First, Second, Third and fourth part of story can be read here, here, here and here respectively.
As Aastha’s Oh My God was loud enough to draw attention from others, the new passenger too looker at her.
Aastha? She spoke softly.
Sangini? Aastha was still in shock as she never expected to meet Sangini, at least on this trip.
Sangini came nearer to her and almost hugged her. A wide smile on her face made her face glowing more. Within a moment, Aastha started feeling jealous for her. She thought to herself
Sangini is glowing so much. Aayam must be taking care of her like a princess. How lucky she is!!
Sangini could not read her mind and took a seat beside Aastha’s. They never talked with each other in the college as Aastha always felt inferiority whenever she saw Sangini spending money on anything and everything. But today was different. It’s been 8 years, they saw each other and life surely changed within those years.
So how have you been here? Sangini started.
Actually my husband had a business trip and so I and my son joined him to explore the new country, Aastha answered mechanically, still confused what to talk.
Oh!!! You are a mother now? That’s good to know, Sangini flashed her cheerful smile again.
So how are you and how is life? Aastha returned question
Oh I am good and life is going good. I earned master’s degree in medicine, being more specific I am an ophthalmologist now. My desire to learn about unknown places brought me here and I am working with a government hospital in Stockholm. I was visiting a friend in Ystad today. After having lunch with her, I decided to buy some good crystal pieces for my newly rented apartment and so was going to Malmo. Thank god, I decided so otherwise I would have not meet you. You know, how good it feels when you meet old classmates? Sangini spoke non-stop.
Aastha smiled back. After couple of seconds’ silence, Aastha decided to ask the question, which was burning her since years.
So how is Aayam? Aastha vocalized her mind.
Aayam? Do you still remember him? Sangini counter questioned her.
Aastha struggled to answer and with some efforts, she smiled and said, who will forget him? He was the most desirable bachelor after all. I saw you and him together for couple of times and so thought you both might be together.
Aastha, life is not that simple and straight forward always. Aayam was undoubtedly the most desirable bachelor of the college and I too misunderstood his innocent friendship as love. Love for Aayam was something very holy feeling and unfortunately he fell for someone who left him without notice. Sangini replied.
Ohhhh!!! Aastha was surprised.
And you know Aastha, who was that someone? Sangini had serious look on his face.
Aastha shrugged and nodded in negative.
It was you Aastha, Sangini dropped a bomb.
What? Aastha said with wide eyes.
Yes Aastha, you heard it correctly. It was you for whom Aayam fell and almost madly searched for you when you suddenly disappeared, Sangini clarified.
But…….but…he never told me, Aastha murmured.
Did you ever give him chance? That evening in the parking, he was telling me that he was going to tell you how much he loved you and how your simplicity and beauty had killed him. He was rehearsing his proposal to me and we were laughing hard. When he saw you fell down, he ran to you and supported you but before he could tell you something, you ran away and never came back. You do not know Aastha, what Aayam has done to find you. For a week, we friends consoled him that it might be the injury that must have stopped you to attend the college. His eyes were constantly searching for you. None of us had your address. He got your phone number from one of our class mate and we both found your address from that phone number. He went to your home but you were not there and your mother when came to know that he was Aayam, she asked him to walk away. She informed him that you were married and he should not disturb you. Aayam was mad for days and no good words were helping. It took him a year to accept the fact that you were not coming back. I have seen him in depression and please don’t mind but I hated you like anything. I could not see my friend in the situation and more than that when the others were waiting for a glance from him, he was mad for someone who already left him. Although his studious nature helped him to overcome and finally he graduated with flying colours and joined master’s in same college, when other colleges were inviting him. And you know Aastha, when I asked him the reason behind joining the same college, he told me that someday you might come to visit the college and he can tell you how much he loved you. He just wanted to see you once Aastha, Sangini placed her hand on Aastha’s and tried to calm down herself.
Aastha without control, allowed tears to flow. Today was the happiest and saddest day of her life. Happiest because today she came to know that the person for whom she was waiting since years, was really in love with her. Saddest because today she came to know what she had lost in life.
For more than 10 minutes no one spoke anything. Sangini started getting up when she heard about the next station being Malmo. She said Bye to Aastha and to this, Aastha to got up and got off from train with Sangini. It was very important for her to know where Aayam was. She asked Sangini to accompany her for coffee and they both settled in the garden area of the coffee bar.
So where is Aayam? Aastha tried to stitch the talk without being formal as she knew Sangini knew everything about Aayam.
Does it make any difference to you Aastha? Sangini asked sharply. Afterall, you are a mother now and it seems you are happy with life, she added.
Sangini, you know the story of one side only. Aastha had to reveal. She told Sangini about everything – what she felt when she first time talked with Aayam, how much she was pained when she saw Aayam with Sangini, how her parents arranged her marriage on immediate basis, how Tanay – her husband supported her and still how she spent countless number of nights remembering Aayam. She told Sangini that she wanted to meet Aayam once only. Sangini after hearing her story, promised her to give her Aayam’s whereabouts. She surfed her iPhone and forwarded needed information to Aastha’s cell number. Aastha felt like she had found treasure and she kept thanking Sangini. After a cup of coffee and with a commitment of being in touch, she and Sangini left for the day.
I am coming Aayam, I am coming, her heart was singing and her face smiling and blushing at the same time.
To be continued …