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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Review Chain


"Students, I would like to introduce a new student to you. This is Amita, " when the class teacher introduced a new student to the class, Dinesh who was reading his notes sitting on a middle bench, looked up at the new student for a moment and murmured, "so what." and continued reading the notes. He is a mid-bencher who never liked to sit on the front bench. His only friend who was sitting next to him whispered in his ear, "she is so beautiful." Dinesh replied, "so what can I do for her beauty. I don't care."

His friend knew him very well and was used to his behavior and so he didn't give any attention to him. Dinesh is introvert by nature and didn't like making friends and talking more than necessary to anybody.

Amita was a pretty girl of age 17 and she likes to make new friends and she is talkative. She is good at her studies. She belonged to a middle-class family and her father is a clerk in a bank. She was the only daughter of her parents and they had come to Raipur city on transfer. Due to her charm and manners, soon she got famous with the other students of the class.

Days passed and the time of monthly exams came. Almost every student was in tension. Amita took the exams very seriously. Dinesh had the habit of not taking the exams seriously but he always gets good marks. It was a maths test that day. Amita was nervous and was reading notes aside on a bench.

"Why are you so nervous?" Someone asked her from behind. She turned and found it was Dinesh. For the first time, he was talking to her. She found no trace of stress in him. She said, "today is a maths exam. I am not so good at math. You are looking relax and cool! Don't you fear exams!"

He replied, "why to fear! If we are prepared well and have a good memory, we don't need to fear."

After the test, he acted contrary to his nature for the first time. He went to Amita and asked, "how was the test?"

She replied, "it was good. I am hopeful of getting good marks." He said, "that is great, I also did well in the test."

It was their first meeting. She was impressed with him. And the train of the meeting began. They met in their spare time and talked about studies, careers, and other matters. He didn't know how he got changed in a few weeks and began to see himself and the others with different views of point. He gave much value to this friendship.

Both of them were happy. Their friendship lasted for two years and then came an interruption in their friendship. Amita's father got transferred to another city and they have to leave the city.

Dinesh was unhappy being separated from Amita. He felt as if he had lost the most precious thing in his life. It took him weeks to bring himself out of the sadness. He consoled himself by thinking that the world is small and someday or the other and somewhere or the other she would meet him again. This happening change his thinking.

Time passed but he did not forget Amita. Her memories were always with him. Memories of first love do not fade with time. No one was to take place of Amita in his life.

After completing graduation, he had got a job in a corporation, and from here a new chapter of his life began. He got himself absorbed in the job and soon began to climb on the steps of success. But in this race, he never forgot the time he had spent with Amita.

Despite having a successful career and sufficient money, he was alone having no relatives and friends. Being from a broken family, Dinesh was not interested in getting married. In this childhood, he had always seen his parents quarreling with each other. These quarrels had affected him deeply and he became indifferent to social relationships; always reluctant to make friends, talk to neighbors, taking part in social activities. When he was sixteen years old, his mother applied for divorce. When he heard it from his mother he didn't express any emotion and said to his mother, "divorce would bring an end to daily quarrels." After two years of a legal battle, his mother got the divorce and she got custody of Dinesh too. His father never met him after the divorce. His mother after a year got married to a rich shopkeeper who always busy with making money and had nothing to do with another aspect of life. He did nothing except to carry the expenses of his stepson Dinesh. And Dinesh was thankful to him for this. At that hard time of his, Amita came into his life as a ray in the dark. Her friendship gave him comfort. He was sad in those days but he enjoys the friendship of Amita and never talked to her about his problems for he wanted to share the only happiness. The days of friendship with Amita were the golden days of his life. He was so happy despite having troubles in his personal life.

Days, months, and years were passing, he was living a solitary life. Gradually he began to feel an emptiness in him. He tried to fill it in some way or the other. No one to fill this emptiness and even to console him. Then came a turn in his life which changed his life.

His company sent him to Delhi for a project. Delhi is a capitàl city where one can see nothing but crowds everywhere. One can find all types of people in these crowds. Everyone has his own story in the mob. Crowds made him feel more alone than ever. He got himself much more busy with the project to escape from the aloneness.

It was the winter season in Delhi. Dinesh was sauntering in the streets of a famous market in one of the coldest evenings. There were a few people in the streets. He stopped at a small tea shop to have some tea. When he was sipping the tea, his eyes fall on a woman who was entering the shop. This woman seemed familiar to him. He looked at this woman again. He recognized her at once. She was his Amita. He got surprised He had never thought of meeting her in this way all of a sudden. He got exultant.

Amita was buying something from the shopkeeper. He could not help but go near to her and said slowly, "Amita."

She turned back and looked at him. She could not recognize him at once. It took her a few seconds to recognize him. She said with happiness and surprise, "Dinesh,"

"Yes me, " he replied with a smile on his face. He was feeling happy from the inner of his heart after years. She felt a silent invitation in his eyes for a conversation. She couldn't ignore this invitation.

They were talking to each other about their life. Whenever he tried to know about her life, she avoided it by asking him any question. He felt that she was not happy and not as talk-active as she was in those days. He could see the pain in her eyes. He asked her, "it seems that you are not happy. What is a matter?"

"No, there is no such thing as being unhappy. I am fine, I am happy, " She replied.

He said, "really! Look Amita, you can tell me if you have any problem. A friend like me is meant for solving problems."

She remained silent for some moments. Being a sensitive person Dinesh could feel and understand something untold.

When she asked about his spouse, he replied that he had not found a girl of his type.

They talked for a long time. When taking leave from him he gave her his temporary address and phone number.

He could not sleep all that night. The thoughts of Amita kept coming again and again in his mind.

After two days, when he was taking lunch, he got a call from Amita. She said in the call that she wanted to talk to him and she told him to meet her at a famous park in a posh area of Delhi in the evening. He was expecting a pleasant meeting. He was excited to meet her.

In the evening he reached the park and soon found her sitting on a bench under a tree in a corner of the park. Seeing him, she stood up and waved her hand towards him.

He saw tears in her eyes. Without any formality, he took her hands in his hands asked her the reason for the tears. Finding sympathy from him, Amita began to sob.

"Tell me why are you so sad and why are you weeping? " Dinesh asked her while wiping her tears. She began to tell him her tragic story.

She said to him, "I am in such a situation that after knowing my reality you would begin to hate me." Hearing this Dinesh looked into her eyes with concern and asked, "What is a matter with you?"

She remained silent for some moments and then said to him, "You don't know what dreadful situations I had to go through and even now have to go through."

She looked into his eyes and said, "I was unhappy at the transfer of father to another city for I had to separate from you. Six months after the transfer, my father died in a car accident and with the death of my father, great suffering came to me and my mother. Our relatives were either poor or selfish. They did not come to help us. The mother had to do odd jobs to make ends meet. Somehow I managed to complete my graduation. But after graduation I was jobless. Mother was growing old. She was worried about my marriage." Saying so she got silent and wiped her tears. He looked at her and asked, "And what happened then?"

She said, "with the help of some familiar people she arranged to get me married to a man from a middle-class family. He was a lazy man, not interested in doing work and earn money. My mother-in-law was a selfish and cruel lady. She started giving me trouble. After the six months of the marriage, she expelled me from her home. I had to return home. My husband didn't come to take me."

what she told him about her past and present was sufficient to make his eyes shed tears.

She paused for a moment to control her tears and sobbing and then she said, "my mother fell ill and stopped going to work. I somehow managed to get a job as a receptionist in a hotel. They offered me a good salary for this job. The job proved a way to my destruction. This hotel was well-recognized. Externally, everything was fine with it but internally something was wrong with this hotel. All the customers of the hotel were rich, famous, and gentle people. One day police raided the hotel and captured many people with call girls. Despite being innocent, I, too, was arrested by police. When my mother heard this news she got shocked and later died of a heart attack."

Saying this she paused and looked at Dinesh. He was gazing at the setting sun with tears in his eyes.

She continued, "after releasing from jail I am all alone full of anger and despair. Being a jail return, I had no chance of living a respectful life. So despite being unwilling, I had to plunge into the flesh trade and I shifted to Delhi where nobody knew my past."

She stopped and looked at him. He said, "I have never forgotten you despite a long interval of several years. I had thought in those days that the world was small enough to meet you again. I believed that you must meet me someday or the other. And you have met me." He looked into her eyes and said, "no matter in which state you met me. I am still your friend as I was before."

Hearing his words, she looked at him with a surprise for she had no hope of sympathy or friendship from him.

He paused and thought for some moments and then said, "I like you and want to live the rest of my life with you. Come with me, if you like. Trust me."

She said nothing. She moved closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. He embraced her in his arms. She whispered, "I love you. I will be with you all the time." He said to her, "I will fill your life with happiness." It was a happy turn in their life. Now they were dreaming of their good future.

Submitted: May 19, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Sumit Kumar Arora. All rights reserved.

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