February 19, 2009

The night (Part IV-Concluding Part)

(First, apologies for having taken so long to post the concluding part. I was almost done with it when the poetry contest was announced and the lounge was closed. Then when it reopened, I got busy with college. Anway, for those of you who have been following this series and those of you who would like to read the previous parts, you can find them here, here, and here. )

Yes, indeed it was—the voice of Shashank. Just last week, on her birthday, Shashank had gifted her a cell-phone. She was very happy. She’d asked him to record his voice on it and had set it as her ring-tone. So every time she received a call from him, it was as if he was calling out her name. Neetu had been shaken back to reality… Shashank was calling her, and she needed to answer her phone.

“Hello Shashank…” she muttered into the phone, while the stranger stood beside her.

There was no answer.

“Shashank… Hello, Shashank… is it you?” Neetu stammered into the phone. Shashank had never bothered to call her ever before. There had been many instances when he’d not returned home at night; he’d come back the next morning, pick up some more files, bathe, change, have breakfast, and leave without uttering a single word or even looking at his wife. Sometimes, she wondered if he was a workaholic robot! She’d tried to kindle love for him in her heart. Alas! All her efforts had been in vain. But the question remained: “why had he called up tonight? And why wasn’t he answering?” The question made her uncomfortable and her stomach cringed.

“Hello…” a different voice answered. “Hello… who’s this?” Neetu asked. “May I know who I am speaking to please,” the stern voice said matter-of-factly. “This is Mrs. Neetu Sahni, wife of Mr. Shashank Sahni, whose phone this is,” replied Neetu, starting to get worried.

“Well, Mrs. Sahni, I am afraid I have some very bad news for you,” the stranger said with deathly seriousness. Neetu could hear her heart thumping wildly within her chest.

“Mrs. Sahni, your husband has been found dead in his office this evening. Apparently, he’d lost all his money and had mortgaged his house and business in a bid at the race last week. So, he committed suicide this evening. There’s a suicide note here as well claiming the same. We have started the investigations. May I please come and meet you tomorrow to hand over the body and complete some formalities? Mrs. Sahni…. hello… are you there?”
Neetu was frozen. She’d just lost her husband forever, and she had no wealth or house to fall back on. Everything was lost. She started to feel dizzy. As she was about to fall, someone held her, held her close, comforting her. She clung on to him tightly as the world turned into a blur.

“Neetu…” she heard her name escape from the stranger’s lips. That was the first word he’d uttered since their chance encounter. “Neetu… are you okay?” Hearing him utter her name injected some strength into her, and she composed herself. Tears filled her eyes, but they were not tears of sadness or loss. They were tears of relief, tears of freedom—freedom from being imprisoned in a relationship that had killed the woman within. It was as if Shashank’s death had given a new lease of life to the woman in her. She felt nothing for Shashank or his wealth—both had never mattered to her, and she was, in some way, thankful that both had gone away from her life for good.

She looked into the stranger’s eyes, her own eyes full of hope, love and some apprehension. The stranger seemed to understand: he tightened his grip on her as if to reassure her that he’d never let her go, and looked back lovingly into those dark brown eyes of hers. Yes, finally, she had found love, even if in the most unlikely of places and under the most unlikely circumstances. She didn’t even know his name. But deep inside, she knew that they were meant to be. And they would be, together, forever. She closed her eyes to let the feeling, the moment sink in. From the secure confines of his arms, she opened her eyes to the sky… the first few rays of the sun were beginning to grace the sky. Love had finally dawned… after that night!

(PS: I had initially thought of a rather sad ending. But something urged me to try and end it on a happy note. I hope I have been able to do what I set out to. This is the happiest end I could think of. If you think you could come up with a better ending, I'd be glad to know. Thanks for stopping by... I hope it was an enjoyable read!)


  1. wow! i got mushy mushy ... :) Neha start another series plsss ya.. :)

  2. i really loved the ending !! it was definitely worth the wait !!!

  3. awwww that was just beautiful..

    i hadn't read the previous parts.. so read everything at a stretch..

    must agree with pink orchid.. i really did go all mushy mushy.. awwww feel happy for her..

  4. Hey!!!

    It was a happy ending after all. But just seemed a bit filmy. After all, real life does not always have happy endings. Moreover(these are strictly mu opinion and u may disagree), I understood that u had a different end in ur mind but in an attempt to change the ending, you spoiled it a bit.

    Anyways, nice reading.

    In your next series, plzzz do not buckle under popular pressure.


  5. ya..it was an enjoyable read neha...
    nice story..interesting and well written..

  6. wow neha.. realy nice story... and i love happy endings no matter wat... so even if this one was a lil filmy i am all for it!!! good work.... keep it up...!! :-)


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