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Ayush! Yes, I still remember, this was his name. He was the only son of our neighbor Sharma Uncle. Tall, slender body, fair color, and blue eyes – he was 24 years of age, but still looked like a college student, with simple dressing.
My parents always saw their son in him. If Mom has to go to the vegetable market, then Ayush; Dad has to go to the Doctor, then Ayush.
Ayush, Ayush, Ayush! I was fed up with the name being constantly hummed in my house.
It was almost 7-8 years, since he and his family had come to my colony, but we had hardly talked even once. But yes, I always felt as if his expressive eyes want to tell me something.
I have always been my Dad’s darling, and believed in living life to its fullest. My Dad never tried to restrain my independence and candidness. He was a man of principals and always believed that girls are no less than boys on any front.
There was always an unspoken distance between me and Ayush. I always wondered if my friends will ever see me talking to him, what they will think about me – that I am friends with this idiot, who is nowhere in comparison wit my social status.
I still remember the day. It was my birthday party. I had invited all my friends and we were having good time together. Ayush was on his toes to take care of the guests. In fact, he only took the entire responsibility of arranging the entire party; else Dad can’t even walk properly due to sciatica. Be it the arrangement of the flowers, catering or furniture, everything was taken care by Ayush.
“Hey, You Gaonti! Yes, You. Come here. Bring one large drink for me with soda”, Ricky asked him grinning.
He simply went, brought a drink and handed it to Ricky without any expression on is face.
“Hey, wait man! Come here”, Ricky called him and put a 500 rupee note on is hand.
“Go man, have fun. Your tip”, Ricky laughed and everyone else laughed in unison.
He just kept the note back on Ricky’s hands, and returned with the same expressionless face. There was not any evidence of anger or embarrassment on his face. I wonder whether he had ever shown his emotions till date. And that’s what irritated me the most.
Even when he lost his entire family in a car accident, he did not shed a single tear from his eyes. He was almost frozen, but he did not cry. Still his silent but speaking eyes were exposing his enormous pain copiously.
He was quite alone after losing his entire family just in one moment. His frequencies of visiting my house after this incident had increased. He was almost another family member of our house now. Though my mom and dad were slowly getting accustomed to his presence in the family, there was still an unsaid line between both of us. Even though I tried to erase it, my ego always came between us and restrained me from doing that.
I always felt as if his silent eyes always have a lot to say, but I did not bother to know what was that he wanted to say.
That day, I was very happy since evening. My best friend Ricky had thrown a party on his birthday and quite but obvious I was very excited to attend that. Dad allowed me to go to the pub at night, but to my utter disappointment, he sent Ayush along with me for my safety.
I was very angry on my dad, but I had no choice but to take Ayush along with me. Else knowing my dad well all those years, I knew he would not have allowed me going alone. With the same stoned face, he sat with me in the car. Soon, the car reached its destination and we entered the pub.
All my friends were already present and were eagerly waiting for me. I profusely apologized for the delay and soon got lost in the crowd. With the corner of eyes I saw him sitting on a chair in one corner. After getting relieved from him, I was soon busy partying.
Soon the DJ started spinning some foot tapping numbers. The light was very dim, and the song was slowly having its effect on me. I was slowly coming closer to Ricky. My arms were slowly tightening its hold on Ricky’s waist. I don’t remember whether it was the effect of the song or the alcohol, but the very next moment, I felt Ricky’s lips on mine sucking it vigorously.
All of a sudden, Ayush stood up, and the very next moment Ricky was on the floor, slowly wiping the drops of blood dripping through the core of his mouth.
Everyone was quite as if the place has witnessed some storm recently. Ayush caught hold of my hand, started the car and soon we were on our way to house.
“Stop the car, you scoundrel! Are you mad or what? Why did you do this? You idiot. Don’t you have some basic sense? Why did you do this? Now why are you silent? Speak up you bastard. I said speak up” I yelled in anger.
“Because I love…..”, he did not even complete his sentence and there was a tight slap on his face. The imprints of my fingers were evident on his face.
“You Scoundrel! Have you ever seen your face in the mirror? How dare you speak this to me? I never thought that beneath such an innocent face, there is a wolf hidden inside. Why did not you too die with your family only?” my anger was almost uncontrollable now.
As if there was loud thud, when he heard my last sentence! It soon started raining. He did not speak a word, just rubbed his cheeks casually and started the car. We both were silent throughout. He dropped me at my home, parked the car and handed the keys to me. Before I could further say something, he left.
The sun was rising and birds were chirping outside. I rubbed my eyes, and felt that there is a loud noise coming from the neighbourhood house as if too many people have gathered at one place.
“What happened Mishra Uncle?” I came outside in the balcony and asked the neighbour who was running somewhere in a hurry.
“Oh! You don’t know. That guy Ayush, Sharma ji’s son. He died of a heart attack last night. We are wondering what happened to him. He was such a brave boy. He did not even shed a single drop of tear even when he lost his entire family.” Mishra Uncles was continuously speaking in a hurried tone.
Two drops of tears were eager to pop out of my eyes. I tried to keep those priceless tears safe in my hands but in vain. Probably such tears are only referred as pearls……