Just another story - II

More than her belongings, Nasla was packing up the memories of the times she spent with Manas. The long walks during the chilling nights and wonderful quiet times during the spring. It had been only few months she met him but she had lifelong memories to treasure. As she was stuffing her things, she found an old photo album beneath the piles of her clothes in her closet.
”How happy the faces seem here”, Nasla remembered the moments when the photos were taken. As she was flipping through the old pages of the album, she suddenly stopped at a page where she stood right beside a handsome young man. At once she closed the album and kept it aside.

The winter morning of Dharan was much colder than before. She put on her coat, gathered her luggage and left. She thought of giving Manas a call before leaving but she knew that she won’t be able to hold herself. She also had not informed him when and where she was leaving. She quietly went without bidding goodbye.

It was an early morning as she took a cab to the bus stop. All the way her mind was not where she had been. Many things were going inside her head. There was an internal conflict going on between her heart and head. She closed her eyes and the events started to pop in her subconscious mind.

“Today is the big day”, Nasla’s mom announced as they were having breakfast, “Everybody has to be home today and lend a hand for the preparation for tonight’s function.” It was a small function that involved Nasla’s and Pratik’s family but as every mother she was a bit nervous and hastily preparing for the grand function. It was Nasla’s engagement with Pratik.

Nasla and Pratik were very good friends and later their families thought of getting them together and arranged for their marriage. Tonight was their engagement. Nasla and Pratik too like each other and were happy with the decision their parents made for them.
“So are you nervous for tonight?” Pratik called Nasla when she was busy at the beauty parlor. “Nervous, ahh no…. really, I guess this was something I had thought of. I am happy with it. So I guess you are nervous, are you?” she chuckled.
“Yes yes you know that I always go nervous, especially when the things that involve you and your family. Anyways you must be busy, so I’ll see you tonight then. Imagining the days to come, oh god I am so excited. Bye”
“Alright be on time then, else I will postpone the function, haha”, Nasla laughs out. “Bye”

That evening both the families were joyful and the moment was blissful. Everybody gave their blessings and best wishes to the new couple.
The night went well. Things were going fine and their parents were planning to get them married soon.

“Hey I have been promoted as a branch manager In Dharan, isn’t that amazing? I will get to manage the place on my own. I am so excited Pratik. Let’s go for dinner tonight, my treat. What say?”
“Congratulations dear, I’m set for the dinner. I am happy for your success sweetie. Ok see ya later. Bye”. He hung up.
Though it was Nasla’s treat of her success, Pratik arranged the dinner. He chose a cozy restaurant and set up a wonderful candlelit dinner.
“So you are leaving me and going away”, Pratik was sad to the thought that Nasla had to leave.
“Oh, come on Pratik, it’s just a matter of few years. Once I learn the things, I will get my transfer back to Kathmandu again. Also since we are getting married soon, I guess this is the right time for us to be independent and concentrate on our careers.” Nasla was blind of other things and was happy and excited about the news of being a branch manager.

No one at home was happy with Nasla’s decision of moving to Dharan, but all agreed upon the agreement that she would return as soon as her tenure completes.

Everyone was there to see her off. Pratik’s unhappiness for parting with Nasla could be seen in his face. He didn’t want her to go.
“Is it so important for you to go? Can’t you stay here?” Pratik wanted to stop her from going, “I love you Nasla”.
“You know how much I wanted all these. Please be my strength, and yea I love you too”, Nasla whispered the later into his ears.
“Hey Pratik, let’s have a snap together. Mom can you please click our photo”, she called out her Mom.
“You two look great together, ok now smile guys, say cheeeezzzzzz”, and the light flashed on.

The light of another cab suddenly fell upon her and she woke up. She had fallen asleep in the cab. She paid the driver and sat on a bench nearby waiting for her bus.

Things kept spinning in her mind.
“Hey Nasla, seems you have forgotten me since you landed Dharan. No calls no mails, why so? I hope you are not planning to stay there. You have called only once when you reached there and it has already been two months. Please call me as soon as you get this mail.
Waiting for you reply

But Nasla could not manage to call him then. It was not that she didn’t care about Pratik, but calling him back or at least replying the mail completely went out of her mind. She had been busy trying to settle down. It was then she met Manas at Dharan. They became very good friends and he helped her a lot to cope up with the new place and the environment. They went out regularly and spent most of their time together. She did not miss her family or Pratik when he was around.

Nasla’s eyes were filled with tears. She didn’t board the bus that just left. “How could this happen? How could I fall in love with someone when I was not supposed to? How can I do this and leave Pratik?” These questions pinched Nasla. She knew that she shouldn’t be loving Manas and that she is engaged to someone else. It was not that she didn’t try to get away from the feelings for Manas, but she just could not. May be this was bound to happen. It was not a plan to fall in love with Manas; yes it just happened for no reasons. There was something in him that always magnetized her towards him. Slowly she started to fall for him.

Nasla was crying. She felt guilty and things were not going easy. She could not break Pratik and her family’s heart nor could keep the smiles with Manas. She likes Pratik too and she knows that Pratik loves her and is waiting for her to return. That was the reason she always rejected Manas on getting married to him. On the other Manas too loved her dearly and was ready to do anything to be with her. She could not decide between them.

Love took such a turn in her life that her heart was torn between two. She felt guilty for hiding all these things. So she left the decision to the hands of the fate and time. May be she is destined to live a solitude life or has happiness stored for herself? But whose hands would she hold? She did not know.

Her bus came and she quietly left. But for where and how long, no one knew.


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