely nights she had to spend tossing on her bed.


Janvi sipped the cup of the black Darjeeling tea just a couple of times and left the rest beside. She flipped her Facebook page on her iPhone X reluctantly and gazed through the post almost not noticing anything particular on them. The sky outside turned dark and the usual unsettling feeling grew back inside her chest. This baffling depression was becoming an inextricable part of her now. She pulled herself off the chair and trudged to the washroom. The heavy lights of the room illuminate her face to the extensive mirror and a worn out middle age face looked back at her. Janvi swallowed some off her antidepressant pills and stood under the running shower with all her clothes still on. The water eventually permeated to all the curves of her body and soaked her up completely. Janvi slowly undressed herself and let the water run all over her. The touch of the drizzling flow made the tip of her bosom sensitive and her body arch with the unsatisfied desire of months. Janvi felt the wetness flow out between her legs and tears bust out hard on her cheeks getting merged with the water at once. She lay on the floor underneath the shower folding her both legs to her chest and groan for a long time with helpless vexation.


She didn’t remember how long she had been there like that in acute dejection. The sudden ring of her cell phone brought her back to senses. Janvi slowly got up and wrapped the bathrobe around. With a slow but steady voice she answered the phone.

Hello!!

Hey! It’s Neha. You are coming to the dinner tonight right?

Janvi didn’t know what to say she had the least energy to waste on that stupid dinner. But yet again what is there for her at home!! Another forlorn evening in front of the television, frustrating!!

“Ya I am coming” she replied almost as an afterthought. 

That’s good, I can pick you up if you wish.

Janvi thanked her and assured she will be there by herself.


Janvi kept the phone down and looked at the clock. The hour hand had just crossed seven. She opened the wardrobe and stood in front of it. Her eyes drifted from one dress to another but nothing seemed to appeal her much. So she chose a sari blankly, an elegant black kanjivaram with handwork in the borders. She draped the sari casually and left her hair untied. The black color of the sari wrapped around her creamy skin arraying hypnotizing beauty. She hardly wore any makeup and pampered herself with a tinge of French perfume. She looked at the mirror. Yes, her beauty was still as breathtaking as it used to be years ago. Time couldn’t make its mark on her yet.


Janvi stepped out of the Mercedes and walked through the lavish lobby of Taj Land’s End. As always she felt several eyes glued to her and revolving with her flow. The feeling of being the Center of the show uplifted her mood as always and the sense of pride unfailingly overpowered her persona. On her way to one of the six restaurants the Property had Janvi paused in front of a sign board which stood in the way. It said, “All India poetic associations’ yearly conference and new book launch of the internationally renowned poet Dr. Dhruva Singhal. Dhruva Singhal the name turned her head to a spin. Could it be for real!!! She read the board again to locate the venue of the conference and skedaddle to the banquet hall. The hall was partly dark accommodating a large no of people inside it. On the stage a fairly aged person was giving a speech on the latest achievements of Indian poets in world literature. Janvi stood beside the entrance door for a while; she felt a little lost as she had no invitation to the event. But then there are very less people on the earth who gets offended by the presence of a woman as beautiful as her. She slowly walked to a table and sat on an empty chair. There were others but of course none of them was idiot enough to ask her to show a valid invitation before occupying the sit. The program went on and on with a number of activities one after another. Janvi sat in the same position throughout the time. The unfathomable zeal inside her wouldn’t let her budge for a second.


 It might have been an aeon before the conference finally came to the point which Janvi was waiting for. Dr Dhruva Shinghal was invited on stage for his new international poetry book launch. The overwhelming response of the audience clearly exhibited the fact that Dr Dhruva Shinghal was a well-read poet of the time. It had been a long when Janvi last read his poetry or for that matter any poetry at all.

The anchor announced “Ladies and Gentlemen With a great round of applause please invite on stage the internationally renounced poet Dr Dhruva Shinghal”. The man appeared on the stage was a well-built six feet with whitish skin. The loose curls of his hairs jumped out covering a brief part of his forehead and his deep chestnut eyes still made him look as handsome as he was 9 years back. Janvi thought, apart from a little touch of white in the hair the man didn’t change a bit in all these years, whereas it could be said without doubt that the little grey on his hair is making his personality even more attractive than before. Janvi slowly moved towards the stage, Crossing all those round table sitting arrangements spread over the hall. She stopped when she was fairly close to the stage and stood at the side, away from the direct vision of the stage. Dr Dhruva was standing on the stage holding his new book in his hand. Another person was narrating his achievements in the world of international literature. Janvi gazed at Dhruva. Her Dhruva, the most handsome boy of the university, the boy which every girl had a crush on, the boy whose academic excellence was even admired by the professors of the department of literature. The boy who was intensely in love with her and the boy she was with love too.


The event came to its end and Janvi moved closer to the edge of the stage. Dhruva was about to approach the stairs to get down when his eyes caught sight of Janvi. His steps froze and his eyes got locked on her. Janvi smiled at him and he smiled back. Dhruva got down the stage and plod to Janvi. The smile on his lips widened and so it has for Janvi’s.


 “How are you?” Janvi asked

“Unscathed in one piece” The answer jolt Janvi a little as the words echoed from the past. This time she smiled spontaneously just as she used to long ago.


Dhruva gazed at the beautiful face which rose from the haze of his past with such unexpected appearance. She was still as alluring as she was years back he thought. Her creamy skin was still impeccably flawless and her long luxuriant hair had still the ability to escalate her charm even more. Her dark brown eyes still had the charisma to convey the message untold and her lips could still give you a pinch in your heart. But there was something about the beauty which was strangely fragile something very vulnerable which was not present on that juvenile face he used to know years back.

In a silvery voice Dhruva said “it’s great to see you Janvi. Let’s have a cup of coffee.”

Janvi hold her smile on her lips and nodded joyously.


They took a corner table of the coffee shop in the same property. Both face beaming with joy of this beautiful serendipity.

So how is life? Dhruva asked in a contained yet composed voice.

“Great!” Janvi answered playing with her nails. Laying her both elbows on the table she leaned a little forward.

After a little hesitation, Janvi said, “it is quite fascinating to see you being a success in world of poetry Dhruv. You achieved your dream.”

 “Ahh! It’s nothing. Just a hobby, you know that.”


“Yes it was a hobby, but I am glad you took it seriously and made a success of it.”

“I really still don’t figure out what is the definition of success!” Dhruva said.

“A poet and also a philosopher too!!” Janvi grinned at him with fake scorn.

“Isn’t it a very apparent upshot for a broken heart like me?” Dhruva utters the words in spontaneous ease without any kind of significance in his voice.

But Janvi’s face displayed the recognition of the sarcasm hidden in it.

Forget it. Just tell me how come you are in the poetic conference? Have you started writing now days? Dhruva changed the topic intelligently.

“Oh! no no, I was just here for a fund raising dinner for homeless children. I am a part of an organization which helps to raise funds to donate different the NGOs.”

“Wow now that’s something which one could call fascinating.” Dhruva said spreading his smile wider.

“Nothing much just a few bunch of bored house wife trying to make life little bit more useful.”

“Height of modesty jaan....I mean Janvi. Dhruva corrected himself as soon as the word slipped out from his lips.”

Janvi looked deep into Dhruva’s eyes. The name “jaan” kept ringing inside her head, the name which used to get butterflies inside her stomach. The memories of the long gone feelings buzzed in back to her cognizance.

“I am sorry Dhruv” she said in an almost inaudible voice but it reached to its destination righteously.

Dhruva didn’t say a word but his eyes gazed deep into Janvi’s and her eyes flooded abruptly.

Tears rolled down her cheek and she turned her face away in helpless embarrassment. She had a very little idea why she was crying. Was it that she was repenting now for what she did nine years back or it was just that she is still in love with this man!! The answer was unknown.

“Janvi please hold yourself, I have no grievance against you anymore.” Dhruva said gently stretching his hands out to hold hers. Janvi couldn’t say anything her mind drifted far away to the fading flakes of the past to that one rainy morning when they both were walking side by side under a single umbrella through the thick canopy of full bloomed Gulmohar trees. The road beneath their feet had been turned to scarlet with the endless shading of it’s fiery petals.


“But why jaan? Why?” Dhruva’s voice sounded almost as a whimper.

“Because life is not the way it is in your poems Dhruv. Life needs us to be practical.”

“What practical jaan? I am just asking for only two years. I promise you, by then I will make myself competent enough to stand in front of your father and ask for your hand.”

“But what would I say to my father now? The man he want me to get married with is a millionaire Dhruv. He is more eligible than my father could ever imagine of anybody being my husband. What should I say to him? That I love a boy who is still struggling which his research papers?”

“I am not struggling with my papers jaan I just need to do more research to get to my desired conclusion. I just need time but that doesn’t show I am incompetent dose it?”

“I am not saying that you are incompetent Dhruv. I know you have a great future waiting but I don’t have the heart to cause pain to my Dad.”

“So you will cause pain to me?”

“Dhruva please try to understand.”

“Jaan all I ever asked for is you. You are the inspiration of my life and I love you with all my heart. My every thought revolves around you my whole life revolves around you jaan . You are there in every word that unfolds my mind, you are my poetry you are my love jaan.”

“I know Dhruv but things won’t be like this forever. All your emotions fountaining today will eventually dry up and life will swap to a curse between the massive crunches of economy.”

“Love will never let that happen. I will always beloving you as I do today, nothing absolutely nothing will ever change about my love jaan.”

“Sorry Dhruv but you are too romantic to forseek the future. Love is not enough to run a happy life. Anyway I can’t do that to my father. I am his only child and I have the responsibility to fetch him peace I am sorry Dhruv I can’t give you what you want.”


The night unfurled its gloom on the corner table of the silent coffee shop. The two coffee cups turned cold still remaining untouched. Janvi wiped the tears off her cheek and slowly looked at Dhruva. He still had his gaze emerged on her. The unuttered language of his kind eyes showered nothing but solace to her heart. This was what life should have been. This was what it has always meant to be. Janvi loathed herself now with immense despair. How could she!!! How could she do that to this man who loved her so deeply!!! And what on earth she achieved by causing him such unforgivable pain!!! A lonely loveless life!! An Endless wait for a man who care about nothing but his own success!! Why she turned Dhruva down at that point of life!! Was that only because she cared for her father too much or it was more than that? It was about her own acquisitiveness!! Her own longing for that life what any woman of her status would die for!! Was that the truth which she kept untold to the world and even to herself till date?

“Janvi!!!” The soft voice drew her back. “Are you ok ?”

“Yes she said with a pale smile. It is just that I am really happy to see you Dhruv after such a long time.”

“Yes me too said Dhruva. There was a profound intensity in his voice. Intensity more concerned about her comfort than any other importance.”

“Things were beautiful with you Dhruv. The time we spent together was the best of my life. God will never forgive me for what I did to you but can you forgive me Dhruv? Her words were immersed in such genuine plead that it could have melted a mountain. The pain was so eminent in her tone that it could have moist the most arid heart of all.”

“I have forgiven you long ago Janvi. I told you I have nothing against you anymore. Life is too short to hold on bitterness Janvi. Life is better lived with love than with hatred.”

“I am so trivial in front of your eminence Dhruv. I wish everyone could have a heart as great as you.”

“Come on” said Dhruv with a true gentleness in his smile.

“Can we meet sometimes Dhruv just for the old time shake? I know I have no right to ask you that but it is so beautiful to be with you Dhruv! I don’t remember when I was last so happy as I am now!”

“Sure why not? It is always beautiful to be with old friends and for that friendship of ours you need to be present on the biggest day of my life. I am getting married Janvi on the 10th of next month. Do you remember Raksha from our batch! She is the one who had been with me in all my ups and downs throughout these years. It will be an absolute bliss to have you with us on that very special day of ours.”




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