Him.

 

Waves crashed against her feet, as she felt faint calls of her name behind her.

“Sanjali.”

Her lips upturned as she didn’t stop, but picked up her skirts to run along the sandy beach, not paying any heed to his laughter that flew closer now, or the shadow of his that now loomed past her, or the arm that snaked against her waist.

Her squeals of laughter echoed in the sunny winds, as she felt herself lifted off her feet, to be twirled around. She closed her eyes, as tears of mirth escaped the corner of her eyes. Her head lolled back, supported against his shoulder, even as her surprising giggles broke between incessant pleadings of hers to be put down.

“Please Vishal”

“Vishal.”

The name escaped her lips like it had a million times before, as her eyes wavered from the distant aqua blue waters of Marine Drive she had been observing from her office; something which had opened the doors of her past where she was only eager to get entrapped into.

There was not a single moment when she didn’t think of him, there didn’t go a single day without her spending her mornings looking at the sunrise at beach, something she had witnessed several times being cocooned in his arms, and made him promise her that they’ll continue to do so every morning.

She passed a hand on her arms unconsciously as she tried to remember the feel of his arms around her, and remember his deep rumble of a laughter that would touch her curls as he would hide his smile in her hair and would kiss her there.

Walking back to her desk, she picked up the picture of his in black and white; a picture of him smiling at the camera with the eyes that twinkled, and laughing lines that were pronounced at the corner of his eyes.

She passed a hand over the picture, removing invisible specks of dust from his beloved face, as she felt a smile tug at the corner of her lips.

“Happy Birthday Vishal” she whispered to his picture before hugging it to her heart, as a tear rolled down her cheek, touching the frame.

*

“You’re simply wasting your time Vyas” he heard the Manager speak to him, and threw the girl a charming smile.

“You would take that back had you known me” he smiled good naturedly, and added with a grin “What say, coffee at 7? A great opportunity for you to pave the path of getting to know me” he said with his head rested against his elbow on her desk.

She suppressed an eye roll, but managed to huff and bang the files against her desk as she pressed her face to calm down.

When she spoke now, her voice sounded distant and almost detached.

“It’s his birthday today and she would never agree to the interview.”

The look of curious confusion didn’t miss her, yet she chose not to delve into details of the personal life of her employer.

Vishal and Sanjali were something that not everyone knew much about, though she heard bits and pieces of their romance. Vishal, the superstar singer had been a mentor of Sanjali, who was a budding star. She had been to what she is, due to him. What started as his quest to guide her to become something that was slipping from his hands; a successful singer, he had lost himself to her.

And Sanjali, she had loved, and worshipped him with all her heart, but as every good thing comes to an end, so does their story with the sudden demise of Vishal, which had only made Sanjali broken.

Suicide. She corrected mentally, even as she felt the familiar pang of sadness that enveloped her whenever she had seen Sanjali drift away to a world of her own, whenever she sang.

The utter look of sheer love that swam in her eyes as tears contrasted with the melancholy in her voice, made her not want to go through Sanjali’s recordings ever.

 

Why had Vishal resorted to suicide was still debatable. Some say he lost himself to drugs and alcohol, and was no longer under control, some say he was an aggressive impulsive person, almost everything she heard about him somehow deemed to be negative.

But… if she had to go by what Sanjali was, and how she is now, she knew there was pretty much more to the story than everyone believed.

There was more to Vishal than everyone judged him upon.

“Whose Birthday?”

She snapped her attention back to him, and had to blink back the moment of silence she had experienced whenever she thought of Vishal and Sanjali.

“Someone important to her” she replied offhandedly before picking up her files.

“I know you’ve an appointment with her, yet it is my sincere request not to waste your time or hers,”

“Alright” he said straightening up off her desk, and gave her a brief smile, before walking up to meet the lady himself.

*

He rapped on the door and heard the slight mumble of a voice that was lost in the hubbub of the office, at the other side of the door that separated the contrasting silence of the spacious office of the lady he came to meet.

Sanjali.

Sanjali Juneja Rana.

A superstar singer, thrice nominated and won the best playback singer, offered millions of offers for modelling contracts, to endorse various brands, also few movie contracts sent her way to cast her as female lead, which only saw polite rejection till now; the woman was a mystery.

At 28, she avoided media, and news regarding her life was close to zero.

There was no interview from her for a long time, no one saw her in any public gatherings or award nights, not even to receive her award.

When he opened the door, he was welcomed with a sight of the woman in a blue Sari, standing against the window that overlooked the city.

Looking at her still form, the questions came back to him.

He was curious to know more about her. It wasn’t just a work assignment anymore. The woman before him was a challenge, and he was nothing if not a sucker for challenges.

“Morning Miss”

She turned her form to look at the new entrant of her cabin, before walked to take a seat behind her chair.

“You’re–”

“I’m here for your interview.” He flashed his ID card “I’ve an appointment today”

“Please take a se–” he plopped himself in the chair before she could complete.

She wasn’t least bit surprised or offended. It was as if she went back into her shell, disinterested.

“I would request you to reschedule the interview to a later date”

He was used to snobs who ordered him to, or stars who spoke to him as a buddy, but didn’t remember him afterwards, who asked him to do whatever they want to according to their whims and fancies. It was a rarity to come across words like request in his profession.

“But I have a deadline Ma’am” he knew he was pushing it, but he couldn’t help it.

“I understand, I apologize. Can we meet tomorrow?” the request in her eyes as they met his made weird things to his heart.

She had the most beautiful set of expressive eyes that has a vulnerability that would haunt him from now on.

“Sure thing” he said as he grinned and got up in his chair.

“Tomorrow it is then,” he said and while she was half expecting him to extend his hand for a shake, he simply gave her a salute, pushed his bag up his shoulder and walked towards the door.

“Um, what’s your name?”

He turned towards her with a grin.

“Vishal Vyas” he said, effortlessly wiping off the peace in her face.

Vishal.

 –

Inspired from Aashiqui 2

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