Samiksha led Karan toward their terrace. The slow walk allowed Karan to steal glances at Samiksha in intervals. Her fragrance is heavenly, he thought. Has she worn some perfume? As they reached, she opened the terrace doors and walked in. Though her usual zeal while entering her favorite place was obviously missing. Karan saw the terrace for the first time correctly. Several potted flowering plants enhanced its beauty. The plants were well taken care of. Wind chimes hung at a distance from each other. Their tinkling sound added to the unspoken romance of the current situation.
Samiksha leaned against a pillar, lost and quiet. Karan stood against the pillar near hers. Slowly, she looked at him making sure he did not see. The calm on his face and the faint smile on his lips made her wonder how relaxed he is. In spite of changing his choice of girl, he was so composed.
He cleared his throat to break the ice.
“You have maintained the terrace with a lot of care and effort. It’s appreciable.”
“Everyone takes care of their home. It’s not a big thing.”
“Of course it is. Not everyone bothers about the minute details. See,” He pointed toward the plants. “You have ensured each plant gets a pot according to its growth. Small ones are happy in the tiny ones and big ones have got their share of large ones.”
“All people do that too.”
“Hmm. Look at this painting on the pot. Did you buy the pot already painted?”
“Um, no. I did it.”
“See. Now you cannot say everyone paints their pots.”
A faint smile escaped Samiksha’s lips, and Karan let a sigh as the tense atmosphere relaxed a bit.
“Shall I say a secret?” Karan told her being in her direction. Samiksha’s heartbeats increased as no man had come this close to her. Wondering what the secret might be, she started her assumptions.
‘Actually, I don’t want to get married. Accordingly, I confused everyone by saying that you are my choice.‘
‘I love some other girl. I created this conflict so that my parents don’t marry me in your home.‘
“Hello. What are you thinking?” Karan snapped his fingers and brought Samiksha bringing her back to the real world.
“First tell me your secret.”
“Ohh. You were figuring out what that secret is?”
“No. Why should I?”
“I am a lawyer and can catch lies in seconds.”
Samiksha fluttered her eyelashes and looked here and there.
“The secret is,” He looked into her big beautiful eyes making her nervous, yet again. “Shall I disclose?”
She gulped and spoke with difficulty, “Yes, please say fast. My heartbeats increase rapidly when I have to wait for something.”
“Now that is not good. You should have the patience to wait. Anxiety is not good for health.”
“Are you a doctor too?” She asked crossing her hands across her chest.
“No. That my brother Anurag is. So you can call me half-doctor.”
“Very funny. What is the secret?”
Karan was pleased, at least she is talking to him. He knew very well deep inside about her upset mindset. And he was aware of the reason behind it. A girl who cared for the butterfly so deeply must have gotten offended. The reason was the boy who came to see her sister, liked her instead.
Karan was keen on making her smile, again.
“I am …”
‘What?” Samiksha probed.
He gestured for her to come close. Samiksha was hesitant but was keen to know the secret. She slowly came near him and swiped her hair behind her ear, so that she can hear clearly. He smiled to see her naive attitude and spoke in her ear, “I am hungry.”
“What?” She shouted. “This was your secret? Dugga Dugga.” Samiksha started walking away from there.
“Where are you going?”
“You are hungry, right? I will get food for you?”
“Hmm. I thought you are upset with me.”
“Now what is the connection between what I feel and you being hungry? Tell.”
“So you are upset with me?”
Samiksha turned her head to the other side to avoid confrontation. He asked her, “Why?”
“Because you don’t stick to your commitment.”
“You came to see my sister, right? So how can you like me?”
“Now that is a strange thought you are carrying. I never committed to your sister. In fact, yesterday I did not even speak to her properly. I got a call and came to the terrace as the network was very weak down. That time, I saw a fairy here.”
Samiksha blushed unknowingly. And demanded to know which fairy he talked about.
Karan fell in love with her habit of asking, in spite of knowing the answers.
“That fairy is right there.” He pointed his finger in the opposite direction. Samiksha had completely forgotten what was in that direction and she looked at once. The glass of the door reflected her face, glowing and peaceful. She shied and looked away instantly.
“But still it is unfair. I cannot take injustice.”
“Nor can I.”
“In my college also I used to speak for justice. I feel things should be fair for everyone. No one deserves wrong treatment.”
“Don’t mind, now you sound like a lawyer. But tell me, who has done injustice to whom?”
“You have. I mean, how can you like me instead of my sister?”
“Alright. Now listen to me.
Do you know there are so many breathtaking stars and planets in the sky?”
“Of course, I know.”
“Then why do you like the moon?”
Samiksha was speechless at his question. She stared at him with mixed emotions.
“Answer me. Why do you love the moon so much?”
“How … do you know this?”
“As I said, the fairy who caught my attention the other day was talking with none other than,” He pointed toward the hidden moon in the sky. “The moon.”
Samiksha blushed even more now, avoiding eye contact with him.
“Now tell me, why do like him so much?”
After a pause she spoke, “Because he is unique, so different from others. No other planet or star has its charm, purity, and beauty. Above all, he is my best friend, my Bandhu.”
“And if I say the same holds for you, then?”
Samiksha was spellbound.
“I have never seen a girl with such simplicity, charm, and beauty before. There is only a moon for you. For me, you are the one.”
She was at a loss for words, as no other man ever had spoken with this grace, admiration, and care to her before. She looked deep into his honest eyes, trying to find an excuse or another justification, but couldn’t.
“So Samiksha, will you come with me to Kolkata, forever?”
She smiled a little.
“Don’t worry your Bandhu is visible even from my terrace. I promise I won’t come between you and your him.”
She smiled without letting him know. “I will sing songs for you, with a mention of the moon in them. I promise.”
Samiksha stood turning away from him, thinking how does he know what she wishes for. Certainly, he overheard yesterday when I was talking to Bandhu. She felt shy and embarrassed.
Finally, he said, “I will apologize to Kalyani if you feel I have hurt her unknowingly.” Samiksha lost her heart to him hearing these words. She had misunderstood Karan and blamed him for no reason. Such a good-hearted, sensible man can never hurt anyone deliberately, she thought.
She slowly turned and stood facing him.
A tear fell from her eyes out of regret. He stretched his hand to wipe it at once but refrained. She wiped it with her pallu and spoke at last.
“Now come down. You are hungry since a long time.”
“Your answer, Ms. Chatterjee?”
Stay tuned for Part 6/-