Hi guys, I wanted to post something today, as it’s a very important day of my life today. As I said, I am fed up of this writer’s block with respect to my FF, but yeah i just got an idea so thought of penning it down.
Arjun got the book issued and took it home. He went to his room and took the book out. He smiled seeing the title.
“A Walk To Remember” was Samaira’s favourite book. In fact, she had been reading it the last time he had seen her. He smiled inwardly and thought of hiding the book, as his sister Nandini did not like him reading romantic novels instead of studying for his boards and entrance examinations.
Samaira was the crush of all the boys at school. Having just the perfect curves, long black wavy hair, topper in her class, sportsperson of the year. She was, rather, a Tomboy. Arjun had never seen someone as strong headed as her, nor had he seen anyone as caring a friend as her.
Samaira was a judicious mixture of all sorts of traits that attracts boys. Be it her flirtatious nature, or her sarcastic attitude. Her affection and care, or her arrogance. Everything about her was perfect.
Arjun had fallen in love with her the day he had entered the school. He was a new admission and was being bullied by his seniors when Samaira appeared out of nowhere and rescued him. Since then, they had become the best of friends. They had shared a lot of stuff which could be considered highly personal. They had laughed and joked together, studied together, had food at the canteen together, fought against their enemies together….. practically, their high school life had been 50 per cent each other and 50 per cent the rest. Being in the same section, and also the fact that they were partners on almost every project and practical, had further strengthened their bond.
Arjun smiled at the memories. He realised he was still holding the book in his hand, and went to his cupboard and kept it inside. The book had to be returned in three days. The librarian was already angry with him. Arjun sighed.
“Sam, why do you keep reading the same book?”
“Because it’s my favorite. Arjun, I love love stories.”
“But isn’t this book by Nicholas sparks? I heard all his stories have a painful ending.”
“True. But they depict what true love is. You won’t know unless you read it.”
Arjun rolled his eyes and sat down beside her. “Then tell me what true love is.” He whispered.
Samaira looked at him, giving him the ‘impossible’ look. “Read it one day and you will know. Trust me, your views on love will change.” She said, puppy-faced with a hint of sincerity in her eyes.
Arjun laughed at her and replied that he would.
Arjun had his dinner and then locked his room and took out the book. He wondered what was it in that book that had attracted Samaira so much. He started reading.
It was well past midnight when he got up, stretched his arms and legs, and thought of sleeping and completing the book later on. He had read almost half of it. Samaira would be proud of his reading speed. Arjun blushed at the thought.
He picked up the book and was keeping it in the cupboard when a small passport sized photo fell out of it. Arjun kept the book aside and looked at the girl in the photograph keenly. It was a small girl, with double ponytails, in a red coloured frock. Below the photograph was written, “My lucky charm”.
Arjun thought whoever would have considered this young girl as a lucky charm, and why had he/she left the photo in the book? “Maybe some previous reader. Must be a student of my school.”
Arjun checked the list of roll no.s of all those people who had borrowed the book from the library previously. But he did not understand how to track the actual person to whom this photo belonged.
As he looked at the photo again, he saw something- those Hazel brown eyes. Those eyes- arjun wondered why he could not divert the image of those eyes from his mind. He had seen similar eyes somewhere. Knowing this would not work, he sighed and kept the photograph in his wallet. He dozed off, still dreaming of those beautiful Hazel brown eyes.
“Samaira? What’s wrong?”
“Arjun! I – i –” Samaira started crying.
Arjun was worried and immediately drew her into a tight hug.
“What happened Sam?”
“Arjun, I stood second. Me! Second! Can you believe it?”
“What? Who is first?” Arjun had never even dreamt of seeing someone score higher than Sam.
“That girl- the one who came on scholarship.”
“Umm… Her name .. what’s her name?”
“Oh yeah, the girl we bullied, pretending to be seniors. Oh wait, she stood first?”
“Yeah.” Sam continued crying.
Arjun saw Radhika reading in the library. No, not reading. She was probably looking for something in that book she held.
Radhika stilled at his voice and turned around.
“Congratulations. I heard you trumped Samaira for the first rank.”
“Looking for something?”
“Does it matter to you?”
Arjun was shocked at her defiance. Radhika Mishra was answering him back. Him!
“I- I guess no.”
“Why are you being so rude? I am just trying to help.”
Radhika found it too much to tolerate and forgetting that she was in a library, got up and screamed at the top of her voice.
“Mr. Arjun Mehra the great, will you please do me a favour and go to hell? As it is, I am very busy and do not want any kind of disturbance. But yeah, how would you understand? You disgusting guy, you heir to billions, whose sole purpose in life is to roam around Samaira Khanna the great like a pet dog, why will you understand? Just move out before I slap you, you ugly, duck- headed monster!!!!!!”
“She screamed at me.”
Samaira had just got to know of the entire episode and had a hard time controlling her laughter.
“Awwwwww my ugly duck- Headed monster, my disgusting guy, my heir to billions. Awwwwww”
Arjun glared at Samaira and stomped off, while Samaira ran after him.
“Hey! Miss! Wait!”
Radhika could not believe it. Even after hearing so much that day, Arjun was walking up to her and had actually asked her to stop and talk to him. She sighed.
“I realised my mistake. You shouted all that because i had misbehaved with you when you had just entered the school right? That’s the reason na?”
“Cool. You are not as dumb as I thought you to be.”
Arjun laughed. He forwarded his hand. “Friends?”
Radhika stared at him and then his hand. She shook her head and gave her hand in his. “Friends.”
They started walking together towards the class.
“Did you seriously mean it when you called me an ugly duck- headed monster?”
“Lol no. I just said it in the heat of the moment. I am sorry.”
“Hey, no sorry no thank you in friendship.”
At that moment, two guys came running towards them and dashed into each other. Before they could reach them, Arjun pulled Radhika out of the way and the two shared an eyelock.
Arjun was lost in her beautiful eyes. Then, as Radhika tore away from him, he realised something and jogged behind her.
“Radhika! I am sorry. I didn’t mean to-”
“Arjun, no sorry no thank you in friendship. Remember?”
Arjun scratched the back of his head and remembered something and took out his wallet.
Radhika was surprised seeing her childhood photo with him. They had now bunked the lecture and were sitting in the cafeteria, with two cups of coffee and a plate of finger chips in between them.
“So, tell me the story behind this photograph.” Arjun looked at her Hazel brown eyes for the Nth time that morning.
“It’s a long story.”
“I have all day. Also, I just bought you a cup of coffee and a plate of French fries.”
Radhika gave him a ‘are-you-really-so-stupid’ look and started.
“Yes Ankush Bhai?”
“I am going away for that new job tomorrow. You won’t wish me luck?”
“Bhai, I was coming for that only. See this Aarti plate?”
“Radhika give me a pic of yours. I will keep it as my Lucky charm.”
“No but vut , just give it.”
“I have only one hard copy types photo … And it was taken when I was in sixth class!”
“Hahahaha. No worries, give me that only.”
“Okay. Take it.”
“But Radhika, if that photograph was with him, what’s it doing here? That too in this book?”
“God, arjun. Have some patience.”
“Okay okay. Don’t scold me.” Arjun pouted angrily.
Ankush waved to Radhika as the train from Rishikesh to Mumbai started moving. He could clearly see his baby sister radhu getting emotional but trying hard not to show it. He too would miss her. Very badly. But this job would fetch him enough money to fund her education. It would enable him to pay off his father’s debts.
Mala and Dilip were sitting like the life had been sucked out of them, while Radhika was crying inconsolably. She still could not believe that her brother, her Ankush Bhai had died within two hours of leaving home. The train had derailed and 342 people were dead, many more were injured.
As she looked at his dead body kept in the mortuary, which was almost unrecognisable, she thought of all the promises her Bhai had made to her before leaving. She thought of his words, “Radhika one day you will be at the top of the world. It is my dream to see my sister there. I want to see the world bow down to you. I want you to make the ‘impossible’, possible.”
She had immediately wiped her tears, taken charge of her lifeless parents, and since that day become the “son” of the house. She studied hard, did all the household chores, and still found out time to support the kids of an orphanage. She made sure that she won all the awards possible and received all the scholarships available, so as not to burden her parents further.
Each and every step she took, each and every word she studied, each and every paisa she saved, made her reach closer to her goal. Her goal? Fulfilling the unfulfilled dreams of her Ankush Bhai.
It was difficult at first. Very difficult. Just recovering from the sudden depression, and working hard, bearing the taunts of relatives is not easy for a small girl. But Radhika was not the one to be deterred by these small obstacles. She stood up every time she fell down, she made way for herself whenever the paths were closed. She carved out opportunities on her own and single handedly became the talk of her small town.
No- not single handedly. Ankush Bhai had supported every effort of hers, every decision of hers. True, he was not there with her physically, but she had his well wishes. And for that, she always kept the last evidence she had found on him- her own photograph. It was strange how she had been a “lucky charm” but had ended up bringing doom upon her own brother.
However, the police did tell her that he did not have the photograph with him when his body was found. Probably it had got out of his pocket and that’s why the disaster occurred, thanks to the “lucky charm” being no longer in his possession.
Arjun looked at her blankly. All he could manage was a “sorry” to show his sympathy at her brother’s death. Radhika had given him the slightest of nods.
“So that’s it. I keep this photograph with me always. However I borrowed that book called “A Walk To Remember” by Nicholas Sparks from the library, and by mistake left that photograph in there. Now, give it back.”
“She is a good girl, Sam. She has suffered a lot. You don’t know what all she has gone through to come till this level.”
“Arjun? What’s wrong with you? Are you crazy? That girl took my rank. She scored more than me! Instead of thinking of ways to pay it back to her, you are siding with her?”
“Sam, this is enough. Till date I have helped you in all your pranks. But this time, I won’t. In fact, if you try to harm her, well. You can forget me and our friendship then.” He said in all in one go, and walked off with his head held high.
“Radhika? What are you doing here?”
“I saw you and Samaira fighting. Please, don’t ruin your friendship because of me. I am okay with all those pranks.”
“No Radhika, had she wanted to punish you for some misbehavior, I would have gladly helped her. But she want revenge because someone got more marks than her? She needs to grow up.”
“Don’t Change the topic-”
“Come!” Arjun took her hand and sped towards the cafeteria.
“God Radhika. I am done Reading that book.”
“Oh wow. How did you like it? It’s awesome na? Nicholas is always good. He is my favorite author. Listen there’s this another book by him called “Now You See Me” it was released only now and-”
Arjun put his finger to her mouth.
“Don’t give me a headache.”
Arjun looked at Samaira talking to a gang of girls and sighed unhappily.
“You miss her right?”
“Any doubt?” He smiled at Radhika.
“No. But you won’t budge and go apologize na?”
“She started it.”
“You can always end it.”
Arjun looked at her eyes and thought if it was possible for anyone to be this deep in love with someone’s eyes. He have a small smile and said, “Tomorrow”.
“I am sorry.”
If the sound of his voice stunned her, the words he had just said gave her a shock for life. She turned around and saw arjun looking at her apologetically.
“I know I shouldn’t have behaved that way. I am sorry.”
Samaira took a long breath and looked at her ex- best friend.
“Radhika has changed you, hasn’t she?”
“You could say that. But more than her, it was the novel.”
“A Walk To Remember?” Samaira got excited.
“Yes.” Arjun smiled at her. He looked at the way he had just come from and smiled.
“It taught me what true love is. I was a fool to think that I had fallen in love with someone, just because of her looks. Now I know you can never fall in love with looks. You can only fall in love with the complete person.”
Samaira thought about his words and then seeing him smile, looked in the direction he was staring.
“When is the big day?”
“Soon.” The two smiled at each other and hugged. They then spent the entire evening remembering their best moments together and taunting each other.
Radhika came to an abrupt halt. She looked at her surroundings and gaped.
She again checked her message to see if the venue was right and once assured, started roaming around in the park.
The park was beautifully decorated and everywhere, there were red and white heart shaped balloons, red and white rose petals, red and white decorations. In the middle was a small table for two and on the table was a huge heart made of red rose petals and decorated with white candles.
Someone cupped her eyes.
“Radhika, I do not know you completely. From what I do know, you are someone who wants to live for others. Someone who wants to fulfill other’s dreams, someone who wants to see happiness in the eyes of others. Someone, for whom life means to always be there for people other than herself, someone whose happiness and misery depends on the feelings of people around herself. But at the same time, you forget that life has to be lived for your own self as well. You too need to be taken care of, loved and pampered. You too need to be understood.
I want to be the one to give all that to you. I want to take care of you when you are feeling low, support you when you need someone’s shoulder to cry upon. Shower you with all the love and affection you deserve but have probably never received. Prove to you your worth when you yourself start doubting your capabilities. I want to be that special someone in your life, the one you run to in case of the smallest problem, the one you take out all your anger on, the one you remember and dream of all the time, the one whose hand you want to touch and hold when all goes against you.
Will you let me be that special someone, Radhika?”
Radhika was crying. She could not believe what all he had just said. It was true, whatever he had said. She had forgotten to think of herself in the quest to fulfill all her responsibilities, which as she now realised, were actually the dreams which had been seen for her by others.
“Radhika? I am in a tight jeans at the moment and the ground is hard. You don’t have any sympathy for me?” Arjun’s face showed mock horror.
Radhika sat down next to him and replied in the negative.
“My heart has no emotion for you. Except love. I love Mr Arjun Mehra, my ugly, duck headed monster!”
Arjun glared at her but later pulled her in for a hug.
“You see Radhika? That one misplaced photograph of yours changed our lives forever.”
“Yes Arjun. Sometimes I wonder what would have my life been like had that photograph not been there.”
Arjun hugged her tighter.
“So? Mrs Wife? What do you want to do today? Seeing that you are on a holiday for two days?” He grinned at her wickedly.
“Mr. Husband, Mrs Radhika Arjun Mehra, the ISRO scientist would like to spend her entire time nestling in the strong protective arms of her super hot husband Mr Arjun Mehra the top ranked entrepreneur of the country.” Radhika winked.
“Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”
(My favourite quote from the novel, “A Walk To Remember” by Nicholas Sparks)
So guys, how was it? I hope I didn’t bore you? Also, those who got angry last time reading the heartbreaking OS called an “Ocean of Memories”, I hope you will forgive me now.
Bye, take care. Love you all. MMZ Family ROCKS!?
P.s. a good news. I have eleven more OSs lined up. Be good and drop your comments, you might get lucky!?