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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crimson Moon

They made a lovely couple, huddled together in the cold winter night on the last seat in the old decrepit bus, as it hurtled towards their destination. Like them, there were only a few passengers courageous enough to take on the challenge of the inclement weather and travelling by the rickety old bus. The bitter wind crept in through the battered windows, and toyed with their hair, throwing it into disarray. She remembered how Aakash loved the wind in her hair, and how she used to enjoy his fingers playing with her long, lush hair…


But today, Aakash seemed lost, distracted… He had that faraway expression in his eyes that he would always have when thinking of something. He stared out of the window, his eyes narrow slits against the cold, and his brow furrowed in concentration. She thought it was because she was going away. Only for a few weeks, but still… She was flying to Bangalore from Delhi to meet her parents. And if the thought of parting hurt him half as much as it hurt her, she could understand his quietness.


He hadn’t talked much during the entire bus journey from Jaipur to Delhi. He’d been staring right ahead, looking worried, with a inscrutable expression on his face. How much he really loved her!! It was amazing… In such a short time, they had become so fond of each other. She smiled to herself in the semi-darkness and put her hand on Aakash’s. He flinched and took it away. She was confounded. Hot tears of hurt welled up in her eyes, but she brushed them away. She justified his reaction to herself, “He must’ve been startled by the cold.”


Finally, he turned his gaze to her. She felt the same warm, cosy feeling when his dark-brown eyes pervaded her being. The cold wind kept up its relentless attack, trying to claw its way into the warmth in her heart. She looked at him, smiling, expecting a warm hug, but he just looked at her vacantly, as if she didn’t even exist. Bitter waves of disappointment washed over her as she realized that he was somehow preoccupied and not quite with her.


“Rachita, I….,” he suddenly said.
“..really love you,” she completed his sentence in her mind. It had been so long since he had said those magic words. She craved to hear them again.


“Uh….,” Aakash hesitated.


She recalled the day that Aakash had proposed to her, and she had accepted. This was the same hesitant Aakash. That day also, if it hadn’t been for her encouraging smile, she doubted if he’d have been able to utter ever a word. But he had said the words, and walked arm-in-arm, gazing at the full moon, which was blushing with a shade of soft crimson. She smiled to herself and blushed lightly.


“Let’s….let’s…,” Rachita closed her eyes in sweet anticipation of his next few words.
“…..stop seeing each other,” Aakash mouthed, barely audibly. He was sweating even in the December chill. But, a huge tidal wave of relief seemed to wash over him as he got these words out of his mind.


If he had been bothered enough to watch, he would have seen, the wilting of the rosy face. But he was oblivious to the slump of her shoulders, to the great tears of disbelief that welled up in her hazel eyes. Nor did he hear the huge, racking sobs that shook Rachita’s petite frame. She struggled to look for one last bit of compassion and love in his face, but found only indifference. It was not the face of the Aakash she had loved. It was a stone face.

Emotionless. Feelingless.


The din from the bus’s engine bit into her bleeding thoughts. The cauldron of her sadness brewed up a concoction of tears, bitterness and hatred. Her uncontrollable sobbing left damp spots on the seat of the bus. The bleak, cold wind whistled around her, mocking her for her naivety. Other passengers swayed with the motion of the bus, either asleep or ignoring the drama that was playing out around them. The haven the darkness provided was snatched away by the overhead lamps that had just been switched on. The crisp night air kept attacking her, disregarding her attempts to numb herself. It was a conspiracy. Against her. To strip her of dignity, her beliefs, her love, and sanity, and to inject her with tortuous betrayal.


Aakash started for the exit as the bus stopped at the airport. He walked without guilt, with his head held high. No remorse, unperturbed. Her eyes still sought him, as she moved towards the departure terminal. He walked away, and she felt something break inside her. One part of her wanted to run to him, to hug him and just cry. The other wanted to hate him for leaving her.

The plane took off, leaving Aakash behind, leaving behind all her memories, and dreams. Leaving behind the naïve, little girl she had once been. She looked out of the airplane’s window at the full moon with tear-filled eyes. It did not have its usual pallor. It had a crimson hue. As if it had been bleeding with some hurt been caused to it….

Her parents waved to her as she descended the steps at Bangalore airport. “Happy Birthday, Rachita,” her mother hugged her and said, “So, what did Aakash give you as a present?”

He gave me a crimson moon Mom. A gift to keep and cherish for life. A crimson moon.

17 comments:

Grayquill said...

Well I guess ole Ashash isn't one to beat around the bush. A broken heart certanily does suck.

Lazy Pineapple said...

very well written sumit. Alas! poor Rachita...that was a bolt out of the blue.

Nuttybubbles said...

Hey Sumit, that was intense! It gave me goosebumps.Loved it. Came across ur blog by chance, but from what I read.. I am gonna follow it! :)

Nikita said...

there were knots in my stomach while reading it. loved the narration...only i wished it were a happier story :|

waiting for the next u told me about. :)

Choco said...

Oh! I did not see that coming. Very lucidly written. And it is more difficult to write from the perspective of the other sex. I was engrossed all through out. Loved it!

Scriber's Web said...

Very well written! Made me so sad though! I simply loved the ending. Great punch there.

So congrats Mr. MBA! What a huge accomplishment! What are your plans next? BTW... email me an address where I can send you your pay it forward stuff? It is ok if you don't want it:) Just let me know.

Tangerine said...

So touching. Absolutely loved it.

GurNeet said...

Beautifully told... all emotions expressed very nicely and the turn was quite unexpected...
A story goes as the author wishes...but ending on a positive note would have lightened it up...

Anu said...

Very nicely written, Sumit. Intense. Looking forward to more fiction.

Tanya Seth said...

:) love it

Princess said...

Hi Sumit,

I didn't imagine a man writing this post... The story was so emotional that I visualized a (heartbroken) girl pouring out her feelings. Guess that's a compliment for you :-)

WHY are guys such jerks?? Maybe your answer can help me and the other women understand your kind better...

No offence!!

Great writing, gona visit again soon :-)

Princess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

Beautiful. Are you a Dream Theater fan by any chance, if not, I'm not asking you to start listening :)

One of their most epic songs, A Change of Seasons, a 23 minute story of how drummer Mike Portnoy lost his mother, has 7 movements (as in musical movements). And the first and last are called... Well, check for yourself :)

http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/47601/

Aayushi Mehta said...

That was an intense write, wonderfully written, loved the concept of "Crimson Moon".

Well-chosen for the Blogadda Saturday picks:)

The Restless Quill said...

Hey, thanks for the mention :) And really, you have a gift for story telling. Your strengths are atmosphere building and painting a picture. Some of the observations of the scene are simple yet brilliant in their presence. A few inconsistencies in reaction of Rachita, but you're not a woman so, I totally understand. Very nice and thanks for the follow :)

Sumit said...

Thank you for your comments and feedback, everyone. This was one of the attempts at capturing the emotions of the opposite gender in a story, and well it seems it was a fairly decent one. :)

Thanks for all those who helped make the story better.

MangoMan/Bunty said...

I want to comment. I somehow cant!