“You brought this ring for me?”... The birthday girl said, Thrilled!....
"Really?????????"... her eyes were shining from behind her glasses! Dhanya was happy to the core!
“yeah! I wanted to give you something special...I am your best friend after all.” Shiva replied with a jolt of happiness!
“Oh yes... that you are! Thanks a ton yaar.. this is... my god! Beautiful!.”. She said with a smile!
“I am glad that you liked it... I was so nervous while buying it for you, pata?”. He continued...
“Haan haan ... pata hai! But matlab bhi pata hai ek ladki ko ring dene ka?”. She giggled.
Shiva was “....kya???”
“Kuch nahi buddhu... waise bhi tum bilkul pagal ho!”( They were 11 years old, GOSH! Look at them talk!)... she was smiling, one can easily see the beautiful birthday girl enjoying a lot..
Music was playing in the background and the two best friends joined other kids on the dance floor. Center table of the drawing room was removed from its place and the carpet there , red and white in color... captures the kids imagination, and all the kids of the party were using it as a dance floor.
They both were dancing as a pair... when Dhanya asked...
“ye Kitni ki hai Shiva? Itna expensive gift dene Ki kya jarurat thi? “
“one three zero zero”... he whispered in her ears very softly, His Mom has taught her at home not to disclose the prize of gifts to those whom we give. Its Bad manners. He wanted to avoid her seeing him telling Dhanya the worth of her Birthday Gift.
He remembered the incident when he told Mr Gupta that their 50th anniversary gift was a 30 rupees worth flask, purchased from the Thela vendor that came in their colony last week when Mr Gupta asked his father during the function ” Ye Itna Bada gift laane ki kya jarurat thi?”,
Poor Shiva wanted to remove the over grateful guilt from the eye lashes of over friendly Mr Gupta on seeing the big box in which that gift was packed so he cleared the matter then and there with promptness. He remembered being slapped in the car from his father immediately after that party.... A sudden itch came on his forehead. He scratched his head hard and tried to concentrate here.
“KYA????? !!” Dhanya asked... with a shock of joy!
“1300 rupey ki...???? really?????” She continued with a thrill bigger then ever. She was so so happy.
“No! You got me wrong...” replied back Shiva, All confused.
“then... ??? Hmm... I heard one three zero something...Hmm... 130 rupees??? she further queried, she thought she over heard a zero or something.
“No! Actually... I said... One three dot zero zero was there on the price slip” He replied back in typical Good Bacha style.
“Kyaaaaaaa?, teyraah (13) rupay ki hai ye... bas!” she said... her mouth opened in shock again for some reason which she dint knew... she closed it immediately and smiled again to make Shiva feel that she is still happy. She was not.
“Haan! Kyun Kya hua?” . The innocent Shiva asked.
“kuch nahi... Huh!!”. She replied. The beautiful eyes, now poking with hidden anger... to spark it more.. Shiva said...
“Tumhe dance karna nahi aata... pata!”
“Tumhe bada aata hai???...Huh!” she furiously answered back.
“See... one leg to the right and two back then..(he stood on her feet twice ... Ouch!! and dint even noticed it... can you Imagine?) And why the hell are you pushing my hand away from your waist again and again... its a dance posture Dumbo”
“Get lost! M done, I don't want to dance with you anymore jerk!”. She was irritated that Shiva was doing all stupid dance himself and teaching her moreover as if she was dumb. The birthday princess left the floor and sat on the chair with her favorite Thumps Up glass in her hand. “What an Idiot he is, stupid!”she thought.
“Hey soniya... you dress is so pretty! Can we dance?”, The friendly Shiva asked her cousin.
“sure! You too are looking cute pata!”, she replied. She was their one year senior in school and also Dhanya's cousin, beautiful... looking gorgeous like a little angel in her black skirt.
The song changed ... “Every Night In my dreams... I see you, I feel you... That is how I know you.. go on!”
They came closer and danced like ball dancers, They Looked Like Kajol and Shahrukh In Suraj Hua Madham... Dhanya was staring at them from the corner. She was surrounded by all her classmates who were having fun with her. She was smiling but for some reason, the little Dhanya felt something green and hot within her veins... Anger ignited by jealousy was mounting on her for some reason. Gosh! This Soniya... Bitch! She is wearing such a cheap short skirt... looking cheap and that Bloody Shiva ...Huh! I never wanted to invite her... Huh! Bloody shiva I will kill him tomorrow in school... Huh! She thought.
She looked at the ring in her smallest finger. It was beautiful. She looked at them. They were beautiful. She was about to cry but she did something else. She stood up and started running out towards the garden.
Clouds were dark outside above. She looked up and wanted to cry badly for some reason which she Dint knew. She was so innocent and beautiful. Lightning was roaring and she was feeling alone... very lonely.
“Dhanu???... Tum yahan kya kar rahi ho?” asked a voice from behind that she remembered very well.
“Tumse matlab? Huh! Go and dance with that bitch!” ... her voice was breaking. She dint knew why?
“Soniya didi is calling you inside to cut your Birthday cake!”
“Didi my foot... I never call her didi... “ she grumbled.
“ But I have always done... “ Shiva replied.
“Chalo Hansi toh aayi... chehre pe”
he knew it, why she was sad and breaking.
“Shiva You bastard... I will kill you one day.” she said in a very loud voice... crunching her tender teeth!
“Do it tomorrow... it will be so stupid for me to watch from heaven that you are celebrating your Birthday and My death day together”
she Hit him hard on the stomach with a punch!
He was like...”Aaah!”
“Do baar pair pe chadte ho aur dance karna sikhate ho...haan! Aaj k baad agar kisi aur k saath dance kiya na...toh samajh lena tum”
she tried to run, he held her hand. He smiled. And plucked a flower nearby and held her hand....
“Ye le lo... its your birthday gift too... see I am so good ...I gave you two gifts, I am sure nobody has spend so much on you today”. He giggled.
She winked and smiled. They looked up to the roaring sky. They were best friends.
“Koi ladki hai... jab woh hasti hai...baarish hoti hai ...ghumad ghumad ghum ghum” He sang looking at her.
A few droplets from heaven kissed their faces and she smiled with a mouth wide open! She was beautiful. He cared for her like hell.
“Chak dhum dhum chak ...dhum dhum chak... dhum dhum chak” she said... and danced a bit moving her hands here and there.
“Ab cake kaat lein?... Bhookh lagi hai” he said and she smiled. Hand in hand like always they both walked, Jumping and hopping... and went inside.
(P.P.S. - Tumse Yun Milengey... Humne socha na tha... Aur Ye Zindagi... Mehakegi Tumhari Baanhon mein....)