Midas- A Healing Touch

Chapter 26

A couple of days later there was a party at Amoksh Gift Shop. The shop has now been able to purchase the entire building and all of it was converted into a curated gift shop. Only now, there were sections for specific things on three different floors. I said the shop was able to purchase and not Sia because the shop was earning enough profits that Sia didn’t need to chime in more money.

Sia was happy. She was remembering everything. All those years that went by at Banaras and how she made a difference in everyone’s life.

I looked at her from a distance. I remember how she took the holy water of Ganges in her hand and took a vow to make a positive impact in the lives of people who care about her, right before starting her project. And how she had always found a solace at this place. Someone was saying the other day that Banaras is a place that shows you things as per your mood. Like, if you are in a great mood, Mahadev will guide you towards the best of places and best of food, while if you are in a bad mood, you will meet all the cunning people and even the food won’t taste good. I feel Mahadev was kind enough for Sia and Vinay and had twisted his own rules governing His holy city. Vinay walked in here for the last rites of his father and heard the news of my betrayal and he was anxious when he met Sia, he was supposed to meet the cunning people but he met the love of his life. Sia, on the other hand, walked in Banaras with hope, when she met the hopeless romantic Vinay who didn’t even know Bollywood romance. They were starkly different. Visibly different. Vinay thought he would save her from falling every time, but when he came back again, Sia had already built resistance and resilience. She didn’t need him. Sia started a business empire in NYC from scratch and then left it to fate, without even giving a second thought, while Vinay helped the business succeed to greater heights. Vinay promised to her under this sky that he won’t trigger any of her trauma and unknowingly he triggered one so bad, it’s still troubling her years later.

“Here.. Try these starters,” Vinay came with a plate of food. I love this guy.

“Thanks, man,” I said. We saw a happy Sia talking with the women and enjoying the success.

“Hey, by the way, what’s Amoksh?” Vinay asked me.

The destination was asking for the way. I thought to myself. “It’s a book, a concept. Just very close to Sia’s heart.”

“How do you know about all of this and I don’t? I sometimes wonder.”

“It’s easy,” I told him, “You wanted to live in present, so you two never really talked about other things. Tell me something, have you seen her getting anxious and falling asleep? What have you done then?”

“Me? Yes. A couple of times. She fell asleep so I would just brush her hair and put them behind her ears and pat her forehead. And wait for her to wake up.”

“You know what I do?”

“I saw you pacifying her the other night..”

“Yeah.. But apart from that I take some of her hair and put them in front of her eyes. So, if she wakes up from her sleep, the light doesn’t fall directly in her eyes giving her migraine. That’s the kind of in depth conversation we have had with each other.”

“Wow. I guess you are right. I never really talked to her.”

“You were asking about Amoksh. Since she has told me a lot of things about you, I remember she was telling you about her dream home when she fell asleep the other day.”

“Yes. She got to know about her gift shop being in loss the same day. So I took her to Delhi and then to our old home.. How can I forget. That’s one of the most profound memories of her.”

“Wanna know what her perfect dream world looks like?”

“You know that? You have talked about it? Of course I would like to know.” Vinay said.

“Yeah. So in order to distract her from her failures during the project, I would always ask her to narrate the perfect day in her life. Even if it is imaginary, I asked her to narrate the finest of the things she wanted to do… She would be reluctant for days and not share it. Sometimes she would say just a couple of lines and sleep. Sometimes, a little more than that. But it was serving my purpose. It was ok, as long as she was resting and not panicking. Then one day, when she was crying inconsolably she went to her room and didn’t want to talk to anyone. I gave her the much needed time of 37 seconds before I marched in the room. I sat next to her, told her I would always be there no matter what. And allowed her to cry for as long as she needed to. I told her that as a friend it’s my right to share your sufferings and I was here only for that. When she got better, I asked her to narrate that one perfect day for me… So she shared…

So there is a huge house. And there is a big garden and on the right side of the garden, there is a gate and a pathway for the cars to enter. Then, there is a door that opens in the drawing room and just next to it is a dining area and in front of it is the kitchen.the walls are all white and beige.. and the curtains are not heavy..

Inside there are more rooms and stairs.. on the first floor there is one big room which is divided into three sections… A sitting area, a proper bedroom and on the side of the balcony, there is a huge round bed hanging from the ceiling with ropes… The ropes are all white, the bed is white and the blanket, too. Same with the curtains…

Vinay and I open our eyes to the sound of chirping birds.. I look at him, and he looks at me and we cuddle back and try to get more sleep. It is cold so we hide beneath the blanket.. the swing bed starts moving slowly. It is time we wake up and start the day but nobody wants to move. He gets up and wants to get down of the bed but is wearing nothing. He picks up his white shirt from the floor and I steal it from his hands thanking him. He is not embarrassed of being naked in front of me but he is definitely scared of the cold floor.. “remind me to add some carpets on the floor, today” I say to him and doze off for 5 more minutes… But I am still able to steal a glance of him juggling his feet on the ground, and yet managing to look sexy. He comes back, clothed, and wakes me up with a good morning kiss. He also brought me my slippers. I want him to join me back on the sleep but I know I have to wake up, too.

He goes straight to the kitchen, and after freshening up, I am back to the original bedroom where there is a table and a chair next to a window pane. I get back to writing my next code. He on the other hand gets back to inventing his signature dish for our restaurant.. He is no chef, but he wants to include one thing that remains a constant for the times to come.

I try very hard at my code but unable to work. Even while working on my craft work, that spark is missing. That vibe is missing.

I walk downstairs and realise that Vinay hasn’t been making much progress, either. I taste his dish and it is far from being perfect.

We look at each other, and decide to take a shower.

‘The famous Lazy Bath, right’ I interrupt..

‘No.. Lazy bath is for when one of the two is depressed. We have a passionate one with a brainstorming session that may or may not involve other things. But there are definitely kisses somewhere…

Walking out of the shower and entering the bedroom with water still slipping down from your hair and face is the best feeling ever. I choose my outfit of the day to be a green and brown coloured wollen full length skirt with a black high neck T-shirt.. He chooses to wear denim jeans with the same coloured High neck as that of mine with a blue jacket. We come down for the breakfast that’s made by the cook. A classic Punjabi Breakfast, Chole Bathure.. And no, that’s not made by Vinay. Our staff lives in a cottage in the back side of the house and is instructed not to enter the house without our permission at any time, except in case of an emergency. We value our privacy the most.

Then we head to the office. And it’s a designated parking spot where he kisses me while we are still in the car, so we start the day with a bang. In his office, I look at the meeting details and tell him that I need to make a couple of calls, and we will go for the meeting together. I walk towards my office. And after a couple of calls to the vendors, I decide to call you. And I can’t. BECAUSE I REALISED I DIDN’T HAVE YOUR NUMBER.’

‘Stop being over dramatic… You have my number, call me..’ I told her.

‘How do I leave a chance to troll you especially if we are talking about my ideal day?

Anyways.. So I call you. Because you are the best Master chef I know.. I want you to come home in the evening and help Vinay. In the meantime while you are on the call with me, Vinay texts you and asks you to come home because apparently I am stuck at creativity and I need an expert, and he thinks you are the best guy to help me with. That’s still funny, because you ain’t finishing your manuscript for over 30 years now!’

‘Will you stop trolling me?’

‘Nopes.’

‘Will I get to troll you back in your ideal world?’

‘We are yet to see… So, you agreed to come home.. And then I head to the meeting with Vinay. We walk together and he sits after I have taken a seat (following his tradition of ages). The respect he gives me is above everything else. The meeting starts. I scribble something on the notepad. And after the presentation gets over, I ask the presentator to get back to the 4th slide and then to the 7th. And I look at Vinay and say, ‘He made the same mistake you pointed out that day. Didn’t account for the diminishing power of money.’

‘Don’t tell me in your ideal world, you find the mistakes in presentations????’ I asked her.

‘Well, Yes I do. That’s my favorite thing to do. I use my learnings to my favour by including them in such meetings.. A sort of Gyaan Sharing…

Later, we head for the Lunch. My favourite Rajma Chawal and other sideys…Then we come back home. And I go straight to my room, to lie down for some time.

Vinay calls me from downstairs, and you have finally arrived. I greet you with a hug, and we sit on the dining area.. I ask you if you got anything to eat and you deny. I say, Jab kisi ke ghar jaate hain to khaali haath nahi jaate. (When you go to someone’s home, you don’t go empty handed)
Vinay tells me, there are so many sweets here, what else do you need?

I tell you that you could have at least bought the Kaju Katli that Shah Rukh is endorsing these days.

I am visibly disappointed. And then I say I will take a nap. You guys carry on.’

‘You will call me to come to your home and will take a nap????’ I again interrupted.

‘Look.. If I come to your house, I will take a nap here, too. Okay?’

‘Okay… Jaisi tumhaari marji.. Hum hote hi kaun hai kuch bolne waale…’ I said. (As you wish, who am I to stop you?)

‘And then I tell you, Shah if you plan to help him out in kitchen, please make some Pasta… And you know that.. some fries on the sides and’

‘Cheesy dip’ I said.

‘Bingo!!!’

‘Tum apne ghar me bula ke khana bhi mujhse banwaaogi??’ (You are going to call me home and will ask me to cook for you?)

‘You will cook, I know that. If only we could get that one recipe, though. I wanted that included in the kitchen…’

Vinay interrupted my narration,”What recipe? Do you guys want my burger recipe?”

To which I said, “That we could have got years ago. It’s suggested by someone who refused to share the recipe.”

I continued, “She then said, ‘Anyways.. so I go to my room and take a nap. While you help Vinay in the kitchen. It was your plan, anyways.

You taste his dish and suggest a couple of things. You give him a lesson for cooking and for life, that sometimes it’s not enough to know what’s missing, it’s also needed to know what’s overpowering. You need to take that out, too.

And then after a while, I come downstairs again, and we are back to being on the dining table. It’s a small table for six and you are sitting on the head of the family position. We are sitting on the sides facing each other. You really made me Pasta. And you made two variations of it, in a red and in a white sauce. I look at the kitchen counter just to see what mess you guys have created and there I sae a basket covered in a red packing. ‘what’s that?” I ask. And Vinay tells me to go get it. I ran towards the gift because you know how much I love gift hampers. There are all my favorite things. The chips, the chocolates, Pepsi cans. Of course there are around 10 bottles of Thumps Up that I conveniently ignored.. I came back with a chocolate in my mouth and one in my hand, to be eaten after the fries.

Vinay says that he has a couple of meetings lined up and we should continue but he will have to excuse himself. I propose a long drive to you which you agreed. Vinay tells you it’s a trap which you ignore.

I quickly go to my room and wear comfortable black joggers and a grey hoodie. You walked towards your room and get dressed in similar coloured clothes. Telepathy.

And, I don’t have to say this, but the only room in our home which is painted black and dark is yours. With your books and your clothes all tidied up. Just the way you like it.

I ask you to walk outside and I just go in the drawing room to say goodbye to V. He is sitting on a huge sofa with a table in front of him where he has kept his phone and a water bottle. In front of him is a big screen that shows the people he is in meeting with. He looks at me. I don’t say anything but through him flying kisses and make funny but sexy moves. He is trying not to smile. And then he says to the people to hold the meeting for one minute since here is something he can’t ignore. And they agree. So he picks up his phone, switch off the mic and video and comes to me and make me stand against the wall and kisses me passionately.

Then he let’s me go, while it is me who is craving for more. I come out and see that you are standing next to your car. And I say, we are going in that one, and you are driving. You look beyond your car and walk toward it. You texts Vinay, ‘what’s this?’ with the picture of the car, and he smiles at his phone and texts you back, ‘I told you it’s a scam. Ab jhelo.’

‘It can’t be a Honda Civic’ I said.

‘Hahah.. Well, yes it is. It’s my ideal day, after all. And I am describing it on your command.

And guess what? You are driving it..

So, like you know the most of the land outside of our house belongs to us only. And so there is no fear of recognition or stuff like that. We can go anywhere as long as it is in our boundary. And beyond that also, not that someone is stopping us.

We jam on your favourite songs and sing on the top of our lungs. I love your playlist more than that of Vinay, though, but don’t tell him. We reach a point on the side of a mountain. Similar to that in Rab ne bana di jodi, just after the title song ends and Suri proposes to Tani. A place where you can see the best sunset in the town. We have got foldable chairs and a table, and we unfolded that and sit down for a long awaited talk.

You tell me that Vinay has found his recipe and you told him that I called you.. I smile at you. I bring out the snacks. You are having your favorite coffee on a chilled afternoon right at the sunset, while I bring in the can of Pepsi. You look at me in almost disgust. And I say, if you come to this place and watch sunset and are not drinking Pepsi on a winter eve, you aren’t living your life to the fullest. I also open the packet of chips, which you brought.
We talk about your life. And your struggles at present, and try to resolve them.

You tell me that Vinay had texted you as well. For me. I giggle. You ask me to show you where I was stuck. I tell you that I am attempting story writing for the very first time. And because I am unable to do justice with it, it’s hard to concentrate on other things as well. I hand over my phone to you, after opening the text document. You patiently read it aloud. I smile and I laugh and then I almost hide my face in shame because I wrote rubbish.

You look at me after you are done reading and then we had a 2 hour session talking about the minutest things on my manuscript. You gave me live examples on how to create characters and how to make them come alive on the paper. We decide on the narrator. We talk in great length about the voice and tone of writing and we have our arguments over some things but finally come on a conclusion.

We come back home. Vinay has just ended his last presentation. You go back to your room and Vinay and I talk about how you solved our problems, like a magic man.

Vinay goes to our room to bring out a surprise for us. And you come to the drawing room and I ask you where you were?

You say, you were having a bath. I said you should have told us. And I said that without giving much thought to it.

Vinay comes and you tell him that I was proposing a threesome. And Vinay is like, with whom? I say, shut up you two.

Vinay connects his pendrive to the big screen and we see the detailed plan of our hotel, named Amoksh. It is a realistic model of what exactly will be made..

I am teary eyes and so are you two.

We have our dinner and we ask you to stay. But even in my ideal day, you have to go home. So we bid you adeiu, and look at your car for as long as we can.

Then we come back to the room. I write a couple of things in my notebook. And then, head to the bed, to join Vinay.

And we call it a day.

The screen projector displays the name in capital letters, “AMOKSH”.

And that’s that…

In an alternative universe, I am living this reality..”


“She said all of that? I am a part of her World?” Vinay asked me.

“Of course. I told you.”

“But then why did she break up?”

“That’s what I wonder, too.”

“Why does she wants to run a hotel?” He asked me.

“You once told her that of two people one must be a foodie. She wants to be the one who opens that hotel for the foodie in you. And also, because despite inventing the world’s tastiest burger (which we have started to almost hate because we literally live at that place now and are fed up of eating it), you have never started or invested in a proper hotel.”

“She wants to do that for me?”

“Who else?”

“What are you two talking about?” Sia asked as she came to eat some starters from our plate.

“I told her about the juice.” I said with a straight face.

“You can’t do that???” She said.

“No really, I was just telling him about your daily schedule. How you just open you laptop, work on your code, and make it worse by the end of the day and go back to sleep. And then, wake up, add bugs to the code, sleep, repeat…” I teased her.

“Shut up you dumbo. What does a theatre artist even know about coding. It requires a brain, okay? You have any? I doubt it.”

“Aren’t we similar in that aspect? No brain so became friends. Damn! Wut r vurds? How do we speak..?”

She started going back while making a face. I went back to her and hugged her and told her I was just trying to make her a little sad so her happiness is not jinxed. She then showed me her favourite gift items and giggled.

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