Okay, I am not exactly back just yet, because I am only going to be able to start writing this from mid-June at best. But look out for the chapters then. This one has different names from Swaragini, but the leads are the same despite the different name. My friend was getting pissed that I was using the same Swaragini names, so am using this…but you will know who is who. All the first name initials of key characters in this one as same as swaragini. I will add a legend in next time though, try guess it this time ;). Hope you will still find it interesting….Azure
Rahul dumped the last of the bags on to the trolley and stood up straight, huffing from the effort. “What do you have in these? Stones? Weights?” he asked looking at Ria with wide eyes.
“No! I don’t have stones or weights in them!” Ria told him annoyed “Why don’t you just admit you are too weak to lift them!”
“I am not weak!” Rahul exclaimed affronted, his ego had clearly been hurt “You had to pay extra baggage at the airport! Even when we were flying first class!” he shot at her
Rahul. Rahul Shrestha was Ria’s best friend while they were studying together in New York for the past many years. He was smart, funny, caring lanky guy. That lanky bit was the one thing that annoyed him the most. It was a sore spot for him, especially after his last girlfriend Avni dumped him for a well build man who was all brawn and no brains.
“I am back home for good. Of course, I would have a lot of things to carry back home, after staying in New York for seven years” Ria tried to reason with him
“I am back home after that same period, but you don’t see me carrying so much luggage” Rahul countered “Why couldn’t you ship it through?”
“I did” Ria told him calmly, shaking her head, even as she started to move towards the green channel at the Mumbai airport
“And you still had so much?” Rahul asked her, not being one to give up, even as he followed behind with his own trolley
“There are some things that I couldn’t ship. They are fragile” Ria said “Can you give it up already?” she finally said annoyed as they passed through the customs.
“You girls are crazy” Rahul muttered under his breath
“So according to you, all girls are crazy and since I am a girl, I have to be crazy as well, correct?” Ria said, stopping midway and shooting him an annoyed glance
“No! Let me correct myself! You are the only one who is crazy!” Rahul told her “Why did you study management? You should have studied law and stayed in US for good!”
“How would I have annoyed you if I stayed there?” Ria asked with a shy smile, while pretending to bat her eyelids. She straightened, in just a minute, gracefully walking towards the exit before, glancing at him once and adding “Someone has to keep a pig like you in a straight line”
Rahul muttered something about ‘crazy best friends’ before rushing behind to catch up with her.
As Ria stepped out, she looked around at the crowd of people gathered outside the airport, waiting for their loved ones to exit the airport. She found her family, standing amongst them, and broke into a wide smile. She rushed towards them, pushing the baggage trolley faster, until she let go off it, when she reached closer to them.
“Ouch! Riyu!” She heard her brother exclaim in the background, but she ignored it as she hugged her father tightly.
“Papa!” she said beaming at her father as he let out a hearty laugh, hugging her back tightly.
“Hmph!” Her mother let out, with mock indignance “All the love for Papa, what about your Mom?”
“She knows how loves her more” her father shot at her mother, amused
“You mean pampers and spoils her” her mother said pointedly “When she gets married, you are going to be the one responsible for her problems!”
“Mom! I have just come home! No talk about marriage” she said with a pout “Papa!” she said looking up at him for support.
“Yes! No talk of marriage. Who needs marriage? No one has benefitted from it. Why are you asking my daughter to make the same mistake that I did?” he said mischievously
“You do realise your daughter wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t made that mistake” his wife reminded him pointedly, even as Ria hugged her
Her brother cleared this throat “Can we do this at home? We are at the airport in case all of you have forgotten? And I need to get back to office soon” he told them
“Bhai, you are going to office today?” Ria asked, making puppy eyes at him, even as she hugged him. Her brother Lav, was five years elder to her. Her mother had insisted, as she grew up, that she call him as ‘Bhai’ instead of by his name, a sign of respect for his age and their relation, she would tell Ria.
“I really have a lot of work to get through” he told her sincerely “But I will spend time with you as soon as I am home. Mom, Papa and Shikha can keep you company till then” he said, still holding her in a side hug
She wasn’t happy about it, but she nodded.
That was when her eyes fell on Shikha, her sister-in-law and Lav’s wife. She was standing quietly behind her mother. Ria gave her a pleasant smile and walked over hugging her “Bhabhi, how are you?” she asked Shikha as she pulled back. That title, again was on her mom’s insistence. She hadn’t fought that one, even though she could have. Shikha had once been her friend, after all. One of her best friends, in fact.
But everything changed when Shikha had took ‘his’ side instead of Ria’s. They just drifted apart after and today, she was just Ria’s sister-in-law. Nothing more.
Ria felt her nostrils flare up a bit, as that slight reference to ‘him’. Of course, she would never acknowledge ‘him’ beyond that. And there was no way in hell, she was going to say ‘his’ name and spoil her happy mood.
Some of the greatest heroes in the world have nemesis. Luke Skywalker had Darth Vader. Harry Potter had Voldemort, the one everyone referred to as ‘You-know-who’. Ria had ‘him’. The one who she had christened as ‘He-who-should-not-have-existed-in-the-first-place’. True, it was way too long! And it wasn’t really catchy! If Ria wanted, she could have come up with a wittier title. She was smart enough to! But there was no way Ria was going to spend any time thinking about ‘him’, let along a title for ‘him’.
So for the foreseeable future, he would remain ‘He-who-should-not-have-existed-in-the-first-place’ – locked away in a box, hopefully gathering dust somewhere in the dark, soon to be forgotten, unless he poked her again. Then she would make sure he stopped existing for good! No nemesis! No title!
“Are you okay?” Shikha asked her, drawing her out of her thoughts
“Oh yes! Never been better!” Ria said with a bright smile, leaving behind the undesirable thoughts, as looked at her happy family and headed towards the car with them.
See you in a couple of weeks…….