Diya was sitting with her laptop and anxiously typing, unaware of the people in the Airport around her, who were throwing amused glances at her hyperactivity. It was after five days of introspection and self-exhaustion that she was able to narrow down, to a grand ending to the novel she was working on. Exhilarated she wanted to pen down the fleeting thoughts, before they sublimed or even get adulterated in her gray matter.
It was around one and a half years back, when she had finally decided to quit her banking job and pursue writing as career. Her breakup with long term beau Rishaan was one of the major factors, contributing to her decision. She started appreciating her own literary prowess, once she was left alone to mourn her broken heart. The kind of art that pain kneaded in her, evoked excellent outputs. She realized, that her narrations and narrating ability, were her partners forever, because they were her reflections, and reflection never leaves alone.
The novel she was working on, was a passionate tale of love and romance and she wanted to embellish it with a grand happy ending. Unlike her life story, she did not want her protagonists to be separated from each other. She wanted to create magic with her words and render sheer gaiety to her readers.
And it was with the intention, to write in delectable proximity to nature, that she was travelling to Goa. She wanted to pamper her creativity and compel it to unveil itself in full glory. However, it was only after Rishaan went away from her life that she had learned to appreciate the excitement of solo travelling.
Seated on a corner seat, and choked with emotions, she was typing voraciously the love story of Nisha and Meet, a couple who had risen from the wreck of her broken heart, her phoenix of imagination.
While her mind was occupied with her imaginary tale of requited love, her ears heard a very familiar voice, but her brain rejected the possibility vehemently.
“Diya?” the voice asked, a male voice. Known, uncanny, irresistible male voice. “No, I won’t respond….it’s again that haunting déjà vu that meanders around, whenever I come to Mumbai Airport,” thought Diya. Her mind had diverted from her narrative, but she did not look up.
“Diya…what’s wrong? It’s me dude…look up!” the voice was adamant. And she realised that it wasn’t her imagination. Unwillingly she looked up.
Yes, it was, Rishaan, after 548 days of complete abscond, he was back…back to torment her with all those memories, she so wanted to leave behind.
There he stood, 5 feet 10 inches tall, wheatish complexion, impressive features and more impressive physique. When he smiled, a boyish charm overshadowed his adulthood. There was a time when Diya could die for that smile. But that day she did not even return him with one.
“Ummm…How are you Diya? Long-time…where are you travelling to?” her stern expression had already taken the casualness off his voice.
“I am good, thank you” she replied and resumed work. Well, just pretended to do so, signalling that she was not willing to strike a conversation with the man, who was capable of pulling out the buried memoirs from the graveyard of her heart.
“Diya…” Rishaan was about say something more, when an unfamiliar female voice, called out his name sounding vexed. Following which, a young girl in her mid-twenties hurriedly walked up to them, and completely ignoring Diya, started yelling at him.
“I was looking for you for so long Rishaan, you just refuse to change…you and your bizarre ways,” she rolled her kohl lined dramatic eyes at him.
She was a tall girl and looked very cheesy in her choice of clothing. Her plum colored, tight leggings and off-shoulder black top, went well with her noisy attitude. But she had an attractive face, uncommon features and big kohl lined eyes. At least two to three tattoos peeped from under her clothes, here and there. With five earrings and one strange looking nose ring, she kind of represented the hippie class of uninhibitedness.
“Kia…Kiara baby…I was just talking to her” Rishaan tried to pacify her and looked at Diya embarrassed, who had started writing compulsively. However her writings made no sense. Nisha and Meet had sublimed suspiciously and in that void had descended some memories. Memories of a young, petite, beauty with sparkling, creative eyes romancing a handsome, desirable guy.
She even envisioned herself in comparison to Kiara. She thought that they were absolute antonyms, if she was tranquillity and grace, Kiara was wilderness, if she was placid waters of a blue Lake, Kiara was tides in a rough sea. However Rishaan was common in both their lives, he was her past and Kiara’s present.
As all these thoughts were conglomerating to a complicated dough in Diya’s artistic head, she suddenly realized that Kiara and Rishaan were looking intently at her. Probably the thoughts manifested to a weird expression on her pretty face.
“Hi, I am Kiara,” she said, stretching her hand towards Diya, expecting a handshake.
“Ummm…Hi...ummm Diya” she replied, looking visibly uncomfortable.
“Rishaan talks a lot about you…where are you travelling to?” she conveyed casually, and that surprised Diya.
“Rishaan discussed me with her current partner? But what and why? Has he disclosed those memories, has he revealed my childish reaction when he had called it quits, my pleads, my begs, has he said it all?” her mind went reeling, with these thoughts, when Kiara shook her lightly “Hey! What’s up? Are you alright? She asked concerned.
“Yea...h I am fine...fine” she fumbled pathetically.
“Good…well Rishaan told me, how well you write, how creative you are…he told me you both were good friends...” Kiara smiled at her. While she gave a sarcastic look to Rishaan at the mention of “good friends”.
“Yes…we were good friends” she reverted smilingly.
“And you are going to?” Kiara inquired.
“Well…Goa!” she replied,
“Really?" Kiara was too excited, "Oh! What a coincidence we are going to Goa too…paradise for boozing, partying and erotic sex….what say? What’s your plan? We could meet up….I have few friends there and they will take us to those forbidden beaches…you know…” she winked at her.
“Huh…no thanks…I will be too occupied I guess…I am travelling for work,” she said and looked at Rishaan, implying, “wow, what a lady you have wooed, perfect for a moron like you”.
The very thought of Rishaan being in Goa at the same time as her had unsettled her, leave aside meeting. She was travelling in search of some peace for her wretched self, but alas, the man who snatched it off had reappeared to torture, and that too with a wild cat.
When they were together, Rishaan could never appreciate her creative thoughts. He searched for imperfections in her narratives, to discourage her. Her ability to flow laminar with her thoughts, turned him off.
Once when Diya had pleaded him to take her on a vacation to Goa, he had refused aggressively saying “Oh please, I don’t want to waste time with your poems and narratives…nature evokes that madness in you all the more.” That was the first time, she had understood, that probably, she was not in a perfect relationship.
Kiara’s words broke her thoughts and brought her back to life.
“Okay…as you wish….hey Rishu, I am going to the washroom, get the luggage from that corner…we will sit here with your friend,” and she smiled at Diya, who was completely irritated by the declaration.
Rishaan was sitting quietly all that time, Kiara’s order infused some life in him. He walked over and got the blue Samsonite trolley, then softly sat on the chair next to Diya.
“How are you?” he asked looking straight into her eyes. The glare had started to melt the ice that had encrusted her heart.
“Better than when you were around” she replied bluntly and looked away. “By the way, Kiara is perfect for you, erotic, uncreative, your type…” she added.
“Yes…I thought so too, but” he did not react to Diya’s harshness, instead, kind of slipped to oblivion. “But perfection is far away from our relationship, true, initially her raw sex appeal was attractive, but gradually I knew, that all animals cannot be tamed, some are born to be in the wilderness…Kiara is one such…untamed…we fight Diya, we fight all the time. In fact this is our final call, this trip…our last try to be together…I…I…I miss you Diya… and I am sorry for what I did to you…you” he could not complete when Diya snapped at him.
“Shut up, Shut up Rishaan, you are on a holiday with Kiara and you say you miss me? I knew you are a loser but never knew you are such a hypocrite!!” she looked away disgusted.
“Hey…you people look ghastly…had a fight? Rishu?” Kiara was back from the washroom.
“No” returned Rishaan abruptly.
“Anyways….come let’s get the boarding passes…you know…though I can trek to the unknown lands, go sky diving or snorkelling, but I really get scared in the flight…9/11 syndrome I guess, and so I will sit between both of you. You can take the window seat, Rishu will take the aisle seat…isn’t it Rish?” asked Kiara.
“Hmmm” answered Rishaan.
“Well…you people can very well have your privacy…I will take a seat separately,” said Diya, internally praying to be left alone.
“Oh dear, we are not that horny people, at least not in an aircraft huh…Rish your friend is too formal…” she reverted with a mocking grin.
“No really…I mean” Diya was desperate.
“You could tell me a story you have written…I am a good listener” Kiara was adamant.
“I don’t write short stories, I am working on a novel,” said Diya.
“Novelist…hmmm…Impressive! Come…we will take the boarding passes” she said and marched towards the counter with a reluctant Diya and unsure Rishaan walking behind her.
Diya, Kiara and Rishaan sat in the order, Kiara had intended. And while she was holding Rishaan’s arm and resting her head on his shoulder, Diya decided to look away. She looked through the clouds and gradually slipped to a state of partial consciousness.
Her mind glided through the floating clouds and reached a land she had been before, where she and her love had spent good moments, holding each other’s hand and caressing each other’s soul. She could clearly see Rishaan, as they sat by the sea in marine drive cuddled together. It was monsoon, the waves were fiendish and drenched them lovingly. The next moment she was in a road side dhaba on the Mumbai-Nashik highway, they both loved to drive to those eateries and treat themselves early morning in close vicinity to nature.
Her enjoyable encounter with her past was disrupted by Kiara’s sudden movement.
When Kiara returned after using the lavatory, Rishaan offered her to sit at the aisle seat, to avoid more commotion.
So Rishaan sat in between both the ladies and Kiara continued to cling on to his arm, the right one this time. But his left hand was free, and it meandered away to touch Diya, who was shocked at this gesture and shoved her hand away.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, the air between Rishaan and Diya had altered. He felt uncanny. He was unable to look at her, who was visually unsolved and shaken.
They had collected the luggage and were about to make a move, when Kiara mocked “Hey…did you see some ghost in the plane?”
Diya who was struggling to be calm, was irritated at her mockery “Yes…sometimes the haunting past is scarier than a ghost” she reverted in a voice dipped in sarcasm, smiled at her and ignoring Rishaan started to walk towards the exit.
When she had walked away, Rishaan turned to Kiara and hugged her tight “why did you make me do this…why?” he asked desperately.
“Because, I can’t leave you alone…and no one can take care of you more than her…and also because I know you love her…ummm…though it hurts…but I know…you love her much more than me” she smiled, as tears rolled out of her eyes. “God, showed us the path Rish, and so we met her in the airport…I know it’s tough for you…but otherwise I will not be able to die in peace…please Rish for me…go back to her…she is wonderful, and you know it was your fault right?”
“You are not going anywhere okay?” said Rishaan sounding like a desperate kid.
“My ailment will not let me be with you for long…but that does not mean I will leave you…I will be around you and forever,” assured Kiara and both of them hugged each other passionately and cried their hearts out.
pic courtesy: Google images