First, second, third and fourth part of story can be read at Part-1, Part-2, Part-3 and Part-4.
Will you join me for the lifelong journey?
I thought I did not heard it properly. I blinked with questioned eyes. Gaurav repeated –
Shivya, will you leave behind everything to join me for lifetime?
But……..I could not respond. I did not know what to do. I never thought of this kind of situation. I never imagined my dream man asking me to leave behind everything for him. I never believed in running away. I was always a fighter. I had got what I wanted in life, as far as it was in my control. Otherwise bringing up in an orthodox family, in a town called Dehradun, I did not expect any big dream to be reality in lifetime. And this man, whom I loved since I understood the word LOVE, was asking me to do something which I never thought of doing. Unconsciously I drew back my hands, rested on his shoulders and sat on that single seat white sofa chair, in front of mirror. The surrounding dark did not prevent mirror in reflecting me clearly. That tear rail from my eyes was a proof that I wanted to believe and follow Gaurav but….
The BUT, which changed my life, was – I did not want to run away. I wanted to wait. I wanted to settle down. I wanted to be accepted. Yes, no matter how brave I was in my attitude, at heart, I always carried those Indian girl’s dreams. Gaurav held my hands and sat on the floor. I could see that transparent love for life. I really wanted to go with him but I did not want to leave behind everything. I wanted to close the chapter gracefully before starting new one. When Gaurav left my hands, I knew, what I conveyed. With heavy heart, I looked at him and with sad smile, he said,
Shivya, I will wait for you … forever. I will never bother you until you decide what is important for your life but always count on my silence. It will be a proof that I love you more than myself.
He went away from where he came in……that tiny window, which he remained open for me to decide upon if by chance I could change my mind. But I was selfish. I was worried about my image socially. I did not know how that decision was going to affect my life. But believe me, days, or should I say moments, after that decision were and are more of like life and death.
It’s been almost 10 years, a decade, and believe me, I have never been able to sleep peacefully. Most of the times, that fearful dream of getting stuck in the fast flowing river makes me awake and I have never been able to understand what that dream is trying to tell me. Every moment of last 10 years have been passed while living dying at the same time. You might question whether I tried to contact Gaurav again or not and reason behind it.
My answer is No, I never tried to reach him because he has been unreachable since the night we met last, or should I say since we danced last?
Yes, that night came up with dreadful and unfortunate happenings where fate had showed its power in least possible time. While I was still looking at myself in the mirror, I heard a gunshot sound. My heart skipped a beat and I ran downstairs. The picture made me faint. My dad had shoot Gaurav, the moment he jumped from my room’s window. And there he was – my dream man, who badly wanted me to join him for lifelong journey – in blood. I ran towards him and tried to move him frantically. I took his head in my lap and kissed his forehead madly, in a hope that he will answer. And to this, my dad came running to me ragingly and held my hand and started pulling me inside house. This was unbelievable. My father, a school teacher, who was used to teach the students about life, had taken away someone’s life and I knew why did all this happen….Bhavya, the devil. I ran towards my dad, pulled the gun from his hand and shot Bhavya. Yes, I shot my real sister. I was not aware what I was doing. The revenge was driving me. I was not able to digest Gaurav’s death, I could never have.
Within five minutes, I lost both – angel and devil – from my life. I felt void. When I saw Bhavya in blood bath, I felt a strange feeling of peace. And I closed my eyes, for don’t know how much time.
And when I looked around for the first time after opening my painful and sleepy eyes, I saw my mother beside me. And while I could still observe anything, a hard slap on my face, made me almost faint again. It was my mother. While crying she concluded that fateful night as –
Within minutes of I shot Bhavya, police came over. In a small town like Dehradun, hearing two rounds of gun shots was unusual. And don’t know what happened to my dad, but within minutes, he created a story that Bhavya and Gaurav were in love and he did not like it. During that night, when he heard talks between Bhavya and Gaurav, he got furious and shot both of them. The police had no reason to not believe him. Finger prints on gun and other formal proofs were changed accordingly. And after 5 days of custody, my father was shifted to jail in New Delhi.
I had opened my eyes on 18th day of that fateful night. I was not sure, how should I react. My mom left me in hospital. She said, she was there just to tell me the story so that I do not carry that retaliation feeling for my father for lifetime. I was cured by doctors and nurses and when became movable, was shifted to women’s centre in Mussoorie, where I spent days while regretting my decision about not leaving with Gaurav. It took me almost 4 years to get some sleep. I used to sleep only when I was unconscious. There was no chance of closing eyes while I was conscious as I was too fearful to sleep. That dream, where I was struggling to breath and save myself when those forceful tides were pulling me, never allowed me to sleep peacefully.
After 4 years, when I went to Dehradun, my town, again, it felt like everything was new and I was the person looking around for someone known. My house was locked and when asked to the neighbour, they informed that my father had died due to ill health, in jail. And news of his death made my mom mad and a heart attack took her life too. These all happened before a year and while being just 50 kms away from there, I was not aware about anything. Now, I was an orphan in real meaning. There was no one with whom I could share my sorrow. Neighbour gave me keys for the lock and when I unlocked the main door of my home, emotions took over. All those trainings at rehabilitation center, to be strong and to face any situation bravely, looked little and I cried open heartedly. But I could recover and could take some decisions too.
After selling property and everything, I moved to Delhi. The purpose was – Dehradun would have never allowed me to live peacefully, by reminding every moment of past. I wanted to throw myself to the ocean of new, strange and challenging and thought Delhi was the best option. Initially moved to the friend’s house, I bought a little flat for me and started studying again. Can you imagine the pain? At the age of 24, I was going for second year of college. And the tragedy was – I did not want to go to my flat because I felt too lonely there. At night, when I had to go to flat, believe me, I could not sleep for many days. I was used to keep the lights on for the whole night. I was used to cry for Gaurav during days. I was used to grieve for my family, who could have been supportive, if been around. Days passed by and at the age of 25, I achieved a college degree. After joining the first trip of college to Jaipur, where I was the eldest, I felt a new excitement. It gave me new direction and reason to live. I understood that I liked exploring new places, knowing different cultures and meeting unknown people. And the fresh journey of life started with domestic exploration while keeping base as Delhi. But just before 1 year, when I went on my first international trip to Singapore, I realized that I did not need any base of place called home. I would be able to survive living nomadic and so, at the age of 28, I sold everything, dumped some important things in friend’s garage and left for journey of lifetime.
(photo : www.embracethisday.com)
And while everyone thinks that I am living a dream life, only I know, what life means and what I have lost during that disastrous night. But as they say, life should move on and so I have to. And after experiencing different cultures and locations, I have no complain about life but there is always a question, which is still unanswered –
Is this how love stories end? What if I would have believed Gaurav and would have left with him? Why do we see love as bad thing although every one of us need it badly?
And finally a piece of advice from a broken heart,
Never allow your loved one to go. Only fortunate get to feel that magic called Love and if you are one of them, never allow silence to the language of your love. Speak out, communicate, express, convey and verbalize the way you can. Because love happens only once. Remember that.