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Adopted

Written by Nikita Kapoor




The crowd gave an applaud and many of them weaselled. She smiled and thanked everyone to be there. It was an open mic on the allowance of Grandeur Hotel beside the shore of Goa. A place where you get happiness at any time of the year. After concluding the event, the crowd scattered in groups and couples. She picked a glass of champagne and walked towards the water body.


“Un mehflilo me tüm miljao jisme humse khone se rahe tum

Un yaddon me sama Jao taki behte hue samundaro ko dekh

Tanhai ka ehsaas na ho.

Pass nahi dhur hi sahi

Tumhare hone ka Ehsaan toh hai

Kisi ka dilasa nahi

Pr umeed jarurr hai”


She repeated her poetry in her mind again as she felt the breeze blowing inside her hair. She spent time with herself. Pleasant evening, calm mind and a seashore everything she wanted to experience in her life was below her feet. Her goals, her objectives which she spent the last few years to achieve were almost accomplished in the very early stage of her life. She was settled, she was successful yet she was incomplete. Life shows different colours at different stages. Which leads to experiences, learning and teaching helpful to lead a life. But not always life turns out the way you plan it to be. Let it be your career, family or passion. They are lucky who walk on the same path with destiny beside which they plan. But when destiny chooses to plan your path, believe me, it also makes its rules.


6 years earlier.


There is a phase in life when everyone experience feelings and emotions based on parts which life chooses to show us no matter what age or time it is.When it is supposed to occur it will. It was the time when they noticed each other. Studying in the same university it was probably possible of falling in love with each other. They met, they dated. Everything was perfect. He was mature, she was full of naughtiness. She made a mess every time and he always stood beside her. He was emotionally weak yet she was strong enough to make a balance. The time was traveling as if it was meant for them. They had no clue what destiny will say, they had no opinion on what life will show them. There was love, there was friendship, there were fights, there were cries which all ended up always with happiness and smiles. Yet, not always are meant for always.

They have been dating for a long time, no limits remaining to be crossed. Love is when you realise life starts after crossing the boundaries. It was time for him to go back to his state as the course was about to end. The results were declared the placements were done. There was a period of break and then both of them were going to take the first step of their career.


“It's my last day in town. I will be flying back tomorrow afternoon. Come over for the night.” He texted her.

“Stuck in between of something. Can’t. I’m Sorry. Love.” she reverted.

He chose not to send another message neither did he knew she was planning a surprise farewell for him in the morning.


The night passed and the sun rose up to the last day of his in the town. She din't rang the bell and opened the door up with her keys instead. She tiptoed to his bedroom door and gestured to the rest of her friends to maintain silence. She opened the door and screamed “SURPRISE!!!!” But it was beyond her imagination that she was the one who would be surprised seeing a girl sleeping beside him. She was fighting within herself upon how to react. She was followed by her friend's who's eyes were now glued to her face, expecting a reaction on her pale face. For the first time in her life, her eyes filled up with water but she swallowed her tears. she wasn’t among the one who thought twice before expressing. This time she kept it to herself. She calmly kept the cake and other things in her hand on the table beside. Had a gaze into his eyes, who was now sitting on the bed clueless about his upcoming actions. And she took her steps back. These steps took her so behind that she never returned to the town again. She shifted herself in another state.. giving her life another chance to make destiny understand that it was very harsh on her.


Present.


It was a silent afternoon on the beach side. Few people enjoying their holiday, some clicking pictures, other taking a sunbath, few enjoying beach rides and there was a 5-year-old girl playing in the beach sad with her caretaker. She was calm, quiet and in her world. Suddenly a group of men entered her vision, they were four of them. The little girl was observing them as they settled themselves down on the shore. She stood up and walked to one of them. The guy noticed her and gave her a smile but she was still looking at his face wondering as if she had seen him somewhere before.


“Arjun?” She said suddenly and the guy was shocked.


“You are Arjun!” The girl said and gave him a wide smile.


“Yes... I am. But how do you know my name?” Arjun asked still confused.


“Poorvi, how many times I have said you should not bother tourists on the beach,” the caretaker said to the little girl.

“Bhaiya, see Arjun” Poorvi pointed towards Arjun.


Arjun stood up and looked at the young boy in front of him with many questions in his eyes.


“I have seen you somewhere.” The caretaker said.


Till the time Arjun could ask any further questions, Poorvi held his hand and pulled him in the opposite direction of the beach. “Hey, where are you taking me?” Arjun asked the little girl.

“I want to show you something” Poorvi replied.


“What?” He asked again but Poorvi gave him a smile instead and started walking again. --


Poorvi rang the doorbell and an old uncle opened the gate.


“Kaka, side,” Poorvi asked him to give them aside and asked Arjun to follow her.


They went inside the house. There was a sitting area on the left and kitchen along with the dining area towards the right. The center of the space had spiral steps which connected the space to another floor. Poorvi started climbing the stairs. Arjun followed her while his friends decided to wait downstairs. There was a room just in front of the passage where the stairs ended and 3 rooms followed towards the left of the passage.

Poori entered the first room. Put the lights on and faced a wall with a wide smile. Arjun stepped inside the room with a suspicious mind. The room was full of paintings and the floor swept down his feet when he saw the wall Poorvi was facing. The wall was covered with a painting, a portrait of a face. It was Arjun’s Painting.


He was shocked, stunned and amazed at the same time. He walks a little closer and felt the painting. Rather than the appearance of the painting the stroke of colours contained a deep pain. He felt as if the pain was transferring from the portrait to him. He took his steps back and turned himself to see other paintings.

“Poorvi I’m home” A voice came over the lower floor.


“Aaru is home,” Poorvi said and speeded up down the stairs while Arjun just waited in the room, he couldn’t take his eyes off the paintings.


Aaru came inside the house and handed over her bags to the caretaker. She took a step towards the sitting area of her house and noticed three known faces. She was shocked to see them.


“Shardul? Raachit? Ayush?” She called out their names.


“Aaradhana? Aaradhana Singhania?” Racchit asked.


“Aaru, come with me first.” Poorvi pulled her towards the upper floor.


“Poorvi why are you so excited? Be slow, you can fall from the steps” Aaradhana said until they reached the room of painting.


“Why did you open this room?” she asked Poorvi entering the room but stood froze as she saw the person standing in front of her.

“Aaradhana?” Arjun called out her name as soon as he noticed her.


“Hey” she greeted in a calm voice.


Silence was all over. Arjun couldn’t say a word.


“Poorvi? Your Daughter?” That's all he found a question to ask.


Aradhana smiled and said, “Adopted”

———


“So Goa? When?” Shardul asked serving himself some more spoons of rice.


“6 years ago” Aaradhana said.


They all were united after 6 years. Aaradhana didn't keep any contacts with any of her university friends after the course ended.


“What brings you all here? Vacation?” Aaradhana asked them.

“Call it a trip” Raachit said.


“Where are you staying?” She asked.


“Hotel Grandeur” Raachit answered.

“Why don’t you stay with us?” Poorvi said and everyone looked at each other.


“Yeah! Sure you can shift.” Aaru said.


“But the check out time…” Arjun was saying but Aaradhana have already called out the caretaker.


She asked him to make a call to the manager of the hotel.


“Good Evening Ma’am,” the voice over the phone said.

“You have a booking on the name of Arjun Agarwal.”


“Yes Ma’am Room 701 and 704. Any issues Ma’am?”


“Shift the luggage to my place and cancel the booking.”

“Sure Ma’am”


She hung up the phone and handed it over to the caretaker giving him instructions to collect the luggage and keeping it in the guest rooms. As she turned towards the table she found all the four pairs of eyes looking at her with many questions.

Aaradhana Singhania was a single child of her parents. After they died, she was the one who handled her dad’s business. She was a lady standing on her legs. Making a balance between her career and her family i.e Poorvi.

——

Aaradhana tucked Poorvi in her bed. Covered her with the blanket, planted a good-night kiss and turned the lights off. As she pulled the door of her bedroom and turned she found Arjun who was observing them.


“Hey,” she said.

“I need to talk to you"

“Sure,” she said


--

“….. so after my parents, It's me and Poorvi no one else.” She ended while taking a sip of her coffee.


“I’m feeling like I am talking to a different Aaradhana, someone whom I never knew”


“What do you mean?”

“Responsible, hard-working….. and then, adoption”

“Time flies, we nurture” that's all she could say, “with experiences” she added.

That night she had only one question in her mind, why do somethings follow us even when they aren’t meant to be in our lives. Things which have ended badly in the past sometimes comes up again over a period of time to ensure that our past wounds aren’t healed, but in fact, the truth is there are certain wounds which can only be healed by the source itself. And again accepting the past poking your present to stitch a future not always fails.


———-


She woke up when the rays of sun feel on her eyes, siding her bed cover to another side she walked towards the window of her room. A smile emerged her face as she saw Poorvi and Arjun playing along with the garden with their pet. Every girl dreams of a perfect family of her own, which she could build and live happily ever after marrying her loved one. But in the true scenario of world and diverse lives, facts play the main role. The things which are meant the most important to us are either completed with several sacrifices or left incomplete reason being, not able to make sacrifices.


“You were never a morning person”. Raachit said to Arjun.

“I know man, this little girl has something in her. Every time I see her, I want to know her more. Like, she shares a different connection with me” Arjun said looking at Poorvi.


“You had a chat with Aaradhana? Everything good with you two?”

“I don't know. She seems to be a different person than she use to be. It feels like she has changed a lot.”


“You really know the reason, don’t you?” Shardul entered.

“I……. Know” Arjun said in a sad voice.

All gathered up for breakfast.

“So what are the plans for New Year Eve?” Aaru asked.

“No plans till now,” Shardul said.


“C'mon, its GOA,” said Poorvi and everyone laughed.


“We are conducting a New Year party at Grandeur, you guys can join,” said Aaru.

“Now that’s sounding like a plan” exclaimed Raachit.


————

The New Year’s Eve.


She was standing at the Sea Shore away from the crowd. Unclear thoughts in her mind. She was feeling heavy hearted. As there were some secrets she had kept hidden from the world, about her and her life. She turned back against the shore and found Arjun and Poorvi enjoying themselves. A smile emerged on her face. A child, no matter what the circumstances be needs both her parents. But in this case, it wasn’t possible. On the other hand, Aaradhana for a moment got lost in the scene ignoring the relationship all the people around her she shared with. She just saw two souls together enjoying their company as if they share a long time bond or a mystery of unknown. Suddenly Arjun caught Aaradhana standing far away from the fun and decided to walk towards her. While Aaradhana got a glimpse of him and turned towards the shore again.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and next moment found a hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes with tears in it.

“I am sorry,” Arjun said.


“Let's not talk about it,” she said.

“I want to.” he said

“Extending it won't make a difference” Aradhana stated.


“At least it will clear the thoughts within us” Arjun argued.


Aaradhana turned towards Arjun and asked, “Why now?”


“Because I never loved you the way I love you today” Arjun exclaimed.


“Not again Arjun”


“Give me a chance to explain” Arjun pleaded.

“I am listing.” said Aaradhana


“I won't explain the mistake I did 6 years back, it was completely my fault. I took you for granted but when you left I truly understood your importance, your place which made my life incomplete. I was never fully satisfied even after I achieved everything in my life, that's when I realized I need you back in my life. I am sorry for not loving you when you were there, but I loved you the most when you weren’t there in my life. I tried to find you but you were lost and there was a time I lost hope. And one day I find you here, the time I entered your house I sensed somewhere it was you, just the way you dreamed it to be. When I entered the painting room and touched the painting of mine, I was half the way sure it could be you. Believe me, when I touched the painting I was feeling as if all the pain which helped you to paint that was transferred into me, the pain I gave you found a way back to me. I am sorry Aaru, I am sorry to give you pain, to betray you. That night when I saw your love towards Poorvi, the way you portrayed your life after I left you. Strong & mature a complete opposite of what you were back in those days, gave me more pain but at the same time made me realize that I am the one held responsible for all the changes in your life. And now standing here at this moment, I understood that I am the one who has to wind up the mess I created.”


“….Arjun its been 6 years.” Aaradhana interrupted.


“let me complete…..” Arjun bends down his knees and held Aaradhana's hand.


“I never dreamed about any other person at your place the moment you left, you left the place but never left my life. Please forgive me for the sin I made. Let me help myself, to clean up.”


“It’s okay” Aradhana forgave and they hugged.


She did feel for him but not the way she did those days back, life changes people, priorities, and designation but feeling are hard to be changed. They promised to be there to help each other to clear the mess, but not the way they were back then. As a new beginning of a friendship. It is said no two lovers can be friends together, time changes, perspective does too.

“Cheers to a new year and friendship” Shardul screamed from a distance.


“Cheers” everyone exclaimed.


“Cheers to this little girl who helped me to meet myself again,” Arjun said to Aaradhana looking at Poorvi from a distance.


Aradhana smiled.


“You never shared the story behind Poorvi and you, where did you meet her?”


“She is the one because of whom I learned to live again, she is my child.”


“Your child? You said she is adopted.” Arjun said in shock.


Aradhana looked at him.


“What? Don’t give me that look…. What are you hiding?” Arjun asked.


“She is our child”


———




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