It was raining heavily all day. It was in the middle of June and monsoon had just got started in Maharashtra. Shankha Ray was driving back from Pune to Mumbai. Being a busy lawyer he had travelled to Pune to appear for his client in the civil court in a property dispute. Shankha is all of 36 years of age, average height, fair complexioned. After passing out law from Government law college in West Bengal which is about a few hours drive from Kolkata, Shankha had made a name for himself in the field of law during the last 12 years.
Being in rainy season there was huge traffic in Mumbai Pune highway. Today is 15th June, Shankha thought. Memories came flashing through his mind. This fateful day Nisha had left him for good. 10 years, it has been a long time, Shankha thought.
He had come from a humble lower middle class background. He did not have the luxuries and the long list of girlfriends which his other friends boasted of. After an incident which ravaged his entire life he was broken. He had emerged himself in work and almost became a recluse.
She was Nisha, a girl he loved dearly from the bottom of his heart. Both of them were soulmates and they promised to each other that they will spend the rest of their lives with each other.
“I cannot live without you. Promise me you will never leave me? “Nisha had asked Shankha.
She was his neighbor and childhood sweetheart. They stayed in FD block in salt Lake in Kolkata. Both were deeply and madly in love with each other.
“Even if ever I will be not with you physically remember I will always be with you and watch over you” Nisha had said the day before the fateful incident.
But fate had other things planned for him. Nisha was the single child. Nisha’s father was an engineer in government department.
Nisha had asked her father “Dad I want you to meet someone.”
“What does he do?”
“He is a lawyer, started his practice a couple of years back.”
“Okay, I want to meet this boy, bring him on this weekend to our house.” Her father had said.
That fateful day both of them had gone for a date in Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. They were to go to Nisha’s house in the evening to meet her father. While coming back from Victoria Memorial with Nisha on his bike, Shankha had an accident. A sedan had rammed his bike from behind. Shankha had lost control. His bike skidded across the street and hit the divider in the middle of the road.
Shankha could not get up, the bones on his chest were fractured. He could barely turn his head to see Nisha lying in a pool of blood. She was already dead when they brought her to SSKM hospital.
The only thing that was left to Shankha was the ring that Nisha had gifted him on his birthday. He looked at the ring at his finger in right hand. 10 years had passed since, but the memory of that day seems as fresh as ever. Shankha had promised to himself never to fall in love again, that is until now……….
The traffic was stagnant, Shankha was sitting in his car for almost half an hour without moving an inch. Suddenly the sound of a horn from behind brought Shankha to the present. The car in front had started moving. He pressed on the clutch and started his car. He had reached Khandala. He glanced at his watch, it was 7 p.m. It will take another 2 hours to reach Mumbai. But the traffic being as it is it may take half an hour extra, Shankha thought.
Shankha was not aware of the twist his life awaits in the next turn. While passing Khandala he saw a beautiful girl standing, drenched in rain hoping for a lift. He saw her closely, she was of fair complexion, slim and she was tall about 5 feet 5inches. Shankha pressed the brakes, then opened the window of his car.
She asked him “Can you drop me to Mumbai?”
She said she had come to Khandala for picnic with her friends. But apparently they had a fight and they left for Mumbai without taking her. Since it was raining like hell she could not get a taxi. Shankha asked her to hop in his car. She was wearing blue jeans and yellow kurta.
She introduced herself. Her name was Sunayna Sharma. She worked for a finance firm in Mumbai. Originally hailing from Kanpur she is working in Mumbai for the last 5 years. She had completed M.Com 5 years back from Delhi University. After passing M.Com she had come to Mumbai after getting the job in the finance firm.
There was this instant liking that he has felt for Sunayna from the time he saw her. Shankha turned on the music with some old classics.
Sunayna was chatting continuously, she seemed to be a chatterbox. Somehow Shankha started liking her.
“Where do you stay”? She asked.
“I stay in Andheri, where will I drop you?”
“I stay in Navi Mumbai, you can drop me in Vashi.”
“What do you do for a living”? she asked.
“I am a lawyer”. He replied. Soon they reached Navi Mumbai. Shankha dropped off Sunayna in Vashi then he proceeded for Andheri.
Shankha stayed alone with his dog Sweety. She was a white pomerian. Sunayna had created a stirring in his heart, Shankha was thinking of Sunayna the whole night.
Suddenly he got a call in his cell in midnight, he picked up the call, and the caller was Sunayna.
“I forgot to say you thanks. If you had not given me the lift, I would not been able to come home.”
Shankha remembered that he had given his card to Sunayna. She had got his number from his card.
He was really ecstatic after getting her call. She promised to meet him soon again.
Shankha woke up the next day a bit late, it was Sunday. He woke up around 9 A.M. after he had a late breakfast he called up Sunayna. He wanted to talk to her again, to see her again. He was anxious. He thought he was falling in love.
He called Sunayna. The phone was ringing, pick up pick up he muttered. She answered the call. After exchanging pleasantries he asked her “Can I see you somewhere”?
“I am going to Bandstand in the evening. You can meet me today at Bandstand.” She replied.
They were supposed to meet in Bandra bandstand at 5 p.m. Shankha could not hide his excitement. After all he was going for a date after a long time. After Nisha left he had not gone for dating with anyone. He was staring at the clock, and was thinking why the time is not passing off faster.
Around 4 p.m. Shankha started off for Band stand. He was wearing blue denim jeans and a white full sleeved shirt. He reached Band stand at 4.40. He was standing in the fort in front of the Taj hotel as they had decided. He was waiting eagerly for Sunayna. Suddenly he saw her coming out of an auto. She was wearing a deep blue salwar. Shankha’s heart was pounding faster.
“She is pretty”, Shankha told himself. She was tall, slim and fair.
“How long have you been waiting” Sunayna asked.
“A long time, pretty long time actually.” He replied.
They sat by the sea. He told her “We were strangers a day before and within 24 hours we are seeing each other.”
“Its destiny.“ She replied.
One can fall in love anywhere anytime. Shankha thought. He had lost Nisha on 15th June 10 years back and he had met Sunayna on 15th June. He looked up at the skies. May be it was Nisha who had send Sunayna to him. They sat by the sea for hours.
Suddenly Shankha took Sunayna’s hands in his hand and whispered “I could feel your breadth, I could see your smile, I knew I loved you before I met you.”
They shared a long passionate kiss.
“You are the most beautiful thing that happened to me.” Sunayna whispered in Shankha’s ears.
They sat for 3 hours. Time flew like anything. Soon it was 8 o clock. It was time to go.
“I will call you” He said.
“I will wait for your call. I really like you.” She replied.
“I would like to be with you forever. “ Shankha said as he dropped her in Vashi at her residence. She blushed. He turned his car and sped off towards the highway.