Excerpt: Love is one thing that we all need. Tangible love. Love from people around us. And no matter how much love we get. It’s never enough. (Reads: 587)


There is a place in our heart, deep inside, where lives love. Where lives honesty. We can be dishonest to everybody but not to ourselves. We may not love anyone but we love our-self. More than that we wish love for our self. We all do. Even the bad ass people seek love, affection for themselves.

Of course, it’s not love if it’s not forever. But where from you get that love? Is it a mercy of God that love find its way to you. Like a gift you get. Whatever the reason or source may be. Fortunate are those who have it. And unfortunate are loveless people.

But Navya wasn’t loveless. Though she didn’t have a boyfriend yet she loved everybody. She hoped for more love than she gives. Her passion—Music ran through her veins. She wrote songs that touched hearts. She supported Joy on guitar. When Ram gives voice to her songs and Vidya supports him as background vocalist. And Diago beats the drums. Together they rocked in their college. As well as in other nearby colleges of Naini hills. BFF of her band—‘Atharav’. She fixed Ram and Vidya in their love bond, roof of Joy’s home before every winter. And Diago’s temperament on taunts over his gayness.

Sturdy, beautiful and full of talents yet Navya never flaunted like some Diva that all the boys should dream of her. Though she was amiable face with red apple cheeks, ivory as morning sun light, with eyes revealing affection and truthfulness. Yet she kept her beauty covered. More like a tom boyish. But her hearts(both of them) were magnanimous to everybody even to mean girls of cheer leading team. She was friend of friends, an approachable girl. Her band sang every time in Basket Ball tournament. As their college Royal High was Basket Ball champion among all the colleges of Naini hills.

On cold Monday morning of February there were few classes going on. Entire college was anticipating up-coming basketball tournament. It was big and important. Consisted of other top three colleges of Naini Hills which had equally fierce teams, who were all ready to take away the pride of Royal’s. End of the month would have final match. And Royal High got to maintain the undefeated streak intact. Which they would cause of—Aryan–the champion of Basket Ball team. Star of the college. State level player who represented and won trophies for their college in big cities like Delhi. So, Navya and band were practicing their performance at one corner of basketball court. Cheer leading team was doing their prancing at another far corner. In middle of the court were basketball players, playing foolish instead, to shed off the stress. Hitting each other on the back with ball. Aryan threw ball on his friend who ducked and the ball kissed Navya’s bumps. Everybody laughed on this except for musical band. Navya gave strong angry looks to Aryan. She was awaiting apology but it didn’t came. Instead players continued with the ball. That’s when Ram stood out.

“Hey Aryan, you should apologise to Navya,” he said.

“Hey Justin Bieber, why don’t you mind your own business,” said the tall and handsome, dream lover of every girl in the college.

“That’s not how you should behave,” said Vidya when whole band came up for Navya.

“Back off guys, he don’t deserve it,” said Navya trying to save them from conflict.

“Oh, now you are going to tell what I deserve?” said Aryan

“Just because you are good in basketball doesn’t mean everybody has to worship you,” she retorted.

“Oh yeah! Can you play it?” he challenged and again there was laugh.

Navya took the ball and began. Bounce and bounce she showed her sturdy moves. It was only Aryan and her left in the court. Goal after goal six in the row and she made him look dunce. On seventh Aryan couldn’t stop his envy and pushed her. Now this squelched all the cheering for her.

She got up and gaped him “Game on,” said she while panting in sweat.

“Sure it is,” said Aryan when they parted their ways.

Since then air was uneasy between the girl with two hearts and the guy with discourteous heart. He’s the rich guy of this small town. Hooked up with some another rich girl, about-to-be-fiancée, Family friend from Delhi. And Navya was just another ordinary girl he gives a damn about. Her father died saving people’s lives during a calamity. Twelve years ago, when Navya was only six. Whole town revered the family with deep respect. Her Grand-Paa, Granny and mother were proud on her father. Wherefore magnanimity was something she inherited. Nevertheless she too gave a damn for the hunk whereas all the other girls wished to melt his arms.

Two days before Valentine Sikta, a dwarf friend of Vidya told her about Aryan’s date plan.

“Navya, she has tip for us,” said Vidya catching her friend in the locker area.

“Who is she?” Navya asked when trio moved to a corner.

“Her father runs the Maroon Café. Aryan has booked the above area lounge exclusively for V-day. His GF from Delhi has arrived. This is not all, he has bagged access to its back door entry that too after nine in the evening,” Vidya divulged.

With opened wide eyes “Hummnn…” Navya and friends.

“Good job Sikta, off you go now, lest anybody see you with us. We’ll be in touch with you,” she said.

“Why did you send her off, how would we go in now,” asked Vidya

“Why would we go? Look, he must have planned something rosy and warmth. But what if it would rain that day?” Navya hinted.

“I don’t understand,” asked Vidya.

On promise of tell-it-to-nobody Navya took her on V-day at the back of Maroon Café. Sikta was already there to let them in. Aryan and his GF were upstairs. There was nobody else besides them. Secretly girls went to electric corner of the café and Navya hit the fire Alarm. Ear splitting noise and water shower disrupted the soft music they could hear. Girls rushed out before anybody could see them. Ended on Navya’s bed laughing their lungs out.

“You know he books that lounge every year to take girls,” said Vidya holding her stomach.

“He would never forget his this year’s Valentine,” said Navya falling off from bed.

Girls felt happy in annoying the arrogant brute.

Next day in college they were eager to see him. But he didn’t show up. Instead Navya got a call from civil hospital with bad news. It was her mother. She rushed at once, with friends. Found mother lying on a stretcher, pressing right on her forehead to stop bleeding. Navya shook seeing her saree soaked in blood. Though mother smiled when saw her. Somebody who brought her here was fighting on front desk. To have her treated before police enquiry. It was Aryan.

“You? you did this to her?” Navya yelled seeing him.

“Navya, stop it” mother tried to control her.

Aryan stood stoical. Left side of his ad-hardy t-shirt was coloured with her mother’s blood. Just in time his father and Navya’s Grand-Paa arrived. And took care of the matter. Mother revealed them and to police how she got injured. Few rowdies on bike pushed her on road. Her head hit pavement when out of nowhere Aryan came and held her. She narrated how courageously he brought her here. Well, this new side of arrogant brute gained him–RESPECT. They discharged her mother in the evening after a day’s observation.

“You know he is not that bad,” Vdiya said to Navya when they were sitting in cars to home.

Navya remembered her words and felt bad for what she did. She decided to tell him truth. After the final match.

On the big event, stadium was full of noise. Everybody was yelling for their team. Royal high was full in attendance. Navya and band took their positions and hit it. Lost in their music all the young bloods forgot everything for a while. End with a bang they left the center stage for cheer leaders to perform.

“You sure want to do this,” Vidya asked Navya while alighting from stage.
“Yeah,” she said.
“You can be good to him anyway. Why tell him?” Vidya asked again.
“What are you girls talking so privately,” Ram interrupted.
“Nothing. Let’s take our seats,” Said Navya.

Royal high played with all the passion and Navya awaited for win with all the patience. So she could tell him. She hoped in happiness of victory he would forgive her. He may, he may not, she wasn’t sure. But nothing of sort happened. Victory of Royal High offended the champion of other team. In their incapability of controlling envy and recklessness, at the end of match when Aryan was flying on shoulders of his team mates. Envied guy hit his chest with the same ball. All mouth opened, all eyes opened wide. Aryan fell off and in no time taken to hospital. He was critically injured. His family, Teachers, Principal, students and team players(including the reckless boy) of both the colleges spent night at the hospital.

In the morning doctors told He’d be needing new heart. As everything else was absolutely fine with this young blood except for his heart. Now where from they’ll get equally young heart in no time?

Navya the brave heart emerged out—“Take mine,” she said. Since magnanimity was something she inherited from her father. She thrilled everybody with it. Next morning Navya and family came at hospital to save the life. Top doctors from Mumbai and Delhi arrived (and no one else, no V-date). They operated for long four hours. Operation was big success. Both the lives were safe. Hale and hearty. Except Navya lost one of her heart and those exceptional benefits of being sturdy. Stay for couple of weeks in Hospital and then for months on bed. To watch world moving around through windows was prescribed for both of them.

First time in two months Navya woke up early. She got ready when her mother was just out from bed.
“Good morning mom, tea?” she offered while eating breakfast on dining.
“Where are you up to sweetheart?”

“College mom, where else, it’s been two months. I don’t want to flunk by lying in bed days and nights.” She finished eating and out of the door giving kiss to mommy. She reached early before anyone showed up. Gazing at the entrance of college she felt anxious. Felt fainting in climbing six short stairs. But just then a hand approached her, offering help when she needed it most. Aryan looked into her eyes with his eyes expressing too many emotions at once.

Which Navya could read clearly. She didn’t utter a word but held his hand. He gently helped her climbing stairs and brought her to the lockers. She took her stuff, off to the class and he stood there watching her. All day long Aryan’s eyes followed Navya. This happened everyday now. Whenever she’s in need of something Aryan was already there.

And she took it from him. Besides she could never break her own heart. Strumming on guitar was not easy for now, rhythm of life faded a bit. Zest was gone. Whereby she plunged herself more into writing. She wrote: Songs full of emotions. Songs depicting pain of heart. Songs calling somebody to reduce the pain and fill heart with happiness again. Co-incidentally that somebody was always around. Listening every word she wrote. In days, Aryan came closer to her. From giving hands to lifting things, to bringing coffee for her. They never exchanged a single word. Yet looked at each other with unknown amazement, indescribable feelings. Two hearts magnetised each other. Gradually affection ripen.

On Christmas eve lass and lads of college were humming around bone fire holding hands of their lovers. Navya sat bit far in chill. When warmth came and sit beside her. He held her hand close to his heart, his new heart. Intently Navya turned to feel more of that beating. She put ear on Aryan’s chest. She wants to know if her heart was doing fine inside. And gradually her arms closed him to hear it better. For long they stayed into each other. People and bone fire vanished after few hours. But Navya wished more warmth as her feet were cold. Aryan took her inside to music room. They sat near the instruments and he offered her guitar. Navya’s eyes trickled tears and he kissed them. After which Love spoke with more kissing. At last Head on his shoulder, back on his chest. Aryan held her from girth and Navya stroked guitar strings.
“I like it here, this warmth, these arms. I never want to leave,” she said for the first time in their relationship.
“Sure,” he said and held her more firmly in his arms.
No matter how much meditation we do to meet God or yoga classes we join. Love is one thing that we all need. Tangible love. Love from people around us. And no matter how much love we get. It’s never enough.



About the Author


Ritu is Delhi based writer. Her oeuvre: A Short Fiction--'An Ant Has The Diabetes' published with CONTEMPORARY LITERARY REVIEW INDIA in July 2013. A Photo Article--'A Day in the Milieu of Art and Culture' published with PHOTO JOURNEY in September 2014. A Review on essay of Leo Tolstoy--'A Letter to a Hindu' appeared in CONTEMPORARY LITERARY REVIEW INDIA in February 2015.

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