He raised the accelerator of his bike and raced away leaving behind dust particles on my face. I walked the whole way home wondering if I had a second chance to save my relationship. But I knew it was over. The answers that I would have to give my parents were lingering in my head.
“I told you to be careful”, my mother would say.
“How would I search another suite for you?” my father would accompany.
Making up my mind to face everything bravely, I walked into my house and sat in front of my parents.
“Beta, Kyahua, why do you look so upset ?” My mom asked me lovingly. (I knew her love would go to ground zero when she would get to know my answer)
“Maa, paa, Rahul rejected me, He says I don’t look as beautiful as I looked in the photo that was sent to him a few days back. He says it would be shameful for him to go out with a dark skinned girl like me.” I said this and heaved a sigh of relief.
“I told you to take care of your skin, you are always playful. Tomorrow I will send your photo to another boy and he will also reject you. This is what you want right?. You never listen to me”, my mother screamed. (Exactly as I had thought and in the same tone)
“It’s ok beta, you compose yourself, I don’t think he is a suitable boy for you”, my dad convinced me.
I went into my room, locked it and stood in front of the mirror. I touched my face and thought, “Had it not been for the trip to Goa, my skin would not have got tanned and Rahul wouldn’t have rejected me?” Thread of thoughts got entangled in my brain when my phone rang.
“Hey Meghna, wassup? How are you girl?” It was Kyra on the call. (We had become friends on my trip to Goa.)“Hey Kyra, good to hear you. How are you doing?” I enquired.
“Well, good !!! But you don’t seem to be good what’s wrong.” Kyra smelt something fishy in my tone.
I narrated the entire incident and said, “You know ! Kyra, the sun in Goa was bad and I got totally tanned. Wish Rahul gave me a second chance.”
“Chuck it girl. You will have better options. I got a ticket extra for a trip to the Andamans. Join me na. It will be a great experience. And don’t you be reluctant because of your tan. I’ve got a special magic for you.”
She gave an idea for an exciting adventure and hung up.
“So good to see you Meg, I am so glad you made it”, Kyra hugged me and introduced me to the other members of the group.
“So where are we going first” I enquired
“We are going to check-in to the hotel and then drive to Corbyn beach” Kyra announced.
And we checked into the hotel whereKyra and I shared the same room. We freshened up and started to get ready for the beach.
It was a 15 minute ride to Corbyn beach and on reaching the beach my excitement had died down. The hot sun shone brightly and I was all the more reluctant to step out of our car. Seeing me in a state of “Whether – to-get-out-of-the-car-or-no”, Kyra asked, “What’s wrong with you , Meg? Aren’t the waters inviting?”
“No Kyra, I am scared to get out in the sun.You know the whole Rahul thing right?”, I replied.
Kyra came close to me trying to take dig for something in her handbag, she said, “You remember the other day I spoke about a magic, this is it. She came and handed over the magic.”
“Lakme Sun expert?” It read on the outside. “Yeah this is my magic. You know why everyone calls me a sunshine girl? You know, Why I love travelling even in the hot sun? Its because when I have this magic with me, why worry about petty things like skin tanning?” Kyra concluded.
Assured with Kyra’s faith in her magic potion, I applied Lakme Sun expert for the first time. The evening sun fell on my face and to my astonishment it hardly pricked. “Was I imagining or was the magic actually working”
We were enjoying in the water when something caught my eye. “Coconut Water!!” I screamed.
“What happened Meg?” enquired Rohini, a member of the group. “My grandma always told me that the best way to beat the heat is to drink coconut water” I suggested. “That’s a good idea Meg”, Kyra replied.
We gulped the water and discussed out plan for the next day. We went in for a oil massage too to keep the body cool and not suffer from a sun burn.
Ross Island was our plan for the next day. Situated in the Andamans, we had to take a boat to reach this island. Water was the only medium of transport. Tall trees, dilapidatedchurches, a museum were the adorning features of this island. (That’s what I thought, but little did I know that there was something else unusual that was going to happen)We had some Amla that was sold in that island. Again this was my mother’s technique to save myself from the heat.
The sky roared and suddenly it started pouring like cats and dogs.Me, Kyra and the entire group found shelter under the shade of thatched coconut tree leaves.We were playing with the drops of water falling from the shade of dry coconut trees. Our vision was blinded due to the fierce rain but something very unusual caught my eye. In the shade next to ours stood another group similar to us and amidst the rain I heard a voice which had once been very close to my heart, saying “Kritika, come and join us, it’s fun.”
My heart skipped a beat when I heard him. I turned to see him holding the hands of a girl and calling her.
“Kyra, see that’s him”, I pulled Kyra’s arms pointing my finger in Rahul’s direction.
“Oh, that’s Rahul, he is a stud though. Well, who’s the chick with him, trying to miss the fun”, Kyra retorted. Thoughts of Rahul and the girl lingered in my mind when I heard someone call me.
“Meghna”, A young man waved his hands towards me.
“Yes”, I replied turning to see someone wave at me, whom I hadn’t seen before.
“MeghnaSahai, the high spirited girl, the topper of school, How have you been?” He spoke in a flow. Taking a closer look I realized that it was Akash, my best buddy at school. (who had been my childhood crush too)
“I am doing good Akash, It’s been so long. What a pleasant surprise to have seen you inthis paradise”, I replied.
Akash and I caught up onold stories when he happened to introduce me to his friends and that was when I saw Rahul again, “Meg, this is Rahul, my friend from office and this is Kritika, his fiancé..”
Turning to Rahul he said, “Rahul, this is Meghna, my school buddy”, He introduced me to the person who had lost his identity in my life. I ran searching for Kyra to tell her what I had heard and I tried not to cry all along.
I sat with Kyra in our hotel room still filled with memories of the evening when my phone beeped. It was Akash. I felt my pulse take a hike seeing his call. He said he wanted to meet me and hung the phone saying, “Meg, I have something to say. Will tell you when I meet you in person”
I looked at the mirror with another fear of dejection. Kyra enquired on what Akash had said and she tried to soothen my negative thoughts, “What is Akash loves you, Meg? What if he proposes to you tomorrow?”
I had no answer to give to Kyra and slept off hearing “KabhiKabhi mere dilmein……” on my ipod after having a glass of butter milk
Akash had said that he would meet me at Jolly Buoy island. It was 1 hour ride in the ferry from Port Blair. Kyra dressed me in a knee length white dress with a noodle strapped shoulder. I didn’t forget to use the miracle(Lakme Sun expert) that Kyra had given The miracle had worked over a period of time and I realised that the tan because of which Rahul had rejected had actually gone.Akash stood near a coconut tree on the island and I had seen him while getting down from the ferry.
“Man you look gorgeous Meg” He walked towards me. “Thank you”, I blushed.
“Meg it’s been in my heart since we were in school and when I saw you yesterday I decided that this time I won’t let you go. I was crazy about you in school Meg but never had the guts to say it to you. While packing my bags for this tour I never thought I would meet you. But you know how lucky I am to stand in front of you today and to actually tell you my feelings. I love you Meg and It has always been only you and no one else. Will you marry me?”
I heard this, paused for a while and hugged him accepting his proposal.
Kyra was sitting beside me in my flight back to Mumbai. I looked at her and thought, “Had it not been for her, Rahul would not have rejected me, My trip to Andamans would not have happened, The miracle of Lakme would not have worked for me, and finally I would not have met Akash, the love of my life.”
I sat back smiling and turned to Kyra and winked at her, thanking her in my heart( of course Kyra was wondering about my wink J)
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