Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Whispers of Spring.....Chapter 13


Raj took Adi’s hands and pulled him up to stand between his legs. He wiped his eyes with his thumbs and held him firmly by his thin shoulders, “Adi, first of all calm yourself. It will upset your mother if you look so agitated. She is a wonderful, strong lady, son…She can take care of herself. But between you and me we shall make sure no one harasses her. We won’t let anything happen to her. OK? So, yes…I’ll teach you a few moves.’
Adi sniffed and smiled shakily through moist eyes, “Thank you, Uncle.”
“However, the most important thing for you to know is that if a dangerous situation arises, you have to first think with your head. That bad man is a big person, and you are still a little boy.”
“Not little.” A stubborn look spread across Adi’s face as he shook his head vigorously.
“Nope. Not little. My mistake. A young man…that’s who you are. Brave and loving young man.”
Raj was rewarded with a beaming smile. He ruffled Adi’s head and continued, “You do understand that you cannot physically fight the big man, don’t you Adi?”
Adi looked into Raj’s eyes and then after a beat nodded reluctantly, “Yes Uncle.”
“But you can think with your head,” he tapped on Adi’s temple, “and you can buy time to get out of sticky situations.”
“By getting help. Like you did now by telling me…without worrying your mumma. If you find yourself or your mumma in danger, be calm, and then at the earliest opportunity, get help from someone you can trust. OK?”
Adi nodded…this time a little more enthusiastically, as he understood that he could be of some help if the occasion demands. He had felt so helpless and inadequate when he had seen that man trying to hurt his mother. Beeji told everyone proudly how he was the man of the house. Yet when it came down to it, he was torn between rushing out to hit the man and obeying ma’s orders about not stepping out of the gates till she came back for him. He felt that he had somehow failed ma and beeji. That’s when he had remembered Raj uncle, and he knew for sure that he could go to him for help.
Now, he looked at Raj with veneration as the older man got up and looked down at him, “Come Adi. I want to give you something.”
“What uncle?”
“Patience Adi. Let’s go to my study.”
Inside the study, Raj left Adi’s hand and went behind his desk. He pulled the second drawer and took out a package. Adi ambled closer and saw that it was the packing of a cell phone.
“A phone?” His eyes went wide. “You are giving me a phone? Wow! Awesome.”
Raj chuckled at Adi’s excitement, “Yes Adi. This is for you. Come here.” Raj picked up Adi and sat him on the desk. He sat down in the chair and punched in a few numbers in the phone. He had got it to give to nanisa who was looking for a second phone for her use. Good thing that it was delivered earlier in the day. He gave it to Adi, “Here son. It’s a small phone and will fit into your pockets. I have punched in your mother’s, beeji’s, badima’s, and my number. You will get me if you press on 1. But remember, there’s only one reason I am giving it to you. You will use it if there is an emergency and you want help. This is not for chatting with friends.”
“OK uncle. Can I play the games in it?”
“Sure.” Raj smiled. “But don’t forget to charge it regularly. Here’s the charger.”
Adi took the phone and tried the functions as Raj watched. Suddenly he slid down the desk and threw his arms around Raj’s neck, “Thank you…thank you Raj uncle. You are the best.”
Raj pressed the little body against him and dropped a kiss on his head, “My pleasure Adi. I know you will take good care of it.”
Adi stepped back, “May I show it to mumma now?”
“Show me what Adi?”

Raj and Adi looked toward the door as Naina stepped in with Tanu. “We have been looking for you Adi. Tanu was waiting for you to come and play with her.”
“Oops! Sorry Tanu. Mumma, look…Uncle has gifted me a phone. Isn’t it super?”
Naina stared at Raj and then at her son’s beaming face. “Yes, it is. Did you thank Uncle?”
“Yes, mumma…I did.”
“Show me bhaiya.” Tanu craned her neck to look at the phone. Adi took her hand and put it there, “See. It’s tiny…like you.” Tanu giggled. Adi pulled her along, “Come we’ll show it to beeji and badima, and then I’ll show you the games that are in it.” He tossed back a glowing smile at Raj before striding out with Tanu.
Naina stared at the man who had captured her heart in a way no one ever had. Through the evening she had avoided him. She was sure that if she looked at him long enough, he would know her secret. She resisted the urge to step toward the magnificent aura that emanated from him. Instead, she gestured toward the door from where Adi had just left, “What were you thinking Raj? You shouldn’t have given him such an expensive gift. In any case he is too young to own a phone.”
“I am sorry Naina. I should have asked you first. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.” Raj stood up and stepped closer, before stopping.
“But…a phone Raj! At his age, he shouldn’t be expecting to receive such gifts. I don’t want him to be spoilt.”
“C’mon Naina. Adi is a responsible child. With you as his mother, he is never going to go astray. However, you may not have noticed that he is taking his role as the only man in the family too seriously. I just handed him a reason to shift his sense of responsibility toward a thing. That’s all.”
“Naina…take it easy. Haven’t you heard that the greatest gifts you can give your child are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence?” Raj tried to alleviate her mood.
Raj’s words transported Naina to another day, another time. She felt her head go fuzzy, her hands felt cold and clammy, and she found it difficult to breathe. The memories came rushing in, unsettling her, as she felt the start of a panic attack.
“Naina!” She felt her heart pound inside her ribcage as she struggled to focus on the voice that was her lifeline at that moment.
“Naina, are you OK? What happened?” She swayed on her feet before he caught her. “Dear God! It’s OK love. I am here.” She felt strong arms gather her and walk her to the sofa. “Breathe Naina. Take deep breaths. That’s it…Good. Here, have some water.” He kept on talking to her. She heard him through the haze and concentrated on slowing her breathing. A few minutes later she felt herself calm down, and her mind and heart found their way back to normalcy. She found herself held against Raj’s chest, and he was mumbling soothing words.
She tilted her head. He was looking at her with tortuous eyes, “I am fine Raj.” She shifted back, and he let her go, but reached down to hold her hands, “I did it again, didn’t I? I caused this. I am sorry that I gave Adi…”
“No, Raj. It’s not you. You didn’t say or do anything wrong. I am not upset about the phone. It’s just that this whole situation and what you said brought back memories….and I wasn’t prepared.” She hated to see him feel guilty of what was clearly her shortcoming. She had always known that healing process of her mental scars would be long and complicated. She had learnt to internalize the healing…for Adi’s and beeji’s sakes, and also because she wanted to honor the words of advice of her father. He would always say: “Sing the song of Spring Naina…even when the chips are down. In your smile will lie the secret of the happiness of all those who love you. Try to be happy always…against all odds.
“Naina, I understand that no one likes to revisit painful memories. But if you turn your back on them completely, you are only letting them fester and allowing them to cause harm to not only you but also to Adi.” She looked up at Raj in shock. What is he saying? She looked and found only honesty and concern in his eyes. He continued in a gentle voice, “Adi is a sensitive kid Naina. He is more attuned to your emotions and reactions than you credit him for. You cannot hide yourself from him for long. Remember you told me once that I hide behind my handicap? You were right. I was doing exactly that. What if I say that you have closed the door to the happy memories of your family and are hiding behind it? Hurting alone. You don’t need to, you know. Just try opening the door Naina. Think of them. Feel them. Hear them. See them…..See them Naina….See them as freely as you did once. They are there. Alive. In your heart.”
He squeezed her hands and rubbed his thumbs over her inner wrists in circles. Her heart fluttering with love and each nerve responding to his touch and his voice, Naina stared at Raj for long…till their gazes seemed to melt together and they couldn’t look away. As if they were floating aimlessly in a bubble of their own. In the warmth of his essence, Naina felt all her inhibitions wash away. In his courage, she found her strength. He was right. She had spent too much time looking back and dreading the past. She wanted her life back…a life that was ripped from her so violently…not once, but twice over. Running away was never the solution.
“Talk to me Naina. Tell me…. I am sure that the more you reminisce and talk about your family, the easier it will be for you to remember them.”
“You think so? Beeji tells me that one day I’ll remember and smile and the grief would have gone. But it doesn’t go Raj…Every time someone or something triggers a memory, it’s as if…as if I am thrust into the middle of a twister. It is not easy.”
“I know it isn’t. But talking about it will help. Believe me. Trust me on this Naina. We’ll deal with it together…OK?”
Naina looked down at his large, strong hands holding her small ones. He made it sound simple. Should she dare? Should she believe? She felt she was having an out-of body-experience and heard herself whisper, “I should have been with them in the car.”
Raj understood. He had heard whispered words akin to that so many times…among his fellow officers, friends, and soldiers…when they survived an ambush or an armed skirmish or a blast. The doctors called it survivor’s guilt….the guilt of remaining alive when others died.
“Do you really think that Naina? Would that have made your family happy? Wherever they are today, they must be very proud of the life you have made for yourself. You fought your way through all the ups and downs…like a warrior queen.”
Naina’s eyes widened at that. Raj’s lips formed a half smile, “What?”
“Sometimes you speak just like papa. It’s amazing. He used to call me his warrior princess because I would get into arguments with everyone.” She smiled.
“Tell me about your parents.”
And it flowed…as easy as the flow of stream down the mountain and through the valleys.
“My father was a musician. A wonderful singer, he played many instruments. He used to be part of this group and would travel a lot to sing and play in concerts. My mother was in university when she met him during a concert. She went to interview him for the university magazine, and they fell in love. They were polar opposites in many ways, yet so alike. My father never took anything seriously. He was a happy man and always laughing and cracking jokes. He always knew how to make us smile. Their fights were a treat to watch…My mother would be seriously scolding him, and papa would stand in front of her making faces and then suddenly bursting into a song.”
“I would have loved to meet him.”
“He would have liked you Raj. For all his superfluous behavior, he was a very wise man. We would spend hours talking to each other.”
“Awhile back…what did I say that got you in a tizzy?”
Naina extricated her hands and arose, walking to the window to look out. Raj followed and leant against the wall, waiting. After a few moments she spoke softly, “It was Milli’s fourth birthday.” She glanced at him, “Milli is…was my baby sister.”
“I know Naina.”
Her brows furrowed but she didn’t ask him how he knew. In her mind, she was in their sunny living room in Nainital, with Milli clinging to her legs, listening to her arguing with their mother. “I had bought this fancy, glittering pink-colored digital watch for Milli. One of her classmates was given a watch by an aunt visiting from US. Milli was full of admiration for it. I had sensed her envy. I saved my pocket money and gifted it to her on her birthday. She was thrilled, but ma….,” she took a deep breath as a tremor passed through her at how she only had to close her eyes to recall the scene, “…ma was not happy. She thought I was spoiling her…that she was too small to be given a costly watch. I argued back and told her that…”
Naina stopped and stood still as Raj completed for her, “…that the greatest gifts you can give your child are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Right?” She nodded.
“What about your father? What did he say?”
He was enchanted at the smile that flashed across her face, “Nothing. He listened to us for a few minutes and then stood up and winked at me. I knew what was coming. He went and hugged ma from behind, turned her in his arms and began dancing a waltz, not to forget singing a romantic song. Within a few seconds, ma smiled and her anger vanished.”
“He sang and danced? When she was so upset?”
Naina grinned, “He always did that when ma got angry. My father had no angry bone in his body. He kept us all laughing and giggling all the time.”
Before Raj could say anything further, his phone rang. He looked at the number and smiled, “Hello Adi!”
“Hello uncle! I just called to say we are hungry. Tanu says she wants ma to feed her, otherwise she won’t eat. Err…that’s an emergency…isn’t it uncle?”
Raj laughed out silently at Adi’s ploy to use the phone, “Sure it is son. We’ll be there in a moment.”
He looked up at a smiling Naina, “I love that boy.”
“What did he say?”
“Come, let’s go to the dining hall. I’ll tell you on the way.”
Just before he opened the door to the dining hall, Naina halted him by holding his arm, “Raj, what happened earlier…”
He kept his hand on hers, “Don’t worry Naina. I won’t tell anyone. We can’t have beeji and nanisa all tied up in knots over this.” He saw her hesitate, “Did you want to say something?”
She stared at him. Her eyes darkened, and something seemed to shift deeply inside Raj.
“Naina,” he whispered and his hand rose to cup her cheek. She curled into it inadvertently not breaking her gaze, and in that innocent moment Raj was lost. It was as if a path was lighting up all the way in those deep orbs that contained another universe.
Suddenly the kids shrieked in delight, probably because of the game they were playing on the phone….but the moment was broken. With an audible gasp Naina moved away and rushed inside in one fluid movement, leaving Raj’s hand hanging in the air.

After Naina, beeji, and Adi left, Raj put Tanu to sleep and then waited for a few more minutes to text Naina.
“Don’t get alarmed. I have posted a couple of guards around the house.”
“Adi told me about the man outside the cricket academy.”
There was a long silence and then Raj’s phone rang.
“Raj….thanks. But we are good. This was unnecessary.”
“Like I have said earlier…for my peace of mind. OK? A little precaution will harm no one.”
“OK. I’ll tell beeji.”
“Who was he?”
“No one. Just someone who saw a lone woman and thought he could get away with badgering her.”
“OK. If you say so.”
“Yes Naina.”
“You don’t believe me, do you?”
“Do I have an option?”
“I am sorry Raj.”
“It’s OK. I have ample patience. You take as much time as you need.”
“Thanks Raj. You are a good man. Goodnight!”
“Goodnight Naina. Dream sweet.”
Raj looked up to find nanisa looking at him with an affectionate smile playing on her lips.
“Nanisa, I didn’t see you. Come in please.”
She came and sat beside him on the sofa. She had changed into a nightie and gown. Raj was still in his formals.
“Raju, may I ask you something?” Raj smiled. She always called him that when she had some information to extricate from him.
“Anything nanisa.”
“You love her, don’t you?”
Raj looked down at his hands. He could still feel the warmth of Naina’s dainty little hands in them, “You are talking of Naina?”
“Who else? The way you stick by her is like you would forget to breathe if she is not in the same room as you.”
“Is it so evident?”
“It is to me, Raju. After a long long time I finally see a spark of life in you….a glow that can be only because you are in love.”
“Nanisa, it’s an amazing feeling. When I see her, I feel happy…and not only my happiness, but I feel everyone else’s happiness. I see inside me, and I see a better man. It is exhilarating…as well as humbling. If this is love, then yes I love her…yet what I feel cannot be confined to that one word.” He looked at his grandmother, his eyes glistening with unshed tears, giving a glimpse of the depth of his feelings, “Will it sound strange if I say I feel I belong to her?”

To be continued……..


  1. I love it so much dear Indu! I love each word you have written. Love hoe Adi wanted to protect her mother. Love how Raj take care of Naina. Love how he cofessed about his love to Nanisa!
    I wonder when will Naina will open up to Raj as it's so necessary thing to be done.
    Like Raj i'm also waiting for her to open up.
    Thanks for sharing this link in PV forum. That's how I got to know.
    Now I'm waiting for your next update dear!

    1. Hey Kate...Thanks pal. I am grateful to you for trying out this story.

      Well it was no surprise that Raj acknowledged his feelings to his grandmother. She knows him well. He a drawn to Naina from Day one, but had instinctively understood that she needed space and time. He was and still is just content to be there for her and show her with actions that she is not alone any more. He is gradually making her secure and strengthening her with his support.

  2. Fantastic update Indu. Absolutely loved the conversation between Raj and Adi and the gesture of giving him the phone so that he can be contacted if Adi or his mom is ever in danger. Also loved the way Raj is slowly getting Naina to open up to him and let him in to her past. Both of them share an unspoken bond where they both feel something for each other yet they prefer not to voice it. There was an aww moment when Raj finally admits to Nanisa that he is in love with Naina. Fab job as always and can't wait to see what is in store next for these two.

    1. Thanks Saf....Raj is being there for Naina and Adi in any which way he can. Earlier Naina was dealing with her past in a way that made her look, strong from outside but that left her open to raw pain when she was alone. Raj is making her stronger from within by making her face her past. If she can face the happy memories freely, the there's a chance that when the bad part arrives she stands her ground without fear.

  3. oh indu di this was a spectacular update di just awesome atlast naina found courage to talk abt something which she never shared with anyone ....i know she loves him so much to such an extent that she will never confess to him fearing of her past will take his smiletoo........i always loved naina di .........but raj what to say he is gem ofa person di always thoughtful and lovable.........atlast he didnt hesitate to confess his love to his nanisa.....why dont he that was the wonderful thing he searched throught out his life and when it was felt by him ......noone can stop him not even naina herself..........loved the care love that is flowing b/n naina raj adi andtanu ......bounding them together ........
    destiny might be cruel to naina but at the same time it gave raj to naina which now she has to cherish and give a chance and face the past holding his hand........

    just fantastic di .........
    i m waiting for the day when naina will open up her heart content to raj......loved it di


    1. Thanks a ton Rosey.

      You are soright about Naina. She loves Raj so much that she refuses to trouble him with her murky woes. Also, she knows that if Raj knows exactly what they did to her, he might do something that'd hurt him. His physical handicap might be a hindrance and thus the chances of his being harmed are more. Let's see how this pans out.

  4. WOnderful moments b/n raj and naina. Raj is so honest, wise and straightforward person. Liked it how he truthfully accepts his feelings before nanisa. hope naina lets him know her past.- scorpiodreams

    1. Thanks pal. Raj is a soldier. His integrity is unquestionable. He is also a simple person. When nanisa asks him, there was no need for him to hedge around his feelings...and thus accepts straight away.

      As for Naina, the big question is how much the dangerous past has scarred her. It is not the trust factor that will influence her decision but the fact that was she good enough.

  5. Lovely update Indu.
    Loved Adi trying to be a man. No wonder raj loves the kid. He is adorable. Loved the way raj is trying to help with out being overbearing and giving Adi a sense of purpose.
    Was Naina going to share her feelings if not interrupted by the kids? Well there is still time.
    So raj is deeply in love. Loved the way he conveyed it to nanisa.
    Eager of the next update.
    Thanks for the pm.

    1. Thanks Bharathi. Yeah, I love Adi too. I guess I have put a lot of my own son in Adi's traits. Raj is empowering both Naina and Raj with the confidence and strength. Those two have a man in their life now, and it has happened without their consciously realizing that Raj is filling up a vacuum.

  6. AMAZING!!! couldnt believe it ended.. fabulous scenes.. between raj and adi and raj and naina.. and ofcourse the last scene between nanisa and raj.. i have to say i am surprised to read that he confessed that he loves naina.. but it was a pleasant and welcome surprise.. i really loved that adi trusted raj and shared the concern with him.. cuz now raj is aware of whats going on a bit.. and can help.. he also gives him a phone and empowers the little kid to not feel so helpless anymore.. i also absolutely loved how slowly he got naina to open up to him.. this is a huge step.. and also love that she sees similarities of her father in raj and that makes her feel safe and secure..
    she is still being a bit stubborn and not letting him in.. i hope that changes soon.. cant wait to learn more about naina's life..

    i hope you update again soon.. take care.. thanks for the pm..

    Ruchi (princess4120)

    1. Thank you Ruchi. Your reviews are such a treat to read.

      Yeah Raj is involving himself more and more and doing by actions what he told Naina that he is already in. She may say she doesn't need him...but he is there for her nevertheless, and in her heart she welcomes it.

  7. Aww sorry for the delay Pal (holding ears) phone was acting up so didn't get ur PM until this AM :-(

    Such a wonderful update Dear :-)....I just love the interaction between Raj/Adi those two are so like adorable together <3

    Aww so Raj finally told what I knew all along that he feels like he belongs to Naina and the latter feels the same as well but her past is stopping her from openly saying so....I'm happy that she finally started to talk about her past with Raj seems like her dad would have loved Raj ;-)

    Can't wait for the next installment...Thanks for such amazing story my friend you are a genius *Hugs* Keep rocking xox

    1. Kisses to the ears and a big hug...and a huge scolding for apologizing. :)

      Thanks pal. Raj is the key Naina's peace. She thought she was happy when she had turned her back to her past, but now she realizes how wrong she was. What is happiness without peace of mind? Raj is bringing her that peace.

    2. Aww thanks for the Hugs and kisses they were much needed....okay I get your point ;-) :-)

      Exactly one can't never be happy without peace of mind and I'm happy that Naina is finally seeing that running away from her past isn't a solution she needs to confront it and with Raj's help, I know that she will do just that :-) xo

      Enjoy your weekend <3

  8. Absolutely fantastic update Indu! Raj-Adi's convo was such a beautiful read. And am sure the phone will be of a great help sometime later.

    Naina is now beginning to open up with Raj and am glad Raj is not puttin her under pressure as well. The story about her parents brought a smile on my face especially her dad, he was so jovial.

    Aww Raj's last word was such a sweet one. He feels he belongs to her! :):)

    Nice one Indu, waiting for the next chapter!

    1. Hey Abie...Thanks pal.

      Raj wanted to empower Adi with a weapon of sorts so that the next time something happens Adi doesn't feel helpless....and that he can at least call for help. As for Naina, now we know why she sings so well and finds laughter all the time, even under immense mental pressure.

  9. Lovely update di
    Thanks for pm
    Waiting for next part :)

    1. Thanks Radha. Gosh your DP is so our Tanu...Have I said that before? :)

  10. wow,,fantastic update Indu,,,simply loved it
    Adi n Raj scene was fabulous loved their convo
    Loved the way Raj take care of Naina
    Waiting when Naina will share her past with him
    Loved the way he confessed his love to Nanisa
    waiting for the next part eagerly ,,,Rachna

    1. Hi Rachna....Thank you.

      Raj is very close to his grandmother, so when she voices her observation, he does not go around in circles but accepts the truth.

  11. Beautiful update Indu. Loved Raj explanation part of how one must act when the dangerous situation arise.... . the use of Cell phone...was well thought of and written...the confession part was equally beautiful.....am eagerly waiting for your next update.


  12. I'm waiting for an update dear...

  13. Sorry Kate. Got little late this time. I have posted Chapter 14.

  14. Thank you dear. It's ok dear. Sorry for troubling you dear.

  15. Sorry for the very late comment, hope u'll understand.

    It's a Wonderful update!

    I love the way Raj teaches Adi on how to defend her mother from the enemy.. It's mind over matter!
    For sure the little thing that he gave him will be used when it was very needed.
    Haha, Nice try Adi!

    Oh, she did it again, Naina fainted!
    Good thing Raj was there to make her relieve..
    I love the interactions/ conversation between them, the way he make her feel that he was always there for her.
    She started to open up about her past, so glad about it.

    Loved what he confess to Nanisa, I know she feels it eversince, and she was one of their cupid!

    Loving the flow of the story, will proceed to the next..

    1. hey Barbie...My bad for getting back on this so late. Please forgive me.

      Thanks for the awesome review. I love going through your comments...always. :)

  16. well what a wise advise given to young man wow Raj is also doing good job with adi as naina has done with tanu totally complementing each other i shud say
    wow adi n tanu relation is divine then again raj words made naina numb how when n in between both dint recall wat raj said ““Dear God! It’s OK love. I am here.” n then her father beautiful words Di this things which make me admire you more n more
    i love these ones
    the greatest gifts you can give your child are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence?”
    Naian started her journey with beautiful neginning how the two pole apart as quoted her parents met an dthne milli naina darling i will say wasn’t she .. miss her so much
    Survivor guilt made my eyes numb and naina connecting raj with her father is sounds like a daughter always sees reflection of his father in her man as for every daughter the first man first love is always her daddy.. then adi call made is so light and their intense deep eye lock
    but after whispers and unsaid words their conversation is
    sigh i am not getting word but then how nanisaa the elderly woman made raj said those beautiful words Will it sound strange if I say I feel I belong to her?”
    Will it sound strange if I say well this made me recall samarpan

    1. Hey Riya...Sorry once again kiddo. I'll try to be on time from next time.

      You got the relationships Raj/Naina share with the kids absolutely right. Both Raj and Naina are filling up the missing parent's slot in each kid's life.

      Raj has many qualities that Naina's father had. Naina notices that and that is helping her remember her family without any guilt.