Riya was irritated receiving the same message from different friends.The message read,”If you get a chance to change one thing in your life, what would you like to change?”
She replied to each . Then she thought to send the message to her elder brother Aksh ,he was the son of her aunt. Minutes later she received a reply from him,the message read,”I would have made you my girlfriend from sis.”
She was astonished by the reply.For few minutes she didn’t understand how to react to it,but surprisingly she was not angry or upset by such a reply from her brother but instead was a little happy.Why?? She knew very well and she walked back in the lanes of her memory.
7 years before
Riya was too excited to visit her aunt’s house this time because her favorite aunt was to get married.
She longed to see her beautiful aunt as a bride. After a six hours long journey she reached her aunt’s house. She saw the house was full of people roaming around with some or the other chores. She ran inside to meet her aunt and as soon as she saw her, she hugged her tightly.Soon after her mother entered the room smiling and said,”She was too eager to meet you Sunita,and she is too excited to see you dressed up as a bride.” Little did Riya knew that this marriage had something unexpected in store for her.
Few hours later her elder aunt arrived.Her name was Reena and she had two children.Both of them were elder to Riya. Aksh, the elder of the two was in class nine and his younger sister Arya was in class seven. Riya herself was in class six.Now,Riya was six years old when she had last met these two and so she was happy to see them again.
In the evening, she was standing in the balcony watching the sunset. The sunset always amazed her. She loved to see the sky becoming ruddy,birds returning to their home,the sun now cooled down and no more radiating hot rays. She heard a voice from behind,”What are you doing here standing alone?”
She turned behind and saw Arya. She smiled and said that she enjoyed watching the sunset. Arya said,”oh! You too like it. Even Aksh bhaiya has a fantasy for it.He is on the terrace watching the sunset.”Riya looked up at the terrace and saw Aksh standing there silently watching the sunset.
In the night during the dinner all the children were made to sit together in one room. Riya came late so her mother told her to join Aksh. They ate together.It was during the dinner that they first interacted.
After that the two were always found chattering away sometimes in the staircase,or on the terrace,in the room. As time passed away Aksh began to reveal himself to Riya.He told her all his small secrets,his likes .dislikes . Riya too loved listening to Aksh.Soon they became best friends. On the night of marriage Riya dressed beautifully and looked like a doll.When Aksh saw her,he was still for a few minutes when his mother interrupted and said,”Aksh,Isn’t your sister looking cute?” Aksh wanted to compliment her but remained silent.
Both of them knew that it was the last night they were together, the next morning both would leave for their home.Riya was impatiently waiting to see her aunt Sunita dressed up as a bride and when she finally saw her,she hugged her tightly. Riya then went to Aksh and said,”Aunt is looking so beautiful as a bride.”
Aksh replied,”You too would make a beautiful bride”.
That night the whole family enjoyed to the fullest. It was then that Riya’s father scolded her for some mischief. Riya was reduced to tears and hurriedly she ran upstairs to the terrace. Aksh saw this and ran behind her.He saw her sitting at one edge sobbing. He went to her and said,”Don’t be so sad Riya,this expression doesn’t suit you,stop crying or else I will go from here immediately.”
As he turned to go,Riya held his hands and said,”Don’t go”.
After that they talked for a while. Riya was so tired from the day chores that she felt asleep talking.Her head rested on Aksh’s shoulder and she held his hands tightly. Aksh saw her,her face showed so much innocence,he looked up at the sky,it was a crescent moon. He knew this moment was special to him,but why he didn’t realize at that time.
The next morning both prepared to leave. Riya was looking for Aksh but he was nowhere to be found. She went up to the terrace and found him standing there. She went to him and hugged him tightly and said,”Goodbye! I will miss you.”
Aksh couldn’t held back his tears and said,”I will miss you too. I wish this separation wasn’t necessary.”
After both left the house,for few days both missed each other very much but as days passed both got absorbed in their studies and the memories of the marriage became blurred.
Again,3 years earlier
“Riya is coming to Pune to take admission in the medical college in Nehru Road.Uncle and aunt are also coming with her.So,quickly make arrangements for their stay and help your aunt whenever she needs you”,Aksh heard her mother patiently.
Hearing the name ‘Riya’ brought several memories in his mind.He didn’t new now why he longed to meet her. Now since their meeting in the marriage,both had grown up. Aksh could understand very well that now the childhood was gone. He was very apprehensive about how Riya would meet him this time. ‘Did she remember him?’
Riya got down from the train and looked around. Finally she was in the city where she would fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. But her eyes were searching for something else and soon the figure appeared. She saw Aksh coming from a distance. He came,their eyes met,but Aksh greeted her with a smile only,though he wanted to tell her many things. Aksh took them to the guest house. He was in his second year of engineering.
The next day all got ready and they went to Riya’s new college to get her admitted and to shift her belongings to her new abode, her hostel. After admission,they planned to visit the temple. It was Lord Shiva’s temple and was too crowdy. Riya’s mother and fatherwalked with her while Aksh was few steps ahead of them. Suddenly a group of ladies emerged from behind and pushing them went ahead. Riya got scared. She couldn’t see her parents. Suddenly someone held her hand and pulled her aside. She turned ans saw it was Aksh. She felt different. Her hand in his.was this a deliberate plan of the God?
She knew she remembered everything about the marriage and how happy she was to know that Aksh was also in the same city in which her new college was.
Next day Riya’s parents went back. For few days she felt very nostalgic, her only refuge was her brother Aksh with whom she talked continuously and they texted till 1am in the night. Both were happy but unaware that the childhood longing had taken another turn.Both shared almost everything with each other.
That night she was watching movie when her friends were continuously texting her and it was then that she received reply from her brother. It was a very unusual reply to a younger sister from her elder brother.Thirty minutes had passed since his reply and Riya didn’t knew what to say next. Suddenly,her phone rang,she looked and saw it was Aksh’s call.
She received the call but Aksh didn’t say a word. Riya said ,”Hi,I finished my exams today.I feel so relaxed “and she started chattering about anything and everything except the message. All this while Aksh was silent but suddenly said,”I LOVE YOU”. Now Riya never expected to hear this from Aksh.
“Riya,please say something.Did I hurt u? I couldn’t hold back my feelings. I knew it from the time we met in aunt’s marriage that my feeling for you was different. But I never intended to tell you,I was afraid how you would react? Please do say something.”
Riya silently heard him and then said,”But,Aksh you know our relation is of sister-brother. Its a very sacred relation,we can’t malign it like this.We should remember that you are my elder brother and I am your younger sister. If anyone comes to know of this, we would lower our families’ stature.”
Aksh said,”I know Riya,but we would never do any such thing so that our families need to lower their heads in shame. I just want to know your feelings.”
Riya replied,”I love you too. But never thought one day I would tell you these three words. I knew my feelings but still had apprehension about was it just an infactuation or love.You undersand me so well and I am so lucky to have you by my side. But our relation imposes certain limitation on our feeling and we must respect the essence of our relation.”
Aksh now started crying and said,”why did God did such a thing with us? I wish we hadn’t met. I love you a lot Riya. I would never forget the beautiful moments spent with you. I wish to meet you. Can we meet tomorrow?”
Both met in the evening that day in a nearby park. Aksh wanted to hug riya tightly but knew he couldn’t. somehow he convinced her for a long drive and both drove away in the outskirts of the city where there where no friends who knew them and for those few hours they completely forgot their relation.Riya rested her head on Aksh’s back while holding him tightly. Aksh drove the bike in full speed. He took Riya’s hand and kissed it and said,”I love you.”
Riya felt a little shy but she too said,”I love you too.”
Late in the evening they sat in the park bench looking up at the sky,it was a crescent moon. Riya rested her head on Aksh’s shoulder.
For the world this relation was not acceptable and the two knew it very well. It was the first and the last evening they spent as two people deeply in love with each other,but from the next day they drew a line in their relation.They began to talk less and deliberately brought in distance between them because they knew that otherwise it would become difficult to get apart.
Six years later it was Riya’s marriage. Riya’s father introduced the groom with everybody and when it was Aksh’s turn he said,”he is Riya’s elder brother and perhaps her best friend.” As riya was dressing up,Aksh entered the room. It was full of ladies. His mother took him to Riya and said,”See,your brother was so impatient too see you as a bride that he is here himself.”
Riya saw Aksh,both had their eyes flooded with tears. Aksh took her to the backside balcony of the room and said,”I had said it beforehand that you would make a beautiful bride and see here you are. Today you are getting married Riya,to do justice to your new relation you need to completely forget about me. From now onwards lets literally dump our feeling and atleast think of each other as friends. I wish you all the best for your new life.” Saying thus he walked away.
Riya too returned to the room.She knew Aksh was right. That night ended an unusual love story but I am still perplexed do people like Riya and Aksh exist in reality? Can love happen as it happened to them?Are such stories untold?Or perhaps the biggest question is “WAS IT LOVE?”