I am out of station, with no access to internet, so posting is an issue. Just got access to net, so am publishing it.....!! DIVSI, MAHESH, and Me and my Anotherself had an interesting idea. Divsi, wrote the first part of the story, and without any further input, Mahesh carried the story according to him, and then I gave it an ending, what I thought would be the best!
I won't be able to reply to any comments for next 6-7 days. Bear with me!
here, is RHYTHM-3
First part of the story SCRAPS OF BREAD
Second part of the story ANUBHAV
It is very much an Indian saying that, a girl's reputation is like an earthen pot, which can be broken very easily. And once its broken, its next to impossible to fix it without leaving scars. Rhythm understood the gravity of the saying very well, now! She had risked everything for a guy, and that guy was no more with her. She had left her entire world behind to be with this guy, and this guy was slamming her back instead. RHYTHM was shattered to the core. She had never thought about any such option, when getting out of home. For her, she had always thought, he would be there. Like an eternal truth. Like Sun Comes out everyday. Except this day!
Very rarely, we come across times, when we do not have options. Now she didn't have one. She literally banged the door on his face, a trickle of blood flushed his nose. Though, not enough blood, to entice care from her, anymore! It didn't matter anymore. Before he regained his composure, she was gone.
She had a little bit saving of hers from tuitions she used to take for kids in her area. Rhythm, lost no time in turning back from Sameer, and finding a Paying Guest accomodation with the money! Then, she went to a tuition agent, who charged her another 500 bucks as registration money. Having given her cell no, she went away. Bought some groceries, and settled down for PG food. Just then, as she was about to take the first bite, the thought of how would her father would manage his food without her, crossed her mind. Would he eat outside, or cook Pasta, as it was only thing he knew how to cook? Or, would he eat at all? With these thoughts hovering around in her mind, she took her food, went out and fed it to a stray dog. How could she possibly deprive her father of food, and most importantly, peace, and eat her food!
Street Dogs are always hungry enough to get their mouth on any desirable item! Old Landlady's husband was of same breed! She realized it sooner than later, on the very first day, when he tried to grope her in stairs. Rhythm was loosing her rhythm, on the very first day!
She decided to wash off this day from her mind, and when cold water trickled on her face from the shower, nothing went away from her mind. Instead, it all came back with full force. Sameer came back and so did a fresh lot of reasons from a stable mind. Sameer always used to tell her that family is the first and foremost thing. Those who didn't have it, knew the importance. He had lost his family, too early in his life, not to recognise the value of it. She had known, long before. She had known, when he had left his best friend, who fought with his family, because they called Sameer rogue, and his friend fought for him. He didn't want him to. He cherished Families. Might be if he had a family, he would have been an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal nephew, an ideal son-in-law for Rhythm's father. She had known, every minute. Only that, in fit of rage, she had not realized.
All of a sudden she felt a pang of guilt. How could she think, he was shrinking off his responsibility, dumping away her, his love. He never was, like that! How would he become such a jerk, all of a sudden, and that too in her case. Ohh! How often do we misinterpret people! She longed to go back to him, and talk, only if the door was not locked. Only if, she wasn't required to go back to the lecherous leech! Only if, she knew his cell no! They never needed a cell phone as a communication mode in college.Only if, she had not changed hers, within an hour of coming back from Sameer's place. She had wanted to be miles away from him, then, even his calls, which she wouldn't have picked up.
Pensively, she inserted the old no back in her new life, and called Sameer.
"Is it you, Rhythm? Where are you? Sameer is getting mad! By the way, what a shot. I always wanted to break his nose. Only that, you could accomplish!", jokingly said Rajeev. That is what Rajeev, their common friend was infamous for. Putting across wrong things, at wrong places. Jokes, in midst of tears. And Emotional stories, in peals of laughter.
Snatching phone from Rajeev, "hey, hey Rhythm? Where are you? How are you? Why is your cell no not reachable? I tried calling on your father's no as well? So, you were not merely joking? You were serious? Where are you right now?"
"Chill, Honey! I am fine. Not much far away from you."
" Ok, where exactly? I am coming. Did you eat? I am sorry! Are you fine? Hope not angry on me?"
"I guess, my anger came out in form of blood from your nose, my dear Anotherself! I am in a PG."
continued their conversation, where more than concerns were exchanged! Where more than apprehensions of her father's redeeming step were discussed! Where more than future steps were discussed!
Sameer wanted to chuck his thinking, and bring Rhythm to his home. While Rhythm, meanwhile, didn't want to hurt her father as well. So she had decided, that she would wait, till Sameer got a respectable position which would be acceptable to her father. Even after Sameer's continous arguments, she refused to take money from him, and kept on taking tuitions. Education has become a good economic scope, she realized the validity of her father's statement. It offered her good money, and good faith in life. In watching the notorious children who misbehaved with their parents. She realized how painful it must be for her father. How heart wrenching it might be!!!
She just hoped, prayed, wished that Sameer achieves a good position asap. Sameer was toiling hard to fulfill his Rhythm's dream, and her father's demand, before they could go and be accepted as the part of a family, where there was a guradian, where there children would have a grandpa, where there would be love and care, where there would be the middle class Indian life they loved! Meanwhile, Rhythm everyday wrote a letter to her father, not to be posted. But in repentance! To vent out her own anger toward herself, for letting her father down, for letting his unflinching faith down, for letting his undying belief in her down. When you are your worst critic, things start looking up at you, up to you. That thing itself, got her selected into Aura, the Design Company, as the Chief Designer-cum-Photographer.
It happens quite rarely, one happiness precedes another. They were least expecting Sameer to get into the shoes of Chief Architect, Incredible India, for Ministry of Tourism. There were all over 300 applications. From artist of National and International repute. From artist of decades of credibility! But it had to be him.
"Lets celebrate, Rhythm"
"Yeah, we would. But only with father. After getting back to him. He would be angry, at first. He has every right to. I guess, he would not relent"
"Be positive, my dearest! When he knows, that his daughter didn't abandon his choice of not marrying me, and stood on her own, and achieved this. He would for sure, welcome you back with much stronger arms"
"Hmm...My father is a man of words, and discipline. You don't know him."
"I know. He is a man of principle as well. When you didn't go against it...when he knows that, things would be fine, love. But what you don't know is, what I am going to do to you."
Next she knew was, his lips on hers, his hand holding hers, and whole empty restaurant's view behind them. Only he left her, when he heard steps of the waiter coming toward them.
He made a smiling smiley with red tomato ketchup on the white plate. Rhythm, thought, sandwich would taste better, a million times over.
They packed the bag, boarded the bus to Delhi, from Jaipur. Aaah, Delhi is a shayari, written in architecture, roads, parks. Her father used to say, she remembered. She longed to be in her father's arms. Like a small kid. How lovingly he picked her up in arms, and took her through bylanes of Chandni Chowk to get Jalebi from Ghantewala. She decided, they would get down from bus at Red Fort itself, so that she could buy Jalebi for her father, and go home, then! Bus had entered Gurgaon. She was only too excited to reach home. Excited, and Nervous! How perplexed is human emotion! Two Strong emotions, both going equally intense, at the same time!
Bus had entered Red Fort Road, near Jain Mandir, and was halting at the traffic light! She saw outside and remembered her entire childhood. Raamleela, Dussehra, Id.....suddenly it sounded like bombarding took over, centuries old 5 storey building came tumbling over on the bus. Driver panicked, and moved the bus, when it hit the road divider and came tumbling over upside down. Parts of old Building kept falling on their new found excitement, nervousness, anticipation of new life, a freshened bond in heart of daughter about his father, and her would-be-beau, and Sameer's happiness about getting a family seemed to go before it could come, his plans of giving umpteen happiness to Rhythm's father, going on walks with him, talking of politics with him, discussing newspaper over tea with him. Everything seemed a dream, as it was before.
Sameer's dead body was lying on Rhythm's, whose hands were still clinching the bag. Few letters had spilled over on the road, from the bag. Large words seemed to shout from the letter, "Sorry Pa". It was only after when Aazaan sounded, when she breathed her last.
Atleast in her death, she agreed with her father, who was thinking about her in the park, still unknown to the tragic accident, watching a small girl getting hurt, some quarter a kilometer away, remembering her! Longing to see her, hold her, forgive her for everything, and get her back, with Sameer!