…..When Priya came back to her senses after the deep thought process of all of these old memories did she realize that Vijay had not yet arrived. So she glanced here and there for a while and then checked her wrist-watch to discover that the appointed time was not yet reached, that she had arrived far too early at the Ashok Park.
Time and again she was recalling the incident that had occurred at the wedding reception of Rajesh. From the entire body language of Vijay it was appearing that he wanted to share some long preserved secret while standing in front of each other. Just when he was about to express himself, did Vijay notice that his mother was approaching both of them which had left him utterly confused thus forcing him to quickly say, ‘Do one thing! Can you meet me tomorrow evening at 6 o’clock? Where can we meet? Where?’, he had whispered.
‘At our usual spot!’, Priya had suggested.
‘Yes! Quite right! Our usual spot! Ashok Park!’, Vijay had responded and noticing that his mother was coming closer, he had quit from the scene by quickly saying, ‘I will wait for you there at 6!’.
‘Frankly speaking, it was really good that Vijay did not get an opportunity to share his secret thoughts’, Priya thought, ‘because such intimate issues are not worth speaking about at such over crowded places like a wedding reception’. One more thing Priya had glaringly noticed in Vijay’s behaviour, a radical change had occurred in his approach toward her, in the sense, he was appearing to be increasingly restless and was constantly glancing at her clandestinely and how he was full of eager to meet her in person. Indeed, there had occurred a major change in his overall behaviour that was erstwhile always calm and quiet.
But how has this profound change developed in him so suddenly?.
Probably because, finding that his closest friend, Rajesh, getting married had induced Vijay to express his intimate feelings.
She was deeply engrossed in her own thoughts and suddenly sensed that somebody was standing near her. She looked in front and discovered that it was Vijay standing in front of her.
‘How long? I have been waiting here for such a long time here?’, Priya complained.
‘Look at the watch! I have arrived sharp at 6 o’clock! Right at the appointed time!’, Vijay argued in self-defense.
In fact, it was Priya alone who had arrived far too early being eager to know what Vijay wanted to share but Vijay was not at fault as far as keeping the appointed hour as usual he would never miss it.
‘Anyway! Forget it! What was it that you wanted to tell?’, Priya said hiding her eagerness and she did not want to waste her time by casually talking about anything else since she was all the more curious to know what Vijay intended to communicate so secretly.
‘Today I desire to share with you something that has been going on in my mind for over a long time now!’, Vijay directly touched the topic he wanted to communicate as if even he did not desire to waste time in talking about casual topics or any other trivial issues.
Priya’s heartbeats were fast soaring and she was now all the more eager to hear what she had been longing for across so many years now. It was appearing as if her dreams were coming true at last.
‘How shall I say it?’, Vijay was perhaps trying to find the right words making Priya all the more restless.
‘Frankly speaking, I am in love!’, Vijay uttered by gathering some courage.
He was staring straight at her that made Priya blush and she started looking down. She had no more courage left in her to endorse Vijay’s staring looks.
But Vijay continued talking incessantly, ‘You know I have never felt afraid of anything in life but this time I am somehow unable to gather the courage to disclose this to her!’.
The moment Vijay pronounced the word ‘her’, Priya felt as if a devastating blow was being made on her heartfelt emotions and all her dreams were being shattered mercilessly. Right in front of her, the long cherished palace of her aspirations, was collapsing with those thundering words of Vijay.
But Vijay was completely ignorant of Priya’s thought process and therefore he said, ‘That is the whole reason why I decided to seek your help because, you being my best friend, I am confident that you will definitely help me!’.
Vijay was continuously talking about his aspirations as though never before he had speared himself for such an overwhelming outburst of his emotions. But each of his word was like a disastrous blow to her heart and he was totally ignorant of it. Priya was unable to hear his words and all her senses were going paralyzed. Conflicting thoughts were raging in her mind and she was feeling as though there was complete darkness in front of her now. She tried her level best to gain control over her balance because under no circumstances she wanted to spoil Vijay’s joyous mood to have finally sought some relief from that unbearable burden. But for the first time in her life, Priya was finding it difficult to care for herself because she was feeling as though the entire purpose of her living was brutally crushed under the shock she had just suffered. And only then, did she remember the words of Vijay, the beloved guide of her life had once uttered, ‘When you feel that everything has ended, the life actually begins from that point only!’.
Those words had at last had offered her some solace because she had not taken these words much too seriously, the day Vijay had pronounced them but it was only now she was realizing the significance of that advice. Unknowingly, it was these words alone that were coming to her rescue and appearing out to be the source of energy she could rely upon.
Priya was now engrossed in persuading herself. She thought, ‘I constantly tried communicating my feelings to him but he never took those indications seriously!’.
Priya’s thoughts wandered further, ‘But that means he was never in love with her!. But perhaps he avoided hurting her by being explicit about it. It was I who made a mistake by misinterpreting friendship as love!’.
Priya’s mind argued again, ‘What misinterpretation? You loved him genuinely!’.
But Priya’s conscience argued, ‘But it is true that Vijay had never allowed his mind to commit the same mistake of mixing friendship and love. That way, he had never allowed himself to commit any error about his own emotions and he was right in his position. It is wrong to expect Vijay to love you just because you were in intense love with him!’, Priya’s wisdom concluded.
Vijay’s next question broke the chain of thoughts raging in Priya’s mind, ‘Are you not going ask me who is she? What is her name?’.
‘Well! I will tell you now!’, Vijay clarified, ‘Her name is Nayana!. I fondly call her as ‘Nayani’, she works in the office of her father alone!. She is the daughter of my boss! We both work on the same project’.
Vijay now took a sigh of relief.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)