We both are in a shock.. Well of course Ivaan has come for his sister's engagement but I was preoccupied in so many things that I totally forgot about him.
I come back to my senses when my all friends cheer for him loudly.... he is addressing the guests and I am observing him.
His hairs, his style and looks all different.. he has become more handsome now with that strong and muscular physique..he is looking so charming..but in a mysterious way.. old days flash back in my mind..
He was always cheerful and full of life. Always protective and caring. That's the reason when he left, I felt like, I ammidway, in a stormy ocean, in a boat without sailor,..
I missed him so much and now he is in front of me..singing the song.. which we performed on our school's annual day together, like he has never left...oh god I am feeling so sentimental now..
But it's been six years..will it be same or has it all changed? At least I can hope for the good.
I still remember our last day, it was after his 12th result's party..when I came back home..I received a message from Ivaan.."I like you Ra.." I was in 9th grade, emotionally unstable..not mature enough to get the meaning behind his words..so I didn't mind his message and that's the reason I didn't share it with anyone not even with Kia..
Next day when I woke up..I got to know that he had just vanished..!!!
Now he is here...I can feel his gaze on me through out his performance..time comes when both of our eyes meet... wave of chills passes through my spine..it's kinda awkward!!
Listening to the lyrics...
"Palakein munde chahat meri so rahi thi.. Khusbu hawaon me thi Maine nahi mehsus ki.. umm
Jane kahan baharein meri khil rahi thi...
Khusbu hawaon me thi maine nahi mehsus ki..
Tum mile to mehaki baarisein..tum mile to jagi khwahisein ..tum mile to rango ka hain silsila..."
He is singing so perfectly that my body starts swaying along with the music.. I feel that the singer 'Neeraj shridhar' himself, is performing this song in front of me. I can feel the attachment..Each and every word he is singing with his heart..which makes me lost in his song.
When the song ends...all the guests cheer for him..he gets a huge round of applause.. Tina lets out the long whistle..with fingers in her mouth.
I look at Kia. She is smiling with tears in her eyes. But when she looks at me. Why do I feel that her smile just fade away?
Ivaan approaches to 'mandap' almost running, tightly hugs Kia, I am just looking at him, astonished!! my eyes are moist..he must have missed all of us but then why didn't he come to visit india even once in these six years?
After a long hug they release each other. Then he hugs Anurag and congratulates him, then he greets Kartik in a same way. and at last comes to me with that usual bright smile on his face.
I smile back at him, my breathing gets heavy..there is so much to say but it's like my lips are sealed..He utters by hugging me tightly..,"hey..Ra..I missed you so much" and to my surprise..he almost lifts me up.
I chuckle with quite a jolt..,then finally I could say, "I missed you too Ivaan.." then my all friends join us to greet Ivaan. As my legs touch the stage's floor..I release him... and the first person I see is Aarav, standing behind Ivaan, with sadness in his eyes. He twitches his lips..and looks away..I really feel a sharp pain in my heart..cause Aarav is probably considering me wrong!!
I comfort myself that he will know eventually..that it is just a friendship..!!!
Before I can think any further..Anisha drags me in the group hug... at the same time.. one artist on a stage starts singing the song ..
"jane Kyun dil janta hai... tu hai to I'll be alright" from the movie 'Dostana'
we start dancing in circle by holding hands..well except Aarav..of course..he is just watching us..or me? I am not sure..
When the song ends.., we cheer for ourselves and then Ivaan joins my friends to a table and Kia's parents and my parents approach to the 'mandap' as engagement ceremony starts...
After the ritual my all friends dash to the 'mandap' and join us..to celebrate ring ceremony by showering confetti and blowing foam bubbles...followed by cake cutting...with loud cheers...!!!
During whole celebration various artists are singing and performing songs..mostly of Kia's favourite..
Then anchor addresses every guests and requests them to come up on a stage..to accompany Kia and Anurag in couple dance..
Anurag extends his hand..Kia shyly holds it and walk towards the stage..
After a while Ved and Anisha join them too.
I sit with Tina, Aarav and Kartik. Ivaan is busy talking to his relatives.
I look at my parents..with a smile..They are dancing gracefully on a song,
"hoton se chhoo lo tum..mera geet amar kardo.. ban jaao meet mere..meri preet amar kardo.."
I wonder..after these many years..they still adore each other so much....I wish for such a happily married life..only if someone out there is ready to be with me ..!! I sigh by twitching my lips by leaning back on a chair.
Wait..what's happening to me?..no..no..no..I am good single.
Suddenly I steal a glance at Aarav and our dance...flashes back in my mind..what a day it was!!
Aarav is busy, typing something in his mobile..who on earth does that on a such beautiful evening like this?.. I don't even know where the hell is my phone right now? Who cares?
Here I am cursing myself for being single on this romantic evening! I really want to dance with Aarav...only if he asks me..
I got to see his little romantic side..only when he has been alone with me..while in a crowd his behaviour has been always cold..so I believe today I don't have any chance.
Within fifteen minutes Kartik goes to taste the soup..while Tina..in search for good spot to take selfie..so only two of us are left.
Aarav looks at me, clears his throat and speaks, "Raavi..I want tell you something about Ivaan.." I nod and add, "actually me too." He nods with raised brows, "okay."
I gulp my saliva and say, "see...me and Ivaan are just friends.." He shrugs, "so..what?" I clarify, "no..I am just telling you..incase.."
and I notice that he is smiling by reading something in his mobile..I doubt if he had listened to me or not..
what happened to him now? Is he ignoring me? Perhaps he felt my sharp gaze on him so he speaks in a formal voice by lifting his face, "hey...look..whatever it is..that doesn't really concern me..okay..."
Taken aback,..I plaster a smile, "okay..okay.." he continues, "umm..I want to tell you.." but I am not interested whatever he has to say so I glance around with unsteady gaze, see that Ivaan is calling me, gesturing with his hand..
So I crush my strong desire to sit with Aarav and get up from the chair speaking, "we'll talk about it later..okay.." and walk to Ivaan as he is standing near the stage...mumbling angrily, "what was that attitude for?"
I don't know the reason behind my anger but it really hurts me the most that he is not concerned about me..he should have..deep down I know that he likes me then why this kind of behaviour?
Oh god now he has just spoiled my mood.. Ivaan pokes me with his shoulder...cause everyone is clapping as the couple dance ends..
Then comes the photo shoot, I want to sit with Ivaan.. I have so many things to talk to him, but Kiara is not ready to leave me alone..she drags me with her..it's kind of strange..
I look at both of them blushing and posing for photo..my lips get stretched in a smile despite being angry and hurt.. it really lifts my mood up..
At the dinner, we all sit around a very big table, I am amidst Kia and Ivaan, and Aarav is opposite to me. Tina is talking to Kartik.for the first time she is not trying to flirt with Aarav, I think that she is in a serious relationship with someone and smile to that. Ved and Anisha are both into each other. Anurag is in deep conversation with Kia. While Ivaan is talking to me.
I get to know that Ivaan has come week before the engagement and was living in here, to give a big surprise to Kia..besides her, it was only me who didn't know anything about him.
I sense that Ivaan is totally changed now. he has pierced his eye brow, earlobes and ear helix. His hairs are blonde and spiky..of course it all suits him well.
He is continuously flirting with me. Whenever he gets the chance, he holds my hand, drapes his hand around my shoulder, well all in a friendly manner but I feel it strange and weird.
Well for Aarav, he is not speaking anything, or doesn't even looking at us!! he is just eating silently. Like he is not even listening to our nonsense chats.
After dinner..all the guests are leaving, we all, except Kia, Anurag and Aarav, are busy in talking to Ivaan... that Kia calls me.. I approach her that Kia firmly says, "Raavi.. you were busy these whole week.. so I think you should leave and take a rest now."
My eyes get narrowed as I look at her.. that Anurag and Aarav join us. Anurag states, "Raavi..I'll be going late..so if you wanna stay here than it's fine.." I feel Aarav's sharp gaze on me..I am about to say, "okay" that Aarav speaks flatly to me, "I think you should go with your parents."
I notice that Kia is somewhat tense.. but why?
I wanted to spend more time with Ivaan, but I am tired too.
I see my parents are leaving..so I wave my friends bye... Ivaan and my other friends want me to stay.. but Aarav and Kia..they didn't speak the word 'stay', even once.
Tina and Anisha also get up to leave with me, Kartik and Ved are going to stay here whole night with Ivaan...
In short all thanks to Kia..she has just spoiled our mood.
I am slightly disappointed that Aarav doesn't want to spend more time with me. He didn't even wish me good night or bye. Well I think that he is tired.
As for Kia I can understand that she is worried about me.
So we get into my dad's car. On the way back home, my mom is sleeping at the back seat...I ask to my dad, "did you feel, Kia was strange today?" My dad replies, "I don't know but it can be possible because of her new relationship."
I nod,"hmmm" but I doubt there is something else..I sigh and close my eyes.
At home I sleep like a log until morning. Next day Anurag wakes me up.. to open the gifts of last night. As It is always fun to me...
I quickly get ready and then get busy opening the gift and describing them. My parents and Anurag listening to me sometimes nodding.. sometimes laughing.
Anurag is continuously blushing..as I am making fun of him. Well my mom scolds me for that.
It took more than three hours to unwrap the gifts.
Then they all three are busy discussing about yesterday while I get lost in bubble of my own thoughts..
After lunch I go to my room and try to sleep that my cellphone buzzes.. it is a call from unknown number, as I receive I get to know that it is Ivaan!!
He speaks enthusiastically, "Hey Ra.. I want to ask you something.." I smile, "yeah.. I am listening" He says, "I was thinking to go on a long drive with you. .. do you mind to join me?
I say happily, "of course not ..infact I have so much to ask you..." he laughs, "okay then.. be ready.. I'll pick you up in an hour..but yeah and one thing don't tell anyone.. cause I want to discuss some personal things with you and I don't want others around us.. so.."
I smile and reply, "okay.. don't worry..I won't."
As I cut the call, I see that there were 10 missed calls from Aarav. He has been calling me since this morning. I was so busy that I didn't look at my phone and I don't remember why did I turn my cellphone to silent mode?
I wanted to dial him back but it is 3 o'clock so I think he would have been sleeping right now so I drop that thought just before I am about to tap the green button and decide to message him.
"Hi..sorry I didn't receive your call, actually my cellphone was silent..umm I don't want to disturb you at this time so..." I type this message and a naughty thought struck me to make him jealous and I continue typing., "well I am going out with Ivaan. He told me not to inform anyone but I don't think he would mind me telling you so I'll call you when I'll be back okay.."
Then I get up with a naughty grin and get ready, I wear white tank top with blue shrug and blue denim and white sneakers.
Of course I inform my parents that I am going out with Ivaan but I don't know at which place? As expected Anurag is sleeping.
Within an hour Ivaan blows his car horn so I get outside and join him in his car.
He looks so happy, he is continuously smiling. I am just regarding him with a smile and amusement.
I think he must be going to tell me about his girlfriend or lover..
Then he starts talking about his business and his concerts.. so he is a pop star..I smirk oh that's reason he is so changed now..!!, including his voice and style.
Then we recall our school days.. it feels so good to bring back all the memories.. today we laugh at those little things.
When I ask him about why didn't he call me? He answers, "you'll get all your answers..Ra."
What can be the big secret? I look out side the window and see that we are going out of the city..
When he told me 'long drive'.. I hoped that we'll go to some hotel on highway.
But he is driving his car in the opposite direction. I ask him, "where are we going, Ivaan?" He answers with a smile, "you'll know.. when we'll get there so have passions my dear Ra.."
I try to guess the road, cause he is driving for two hours. I think that perhaps we are going to his farm house, but why? We can sit and talk at any place.. why do we need to come to this far?"
So I am looking at my cellphone, he again firmly says that don't tell anyone not even Kia..
I reply, "don't worry there is no network in this area.. so I won't be able to tell anyone and smile."
After two and half hour we reach to his farmhouse. It is very big area covered with mango trees, with one Big house in the centre.
In summer vacation we all friends used to camp here. So I say, "it would be better if we would have came here with all.. you know we can enjoy so much here."
He says, "no..no..no.. today it's gonna be only you and me.. no one else.. okay." I shrug, "okay."
It is around 6:00 o'clock.. it is not that much dark..so we sit under a mango tree on a wooden cot. He offers me water, as he sits beside me.. He is continuously staring at me with admiration in his eyes.
He sighs with relief and states, "Finally I am here with you in india..oh god I missed you so much..so tell me how are you?"
I smile, "well I am fine..good actually." He again asks, "did you miss me?" I twitch my lips, "a lot." He adds, "tell me about your life in here" I smile and say, "well as you know now that I am studying fashion designing..I want to go for masters and ..." he states, "whoa whoa whoa..stop stop stop.. I am not asking about this boring things..all I am interested is in your life besides study.."
I ask furrowing my brows, "what...?.. what do you mean by besides study?"
He shrugs, "well if you are dating someone or if you are in love with someone.."
I nod my head and answer by a sarcastic smirk, "I am sorry..if we come this far to discuss my love life then you will get disappointed, cause I am not in that kind of relationship with any one..."
He laughs cheerfully and almost utters to himself, "thank god.. I was so stressed.. now I am relieved.." he then asks to me, "but tell me you are not lying."
I laugh, "why on earth I would lie to you.. Ivaan?" He looks at me for unusually long time without even blinking..then he gently holds my cheeks with his hands and adds, "cause you are so beautiful Ra..." I say chuckling to his actions, "you are still the same..."
Then he asks me, "do you remember...first time we met? I try to recall and say, "well not exactly but.." he interrupts me, "okay let me remind you then, "it was our school's sports day, I was in 400m race, I was about to win that, near the finish line I tumbled and fall on my knees. I was in so much pain, not able to get up..all the other students were laughing at me that suddenly you appeared with first aid box in your hand, you helped me to get up, took me away from the track, to the shadow, made me sit on a chair, wiped off the blood, cleared the wounds with disinfectant and applied the ointment with your small hands gently.." I laugh, "yeah I remember I was in 4th grade and if I am not wrong I was member of school's healthcare committee, and you were my first patient." He adds with smile, "on that day I lost the race but I found you.. you were so cute." I smile, "hmmm on next day you came with a big bunch of roses and we became friends." He says, "you know Ra.. it was the best day of my life."
I say, "yeah mine too..oh god Ivaan years have passed but you remember like it happened just yesterday" He chuckles happily and stuck my hair strands behind my ears, "you know Ra.. I remember everything about you..even our small talk and small fights."
I furrow my brows, smile and say, "liar.." I am suspicious about his behaviour..the way he is touching me, is not just friendly. Atleast I feel so.
Now I am afraid, cause we are all alone, with no one around..I don't know his intentions. I trust him but he seems changed person.
I wish to go back early home. I don't like it here. So I say, "hey..Ivaan...it's going to be dark soon..can we please go back..my parents must be worried about me."
Ivaan laughs at me, "oh c'mon Ra...we just came here..and I have a big surprise for you. So don't worry. I'll help you to explain things to uncle so just chill okay."
I say, "okay..so what is that surprise?" He grabs my hand and almost drags me inside the house."
He leads me to the big closed room on the ground floor. When he opens the door, I can't believe my eyes for what I see. The whole room is full of paintings of Ivaan and me, all the moments we spent together were drawn precisely.
I am looking at them.. I notice that they are arranged in a perfect order, from the day I met him to the day when I last time saw him.
"Oh my god..Ivaan..how and when did you do it?" I ask still looking at the paintings. He laughs proudly, "do you like my surprise..it took a very hard work..but it's nothing against your happiness."
I am really touched by his words. Then we pick the painting one by one and talk about the whole incident related to it.
In between Ivaan cuts some fresh mangoes for me, we are laughing over some of those pictures..recalling how stupid we were, "I am feeling so nostalgic now" I utter while eating a slice of that juicy mango.
He gives me look of adoration with smile as he tries to wipe corner of my lip with his forefinger. I am literally taken aback by his action. I lower my eyes and wipe my mouth with tissue paper.
I am feeling his sharp gaze upon me. I say in a low voice without looking at him, "I think we should go back now."
And I try to get up that he grabs my hand and makes me sit beside him. He gently holds my both hands in his and asks me,
"Hey..Ra will you be mine forever???"