Sehmi sehmi raaton mein…
sehmi sehmi firti hoon,
lautungi main tere liye…tere liye….

Love demands sacrifice. This is the ultimate truth, but what if you are that sacrifice for someone’s ambition, for someone’s figment of imagination so that they can live their reality in a perfect fairy tale ending. And you the solely victim lives with that ‘perfect ending’ illusion without knowing what evil is lurking behind you…

   Sia loved to hum this song, it was one of her favorite tracks. She didn’t care if it was midnight or morning whenever she was feeling low she plugged the earphones in her ear and played this song on repeat mode and eventually started humming this song.
‘Hey dreamy girl’! Wake up!! Aisha literally chirped one afternoon when Sia was taking her siesta after a long exhausting work on her story. ‘Sia I sometimes think that your far- fetched stories easily comes to you in your sleep’. All hail to Sia our mysterious writer!  Sia was smiling while looking at her roommate. ‘Now as your today’s quota of exaggeration is over make some coffee’. Sia said while pushing her towards the kitchen.

It was past midnight and Sia had fallen asleep on her table while typing and the song was still on ‘Repeat’ mode and suddenly she found herself in a jungle and she was chasing someone. As soon as she turned around, she saw a board there hidden by bushes. When she bent down to read the words she gasped and quickly started running towards the jungle, now the jungle was getting darker and dangerous and she was just about to shout out for help but something restricted her. Now she saw that the one she was chasing was in trouble and pleading for help.Before she could do anything she heard a ringing tone like of an alarm and with a quick effort she just woke up and looked at her watch which showed 2:00 AM. ‘Again that same dream and still I got nothing out of it’. Sia muttered to herself and dragged herself to the kitchen for some coffee. ‘Why always I get stuck in that jungle and the alarm wakes me up? Sia was talking to herself very slowly so that Aisha is not disturbed who was sleeping in the next room. ‘I really have to think fast for that ending because every time I cannot manage in the ‘time crunch’. She was remembering her last time when she had gotten her book published and how she managed to end her mysterious tale with an astonishing conclusion and her fans and followers were still appreciating for her masterpiece.
After few days Aisha and Sia decided to take a break from their works and agreed to go on a jungle trip. Aisha asked one of her friends for an adventurous trip in the jungle. ‘But Aisha you know you should also take me as guide there because you know I’m an expert and how can I knowingly leave you two girls out there in the jungle all by your own’. Ankit was trying to persuade her as Valentines week was coming and this time he didn’t want to miss any chance with Sia.
They had met at her publishing ceremony of her first book one year ago and there, that place, that time he knew ‘she’ was the one. Her serious looks while reading something or her mysterious smiles when he cracked any silly jokes or her always in ‘conscious’ mode compelled him to love her more. But obviously she didn’t know till now. ‘Ha Ha Ha you know what Ankit let it be because we both are very responsible and dare if anyone comes in our way then I can use some of my ‘kung-fu’ lessons! And she laughed in a maniac way. ‘Aisha don’t be so mean please you know why I’m so keen on coming with you two, he paused for few seconds and then said ‘okay see the silver lining of this your money will be saved because I’ll bring my car and I’ll let you drive this time, I swear!!
Aisha always knew that how Ankit looks at Sia whenever they all got together and this gave an heart wrenching pain to Aisha because since two years she was in love with Ankit but she vowed not to disclose this in fear of getting mocked by him because she tried that on Christmas day when  they were playing ‘Truth’ and ‘Dare’ and the bottle stopped towards Aisha and she chose ‘Truth’. ‘Now your dirty secrets are going to be spilled Aisha’ , Ankit rubbed his hands and looked towards her with naughty expressions and there she blurted ‘I Love You’ and then Ankit started laughing and he laughed till his sides ached and what he said was just an unbearable blow to her. ‘Have you ever looked at yourself Aisha , you silly girl! You can be anyone’s friend but ‘love’ is not your cup of tea, you are awesome I mean just brilliant, perfect in everything but this!! And then he started laughing again. Enjoy your life buddy don’t spoil by loving and all! And then with controlling anger she started acting and said it was all a prank just to check their reactions.

“Hello, hello, Aisha, you there? Can you hear my voice?”, and she came back to present and quickly controlled that pain in her gut and agreed with his plan.

They agreed to start their journey at 6:00 clock in the morning the next day for avoiding traffic. Surprisingly everyone was on time even Ankit who was always the latecomer in their group. He instantly came out of the car and forcefully took the bags from Aisha and Sia. Both the girls were looking at each other with comical expressions.
As soon as the girls sat in the backseat, Ankit started his drama ‘what?? Do I look like a driver to you? one of you has to come and sit here next to me, he pointed towards the seat. Aisha and Sia burst out in laughter. ‘Yeah, In your dreams. Ankit was taken aback because he never thought that Sia could ever talk like this. He was really enjoying this. He started the car and they all were talking, teasing and laughing all the way when suddenly Ankit stepped on the brakes and muttered while showing his small finger to them. They both started giggling and suddenly Aisha’s eyes sparkled and and she winked at Sia and Sia knew that what she was up to.
Ahhhhh!! Now I fell so relaxed, Ankit said and he opened the door to his seat and was irritated while looking at Aisha. ‘Hi buddy, go and relax yourself more because now I’m covering the rest distance.’ Aisha made a face looking at him. And then Ankit realized that this is the ‘platinum opportunity’ for him and he jumped to the back seat and carefully maintained a distance with Sia.
As soon as Aisha started the car the Radio too started playing. ‘A lovely morning and a romantic week to all my beautiful listeners’ RJ Tanya’s voice echoed in the car. And they all were mesmerized by the songs she played one after the other and all this time Ankit was just admiring Sia and sometimes she too looked at him while resisting her smile. Ankit’s heart leapt to his mouth every time she did this. Aisha was witnessing all this but helpless as always she distracted herself and tuned to another station.
It was two o’ clock in the afternoon and they have decided to rest in a hotel which was few kilometers away from the jungle and they have decided to enter the jungle at 6 in the evening. They all retired to their rooms respectively. ‘I’m going to take a shower Sia’. Aisha said this and quickly closed the door and opened the tap and started sobbing quietly. After 10 minutes she heard a pounding on the door and as soon as she opened she saw Sia with her towel and clothes. ‘You forgot to take this silly! My god what happened to your eyes?? Sia looked at Aisha’s eyes which were bloodshot. ‘Nothing I was just washing my face with this soap and it all entered my eyes’. And Aisha giggled while tears were still coming out of her eyes. ‘you know what you always underestimate my intelligence… before she could complete her sentence the bell rang and Sia went to open the door and Aisha locked herself in t he washroom. ‘aarghhh…!!! As soon as Aisha heard Ankit’s voice she bolted the door and ran towards him. ‘what? Wha..? di d you do now? She saw his hand was bleeding copiously. ‘It’s nothing it’s just aarrgg…’ he again screeched with pain.’ Okay I have that ointment in my bag and she literally pushed away Sia and took out the ointment and first cleaned his wounds very carefully. Sia was watching all this and was just shaking her head while smiling. ‘There you go fit as a fiddle’. Aisha mocked. ‘My god how you bring these phrases into your mind and then he suddenly looked at Sia and cringed his nose and said ‘well here’s the source of inspiration’ and bowed to her. ‘Funny guy’!! Sia taunted and they all started laughing. ‘Okay it’s already 4:30 now please you go to your room because we have to freshen up’. Aisha pushed Ankit towards the door and he suddenly held her hand and said ‘why haven’t I ever fallen in love with you’? Aisha felt numb suddenly and her face was totally blank. After few seconds she heard Ankit laughing ‘you can fool me so can I’. He ran towards his room.

It was 6 in the evening and they all entered the jungle. Seriously? I mean we are going for an adventure trip Aisha not in somebody’s funeral! Why are you carrying so much baggage? Ankit looked at her big backpack. ‘I sometimes forget how commendable your sense of humour is Ankit! And this is not just my things it’s Sia’s too!! Ankita stated blankly. ‘ohhh you should have told me alright then you can carry by yourselves? Obviously you can my lady dabbang. He squeezed her in her in his arms. Sia turned towards the opposite side and then she gasped. It was the same board that she saw in her dream. She didn’t dared to look towards it.
‘Well then let’s start’! Ankit clapped his hands and they started walking.
Siaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Ankit was screaming at the top of his lungs. They all were lost as Aisha had a little fight with Sia she told them that she was going on her own and after few minutes Sia advised Ankit that the two of them will go differently in two directions and one of them will catch Aisha. But now as the darkness dominated and there was not a single sign of any light and of Sia or Aisha. It was just his torch and his undeniable conscience that encouraged him to go on. He was completely unaware of the ominous accident that was about to happen in the other part of the jungle.

She was running and crying after what she did. She never meant to but one has to do something in one’s defense. As she hoped to find him she just stuck her legs in the hole and now she was struggling with her legs when she heard that footstep, dragging in between the dried leaves. She could hear her heart pounding as if it will just burst out. And there that shadow cast upon her through the little bit moonlight which was finding its way through the dense trees. And there she was with a steel rod in her hand. Sssiaaaa….. please drop that at once and stop this stupidity, I know ankit is here hiding somewhere, right? Okay Ankit you won, you both won now let’s stop this madness!!! Aisha was not able to believe what she was seeing. Then suddenly Sia spoke in her never heard chilling voice ‘Ankit is right you know; you are silly Aisha. I mean what exactly made you think that day? Well Ankit himself is not so smart. You tried your best to convince him that you were lying! But did you think that you can outrun me with your silly smartness! And now Sia’s bloody lips and her scorned face looked crystal clear in the shining moonlight. ‘But,but what it has to do with all this?? Aisha stammered.

Sia came to her and sat beside her and caressed her lovingly and then said I love you sweetheart you never knew?? I mean how come you never realized that! You didn’t have any idea?? Right Aisha?

And Sia jerked Aisha’s head while clutching to her tresses in her hand and Aisha shrieked in pain. Shhh shhhh sweety now you don’t want anything tragic happens to him. Do you? Sia cocked her head at the other side and detangled her hair carefully.
‘Sia I never knew that you liked me and I respect your.. What good it will bring me? huh? Your respect? What I will do with that! I want your love, the same love which you give it to that brainless idiot without even asking! Sia stood up and again took the rod in her hands. Aisha trembled with fear and cold and she was sweating profusely.
‘Sia calm down’! and listen to me please! You love me, right? So when you love someone you don’t harm them or their loved ones you love them without any condition. ‘But now it’s too late for that chit-chat. But still you can be of one good thing to me! You can be my pretty perfect ending to my book! And before Aisha could understand anything it was pitch black in front of her eyes.

‘ohhh thank god Ankit you are here’! Sia dashed to him from the other side while clutching his shirt for protection. ‘Where the hell is Aisha? And why are you bleeding? Ankit looked at her suspiciously. ‘She has gone mad’! Sia spoke while gasping for breath. ‘She hit me with the rod on my back because she thinks that I’m coming between you two!! Sia started crying and hugged him tightly. Ankit was feeling helpless and he hugged her back. After several minutes he consoled her and told her to calm down and gave her some water. He was just thinking for calling to Aisha when he heard something moving and before he could turn around Sia hit him hard with a stone on his head and Ankit dropped down screaming with pain. ‘So you love me’? How much you love me Ankit? Tell me? do you love me to that extent where you can die for me or let me rephrase that question can I kill you for your unconditional love? Sia pouted her lips forward and shook her head with sadness.
‘I so wish that you didn’t come in Aisha’s life and I tried this afternoon when that scorpion was served you in your room but look at you all healthy! And who saved you? Again my beloved Aisha! she has this weird tendency to save everyone and look In the end she only.. And shestopped. ‘whaa.. what Have you done to her? Tell me you.. and Sia again hit him but this time with the rod and Ankit’s last words turned into his last breath. His blood was gushing out and splattered on the forest ground.

After three months

‘Now, now be careful easy there.’ Sia helped Aisha In sitting. ‘how are you feeling’? is there any pain? Any wound? Relax Sia you are acting like you have been hurt. Aisha smiled at her
‘Obviously I was hurt when you were sleeping and dreaming for one month and I couldn’t help you’! When doctors said that you will remain in coma for god knows how long!! I was shattered! Sia’s welled up and tears dropped down to her lap. ‘Hey, hey but see I’m back without any pain but obviously with a permanent blockage to my past life! Aisha giggled. ‘Sia stroked her hair and said ‘but sometimes it’s necessary to start something with a fresh clean memory. Like when you write on the sand and the sea washes it away and then you write something new. ‘Hmmm your metaphorical words just send me to a parallel universe. She guffawed and then looked at Sia and said ‘but I’m lucky that my love is with me forever and protecting me with all the negativities. Sia smiled uneasily and hugged her.

That night when Aisha went to deep sleep, Sia got up and went to her balcony and closed her eyes –

That board was put on display for the passersby and it read : Don’t go inside the jungle after 6 in the evening otherwise the ‘evil’ will come to you. She had already read that before entering with Aisha and Ankit but didn’t informed them because her cunning mind had already planned the ‘evil’…
That night was really a long one as Sia dragged Aisha to the entrance of the jungle and soon reached her hotel in Ankit’s car and called for an ambulance.
‘Sir that boy Ankit he was repeatedly attacking her so I had to do something and yes I killed him in my defense because if I had not then he must surely have killed both of us’!! She pleaded to the inspector.
‘But what was the reason that he was so keen on murdering her? The inspector looked at her quizzically.
‘Sir because Aisha loves me and he was in love with her, she knew but I never knew that he was planning this brutal attack on us!
‘Doctor how is she’? Sia was crying. ‘I’m sorry but I’m afraid after this massive blow on her head she might lose her memory, for now she is in coma.
And that same month Sia published her book with that ominous ending and when she was asked about that ending that was that  inspired or imagined?  ‘That’s my inspiration from someone else’s reality’.  Sia answered with a crooked smile.
Sia looked at Aisha who was sleeping soundly and quietly whispered in her ears ‘Happy valentine’s my love’ and kissed her on the forehead. And started humming:
Sehmi sehmi raaton mein,
sehmi sehmi firti hoon,
lautungi main tere liye…. Tere liye…