Fantasy Romance Thriller
I splattered my face with water, trying to match it up with my tears, standing in the restroom of the Anna International Airport, Chennai.
“What are you doing, you are going to miss her,” unable to tolerate the disappointment I burst out again, seeing my face at the mirror. Somehow, I was convinced and pushed myself out of the restroom. I took a hesitant stride towards the check-in counter of the Air Asia carrier to get my boarding pass.
“Rohan!” I was suddenly interrupted by a familiar accent, nearing the check-in counter. I turned around not-so-interested, to track who it was and spotted a gorgeous looking girl.
Aanchal! She has fair yet delicate skin and glowing brown eyes bedecked with the right balance of mascara. She looked almost like he models, who feature on the cover page of a fashion magazines with the perfect blend of attitude and beauty. With her black hair falling over her right shoulder and a tiny little smile on the corner of her lips, she approached me.
Aanchal is my colleague at WriteUpCafe.com ( a social network for readers, writer and bloggers), part of the content development team, which is headed by me. We (Aanchal and I) are on our way for an official trip to Queensland, Australia.
We exchanged greetings and approached the check-in counter to get our boarding passes and proceeded to the terminal. After waiting for a while, we heard an announcement about our flight. Thrilled, Aanchal enthusiastically rushed into the aerobridge as soon as she heard the announcement. I followed her without much interest or excitement.
Hola Queensland! Aanchal was on a dream ride. She was extremely delighted to be with Rohan and was enjoying each and every moment with him. To her, the trip was more than just an official trip. Her lustrous brown eyes were packed with happiness. She was in the Sea World, the most famous water theme park, located in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, along with Rohan. With all her excitement, she got into the Storm Coaster, a water coaster, holding Rohan's hands. She was absolutely thrilled about that ride. But things changed as soon as the ride started. She was not feeling very comfortable, as it wasn't as smooth as other rides, thus swelling her anxiety. Panic and dread replaced happiness in her eyes. She was also losing her vision, and could hardly see Rohan, who was sitting right next to her in the coaster. She looked completely petrified and was filled with confusion, as the trembling coaster was approaching the water from a soaring height and at a swift pace. Her anxiety was double folded already.
SPLASSHH! The coaster hit the water. But, for some unknown reason, it stayed inside the water. Aanchal was choking and choking hard. She was hoping for an escape and looked out for Rohan, who to her dismay was not there and that further intensified her fretfulness. She was unable to push herself out of the seat, as the seat belt was jammed. As the coaster moved deep into the water, and controlling her breath for a long while became difficult, with her eyes bulging out she let out a huge cry.
It was a bright sunny day. I was on my way to the office in my brand new Bajaj Pulsar 150cc. I hit the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), the so-called IT corridor of Chennai, twisted my accelerator further and drove fast at 100 km per hour. Being a weekday, I expected heavy traffic on the OMR stretch, but to my surprise, I hardly saw a vehicle. I raced along the vacant OMR and accelerated further, testing my bike to its limits.
As I literally soared through the morning roads of OMR, I failed to notice the signal near Karappakkam, which was in yellow meaning that I should wait. By the time I crossed the stop line, the signal light turned red. Unable to control the speed of my bike, which had almost crossed 90 km per hour, I crossed the signal without heeding the red light. But somebody has already planned my destiny! As the signal turned green for the travellers waiting on the right side of the road, a small elephant was approaching me. As it came closer, I realised it was a TATA Ace loaded with passengers. TATA Ace is used as a shared vehicle, replacing the auto rickshaw in most part of Tamilnadu, especially in Chennai, where its usage is extensive. You must have guessed the incident by now. Yes! I was hit and hit hard. And I was thrown on the road. I wiped the blood that was flowing from my head over the face and was literally pushing hard to lift my body off the ground. Perhaps, my right hip was not assisting that I thought must be an internal fracture. Slowly coming out of the panic-attack, I started sensing the pain that was gradually spreading all over my body and began to scream like a madman.
'Oh my God, it's Rohan,' I heard somebody calling out my name. And it was Varsha, who not only saved me but gave a fresh beginning to my life.
Varsha is my colleague at WriteUpCafe.com, working as a Social Media Manager (SMM). She is not so fair, not so slim and not so attractive, but there is one thing that makes her stand-apart. Eyes! She has an ever-wondering magnetic eye that has a tendency to rupture even the strongest of human hearts. Wearing a frameless eyeglass, she poses a nerdy look. And her black hair is long enough to tickle her lower hip.
Varsha got me admitted me in the hospital and took utmost care of me. During my recovery period after the accident, she used to spend all her evening with me after completing her morning work at the office. She took upon herself the role of a caretaker and assisted me in all possible ways. She lent her assistance in walking me into the restroom, learned with the nurse to dress my injury, remembered to give my medicines on time and made me comfortable by all means, as there was no one else to look after me. I was abandoned by my parents during early childhood. I have grown up in the Ramakrishna Mission, Mylapore, completed my schooling and graduation at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College and went on to pursue my higher education at the College of Engineering Guindy before landing up into WriteUpCafe.Com. All these years, studying hard and getting a high-five job was my biggest goal. Now, I have achieved what I aimed for, but life continued to be empty. Varsha’s care made my days at the hospital stress-free, not alone at the financial level but at the personal level too.
Varsha, being a compassionate person, loved to be of assistance to anyone. She is an intelligent girl and hence, she assesses others need before lending a helping hand.
It is not the tag, Manager, compelled her to do me all these favour. Our relationship is something beyond that tag. Yes! She likes me. And I can very well glimpse it in her eyes, those magnetic eyes. But she never speaks about her feelings for me, which make me wonder about her intentions towards me.
One day, after getting discharged from the hospital, she came to my home. I lived on the first floor of a shared apartment right in the heart of the city, Mylapore. I was all alone as my roommate left for work.
"Hi Varsha," I greeted her opening the door. She was looking beautiful in a dark blue jean with yellow kurtha matching her dusky complexion.
"Hi, how are you now?" she inquired about my health with a smile and her eyes were glowing looking into me.
"Much better now," I smiled back.
"Nice clean apartment," she was stunned to see a bachelor's apartment so clean and tidy.
"Yeah, I like it this way," I smirked. Actually, it was my roommate, Karthik, who always likes it this way.
"Great!" She appreciated my tidiness.
"Hmm! What would you like to have? Coffee or Tea?"
"Are you kidding me or what, show me the kitchen I will make you something."
"No, no Varsha, you came to my home for the first time, you are my guest."
"Am I your guest?"
She gave an intent look before leaving for the kitchen. Initially, I didn’t react as I couldn’t figure out what was happening. Later a thought entered my mind, "If not a guest then what is she?"
Why are girls so mystifying?
I checked the kitchen to make sure everything was fine. She was looking after the milk on the stove, meanwhile was probing for something. It must be sugar or coffee powder I thought and helped her find it. After getting her the box of sugar, I was going to the coffee powder. It happened to be positioned right behind her back, on the shelf. I carefully stretched my hand without disturbing her, as she was busy boiling the milk. By the time I reached the coffee powder, she casually turned around as the milk was all set. I lost my balance and was about to fall on the floor. Somehow, I regained my balance holding her. When I was steady enough to see things, I felt my right hand over her lower hip and left hand placed on her lower back. And to my surprise she was not bothered about the touch though it was not a licence to my imagination and helped me regain my posture. Once I was steady enough to stand straight, we exchanged a silent look for a moment, which was subtle yet passionate. Though we did not speak, we were lost for words deep within ourselves and she immediately looked away with a smile.
"What is happening between us Varsha?" I lost my patience and asked straight away.
"Are you doing all this just because I am your friend, colleague or something, or you simply feel like doing?" I continued further.
‘Wha...a..at?’ her voice faltered. She was actually happy but was trying to cover up all her emotions, which was very well visible on her face.
"I better leave now."
Before I could continue further she was ready to leave the place. Sensing her urgency to walk away, I caught hold of her hand and pulled her closer. She hesitantly came closer with an about-to-smile expression, with her head facing down. She did not resist my grip, which encouraged me to continue further. I lifted her head and saw her passionate eyes. I then closed her beautiful eyes, placing my lips gently over them. Banggg! We were interrupted by a loud noise. As I rushed out to check, the entrance door was open. In silence, she bid me goodbye and led her way out of my apartment.
Next day at the office, there was a team meeting. Varsha and I happened to sit beside each other during the meeting. Throughout the meeting we were playing with each other kicking and twisting our legs. Actually, the meeting was on 'Increasing Public Engagement' on the portal (WriteUpCafe.com). It was more like a brainstorming session, where we should jumble with ideas, whereas we were scuffling with our legs. As we were enjoying with our own work, suddenly I received a heavy blow on my foot. Unable to control the pain, I gave an intent look to Varsha conveying my pain. However, it was not her as the blow came from a different direction. Hence, I glanced through the room to find the culprit. That was when my Managing Director asked me to take the discussion forward.
At the end of the meeting, two people were selected to attend the training cum certification course on ‘Social Media Marketing’ in Queensland, Australia. My name was announced first, being a Manager. I was very excited not because I was selected for the trip, but for my trip with Varsha. I was expecting her name as she was a top performer in our concern and an experienced person in that particular domain (SMM).The blow was heavier than the one on my leg, as the MD recited a syllable which I had never expected. It was Aanchal. I was simply flabbergasted hearing that Aanchal was joining me for the trip.
Aanchal, as you know, was my colleague in my content development team. But that’s not all; she was my junior in college, where I chased her like anything along with my friends. And I succeeded in making her fall for me as well. We both were in a relationship for quite a while. She was a self-centered person, excessively preoccupied with prestige and pride. She has a habit of posting anything and everything in the social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc., which I hate the most. I thought she was doing it purposely to irritate me or to get other's sympathy. But then I realised that she always has a strong need for self-admiration. She neither respected my values and thoughts nor listened to my words. If at all she paid attention, she gets hurt being oversensitive. She never understood or even bothered to understand what others were trying convey to her. She was in intense love with herself more than anybody else, including me.
However, Aanchal never gave up on me and followed me incessantly. She cannot tolerate failure and she took it as an emotional abuse. She somehow tracked my footprints and joined in WriteUpCafe.Com, being a part of my team. She was determined enough to convince me.
At that moment, few things sparked my mind. I remembered seeing Aanchal's black Inc.5 slipper outside my apartment the day before while opening the door for Varsha. She used to visit her friend, who resides just next to my apartment. In fact, Aanchal visits her friend not just to spend time with her but to keep an eye on me. And then I realised the reason behind that loud noise, which disturbed us (Varsha and me). Furthermore, I figured out that she was the one who stamped my leg during the course of the meeting, again disturbing us. She has witnessed and understood my intimacy with Varsha and apparently was just trying to shatter it. She also had a meeting with the MD last week. Joining all the dots, now I can understand why her name had been called out instead of Varsha for the trip.
Varsha with huge disappointment writ large on her face started towards the door. She was disturbed not because she was missing a trip with me but for the reason that her perseverance and dedication had gone in vain. Holding the door, she turned around and gave me a distressed look. Actually, that was the last time I saw her.
The day has come, and I was getting ready for the trip, looking not so fascinated. Controlling my tears, I pulled myself out of my apartment to the Airport.
Getting down at Thirusulam railway station, I walked down carrying my suitcase to the airport through the underground passage. After completing the security check, I stepped into the main corridor and moments with Varsha flashed before my mind’s eye. I was unable to control my tears and rushed into the restroom where I splattered my face with water, trying to mix it up with my tears. Somehow, I convinced and pushed myself out of the restroom. I took a hesitant stride towards the check-in counter of the Air Asia carrier to get my boarding pass. I happened to see Aanchal approaching me with a cynical smile on her lips as if she had accomplished something.
I greeted her without any enthusiasm; we proceeded to the check-in counter and got the boarding passes. After waiting for a while, we heard an announcement about our flight. Thrilled, Aanchal enthusiastically rushed into the aerobridge as soon as she heard the announcement. I pushed myself from the seat and joined the masses in the queue. When I was about to step into the aerobridge, there came a loud sound of music playing, 'Hum tera bina ab reh nahi sakthe' a popular hindi song, breaking the silence.
It was actually coming from my phone that I realised only after the first two lines. As the phone continued to ring, I picked up my mobile from the jean pocket to switch it off. That was when I saw her name after a long time, Varsha. Without wasting much time, I pushed the answer button and placed the mobile across my ears hoping to hear her voice, maybe for the last time. I rather heard a worried voice from that end, which was not Varsha. It was her sister Shobana, who was literally pleading with me to come to the Chrompet Hospital. I was speechless for a moment as I was unable to comprehend the situation. Shobana said that Varsha was on her death bed and was longing to see me.
I immediately rushed to the hospital to see Varsha in a highly pathetic state in the ICU. I went near her to see her lying unconscious coiled with numerous tubes, one connected with the blood, another one with the ECG machine, and so on. An oxygen mask covered her nerdy yet beautiful face, leaving just her eyes revealed.
Crying uncontrollably, I placed my head just next to her and said, "Varsha, it’s been a long time I since I last saw those beautiful eyes. Please look at me."
Unable to tolerate her paleness, I went down and placed my head over her right arm.
"Rohan, I love you," she said it at last after regaining her strength and consciousness. I felt a thrill of happiness at that moment and came out wiping my tears to tell her parents that she would be fine. That is when I saw the television hanged in the reception, breaking the news
Air Asia flight crashes into the Java Sea!