~Tiny Tales of Arnav-Khushi~
He stared helplessly at the sky trying to find the invisible, try to chase something he knew doesn’t exist. The stars scattered randomly over the vast expanse of sky wasn’t helping him a bit as he found himself getting lost inside the maze he had created in his mind. The small vulnerable boy inside him still lingering on fairly tales his mother used to recite him at night. Those tales with their happily ever afters stayed with him till now, though carefully boxed inside and placed safely in a remote corner of his heart. His heart searching for a small ounce of peace in the beautifully decorated sky yet it meant nothing to him as he again come up empty handed. This year as well.
He miss her a lot. specially on this day and as much he yearn for just a loving caress of his mother he knew he wouldn’t be lucky enough to get one. She was an angel. The most loveable, down to earth woman he had ever came across and her presence left such a permanent mark in his life that he inadvertently found himself drawing comparisons to every woman he met afterwards and none of them even came close. None. Except one. No.
He felt his fist tightening at the said thought that crashed his mind for a second and he felt his walls building up, his guards back in place. Emotions. They can betray you at most lethal of times. They can make you weak, vulnerable, left you incapable of thinking coherently and what not.
He hadn’t shed a tear since her demise. That was the last he cried his heart out. His world had shattered in a moment and he had cried, endlessly, no holds barred. For his irreparable loss. For a world where there would be no one to love him without any ulterior motives. For the loss of that sunshine he has been comfortably bathing into till then. And in a moment,his security blanket had been snatched off and he was left shivering in the darkness and coldness of the cruel world. A child he was that time. An innocent, carefree and mischievous child and her lap was the safest place for him where he could find peace.solace.comfort.Just Everything. A place where he found himself wrapped inside a shell that none of the evil of the world could even touch him.
And then one day, it was all gone and he grew up in a night!
The years that came, hardened him to say the least. Made him a person he wasn’t raised to be by his Maa. She wouldn’t approve of the man he has become today, he knew that irony very well. Maa wouldn’t ever wanted her chotey to be the selfish and ruthless man the world now knows of, not the man who thinks from his mind. not the man who locked up everything inside his heart. Not the man who is unable to see anything good in the world. Not the man who still accused god of snatching her from his life when he was just a child and Certainly not the man who find it hardest to say something as simple as sorry and thankyou.
What kind of person has he become? He found questioning himself the same. The anger mixed with the remorse and guilt crashing inside him. Every year this day, he came across the same sets of questions he asked himself repeatedly with answers to none. He can very well assume every thing is right with him and could ignore his conscience for the rest of the year but on this particular day, he found himself turning back into that scared lonely orphan child with no where to go.
The man that he’s now is certainly the most respectable one in the society. People from all sections look up to him admiringly. Youth wanted to to be like him. Competitors envy him and his mind to turn every business venture into a money making machine.
A man without a heart they say. A man without emotions. They aren’t wrong? Or are they? He wasn’t the scared,vulnerable child any longer. He had tried his best to suppress that part of himself over the years and he was indeed successful. But however hard he tried, he couldn’t help feeling his weakest self on this particular day. A day he always made sure to spend away from his family. He would rather die than pouring his heart out to someone. Not even her. No.
and then he felt her presence behind him!
His heart started racing faster than normal. He should have gone this year too. He panicked as he prepared himself to put his guard back in place. He wouldn’t be able to handle her questions. Nor he would take her preachings lightly. He felt himself tensing so much underneath that it was a miracle he wasn’t splitting in two. His lips thinned into a line as he tried hard to control his breathing. They all say they understand. They don’t. None of them.
He’s here to suffer this alone. Nobody could even understand the plethora of unsaid emotions coursing inside him. He dont need a shoulder. He dont need sympathy. Hell, he don’t need somebody’s pity. Even hers. This woman is slowly cracking enough holes in his tough exterior already ever since she entered his life. He would be damned in hell if he would ever be subjected to someone’s pity.
His heart settled back to its normal pace with every second that passed as the two of them stood aside in silence. A silence that wasn’t mocking him for the first time in this many years. His revolting mind wanted her to say something, anything,so he would just snap back at her. So, he could yet again hide behind his weakness to push people aside. Something he has been using as a defence mechanism to cope with the situation. Every instinct in him wanted to push her aside yet pull her back at the same time so much so that it terrified him.
He flinched momentarily as she slowly linked her fingers with his. That hesitating yet courageous move on her behalf while offering him the silence he needed the most helped him relax a bit despite the tension floating in his veins.
and as the night grew darker, allowing two people to witness a crucial moment together, he eventually found some answers he was looking for since so long.
she didn’t told him that its time to move on. She silently allowed him to grieve some more. She didnt told him that she understand. She stood by his side watching as he bathed in his sadness. She didn’t told him he is a man and should behave like one. Her silence told him sometimes its okay to shed a tear or two. That tears doesn’t makes us weak. Its a symbolism of the emotions that exists inside us. That we are still human enough to embrace them.
“They will always watch us from wherever they are”
she said in a voice, hardly above a whisper while gazing at the stars through her lashes as a small contented smile was perched on her lips. Her first words. Just a sentence but forceful enough for him to look at everything with this new perspective.
and then it striked him. He wasn’t alone in this. She could relate. She had lost hers too. but there wasn’t any anger bubbling inside her like him. It hadn’t hardened her to be a soul less creature like him. Softened her even more to truly appreciate the worth of the blessings she has with her now. A sad but hopeful smile on her lips revealing everything words would have failed even if she tried.
He couldnt help but his fingers finally tightened around hers as he pulled her close. Her courage would be strong enough for both of them to let this painful moment slide as smoothly as it can. His heart settled again at the positive aura she created and he felt the mounted tension leaving him bit by bit. He couldnt have been more thankful as she slowly placed her head on his shoulder as they both gazed at the bright stars twinkling above. His hand slowly curving around her frame as he brought her closer, inviting her in, seeking her support as they revelled in the memories of their loved ones. Two pairs of eyes were now watching the stars remembering about the good times they had shared with their lost ones.
Why memories always have to be the bad ones? Why cant we be thankful for the goodness that happened to us every once in a while? They felt serene calm settling inside as the cool breeze danced around them in appreciation. He tightened his hold around her when she shivered as he gazed down at her now with a small smile on his lips. A smile that said more than the words could afford.
They didn’t noticed how a pair of stars just twinkled a bit brighter in the sky nodding their approval!