Friday, July 25, 2003

Chapter - 8

"The Proposal Day"

Aakash reached Sanjana's home at 2 pm today. He didn't wanted to get late, n he informed Shilpa to come at Sanjana's house asap. Sanjana wasn't surprise at all seeing Aakash that early at her home. She knew Aakash curiousity as she was the initiator of it.

"Oh ho.. Aakash, I thought ur coaching is from 4pm.. u never came so early, anything wrong", said Sanjana in kidding mood.

"Don't make me more nervous, my hand are already shivering.. I don't know how is it gonna happen..", Aakash was damn nervous from past one week.

"Chill dude.. It gonna alright.. So u guys had fun yesterday in Maner.."

"Ya we did.. but my nervousness is increasing each second.. Shilpa didn't came yet?, I told her in school to reach by 2:00pm at ur house."

"No.. She might be on her way.. So, how are u feeling my baby.."

"Feeling?? I am not able to do anything from last one week.. My mind is just not in working condition.. I just hope that my fuse doesn't get blown over on seeing her"

"Do ever ur mind is in working condition? N u have a fuse as well.. we didn't know..", entering the corridor said Shilpa laughing on Aakash's description on his tensed condition.

"hiii... i was waiting for u eagerly.. Why are u late?", Aakash said avoiding her jokes as he was ready to forgive any fun made on him today for Shilpa as she was only bird to fly n send his message to Ria.

"It's just 15mins late.. N y are u so excited.. Just chill..", Shilpa said assuring him.

"You know what u have to do?", Aakash kept reminding.

"Ya baba.. I have to tell her that u have to talk something important to her.. Rest is your worries.. I don't want to create a rift between us because of your feelings.", Shilpa knew her job well. She was reminded 100 of times in past one week.

"What.. atleast be there for my moral support.."

"U have called all your buddies for ur moral support including my innocent Shahil."

"Your innocent Shahil... Did u forget with whom initiation u and ur innocent Shahil came in relationship", Aakash was used to help his friends in love matter. He loved love-birds and tried his best to connect them.

"Ya baby.. I do.. U are a sweetheart.. Don't worry, i will produce Ria infront of u, and i know u will handle it", Shilpa was confident about Aakash.

"Ya .. Aakash .. U are the best.. Just feel confident..
'They do not love that do not show their love.' - Shakespeare
So just go for it", Said Sanjana motivating Aakash with Shakesphere's quote.

"Yup.. sweethearts.. i know i m the best.. No need of reminding me all the time.. I will conquer this battle too", Aakash's confidence was at sky high.

"We'll see.. Let's hope for the best.. Aakash c'mon we are getting late for coaching.. just 5 mins left..", Shilpa said standing up.

"U carry on.. I will wait under the tree near the park with everyone.. U just bring her after coaching", Aakash wanted some more practice before he could break the ice.

"Ya sure.. I know my Job.. U don't worry..N i hope Shahil is also coming..", Shilpa said moving out of door.

"Obviously without him the proposal would be imperfect", Aakash said unknowing Shahil would only complete his proposal.

"So how are you feeling Aakash, N do u wanna go through the cards and letter again", Said Sanjana.

"Stop it Sanju.. I have already gone through it more than 100 times in past one week.. I m feeling like badly fucked up.. If she doesn't come today, i will drop the plan of proposing her", Aakash was tried of her skipping coaching. 'Isn't she serious about her studies' thought Aakash within himself.

"She will definitely come today, Shilpa had confirmed it from Kajal (Ria's best friend)."

"Ohhkk.. So i m going to be chopped up today itself.. I m feeling like... hmm... i don't know.. i can't understand my own feelings right now.. Just one question is bothering me, 'What if she says NO'.. I don't know how to react"

"Why will she say NO.. What do u lack.. U are smart enough my sweetheart.. If i would have been at her place, i couldn't have ever imagined saying NO to u"

"I know, but she doesn't knows me that well.. Infact i have done idiotic things that i doubt whether she will even talk to me".

At coaching Shilpa was trying her best to start Aakash topic with Ria, but didn't got any chance. Ria asked herself,
"Where is Aakash? He didn't came to coaching? That guy doesn't seems serious about his studies."

"Ohh Aakash.. He did came, but he is waiting with his friends at Sanjana's place.. They have some thing cooking up in their head.. Btw Aakash said me that he wants to talk to u regarding something.. Something important he has to say..", Said Shilpa pretending as if she didn't knew anything about Aakash's plan.

"What has he now to say.. N why doesn't he say it to me directly.. When did he said this?", Ria mind was full of questions, what, why, when..

"I don't know.. He didn't said me anything.. He just said he wants to talk to u personally, after coaching near the park, alone", Shilpa said keeping herself at safe side.

"What? Personally.. I don't know what he has to say but u make it sure that he doesn't come up with a prank with me..", Ria was more confused. For rest of the coaching her mind was constantly roaming and imagining what Aakash has to say.

The coaching ended at 5:15 and Ria along with Shilpa and Kajal came outside. Ria was confused, Aakash was nervous. Ria saw him standing under the tree near the park but he was not alone, she could she him accompanied by 3-4 more boys whom she didn't knew, one she could roughly recognise as Shilpa's boy-friend, but others were complete stranger.

Aakash was so nervous that he didn't let anybody go from that place. He said Shahil, J.P., Aryan and Ritesh to stand near by as he was shivering from inside. He was silently talking within himself, hoping for all things to be worked out as planned.. what planned.. he didn't planned how will he react if she says YES or NO.. He started thinking how should he react, to keep the situation normal, n don't act anything stupid. He was practising within his heart
," Hey Ria, actually i wanted to say something.. u know from the time i have seen u, ur face has got some sort of magnet that it roams around my mind all the time.. ur voice.. i mean.. i feel, i m in love with u.. N i m sure that if u say yes, i will do anything for u, i will always stand by u, n u know wat.. u are the most b'ful thing ever made..." .

"Ya.. Hai.. U want to talk.. What's it is about?" Ria said locking her eyes directly in Aakash's.
Aakash was thinking when Ria suddenly appeared infront of him and asked him. He was shocked and looked into her eyes which were gazing at him constantly.
'Your eyes are so beautiful, i will die one day for it' , thought Aakash.

He wanted to speak alot but those eyes were not letting him to say anything
," Hai.. Actually i wanted to say u that... i mean.. it's like.. u knw.. i am.. Oh my god! I can't do it.. Shahil please do it on my favour..", Saying Aakash turned his head around and gave the cards and letter in Shahil's hand and was cursing himself,'u are fucking urself, dude, where's ur confidence'.

Shahil in utter shock handled the situation and went to Ria. Passing two cards and the letter he said," This is from Aakash, whatever he wants to say has been written inside it".

"I can't accept it.. What is it about", Ria said directly.

"Please don't ask questions, take it and read it yourself.. N answer whatever u want to", gathering courage said Aakash. His hand were shivering even in july summer.

"No.. I can't accept it.. i am sorry for it..", Said Ria understanding what might be inside the card.

"Please.. take it for me.. i won't ask u anything else", Aakash was pleading in front of Ria to just make her read his feelings.

"C'mon Ria.. take it, n we should leave.. Prasant bhaiya's friends might come anytime.. We would get in trouble", Snatching the cards and letter from Shahil's hand and dragging Ria said Kajal. Prasant was Ria's brother and too strict, that boys feared talking to Ria.. But Aakash feelings were made of iron, if not his physique.

Aakash was numb for next two minutes.. Ria face was not gone, although she had moved metres away.. Her eyes.. Her smile.. She was looking damn gorgeous..
'She is too beautiful for me, i sudn't have proposed her.. Obviously she wud reject me if she reads the cards and letter.. But i can't live without....', Aakash mind was occupied with thousand of questions when J.P. shaked him.

"Where are u? Why didn't u stopped her, why the fuck did u gave the card when she wasn't accepting it.. U know what wud happen, if her brother comes to know about it.. We are screwed dude.. Go n take the card, else she might show it to Prasant and then....", J.P. usually started thinking of negative accpects very soon on anything.

"..I.... Wasn't she looking awesome, did u guys she her eyes,.. they were so...", Aakash was not listening to anyone, in fact he wasn't in his mental state to understand why she said NO to his card.

"Fuck urself.. I m going to take the card from her.. Else we all will get screwed..", J.P said running towards Ria and Kajal.

"Wait i am coming along with u, else u will mess up things", Said Shilpa who was just staring at Aakash stupidities from past 15mins.

Shilpa stopped Ria and Kajal took an auto for her home, she was getting late. J.P. came back to Aakash and Shahil saying
,"I told her to return the card else destroy it, tear it, but not to show it to anyone".

"U duffer... What do u think.. Why didn't u asked her about the reason behind not accepting the card", Aryan said being spectator of all the drama happening around.

"Ya Aakash, u sud have atleast talked to her now only.. either she should accept the card or return it.. right here, right now.. else if she tells anybody about it.. u know it.. again a fight.. ", Shahil said.

Coming back to his senses Aakash was understanding now what his friends were trying to say
..,"Ya.. what u guys were saying.. I sud take back the card.. but how.."

"Come with me.. Look shilpa is handling her over there.. We will go and ask her directly.. Yes or No.. straight ahead..", Aryan said starting his bike.

10 meters away Shilpa was trying to control the messed situation which Aakash had created. She said to Ria jokingly
," So, seems like fire is burning equally on both sides."

"Shut-up.. U know , i don't want to get involved in all these, n how stupid is he... if my brother comes to know about it, he will not spare Aakash", Ria was tensed, worried, and concerned as well for Aakash.

"So.. U know what was written in the card?", Shilpa said

"Even an stupid girl can understand it.. N u knew it all, but u didn't told me...", Ria stopped as she had seen Aakash coming with a guy on a bike towards her.

Gathering all his courage again Aakash said
, "Hey Shilpa, tell her to return my cards and letter"

"I don't have it... Kajal took it along with her", Ria said smiling at Aakash.

"What?? anyways.. when are u returning it then", Aakash said now looking at Ria.. A li'l bit anger in his eyes.

"I will return the card only when i read it.. i will decide about YES or NO after reading it, atleast i should know what's in it.",Ria said pretending as if she didn't knew what Aakash's feelings were.

"There's nothing else written in the card, except.............. "I LOVE YOU".. it has just been elaborated...", Aakash cudn't believe himself that he just said the 3 magical words, he was about to feel confident but...

"Then my answer is 'NO'.. U know i don't want to get into....", Ria wanted to explain reason behind her denail but...

"Then return my card.. I wan't it right now", Aakash said in frustation.

"How can i return it now.. will return it tomorrow..", Ria said knowing that Aakash was hurt.

"U are coming tomorrow?"

"Yup i am"

"Ok.. then.. i will take it tomorrow... Aryan c'mon move the bike...", Aakash wanted to get lost somewhere, Aryan was about to kick his bike when Ria said..

"Aakash.. can i say something, if u don't mind.."

"Ya.. now what is left to say... go on.."

"We can be friends atleast, i don't want to ruin our friendship cause of it.. if it's ok with u", Ria said moving her right hand towards Aakash.

"If u want it, then it's ok with me", Aakash said accepting Ria proposal for friendship. He felt her soft touch in his hand and didn't wanted to leave her hand, but he knew, he had to.... Aryan started the bike and Aakash vanished. Ria and shilpa waved bye to each other.

Aakash just didn't knew one thing which he had just done.
He could never say NO to Ria, no matter what she ask for, through-out his life.

Everyone went home after the melo-drama, J.P., Shahil, Aryan, Ritesh, Shilpa, Kajal.. But Aakash n Ria went in their own world...

...things wouldn't be same for them again, the same jokes, the same prank.. the same..