08 May, 2014

#SpecialFeature :: #Excerpts from The Fragile Heart by Ankit Jaiswal

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - May 2014 ***

Jai, a sensitive, emotional and an introvert guy, is speechless when he sees a girl in school for the first time. He is mesmerized by her charm and beauty. He sets on a roller coaster ride along with his two friends and classmates, the dependable Raj and the adorable Rahul to find out her name. Rahul comes out with a master-plan which enables Jai to find out the name of his dream girl. Destiny favours Jai as he not only finds out her name but also gets to meet her. Fleeting moments, some coincidental and some anticipated, spent with her make Jai overcome his inherited conservativeness and he decides to propose her. But he still lacks the courage to convey his feelings orally and he resorts to communicate in a way he is excellent in: the magic of his words! He puts his heart out in the letter which he writes to propose to Geeta. Jai is awaiting her response, craving for his proposal to get accepted, but she disappears. He comes to know from a common friend that she not only leaves the school but also the city. Jai shatters; his fragile heart is broken into pieces. Destiny plays its tricks again when Jai discovers Geeta’s letter in a book in library. Geeta superficially throws light on her limitations to accept his proposal and chooses neither to disclose him the true reasons behind why and where she shifted to. Jai is devastated and with solitude as his lone companion he sets for an objective to get admission in a decent engineering college and leave behind his city, Kolkata, which became synonymous to Geeta for him.

He migrates to a new life in Bangalore where he finds a friend-in-need in, the flamboyant Arun and an untrustworthy Ashima, who also happens to be Raj’s girlfriend, for company. Though he continues to battle against the trauma of the mysterious absence of Geeta, life takes a quirky turn in his second year when his junior, the cherubic and bubbly Riya bumps into his life. She tries to fill in the void in which Jai had survived so far.  Riya and Jai bond over time but both are reluctant to initiate things further. Jai is in a situation where Geeta is in his heart but Riya is in his mind. But the mishap when Jai is bullied by a secret admirer of Riya on the eve of fresher’s day exposes their feelings for each other. He comes out of the tangle of emotions, encouraged by Arun, and eventually surrenders himself to Riya, who also overcomes her reluctance for a relationship. He feels emotionally-employed. Raj snaps his ties with Jai thinking that he intentionally kept him in dark of the developments between Ashima and Alok, a classmate of Jai. 

Riya and Jai continue to sail nicely in their relationship before Jai gets a job in a bank in Mumbai. Jai gets a friend and manager in the eccentric Partho Da, who also happens to hail from Kolkata. They connect well due to their Bong connection. Things start to take an unexpected trajectory when Partho Da invites Jai for Holi celebrations at his place. Destiny reintroduces him to Geeta who happens to be the niece of Partho Da. The mystery behind Geeta’s absence starts to unfold when Ritwika, cousin of Geeta, narrates what made Geeta disappear so abruptly. It was due to her mother’s cancer treatment that her family shifted to Mumbai. Her father tried all he could but couldn’t save her mom. She explains how Geeta too was concerned for Jai. Despite of being under so much constraint she was bothered whether Jai would have got her response letter. But when things started to fall in place she tried to approach Jai, but only she could find out from Raj that Jai got into another relationship in college. Raj plays spoilsport, most probably avenging Jai, as Jai wasn’t yet in a relationship that time. 

Jai feels very guilty to discover the harsh reality of the past. He decides to meet Geeta personally one last time to conclude things between them, exchanging apologies for their unforgettable past. But Riya’s possessiveness does not allow him to move ahead. He manages to eclipse his strained state of relation with Riya when he comes to know from Partho Da that Geeta’s family is in search of a match for her. But Jai’s planned encounter rather than turning out to be an apologetic settlement started to dig out his unsatiated desires, as they shared their secretive past and the feelings they possessed for each other. Jai realizes how Riya has been just a compensation for his void on rediscovering Geeta in his life. He realizes he does not feel for Riya the way he feels for Geeta. 

Geeta disregards Jai’s reasoning citing the presence of Riya in his life and her own constraints. She leaves but not before hinting that she still has feelings for him. Jai is left in a tangle when Riya breaks apart from him when she comes to know about his meeting with Geeta. He realizes his selfishness and sacrifices his resurgent desires to bring back Riya in his life. But Riya momentarily reappears in his life only as an angel and unites him with Geeta as she realizes that Jai was never hers. She also mends his relation with Raj, who acted as the cord of communication between Riya and Geeta. Jai could not believe when Riya tells him, “Geeta is not only the cause but also the cure of your fragile heart. I tried hard to cure it but I was unsuccessful, Jai!” 

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I didn’t know how to react at that time. In front of me was standing the most beautiful girl in my eyes. And guess what, she was dressed in a beautiful saree. Oh god, she was perfectly dressed for the occasion! She looked heavenly. She wore the saree in typical Bengali tradition. Her red with black stripes saree complimented her fair skin very well. Her bindi seemed to be the epicentre of her charm and beauty. Her eyes with eye-liners were magnetic, asking me to fall for her even more. The dimples on her cheeks when she laughed would submerge me in them. She was wearing high heels and she was looking even taller than me. The lip-gloss on her lips was reflecting my love for her. My feelings for her got another dimension that day- I wanted to kiss her lips at that time. I was never so close to her before. I wanted to hug her. 

But then, twists and turns have always been an integral part of my life. The showers were left open and it was time for rain dance. She held me for a while in excitement. I also responded with a fractional delay. We paired to dance on the tune of “Rang Barse…” We, along with the group danced insanely for the next few minutes or so. I spent one of the loveliest of times dancing with her. At times, we forget our constraints in life and tend to enjoy life to the fullest. But sometimes such acts are characterized by fleeting happiness and eternal agonies. But something else was in store for me. The showers started to splash us hard. The recurrent flow of the rain shower had the intensity to peel off our true identity which had been disguised till then with some fugitive colours, and they did. Slowly and gradually, the rigidly put colours on us started to fade. I was astounded for the next few moments. I faced the harshest of reality. The girl in front of me was none other than Geeta. I couldn’t believe that she was standing in front of me after so long. I also couldn’t believe that I failed to recognize her for the last half an hour. She also recognized me. She too, was speechless. As always her eyes revealed how stunned she was to face me. Those were moments of utter abstraction from the entire world. 

When two souls connect,
They converse in a common dialect,
The language of expressions,
And which need no translations... Page 159

I haven’t read about love, but I have loved you!
I haven’t been more than a yard closer to you, but I have hugged you!
You still haven’t been mine, but I have missed you!
I don’t believe in fate much, but I have wished for you! –Page 22

Ankit Jaiswal hails from the city of Joy, Kolkata, from where he has done his schooling. He did his graduation from BCREC, Durgapur. He is currently working as a software professional in Bengaluru. He is an engineer by profession and an artist by heart. He is a movie-maniac and actively follows cricket, football and politics. He is passionate about writing and has been writing poetries since his schooldays. Most of his poetries fall under romantic genre. 'The Fragile Heart', the title which also shares its name with a series of romantic poems written by him, is his debut work in fiction. Best of his works are available on his Blog.

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1 comment:

  1. Disappearing lovers seem to be a trend in books i read in recent times. Have to check how it is handled in this book.