‘Alisha, I think you both should reconcile with dad, he didn’t mean it,’ Mayank said jumping down the kitchen slab and placing his elbow on it looking at her raising his eyebrows. ‘What do you think? I wanted to really say all this? I also didn’t wanted to talk like that, we are also humans, we also have hearts, we can also get hurt,’ Alisha said and she too jumped down the kitchen slab and took the coffee cup and went from there. ‘I will have to make it up with her before things get worse,’ he said to himself.
Alisha entered her room and saw Tara awake, she kept the coffee cup on the table and went to her helping her sit up and hugged her. ‘How are you now?’ she asked. ‘Better,’ Tara said smiling at her, Alisha smiled back and gave her coffee, Tara sipped it and felt good. ‘Thanks, you’re such a great sister, but who brought me here?’ she asked. ‘Virat,’ Alisha told her. ‘Oh, he’s so good na? He is such a good friend. He’s my best friend,’ Tara said. ‘He was really upset when he left from here, don’t know why.’ Alisha told her.
‘I told him I love Mayank,’ Tara said. ‘What? Then what he said?’ Alisha asked. ‘He was shocked,’ she replied. Alisha said in heart that I think Mayank was right about Virat’s love for Tara. Someone came in the room as Alisha was deep in thoughts and Tara was drinking coffee. It was a little boy. He came running to Tara. ‘Bua how are you now?’ he asked. ‘Fine baby, bua loves you Niku baby,’ she replied picking him up and kissed his forehead. He too kissed her cheek. ‘Niku, what about my kiss?’ Alisha asked and he gave her a kiss as well.
He took them both downstairs to play hide and seek. Alisha saw Mayank convincing Sushma about their marriage. ‘No beta she won’t agree right now, she and her sister both are hurt, please don’t force me,’ she said and her gaze went on Tara. She hugged her. ‘How’s you bacha?’ she asked. ‘Fine ma, Niku I will play later, you play with Alisha and Mayank, I m going to meet Virat, I want to know the reason why was he upset when he came here to drop me,’ Tara said and went out of the house.
‘Alisha, please just meet papa for once, he won’t say that again, he was crying that day, please for him if not for me,’ Mayank said. ‘OK,’ she said and they too went. Tara reached Virat’s house and rang the doorbell. He answered the door and got happy seeing her. ‘Aray Tara you? Come inside,’ he said and she nodded smiling brightly and came inside. ‘I heard you dropped me to my house lifting me in your arms, am I that special?’ she asked raising her eyebrows, he smiled holding her shoulders. ‘Nothing like that,’ he said, she frowned.
‘Aww. Means I m not special?’ she asked and pouted. ‘No no, you’re very special, as your name is Tara and you’re my star,’ he replied and she smiled looking down. ‘Aww, how cute, thanks, and you’re also very special as your name is Lakshya Virat Arora, and your name has luck. You’re my lucky boy,’ she said smiling at him and he too smiled. ‘Did you come here to praise me? Wow,’ he said and she smiled looking away. ‘I came to ask why were you upset when you came to drop me? Don’t lie,’ she asked concerned for him.
‘Upset and me? No ways Tara,’ he said turning away and she went in front of him. ‘Tell na Lucky?’ she asked. ‘Are you sure that I should speak up?’ he asked. ‘Yes, why not?’ she asked and he sighed. ‘I was upset because you said you love Mayank, remember about the girl I told you about who betrayed me? It was you,’ he replied and she was shocked. ‘What? What to you mean? Say clearly,’ she said and he held her arms pulling her close. ‘I love you Tara. Now I can’t wait anymore,’ he confessed shocking her.
Alisha entered in Sharma house with Mayank, she was welcomed with warm hugs. ‘Sorry beta, we told you and Tara a lot that day, we shouldn’t have said all that,’ Kaushalya apologized and she was just deep in thoughts, she broke the hug and touched her feet, Kaushalya blessed her. Gautam too came there and apologized. ‘Sorry, I shouldn’t have said all that and slapped Tara, I m still your and Tara’s father, don’t ever think you’re alone, I m so stupid to think like that about the girls who are my daughters, forgive this mad man who’s standing in front of you.’
‘No no, don’t say like that. You’re like our father,’ she said getting teary eyed, he understood that she’s missing her father and called her for a hug. She hugged him happily and he hugged her back. ‘What are you saying Virat? You know that I love Mayank,’ Tara said angrily moving out of his grip. ‘But he doesn’t loves you damn it! He loves Alisha, only Alisha, now you might be thinking that you also look like her only then why doesn’t he loves you so get one thing straight in your head,’ he was cut in between.
‘I don’t want to hear anything,’ she said enraged. ‘Till when will you deny the truth? Two different people always remain different even if they share same faces, having same faces doesn’t means same virtue,’ Virat said and she got teary eyed but he being her lover since childhood wasn’t able to see one single tear in his eyes so he made her look in his eyes. ‘Look in my eyes, do you see anything in them for you besides love? This love is for you Tara, the love you might’ve never noticed before and never even seen it in his eyes.’
She started crying after hearing those words from his mouth. She felt guilty and his immense love, why couldn’t she love him? Why does she have to love Mayank? Why doesn’t she understand that the lover is the one who ruins your lipstick and not your mascara? He cupped her cheeks. ‘Just imagine Tara, even if you marry him, will he ever love you like I do? Will he keep you happy? No right? But I will,’ he said, his eyes were full of pure love for her. He kissed her forehead as she closed her eyes.
‘Virat I need some time to think,’ she replied and he nodded and she went. ‘Beta I think now that we’ve reconciled so why not fix this alliance?’ Gautam asked. ‘But, Tara,’ Alisha said. ‘She will have to accept the truth someday,’ Kaushalya said and Alisha remembered Sushma’s words, ‘Your sister is mentally unstable because at the time of birth, you cried but she didn’t cry so she was declared unstable.’ She got worried for her.
(1st June 1991)
The marriage was fixed between the duo but still, Tara wasn’t ready to see Mayank marrying someone else, she didn’t replied Virat about his proposal and didn’t even meet him in these months.
Seeing the preparations going on, her heart sank, of course the functions haven’t started yet, but to who she could say her hidden feelings. She went out of the house cycling randomly and took a turn towards a familiar house. Of course it was Virat’s house. She was thinking whether to go inside or not. She stood outside his door and was about to ring the bell but he opened the door and collided with her and she fell in his arms. They had a sweet eye lock.
‘You here, after so long?’ he asked and she just kept looking down straightening herself. ‘OK leave, what about we both do cycling together? Your mind will be fresh,’ he said and she agreed. He too took his cycle and rode it beside her. They had a talk on the way. ‘Tara, if we marry in future, will you have same friendship with me?’ he asked looking at her instead of keeping his eyes on the road. ‘Umm Virat..,’ her voice trailed off as she saw him fall, she started laughing and stopped the bicycle laughing loudly. He stared at her.
‘Firstly I have fallen and you’re laughing,’ he complained and she held his ears and gave her hand. He said in heart I wish you give me your hand like this to make you wear ring as well one day. He placed his hand in her hand and stood up. ‘Why do you have to be so beautiful? I fell because of you,’ he told her. ‘Aww, keep your eyes on the road dear,’ she said and he nodded. ‘Don’t know when will the day come when we will finally belong to each other officially,’ Mayank said to Alisha and she blushed. ‘Soon Mayank, we’ll be each others’ very soon,’ Alisha told him, they joined their foreheads.
(10th July 1991)
All the other functions were already done of Alisha and Mayank. The day finally came for their marriage but strange things had started to happen with her, she would cough up blood, persistent headaches, unexplained loss of weight or appetite, chronic pain in bones, vomiting, low grade fever and repeated instances of infection. She would be too tired to get up from the bed, she never told anyone about these things as she was scared that they may get tensed but went to doctor secretly and got to know that she won’t be alive for much days, as she’s having brain cancer.
She was laying in bed, she heard a knock on the door and allowed the person to come inside, it was Tara, she was dressed in golden lehenga, she had come there to call her as the baarat was about to come. ‘Alisha, you aren’t even ready yet? Why are you so lazy these days? Get ready fast? Else your marriage won’t happen,’ Tara said and was helping her up but stopped as she heard her scream as her body was painful. She coughed up blood and Tara got worried. ‘Alisha? What happened? How is it all happening?’ Tara asked.
Alisha sat up by difficulty and Tara sat in front of her. She hugged her suddenly and started crying. ‘I have brain cancer, I won’t be alive for much days, I don’t want mumma to worry for me, I don’t want Mayank to see me die,’ she said cryingly and Tara got shocked and hugged her back. ‘But why you didn’t tell before?’ she asked worriedly. ‘What could I have done? I can’t even stand. Please do a favour on me, marry Mayank, you love him as well and see your love has won,’ Alisha said shocking Tara.
‘No Alisha, I can’t, I will lose my friendship, Virat loves me, what will I answer him? He will be heartbroken. Don’t do this,’ Tara explained. ‘No Tara, do fake marriage, when he gets to know, give him this letter,’ Alisha said and handed her a folded piece of paper. ‘My heart isn’t agreeing to do all this,’ Tara said. ‘Become Alisha for this marriage, if anyone asks about Tara, tell them she’s sleeping with heavy dose medicines.’
‘OK, take care Alisha,’ Tara said and got dressed as Alisha and went downstairs when she was called after barat came, her feet trembled, she sat in mandap, as everyone asked about Tara, she told what she was asked to tell. Rituals started, after sometime, rounds too started. Virat had a strange feeling in his heart. Why do I feel like someone mine is getting away from me? No this is Alisha. I toh love Tara, Virat said in heart. He showered flower petals on them, Alisha cried in her room praying to God that she had no option besides this option.
(Guys just some more flashbacks then back to present, guys please do give a detailed comment, I write for my readers)