It Happened One Night – Chapter 4

The rains always disturbed Shalini but tonight her discomfort knew no bounds. It was raining that night too and that was one of the things that triggered off a chain of events that engraved itself in such a way on her heart that she could not mend it! Why did it all happen? Why did Nikhil lose his reserve? Why did he not remain like before? And if he did then why did he revert back to his usual self again? Why did he initiate a tie he was waiting to break at the earliest?

In fact he had talked about Niharika, quite a number of times but a love struck Shalini just took it to be another one of his usual flings! If only she had been able to guess the seriousness that everybody else noticed in Nikhil about that damsel! And the funniest part was that she couldn’t talk about her longing for Nikhil to anyone else but Preeti, not even Uday who was her closest friend. How she wished she could, for once, know what that man felt…that is if he did at all! He could not be so insensitive not to have any feelings for her – after all, those drunken stupors could not be absolute pretentions! It appalled Shalini to think about how a person as practical and sensible as her could fall in such a stupid trap! It shamed her to realize that how she had cheated on Ankit, who loved her undoubtedly. Ironically, she too was, infact still is, madly in love with Ankit! Yes, their relation is a beautiful one ready to bloom into marriage and yet she had not been completely faithful. She laughed to herself – hadn’t someone once said that, ‘It is the faithless who know love’s tragedies’.

The rains continued – not a soul awake at this hour and the rains seem extra torturous owing to the unearthly silence. Shalini could suddenly feel moisture on her hot cheeks and she realized that oblivious to her two drops of tear had escaped from her long dried up eyes, moistening her world like the rains outside that were rescuing the perched earth! She wanted to cry…cry till she could cry no more…cry till Nikhil sails out of her eyes, her heart, her life…forever!!! She had betrayed – Ankit, Nikhil and Herself! But who lost in this entire gamble? None other than SHALINI NAYYAR – Where is Nikhil now? Somewhere in the midst of one of the vast oceans in the safety of a huge ship immersed in thoughts of a certain Niharika Chowdhury! Where is Ankit? Asleep in his bed, content with Shalini’s love and devotion and all that life has to offer to him! Where is Shalini now? In the midst of everything, apparently happy, with a hollow feeling, named Nikhil, in her heart, otherwise occupied by Ankit!

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