She Wanted It That Way - 1

It was one of those evenings when the nature was at its best. It was raining for past 2-3 days and he was doing something, which he would have not usually done or even thought of doing. He was one of those guys who spent the time partying and enjoying the evening with friends. Rain or no rain he would have spent time smoking cigarettes with his friends somewhere around the corner and cracking jokes and looking at the girls passing by. But today, he was standing alone on a cliff and feeling the raindrops on his face. Just try it once he heard a voice echoing in his mind as he spread his arms and let the breeze give him the feeling of flying. One year back he would have called this as foolishness but today he experienced eternal pleasure and he experienced her.

He was not the kind of guy to fall in love that’s what he thought until this girl walked past him and her dupatta touched his skin. When his friends were busy passing comments about her, for the first time he wished to be invisible. He did not know why but he asked his friends to stop. The same night when the road was quiet and everybody was peacefully sleeping in their rooms he walked out of his house for a stroll. He did not know that the night walk was going to change his life forever. He walked for some distance and stopped abruptly when he saw someone standing at the 1st floor balcony of the building diagonal to the spot where he was standing. It was the same girl he had seen earlier in the day. She was wearing a nightgown and her hair was softly dancing on the rhythm of the breeze. He stood there watching her for some time. She was engrossed in her thoughts and was not aware of his presence. Only when she moved her hand over her cheeks did he realize that she was crying. She turned around and walked inside but he could not move from where he was standing. She was a simple girl, not so beautiful yet there was something about the girl, a charisma that attracted him. That very moment he heard a knock on his heart and he let this stranger in to stay with him forever and he named this stranger as Love.

Thanks to this stranger, Vishaal could not sleep peacefully at night. Whenever he closed his eyes he saw that girl standing at her balcony and then his heart beat so fast and loud that it was impossible to sleep. As a result of this it was really late when he woke up. When he looked at the bedside watch he knew that today was one of those dreaded days when he would have to listen to the taunts of his father about the job hunt. The moment he stepped out of his room to go to the washroom he heard his fathers voice echo in the entire house. He was talking to Vishaal’s mother but the words were meant for him. “Why don’t you tell your son that it is high time he starts earning? When I was of his age I had the responsibility of 3 sisters and parents and I was fulfilling my duty to the best. He has finished his education at the expense of his father’s funds and now he is running away from his responsibilities.” Vishaal ignored the comments and finished his morning routines. He was seated at the dining table waiting for his mother to arrange the breakfast.

His sister was already seated there with a textbook covering her face. When the breakfast was served and Vishaal was about to start eating he heard his father saying, “When would he understand that it takes so much efforts to earn the money to eat the kind of breakfast he is eating?”
That was it. He kept the spoon back in the dish and got up from his chair. His mother tried to hold him back but seeing the look on Vishaal’s face she let him go.
Vishaal put on his slippers and walked out of the house. Once he reached the corner of the street he pulled out the packet of cigarette from his jeans pocket, placed a cigarette in between his lips and lit it. He reached his regular spot where he spent most of his time with his friends. They were already seated there waiting for him. For some time he did not speak anything and his friends knew that he was frustrated. They left him alone with his cigarettes. One after another he puffed some 3-4 cigarettes and then he was back to normal chattering with his friends and cracking jokes. Unknowingly his eyes were searching for the girl as if knowing that she would pass by from there like she had done yesterday. She was new in the society because he knew almost every girl around and none had touched his heart as this one had. As if his request had been granted by the almighty, he saw her approaching the corner. She was clad in a perfect fitting blue Salwar-kameez and the ends of her dupatta were softly lifted every now and then because of the breeze. Vishaal was almost ready to feel the dupatta again. Holding his cigarette in his lips and breathing through it he kept staring at her without realizing that the girl was looking at him too. She cast a disgusted look at him and walked away making sure that her dupatta was out of his reach. The effervescence of Vishaal’s hope died the moment she walked past and got into an auto-rickshaw.

Vishaal’s friends noticed the look on his face and started teasing him and perhaps for the first time he was angry on them. Without looking back at them he moved out of that place. Still unable to decide why he reacted like this, he was smoking furiously like a chimney as he was walking to nowhere. Why was he feeling so hurt on seeing the look on her face? He was used to this kind of behavior from his father, but why did he not like that the girl found him to be disgusting? And what was it that she found disgusting in him. The answer was there, stuck in between his fingers, moving in and out of his lips. It took some time for him to figure that out but he could not quit smoking, he was a chain smoker. He never realized that he had wlked for more than an hour and had left his society far behind. He started walking back but decided against it. He walked to a bus stop and waited for the bus to take him to his favorite spot. He wanted to be alone.

He spent almost the entire day amidst the nature. After he got down from the bus he walked some distance to his favorite place, which was far from the main road. This place gave him peace of mind when he needed it. Standing there on the cliff he pulled out a cigarette and began smoking. He was deep in thoughts and never realized when he finished all the cigarettes from his packet. He threw the packet down the cliff and thought to himself, someday may be I will throw myself like this. He had done his and was looking for a decent job but he had soon given up his search when he was refused wherever he went. He loathed being rejected. The reason for being rejected was almost always money that they asked from him to be selected and the other reason was that he did not have any influence. He had uploaded his resume on one of the sites offering job opportunities but other than that he was not trying. Day by day his father's taunts were getting unbearable and he wanted to end his life. He had no objective in his life, no dream to achieve till he saw this girl.

He had accepted that he was a loser but seeing the same views in the girl’s eyes had hurt him deep down. Now, he wanted to prove himself to her. The sun was moving closer to the horizon and it was time to return home. Reluctantly he walked back to the nearest bus stop and coming back to the society the first thing he did was buy a new packet of cigarettes and an extra one to smoke before returning home and yes he did not forget the mint. Everyone at home knew that he smoked and he did not care about it. He took the mint on Vidya’s i.e. his sister’s request who hated that smell in his breath while he spent time with her in the balcony taking her lessons. Today was supposed to be her tuition day. That was the only thing he loved being at home for.

When he returned home after finishing his cigarette and the mint, Vidya was waiting for him, as usual. His parents had already gone to bed. He walked directly to the balcony and after some time Vidya joined him with the plate of food. The first bite of the dinner, like always, was from the hand of his sister and then he finished the rest of the dinner while Vidya continued studying. Vishaal loved watching her study. He was meant to be there for her in case she had any doubts but almost always she did it on her own. His father did not know that he was worried about her future too but he was helpless. Sitting there in the balcony, unknowingly his thoughts drifted back to the incident that had upset him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, as if he had made a decision.
“Da, what’s wrong?”, Vidya broke his reverie.
“Nothing Vid, just thinking…”
“Ha ha … that was a good joke…”

Vishaal smiled, he loved it when his sister made fun of him. The only earthly bond that had kept him here was his kid sister and now this mysterious girl. He knew his mother would be taken care of by her husband and Vishaal somehow hated his dad for what he was. Apart from taunting him every now and then, his father had a habit of dominating everyone because he called himself the creator. He had created what they had now. Only the pain and hatred part came to Vishaal.
“Da, you are thinking about dad again.”, Vidya commented.
Vishaal could not believe that his sister could face read him so correctly, also, the anger was very evident on his face.
“Da, go and sleep in your room and please chill ok? Some day you are going to repent for all the thoughts you have about him”

“Oh yeah! Sure… you just get married soon sweetie for I need a new home … I will join you”, saying so Vishaal winked and walked to his room.
Vidya switched off the lights and walked back to her room.
The next day Vishaal woke up early and as he got ready Vidya watched her brother comb his hair, straighten the collar, spray some perfume and spend more than the regular time in front of the mirror.
“Da! You are in love!”, Vidya exclaimed…

She was about to sing song his little secret but Vishaal pulled her inside his room and closed the door. They had a short pillow fight and signing of a pact that Vidya would keep her mouth shut and he would take her to watch a film.
“Who’s she?”
“None of your business”
“Mamma, Da wants to tell u something” was Vidya’s muffled scream. Muffled because Vishaal had covered her mouth with his hand
“Ok loudspeaker, just switch yourself off” Vishaal said removing his hand and continued, “I do not know her name”
“Oh, love at first sight”, Vidya said sitting on the bed
“No, second…”, Vishaal said as he sat next to her “also, I think she hates me”
“C’mon Da, no one can hate you. You are the most wonderful person I have known. You just need to change a few things in you, or may be “most” of the things in you. Had I not been your sister I would have married you”
“Oh yeah and your father would have killed both of us”,saying so Vishaal grinned and walked to the door.
“Da you are forgetting something”, Vidya said picking up the packet of cigarettes from his desk and showed it to him.
“Don’t you ever take that thing in your hand”, Vishaal said snatching it from her grip and threw it into the waste paper basket.
Vidya smiled as Vishaal walked out of the room.
“Da is really in love”

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Books by Arti Honrao

Depression is REAL

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