Tears trickled down the cheeks of Ms. Shrishti Bhatt. Sitting on the sofa with the only memories left in her hands, how much ever she tried to resist but always stopped on the same photograph of the album. The maid entered inside the room with the evening breakfast and noticed her face engrossed with the same emotions. “Madam, life is very short. How many years would you give to that past? Be practical in life. Being a servant, these words don't suit me but this is not the way to deal with the bitterness of life.” Shrishti told without even raising her eyes,” Shanti! You know that my present lies in my past. I will die on the day when the God takes away that as well. Please leave me alone.” Going out of the door, Shanti turned back suddenly,” Oh, I forgot madam. Some reporters are waiting outside.” Keeping the album back in the locker, she replied,” O.K. Welcome them and give them seats. I am coming.”
Interview with reporters had become an important element of the life of Ms. Shrishti Bhatt, the I.A.S officer of Allahabad. Her past perturbed everyone. Interviewers wanted spice for their magazines but her dignity stopped everyone to prick he shadowed identity. Shrishti Bhatt, a beautiful, charming young woman of 32, stepping down the stairs of her large mansion waving her hands to the reporters who had come from Times of India and took her seat. Madam, if you don't mind, can we ask if you know anyone called Chhitiz Bharadwaz?”Shrishti remained stunned at the sound of this word which she herself hadn't ever dared to repeat after that incident. Answering the question in negative, she left the reporters confused at her astonished face and went upwards staggering as if struck by the loss of any loved one.
Going straight into her dressing room, Shrishti stood before the long mirror which she hadn't faced for the last fourteen years. How changed she was! An unmarried woman dressed in a white sari without any kind of ornamentation. Chhitiz! Chhitiz! The name echoing in her mind forced her to scream if she could throw it out of herself. Her maid, the only person in the world who knew the truth of her life took her to the same sofa where Shrishti could find serenity. Shrishti took out the album and turning over the photographs again stopped on the same photo, her fingers on the face of the same person. Yes, he was Chhitiz, her life, her soul and the person for whom she had sacrificed all her happiness. He was in this world but still unknown to Shrishti. Her mind went back to the college life they had shared together. Shrishti and Chhitiz were best friends. They loved each other to such an extent that people felt jealous but still in the core of their hearts felt forced to think if such love was really possible. Shrishti had cleared her preliminary exam for the civil services and the last day of the final year exam had also passed. The same garden where they used to meet Shrishti was as usual waiting for Chhitiz. “Oh Chhitiz! You are again late and what's in this diary,” said Shrishti snatching the diary from him. Chhitiz looked at her and said in a serious tone, “Dear! Today, I have to discuss something really important for our lives.” Shrishti replied jokingly, “serious! Yes, very serious! You seem so funny when you even try to get serious.” Chhitiz tried to make her understand and said in a scolding manner,” Please Shrishti! Try to understand, this is regarding both of us.” Shrishti didn't even seem to listen to his words and said hurriedly,” Oh no! I forgot to tell you, Sir Hardy was calling you. First go and meet him and then we will enjoy this seriousness together.”
Chhitiz looked very disturbed that day. But Shrishti assumed his tension for an hour or two as usual to grab her attention. About fifteen minutes passed and he didn't return. Going forward a few steps, she returned back to take his diary which she had forgotten on the slip. Shrishti opened the diary and said to herself,” Oh yes! He was hiding something from me. Card? The card was not an ordinary one; it was an invitation card for Shrishti in the wedding ceremony of Chhitiz with a girl called Hrishita. Shrishti lost her conscience for a moment. The whole world seemed to fall before her eyes. She understood everything and preserving all the memories of Chhitiz in her heart went away forever and ever. After this incident, the first thing which she did was changed her mobile number. Secondly, without giving a single day to Chhitiz for any kind of explanation left the Girls'apartment where she used to live and went to stay with her maternal uncle and aunty about which Chhitizwas totally unknown. Shrishti had lost her parents when she was only eight. After clearing her interview for Civil Services, she decided not to marry as didn't want to share the love of Chhitiz with anyone else. She took a large mansion in Allahabad and lived there with her diary and the album, the only memories of her college life. She never even felt envious of Hrishita instead always considered her lucky to be Chhitiz's wife.
Coming back from her past, Shrishti asked her driver to take out the car and went alone driving to the mountainous, hilly regions on the border of Allahabad. Chhitiz seemed sitting beside her and begging for a chance to explain him. Shrishti kept on increasing the speed of the car and suddenly with her loud scream,” Please Chhitiz! I am nowhere in your life now. Go away!” her white color Mercedes hit the large banyan tree. People gathered in large numbers and the hope of her survival became least with the severe injuries on her head. Reporters poured in the hospital corridors and newspapers got studded with the reports of her accident and with headlines,” Ms. Shrishti's secret life passing into the secret world.” But fate had something else in store for her. She was saved. It was the day of her discharge from the hospital and Shanti was waiting outside with garlands in her hands and tears in her eyes. She fell on her feet and started thanking the Almighty but Shrishti seemed to be lost. Having once escaped death, she decided to meet Chhitiz before her final separation from life. Immediately a ticket was booked for her flight to Delhi. Shrishti went all alone. While going to Chhitiz's house from the airport in a taxi, each and every road she passed by reminded her of the days spent with him. Her car only stopped at a mall from where she bought a beautiful sari for his wife and clothes for the children of her imagination. Standing right below his bungalow, Shrishti stopped for a while thinking if he would be able to recognize her or not and if his wife would like this surprise visit or not. But, she couldn't dare to move back from her destination. Her heartbeat pounded higher and higher with the reducing no of steps to his house. Her hands trembled while pressing the door bell.
The door opened and the person standing in front of her was Mr. Chhitiz Bharadwaz, the famous industrialist of Delhi. Fourteen years had just whitened a few hairs without affecting much of his handsome personality. He remained stunned. Ten minutes passed standing outside staring at each other when Shrishti reminded him to follow the courtesy and call her inside in a kidding manner. The forceful smile on her face couldn't stop the rolling down of tears. Trying to hide her true emotions, she asked inquiringly,” Where is Hrishita? I have brought a beautiful sari for her. And, where are your children? See this. Will it fit him? “Without uttering a single word, Chhitiz took all the gifts in one hand and holding her hand with the other took her inside. Pointing towards a lady lying on a bed, he said angrily,” See, Shrishti! Meet my mother and see her condition.” Holding tears in his eyes, he went outside. His mother understood who she was and embraced her. She couldn't stop her tears and wiping her face said,” Dear, that card was printed before I was even ware of your relationship. Chhitiz had taken that card in order to force you to meet me and understand how eager I was to get him married as you always used to take his discussions lightly. He is still unmarried and waiting for you, my love! Please help me to die peacefully.” Saying this, the old lady started sobbing profusely. The earth slipped away from her feet and sky seemed to fall apart. True love between Shrishti and Chhitiz was proved.
Two years passed and Shrishti was again seen sitting on a sofa with the same album in her hands but now not with memories but real Chhitiz sitting beside him and a child in between and all the three enjoying the college life stories shared and laughed about between the two lovers.