From the time they randomly met, they knew in their hearts this day would come and finally the day arrived.
A day when they wanted to celebrate their togetherness!!!
As Raj enters an eloquent dimly lit Italian restaurant placed at the corner of a somewhat lonely street, his gaze searched for Nisha. But she was nowhere to be found. Somewhat puzzled, adjusting his shirt’s button he looks at his watch. 18:59! His gaze goes through the window as he then mummers softly. “She never misses the sunset.” A voice close to his ears whispers back – “Indeed, I wont.”
Saying that Nisha removes her batch and apron, pours two glasses of sparkling wine and offers one to Raj. Time stands still as they both engrossed in each other’s presence finishes their respective glass of wine and starts walking towards the road.
The Conversation flows.
Raj –( deep in his thought ) So …
Nsisha – (without looking at him, smiles) So ….
Raj – ( some what confused ) its not natural right …?
Nisha – ( while walking little ahead ) what … ? what’s not natural …
Raj – (hesitant ) you know… that thing.
Nisha – (still walking little ahead of Raj, without looking at him casually) what thing ???
Raj – (with a little effort trying to gather words says) ahhh …we talking for hours … and still wanting to talk, I mean that’s strange … very strange.
Nisha – (laughed, still not looking at him casually) So… do you feel your left ankle twitching while talking??
Raj – (confused , irritated) What??? Why…???
Nisha – (turns and looks at Raj as a matter of fact gesture) do you feel it???
Raj – (more puzzled folding his shirts ‘s sleeves) NOO … what are you even talking about??? be serious, I am not kidding, I am asking you a serious question…
Nisha – (she looks annoyed ) so even I am serious you don’t feel the twitching right…???,
Raj – (almost irritated looks at her) NOO , I don’t !! ..
NIsha – (now softly smiles and walks towards him) OH Good !!! Its natural then??
Raj – (stares at her for a 10 sec, nods his head) I shouldn’t have asked you in the first place.
Raj looks at Nisha and passes through her. He walks ahead of Nisha. Nisha turns towards Raj, stands across the road looking at him and waiting for him to turn, she keeps looking at him with a hint of hopeful smile … he stops but doesn’t turn, sits on middle of the road looking at the sky facing his back towards Nisha. She too does the same while humming a song and walks towards Raj.
Now she turns her back and sits.
They both are sitting on the middle of the road as their backs are facing each other. They are at a distant from each other, she is now looking up towards the sky gazing the stars.
Nisha – (softly with excitement) you know there is quite a possibility that by the time we see the star twinkling in the sky the star must have been dead.
Raj – (still facing his back sitting, irritated) yeah.
Nisha – what yeah … ?? (mimics him)
Raj – ( with a confident tone ) I know you mean we are watching the reflection of the star. By the time the light of that specific star reaches earth … it takes so many millions of years that the star dies while we watch its reflection.
Raj – (bluntly smirks )Hunn … what’s the point even gazing …
Nisha – (laughs lies down on her back) yeah , what’s the point in living … by the way hun.. “Bandar kya jane aadrak ka swaad!!!
Raj – (irritated ) what????
Nisha – She softly says … nothing
Raj – (angry and pissed ) shut up don’t laugh…
Saying that he too smiles a bit as if he lightens up his mood and lies down on his back.
(now as they both lying on their back straight looking at the scarlet sky, we see how beautifully their faces overlap each other. Is almost like both of them know how much they need to distance themselves to be still connected.
Raj turns and looks at Nisha while she is still gazing at the stars humming a song… he keeps looking at her.
Raj – why is that I never feel … that I can have enough of you … (pause)…
Nisha – (engrossed in her own thoughts still gazing at the sky) do you think its going to rain, in a while ???
Raj without paying attention to Nisha’s words keeps noticing her … how the flickering street light is lighting her face and the gentle breeze is playing with her hair … he looks at her amazed!!! Knowing how she is unconscious about her scattered messy mesmerizing beauty, all he wants this moment is to freeze the time!!! Forever …. He just can’t take off his eyes off her, as she is innocently gazing at the shy making her speculations about the rains , mummers … and casually gets up and sits still staring the sky.
Nisha – (as if after some calculation has come to some conclusion) I think it will … !! What you think???
While saying that Nisha realizes that Raj was all this while only looking at her, lost in his own thoughts. She now cutely holds his face and turns it towards the sky and gets up and sits. .
Nisha – What happened? Tell Mr. Astronaut is it going to rain or no??
Now even Raj gets up, sits and continues looking at her.
Raj – (softly mummers) I cant stop looking at you Nisha.
Saying that he extends his hand and quietly entangles his little figure with hers. She now turns to look at him. She blushes a bit but doesn’t show, tries to remove her figure from his. With a conscious stern voice says, look up.
Raj – ( with a confident look ) hold me …
Nisha keeps looking at him trying her best to detach her hand form his … again.
Nisha – leave me.
He keeps staring at her.
Raj – (with stubbornness) hold my hand first.
Nisha – (adamant) NO
Raj- (with confidence) what ???
Saying that he comes closer … their proximity is decreasing, Nisha is feeling awkward.
Raj – (softly ) Hold my hand
The intensity of the moment increases, there’s tension between them, a hint of physical intimacy…
That’s when all of a sudden a dog barks running across the road towards them. She gets scared and holds his hand tight. From a distance a lorry’s head light falls on them as it honks very loud and charges towards the road with speed.
He quickly grabs her and roll on one of the side of the road. Within a fraction of a second a huge lorry passes by.
All this happen very quickly! Its pitch dark.
Now both of them are lying on the road side, engulfed in each other arms … Nisha’s eyes are closed and her face is protected by Raj’s hand which is bleeding. She feels the blood and opens her eyes to look at him. His eyes are closed. Nisha gets scared looking the blood. She holds his hand and calls him…
Nisha- (scared) Raj, Raj … are you okay?
Her face now is very close to his face, she start patting his face.
Raj coughs, gets up, opens his eyes …
Raj – (trying to come back to senses) yeah I am, I am okay.
Nisha – (worried holding Raj’s hand) your hand is hurt,
Raj – ( looking at Nisha) I still can’t stop looking at you!
Nisha wants to move away getting more conscious, Raj is still not letting her go. While doing that they almost come very close to each other. Nisha hesitates to look at Raj trying to maintain her composure while she emotionally thaws towards him. Raj at the same time has only one emotion which is not to leave her hand and keep her close to himself. Their proximity increases, as he keeps looking at her.
And slowly his eyes get moist. Seeing her trying to keep her distance from him Raj tries to suppress his disappointment. Leaves her but keeps looking at her.
Nisha by then is not being able to put up with her icy self anymore. She gives up and a tear rolls down her cheek as she breaks down; she hugs Raj.
For a moment the time stood still amidst the silent dark road!!! Both emotional but trying to control themselves, totally embraced in each other’s arms, Raj lovingly caressing Nisha’s hair…
Raj – I am so jealous of that Raj
Nisha – (still hugging him) which Raj?
Raj – (eyes moist, looks at the sky clears his voice) that Raj who is with Nisha in the parallel universe watching their favorite movie and having ice-cream right now.
Nisha- (still hugging him, maybe little more tighter innocently) which ice cream they are having?? (she herself answers…) chocolate???
Raj – (smiles looks at her) No… dark chocolate
Nisha- (Teasing Raj) Maybe they will fight after that.
Raj- (confident) No (pause) … they will make love after that…
Nisha- (gets conscious and pushes him)
Raj – (looks at her) …
Nisha – But that’s the parallel universe and we are here, so lets be practical and let go what’s not meant to be. Right!!?? That’s what we decided.
Raj – (with no reaction) I mean…you decided; right .
Nisha- (takes a deep breath) that’s right for US (she thaws a bit)
Raj- (trying to control his agitation) yeah yeah I know that’s best for us. To let go … I know, I know dammit!!! (Raj raises his voice in anger and then goes quiet).
Raj – (emotionally) its just ..!!! ….. (he looks restless and sweaty)
Raj – (looks at Nisha ) I know I have to let it go … but I can’t!! I just can’t … and there is a difference!
Nisha’s eyes are still wet as she looks at Raj.
Nisha – what do you want Raj?
Raj doesn’t say anything. He keeps looking at Nisha quietly… his gaze is romantic. Nisha looks at Raj emotionally holds his hand (the hand which is hurt); she looks at the wound.
Nisha – (emotionally looking at the cut) did I ruin it for you …
(she is looking at the wound as if she cant face him anymore ) … Silence !!! …
Raj – (after a pause smirks and nods) for life!! …. (smirk) yeah you did.
Nisha’s tears falls on Raj’s hand as she looks at him emotionally.
Nisha – I am sorry for putting you through all this, I am ….
Raj cuts in, wipes her tears.
Raj – well if someone should say sorry, that’s should be me,
(He looks into her eyes passionately)
Raj – I pursued you!!! …. Madly!!… in fact if someone should feel guilty, it has to be me for always putting you at a tight spot!!
Nisha is about to say something …. Raj cuts in, looks away, smiles.
Raj – but strangely I am not sorry, I am not sorry for what I felt for you, not sorry for following my heart, not sorry for the amazing time I have spent with you, not sorry for the person I became after I met you, not sorry for things that I learnt from you … (emotional, smirks) not sorry for how you have always made me laugh even when I wanted to just sulk.
Raj (confidence) – No, not sorry at all for anything actually.
Raj now comes close to Nisha, holds her shoulder.
Raj – you know what??? letting go isn’t an option
Nisha is agitated and yet emotional and confused.
Nisha- what you mean??
Raj looks into her eyes holds her face with both the hands.
Raj – (with determination) I will find a way to keep you in my life Nisha. I will!!!
He now moves ahead to kiss her … Nisha moves aside with a dishevelled look and moist eyes, Raj is confused.
Nisha – (with pained sarcastic tone), you mean like we will be friends to the world … and will silently share few unsaid moments as we cross our path with each other??
Raj, whose eyes are emotional goes blank; he now leaves her and sits aside. Nisha arranges her unkempt hair, gets up and says with a serious tone (they are feeling distant towards each other) – its late now; we should go.
Raj – (Even Raj gets up) yeah we should.
Nisha starts walking ahead
Raj sees Nisha walking ahead … he from one end of the road raises his voice with agitation.
Raj – so, this is it? From here on we are strangers, you can’t even walk with me. We can’t even walk together?
Raj is emotional and angry … Nisha stops, looks at Raj from a distance.
Nisha – (straight into his eyes) we were never walking together Raj, we met at a junction and it was for a moment!!! We stretched that moment … to live a little more … to breath little longer there, we both knew this day was supposed to come. But still we stretched that moment, we stretched the crossroad, every moment hoping bit more, little more!!! Some more time we can spend together wishing hoping, may be something, some possibility can be worked out … But … !!!
Nisha turns her back, her voice trembles…
Nisha – But there’s …
Raj by then comes and stands in front of her, looks into her eyes and emotionally.
Raj- BUT may be there is a possibility!!! … Maybe we still can’t see it, but there is One. I mean … its was never casual from both our sides right … ??
Raj saying this, holds Nisha and Nisha feels his presence thaws towards him. We see her expression changes and she becomes little emotional…
Raj – (holds her hand and kisses her looking straight into her eyes) I will find a way to keep you Nisha. I will do that.
Nisha now gets very emotional and agitated; with passion holds his collar.
Nisha – (angry) how Raj HOW??? Tell me how…??
Raj – (reciprocating the intensity, with a hint of hesitation) … the way you have kept me in your life, maybe even I ….
Before he even finishes the sentence, Nisha emotionally and angrily smirks.
Nisha –yeah so, you mean, as even after being married I kept you in my life, now that you are getting married soon you want to keep me the same way!!!!??? Is this your plan …. ??? Hunn ??? This is what you want???
Raj- (seriously defensive and awkward) why Not ?? I mean why not??? I don’t have any other option, I can deal with anything instead of letting you go …So, if I can deal with the fact that every night you go back to your husband and I can still love you, why can’t you Nisha?? Why?
Nisha keeps looking at Raj and now pushes him in anger.
Nisha – (angry and emotional) you are comparing my situation with yours??? And this is all so convenient for you … right ??
Raj- No its Not !!…
Nisha – (yells back) yeah it is … you think I enjoy handling this two men thing … Haan??? you think its like some fall back option I have always ready …. All the time … right ???
Raj – (tries to explain) NOO …
Nisha- (looses it ) Yes Raj, that’s what you think … you think I enjoy this , then why can’t you??? As if I have a choice?? As if … I ever had any choice…
Nisha breaks down, Raj holds her with a calm voice.
Raj – (supporting Nisha) you have a choice Nisha, I am there for you. If you want to come. I am there. Just look at me and tell me to wait, and I will wait for you all my life!!! I will.
Raj- (emotional) tell me Nisha, just say. And I will be only yours eternally!!
Nisha – (trying to compose herself) that’s unfair to you!! To your family … to your life … and I can’t come Raj. You know WE CAN NEVER HAPPEN!!! NEVER Its not an option EVER …!!!
A little pause as Nisha takes a deep breath and Raj, with moist eyes, looking at her. Nisha avoiding Raj’s expression continues …
Nisha – Anyway, I have to go (her voice changes)
Raj, while looking at her, even his voice changes.
Raj – (smirks) You know Nisha, the flip side of being serious in a casual relationship is that giving up is never an option even when you remain just an option.
Nisha comes close, lovingly caresses Raj’s hair and looks at him with genuine affection as if this is the last time she is looking at him like this …
Nisha – (softly) I never treated you like an option Raj, I don’t regret any moment that I have shared with you, I would have missed so in life if I wouldn’t have met you.
Raj – (lovingly caresses Nisha’s hair, holds her tight from her waist) why do you need to be so perfect FOR ME???…
Nisha- (still looking at him) maybe we are too serious towards each other, so couldn’t pull off a casual affair!! …
Raj slowly leaves her in disappointment …. Turns to walk away … Nisha holds his hand and stops him … (as in the background birds starts chirping)
Nisha – come let’s walk together and see the dawn!! Isn’t watching the first light of the day together one of the things in our list, that we wanted to do together?
Both emotional … Now Raj kisses Nisha on her forehead.
Raj – lets freeze this moment…
They walk towards the sea to see the sunrise together.
Raj- recite that poem once more, The one you wrote For US
Raj- (smiles) Our Break up poem!!
Nisha- No, you read. I love it when you read my poems, that’s was the deal right… I will write and you will read all my poetry…
They sits at a sea shore looking at the rising sun welcoming both of them with new beginnings… Nisha’s head is on Raj’s shoulder as he reads out the poem.
“At this Moment we are together,
and we will always be together
whenever we remember this very moment!!!
Whether we are in the parallel universe or this,
This possibility is already happening
where we both holding each other’s hand
watching the Sunrise,
This Sunrise TOGETHER —
Beyond that, nothing is in our hands,
nothing was and nothing will ever be…!!
The past Lived moments
will never die or fade away,
they would just remain safe, subtle and beautiful as they were…
Memories may have its own individual interpretations …
but that cannot take away from the magic
that has already happened during those moments,
and I am truly grateful for the same.
Thus, for me when I gauge at the past
by taking a breath at the Present,
our bond remains eternal,
for the future to come………….
I cherish and only cherish!!!!”