This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Mahika enters the room and finds her elder sister Dhani sleeping. She tries to wake her up but Dhani refuses. She had missed her dance class five times in the last month. Mahika somehow convinced her to go with her.
Dhani hates meeting people. All she wanted in the last four years was to be left alone. But Mahika couldn’t leave her sister suffering in the dark. She pleaded, begged and did everything she could to convince her. Finally, Dhani had agreed. Being the older sister she couldn’t refuse her sister’s pleas. She knew her sister.
They arrived at the dance class. The dance teacher was auditioning girls for the annual competition in the studio. After a few performances, it was Dhani’s turn. She had always been an exceptional dancer. Today she was showing all her emotions through her dance - her passion, her anger, her pain making her look like a dancing angel. After watching her dance the dance teacher refused to continue the auditions, said he had found his Dancing Diva.
He announced that Dhani would be the main lead in the female group and the male lead is from Delhi. And he announced his name - AKASH.
A tall, well-built man with a charming personality enters. He walks up to Dhani and stands beside her. Every girl in the class was already crushing over him. He smiles at Dhani, receiving no response from her.
Akash thought she was a young, rich brat with a lot of attitude. But her black eyes highlighted with kajal, her silver bindi, and her white skin forced him to admire her beauty. ‘Maybe her beauty justifies her attitude’, he thought. ‘How could someone so beautiful not have this attitude’?
After the class, every girl was fawning over Akash, trying to flirt with him, while Dhani was working on her moves. Akash couldn’t resist himself from admiring her. After practicing a few more times she left with her sister. But he kept replaying her dance in his head. He could still smell her fragrance.
Dhani goes straight to her room as they reached home. Mahika follows, talking about Dhani’s performance, how good she was and about Akash.
Her family missed the Dhani they had four years ago. But they had accepted the truth -they had lost their bubbly Dhani in that accident. No one had spoken about it since then. The incident had left an effect on the whole family.
Dhani was in her room writing in her dairy. She poured all her emotions into her diary. She had been doing this for the past five years and each dairy was locked safely in her wardrobe. Nobody knew what she wrote in it.
Mahika walks into the room and starts talking about Akash. His looks, his muscles and how every girl was going crazy about him. She was happy for Dhani. Finally she had got a partner, so what if it was just for a dance show.
Next day at rehearsals Akash was running late, she starts practicing her part. Akash comes running through the corridor, cursing himself for being late on the first day. He finds someone already dancing in the rehearsal hall. It was Dhani. This was the first time he saw her dance. He just kept looking until she finished. He enters and apologizes for being late. They go ahead with their practice.
He holds her hand. Akash felt like he was the happiest person alive on the planet, while Dhani was very uncomfortable. He pulled her into his arms and grooved. Her fragrance was making him crazy. He loved the move where she swings right into his arms. He loved the way she fit in his arms perfectly like she was the one made for him in heaven.
After rehearsing for hours, Akash suggested taking a break and getting some coffee, but she refused and asked him to go. He couldn’t understand what was going on with her. Why was she ignoring him? What had he done? He had too many questions. He went to grab a coffee by himself. He returned to see Dhani sitting near the window looking pointlessly at something outside. The wind was blowing her hair away from her face. He captured that moment on his phone.
After the rehearsals were over he offered a ride to Dhani but she left without any response. It’s human nature, the more something keeps getting away from us, the more we want it. Same was the situation with Akash; he wanted to know Dhani, why was she so reserved in her present, what had happened in her past, wanting to be in her future. He came back home, locked himself in his room and starts painting. He ends up breaking his canvas. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t bring that beauty he saw in that moment. All he could do was to wait for the next morning, to hold her in his arms again. He fell asleep with the splattered colors on the floor.
Dhani kept herself busy with her books. Her parents often wished they could get their daughter back, who was full of life. It had been four years and she still cried in the dark. Mahika had to start sleeping alone; she couldn’t see her sister crying all night.
Every day Dhani wrote something in her dairy, something that nobody knew.
Next day when Dhani reached the dance studio, Akash wasn’t there yet. ‘He is late again’ she thought. This time he wasn’t actually late; he was hiding in a corner just to see Dhani dance. There was no one around, Dhani danced like an ocean, few moves like the high angry tides and few like the low calm ones. She twists her ankle and loses balance. Before she could fall, Akash held her. He expected it to be a typical Bollywood scene; heroine falls into hero’s arms, the really long eye contact and the heroine is head over heels for the guy. But this was the real world, as soon as Akash held her, she helped herself and stood there with her expressionless face and asked him to start rehearsing. He was shocked by her reaction.
Her pink suit, her silver bangles and the jingling sound of her anklet took him to another world. He wondered how his touch didn’t affect her at all; whereas her one touch could give him butterflies in the stomach.
In the third meeting, they hardly spoke and Akash was getting furious about it. As they rehearsed, she would move closer, he could hold her and all his rage would vanish. He expressed his love towards her through his dance. While holding her in his arms, without giving much thought, he blurts out about the painting; how he couldn’t justify her beauty on the canvas. She steps back and turns around to leave. He grabs her hand and begs her to give him a chance to know her. He really wanted to know her. Her expressionless face brought tears to his eyes. Those tears melted her heart and she promised to open up to him.
With the promise comes a condition, that she won’t tell him much until she gets to know him completely. He loved the idea; He always wanted an opportunity to express himself to her. He immediately agreed to it. During rehearsals, he told her stories from his childhood; about his best friend Nikhil, how Nikhil had gotten punished for his mistake. Nikhil had stopped talking to him, for two months and how every day he kept sending a letter to know if he was still angry. After hearing this cute story she had a slight smile on her face. It was there just for a few seconds. He wished he could stop the time for that moment, with that smile on her face. That day he knew he had underrated his lady love’s beauty. She was way more beautiful when she smiled and now he was wondering how her laughter sounded like; probably the most beautiful sound he would ever hear.
After the rehearsals, it was quite dark and Dhani was waiting for her car to arrive. Akash was driving back home and saw Dhani waiting by herself. He couldn’t leave a girl alone standing by the road so late at night. He asked her to hop in but she refused, yet again, and said she would walk down to her house. Knowing how adamant she was, Akash parked his car to the side and told her that he would also prefer a walk today. She just nods and they started walking. There was an awkward silence hanging between them. Akash tries to break the silence by talking about her sister, internally cursing him about the silly question. ‘She is fine’ was her reply. It was monsoon and all he could ask God at that moment was not to make it rain. But it never works that way. It starts to rain. He runs towards a nearby shop for shelter. He turns around to see Dhani dancing in the rain. He could see the child in her had come out. More than to kiss her on her cheeks, he wanted to pull her cheeks. That’s how cute she looked. All of a sudden she stopped as if someone had reminded her that she wasn’t allowed to be happy. She stood there in the rain without moving. Akash ran to her and asked her to get into the nearby shop.
After dropping her, he returned home, grabbed his laptop and searched for Dhani Singhaniya. Her profile opens up. The last update is around four years ago. There was a photo of Dhani with another girl. He was sure it wasn’t Mahika and she didn’t look liked her mom. He saw that it was tagged as ‘Preeti’. He opened her profile; her last update was also four years ago – the same day. It read “Fun time begins”.
Four years, no social media, no friends, no social life. Something must have happened four years ago on that day. And he needed to find out.
Next day at the rehearsals he was waiting for her. She came in wearing a sky blue suit and blue earrings. He wondered how she could make him fall for her every time he looked at her. As she entered Akash asks her that he would like to take her someplace. Dhani was scared, he was practically a stranger. She refuses to go with him and starts rehearsing. They were just a week away from the final competition. After practicing for hours they both were tired. He asks her to join him for lunch, she refuses again, but after requesting a few times she agrees and they go to a nearby Dhaba. The owner of the Dhaba instantly recognizes Dhani. She touches his feet for blessings; he told her how much he had missed her childish ways. He told her that he heard about Preeti’s death and how much of shock it was. She just nodded. He got them seated and asked the waiter to get the menu. Akash had a lot of questions he wanted to ask. But he couldn’t just ask her. They had their lunch in silence and returned to the dance studio. During rehearsals, Dhani bursts into tears all of a sudden. Without saying a single word he let her cry her heart out. He went back home, still clueless about what had happened four years ago. He had to find out.
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