Life is a long journey and to secure your seat, we all try to be capable, to be able to fit in it. We struggle and work hard to make ourselves perfect. We always show our strong face, even if sometimes we are weak. We want to be judged right, respected and loved. Over all our lives we run away from things which we think make us weak, lazy and bad versions of ourselves. Somewhere, trying to be perfect, we lose joy of imperfectness. And it takes a long time to realize that sometimes these little things which we avoid are actually the things which would have guided us for a better life.
This is a story of a person just like us. A person who wants to make people proud, who wants to help, who wants to achieve dreams and wants to work hard and succeed, but at a cost of losing oneself?
“Good luck for your examination, darling. You’ll do your best, as usual” her mother came beside her bed in the morning of her examination of last year MBBS course. Swara smiled in her sleep and by putting her hand on her mother’s lap she said, “Yes, mother. Off course I will! I am your proud daughter after all” Her parents were indeed proud of their daughter. As a school kid, she was honest and sincere. Always working hard and never letting her focus divert, she topped every subject. Even as a person, she was very lovable, kind and a caring one. Always supported her parents in every decision. Being the only child, she was perfectly aware of her responsibilities but was never burdened by it.
“Well mother, I’m leaving”
“See you soon darling”
“I am going to stay at Reva’s place today. It’s her birthday.”
“Oh is she twenty three already? We have been visiting her birthday since you girls were about six”
“Yes, it’s fun when your school friend is still your best friend”
Someone said it rightly, the luckiest person is the one who is surrounded by people who love them truly. That’s the magic of friendship. The older we get, the deeper the bond gets, and before we even realize, that person becomes family. Like Swara has Reva, everyone deserves a pure bond of friendship.
Reva was attending a workshop when Swara and their friends decorated her beautiful row house. The whole drawing room was filled with balloons. A huge chocolate cake with candles added to its beauty. Her elder sister Menaka was of a great help. She had ordered pizza, donuts and mock tails
for her sister’s girlfriends. The upper floor was strictly made as an adult free zone for the rest of night.
“Surprise!” shouted girls which scared Reva, when she returned home.
“Are you kidding me?” she asked looking at her friends, parents and Menaka, who were standing at the entrance with balloons and happy faces put on.
“It’s not my third birthday, it’s my twenty third birthday! Grow up already” she exclaimed as she went into the drawing room, secretly smiling. Girls started giggling.
“For us, you are still young. Happy birthday baby!” her mother said and hugged her, along with her father.
“Thank you so much! You always make my day special” she said, looking at her parents.
“Just control your drama and cut the cake now. We are hungry” Menaka said by hugging her.
“Off course. Come here Swara, cut a cake with me”
“It’s your birthday sweety”
“Yes it is, but it’s the same day when we both became friends seventeen years ago. So it’s our official friendship day”
“Have I ever told you that my best friend is so sweet? Let’s cut the damn cake together!” Swara exclaimed.
The room was filled with laughter, joy and chaos. Food was delivered and girls were all set for an amazing sleepover.
“Maybe, I’m in love!” Reva said, lying on bed.
“For zillionth time, yes!” Swara teased.
“c’mon. This might be it”
“What’s his name?” asked Mira curiously.
“His name is Nitin. He is also a psychologist like me. In fact, he was my classmate!” Reva said, excitedly.
“Great, when are you going to introduce him to us? Maybe, he can meet my boyfriend too.” Amira, their common friend, said.
“What about you, Swar, crushing on anyone lately?”
“I don’t have time for this dear” she said, engrossed in reading a book.
“Don’t be such a nerd. What happened to Saurabh?”
“Reva, for the hundredth time, Saurabh is my best friend. Not a boyfriend. There is nothing going on between us”
“He likes you”
“I don’t like him. Means he is an awesome friend, but I haven’t seen him in that way”
“Maybe, someday you will. He is a good guy”
“Maybe, after you marry” Swara said, jokingly
“Then be ready, that time is no longer!” Reva replied, putting on her naughty face. That made everyone laugh.
“How come you both are still so close? Sometimes, it makes me jealous” Mira said, looking at them. Girls looked at each other.
“We were in first grade when we first met and from that time we are inseparable.” Swara said looking at her best friend. “Reva is part of my family now. She loves me truly and that’s what I like about her.” This made Reva emotional.
“You know the time, once in third grade, when a boy was bullying me. Swara nearly killed him when she got to know!” Reva said, recollecting that day. “She is more of a teacher than a friend to me. I passed every tests because it was her who took my last moment lessons. I owe you” she said looking at Swara
“Yea, you owe me big” she replied, jokingly. And the girls hugged. Their bond was precious
“Well they say, two boys are always better friends than two girls are, but you both have proved them wrong” Amira said, looking at them. They smiled.
The next day was a lazy day. Girls were awake whole night, talking, recollecting memories and laughing.
“Wake up, lazy bones. It’s a call from your mother.” Reva called Swara, who was still asleep.
“What time is it?” she asked, still half sleepy
“It’s about ten.”
“I need to go home now.” She hastily got ready and headed towards her home. She was surprised to see her aunt, uncle and favorite sister Tarika at her home. They lived in Mumbai and had come to visit them to spend some quality time.
Putting her hands over her younger sister’s shoulder, Swara asked, “Hey chubby, how archeology is treating you?” Tarika was about five years younger than Swara, but was as tall as her. With her tom boyish attire, she looked lovely and confident.
“It’s really good, thanks for convincing my parents. They were prepared to make me engineer”
“Anything for you little sister. I love you, you know that” she said, smiling. They to the garden near to Swara house, strolling in the evening.
“When did you decide to become doctor? I guess it was the moment our grandpa passed away”
Swara smiled and became silent. There was sadness in her smile. This talk took her back to that dreadful day, when she lost her dear grandfather to heart attack. That day was the worst day of her life because she saw her grandfather die and was helpless. That was the moment in school when she decided to pursue mbbs and help people.
“You were so strong at that time, I still remember. It must have been so hard. I had broken down completely.” Tarika said, becoming emotional.
“Well, let’s just not talk about that now” Swara said, hiding behind her tears.
“You can talk to me, di! I have never talked to you about this”
“I’m your elder sister chubby, I need to support you and my parents. They don’t have a son. It’s me who needs to be strong. I can’t cry” she said sternly, looking at Tarika. Her eyes moist.
Tarika put her hand on her shoulders.
“You know right, I am here for you. Always. I just wish you should talk to me about this. Share. Cry. We are sisters and we should have that bond.” She looked at her with full of concern. Swara looked at her.
“I need to be strong. I need to be emotional support of my parents.” That’s what she kept on saying.
That night Swara was unable to sleep. The topic she was avoiding always kept on coming. That was the day when her grandfather, who always supported her, cared for her had passed away. That was the day when she had seen her mother cry out loud. That’s when she decided that she was not going to watch any other person who she cared for die and do nothing.
“Wake up sweetie, aunt is leaving.” Swara’s mother called.
Swara woke up suddenly. “Why so early? You just came yesterday” she asked her aunt, hugging her.
“Some urgent work came up and dad has been called. Need to go, sissy.” Tarika said.
Swara came and hugged her tightly.
“I am always here for you, do remember that!” Tarika said, just before leaving.
The day was dull. Swara was lost in thoughts about her grandfather.
“What’s the matter, darling?” her mother asked. Swara looked her and slept on her lap. “Nothing mother, absolutely nothing” she said, calmly.
“Then get ready now, you have a workshop to attend in college. Hope you didn’t forget about the speech that you are going to give.”
“Right, I’ll be ready soon”
“One more thing, your phone was ringing. Just see who it was.” It was Reva. She had called five times.
Swara hastily grabbed her phone and dialed her back.
“Where are you? I need you! Please come” it was Reva. She sounded sad. “What happened? Please tell me. Calm down” Reva was sobbing now. “Please come, now!”
Swara was in dilemma. She had her speech within an hour. But her best friend was in trouble. She had to meet her. She grabbed her phone and car keys and briskly walked towards her car.
“Swara!” she heard someone calling her. It was Saurabh.
“Saurabh, what are you doing here?”
“How can I miss your speech? Thought we could go to college together”
“Sorry, I won’t be able to go Saurabh. Will you please tell our professors? It’s an emergency”
“What happened? You look terrified”
“It’s Reva, she’s in trouble”
“Wait, I want to come with you. I haven’t met Reva but have heard enough from you. I want to help. Get in.”
They drove at Reva’s house. Her parents had gone out of town for some days. As Swara and Saurabh entered her house, they were shocked to see Menaka in living room and blood spread around her legs. She was sobbing. Reva was standing beside her, holding her in her laps.
“What happened Reva?” Swara asked, shocked.
“Menaka met with accident. She was driving when the other car hit her. Somehow she managed to get home, but she is badly hurt. I can’t even take her to the hospital, I don’t have car and she couldn’t walk. I didn’t know what to do Swara” Reva was crying loudly. She was afraid. Swara was shocked looking at blood spread. Her eyes became moist. She went near Menaka and examined her.
“We need to get her to the hospital immediately!” she said looking at them.
“Don’t worry, you girls go and open car’s door. I’ll get Menaka.” Saurabh said. They did and went to the hospital. Reva informed her parents and they were on their way to the hospital. Swara and Reva were waiting outside while Saurabh fulfilled all the formalities.
“Everything’s done. Doctor said she will be fine.” Saurabh told Reva. She leaved a sigh of relief. Swara was still talking to doctor. Reva looked at her when she came and took her hand in hers.
“You missed your speech”
“That’s not important than you”
“You helped me swar, as always. You were there when I needed you. I love you” she said and hugged her. Both of them were sobbing. Reva got up and hugged Saurabh. “It was nice meeting you too, Saurabh. Thank you so much for what you have done today.”
“Anytime, Reva. Take care” he smiled.
Saurabh and Swara started to leave. They had insisted to stay but Reva told them to go home. Her parents were going to reach soon.
Before leaving Reva whispered in Saurabh’s ears “you two look great together.” That made Saurabh smile. Swara heard that and gave Reva a look. This made Reva smile, naughtily. Swara blushed.
They were on their way back home.
“So, what Reva said was right. We do look good together” he said, giving a naughty look to her.
Saurabh went aside and stopped the car. He took Swara’s hands in his and looked into her eyes. “I love you, Swara. You know. I am in love with you since first year. You are kind hearted, caring, determined and a strong girl. I want to be a part of your life. Last time when I asked, you were not ready. So are you now?” he said, with a serious and genuine look.
Swara looked at him and for a moment everything flashed before her eyes. The amazing five years of college spent with him. Their trips together. The way he always supported her, cared for her and understood her. He was a very important part of her life and she didn’t want to lose him.
“Saurabh, isn’t our friendship enough? We are doing good, right?”
“No Swara, we aren’t. I want to share my life with you. I have been there for you whenever you are happy. I want to be there when you are sad. I want you to feel the same for me. I want to know my place in your life.”
“You are well aware that we are going to do post grad now. I have applied for Bangalore medical college and it’s my dream to get there. I want to work hard, achieve my goals and make my parents proud. In this, relationship won’t work. I am sorry, Saurabh. I am not ready.” She said, sadly.
Saurabh was disheartened. He didn’t say a word when he dropped Swara home.
“Saurabh, please don’t be sad. I don’t want to lose you” she said while leaving. He didn’t look at her
“See you at the party tomorrow, Swara!” he said and drove away. Swara kept looking at his car pass away.
“Why did you say no? Swar, you have to stop letting people go. Why you drove them away when they try to come close to you?” Reva said harshly when Swara called her.
“I have to work hard, Reva. And there are going to be difficult times. I don’t want him to see me weak or lose. I have to achieve something first”
“Oh swar, he loves you. He wants to there for you. Why will he think of you as a weak? Swara don’t let him go. Accept him. You’ll be happy. Tomorrow, in a party with your classmates, just tell him how you feel”
This made Swara think. She decided to keep her fears away and accept the relationship. The next day evening party was in a large studio near their college. All of their classmates were present. Swara put on her beautiful dress and got ready. Saurabh wasn’t there to pick her up as she had disappointed him. She was going to clear things and tell him the good news in the party. The studio was large and well decorated. There were food items, drinks and loud music. It was a gate away for students before the result time. Swara’s eyes were looking for Saurabh. And there she saw him, at a bar. She was about to go when she saw Taniya sitting beside him. Swara
hated Taniya since first year. She was a tough competition for her from the beginning. One semester, she had cheated and acquired first position in class. She was good at practical though. After watching Taniya with Saurabh, Swara was angry. She was filled with rage. They were laughing and that was making her jealous. She stood over there, looking at them. Her eyes became moist. Why was she becoming so overprotective? Saurabh saw her standing over there and came near to her.
“You are looking pretty” he said, smiling. That didn’t make Swara any happy. She looked at him and went away. She left party.
Why does people we love hurt us the most?
“How can he do this? He knows I hate Taniya, but still he was hugging her and laughing with her” Swara called Reva, on her way back home.
“Calm down swar, why didn’t you ask him directly? Isn’t he your best friend?”
“I couldn’t ask him Reva, I had no right to ask him. I didn’t accept him as my boyfriend. So how can I be a jealous?”
“Swar, its normal. Go and talk to him”
“No, I won’t. He will think of me as an overprotective girlfriend. I don’t want him to know that I was jealous. He can go with Taniya, I don’t care” by saying this, Swara went home straight into her bed. She took a cushion and started sobbing. Why boys hurt us always? Couldn’t he wait for just sometime? I won’t call him. I don’t want him to think that I am helpless and sad. Sometimes, you just have to let people go.
Days passed and Swara didn’t talk to Saurabh. He had messaged her once, but later there was no contact. Swara was feeling better. She was independent, not emotionally dependent on anyone. Now her eyes were set on results which were to be announced sooner.
“So, you’ll leave for Bangalore immediately then?” Reva asked, disheartened. “Yes, I will need to”
“You should talk to Taniya once. Her father is a faculty over there. He might guide you further, for courses selection and all”
“You really think that I am going to take help from Taniya? I am well aware of everything and I have other people to guide”
The results were out next day. Swara with her parents was all set in front of computer to see the result. It opened after a while. The result was good, but surprisingly, not good enough to get Swara to Bangalore college of medical. Swara was terrified after looking at it. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
“How can I get so less pointer?” she exclaimed.
“Pointer is good sweetie. You have done amazing. We are proud of you” her father said, calming her down. Swara kept looking at her screen. She couldn’t believe and was still absorbing the news. Her parents consoling had no effect on her. Reva was calling her constantly, but she was not answering. She went in her room and locked herself. She didn’t want to meet anyone. Her concerned parents called Reva. She came but to no avail. Swara won’t talk. They decided to give her some space.
The next day she went to college to collect her result and for the coronation ceremony. Swara was silent. She didn’t speak to anyone. Her dreams were scattered. She wasn’t going to go to her favorite college. She started doubting herself. She doubted her capability. She felt disheartened.
“Congratulations!” she heard a voice. It was Saurabh. He was proud of her. Swara looked at him. Even Taniya was standing beside him. Taniya had scored better pointer. She was all set to go to Bangalore.
“Thanks Saurabh. I need to go” she smiled and left.
“Wait, Swara” she heard someone calling. It was Taniya. She followed her till outside. Swara looked at her, with a stern look.
“I’m sorry, but you did well” she said, smiling
“I don’t need your sorry, Taniya”
“You have to be always mean, right”
“What do you want?”
“Look, I know how much you wanted to go to Bangalore. I can help you, if you want”
“No Taniya, I don’t want your help. Please leave”
“So maybe, only sympathy is what you need. That’s wonderful, Swara”
Taniya taunted and went. The words of Taniya hurt Swara. Sympathy? Do I look that failure to her that I will want sympathy from people? Her mind was not in a good place. She was frustrated. She rashly drove car and went home within minutes. She found Reva sitting in her drawing room. Swara looked at her, but wasn’t happy.
“I’m worried! How are you holding up?”
“I’m good, Reva. You may leave. I don’t want to talk to anyone.”
“But swar, I want to be there for you dear. We will find a way out of it I promise. Everything will be good”
“So what I failed Reva? Now you are offering me sympathy? Let’s be clear, I don’t need any”
“I’m not offering sympathy swar, I genuinely want to help you”
“And why suddenly do you want to help me? It’s you who always need help. Not me. Even though I failed, I’m not weak. I’m not helpless.”
“Swar, give me opportunity sometimes to help you too”
“c’mon, how on the earth are you going to help me? You are a simple psychologist. I am a doctor. There’s a difference. So next time when you give your sympathy and fake help offers, do remember this difference.”
Swara said harshly and went in her room. Reva stood there, stunned. Words of Swara hurt her. Never in her life had she seen Swara talked like that to her. Reva was crestfallen. Her eyes became moist and tears started flowing. By composing herself, she went to her home, leaving Swara’s home far behind.
Even though you are surrounded by loved ones, sometimes you feel like you are all alone. Even though everyone has your back, sometimes you feel like you don’t have any shoulder to cry on. What exactly is life trying to tell us in these situations? Is it preparing us to be strong or is it just being unfair?
“Open the door, baby. We are worried” Swara’s mother yelled knocking her door. Whole night had elapsed but their daughter was still locked up.
With a pale face, Swara opened the door. She found her parents standing outside with concerned faces. She couldn’t control anymore and started sobbing. Her parents were disheartened by looking at her.
“We have decided something. You wanted to go to a trip after your results, and we both think that you should” her father told her sternly. She looked at him.
“Darling, life is full of ups and downs. You can’t leave hopes and give up. Your father and I think that this trip will cheer you up and help you find your way back.” Her mom spoke. She looked at them. She had no option but to agree.
The next day, a bus full of 20 to 25 people came to pick Swara up. Swara, who was still lost, entered the bus with an expressionless face. The tour was organized by a person who gathered interested people and arranged trips. Swara was looking forward to it since couple of months. But the situation was changed now. She had no one to accompany. She had hurt Reva. She had hurt Saurabh and also possibly Tarika. She was deep lost in thought and all by herself. By waving her parents goodbye, bus started leaving. After few more stops, it would directly leave to Konkan. Swara occupied an empty window seat. Bus was full of chatter and chaos. The person who had
organized it was Karan, about two years elder than Swara. There was a college group of five boys, another coed group of 6 people, two girls and some solo people. All were nearby the same age of Swara’s.
The bus stopped at the next stop which was probably the last one. A girl and a boy entered the bus looking for unoccupied seats. Girl came near Swara and sat beside her. She was very beautiful, tall, thin, and fair with round eyes. Her curly hair added to her beauty. She looked at Swara who was engrossed watching outside the window.
“Hello!” the girl said.
Swara looked at her and smiled.
“You seem quite, introvert type”
“You don’t know me, don’t judge me” Swara told, getting upset.
“Well, if you care so much about people judging, then why don’t you introduce yourself? People can’t read minds you know. If you don’t talk, how are people supposed to know anything?”
Swara frowned, but stayed silent.
“It’s you who is providing me opportunity to judge okay! Now it’s not my fault” the girl said, smiling.
“Okay so this is not a jab we met scene! I am no Geet. She just talked way too much. I am not like that. I am just trying to be your friend. I am Krishna” she said, after moment of silence.
Swara looked at her and that made her smile
“I am Swara. And Jab we met is my favorite movie!”
“Atta girl! Not a single movie matches it right? So Swara what do you do?” “I am a doctor, now going to apply for further studies”
“Nerd!” Krishna said, laughing and then suddenly became silent by looking at Swara’s angry face.
“Sorry! I am fashion designer. Just like my mother. I am a failed one though. There’s this new line I was working on but it didn’t really work.”
Swara looked at her and agreed.
“Yes, things just don’t work sometimes.”
“I have a twin sister Krisha. Actually I had a plan today of meeting her and her boyfriend. I ditched them and came here. They don’t know! They might be waiting for me!” she said, looking at her watch and then laughing.
“Why would you do that?” Swara asked, confused.
“Just don’t ask! The moment she got a boyfriend, she spends all her free time with him! It’s like she has forgotten about me, or is taking me for granted. I just don’t want to feel like a third wheel, but I want my sister too!”
“Yes, life is unfair sometimes”
“No, sometimes it’s in our hands but we blame life and avoid things!”
“We can’t control people, Krishna” Swara told. “People will behave how they want to”
“S, at least we can make people realize what they are doing and tell them what we want or how we are feeling. That’s our responsibility. We should tell people clearly what’s in our mind, how will they know then? After that, it’s their choice how they want to behave.”
“S?” Swara asked
“Oh! I am too lazy to call your full name. S seems just fine!” this made Swara laugh.
“Just wait sometime, your sister will realize her mistake”
“Maybe, but it will take time. Time matters right? Life is not that long as it seems. She should know how I feel, she can’t just read my mind you know. My sister’s not a vampire, she can’t compel me!” Krishna said, rolling her eyes.
Swara gave a laugh. She just wasn’t able to predict what Krishna is going to say further or how she will reply. She was her own different kind.
“Yea, Vampires! As if they exist” Swara asked, tease fully
“I think they exist, but abroad. India is already full of fictional but nonfictional characters!”
“Yea, it has no place for such damn hot Damon kinda vampires!” Swara replied. Krishna agreed and the girls started laughing.
“So my life is thrilling right? It made you forget for a moment what you were going through” Krishna asked, sincerely
And she was right. Swara realized that she had laughed freely after couple of days.
“Hello guys! Let me speak for a moment” Karan announced.
“God! He is hot” Krishna whispered Swara and Swara gave her a disgusting look.
“So guys, I know some of you are here with your friends while some have come solo to make new friends. Let’s introduce each other and make a one whole group of distributed small groups. Sounds perfect?” Karan said.
“YES!” It was Krishna who screamed the most than others.
Everyone started introducing. Some were doing a job while some were still in college. Karan was a company secretary. There was a girl Misha who had started her own interior design business. Nishaan was pursuing agriculture study while Jijah was a dietician. Naina was a physiotherapist while Sahil and Vivek were engineers. The group was filled with such young and aspiring people who were all set to make their contributions into the world.
The journey was interesting after the introductions. It is nice meeting new people and hearing their stories. Swara was happy talking to them. In between she could hear Krishna talking with her sister on phone.
“But you always behave like that!”, “why do I feel sad?”, “I want to spend time with you more!”, “I am possessive you know it!” she could hear Krishna talking and giving mockful laughs to her in between. She was a cartoon indeed!
The journey ended and they reached Karde in Konkan. Four girls shared one room. Swara shared her room with Krishna, Misha and Tanmayee. The day had spent in travelling and everyone was tired. After dinner girls went to their room and captured beds.
“So you both know each other from before this trip?” Misha asked Swara and Krishna.
“No. just met this cartoon fellow” Swara said, grinning.
“Yes she is lucky” Krishna replied and everyone gave a laugh. “What do you do Tanmayee, I know that Misha is an interior designer” “I am going hotel management. Last year”
“Oh, we have a chef, a doctor, a designer and a home decorator” Krishna said.
“Well, I prefer designer” Misha said, giving tough look to Krishna “Seriously? I means don’t you guys just decorate homes?” Krishna asked. That was straightforward and it irritated Misha.
“No, Krishna. You don’t know about my field.”
“Okay girls, please turn of the light. We all are tired, let’s talk tomorrow” Swara said, yawning.
The next day was thrilling. The group enjoyed on beach, did many water sports and played games together. Everyone now had become friends and were playfully teasing and chatting with each other. But Misha and Krishna were exceptions. Misha was still upset on Krishna and her rudeness. Krishna didn’t care. Whole day they gave tough looks and avoided each other. During lunch time, they also had an argument.
“Fashion designing isn’t that respectable field, right? I mean it’s a different world from which everyone should stay away!”
That had made Krishna angry. She had again taunted Misha and said “is interior designing even a field? Anyone can do that!” and the tension between girls was more increasing.
“What is going on between you two?” Karan asked Krishna in the evening. He was witness to their taunts and had realized something was wrong.
“Well, it’s nothing” she said, her eyes down at the ground. She knew it was not the case.
“C’mon Krishna, you can do better than that. We are grownups now, aren’t we?” Karan said. Krishna looked at him and stood silent.
“We had fun today. It was exhausting though!” Tanmayee told Swara who was waiting for Krishna to come. She was nowhere to be seen and it was late night. Misha was reading a book.
“Why are you worried? She will be here!” Tanmayee said
“I don’t know. She was angry. And she does stupid things sometimes” Swara said
“Sometimes?” Misha said, her eyes still in book. “Just sleep now, she will be here. She is just annoyed and doesn’t want to see my face!” Misha said and turned off the light. Swara agreed and went to sleep.
The next morning Swara woke up and found Krishna sleeping besides her. She woke her up.
“Wake up you idiot! Where were you last night? I was worried!” “Oh S, you worry too much! Let me sleep!”
“Get up and tell!” Swara patted her back and said, sternly. Krishna got up and looked at her.
“Oh my god, you have a teaseful face. What have you done?” “I was with Karan! We spent the night talking” Krishna said “Really? Karan? Why?” Swara asked shocked
“He is very nice. A good person. And hot. So why not?” Krishna told, grinning. She was happy.
That day was a relaxing day. They spent ample time on beach and chatting. Misha and Krishna avoided each other. Krishna spent most of her time with Karan, dragging Swara along with her.
They were having lunch on a beach side restaurant. It was a soothing atmosphere. Everyone was away from their daily life issues and were enjoying whole heartedly.
“I hope everyone liked food!” Karan said to the group
“Yeah man!” exclaimed others.
“You are doing your job very well, you have made proper arrangements.” Nishaan said.
“Thanks dude! I’m overwhelmed” Karan acted to be emotional.
“Man, that’s too much!” Nishaan said and group started laughing. “Look at your face”
“Well, I think he looks amazing” commented Jijah and everybody made a teasing sound.
“Yes, he’s going to be model for my new men’s line, you see” commented Krishna, laughing.
“Would love too, unless you ditch me like you did to your sister and run away!” Karan said, and both started laughing. Everyone went back to their own conversations when Swara held Krishna’s hand and dragged her outside, away from others.
“What happened, S?” Krishna asked
“Are you mad? You told Karan about your sister?”
“Why did you?”
“S, we were talking, having conversations”
“Yes, but we don’t know him. You can’t just share everything about you” “S, I haven’t told him my bank account number. Don’t worry”
“I’m serious, Krishna. You can never tell how a person really is. You have just met him. What if he used that information and did something wrong? What if he hurt you, or your sister?”
Krishna became silent and calmly placed her hand on Swara’s shoulder.
“S, its fine, it’s really fine to share. I liked Karan, and I wanted to know more about him. And when we share something, something personal, only that’s when we develop a bond right? That’s when the person will feel what your place is in their life. They feel trusted.”
Swara looked at Krishna, folding her hands.
“Okay Krishna, but why to tell that you ditched them, and that you feel alone and need boyfriend? You could have told something else”
“Yes, I also told him that I didn’t get any success in my new fashion line” “You did? Why would you?” Swara asked, irritated
“Because that made me feel good. I felt better sharing with him. And he listened to me calmly. He wiped my tears. He supported me”
Swara was looking at her, concerned. There was a moment of silence.
“The first thing you share with him is about failure. What if he thought you are not capable? That you are weak?”
“I told you right? The moment I met you. Did you think that I was weak? Did you think I was not capable? No S you didn’t. Instead we began talking and we bonded. We became friends and past two days with you were so amazing. It depends on people on how to judge us, or to judge us or not. But I think keeping things to ourselves is not a solution. Why to suffer alone?” Krishna said, still smiling. She hugged Swara and went inside to join the others.
Swara kept looking at her. She was different indeed! The way she thinks and handles situations was different. Swara couldn’t help but to agree on what she just said. It felt right.
The group enjoyed volleyball on beach in the late afternoon. A lot of arguments took place regarding teams between Misha and Krishna.
“You are such a mature girl, why do you keep fighting with Misha on no reason at all? Swara asked this to Krishna from time to time.
“I don’t know, S. we just don’t get along together!” Krishna kept on saying. This was making Swara laugh. Not because they were fighting, but the way Krishna used to say S. It was full in American accent. She loved it.
“Karan, you are on my team. I chose you first” Misha said.
“In your dreams babe” Krishna said, holding Karan’s hand and pulling him on her side.
“Why are you being so stubborn, Krishna? It’s not like he is your boyfriend!”
That made Krishna very angry. She ran towards her and pushed her. Misha fell on ground. Within seconds she stood up and put Krishna on ground.
The girls started fighting, literally! Boys saved the situation. Karan pulled Krishna and took her away, while Nishaan got hold of Misha. The scene was hilarious and others, including Swara were laughing hard.
It was the night time and the group went for a camp fire after dinner. Krishna, Swara and Tanmayee were sitting together. Misha had joined Nishaan and his friends. Karan was busy arranging everything. The camp fire in the night calmed everyone. They were enjoying silent music and beach sounds. It was the first time in their trip when everybody was sitting silently without doing any activity.
“It was such a wonderful trip. I loved it S” Krishna said, looking at Swara and smiling. “Thank you for being with me. You made it memorable”
Swara came forward and hugged her. “You are an amazing person, Krishna” she said.
Krishna’s eyes met with Misha. She was standing on the other side of fire, talking to some boys. Misha saw her too and slowly started walking towards her.
“Hey!” she said, solely to Krishna.
Krishna chose not to reply. She kept looking at fire.
“I know that we don’t go along, Krishna. But I am not a bad person. I was talking to Karan before and he told me about your fashion line”
Krishna looked at her, without saying anything.
“So?” Swara asked.
“So I just wanted to tell you that my best friend is in fashion line and everything is going great. If you want, she may look upon your designs and can create opportunities if she liked it”
It was a surprise coming from Misha’s mouth. She had actually offered a helping hand. The girls stood silent.
“Well, let me know” Misha said and walked away.
“You see, what did that Karan do? Was it necessary to tell Misha? He knows you hate her” Swara said. Krishna was still silent. “How can she come to you and assume you would listen to her? It was like she was feeling sorry for you and offering pity help!” Swara was quite disgusted.
“Calm down babe”
“I can’t. I just feel very sad. When you fail to do something why do people laugh and come to you to offer sympathy or pity?” her eyes were moist.
“Their attitude is like we need help and we can’t do it alone. And they keep us reminding that we failed.”
Krishna looked at her and smiled calmly.
“S, you heard what Misha said right? She told us that she is not a bad person. And maybe she is not. Maybe she is genuinely offering her help. Can’t it be a possibility?”
“Why would she? You both were arguing and fighting”
“Good people can fight with each other but they don’t become happy when some other good person fails. They don’t laugh on others failures. And if it’s in their capability, they help those people genuinely. Not everyone in this world searches for happiness in others sadness.”
“But Krishna you would owe her one then. Later in future she can take credit for your success. We can’t let her do that.”
“She gave me an option. She gave me an opportunity. Her work is done. It’s me who have to decide whether to go for it or not. And if I did go for it, later it’s me who have to work harder and achieve things. That would totally be my achievement and she won’t take credit for it.”
“So are you going to talk to her?”
“Yes I would. I will be mad if I don’t. Sometimes we just have to let our overthinking, issues, ego all aside and give people opportunity to help us. All the goals that we have to achieve, it is always easier when there are people who help us. What I think is a person doesn’t get success without helping others or letting people help him. Why do you want to travel alone? Let people come with you too, its way more fun. And when you’ll reach your destination, you wouldn’t feel lonely because everybody travelling with you will be there, celebrating.”
By saying this, Krishna went to talk to Misha. Swara kept on watching her. The way she went, talked to Misha, smiled and hugged her. She just couldn’t tell whether Krishna did a right thing or not. But at least she got an opportunity.
“So I took the offer and shook hands with Misha, can you imagine?” Krishna told Swara, smiling.
“Well it wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t shared it with Karan right?” Krishna said, and by giving a tauntful look to Swara went. That bought a smile on Swara’s face. Isn’t Krishna definitely a cartoon?
That night the group slept early, they were leaving the next day morning. They were sad because the past 3 days were wonderful. They didn’t want it to end.
How come we are going on with our lives, struggling? Then suddenly something happens. And your life takes a turn. You feel like you are
transformed into a completely different zone. It’s funny how life gives us hardships and challenges and later life itself helps us in finding for solutions.
“We are leaving, I can’t believe how fast the time went. I am going to miss you” Tanmayee said to girls. All 3 of them agreed. Misha and Krishna smiled at each other. They had patched things up. Krishna came to Swara and hugged her tightly. “You have been a wonderful friend, helpful and supportive. I am going to miss you, S”
“You too Krishna. We will be in contact.”
The door knocked.
“Might be Karan. We need to get going. We are already late.” Misha said. Girls picked up their bags and opened the door. It was not Karan. Instead there was a girl. Krishna was shocked and surprised to see her. She was Krisha! Her twin sister. Krishna stood there surprised, her mouth widely open. She didn’t expect to see her sister.
“May I come in, sis?”
“Krishi, what are you doing here?”
“I realized I am not spending time with my sister. So I thought maybe I could join you here, you know spend couple of days and bond. How’s my plan?”
“It’s awesome!” Krishna screamed and hugged her tightly.
Swara was surprised too. She never thought Krisha would surprise her directly by coming. She didn’t recognize her first because they are unidentical twins.
After introductions, Misha and Tanmayee went ahead towards the bus. Swara stayed behind for a while.
“Krishi, it’s because of her that I enjoyed so much for past three days. Meet Swara”
They shook their hands.
“Hello Krisha, Krishna talked about you always. She loves you so much” Swara said
“Yes, I am very lucky to have sister like her, you know. That’s why I decided to come. I have already taken permission from parents to stay here for a couple more days!” that made the twin girls happy. Krisha went to freshen up when Swara and Krishna had their goodbyes.
“I am happy for you Krishna. You are getting time to spend with your sister, like you wanted” Swara said, smiling
“Didn’t I tell you? A little possessiveness is necessary in all relationships. That’s what I think. And it worked, right?” Krishna gave a laugh.
Swara smiled, looking at her. She was right. She went towards her bus and the return journey began. She occupied the same seat which she had at the time of coming. She looked out of the window, engrossed in thought. This time she had a sense of happiness in her smile. She felt lighter. She felt happier. She felt as if she found her way back. As if she got answers to her questions. She turned and looked at the empty seat besides her. It reminded her of Krishna and her smiling face. She was a completely different person who had unknowingly changed her life. Her ways and her actions had changed Swara’s perspective of thinking. It had got a different turn. Unknowingly, her behavior had inspired her. The way she expressed her feelings to her sister by becoming a little possessive, the way she accepted Misha’s offer respectfully even though they disliked each other, the way she shared things with a new friend and made him feel belonged and important, the way she appreciated others but also at times fought with others on little things without being ashamed. She was truly a perfectly imperfect human!
We all might think these are little things that don’t matter much. We have lot more big issues to handle in life. But, these small things are the ones which make our life easier. They are the key towards our happy and mental satisfaction. And it is surely important.
Swara hugged her parents tightly. Her parents were right. Trip was much needed thing for her. After an amazing tea and snacks all three of them went into talks and chats. Swara filled them with all trip moments.
“Darling, we need to decide about your future plans now” her mother said “I have already decided mother”
Her parents became happy.
I have a lot of things to work on first. She said in mind.
The next day, she pulled her car and drove directly to Saurabh’s house. She was excited and confident. Saurabh opened the door and was surprised to see her.
“Swara? Please come in” she came in and they both sat in living room, to talk. He was alone at home.
“So, where were you? What happened? I was worried” Saurabh asked her, concerned. “You disappeared! You didn’t receive any of my calls. I called your home and they told you are not in pune!”
There were many questions.
“Calm down, I will answer everything. Just tell me one thing first, are you still single?” she asked sincerely, looking directly into his eyes.
Saurabh was surprised to hear that. He didn’t think she will ask this question first.
“Off course, swar! You very well know why.” He replied, after a moment of silence.
Swara smiled. “I…I love you, Saurabh” she told finally
Saurabh was shocked and surprised to hear that. He couldn’t control his happiness. He stood up, excitedly.
“Are you serious?” he asked
“I am sorry for not being ready before. I am now”
“You don’t have to apologize swar, I am here for you always. Are you sure you are ready to be in a relationship now, forever?” he asked, not believing his ears.
“Yes I am”
“YES!” Saurabh screamed happily. He pulled Swara and hugged her tightly. Both started laughing. They were too happy.
“I have a confession to make” she said after they calmed down. “yes?”
“I was jealous, at the time of party. You were with Taniya, I thought you liked her…”
“What? Seriously? This feels nice!” he commented, mischievously “Shut up! Why does it feel nice?”
“Because, it tells me how much you love me.”
Swara agreed. “I should have told you before. A little possessiveness is necessary right?” she asked
“It is mandatory!” Saurabh exclaimed. They gave a laugh and hugged each other tightly.
“Seriously thank you for telling me, swar. You made my day!” he said and she smiled. Next few hours they kept talking. Swara filled him up with all trip incidents.
That night Swara slept satisfied. The next day she had to solve a huge crisis!
“WHY ARE YOU HERE NOW?” Reva screamed on Swara’s face when she visited her place the next morning.
“Reva, listen to me”
“No, I won’t. I am deeply hurt. Do you remember what you said to me? It was very rude!”
“Okay, calm down”
“You are my best friend, at least you were! You were so upset and that’s why I was too! But what did I get in return?”
Swara was calmly listening to her. She made her sit down and wiped her tears.
“I just wanted to help you” Reva said looking into her eyes
There was a moment of silence.
“Reva, it’s my fault. All of it. I behaved very rudely and I said many disgusting things which I didn’t mean. I am very sorry.” Reva looked at her.
“But you know what, these past couple of days, I was unable to sleep. I was not able to forgive myself for what I did. And most of all, I was missing you. I was missing my dearest best friend”
There was a pause and Swara’s eyes became moist.
“My grandpa passed away when I was too little. And I realized it now that I didn’t handle it very well. I didn’t open up to anyone. Instead I kept punishing myself to always be strong. I kept pushing myself to not feel weak and helpless. I was running away from flaws. But that’s the reason I was living my life in a box, afraid to begin new things for a fear of failure. But it was you who was with me all the time. Never judged me, never stopped me from doing anything. I can’t forgive myself for what I said to you and I don’t deserve to be your friend”
Reva looked at her and hugged her tightly, sobbing.
“I love you, swar. I can’t live without you”
“Me neither. Thank you for being there for me, being my mental support. I needed it”
“I knew you did!”
The girls wiped each other’s tears and spent hours talking. It’s the magic of friendship. It believes in forgiveness and second chances. It never leaves you when you are at your best or worst.
Swara was smiling whole day. She felt relieved and lighter.
The next day she went to college, to collect her certificate. She saw Taniya there. The only difference was that Saurabh was holding her hand this time. She felt confident as she walked towards Taniya. Taniya gave her a tough look and was avoiding looking at her.
“I am sorry” Swara said.
Taniya was surprised. She didn’t expect Swara would apologize. They never had talked friendly since all college years.
“Excuse me?” she asked, not believing her ears.
“You were helping me. Instead I became mad on you and insulted you. I am sorry”
“Because, I still need your help, I do.”
Taniya looked at her. Swara looked genuine.
“Sorry, Swara. I can’t help you now. It’s late. All the seats are filled” That upset Swara. But she composed herself.
“I appreciate it Taniya. Thank you” she said and started walking. She knew it was not Taniya’s fault but her own. After moving forward a bit, she heard Taniya calling her.
“Well, I can’t help for Bangalore College now, but my father has friends in top of pune’s college. Do you want me to talk to him?” she asked smiling.
“I would love that, thankyou Taniya” Swara said happily.
How easy it was to be friendly and to take help. Why had she complicated the situation before? Sometimes, life has planned things for us which may differ from what we had wished for. In such cases, we should learn to accept those things and move on. Acceptance is the key to new beginnings.
That night she got a call from Taniya. There was definitely a place for Swara in the college and her father had helped her to get it. It was a joyous time for her and her family. After dinner, she went into her room and dialed a number. She called Tarika.
“Hey, it’s late! Is everything alright?” Tarika asked, worried. “Yes, yes. Everything is fine. I am just missing you”
“Wow, I miss you too sis. Daily.”
“You were right, chubby. Though you are my younger sister, I can rely on you sometimes when I need support.” She said.
“Okay, now I am definitely worried. What’s happening di?”
“Realization! I am feeling sorry that I never shared my fears, pains and disappointments with you. I never made you feel trusted. I kept us away from sister bonding!” Swara said, becoming emotional.
There was silence for some time. Tarika was surprised to hear this all of a sudden.
“Di! You making me cry!” she replied and Swara could sense that she was crying.
“Why are you crying?” Swara asked, even she couldn’t control tears anymore. It was the first time they were having a real sister talk and not like some strangers.
“I love you! You are my only sister. You are my only sibling in fact. Thank you for being one…”
“Love you too chubby”
“Now tell me everything, what was going on for past days?”
And the sisters talked whole heartedly for next hours. Swara shared everything. Her relationships with her friends, her fights and arguments, her failures. They even talked about their grandfather. They felt lighter. They felt his memory was enlightened. They cried. They laughed. It was a perfect phone call. She was about to sleep, when the door knocked. It was 12 am. She wondered who it was. She opened the door.
“SURPRISE!” shouted Reva and Saurabh. They had a cake. That’s when she realized that today was her birthday. Between all these things, she had completely forgotten that. She was astounded. Her parents, too, were awake and surprised her.
“Thank you guys! Thank you so much. It’s a special day for me” “Open the cake” Reva exclaimed.
Swara smiled and opened it. It was a beautiful chocolate cake. It had a quote written on it saying ‘To the new beginnings’
“This year, it’s not just your birthday. It a beginning of our new relationship. It’s beginning of your new friendship with Reva. It’s a beginning of your new life in new college. Let’s celebrate it” Saurabh said, looking at her. This made Swara emotional.
“It’s perfect” she said.
“Wait a minute” Reva said and turned on her laptop. It was Tarika on a video call
“Tarika? You remembered?” Swara asked, surprised
“Off course! How can I forget your birthday? I wanted to be with you, so I had told Reva on prior to include me through video call” she told.
Everyone smiled. Swara felt blessed. She cut the cake and everyone started eating and enjoying. Swara smiled to herself and was feeling good looking at them. That’s when a she thought that…
Surrounded by loved ones, what more does anyone need to be happy? Looking at their happy faces, what more can anyone ask for? She had failed to achieve her dream of going to her desired college. But she never felt happier. She never felt more successful. The destination she was hoping for, she never reached there. But for her, the journey itself was the destination. That failure had taught her so many things. Gave her so many things. She was happy to believe that it was definitely ‘a successful failure…..’