Ragini took one more breath. “No” she stepped back. Sanskar did not liked the expression on her face. He moved his hand to touch her and she raised her hand to stop him.
She looked up to meet his eyes with her tear filled eyes. “NO” she said sternly. “You can’t back off now” he nodded his head. “I very much can” she wiped her cheeks and turned to reach the car. “Once just once for god sake see him. Once just see him what he had made himself” his words stopped her and she closed her eyes letting the tears to drop.
“Why are you doing this to me Sanskar?” she asked painfully but not turning. “I want you to be out of it” he said helplessly. “Finally you are here” she heard a squealing voice approaching her.
Before she could react she was walking with Yohan towards the Asthana home. She tried resisting but he did not give her a chance.
“Happy birthday” she heard roars and the room brightened and everyone stood happy and smiling looking at her. She can’t tell if she had the same feeling right now.
And when those steps started approaching her she sure felt weak to hold herself. Yohan squeezed her shoulder and she tried very hard to consume those killing emotions.
Tere Dil Ka mere dil sa rishta purana hai….
Vikram held her chin and lifted her head to face him. She did not raise her eye lashes to look at him. And those tears out of her eyes burned his soul.
In ankho se har aansu mujhko churana hai….
He wiped her cheeks and leaned to kiss her forehead which creased as the pain just shot up.
He dragged her along and sang and tried to cheer her but she tried all her will to stop him. But he was so happy to find her just with him right now he could not define the feel of it. It was heaven.
“Bacha” he called her cupping her face. “Call me bhayyu na? It’s been so long. I feel like I’m not breathing” he said lowly and that stabbed her heart several times. She sobbed.
Kaise mai batavu yeh tera iss tarah rona dekha nahi jaatha mujhse sunn….
He bent his head singing. “Just once Jhalli. Forget everything and crush him with your signature hug” Yohan spoke standing beside her.
“Enough” she screamed and all looked at her shocked. “It is not easy dammit for god sake. It ain’t easy. It feels…” she gulped the painful saliva in and looked at them.
“It ain’t easy to behave like nothing happened. It ain’t….” she said nodding her head. “I’m a blo*dy sinner. I did something which ruined everything. And it is not normal. Why can’t you all understand? It is suffocating” she placed her hand on her burning throat.
“I’m responsible for something for heavens sake and I can’t get that out of my mind. I can’t…” she cried bitterly.
“Bacha” Vikram moved to her and she stepped back. “Please” she pleaded him looking straight into his eyes. “Don’t.. don’t show me that it is not affecting you because even if you don’t tell I know I have caused you pain and when you forget it, it reminds of your hate every time towards Sanskar and it makes me feel more worse” she said helplessly.
“When you can hate him, why not me?” asked she and her eyes reddened.
“I have apologized for it many times didn’t I?” asked Vikram. “You cannot heal the wounds the words leave. And you cannot rewind and make everything undone” she said looking down.
“What you want me to do then? Tell me?” he screamed holding Ragini by her elbow. “You want me to stay away from you? You want me to live my life like a dead? Or you want me to just die?” he asked painfully. He could no more hold the pain the situation was causing.
“I can’t do any of it bacha. I can’t” he nodded his head. “Don’t ask me to do this all” he folded his hands. “Please” he pleaded.
Sriti walked and rubbed his shoulder to cool him but nothing actually can relieve him from the pain. Nothing absolutely.
Ragini could not hold it more and collapsed on the floor bursting into a bitter cry. “Why am I not dying?” she asked herself. “Why I have to live this life? Where all are just forgiving me so easily. And not thinking what am I going through. You all claim that you love me but you have no slightest idea what am I going through” she cried.
Sumi walked and held her by her shoulder. She tried making Ragini stand but she nodded her head looking into Sumi’s eyes. Sumi took her along to Kumud’s room.
Ragini was so not understanding why Sumi brought her there. “You saw that?” Sumi asked showing the family photo where Kumud was standing on one side and Raghvi on other side of Vikram.
Ragini did not understood anything. “Why does we don’t remain the way we were an year ago? Why do we age? Why one day we have to die?” asked Sumi. Ragini looked at her confused.
“Death gives the meaning to life. It tells you that you have very limited time to fulfill your part of destiny” Sumi smiled at Ragini. “And when you fulfill it you have to leave the world. No matter what may stop you” Sumi’s eyes had the glitter.
“What purpose will a six month old kid’s mother’s death will have?” Ragini asked in disbelief. Sumi’s smile widened.
“She gave you a family. The thing you always craved for” Sumi caressed her cheek. “She gave her sister’s destiny a chance” said Sumi pointing Ragvi. “She gave her brother a sister who is his life. Who denied everything but she never denied his love” Sumi said emotionally.
“What about Ansh maa?” Ragini asked painfully. “She gave Ansh his Maa. Who loves him more than anybody can even love. May be she herself wouldn’t have loved him to that extent” said Sumi.
“Now you understand. It was not what you did. It was all destiny. Haven’t you heard of that saying everything happens. Happens by God’s will and we cannot fight it. We might feel it is unnecessary and wrong. But think it this way. We have only one point of view but he has point of views as many as human population plus all the living creatures. And nobody knows best than him” Sumi said smiling widely.
“Maa… I….” she fumbled. “I know the feel of guilt will not leave you. But at least don’t make the wounds come alive after you have healed them. You agree or not the same people whose life you think ruined their world revolves around you. And they need you to breath more than the air” Sumi said emotionally as tears developed in her eyes.
“You cannot decide your punishment bacha. But you can sure decide how can you repent and surely it does not include drawing yourself away from everyone. It does not include hurting them more in the process. Trust the almighty he knows what you deserve. Do what you always do. Love everyone and make their lives worthy. I don’t think there will be any punishment better than snatching your memories from you. Which the god has already done twice. Just don’t isolate yourself. Don’t prove you are weak to accept the challenges to heal” Sumi kissed her daughter’s forehead.
She did not knew what she was feeling. Ragini ran out of the room. She looked at Vikram’s back and rushed to hug him in a bone crushing embrace. Vikram who felt her presence left the breath finally.
He cried bitterly looking up holding her hands. How much he had missed it. Nobody can even feel a bit of it. Nobody can. All that time he was feeling dead and suddenly there was a new life in his body.
Abhi mujhme kahi baki thodi si hai zindagi
Jagi dhadkan nai jaana zinada hu mai tho abhi
Kuch aisi lagan iss lamhe me hai… Yeh lamha kaha tha mera
Abb hai samne isse chulu zara… Mar jaavu ya jeelu zara
Khushiya chum lu ya rolu zara mar javu ya jeelu zara.
He turned and hugged her and cried more. He can’t tell how that moment felt. It was something beyond words could define. Beyond his all the senses could ever feel. Beyond he can see it.
“I don’t remember you sorry but I don’t want to go away from you. Please” he closed his eyes as the memory played from past.
“I thought I lost everything and every little hope with my memory” he hugging him when he met her for the first time flashed in front of his eyes.
“You think I will forget you. Hit a hammer and test my memory” he remembered her words. “You know you are the best bhayyu in the world” he replayed her words.
“Bhayyu” when she said that word he couldn’t thank his life more. Finally he really had a reason to breath. A reason to live. A reason to smile. His lips stretched to form a wide smile.
He kissed her forehead lovingly. “I don’t want to listen to anything after that word” he smiled painfully. “I don’t want to consider anything other than the fact that you are my bacha. And you will be the one for the time I breath last” he said and Ragini nodded her head.
“I made you to go through so much” she said weakly. “Even if you wanted to have me the pang of death I wouldn’t have minded doing so. Because bacha you gave me this life and I won’t hesitate to lose it for you” he said bending his head at one side.
Ashiyana mera saath tere haina dhundte teri gali mujhko ghar mila
Tu jo mila lo hogaya mai kabil. Tu jo mila tho hogaya sab hasil
mushkil sahi asaan hui manzil kyunki tu dhadkan mai dil
Dhundte teri hasi milgayi meri khushi
Ragini let out a tear and hugged her brother again. There was no feeling like that. It felt more than heaven. It felt home. It felt her soul.
Sanskar smiled through his tears looking at them. He looked away wiping his tears.
Ragini was sitting beside Sanskar on the bed placing her head over his chest and he was moving her fingers in her hair. He kissed her head at the side while she snuggled up to him.
“I am sorry” she said. “You do have better vocabulary than those words” he said smiling. “What if I want to apologize? Is there anything better than that?” she looked up at him.
“Of course” he shrugged his shoulders and she narrowed her eyes. “Like this” he reached for her lips capturing them in a tender kiss. She initially was shocked but soon melted in his touch.
When they departed Sanskar kissed her forehead. He locked his fingers with her and stared her in her eyes.
“Say something” he whispered. “I’m not finding right words to put it” she said as her eyes developed the tears. “Hey” he ran his thumb finger on her cheek with care. “It’s okay. I never needed your words to understand you. Just your breath is enough” he smiled and she closed her eyes feeling a weird happiness.
“I love you” she said it in a simple way.
But at this stage of life when he was just experiencing her pain those words came as a rain drop in the heated desert. “I love you too baby” he side hugged her and she moved more close to him not willing to let him go. “I told you. You are stronger than you know” he said rocking her. “And you are my strength” she said and he smiled widely closing his eyes.
Tum ho paas mere…. Saath mere Ho tum yun
Jitna mehsus karu tumko utna hi paa bhi lun
Tum ho mere liye mere liye ho tum yun
Khudko Mai Haar gaya yun tum ko mai jeeta hun…..
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