The car took a sudden turn giving them an abrupt jerk. For a long time, he had been transfixed on the small flying Hanuman toy which had been moving to and from with the movement of the car, seeing something and thinking something else entirely.
Now, he took a long look outside the window.
The meadows were still green, the waterfalls along the way still beautiful and the valley still serene as was it the first time he visited here.
Ahana had taken his hand into her own tightly and was shouting the whole way – “We are in Heaven”. It was heaven, the view outside was perfect as was the girl beside him. They would travel like hippies not sparing a single holiday, travelling everywhere and this place – Gangtok was something else something different. They would sleep in the car or by a campfire if they couldn’t book a hotel in time. He and Ahana had visited Sikkim for more than five times now.
Each and every time they came here, they looked for a new trek, always visiting Gangtok first.
Sometimes a cursed lake, and sometimes a pious monastery. When they were alone, on a top of the hill or sitting on the banks of a lake feet dipped in water, they would just remain quiet.
Enjoying the moment, the time, the aura of the silence.
When they would be on their little trips, you won’t ever see them fight. Those two monkeys, who would scratch each other at home, quivering on little things, would become intellectual poets and musicians on their trips. It was their getaway from the monotony of life.
Sometimes Riya would come along with them and would eventually get irritated since he and Ahana were inseparable. Riya would then find her peace in books and music. Riya was Ahana’s best friend and always so shy. She was the polar opposite of her best friend. She traveled with them only to accompany Ahana when her parents wont let her go alone. Eventually after their marriage, she stopped going with them. Even then the three were thick.
Riya left his hand and turned the page of the novel. She knew he was thinking about Ahana, and she didn’t wanted to disturb him. It was not her favorite place but since the past few years she had developed a taste for the hills and chilly winds. It was too snowy in Gangtok this time of year but it also meant the arrival of bright pink flowers which her husband had bought for Ahana.
He came out of the car and took Riya’s hand. He was in this beautiful valley again and he was still not alone. He was holding the hand of a beautiful woman, an excellent wife, a good mother and a friend who was the definition for a perfect friendship.
The back door opened and two kids ran and held their hands on both side. Little Ahana
wouldn’t leave Riya’s side and Ahaan took to his daddy’s side.
The view in front of them was paradise. It was the end of the world. In front lay a beautiful valley and a peak of the Kanchenjunga. The flowers in front of them were different here, purple flowers, a shade different from the one he had brought for Ahana. This was the mesmerizing valley where Ahana and he had kissed for the last time.
Seven years ago, it was Ahana who broke the news to him that she was pregnant on a place nearby to this. It wasn’t shocking to him considering Ahana had forcefully taken him to a trip to Gangtok even when it was the busiest time of the year at his office. She had made all the reservations beforehand and took him directly from the car to this place even before checking into the hotel. He knew something big was coming.
They had never kissed and made love to each other more passionately. They both were on cloud nine, celebrating their happiness the whole day, dancing like hippies around the campfire.
Everything was perfect until the morning when a pain shot up on her stomach.
The next nine months were a bust, running to hospitals, checking up with surgeons. Riya had taken a leave for two months just to be with her best friend. She wouldn’t leave her side. All three of them spent most of this time in Delhi, where Ahana was being treated.
The pregnancy was troublesome to Ahana’s health but she wouldn’t listen to anybody. Ahana wanted to be a mother, it was her dream. No amount of persuasion or emotional blackmail would make her dissuade from her decision. He had spent most of her pregnancy days crying in the corners of the hospital worried about her.
The worst was yet to come, even before Ahana could hold her daughter, her disease had infected her. She passed away the night her daughter was born, her family by her side. He held her one hand tightly while the other hand only left her best friend’s side after she passed away.
Little Ahana was shy like Riya, while Ahaan was a playful child. Riya took the pink flowers from his hand and gave it to their daughter. She took her to the little stone marking amidst the
purple flowers –
“ Love Assures us that we will never be alone – copied by Ahana Singh and now her copyright”
Ahana had made him scribble on the stone these lines she read somewhere. The family gathered around the stone, the purple flowers and the freshly cut pink flowers. Riya held her husband’s hand firmly, just like she had for the first time when he cried in front of her. She whispered in his ear – “ Now my family is complete”.
This story was written by Snehanshu Shome. He calls himself a Rahagir. A voyager in its true sense. He has packed his bags and is ready to take you on his escapades, which he narrates through his blogs and photos.
True love is a weakness. But with the right partner, it gives you the courage to conquer the world. This story gave us *goosebumps* What about you? Do you think you will ever forget your first love? Or give love another chance? Let us know in the comments below!
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