Gunjan just managed, “ Roshini… crying. I saw her sitting alone on the roof. I went up to her. I tried to make her feel better but I somehow made it worse. She is crying. Help. Go. Please.”
Suddenly Megan Fox (in a feisty red bikini) evaporated and I could picture a vulnerable Roshini wailing on the roof. And if Gunjan had ‘talked’ to her I am sure she’d be feeling worse. I had to go. So I got up, popped in a mentos and walked up to the roof. I saw sweet little roshini curled up in one corner crying. Her eyes were bloodshot. Apparently her own outburst last night had left her vulnerable. I didn’t say anything I just sat next to her and let her cry.
After an hour of letting it all out her tears turned silent. And she sat next to me with her head on my shoulder. She was a special friend of mine. One of those rare few people who’d go to any lengths to protect their friends and be there for them. She had always been there for all of us. She took extra care of everyone especially Sanjay. And any guy would be lucky to have some one like Roshini love them. I couldn’t make her understand why Sanjay didn’t respond. Logic dictated that they be together. Because they did everything together. Yet love is complicated and no one can really understand it. I turned to her and said what I knew would make her smile, “ oye stop crying. Chal we’ll go and have some chocolate ice cream and then we are off. We can also mess with Gunjan.” she looked at me with her beady eyes, smiled and we both went off to an early morning ice cream and some serious Gunjan teasing time.
After we were back all of us decided to go and visit all the waterfalls that made lonavala so famous. Gunjan wanted me to present lonavala to the world. That asshole had been recording anything and everything he could. Lonavala was beautiful and the monsoon made it heaven on earth. The mountains were leaking. That’s what Gunjan kept saying. And really everywhere you looked there was a creek, or a waterfall sneaking up from some corner of the mountain. As soon as we set out towards finding a perfect picnic spot, it started drizzling.
Now everyone knew the Lonavala rule. Booze, food and a waterfall. You find a place not too far from a waterfall, you sit nearby have food, have drinks and do whatever you want and then you jump into the water. We had so much fun. Its funny, with your friends you never run short on conversation. We managed to talk for hours. Sameera lectured us on the political implications of Naxalites to which only Roshini and Sanjay responded. Me and Gunjan just pretended to listen. And then Sameera started talking about her childhood. These were always interesting. Her father had been in the army and she was a sure shot army brat. Smart, beautiful and naughty. She was one hell of a party animal. She was serious when it came to academics and serious when it came to partying. She had the best of both worlds and never let one come in the way of another. We always looked upto her thinking she’d make it big in the world. This girl knew what she wanted and always managed to get what she wanted. And her childhood tales rather escapades were always fun to listen too.
After a good long chat session we ran to the water fall. There were videos and photos that had each of us embarrassing the crap out of ourselves and one another. We were wet from head to toe. And were having the time of our life. Roshini kept close to Sanjay but didn’t talk to him. There was a strong undercurrent between them but they pretended that everything was all right. Sameera had ventured to more dangerous regions of the waterfall and Gunjan ran after her worried she’d fall. He took roshini with him. It was just me and sanjay sitting on a rock alone. That was the perfect moment to talk. I wanted to ask him everything. But I knew him too well. He’d never say what he really felt. It would all be in vain. But I had too. I had to hear it from him so that I could lay down roshini nice and easy. I started small talk about the weather and college. He looked at me and nodded. He was looking at roshini or so I thought.
And I couldn’t hold it in any longer and I blurted out, “ what’s wrong with you? Such a nice girl she is why don’t you like her. And if you don’t be a man and tell her. Let her go and be free. Why do you keep holding on to her?”
Sanjay stared at me. There was a lot in his eyes. He wanted to let it all out and he did. He said, “ I am not a nice man. Roshini is sweet, pretty and the most amazing girl I have ever known. And I don’t deserve her. I like her I do. But I don’t think I can love her. Or that I am worthy of her love. And I don’t want to loose her friendship.”
“you wont! Honesty will make your friendship stronger!” I said
“NO. its not that easy. You don’t know me. I am a bad person. I have a dirty secret. Not even roshini knows. And if you all knew you would judge me. And if I let you know I’d ruin more than one life. Oh god. I wish I could end it all. Just die. It hurts so much to cause so much pain to a friend who means so much. If roshini knew, if any of you knew what I had done. You’d all hate me.”
I was stumped. The sweetest most decent guy I had ever known was telling me he’d done something wrong. Sanjay was the most decent guy I had ever known. He was sweet, gentle and caring. A gem of a person. He was never loud, always followed the rules and never ever lost control. He had a strict family. And to gain their acceptance he’d always done what his parents had told him. Even in college he was the only guy who didn’t drink or smoke. A straight A student with no bad records. I’d have married him if I were a girl and here he sat telling me he had done something wrong. I asked him to tell me but he did not. And he left. I followed him. And after pestering him for an hour he finally told me the secret that had eaten him up from inside. We sat in this corner from where we could see the three of them having fun and we talked.
Sanjay was crying. He said, “ you remember our first college fest?” I nodded.
“That entire semester changed my life. Roshini and I were the best of friends and I loved her as a friend should. But during that semester I fell in love with someone or so I thought. She was beautiful, smart and everything I could ever want. Everyone loved her. She was one of the most sought after girls in college. I remember that we’d have overnight discussions about her. Though I hung out with Roshini a lot my eyes were always on her. I thought I was in love. And yet I could never tell her. She was always around and the guys were jealous of me because I was friends with her. The one’s who had girlfriends told me to go after her. But I knew I could never ever do anything. I told roshini about my infatuation. And she was hurt. And that’s when I found out she loved me. And my world was messed up. My best friend was in love with me and I was in love with this muse. God my infatuation had risen up to such heights that I ended up doing everything for her. I would roam around her. Wait for her calls, message her everyday and just always be around her. I wanted her but I knew I could never have her. I mean she was this popular beauty and I was just a simple no body. But something happened that changed things. It was our college fest. And our first ever concert. All of us were deeply engrossed in the music. We were dancing and she was dancing next to me. I was in heaven. I was dancing with this beautiful girl I liked. And she was friendly, a little too friendly that night. I guess she was drunk. But I was too happy to notice any of that. We got closer and closer and we kissed. One thing led to another and soon we were in some dark corner of the college. And…”
His voice was barely a whisper. He was choked up. I told him to go on and just say it.
“ And I … I… And I slept with her. It was the most wonderful night ever. I thought I was in love. I felt like the luckiest man alive. I was in love with her. I had this beautiful woman in my arms. And I felt she loved me otherwise she would have never let me get so close. It felt like love!”
I could see tears in his eyes as he spoke. And I was shocked. There was this inexplicable moment of numbness where I just couldn’t understand what could I say to make him feel different.
He continued, “ the next day I woke up with a huge smile on my face. I felt like I’d marry this girl for sure. And I needed nothing more in the world. I started thinking up of our life together. We met one another and I kept smiling at her. She was normal. That entire day I kept thinking about her and only her. But then I got a message from her. She texted me to meet her where we had hooked up. I thought I would get lucky again. And that I would tell her how much I love her. But I never thought about what she wanted. When I went there, she was sitting all alone. She looked beautiful. I went and sat next to her. A few moments of silence passed between us and then I couldn’t help myself I leaned on her to kiss her. But she stopped me. I was taken aback. I couldn’t understand. She stood up and turned to me and said, “ I am sorry Sanjay. I cant do this.” I was confused. I couldn’t understand. I asked her why. I told her that last night had been so special for the both of us. She was my first and I was in love with her. I blurted it all out. How I had crushed over her ever since I had seen her. She just kept saying no. I couldn’t understand. And then she said something that ruined everything for me. She said that I was just another drunken mistake. She was in love with someone else. I was just an escapade. She could never love someone like me. I was not her type. And she left. I went after her. I told her that we had a connection. We had something magical between us. And she turned to me and with cold accusing eyes she told me that I had taken advantage of her in her drunken state. And she‘d loose all her rep if anyone ever found out. And every time I see her my heart aches. I couldn’t tell anyone. No one should ever know. It’d ruin her reputation. You know how college guys talk about girls. And worst of all I had to hide it from you and Roshini. And roshini. Man I was blind. I had this amazing girl who loves me. I want to love her. But I just cant. Roshini is so innocent. She thinks I am this nice decent guy who could never hurt a fly. But look at what I did. I slept with a girl and took advantage of her.”
“but you did offer her love and commitment. Its not your fault!” I replied meekly still in shock from all that I had heard.
“so? That’s no excuse! You know I can say I am just a man. But I was brought up better. And I am ashamed. And I just cant face Roshini. She thinks of me as a nice decent guy and I just cant break her heart with the truth. So I say nothing. I know I am hurting her more but I just cant face her and break her heart also! The truth will destroy everything. I know it.”
With that Sanjay broke down. I sat with him and saw this man repent. Repent a mistake. He shouldn’t have blamed himself so much for. My old man had once told me when he found out that I had cheated in my exams “you yourself decide how guilt free or guilty you really are! No one else can make you suffer until and unless you let them!” He had this way of never accusing me but always making me feel guilty for whatever wrong I did!
But for Sanjay morality and conscience belonged to some new dimension. And as I sat there I began to understand how Sanjay would never face roshini. And how roshini would end up hurt either way. And then I began to wonder who this girl really was?
The door to the office slammed open and Prabhat came rushing inside.
“APTE. Autopsy report is here, the murder weapon has been identified. One of them did it. I am sure this time.” said Prabhakar
“Call them inside! Lets find that murderer!” said Apte.
The room soon filled in with the young group that had been waiting outside. They all took their seats on the table facing the policemen.
Prabhaker smiled at all of them and Apte wore a solemn look.
“You know what kids, I too had a nice group of friends like you all back in college. Its nice to have people around! isn’t it, Apte?”
“Don’t know! I never had any friends in college!”
“Really, well that suddenly makes a lot of sense. You know kids he loves his job. And he is so damn good at it because he hates criminals. Oh the things he has done to get them to confess! Gives me the chills!”
“This talk business never helps. Let me torture the truth out of these SOB’s” growled Apte.
“Relax Apte. Relax! They might be telling the truth. Give me a chance to talk to them. I have read and read all your statements over and over again. Gone through your tapes. Observed every action and reaction you gave. You know what. Your story checks out! It would have all worked out had the body disappeared. But we found his body! And autopsy report says this was cold blooded murder! Aah friendship! it’s a beautiful bond. Isn’t it? Covering for each other, saving one another from problems and being there for your friends. You all seem to be very good friends. Are you, Gunjan?”
Shaking uncontrollably Gunjan nodded.
“REALLY? DO YOU FEEL NO SHAME?”screamed Apte.
“Now Apte calm down!”
“I COULD JUST BEAT THE TRUTH OUT OF THIS ONE. GIVE HIM TO ME!”
Prabhakar got up and held Apte back.
Sanjay intervened and requested, “Sir please. Why would any one of us be involved? Please.”
“Tsk tsk. You know what Apte we are novices. We have held these innocent children here. Why would they be involved. What MOTIVE would they have?”
Apte gave a twisted smile.
Prabhakar continued, “ unfortunately for you boy you gave us your motives in our own hands. We know everything from your girlfriend over there to your one night stand to the drugs, the lies and the fights you all had. One of you forgot to switch the tape off. Your last moments are almost there.”
“We know what happened. But are waiting for you suckers to own up!” added Apte.
And there was terror on their faces. Fear is a twisted feeling. It can generate foolishness and brilliance at the same moment.
from the writer :-
I am sorry i know this is too big...but its an important part of the story...hope you enjoyed it...pls comment so i know who all are reading and can tell them when the next part comes out :)