“Amayra . Just 15 minutes more and then your film would hit the screens.”, Kim shouted in excitement.
It was a big day for Amayra. After completing her filmcourse it was her first time that her short film was getting screened for the local audience. It was her story that got selected among thirty best scripts presented by some of the excellent students or rather ace future script writers, director and producers, to the institute.
Amayra was always positive with her decision of opting for no other story but this one. If the film got real appreciation from the audience then she might even get associated with best production houses of Bollywood. With heart full of excitement and a little nervousness, Amayra was looking at the auditorium full of keen public, her eyes searching for her special guest for the evening.
“The film rolls in 3…2…1”, announcement blared the hall and the screen flashed to life. Amayra, who was still waiting for her guest, was unaware of her surroundings. It was then, the backdoors of the auditorium opened and a man got seated in the first row. With an air of happiness around her, Amayra settled in her seat and her short film began.
Life is fleeting – enjoy every moment.
“Oh man! Diya how is that possible?”, Kiara was rolling on her bed in shock and Diya was all full of laughter. “I mean how can our choices be so SO SAME?” . The two were playing The Game of Best Choice. “Favorite color – love all of them , favorite season – season of romance WINTER , best vacation spot – Goa , actor you would marry any time any place – Ranbir! How can you be such a copy cat Dibbs?”, Kiara asked teasing Diya.
Diya laid down with Kiara still laughing and said, “We are best friends. What else do you need to confirm such a coincident silly.” “Best friends? Naaaah! Soul sisters is what we are.”, and Kiara hugged Diya with all her heart almost choking her.
Kiara and Diya were born and brought up in the city of love, Dehradoon. Kiara belonged to a well-off Punjabi family and Diya hailed from a simple Brahmin background. Though their picks were always same but their natures were poles apart. Kiara was a bubbly girl, full of life. Always chirpy and loved loudness around her, little show-off too sometimes. Diya on the other hand enjoyed the beauty of silence. Her eyes did all the talking and her effulgent smile was capable of warming any heart. Kiara had a family of families, and somewhere down the line Diya always was a part of their life. Inspite of being an orphan, Diya was never devoid of parent’s love. Studying in the same school, playing with the same dolls, eating, outing, caring, sharing everything they did went hand in hand. Partners in crime. Twenty years of being together is quite a time to know a person through and through. They shared all the darkest secrets and all the funniest ones too. There is no love sans trust and the two trusted each other blindly.
“Dibbs?”, Kiara said jumping up form the bed to Diya’s side.
“What now? I’m not playing any Choice games with you again.”, Diya said with her killer side look.
“Yeah okay fine. But you gotta answer one question of mine. Please!”, Kiara went down on her knees to stop Diya from leavin the room.
Diya giggled and gave a soft kick on Kiara’s leg and said, “What? Ask!”.
Kiara quickly got up and took Diya by her hand, “What if we both fall for the same guy? Haan?”.
“I already know how insane you can be. You don’t have to prove it. Stop thinking and asking such questions K.”, and Diya started to leave the room.
“Arreeyyy! Say na! Please.”, Kiara requested with her cutest puppy face. Diya couldn’t ignore her this time. She smiled and said, “If such a situation ever comes then…..” .
“Yes! THEN?”, Kiara asked with keen eyes.
“Then I would step aside. Because I can never break your heart.”, Diya said holding Kiara’s hands, “I can do anything to see you happy and for that I would give up anything, for you a thousand times over…”
“Awwww! I know you are my sweetest heart, and you don’t have to prove it. Ranbir you will always be mine. Yayyy yayy.”, Kiara twirled on the tunes of ‘Love me like you do’ and both laughed, this time a little louder.
The next day Diya was at Kiara’s doorstep ringing the bell for the third time. Mrs.Malhotra, Kiara’s mother opened the door for her with a warm smile. “Kiara is still asleep. You should really teach her some good habits. I don’t know when will this girl grow up.”, said Kiara’s mom.
“Good morning aunty.”, Kiara said taking Mrs.Malhotra inside the house. “Let me go and check on Kiara you please relax. Okay?” to which Mrs.Malhotra nodded and went back into the kitchen.
Diya quickly went upstairs to Kiara’s bedroom and there she was, still sleeping with her blanket on. Irritated at this sight Diya pulled off the blanket and shouted, “Sleepy head get up.”
Kiara with her half closed eyes saw Diya, “You look really pretty babes. Now can I get back my banket?”
“Hello! I did not come here to get complimented by you. We have to leave for the workshop, did you forget? Its 10:00 already so please K, get up. NOW!“, Diya almost kicked Kiara out of the bed.
“How rude.”, Kiara sat on the bed with a bizarre look. “And yes. Let me tell you. None of us is going to attend the workshop. We have to leave for the airport. I forgot to tell you.”, and Kiara took her blanket back from Diya who stood there all baffled.
“Airport? But what for?”, Diya asked.
“Its been a long time that we haven’t been there, lets go and visit the airport”, Kiara tossed back on the bed.
“Haan? Are you nuts K?”, Diya felt really disgusted this time.
“Idiot. We have to receive someone. For what else would we go there.”, explained Kiara.
“Whom do we have to receive? Can you ever talk straight K? Please stop checking my patience!” , shouted Diya.
“Rishaan”, Kiara said in her sleepy voice.
And hearing that name Diya’s heart skipped a beat. Flood of memories poured in her head.
Rishaan Kapoor….better known as R.K…sometimes Rishu. Their childhood friend. Diya’s first guy friend and the only one till now. Her basketball coach, her maths teacher, her cycle driver to leave her till her home, her all time favorite dance partner for any school function. And may be Diya’s first crush.
“My lady love? Still there?”, Kiara asked Diya. But Diya was still enjoying the flashes down the memory lane.
Rishaan was a close friend. All three studied together till 5th grade then Rishaan left for U.S.A with his family. Rishaan was like family to Diya and she had cried a lot when Rishaan was leaving. She was reliving all the old times, all pranks they had played together, which brought a huge smile at her face.
Kiara got up to check on Diya and found her beaming with joy. “Are you laughing at me?” and hit her with a pillow. This brought Diya back to the world.
“Hmmm….What? Yes! I mean no no no…I was not laughing at you. When do we have to leave then?”.
“11:00 sharp, he would be there by 11:20 as the flight schedule says.” ,replied Kiara getting up from the bed.
“Wait for me. Let me get ready and then we’ll leave to attend Mr. U.S.A .”, and Kiara left Diya all by herself with her memories.
Its been fifteen years since Diya had talked to Rishaan. It was always Kiara who was in constant touch with him and updated Diya about his where-abouts.
“Why am I even thinking about him? He doesn’t even know me anymore. Stop being crazy Diya.”, sitting with the car’s window slid down, the cold air touching her blushing cheeks and the sun warming her hands, Diya was all together in a different world.
“What if he doesn’t even recognize me. Or maybe he doesn’t like what I am wearing. Oh God! What am I wearing?”, Diya started scanning herself.
“Chop, chop! Get out now Dibbs. We are already there.”, Kiara broke Diya’s trance.
“What on earth? Did we fly?”, Diya asked Kiara with the most amazed look.
“Yeah. I’m so ‘Fast and Furious’. So will you step out of the carriage my love?”, Kiara opened the door for Diya and bowed down.
“Stop making a scene K. PLEASE! I’m coming out. Stop now.”, Diya quickly rushed out of the car.
“When will you stop being so damn cute Dibbs? Who will not fall for you? You know I already have, for the billionth time. ”, and they both left for receiving their friend.
Kiara was standing with a placard having ‘Mr. U.S.A’ written on it. Her eyes were fixed on the escalator while Diya’s mind was all over the place.
“Are you even listening?”, Kiara asked Diya, still looking for Mr. U.S.A.
“No. I mean…sorry. What were you saying?”, Diya tried to hide her nervousness.
“I was asking that aren’t you excited? Its been fifteen years and now we three will be back together like old times. I’m telling you Dibbs we’ll go on a trip, all three of us, Goa? What’s say?”, Kiara asked raising her placard a little higher this time.
By the time Diya could give her consent for the trip Kiara started to jump, “There he is.” .
Few seconds later, when the crowd dispersed, a guy in a black sweatshirt came in view. Loose blue denim, a duffle bag on the shoulder and headphones still hanging from his neck, Rishaan was waiting for his suitcase at the security check.
“Stop staring Miss. X-ray eyes. The machines will do their work.”, Kiara teased Diya.
“I was not STARING.”, Diya said with a red face.
Kiara rolled out her tongue to Diya and then started waving to get Rishaan’s attention who was looking all over the place for his receivers. A sexy smile spread across his face on seeing Kiara. With every step that Rishaan took towards them, Diya’s heart started to beat faster.
“Hey. How have you been K?”, and Rishaan hugged Kiara.
“All good and all hot. Any doubt?”, Kiara hugged him back.
“And who is this pretty lady? Hi by the way….I’m Rishaan.”, he said moving his right hand towards Diya.
“I was so right. He doesn’t remember me.”, Diya thought with a broken heart.
“Dumbo! Of course she knows who you are. You better be quick in recognizing her or be ready to forget your beautiful teeth.”, Kiara said almost threatening Rishaan.
“Lady Don. Please calm down. I have been away for a long time and you expect me to remember each and everything?”, Rishaan said.
“Guess atleast. Who would accompany me to receive an idiot like you. And she is no THING.”, Kiara said with disappointment.
“Ohhhh! No no no no no. Are you…? Is she…? Kiara is she…”, Rishaan said in excitement. “Diya…Dibbs? How are you apart from being so pretty”, and held Diya very close to himself.
“Yeah dude.”, Kiara was back with her smile.
“I’m sorry. I really am very sorry. But its not my fault you see. I could never imagine you to be so beautiful.”, Rishaan said every word looking in Diya’s eyes.
“Who would say he is meeting me for the first time after our 5th grade.”, Diya thought, standing there speechless. ‘Hi’ and ‘thank you’ were the only words that could escape her lips.
After collecting all bags they left for Kiara’s home.
Rishaan’s return was no less than a celebration for the Malhotras. Everyone was curious to know about his experience in the United States. Mrs. Malhotra was most interested in Rishaan’s future plans, for his business and yes of course, his marriage. “So beta? How is Mamta and bhaisaahb? When are they coming to Dehradoon?”, asked Mrs. Malhotra.
“Anytime soon aunty. Maybe in a day or two. They would have come with me if Dad did not have to attend his last minute arranged business meeting.”, said Rishaan assuring Kiara’s mom.
So much of family drama was not Rishaan’s cup of tea. Fortunately he found an escape from the cacophony into the lawn. “Someone has rightly said there’s bliss in Dehra’s air.”, said Rishaan taking a deep breath and started walking in the grass barefoot. The sun was about to set and it was a mesmerizing view. As Rishaan was observing his surroundings his eye got on a figure sitting on the bench near the fence of the lawn. On getting closer he noticed that it was Diya. She was wearing a thin, pink beaded sweater and with her arms tightly wrapped around herself, silently looking towards the sky.
“Do you mind if I sit here?”, Rishaan asked leaning over Diya’s shoulder.
“Ohhh! Man. You scared the hell out of me.”, Diya said almost falling from the bench.
“Woohhooo! Easy there. I did not mean to scare you Dibbs.”, Rishaan held Diya by her shoulder and then came to sit beside her.
“So? What are you doing outside in this cold weather?”, asked Rishaan with his sexy smile.
“The same thing you were trying to do by walking barefoot on the wet grass, in this cold weather.”, said Diya with her eye-brows raised pointing towards Rishaan’s muddy feet.
“Ohhh! Ohkay. You noticed.”, said Rishaan.
There was silence between the two. Sound of the birds in the valley was crystal clear. The sky was crimson red and the smell of lilies was all around them. For the first time in his life Rishaan had witnessed such a relief. He glanced towards Diya and wished if the moment could stay forever. She was smiling with her eyes closed and head laid back on the bench. “You are the most beautiful girl I have ever known.”, Rishaan said softly.
“Sorry. Did you say something?”, Diya opened her eyes on hearing his voice and found Rishaan staring at her.
Rishaan quickly took his eyes off her. “Me? No. I was just wondering how do you live in a house with so many loud people in it?”, Rishaan chuckled.
“I guess you failed to feel the warmth in the loudness. Love of the family is what matters. Who knows it better than an orphan.”, said Diya with her best smile.
There was something about Diya that caught Rishaan’s attention. Her face, her smile, her thoughts. Who knew a girl could be so captivating.
“What are you both upto? Enjoying the chit-chat without me. Come inside please I don’t wanna freeze in this cold wind.”, and Kiara broke the spell around Rishaan with her voice.
“Yeah coming.”, Diya got up to leave for the house.
Rishaan was still sitting and watched Diya leave the lawn. “I guess I’m falling for you or I have fallen for you.”, and he laid down on the bench facing the sky.
‘There is no place better than your home’. Rishaan realized this within two days of stay in India. Being in abroad was like living a life sans hues. No matter how luxurious or comfortable the day seemed to be there, the craziness, the love, the warmth he was getting here was always missing in the fifteen years he had spent to build up his career.
Kiara was so much fun around. The day was incomplete without a fight with her. Her family was so welcoming. The housewife kind of discussions with Mrs. Malhotra and sitting with Kiara’s Dad (as if attending a business meeting) became a part of his daily routine.
“You have changed a lot dude. That girl is driving you nuts”, said Rishaan looking at himself in the mirror.
“R.K you are already very late. Uncle and aunty had spent ages waiting for you at the airport. Shall we leave?”, Kiara was waiting for Rishaan at the entrance of the house.
“Just two minutes. I’ll be there in a click.”, Rishaan said struggling with his sweater.
Picking up his sunglasses from the table Rishaan said, “Mrs. Malhotra is right. I’m grown up and its high time to get settled. Mom wait for me, because we need to talk.” , and left for the airport.
“Mom? Mom? Hello! Can you give few minutes of your ‘I’m back home time’ to your only son?”, Rishaan asked Mrs. Kapoor while she was arranging her cupboard.
“Of course sweet-heart. What’s the matter with you now?”, Rishaan’s mother replied still having her back to her son.
After returning from the airport Mrs. Kapoor had spent her entire day with Kiara, Diya and their family. It seemed that the ladies had their best day. Gossips, eating, laughing and yes some touchy moments too on remembering the past years. Mrs. Kapoor was really pleased to meet the girls and she wished that Rishaan would feel the same about them and their family.
“What’s the matter? Its been a day and you haven’t cared to know about me. I had been stalling all day to talk to you. But who cares?”, Rishaan thumped on the bed annoyed with his mother.
“Grow up Rishu.”, Mrs. Kapoor said running her fingers through Rishaan’s hair. “So tell me? What is up with you?”
“I wanted to talk to you about something. Something? No no no…”, Rishaan sat upright. “I want to tell you about someone.”
“Ohkay. Even I wanted to talk to you about someone.”, his mother replied with a lopsided smile.
“Fine then. Ladies first.”, raising his hands Rishaan was ready to listen to his mother.
“O my God! I cann’t believe this.”, Kiara stormed into Diya’s room.
“What? Is everything alright?”, Diya was startled at Kiara’s entry.
“No. its not. I mean yes its is but still it is not….”, Kiara hugged Diya who was nonplussed by this behavior of her best friend.
“Please calm down K. Come sit and relax.”, Diya made her sit on the couch and offered her a glass of water.
“I’m getting engaged.”, Kiara announced giving the glass back to Diya.
“Okay. That’s fine. So what is the need to be so hyper about it.”, Diya replied.
Seconds later the room was no less than a zoo. The news took Diya by surprise. Still unable to believe her ears she asked, “How? Who? When? Oh God. Is this the way to tell such a thing? That too to your best friend? How is it that I was unaware of all this?”
“I know I know. Mom did everything. She talked to his mom and she likes me already. Can you believe that? And guess what even I like the guy.”, Kiara was blushing.
“Who is this unfortunate man? Do I know him?”, Diya inquired with big eyes.
“Rishaan”, Kiara shouted the name and hugged Diya once again.
Hearing his name Diya went speechless. She couldn’t even hug Kiara back. It was for the first time that Diya wasn’t happy for Kiara.
“Dibbs I always had a thing for him. I was never sure of it so couldn’t talk to you or to anyone about what I had started to feel about all this. But when mom told me that she and Rishaan’s mom want us to be together I realized even I wanted the same. I guess he is the reason for my brighter mornings these days. I would have never said yes if it was not him.”, and Kiara poured her heart out.
“What do you think of him? Are you happy?”, Kiara tried to get Diya’s attention.
“Congratulations.”, Diya held Kiara tight and couldn’t manage to get more words. Her eyes swelled with tears and it felt like her heart bled.
‘The number you are trying to call is currently switched off or out of coverage area. Please try again later. Thank you.’
Rishaan has been trying to talk to Diya since he had got the news of his engagement. His world was upside down. For the last twelve hours he hasn’t taken his eyes away from the phone’s screen. All night he had been waiting to get a call back from her. Finally he decided to ring Kiara’s cell.
“Hey! Sup? Wow. What is with you that you are calling at 4:00 in the morning?”, said Kiara picking up the phone at fourth try.
“Yeah. Hi. I’m sorry to disturb you…umm but. I…I just wanted to know…how’re you?”, Rishaan said all nervous.
“I’m good. And I was sleeping and now I’m not all thanks to you R.K.”, Kiara was snubbed.
“You got the news and you are blown up I can get this very well. Look R.K even I didn’t know this was about to come. But yes I had always liked you and this liking changed to love as I got closer to you. I don’t expect you to feel the same but I really wish if you could give us a try. I mean we have known each other for ages and its all fun when we are together. Moreover our families want the same. And to be honest I want the same. The ball is in your court now.”, Kiara gave her best shot to make Rishaan believe in her.
“Is everyone happy with all this?”, Rishaan wanted to know only about one person right now.
“Yes stupid. And what have others to do with it. If you are happy with it then others don’t matter. Okay?”
“You are right. Thank you. Good night. Bye.”, and Rishaan hung up.
Diya was busy with planting rose buds in the garden when Rishaan knocked at the backdoor.
“Why haven’t you been receiving my calls?”, Rishaan asked leaning against the door.
Diya’s face turned white. She wasn’t expecting him to be at her place. She tried to act all normal.
“Good morning. R.K”, and she went back to her rose buds.
“That is not an answer to my question.”, Rishaan said trying to look at Diya’s face.
“Well. I wasn’t expecting you to call like I wasn’t expecting you to be here.”
“Or you were avoiding me which definitely you were. So changing my question…why are you avoiding me?”, and Rishaan started to walk towards Diya.
Last night had been difficult for Diya too. Accepting the the fact that people always move away has been hard for her ever since she had lost her parents. She did not want to break infront of Rishaan and so she was determined to push him back, far back into a world where he should not even remember her or anything that could stop him from being with Kiara.
“Okay. You wanna know. Fine R.K . Let’s talk. Yes I had been avoiding you. Why? That’s your question right? Well because I don’t wanna have any conversation with you from this very point. I don’t want to see you anymore. And I hate you for terrorizing my garden like this.”, Diya said with her head tilted to one side.
“ You have a great life ahead. Everything is planned and everybody seems happy. Kiara is happy…she is in love with you. And you both are perfect for each other. I was enchanted to meet you but all this has to end. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend, thank you for listening to me always, thank you for making me smile when I didn’t want to, thank you for being everything no one can ever be for me. Fortunately or unfortunately this chapter closes here Rishaan.”, and a tear escaped Diya’s eyes when she shifted them to the rose buds.
Rishaan was intently listening to every word Divya had said. Holding her back Rishaan pulled her close to himself, wiped her tears and kissed her softly, “Your lips did a lot of talking today. Its my turn now.”
“You lied. You want to see me… everyday, every second. You don’t hate me, you can never do that.”, Rishaan rubbed her cheeks.
“ Yes I have a great life ahead but only if you are in it. Everyone is happy but what about you? What about me? Sometimes you have to be selfish Dibbs…sometimes you have to think for yourself.”, Rishaan tried to hold her face up.
“I had been there for you and will always be there no matter what odds may come. Just look me in the eye and say that you don’t feel the same I feel for you. Say that you hate me and don’t want to see me again and I would never bother you with my presence.”
Diya freed herself from rishaan’s hands, “Don’t make it more difficult. I can never be selfish, not with Kiara. It is possible for me to do without love but not without her. She is my life and I cannot be the reason for her broken heart. I’m ready to give up anything, a thousand times over for her.”
“Goodbye Rishaan and don’t bother me with anything like this again.”, and Diya left Rishaan in a daze.
“This is the very first page Dibbs, not where the storyline ends. You’ll speak all the words you are holding back. I’ll make you do that.”, Rishaan collected his things and left for Kiara’s home.
Celebrations can never end when it comes to Kiara. She had planned a trip to Goa with her best friends.
“I’m not taking a no for an answer. Quickly pack your bags or you have to spend the trip with the extra pair of bikinis I had packed.”, Kiara was determined to convince Diya to go along with them.
“Okay. Then even I drop the plan. Let Rishaan tour alone at our dream place.”, and she started to hang up.
“Haha. I knew you would say yes. We’ll be there in fifteen minutes please be ready. Bye love.”, Kiara sounded excited.
“We are going to rock Goa.”, Kiara was seated between Diya and Rishaan.
“Yes we surely are going to do that. Why are you so quite Dibbs?”, Rishaan tried to catch a look of Diya’s scorny face.
“She’ll be alright. For our whole life we had been planning this trip. The beaches will elate her don’t worry.”, Kiara said elbowing Diya and held Rishaan’s hand.
“Whatever.”, said Divya and turned her head towards the window when the flight took off.
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With twenty minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher.
He was helping Kiara to collect their bags at the security check and Diya was following them.
“Oh man. K I’ll be back in a moment I guess I forgot my purse on my seat. I’ll ask the attendant to check for it. Wait for me at the parking.”, and Diya started to rush back.
“Wait Dibbs let me come with you.”, Rishaan started to keep the bags down in the cart.
“I can take care of this. Thank you.”, and Diya left Kiara and Rishaan at the security check.
Fifteen minutes had passed and there was no news of the purse or Diya. Rishaan and Kiara were waiting for her with the cab ready to take them to their hotel.
“You should go and check, might be she needs help with the purse hunting.”, Kiara asked Rishaan .
Rishaan started to take his steps towards the airport with a pounding heart. He did not know why but something did not feel good to him.
It was then that the runway blazed with fire and the light blinded Rishaan. It took few minutes for him to realize what has actually happened. The world went mute and tears started to run from his eyes. He ran to the airport calling for Diya. There was smoke inside and people were running towards the exit.
“Sir you cannot go further. The plane caught fire due to some technical problems.”, the guards tried to stop Rishaan.
“Diya went to take her purse. My friend. Look ! Have you seen her?”, Rishaan showed a picture of Diya in his phone to the guards.
“We’ll look for her. You please stay out of this place.”, the guard told Rishaan taking him back to the parking and then locked the gates to the airport.
“Open up. I’ll find her myself.”, Rishaan started to bang the gates, drenched in his tears he sat down near the gates. Kiara came running to hold him. It felt like the sky has fallen upon them.
Rishaan was having a hot cup of coffee when his phone buzzed. The screen flashed Kiara.
“Hey K. How are you?”, he answered the call with the same sexy smile on his face.
“I’m good, great actually. I was coming to India for a week or two, Abhi has a tour from the company’s side. So just wanted to check if you were free to meet us, maybe we could plan an outing or something.”, Kiara asked with her fingers crossed.
It’s been three years that Rishaan has planned any trip. Goa is still unexplored. But time is a quick healer. Kiara is happily married to Abhishek. Malhotras and Kapoors still share the same bond of love and friendship. Rishaan is still learning to deal with time. He could never love anyone like he loved Diya. Her memories were the only reason for his smile.
“Ahhaan. So I finally get to meet Mr. Husband. Sure. I’ll see you whenever you wish to be here and please decide the place by yourself, I’m really bad at this.”, and with a happy heart Rishaan kept the phone.
“It feels like yesterday, we were sitting on this bench. You were wearing that pink sweater, looking prettier than the setting sun, talking about family and love. God I fell for you again.”, Rishaan rested his head on the bench and watched the sun set.
‘It takes an eternity to fall out of love…’
The screen went black and the auditorium was lit again. The audience was moved by the film. The hall was thundering with the sound of claps and applause. Amayra’s attention was on the fifth seat of the first row. She climbed up the stage to thank the audience. Her guest was still staring at the blank screen with damp eyes.
“I want to thank each one of you for being a part of my hard work. This film is very close to my heart and it wouldn’t have been possible if Mr. Kapoor, the man in the front row, had shared his life’s story with me three months ago. Thank you R.K .”, and Amayra left the stage with a smile on her face.
As she steped down people congratulated her for her brilliant screening. “You were great Amayra”, Kim patted her back. “Thank you.”, Amayra replied.
Everyone had already started to move out but Rishaan was still in his seat.
“What do you have to say?”, Amayra asked Rishaan.
“I’m still down the memory lane. Thank you.”, Rishaan said as he patted the back of Amayra’s hand. “Some people aren’t just special…they are irreplaceable too. She is one of them. I would give up anything, a thousand times over, just to be with her.”, and a tear escaped from his eyes but no one was there to hold him tight.