Two Hearts Many Parts

Posted on July 20, 2015


Hello everyone,


A couple of years back, I wrote a small story in my blog, without having any idea if anyone would like it or not. I just thought of writing it and wrote. With each word of appreciation coming from every single person who read it and liked it helped me to add few words, few lines and few chapters to that small piece of writing.

Now it gives me immense pleasure to share the first chapter of my debut novel “Two Hearts many parts” with you all.

Looking forward to hear what you people have to say, as I present to you all a small glimpse of a world I created that revolves around two hearts and their many shades.

book cover_two hearts many parts


It had been raining incessantly for the past few hours. I rushed out of my office and ran towards the parking lot against the raging wind. I was already late. I had much to do before leaving town for business early next morning. The cool atmosphere restored my energy and the raindrops on my face lightened my mood. It was raining so heavily that it was difficult to pry my eyes open to see into that dark rainy evening. But the raindrops falling on my face and the cool breeze kissing my cheeks instantly transported me into another world.

The reality is that all these beautiful moments in life are ephemeral. Hence one must thoroughly enjoy them at every opportunity that one gets. Just a few minutes of romancing with nature had left me drenched. But men will be men; I thought a cigarette might restore my normal body temperature. When I looked into my pocket for my pack of cigarettes, I realized that as a part of my romance with nature all that was in my pocket was wet, including the packet of cigarettes. I quickly stepped into my car and started it with trembling hands. My priority was no longer to enjoy nature’s offerings or to get back home. It had changed to reaching a cigarette shop in front of the office complex as soon as possible and enjoying the pleasure of committing the very unhealthy act of smoking.

Traffic was unusually thin due to this destructive yet beautiful event of nature, so I reached the tobacco shop quickly, plunged out of my car, and ran towards the shop. A few minutes later and with a few more drops of water soaking my body, I returned to my car with a cigarette packet in hand. I lit a cigarette and watched the smoke drift from my mouth and disappear into the drops of water. Suddenly, I noticed a young lady trying to move a strand of wet hair off her face with one hand while balancing an umbrella with the other. She was really very beautiful. The lightening along with the headlights of the oncoming vehicles provided a glimpse of her despite the darkness. Through the darkness of the night, her face looked ethereal and her smile was engaging and innocent. It was like the moment moonlight falls on a pearl in the black ocean. I was looking at the most beautiful face I had ever seen. It was difficult to pull my eyes off her but I was more concerned about getting home than about falling in love with a stranger. Sometimes it is hard for a man to reject his heart and listen to his mind. My eyes were now stuck to her. She was a rare sight, even rarer than the moon which appears in the sky every evening for me to gaze upon. Why not enjoy this fleeting yet beautiful moment without thinking too much about anything else?

Experiencing the battle between the beauty of a woman and the beauty of nature was a new feeling. Her struggle with the umbrella continued until it danced with the wind right out of her hands. Nature cannot accept defeat to the beauty of this woman, so in revenge, it snatched that umbrella from her hands, I thought. I was sure no taxi would stop for her. I wondered if I should approach her and ask if I could give her a lift. But I feared doing so. What if she refused? I knew her refusal would hurt my ego. Yet there was something about her that compelled me to let go my ego – which is not what a single man likes to do. I drove up to where she was standing. She noticed me approaching but appeared indifferent. That’s a common trait among most women who know they are beautiful! When I got close and her beautiful eyes met mine, I almost froze. “Hi! Can I drop you somewhere?” I asked casually. Even though she knew that it was already late and there was not a single taxi on the road; she remained silent. I read the apprehension on her face. I was a stranger and it is difficult for a girl to trust an unknown person.

I held my company tag in my hand to convince her that I was an educated young Indian, employed at a leading IT company. Her uncertainty did not disappear, so I asked her, “What are you thinking? Do not worry. I do not have a morality tag to show you, but my mother believes that I am a good human being. And mothers of our country never lie. So believe me, I am not going to rape you. I just want to help you”. I sounded like a complete idiot. That’s the problem when a guy is honest but has no idea how to articulate his honesty. She laughed at my straightforward words. Amassing a little courage, I asked, “There is very little chance of getting a taxi this evening. Still, if you worry I am doing you a favour, then just assume my car is a taxi and pay me my fare. Is it not fair?”She nodded and settled comfortably on the front seat of my car. I said, “It’s fine if you want to pay me. But I would be really happy if you don’t”. She smiled and continued to gaze out of the window.

I ruminated, the note that you’ll give me with Gandhiji’s picture comes with a price. But this smile on your face is priceless. But, I did not bother to point out to her that there are some things which money can’t buy.“Hi! I am Aniket”. I introduced myself. This is the easiest and the oldest way for a man to introduce himself to a beautiful woman. The rule says, introduce yourself gently and wait for her to let you know her name.“I am Priya”, she said while wiping her wet face with her hands. When I asked her as to where I should drop her, she told me she stayed with friends in an apartment a few blocks away from my place. For the first time, I realized the real meaning of the term “so close … yet so far”. Our conversation continued as I drove. In such a short span, I felt like I’d known her for a long time. She was gifted at making the other person smile. I, too, shared a few funny instances from my life. Laughter echoed inside the car. Her smile made me happy.

While we were busy chatting, my cell phone rang. “Mum’s call!” I signaled Priya to remain silent by placing my finger on my mouth. Mum had been watching the 24/7 channels showing the downpours here in Hyderabad. She was worried about me and wanted to make sure I was okay. I noticed the change of expression on Priya’s face as I talked to mum in my mother tongue. The moment I hung up the phone, she exclaimed, “You are also an Odia!”This shocked me too, as I was not aware that we both hailed from the same state. I was also born and brought up in Odisha, one of the most beautiful and peaceful states of India, which has yet to gain the recognition it deserves.We both laughed aloud realizing, that despite being from the same place, we had conversed with each other in English for the past hour.“Does it not feel great to meet another person from your own place in a different part of the country?”

She continued. With a smile, I nodded while contemplating that beautiful glowing face. I wondered, what’s the big deal if two people from the same place meet in a different city? How can someone find happiness in such a trivial thing? But, she was not like others. I had started to fall for her just because of this uniqueness.“You are a Mama’s boy then… who still fears his mum and does not want to let her know that he is with a woman!”She laughed again.“Where does your family live in Odisha?” I intentionally changed the topic so that she would not give me more reasons to feel ashamed of myself. “We live in Bhubaneswar. My dad retired from his job last year”, she replied.“Oh! You are also from Bhubaneswar!”

After I discovered that both of our families lived in the same city, I drove at the slowest speed possible in order to stretch our time together. It was difficult to focus on the road with a beautiful woman by my side. At that moment I was fervently wishing for this journey to never end. But most of the time, wishes do not come true irrespective of how honestly you pray for them. And this wish was one more addition to all those billions of unfulfilled wishes. Just before we reached her destination, I learned that this was her last week at her job and she would be leaving the city in a few days, as her parents had fixed her marriage. I did not bother to ask her the details. I was savouring some wonderful moments of life without caring about what tomorrow would bring. I stopped the car.

Suddenly the sound of those raindrops hitting my car’s bonnet catapulted me out of my dream. This was the real world. Before she got out of the car, she said, “Thank you!” with the most beautiful smile. I felt that she wanted to say something other than these two words, but she did not. Perhaps she was expecting me to speak, and yet again I failed to express my thoughts. I just said: “It was a pleasure meeting you”. She extended her hands to me. The feeling of ten fingers of the two hands of two people fitting into each other was indescribable. It was time for the final goodbye. As she walked away, I was lost in my thoughts. Just before she opened the gate to enter her place, she turned back for a last glimpse of me and gave me a last glimpse of her spectacular face. I stored that moment in my heart. I looked at my watch. It was already 10:25 pm. In a few hours I had to catch my early morning flight. I had a decision to make: miss the flight and hold onto a stranger whom I wanted to have as part of my life; or catch the flight and leave the possibilities of that chapter of my life unexplored. I chose to catch the flight; and to be honest, I did not find anything wrong with my decision at that time.

It was one of those difficult decisions a person must make. At that stage of my life, I was not sure I could give her the happiness or the comfort that a woman like her deserved. Maybe her parents had made the right choice for her. She would be marrying someone who was probably earning much more than I. And based upon my personal experiences, I believed that when a father chooses a man as his son-in-law, he puts little thought into how much that man would love his daughter. I believe that every father is concerned about the financial stability of his future son-in-law and whether that young man is capable of paying the bills for the rest of his life. I found myself in agreement with her father, because I knew that love alone could never give someone all the happiness in the world. I got into my car and headed towards home.

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