She was really happy while unpacking her luggage to the cupboard of the Hotel room. It was a small hotel, given the place where she was, Kasol. The happiness was of the triumph, she finally got over her parents. Being an Indian Girl, it was really hard for her to convince her parents to allow her to travel alone in India. But, finally, she managed it. Finally, when the bag was empty, she took her favorite machine out, her beloved DSLR. She has been dying to use it for such a long time. “Finally, my love you are going to be used and abused today.“
She rested for a while and took in what she was experiencing, what she has only imagined in her life. When she stepped out, it was 2.00 PM, but she was far from hungry, even after a night long journey, she was far from tired as well. She set her foot out and the view was mesmerizing. As she started walking towards the small stalls of food near a cliff, she decided to taste the hot momo’s she was serving. The lady was dressed in a traditional Himachali dress and had a 4 year old playing beside her and her teenaged daughter helping her.
While she was having her momo’s, there was an Israeli guy sitting next to her having food.
He asked, ‘you come here often?’
‘No, What about you?’ She replied.
‘This is my first time, here in Kasol, I am here with some friends.’ Pointing towards a group sitting across the street in a small hotel having a hookah.
‘So, how do you find this place?’
‘Oh!! This place is lovely, really a heaven on earth’
‘I think so too!!’
‘By the way, my name is Eric, and you are?’ Extending his hand.
‘Hi Eric, I am Simran, nice to meet you.’ Shaking hands with him.
His friends come over and they part their ways. She heads for a leisurely walk and he joins his friends.
As she was taking a walk, she came across some locals, who told her that when you go to the village Malana, you should not touch anything there, the locals take offence of it and you don’t want to get into trouble. She agreed and kept walking. She took a really refreshing short trip to Chalal village nearby and came back only after dark as she lost track of time.
On reaching back to her hotel, she saw a guy standing on the reception, his back was turned towards her, she thought it was familiar, but was too exhausted to go and check. She dismissed the thought and went to her room.
Next morning, when she came down for breakfast, she again saw the same guy standing over the reception counter, but only this time, he turned. She could not believe her eyes, she kept staring in disbelief. It was Varun, love of her life. She could not believe, of all the places on earth, here in Kasol and he is not even the travel type. Before, she could react, he saw her. Their eyes met and the flashback hit her, how he tore her heart and what she had to go through after that.
Varun approached her, ‘Hi’
‘Hi’, still dumbfounded.
‘How are you?’
‘I’m fine’, she took control of her expressions and came back to reality.
She started to eat her food and ignored him altogether. In the meantime his friends joined him and they sat at a table, and he sat facing her. She could feel his eyes examining her, but she decided not to look at him. She had rented a bike for the day. A teen-aged guy came and delivered the bike keys to her. She finished her breakfast, got up to leave, she could feel his eyes still on her. She sat on the bike and while going back on the bike, she saw him looking at her, their eyes met.
She started to drive towards a trekking trail, Kheerganga. Her mind was not right, which has been so happy just yesterday, was now playing back every little detail of her life, which she tried to forget and succeeded with so much effort. She drove and slightly missed a biker coming from the opposite direction, but didn’t stop, although, she did heard him hurl some abuses, which were well deserved.
On reaching, she met Eric and his group again. They invited her to take the trek with them and she gladly accepted as she needed to keep her mind occupied, and what could be better than a chirpy group of Israelis having a time of their lives. She spent the day with them laughing and forgetting about had happened at the hotel, earlier today.
When she came back, she saw him on the road, while on way to the hotel, she quickly climbed the stairs, to avoid any chances of encounter with Varun. After the trek, her legs were paining, but the pain which bothered her, was not in her legs. She just lay there, looking at the ceiling, thinking and listening to the loud music coming from the window.
The next day, she decided to have breakfast a little late, so that she doesn’t have to come face to face with him again. When, she came out, he was still having breakfast with his friends. She waited at the reception, while they finished, she started talking to the receptionist, who was a 19 year old. She asked him, ‘What else is here to see, part from the nearby villages?’. He said, ‘madam, go to the Parvati Valley for a walk alongside the river, it is a breathtaking experience.’ Which she already knew as that was the thing, which brought her here. While talking to him, she scrolled through the check-in register and saw that, Varun has been here for a 5 days and today was his last day. Ahh!! a sigh of relief, as she could spend rest of the trip peacefully.
After they left, she had her breakfast and decided to spend all her day at Parvati Valley, she needed some peace of mind and some quite. She drove towards the valley. After reaching, she parked the bike nearby a tea stall and climbed down to take a walk by the river.
She walked a long stretch and found a little secluded spot to finally sit and quite her mind. She put her camera aside and removed her shoes and found a comfortable rock to sit on. She was enjoying the scene in front of her eyes, the river flowing in between the rocks and closed her eyes to feel the moment. As soon as she closed her eyes, again the flashback.
‘Okay, enough of this hide and seek, tell me, will you marry me?’
‘Simran, Ohh, I am glad you asked me that so clearly, I cannot get married to you.’
‘What? Varun I am serious’
‘I am serious too, my parents are looking for a girl and it is going to be finalized in a week, maximum.’
‘ What? I thought you said that just to tease me.’
‘Why would I tease you? I never said, I am going to marry you’
‘When you were not going to marry me, why you dragged me into the relationship?’
‘Were you serious in all your relationships?’
‘I don’t enter into a relationship just for fun, I am serious Varun’
‘This cannot be done’
And, tears rolled out her eyes and her eyes opened, there he was sitting beside her.
‘Why are you crying?’ tensed.
‘None of your business.’ Wiping her tears off.
They just sat there for a while, she looking at the water flowing and he looking at her.
‘Yes’ without looking at him.
‘I am sorry’
‘Varun, I cannot forgive you for the mistake I made.’
She knew, she was healed.
Discover Challenge Inspiration : Here and Now