Snigdha’s pulse was racing. Sweat trickled from her forehead, her throat felt parched. She felt his intense gaze pierce through her back. She adjusted the pallu on her head and glanced around. What a breath-taking panorama!
The terrain, rugged yet soft with patches of green was quite a challenge for anyone, more so for someone in a saree.
Everyone thought it weird that she wished to climb the hill in a saree.
She hugged the saree as she climbed. The soft fabric embraced her curves and she blushed. ‘Your romancing is unique Shreyas! The vast expanse of the sky, the hills, the breeze and the greenery… I understand the chaste landscape is enticing, but don’t be so mischievous, let me reach our rendezvous. Once my promise is fulfilled, I shall spend the rest of my life in your arms.’ The cool breeze touched her pink cheeks. She knew Shreyas was with her.
‘Remember this saree? You had gifted me on our first anniversary. The first time we had met on this hill, you with your friends and I with my family, a spark seemed to have ignited instantaneously; it was as though we had known each other for ages; that feeling, so intense, so vibrant, glows even today, even in your absence.’
‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’, so very true. You left for your heavenly abode too early in life, but I cherish every moment of our short but memorable togetherness. You are there with me. I feel your presence in these trees, the boulders, the breeze that touches my soul as it passes by and the pile of stones, the cairn, my tribute to you….”
Climbing the hill was certainly an uphill task. The amusing thought brought a faint smile on her lips. The ascent was arduous but it had to be scaled. It was a promise to be fulfilled year after year, as long as she lived. She held on to the boulders for support. The fragrance of the tiny grass flowers, the soul-stirring beauty of the hill was mesmerising. Something tugged at her saree and she halted. Her heart skipped a beat. ‘Oh, Shreyas! Stop your pranks, if you keep tugging at me, how will I reach the spot? We have a date, remember? Dear, wait till I meet you. Appreciate my bold step to climb the hill in the saree you had gifted me.’
She had promised him that the hill shall remain their rendezvous for ever.
At the sight of the cairn, she shuddered. The ghastly accident which had flung them apart, flashed in her mind.
The pile of stones, haphazardly arranged, stood there, rock solid, undisturbed and firm. The layers, unevenly set, reminded her of their separation. It spoke volumes of their unfulfilled dreams, the knot that couldn’t be tied and the feelings that were buried deep in their hearts. The cairn had immortalised their unbroken bond.
The rhythmic sounds of nature were like an ode to their eternal love.
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