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Lipsa Mohanty

Romance Classics


4.1  

Lipsa Mohanty

Romance Classics


U, Me & The Song

U, Me & The Song

33 mins 860 33 mins 860

Love is a beautiful word and a wonderful feeling!! Being in love is even more delightful!! It's always a pleasure to have fallen in love atleast once in life….but life becomes all the more glorious and marvy when the person you love, loves you back with all endearment and passion.

 

 

PART I

 

The magnificent college building with it's name shining in big bold alphabets, stood tall in the center with beautifully manicured green lawns sprawled along both sides of the cement structure making the view charming and delightful. A row of deodar trees edged the huge built giving out a hue of greenery and shade to the place. On both sides, there was space for car parking and most of the cars occupying the place were white in colour. The lush green lawns were neatly lined by antiquated street lamps which stood guarding the campus securely. The entire area was margined with lofty boundaries, as if to prevent the students from sneaking out at nights. (Little did they know that "love and mischief always find their way out"). 

 

The right corner nested the college cafeteria which was the most chilled out place in the entire campus and was beaming with students, patients and professors. The main building was surrounded by many small edifices which resembled one another and denoted the various wings of the college. The left side of this main structure was occupied by a 100 bedded multi-speciality hospital. Boys and girls, men and women, old and young..trudged in and out of the hospital. The nurses and ward boys, dressed in blue uniform could be seen bringing patients on wheel-chairs and stretchers in and out of the hospital. The relatives of those sick rushed hurriedly from one department to other and those who had recovered seemed busy with the discharge formalities.

 

AMAYRA

 

It was the final year and exams were a month away. As Amayra sat sipping her coffee in the cafeteria, she recalled her first day when she had joined the college and how this institution had helped her shape up into a mature, independent and confident human-being. Even today, the administration wing had the same hustle-bustle of freshers who were to start on the path to become a savior of human lives! Amayra wondered how time had flied and how she had found the purpose of her life in this college. She was lost in her thoughts when someone from behind tapped her shoulder. 

 

"Amayra, what are you doing here? I thought you went to talk to Arjun". It was Amayra's best friend and roommate Tanvi. They had been together since the first year. 

 

"No, I had called him, but he is busy so he said he would see me later".

 

Tanvi was disappointed and sighed, "Oh, ok. I thought atleast today you would finally tell him how you feel for him. You have been in love with him since third year and he has no idea. He ought to know this dear. This time, please speak your heart out and let him know how you feel".

 

Amayra still looking into her coffee and playing with the stirrer replied, "I am not sure Tanvi, how would he react. I mean, we have been such good friends for so long and now when I go and tell him that I have fallen for him, I don't know what would he say. I just don't want to lose him".

 

"It is ok Ammu (as Tanvi called her), why are you being so pessimistic?. He likes you and cares for you so much. I am sure he too has feelings for you and is just scared to tell you. You two make such a great couple. Don't overthink. Just go and pour your heart out. Everything will be good".

 

Amayra's lips curved into a small smile as her face had again lit up with hope.

 

ARJUN

 

Aunty ki dukaan (as the students fondly called it) was beamingwith people, since evenings were the most busiest time of the day. Chhotu was running with his plate of samosas and chai to attend to his customers. And there in one corner, a guy sat among the crowd playing his guitar and humming. A perfectly chiseled face with a sharp nose and a faint stubble, brown mesmerizing eyes and lips syncing with the notes on his guitar, Arjun sat in his tattered jeans and a black t-shirt with his left fingers tuning the keys and his right hand tip tapping on the strings. As soon as he finished playing, his friends applauded him with claps.

 

"Come Arjun, let's go for a smoke", said Nishaant.

 

No, you guys carry on. I have to go and meet Amayra. She must be waiting, said Arjun while starting his bike.

 

A few minutes later, Amayra's cellphone popped up a message, "Hi, Sam's café in 15 minutes?". It was Arjun. Amayra quickly typed a "yes" and went to get ready. She donned a blue jeans and a peach cold shoulder top and paired them with simple pearl studs and a rose pink lip gloss. Amayra had left her hair open which formed little curls at her shoulder. One last time she looked into the mirror, threw on her favourite sling bag, slipped into her nude ballerina flats and closed the door behind her.

 

THE PROPOSAL

 

As Amayra walked out of the hostel, she admired the orange evening sky which had just bid farewell to the sun and was starting to welcome the stars. The birds flocked home togetherand their chirping mingled with the noise of students who still crowded "aunty ki dukaan". It took Amayra ten minutes to reach the café. Arjun was already there, sitting in one of the wrought iron chairs, resting his hand on the round green iron table and looking into his mobile. Amayra pulled out the chair and sat opposite to him. Arjun acknowledged her with a hearty smile which formed two sweet dimples on his cheeks.

 

Arjun: Hey, what you want to order? Same? Cheese maggi and chai?

 

Amayra: ya.

 

Arjun waived to the waiter and placed the order.

 

Arjun: I am so tensed. Exams are in a month and I just don't know where to start from. Thankfully I have your notes, or else only God could have saved me. You tell me, "what happened? You said you wanted to talk about something?"

 

Amayra: yes, actually I have been wanting to talk about this since a long time. But I could not muster up the courage to speak about it. 

 

Amayra had to stop her conversation midway as the waiter put the steaming hot cheesy maggi and the small earthen cups of chai on the table.

 

Arjun spoke as he twisted his fork circularly to wrap the noodle strands around it, "Amayra, you were saying something na..!", Arjun said slurping in his first bite of the cheesy delicacy.

 

Amayra: "Arjun, you remember our third year annual culturals?, where you had played "dil diyan gallan"?

 

Arjun nodded his head while sipping his chai.

 

Amayra: "The song you played melted my heart and I fell in love with you. The way your fingers danced on your guitar in sync with your lips when you sang it, I just could not take my eyes off you. The rhythm of your music matched the rhythm of my heartbeats. Cupid struck, and I opened the doors of my heart which went and found it's way to your heart. As if it was destined, eventually we became friends and then very close friends. I adore you a lot, the way you care for me, the way you get angry on me, and all the times that you make me fall in love with you again with your sweet little gestures. Any girl would be privileged to have you in her life. I have always been in love with you Arjun, right from the night of the concert. But I could never say it to you. Days from now, we would have our final exams and then I don't even know if I would be continuing my internship from here. With lot of courage I decided to open my heart infront of you today".

 

"I love you Arjun! And I will love you till eternity!"

 

All this while, Amayra's heart had been pacing at rocket speed and she had looked down into the small earthen cup, the tea in which had become cold and lost its taste by now.

 

When she finally looked up, Arjun was dumbstruck and looking at her in complete awe.

 

Arjun cleared his throat before searching for the correct words, "Amayra! you are my best friend and really very special. But to be honest, I have never thought about you in that way. I am not even able to register what all you said. It's really very difficult for me and moreover, love is not my cup of tea. I have had my share of relationship and a big lesson in the past". Arjun paused a little and then added, "look Amayra, I don't want to lose you because you are too dear to me. Let's not complicate this and please be the way we are now". 

 

Amayra's eyes had moistened up and her otherwise bubbly face had now turned pale. 

 

Before Arjun could say anything else, Amayra stood up, took her bag and turned to leave, "I will see you later Arjun!".

 

Arjun called out to her and tried to stop her, but it was late, Amayra had already left the café.

 

As Amayra walked back to her hostel, the night sky had descended and the cloud had enshroud the stars, making the sky dark and scary. Tears kept flowing as Amayra footsteps tiptoed in the night.

 

AMAYRA

 

Tanvi was busy writing notes when Amayra entered the room. One look at her and she knew what must have happened at the café. Amayra sat on the chair, buried her face in her hands and cried. Tanvi quickly went and hugged her trying to pacify her friend.

 

Tanvi: "It's ok Ammu, don't worry. Everything will be fine". 

 

Amayra: "It's over Tanu, I lost the love of my life. He doesn't love me Tanu, I am just a friend for him and he doesn't want to complicate this. I had dreamt of a life with him Tanu, now all my dreams are shattered into pieces and I can't even put them back together. My fairy tale love story ended even before it started", she said in between her sobs.

 

Tanvi: "Ammu, here have little water first, please. stop crying.We will talk about it and figure out something".

 

Tanvi had held Amayra close to her all this while, trying hard to control her own tears. She was heartbroken seeing her best friend's plight.

 

 

That entire night, while Amayra lay wide awake on her bed, silent tears rolling down her cheeks; Arjun on the other hand tossed and turned on his bed as sleep evaded him too. Tired of trying to sleep, he went out of his room for a stroll. Amayra's words kept resonating in his ears and pictures from the past kept flashing in his mind. He recalled everything from their first meeting to how they became so close friends.

The next morning Amayra woke up with sunken eyes. As she splashed cold water on her face, all the happening from last evening came back into her mind, making her sad again. She quickly took a shower and got ready. Thankfully the classes had been suspended and the students were given prep leave for the final exams. 

 

When Tanvi entered the room, Amayra was lost in her thoughts while the book lay open infront of her. 

 

Tanvi: "Ammu, how are you feeling? How is your headache now? Here, have this sandwich and juice. I knew you would not come to the cafeteria for breakfast, so I got it packed. Please have it".

 

Amayra: "I am not hungry. Please keep it, I will have it later". 

 

A week had passed and Amayra's mood had not changed a bit. Every night she cried to sleep and the entire day she would be completely immersed in her own world without caring for what was happening around her. She ate less and hardly slept. Tanvi was very hurt to see her friend's condition. When she could not take it anymore, she decided to jolt back Amayra to the reality.

 

Tanvi: Amayra, now it's enough, I know you are hurt, you are broken and sad, but you just can't sit like this and keep sulking. We have got our exams in less than a month and you have just not opened your books. All the accolades and the distinctions that you have been getting since first would mean nothing if you don't give your last shot the best. You have to get up and start studying. Next time if I see you crying, I am going to call aunty and tell her everything.

 

Silent tears kept flowing from Amayra's eyes, wetting her cheeks. She looked at her friend in between her tears and managed a faint smile.

 

ARJUN

 

Since that evening at the café, even Arjun had been disturbed. He had lost his best friend and now he had nobody to share his everyday happenings with. After that evening, Arjun had tried calling Amayra, but his calls were never answered. He had even tried to talk to Tanvi, who in turn had told him to give Amayra some time. Now all he could do was reminisce their friendship.

 

Nishaant, Arjun's roommate had been observing him all these days. He had never seen Arjun so upset and helpless. Like Amayra and Tanvi, even Arjun and Nishaant shared a very good bond. But Arjun had not told anything to him about this episode. Nishaant, being smart enough had guessed that something might have happened between Arjun and Amayra.

 

Later that night, when Arjun went for a stroll, Nishaant too accompanied him. They both walked up to the garden which was centred in the heart of the campus. The grass in the lawn was wet after the rains and the deodar leaves swayed to the gentle breeze that was blowing, making it a pleasant night. The sky had cleared and the moon shone with its full glory and the stars danced in it's lustre. Arjun and Nishaant went up to a bench and sat there. An antique lamp-post stood tall over the bench making it well illuminated.

 

When Arjun did not say anything even after sitting there for five minutes, Nishaant thought to initiate the convo.

 

Nishaant: "Arjun, what's wrong with you? I have been observing you since few days. You seem to be disturbed". 

 

Arjun: "Nothing. It's just that me and Amayra are not talking".

 

Nishaant: "Oh! Why so? You guys fought over something? And is that it? I mean you are so perturbed just over a small fight?"

 

After Arjun narrated the complete scene at the café, both fell silent, their silence occasionally interrupted by the chirping of the crickets and the croaking of the frogs.

 

A while later, Nishaant turned to his friend: Arjun, are you sure that she is just a friend for you? And nothing more than that? I always thought that you loved her. The way she affects you and the way you have been so protective and possessive about her doesn't imply "just friends". Please don't mind me saying this, but are you scared to accept your feelings for her because of your past relationship? Are those trust issues dithering you to love her back?

 

Arjun was sombre and silent. He did not know what to answer. May be his friend was right. May be, his past scars had not healed yet and he was not ready for fresh wounds. May be all this needed time.

 

As Arjun lay on his bed, Nishaant's word echoed in his ears. May be his friend had unknowingly or knowingly hit the right chord. But things had turned too worse at this moment. Amayra had not returned even a single call. And she had not even greeted him or looked at him when they crossed their ways in the library. Arjun was heartbroken to see Amayra so sad and distressed. He had urged to go and hug her tight and make things fine between them but in vain.

 

As time rolled, Arjun and Amayra got busy preparing for their final exams. Soon it was the day when they had their first paper. Arjun had so much wanted to wish Amayra luck but his luck did not favour him to do that. The theory papers were over and it was time for their practicals. Days just flew and at last students could be seen rejoicing and heaving a sigh of relef as they walked out if the practical hall. The tryst with MBBS was finally over and an adventurous journey was yet to start.

 

Now the exams being over, the boys and girls' hostel started to become deserted as students started leaving for their respective homes, some permanently and some only to return for the internship programme.

 

As Tanvi helped Amayra pack her stuff, she asked her, "Would you be coming back for the internship?"

 

Amayra: "I am not sure Tanu. But I am surely going to miss you a lot. Please take care of yourself and please be in touch". 

 

The best friends hugged each other and let their emotions melt away in their tears. Parting is difficult! It indeed is!

 

PART II

 

AMAYRA

 

Even Arjun and Tanvi had left for their respective hometown, two days after Amayra's departure. During the holidays, Tanvi and Amayra spoke to each other almost everyday. Amayra was still not sure about her internship programme and she had shared this with her best friend. The evening was badly etched in Amayra's memories and she missed Arjun a lot. She would often type a message for Arjun and then delete it. She would look at their pictures and visualize all the beautiful moments they had spent. Every morning she woke up and checked her cellphone for Arjun's call and messages. She would look at his WhatsApp profile picture everyday and go through his facebook newsfeed. Eventually she had started blaming herself for losing him. One day while talking to Tanvi, she had sounded very disturbed.

 

Tanvi: "What's the matter Ammu? Why are you sounding so low?"

 

Amayra: "You know what, that evening I should not have said all that to Arjun. I should have kept my feelings to myself. I spoiled our friendship too. And now I am missing him a lot. And that evening's fiasco has created such a void that, I don't even know how to talk to him".

 

Tanvi: "I don't agree to this Ammu. I feel you did nothing wrong in expressing your love, but yes you should have atleast answered his calls and talked to him once after that. I know you were too disheartened but may be before you left for Bhopal, you could have called him. Things would have been in a better shape. Distance in relationships is easy to create but difficult to erase. Now don't be upset and if you feel like, then just call him. May be, everything will just fall into place and you will get your friend back".

 

Amayra: "Thanks Tanu, I am feeling so relieved now. You take care and say hello to aunty".

 

As days aged into weeks, Amayra missed Arjun more and more, but she had decided to talk to him once she was back in Mumbai. In the meanwhile, her dad had agreed to her continuing the internship programme from Mumbai.

 

ARJUN

 

While the girl from Bhopal missed her most dear friend, the boy from New Delhi equally missed his best friend. Though Arjun was with family and friends, still Amayra crossed his mind every minute. Her absence had made him realize what she meant to him. That late night bench conversation with Nishaant had forced him to re-think about the entire scenario. His past heartbreak which had been balking him to accept her had gradually made way for his present. And when his mind and his heart had fought making it difficult for him to decide, he finally decided to listen to his heart and give love a second chance. Acceptance had dawned on him that he too was in love with Amayra and it was not just friendship. And Arjun had been wanting to say this to her, but he too decided to give her a surprise and propose her once he was back in Mumbai. Tanvi had already shared about Amayra's internship news with him so his exhilaration knew no bounds. The paintbrush of his thoughts had already painted that picture perfect proposal in his mind and all he waited for, was to see it happen.

MUMBAI

 

The final year results were announced and; Arjun, Amayra and Tanvi had passed with flying colours. The hostels were teeming with the students who had returned to continue with their internship. Arjun and Tanvi had come back four days before Amayra was supposed to arrive. While at home, Arjun and called up Tanvi and asked her to help him plan the surprise. Tanvi too had been very excited and happy for her friend.

The day Amayra was to reach, Arjun and Tanvi were busy decorating the room. There were red heart shaped balloons on all the three walls. The fourth wall was decked up with all of their pictures hanging from brightly shining string lights. Little stars hung from the windows filling the room with the tingling sound they made when they touched each other. A beauteous chikankari dupatta had been used as the table cloth and the study table had been margined with small luminous battery candles. A large bouquet of red roses graced the center of the table coupled with Amayra's favorite Ferrero Rochers and a diary which was wrapped in white paper which had red little hearts on it. Arjun had always had the habit of writing down everything in his diary, though he did not get much time when in hostel, still he managed to scribble down the daily instances, specially those involving Amayra. Later during the holidays, he had penned down everything beautifully and today, he wanted to give it to her knowing how Amayra loved reading. The room wore a bridal look and Arjun and Tanvi stood there smiling and happy with their efforts. There was still time for Amayra's flight to land, so Arjun sneaked back to his hostel. 

 

After an hour, when Tanvi tried Amayra's phone, she picked up on the second ring. "Hi Tanu, I just landed. Will see you in an hour".

 

THREE HOURS LATER

 

It had been more than three hours and Amayra had not reached the hostel. Arjun and Tanvi had been impatiently waiting for her. They had tried calling her but her phone was not reachable. Assuming that she might have been stuck in traffic and run out of battery, they awaited her arrival. When after half an hour more, there was no call or message from Amayra, they got concerned. Tanvi tried Amayra's number repeatedly but everytime it was not reachable. All kind of scary thoughts crossed their mind which was evident on their faces. As they were sitting too tensed, deciding to go to the airport, suddenly Tanvi's phone rang. She hurriedly picked it up but before she could say anything, the lady on the other side spoke and that's when Tanvi realized it was not Amayra's voice. Five minutes later, when Tanvi cut the call, her face had become pale and she could barely speak. Arjun had been waiting impatiently all this while. When he asked her about Amayra, Tanvi could only manage to mumble "she is at the hospital, we need to go".

 

When Arjun and Tanvi reached the hospital, Amayra was still in the OR. The wait outside seemed endless. Fear and grief had gripped Arjun's face and Tanvi was too shocked to say anything. She just sat outside the OR lifeless. Finally when the surgeon came out of the OR, Arjun rushed to him, "Doctor, how is Amayra? What happened to her?"

 

Doctor: "Amayra had a brain stroke. We have removed the clot but I am sorry, she slipped into a coma. We will have to monitor her condition for a few hours till she is stable", and he went away consoling Arjun.

 

In between all this, Arjun and Tanvi had forgot to notice that a lady and a gentleman were also waiting outside the OR where Amayra had been operated on. After the doctor had left, the lady came over to Tanvi and handed her Amayra's belongings. 

 

Lady: Hi, I am Shreya, from the airport ground staff. Your friend suddenly collapsed at the airport and we rushed her here. I hope she gets better soon. Tanvi and Arjun thanked them for helping their friend, after which the lady and her colleague left.

 

Arjun had not yet been able to sink in all that had happened in such a short span of time. He just stood silently leaning onto the hospital wall immersed in his thoughts when the sqeaking of the wheels brought him back to the present. Infront of him, lay his best friend, the love of his life, wrapped in a white sheet, her face pallid and numerous tubes attached to her body. The bubbly and cheerful girl who was always full of hope and happiness now lay lustreless and apathetic.

 

The ward boy stopped the gurney and turned to Arjun, "we are taking her to the ICU. You can meet her during the visiting hours". And then he rolled the gurney and took a right turn, till Arjun could not see him anymore. Arjun and Tanvi were too shaken to react at anything. The visiting hours had ended and all they could do was to wait for the next morning. Arjun had wanted to stay at the hospital till he met Amayra once but Tanvi somehow persuaded him to go back. But before leaving, Arjun went to the ICU and peeped in through the glass. Amayra lay as silent as the room, the silence being occasionally interrupted by the beeping of the monitors. Not being able to see her in so much pain he turned and left.

 

 

After completing the formalities in the hospital, Tanvi and Arjun left for the hostel. 

 

 

When Tanvi unlocked her room, the balloons and the candles took her back to that evening, how excited they had been to surprise Amayra, and now everything had suddenly taken a drastic turn. The flowers lay shriveled on the table depicting her agony. Tanvi could not hold herself any longer and she cried and cried her heart out. Arjun also had been too anguished to sleep even for a minute. He just waited for the morning sun, so that he could rush to the hospital and be with Amayra.

 

A NEW MORNING 

 

Amayra's parents and her aunt who stayed there in Mumbai had already arrived when Arjun and Tanvi reached the hospital. Tanvi went and hugged Amayra's mom and cried, while Amayra's dad had a pensive look and hardly spoke when Arjun greeted him. Arjun excused himself and went to the doctor to check on Amayra's progress. When Arjun came back to the ICU, Tanvi had taken Amayra's parents to the hospital cafeteria, assuming Arjun needed some time with Amayra. Arjun slowly opened the ICU door, went inside, pulled out the stool and sat beside Amayra's bed. His eyes gleaming with little tear droplets, very carefully he took her palm in his hands and caressed it softly.

 

"I know Amayra, you can hear me. Please get up dear, I am missing you a lot. I need my best friend back, I am too lonely. I know you were upset with me, but this is not the way to punish me. Please get up and talk to me and I promise, I will never let you be sad again. You know how stupid I am, I should have never let you go that evening. Don't do this to me dear. You have to talk to me, argue with me, fight with me. You can't just lie down silently. You have to open your eyes, so that we can make new memories. Shout at me Amayra for always making you wait, scold me for smoking, get angry at me for bunking classes, but please talk to me". Arjun put back her hand gently and wiped his tears when he heard a faint knock at the door. When Arjun looked up, Amayra's parents accompanied by Tanvi entered the ICU. Arjun got up and stood aside, and went out a few seconds later.

 

Arjun and Tanvi stayed with Amayra till the time the hospital allowed them. It had become a routine for them now. Nothing else seemed to interest them or divert their attention. And, the only time Arjun talked was when he would be with Amayra in the ICU, otherwise he either avoided talking to anyone or talked in affirmative and negative. Nishaant had tried a lot to talk to him, but in vain. Now neither did he go out to smoke, nor played the guitar. He would just sit in his room and pen down the events in his diary. His life had completely changed and the only thing that bothered him was Amayra. He prayed for her every night before sleeping and every morning after getting up. He missed her miserably and sometimes felt as if his heart would explode because of the pain that he was carrying inside.

 

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. It had been 2 months and there had not been much improvement in her condition. Arjun had missed his internship stating medical reasons while Tanvi started with hers and she would now get time only in the evenings. Amayra's parents had to urgently go back, since her granny had taken very sick. This gave Arjun a lot of time to be with Amayra. He would talk to her every day, reliving the memories; read out little stories to her (Amayra was very fond of reading romantic novels), tell her what was happening in the hostel, how Tanvi had started her internship and how he was waiting to start his with her. On few occasions, Arjun could not help, but cry inconsolably feeling helpless.

 

One morning when Arjun reached the hospital, he saw the doctor checking on Amayra. Suspecting something was wrong, he hurriedly went up to him and asked, "What happened? Is everything fine?"

 

"Yes, yes, everything is fine, don't worry. Infact Amayra is showing positive signs of improvement, so we can hope for the best. The doctor tapped Arjun's shoulder and went out.

 

After a long time, Arjun's lips had finally curved into a smile. He looked lovingly at Amayra and waited for the nurse to leave. Once she went, he sat beside Amayra and patted her forehead. 

 

"I knew Ammu, you would fight this also. Please give in a little more effort dear. Just open your eyes Amayra, you can see me right here, waiting for you. Please get up so that I can fold you in my arms and not let anything or anyone cause you any harm. I want you to be with me in each and every moment of my life. I want to go places with you. I want to walk on the sands holding your hand, barefoot, the waves touching our feet. I want to lie on the beach by your side and watch the stars. I want to pull your cheeks and when you cringe, I want to capture that moment in my heart forever!"

 

When it was time to leave, Arjun softly kissed her on the forehead and left. He later called Tanvi to share the good news about Amayra's health. Tanvi too was exhilarated when she heard this.

 

THE BIRTHDAY

 

Now it had been 3 months and there was gradual improvement in Amayra's health. Her parents too had been juggling between Bhopal and Mumbai. It was Amayra's birthday two days later. Arjun wanted to make it special for her and though Amayra was in coma, still Arjun did not leave any stone unturned to make her happy. So he met Tanvi and they planned to get the ward boy and the nurse into confidence as it would violate hospital policies.

 

On the day of her birthday, Arjun and Tanvi managed to whisk away few things into the ICU. Tanvi offered to wait outside. So Arjun placed a small piece of pastry and a bunch of roses on the bed side stool. He then took out a floral tiara and carefully placed it on Amayra's head, making her look adorable. He quickly clicked a picture of hers and then sat beside her. With a gentle stroke , he cut the cake and sang "Happy Birthday", smiling between his tears.

 

"Happy Birthday! Amayra, I miss you. Please get up soon. I need you!".

 

Arjun once checked to make sure that everything was safe, and then took out his guitar and played "dil diyan gallan", his lips trembling as he sang it. The song took him back to the culturals night and then his mind traversed to the evening at the café when Amayra had told him how she had fallen in love with this song and him. Tears kept rolling down making his cheeks wet. He kept aside the guitar, wiped his tears and went out to call Tanvi. Tanvi too wished Amayra and then they both left.

 

THE NEWS

 

A day had passed after the birthday, when Arjun got up to his phone ringing repeatedly one fine morning. The doctor's number flashed on his screen and he apprehensively answered the call. Two minutes later when he pressed on the "end button", to disconnect the call, he was transfixed. He could not believe what he had just heard. He tapped Tanvi's number nervously on his screen and asked her to meet him urgently at the hospital.

 

Arjun was awaiting at the hospital reception, when Tanvi walked in. She was profusely sweating with worry written all over her face. Arjun went ahead and hugged her tight and Tanvi could make out that Arjun was crying.

 

Tanvi: How is Amayra? What happened? Is she fine? 

Arjun: Tanvi, our prayers have been answered. Amayra is out of coma and in her complete senses, he said wiping away his tears.

Tanvi was dumbstruck with Arjun's words. She was too happy to say or react at anything.

 

As they reached the ICU, the doctor was just leaving the room after checking on Amayra. When he saw Arjun, he stopped over to talk to him, "Good you came, your friend has been asking about you. You are the first one she asked about after completely coming back to her senses". Arjun thanked the doctor and went inside the ICU. He froze and could not move when he saw Amayra's eyes searching for him. Finally the surmise in his eyes was over. The day he had been waiting for since months had finally arrived. Standing at the side of her bed, he kept looking at her, when Amayra whispered, "Arjun", and a little drop of tear flowed down her face and kissed her pillow.

 

Arjun put his finger on her lips and hushed her. He then leaned and kissed her forehead.

 

"Please don't say anything Ammu. You are very weak now and need rest. I am here only, we can talk when you get a little better", he said gently caressing her forehead.

 

A little later, Amayra fell asleep due to the sedatives and Arjun sat there looking at her adorably, still holding her hand.

 

 

Days passed and Amayra was gradually shifted to the ward. She recovered very fast and soon was discharged. All this while, Arjun had nurtured her with his love, care and affection and brought her back to life. On her aunt's insistence, Amayra shifted to her place. Every evening Arjun and Tanvi would go and visit her at her aunt's place. Arjun and Amayra missed each other badly and wanted to spend more time together, but they waited patiently for her to get better. Four months had passed and now Amayra had almost recovered completely and was ready to join college and continue with her internship. Arjun and Tanvi's happiness knew no bounds when they learned about this. Arjun had been waiting to start his internship with her.

 

THE SURPRISE

 

Arjun and Amayra were to go back to college in a week's time. One afternoon, when Amayra was casually lying down and reading a novel, her phone flashed Arjun's name. She quickly answered it.

 

Arjun: 'Ammu, I have an event to attend today evening and I would want you to accompany me. Will you come?"

 

Amayra: "Sure Arjun, I would love to. Anyways I am bored sitting at home". 

 

Arjun: "Great!, then I will pick you up at 6".

 

Amayra stood impatiently in her balcony, watching the blue sky turn a crimson red. The birds flew back home and she waited to be with Arjun. Finally she saw Arjun park his bike and waved at her. Amayra looked at herself one last time in the mirror (like she always did) and went out of the room. When she greeted Arjun, he could not keep his eyes off her. She looked mesmerizing in a peach one piece dress paired with nude pumps. A silver bracelet glistened on her right wrist and her ears sparkled with delicate diamond studs. She had outlined her eyes with black kohl and mascara enhancing it's beauty. Her hair was left open and flowed down to her shoulder, making her look as pretty as a picture.

Amayra bid her aunt bye and went with Arjun. As they rode in the busy streets of Mumbai, the cool evening breeze gently touched their faces. Amayra still had no idea where Arjun was taking her to and inspite of asking him, he had not told her a word.

 

Suddenly Arjun took a left turn and Amayra realized that this way led to their college. She nudged him and asked, "Arjun, why are we going to the college at this time? Did you forget something at the hostel?

 

Arjun still did not answer her question and just nodded a yes.

 

Ten minutes later, they were infront of Sam's café, when Arjun put his bike to a halt and they both stepped down. Looking at Amayra's quering eyes, he gave a little smile, then took her hand and they walked inside the café, and past it. The café had a small garden behind, which was at times rented out for parties. Arjun walked Amayra to a square wooden table which was covered with white and pink satin cloth arranged in a criss-cross style. The edges of the table were lined with rose singlets spaced apart equally. In the center lay a bouquet of white lilies tied with a slender red ribbon paired up with a heart shaped choco truffle cake. The table was lit up radiantly with the incandescence of the candles which stood tall in beautifully crafted copper antique stands.

 

Amayra was completely astonished at the breathtaking sight, when Arjun softly called out to her. What she saw when she turned around left her completely dumbstruck.

 

Arjun was on his knees, with a ring in his hand, looking at her admiringly. It all seemed like a fairytale to her. Her prince charming had walked out of one of the romantic novels and was infront of her, proposing her. Her reverie was broken when Arjun cleared his throat and said, "Ms Amayra Dixit, I would love to embark on a journey with you till we reach the place where the sky meets the sea. Will you walk with me and be mine forever?"

 

Tiny tear droplets flowed down Amayra's cheeks which glistened in the candle light. The sparkle in her eyes and the silence on her lips made her look more adorable. She slowly knelt down, and bracing his hand, looked into his eyes and replied, "Mr Arjun Malhotra, thank you for giving me my love story and living it with me. I love you, today.. and forever!"; and then hugged him tight.

 

 

 

THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER

 

Amayra: Arjun, where are we going now?, she asked after they had left the café and Arjun rode her off to another place instead of dropping her back.

 

Arjun: remember, I told you that I have an event to attend, I am taking you there.

 

Finally Arjun parked his bike infront of Crossword, Bandra. Amayra was anxious as to why Arjun had brought her to a book store all of a sudden.

 

Amayra: "Arjun, what are we doing here? You said, we are going to an event, but this seems to be some book launch".

 

Arjun: "Amayra, just come with me. Will tell you everything inside".

 

As they both walked inside the store, Amayra's eyes suddenly caught a poster, showcasing a book covered and tied with ribbons; and when her eyes went to the author's name, she was stunned. It was "Arjun Malhotra".

 

A man clad in black trousers and blazer greeted Arjun and Amayra and made way for them to the dais. Arjun gentlyescorted Amayra and made her sit in one of the three chairs that had been set up in the dais. The stage overlooked a small wooden floor which had been set up with four round white tables with chairs, and each table had a copy of the book. A large poster featuring the book and the author formed the back wall for the stage. Amayra sat there nervously while Arjun was busy talking to someone who seemed like the store manager. It was hard for Amayra to believe what was happening around her. She always knew that Arjun loved to pen down incidents from his life, but she had never expected that he would write a book someday, but she was equally happy for him too. People had started swarming the place and almost all the chairs were occupied.

 

 

Finally Arjun accompanied by another person clad in a blue jeans and a short khadi kurta came up to the dais where Amayra was sitting. Arjun introduced him as Mr Patil to her. 

 

Mr Patil was the one who picked up the mic and spoke first, "Hello everyone! It's a great pleasure to have all of you here. Welcome to the book launch of this aspiring author "Mr Arjun Malhotra". His words were well applauded and he continued with his verse. "Well now moving on to Mr Arjun, I would request him to take us through the journey of this book", and he then handed over the mic to Arjun.

 

Arjun gracefully took over the mic and the smiling at the audience with his usual charming smile he continued, "Thank you Mr Patil for the kind words. First of all, I would really like to thank each one of you for being a part of this event to support me. An author is nothing without his readers. Few months back even I was the simple guy next door who would pen down his feelings and events from his daily life in his diary. I had never imagined that one day I would successfully compile a book. But as you know, life is full of surprises and shocks. You plan something and the inverse happens. Someone had rightly quoted, 'man proposes and God disposes'. My life too took a drastic turn few months back when I almost lost the love of my life. But I did not give up hope, instead I prayed and I prayed every single day and that is when I realized how fragile life could be. It is just the question of moments; one moment and everything changes. And I thought of inscribing this journey with her in black and white so that it could be etched in our memories forever. Arjun's eyes had moistened up by the time he finished speaking. Both Amayra and Mr Patil too had been touched with Arjun's words. 

 

Once Arjun was done, the room thundered with claps and when the sound settled down, Mr Patil took over and addressed the crowd, "If anyone wants to ask any questions, please go ahead".

 

A thin spectacled girl, probably in her twenties voiced a question, "Mr Arjun, we would like to know who is the inspiration behind your great work?"

 

Pointing towards Amayra who was sitting on his left, Arjun said, "she is my inspiration, she is the one who has walked this journey with me" and smiled proudly.

 

 

After a few more questions, Arjun, Amayra and Mr Patil stood up and Arjun finally unveiled the cover of the book revealing it, "U, Me & The Song". As he flashed the book at the audience, he lovingly looked at Amayra and continued, "this is dedicated to the most important person in my life, Ms Amayra Dixit". Amayra was spellbound and with quivering lips, she managed to say a thank you and hugged him.

 

Arjun and Amayra were the most happiest souls when they walked out of the store holding hands, basking in the glory of their new found love and weaving dreams of a beautiful tomorrow.


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