The atmosphere felt like Diwali had come early this year. Each day passed as a celebration. Countless feasts were organized in both villages to renew new happy memories, putting the past behind. Friendship and understanding had started re-establishing as the decades-old enmity started losing its roots. “Aree, Thakuma!! What a pleasant surprise,” Trilochan Roy Chowdhary’s voice reverberated; on one pleasant morning as he saw a fleet of jeeps stop before the mansion gates. “Namaste, Trilochan Ji. I am here for a purpose.” Thakuma responded, getting off the jeep, with a smile, making the other scrunch his eyebrows in confusion. “I know you are trying to cure Mr. Binoy with the help of an experienced doctor this time. I just happened to find some ayurvedic concoctions from my medicinal books, which would ensure his speedy recovery if not cure him completely. Also, the girls wanted to do some shopping which made us drop by uninvited”, she replied with a smile.”There is no need for such formality” Trilochan Babu beamed “Wasn’t the boundary between the two villages already crushed down? The doors of this haveli will now forever remain open for you… I mean for your entire family,” he continued hastily, in a flustered tone “AH !! Anirudh and Som are home today. They could take the girls shopping while we work on the cure for Binoy”. Thakuma returned a coy smile. Bondita, caught up in witnessing the age-old romance leisurely unfold, completely forgot to stop her thakuma from accepting the offer to take Anirudh shopping. She remained transfixed till a handsome man in a grey shirt with folded sleeves lightly tapped on her shoulder.”Shall we?”
Bondita turned on hearing an excited voice, only to find Anirudh looking at her with a million-dollar smile. Her pupils dilated at the sight of his grin, as she felt her cheek growing warm with increased blood flow. “Others…” she questioned, suddenly unable to meet his eyes. “We are already ready to go… Hurry up, Didi” a conjoined shout came from a car in the distance, followed by a display of wiggling eyebrows from the younger ones. “OH uh,” Bondita responded; before awkwardly setting off towards Anirudh’s car with him, debating all the while whether it was humanely possible for all of her family to fit in Somnath’s car so quickly. Anirudh opened the door of his jeep for Bondita, giving rise to a sudden hooting from the other car. Finally, Bondita caught on to their master plan. The hasty settlement in Som’s car, though uncomfortable, was accepted to force Anirudh and her to travel alone. “Jeez, these people” was the only thing Bondita could utter to display both her annoyance and a weird warm fuzzy feeling arising in her heart.
This warmth had been growing for quite a while now, slowly melting the ice in her heart. Well, she had never hated Anirudh as a person in the first place, what she resented was the change in him. On that day, when she secured her first win against him in court, she had seen the old Anirudh come back to life. Her birristra babu coming back to life. That day, she had realized that maybe the candle of justice had not extinguished in him just yet. The confirmation had slowly unraveled itself later on, as they gradually worked together each day while quartering together the puzzle of Chandrachur’s crimes.
She seemed to have found her peace back as they traveled through the dawn and dusk together. She had found her sense of security back in his deep brown eyes. His sensitivity, his emotions, his gentle smile were all returning gradually yet certainly. The man she had loved was returning.
“Bondita, we have arrived” she heard his tender voice, breaking her from her trance, as he lightly turned to her side, leaning in to unbuckle her seat belt. Bondita stiffened at their sudden proximity, all until his cologne hit her nose.
Her lips curved up, her body relaxed as her heart regained its rhythm. His phus phus was still the same. That coffee and mint fragrance, which had never failed to help calm her down, still had its magical effects on her. He moved back after unfastening her belt, resulting in Bondita’s lips falling back down, who was left yearning for more of his scent. Her eyes trailed him as he got down from the car, slowly made his way towards her side, and opened the door for her, maintaining that sweet smile throughout. Bondita returned a shy smile, the same simper she had seen her Thakuma break into some time ago. She paused, seeing Anirudh now turn to stride towards the market. A sudden strong urge grew in her. What compelled it was unknown, she might end up in regret doing this later, she knew not of the consequences but one thing was certain that she had to do it. She took in a deep breath, relieving herself of all her skepticisms.
Without any further thought, Bondita jogged up to Anirudh’s side and slid her hand into his; before smoothly interlocking it around his fingers. A blush had crept up to Anirudh’s cheeks, but instead of resisting the contact, he lightly squeezed her hand. As they walked hand in hand; through the market of Tulsipur with the glow of dusk descending on them, each felt an affection, a solace they had felt never before. It seemed as if their hearts were reconnecting with each other. Neither were there any fluttering butterflies nor a sudden shower, as they turned to steal a glance of the other simultaneously, making their eyes meet. Nevertheless, the warmth spreading through their hands and the passion in their eyes, conveyed what each had always wanted to say to the other, “I am always by your side.”
Thanks a lot for loving The Estranged Lovers over the past few weeks. It has been an amazing journey writing this and seeing your supportive comments has really inspired me a lot. Originally, I wrote this story “The Estranged Lovers” focusing mainly on Anidita’s separation and coming back together in a bit different way. For this ending, it can be considered as the beginning of things starting to get fixed. If I stretch this series, the main point of the estranged lovers will end and no longer make any sense. Initially, I wanted to end with an epilogue but now I want to leave that option to you. Do you want me to?
- Mark this series complete with an epilogue
- Continue this story but with a different name as they are no longer estranged
So, go ahead and comment your choice… The fate of this Fanfiction now lies in your hands…