A Silent Friend

It was in autumn. My second-semester results were out and to my utter shock, my grades were bad. I was shattered, something was broken deep inside me. Life suddenly stopped. But little did I know that my life was going to take a sharp turn. Something unexpected was going to happen.

              Image result for autumn season             I met someone new, someone, totally distinct, someone totally unique maybe the one whose sketch I had always carved on the barren canvas of my soul. That time it was almost winter and nature had started changing its colors. I still remember it was a rainy year and it even rained in January.

 

Art

                           Somehow that year was different from the past years. He inspired me and somehow pushed my way to the long-sought success. Things were always sweet and sour between us. But gradually things became very sour. He was like the harsh winter but his eyes were like spring. But I had always noticed something hidden in his eyes, something that he always tried to hide from the entire world especially from me. I had always maintained a distance from him, always tried to hate him but my heart was always grabbed by an unknown feeling. We used to communicate silently and understood each other’s feelings without speaking only by looking into each other’s eyes. I did not realize when he became a friend of mine or maybe someone more than a friend…..whom I trusted and cared more than ever I had imagined.

Then the judgment day came.

                 His eyes spoke a lot of things but that time I was too engrossed in my studies to understand anything. Both of our watches had stopped. What a coincidence! We were about to get lost in our own worlds. He had greater priorities and responsibilities. I wrote my final exams and again something unexpected happened. My grades were exceptionally high. Our ways parted. Since then I have heard from him, never saw him again. Often I think about him. But I always pray for his well being. I  even don’t know if he remembers me. This time it also rained in January and of course, I  remembered him once again. But to me, he’ll always be a silent friend who got lost in the crowds. I still have a thin hope that maybe someday I’ll find him in the crowds.

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Melodious Love

I still remember the morning, that was the most remarkable morning of my life. The person whom I have admired almost my entire life, his voice……I just got lost somewhere whenever I heard his voice, that was the day when I was going to sit in front of him and take his interview. I was nervous and happy and worried ……all my emotions seemed to have got mixed. At that I was working as a junior photographer in a renowned magazine-The City Life, I was legally not authorized to conduct an interview but that was an unusual circumstance. Ashutosh Vohra, a name that was making history. He became the favorite singer of almost all Indians mostly teenagers and youngsters in no time…his voice was magical and soulful. The entire womenfolk of India was obsessed with him, he dressed in a simple way, he had beautiful eyes and eyebrows and a straight nose. His face had an unusual sweetness and he had a beautiful smile. He really looked innocent. Born of a Punjabi father and a Bengali mother in the rural Bengal he fluently sang in Bengali and Hindi. Almost a year ago he got separated from his wife due to issues unknown. This has caused great controversy in the media. People called him short-tempered, but he was very serious about his songs. This was all the cause of my golden meeting with a him-the journalist who had gone to interview him from our magazine asked him offensive questions about his marriage and that led to a fight. The next day our Editor personally called him and apologized and asked for another appointment. In the beginning, he was reluctant but then he gave a date in the next month.

                             My Editor had full faith in me and assigned me this great task. This was the question of our magazine’s reputation, so I had to be the best. The interview was scheduled for 10 AM, but I managed to reach by 09:15 AM.His residence was palatial but it was decorated with both ethnic and modern decorations., I was asked to sit in the living room by his caretaker. The room was so beautiful….decorated with long curtains, elegant teak furniture, beautiful sculptures, and fine paintings. After some time his manager came and informed me that Ashutosh had a very tight schedule so I should finish up my interview quickly. I gave him an assurance that I will try my best.

                               I was busy admiring the beauty of the room when I heard footsteps behind me. I turned back and saw those beautiful eyes staring at me and that same sweet face and a sweet smile. I greeted him good morning and he greeted me back. He asked me to sit down and asked me for tea or coffee or if I would like to have breakfast. But I said that that I need nothing. He was gazing at me and I felt very awkward, I was keeping my eyes down. Then I asked him if he was ready for the interview and he nodded. I told him that I am not a journalist and rather a photographer. He smiled and told me that I was free to ask him anything. I smirked and asked ANYTHING and he smirked back and said ANYTHING. I started by asking about his hobbies other than music, his likes, his dislikes and about certain experiences of life whether good or bad which he often remembers, his memories, his dreams, ambitions. Then finally I started talking about music and his love for music. By that time it was almost an hour and his manager had already signaled twice to hurry up. Suddenly he asked me if I was fond of music and I had to say the truth that I always have been a great fan of music but I do not know singing, I told him that my mom was a good singer in her youth and from her, I learned little nitty-gritty details of music -like sur,taal,raagas,taranas.

                                                             He said he was amazed at my knowledge. I felt happy in my heart. He asked about my favorite ragas, I shyly told some -Yaman, Bharavi, Rageshree, Miyan ki Malhar, Desh, Darbari and some more. He smiled wide and said they were his favorite too. Then he started telling about his Gurus, his musical journey, how he came to Bollywood playback singing, his entire musical journey, his struggles. I then asked him about his favorite singers, music directors, musical instruments. He named some of them and told that he loves Sitar, Tanpura, Flute and off course Guitar-his all-time favorite. He told me that in most of his songs he plays the guitar-then he laughed and said its a secret and that I should not write it in my article. I smiled back. He told me that he is a very simple person and he leads a simple lifestyle, he hates publicity and he does not like going to award shows and functions. He described him as a simple village boy still at heart and though his father being a Punjabi he is more fond of his Bengali culture inherited from his mother. He said that he likes Bengali food and Bengali language, songs, culture, and literature. He told me about his love for Tagore.

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                                         He said that his mother expired the month before and his father went back to his first family in Delhi as this was his father’s second marriage. Suddenly my mobile beeped and I noticed that it was 2:00 PM. I jumped up and he got frightened, I told him that I really got late and I need to leave but he insisted that I should have lunch with him, his manager also insisted since all his schedules for the day got canceled. Then he suddenly noticed my hands and my forehead and asked what had happened, I told him the entire story of my autoimmune disorder and how challenging my life is and how lonely I am from within. I told him that he finds time he can search for everything about my disorder on the internet. He changed the topic and we had a hearty lunch. Suddenly I remembered that I needed a photograph of him to post in my article. I politely asked him for a picture and he looked down and with a smile asked what outfit should he wear for the photograph. I laughed aloud and said anything he liked. But he insisted that I should choose, I suggested he wear Kurta and jeans or a white shirt and blue jeans. He smiled and went away.

                                           He came in ten minutes wearing the Kurta and jeans and I clicked his picture, then he asked me to wait again he came in two minutes wearing the same blue jeans with a white shirt ..I smiled and clicked another picture. His manager was standing at the back and smiling. He told me to write my article in two pages so that I can post two of his pictures. I laughed. In the end, I asked him that everyone thinks his voice is very manly, very soulful, very melodious, very sexy but what was his opinion…he smiled, looked down for a second and asked how do I feel about his voice? I was surprised by his question and I said that I was getting so I should leave. He blocked my way and said that I should answer him…..I looked down and then confidently looked back into his eyes and said that I found his voice to be very soulful and melodious. He asked me if he was my favorite singer and I said I do not know.

                                         I bid him goodbye and called for a cab. While I was coming back in the cab I played the entire conversation I had with him since I have recorded everything on my phone. The same voice that I almost hear all the time, the only voice I love to hear, the voice that brought happiness even in the sadness-the voice of my favorite singer, the man of my admiration and dreams. I completed my article and gave it my Editor the next morning, he was very satisfied with my work and the next day my article was published. Everyone in my office was so happy and so was I.The magazine had a huge sale that day. While I was returning home, Ashutosh’s song was playing on the radio for almost ten minutes. I got down from the bus and started walking towards my home, suddenly my phone rang. The same voice I was hearing in the song. I was startled and he laughed. I asked him how did he get my number. He jokingly said that he is Ashutosh Vohra and nothing was impossible for him. Then he told me the truth that he had called our Editor and asked for my number. I was so embarrassed but I did not express anything. I confidently asked him the reason for calling me and he said that he wanted to meet me. I agreed and then went to his place the same evening. He was there practicing a beautiful song for an upcoming film. I did not disturb him, he was in his own world and once again I was mesmerized by his voice, his singing style and his passion-really he was the king of romantic songs. Suddenly he turned back and smiled at me and gestured me to come into his practice room, his practice room was very similar to a recording studio. I went in and he asked me if he was my favorite singer.

I smiled and said I do not know. I asked him about the song and explained to me everything. Then he said that he has read my article and he is mesmerized by the way I  presented the article. I lowered my eyes and thanked him. Then he asked if I would like to have some tea or coffee or some snacks. I said I would love to have some tea. He smiled and I shamelessly asked if I could make the tea. He was surprised and said that there is no such need but still I insisted. He reluctantly agreed. He took me to the kitchen-it was indeed beautiful. He gave me tea leaves, sugar, milk and water and also a saucepan. I made my special tea without sugar and milk-just a light brown colored tea. He tasted and said he loved it. After that, he took me to the poolside and we started talking. Suddenly he said he would like to make friendship with me. He said he has very fewer friends and I agreed.

From that day onwards our friendship gradually grew stronger. Every day we texted and called each other. I often went to his place and we chatted and sometimes he would sing. He also came to my house but definitely after sunset as he was a celebrity. He often gave me passes for his concerts. One day he told me about his marriage. He said that he and wife were childhood friends and they were madly in love with each other until one day when he realized that she was cheating on him. He tried to make her understand and told her how much he loved her. But everything failed and one day she mixed something in his juice and made him sign the divorce papers and half of his property shares. When he woke up the next morning everything was over. I said that he could have told the judge that he was made to sign the papers in a drunken state but he said he was also fed up with his wife so he let go of her. He said that I was the first person to whom he told this fact, no one knew this story, except his manager. I assured him that his secret was safe with me.

In this way, our friendship continued. I got a promotion and became a senior journalist. Suddenly I  got my transfer order to America in the American branch of our magazine. I was posted in New York. I was very happy and after the office, I went to my singer friend to give him the good news. But he was extremely annoyed and he started screaming how can I go to America. I tried my best to make him understand but things worsened. He became so furious and started breaking things. I cried a lot and when I was about to leave he caught hold of me from the back and said that he loved me and he could not live without me.

I got angry and said that this could not happen but he remained stuck to his point. I came back and for a month I severed all the possible contacts with him. He tried all possible means to contact me but I was determined. I knew about my illness and that it would be impossible for someone ” normal” to cope up with my life. Then my day arrived and I went to New York. But I knew that his love for me would always keep me safe and happy.

I settled down there and adopted a new life. But he remained in my soul .I listened to his songs and remembered those happy days.Two years passed until one day I got a call. It was his manager. He said that Ashutosh was in ICU and he wanted to see me. I immediately took emergency leave and flew back to Mumbai. When I reached the hospital his manager was waiting for me.He told me that after I left he lost everything, his music, his voice, his career and became an alcoholic.Recently he got affected with Hepatitis B.I spoke to the doctor and he said that he is trying his best but Ashutosh himself does not want to leave.I went by his side with tears in my eyes and placed my hand on his forehead.I did not know that he loved me so much that a man who hated alcohol would make alcohol his life.

He opened his eyes, the same beautiful eyes full of tears and pressed my hand against his heart.All my determination was broken and I kissed him on the forehead and said that I too love him a lot and that he should recover for me, for the sake of our love.He nodded as tears rolled down from his eyes. It took him 6 months to recover. I applied for a transfer.

He started singing once again and it took him almost a year to recover fully and to regain back his career. Finally, after six months the doctor said he was completely all right. He asked me to marry him. I told him that  I would not be able to become a mother due to my disorder and he said that he knew everything as he has read everything on the internet.I hugged him and he kissed me and that kiss was so passionate that we both got lost in the fire of love. And then we got married in a  small private ceremony.He was so happy that day.He announced the news of our marriage through twitter.

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The next morning he got up early, had his rivaaz , made tea-my special one and woke me up. I was so happy. My life changed completely and  I left my job as that was the only request made by him. But I still do freelance photography. He always gives me company and not for a single day we have lived apart.

He always says that all his romantic songs are dedicated to me and  I have become his habit so he cannot stay away from me. He takes good care of me, my medicines, my health, and my diet. Even I have to take good care of him as he himself is also not very strong -once he had Hepatitis B so he also needs to have medicines and a healthy diet.

Today is my fifth marriage anniversary and he still says as if we got married yesterday and that I have become his habit. Today he asked me once again,”Am I your favourite singer,love?”I looked into his eyes, gave him a kiss and said, “Yes, you are. You are the only voice that I always want to hear throughout my life.”I think I am the luckiest person on the face of the earth to have such a great friend and lover in the form of my husband.

 This is purely a work of fiction and my imagination. This is my first story so I hope you like it.