Jiya looked towards the lessening raindrops through the glass portico of the taxi. Rain was always her obsession; she could vividly associate her with it. Free flowing, charming and comforting; just like she was. She was completely lost witnessing the beauty of the shower when she suddenly saw the silver lining of distant thunder flashing at the horizon and the cracking sound followed soon, which evaporated her stupor. She looked towards the other corner of the backseat and found Amit too was looking towards the heavens through the portico. Jiya however was unable to deduce whether he too was absorbed in the beauty of the downpour or he was lost into someplace else within the dark distant sky. Amit was the special one in her life; more prized than even whom everyone else thought to be the precious one. She shared a unique relationship, a special bond with him and the attraction of that bond was fatal. She always wanted to be alone with Amit for hours on such a rainy day. She had always canvassed a very sweet and colorful picture of such an occurrence and became happy every time she thought of it. May be God too nodded in approval as on that very day there was rain and she was all alone with Amit in a taxi zapping through the deserted highway towards the airport.
But was she happy? She looked towards the dribble on the wind screen and realized there was a nonstop deluge from her own drooling eyes. ‘The end is near,’ she thought – she was breaking up with Amit and she was into the last hour of their relationship and after that everything would be over. Jiya again looked towards Amit, expecting him to turn towards her and witness her dripping eyes. But not even for a second he took his eyes off the window. Jiya sighed and turned back towards the rain and recalled the rainy day when she first met Amit, exactly a year back.
That day Jiya came to airport to see off Akash, her fiancée, who was returning to the US for a year’s assignment. Their engagement happened a few days back, when Akash came down from Los Angeles, to attend the same. It was an arranged alliance; Akash’s family was a distant relative of Jiya’s father’s friend Mr. Gupta and in fact Gupta uncle was over joyous when the alliance matured claiming to be the chief patron and asking for a mega treat from both the parties. Jiya’s friends were not convinced though; not that Akash was a bad choice. He was an established management professional in one of the leading IT organizations of the world drawing such a hefty paycheck every month, which no one in India could ever imagine. He was good looking, sharp, trim and charming. But he only talked business; there was not even a hint of romanticism in his words as he already started planning for their honeymoon trip to make sure the cost was optimized! This is what bothered Jiya’s friends; they knew even if Jiya was apparently a timid girl but in her heart she was born romantic. Her bohemian mind was often wanderlust, travelling through the streets of the world of utopia. So it was an apparent risk of conflict when such a dreamer lands in the rough surfaces of reality, which is what Akash believed in. No wonder within that brief spell itself, Jiya understood that the chosen ‘prince charming’ was far from what she had expected; he did not believe in horse but horse power or never pondered if the streets of heaven were made of gold, rather he was more interested to get wrapped by gold. The color of his world was not passionate but strictly monitory. So when Akash was heading back to the US, Jiya wasn’t much bothered, she was worried that what will happen after he returns. She went to the airport alone to see off Akash, the way he wanted as he wanted to discuss important decisions to take post marriage, which no wonder were as stale as Akash’s priorities were.
Jiya did not even wait for a second after Akash passed through the security area. It was a late evening flight and the roads were deserted thanks to steady downpour. Jiya was stranded as there were no cabs and the handful ones that passed by had passengers already. She was desperate for a lift and tried to stop each and every cab that was passing by. It was all in vain and when the frustrated Jiya almost lost all hopes (cursing Akash in her mind), a taxi braked just in front of her. The backdoor opened and she saw a guy there waving towards her to step in. Jiya was skeptic and was not able to take a quick call on whether it would be safe to travel with a stranger alone in such a drenched state and that too that late in the evening. She stood there numb, when she heard, ‘Come in ma’am. Although I envy you for being so lucky to embrace these beautiful falling raindrops; but too much of it might be injurious to you considering the time and the space! And anyways I am not a carnivorous who can harm you, so don’t ponder, come in and be my guest.’ The words were enough for Jiya to finalize her mind. She chortled sweetly and got into the backseat. Within five more minutes she came to know that the person who impressed him on first sight was Amit Sharma.
Jiya was more than impressed with Amit during the first day itself; she discovered that Amit has an in and out romantic mind, he was creative, he was original and he valued relationship over wealth. By the time she got down at her place, they had already exchanged their phone numbers, email addresses and chat ids. Then started the saga, when Jiya’s day started by reading a sweet mail from Amit, followed by day long text messages which were beyond the cliché forward stuff but rather creative, innovative and romantic. Then there used to be quite a few phone calls that both of them made to each other, which slowly but steadily turned the wheel of fortune. They used to do late night chats, which started off normally but intensified multifold within the next couple of months. They used to share very personal stuff with each other and without knowing they crossed the classified boundaries. Jiya realized that Amit was the person he always dreamt about and not someone like Akash. She was astonished to spot the differences between the two even if they had near similar profession. She was lost in love with Amit and was searching desperately for a remote control which might rewind her life to the engagement date where she could refuse Akash and embrace Amit. However somehow she never mentioned about Akash or about her engagement to Amit; perhaps she was insecure!
Amit on the other hand was drenched deeply in love to Jiya. He too found a perfect companion in her; who would understand his passion and craze and also compliment him in each and everything he did. He proposed Jiya after ten months of courtship, in his own innovative way by gifting twenty three love jingles written for her on equal number of red rose petals on her twenty-third birthday. Jiya was overwhelmed; head over heels when she saw the gifts and was in no state to say anything. It was raining outside and sometimes there was the silver lining of distant thunder flashing at the horizon and the cracking sound followed. Amit took her silence as acceptance and sealed his proposal with a passionate smooch.The raindrops,the cracking sound and their closeness turned them on and what followed although was unexpectedly premature but neither of them had any powers to stop it happening. As the intensity of the rain got transformed into a storm, their passion also broke all barriers like a twister demolishing that comes in its way.
After that evening Jiya decided that Akash has to go from her life as she was completely lost into Amit. She decided to call off the engagement and although she knew by doing that her parents might face embarrassment (especially from the over enthusiastic Gupta uncle), yet she decided to execute the ultimate. Akash was nonexistent in her mind; who spoke to her lesser than five times in ten months and every time they spoke it became a monologue as Akash tried to explain monitory benefits towards a few decisions he has taken and Jiya continued to dream about Amit. Jiya however decided to speak to Amit first before rejecting Akash as she felt it was then time to let Amit know about her alliance and engagement.
She revealed everything to Amit, holding his palm into her seated at their favorite lake front spot. Jiya noticed a complete desolated expression in Amit’s eyes; she was afraid perhaps witnessing to see the ruins of their dreams in Amit’s eyes. He left without saying a word and then did not contact her for almost a month. Meanwhile Jiya learnt that Akash was returning soon, so she asked Amit to meet her to arrive at a final decision. During the meeting Amit accused her for being completely dishonest to him and complained that she was playing with two lives. To him it was a sin from her end to have even encouraged Amit when she was already fiancée of Akash. He was shameful about the close moments they spent and guilty to have ruined Akash’s life by committing the eternal sin during her birthday. Jiya tried her best to make her case convincing but Amit was not in a mood to listen to anything. He broke the relation and left. After a few days he informed that he was relocating to a different city as Jiya’s memories all over the city was haunting him. Jiya requested him to take her as his companion for this one last trip on his way to airport. Amit was silent and finally granted the prayer.
Jiya came back to her senses as the cab driver honked at a careless guy running towards the airport gate with a luggage trolley. ‘So here we are; it’s all going to end now,’ she thought and watched Amit paying the driver his dues. They went out in the drizzle, walked towards the airport gate, side by side but without speaking even a word. ‘Amit, can’t we think it over again?’ Jiya whispered but there was no reaction from the man. He was about to pass the security cordon when suddenly Jiya clasped his palm and pleaded, ‘won’t you hug your sweety, for one last time?’ Amit released his hand and said, ‘It’s all over Jiya. Like a dead man a dead relationship never becomes alive again. Go home, my sweety is no more!’ He picked up his bag and took long strides towards the entrance. Jiya waited patiently anticipating Amit to turn back atleast once towards her. He passed the security gate but never looked back. He paused briefly before entering the security cordon. Jiya’s heart skipped a beat still hopeful that Amit to turn back finally. But it was not to happen; Amit took out the boarding pass from his pocket, displayed that to the guard and went in. Jiya looked on dejected; her heart was about to burst in pain as the last glimpse of Amit was gone. She stood there heads down, controlling her tears with a vicious effort. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder. ‘I knew Amit will return,’ Jiya interpreted and turned back with a beam on her face. She was flabbergasted to see Akash, not Amit standing right in front of her. ‘What a pleasant surprise, honey. I never thought you will astonish me like this,’ Akash chortled. Jiya instantly remembered that indeed that was the day when Akash was supposed to return. She improvised promptly and said, ‘I was here for my life and I have found out where my real life is!’