Sample Chapters

I Loved You Before I Met You

Chapter 1

The Broken Heart

“You are my sun, moon and everything!” Suraj Sena grunted as he typed the message. This was not coming out right. It sounded downright cheesy as if it was a dialogue from a romantic soap. But he had to do this. He was not going to wait anymore. After all, he was 23 years old. He needed Diya in his life permanently. So he was going to propose today before some idiotic macho-male does it. He was damn sure that she returned his feelings. But he could not find the perfect words to express his deep love for her. He sighed as his iPhone beeped. Everything around him now screamed of wealth. Suraj and his friends faced a frustrating period after graduation, searching for the right job or at least a job. After Suraj was thrown out of the house by Ritupara, he moved to a hostel along with his friend Varun, who voluntarily left home to stay with Suraj. His sister Sakshi was with his aunt Tara at Shaktipur. He was now settled at Bhujapur. The Shaktipurians did not pester him to stay with them. But he knew that he had to go to Shaktipur, when situation demanded. He made frequent visits as such. It was his duty, which gave a purpose to his life. When he started the Star Advertising Agency along with Diya and Varun, he never knew how successful it was going to be. Their first advertisement for a face-wash turned out to be a super-duper hit – a YouTube sensation. Since then, they had bagged so many bigger projects from various multinational companies. Not only that… Suraj had one luckier break than his friends. He grinned as he recollected ‘that’ day when Varun and Diya had forced him to model for a premier clothing house. “You will be a perfect fit with your physique!” Diya had enthused, making him blush like a teen. Their lead male model was unavailable and Suraj had taken up the role reluctantly after much persuasion. He was pretty surprised when Swaraj Gupta, the most prominent film director of Bollywood had called him. Suraj’s role in the advertisement had caught the director’s attention, who wanted Suraj to act in his upcoming movie. And he was a movie star now! With two blockbusters to his credit, he was termed as the ‘latest heartthrob’ much to Diya’s chagrin. His rags to riches story made the headlines after his successive hits. He bought a comfortable house at Bhujapur and moved there along with Varun. He read the message from his iPhone.

“Will meet today as planned. – Diya” Every message from Diya made him smile. Their last advertisement for a baby food product had come out beautifully. The naughty baby had surprised them with wonderful expressions and they had captured the shots with glee. To celebrate their success, Suraj and Diya were going to the local fun fair today. Varun was in Delhi to gather the requirements for their next advertisement project – a mango drink. Everyone at Bhujapur knew Suraj and it was a place where he will not be hounded by people for autographs. The doorbell rang. He adjusted his clothes and opened the door to let his lovely visitor in. He stood spellbound as he looked at Diya. She had let her glossy black hair down and looked like an Indian princess. She wore a pink embroidered anarkali kurta with blue leggings. Two round golden earrings completed her outfit. “You are beautiful!”

The words were out from his mouth before he could stop them. She glowed at his words yet she countered, “That was the first dialogue to the heroine in your last movie.” “True…” “So?” “Those were mere words from a paper but what I said now came from my heart.” “You can turn into a script writer for your next movie,” she admonished him half-jokingly. Before Suraj could reply, she put her fingers on his lips. “Let’s go,” she whispered and dragged him out with a big smile. The day started on that playful note. As she sat beside him on his bike, she deliberated whether to place her hand on his shoulders. She almost reached out twice but withdrew her hand at the last moment. Suraj enjoyed her by-play in his bike’s mirror. Caught in her act, Diya blushed and removed her hand swiftly. With a beaming smile, he pulled her hand and placed it on his shoulder. They started to the fair. The smell of cotton candy and the happy buzz of the crowd welcomed them, as they stepped inside. The mood around them was contagious that it caught them too. “Look there,” Diya pointed to the giant-wheel, which went up and down. “Ah… no, we are not…” “Yes, we are,” Diya’s voice was adamant and she pulled him towards the ride. Suraj hesitated and then Diya noticed ‘it’ in his eyes. “You are afraid… aren’t you?” “No way,” he countered.

“Ha ha… I don’t believe this. The comeback warrior and the new heartthrob of Bollywood frightened of a small fun ride,” she laughed wholeheartedly. Suraj glared at her and caught her hands as if to punish her. She squealed like a child and he chased her. “No… you are not getting away with this,” he threatened, yet his voice was playful. “Yes, I am,” declared Diya. She rushed forward, not noticing the small board that barred their way. “Ah…” she fell down, sprawled on the floor. “Serves you right,” Suraj told her calmly, as she struggled to get up. His calmness infuriated her and she felt like yelling at him. He bent down and looked into her eyes. The voices around them faded and a gentle breeze blew around. Suraj gently wiped the dirt smeared on her face. Their eyes locked. He thought the moment to reveal his feelings had finally come. “Diya…” He was cut short by a group of children who had stopped their playful activities and come over to help them.

“Didi… any help?” They queried tenderly and took note of Suraj. “Ah… Rohith bhaiya is with you… he fought bravely against those terrible villains on the mountain cliff and saved Pooja didi… he will help you too,” they assured Diya and went their ways. ‘Rohith’ was Suraj’s screen name in his recent movie and ‘Pooja’ was his co-star. “Hah… they will never know that ‘Rohith’ will save only ‘Pooja’,” grunted Diya after she got up. Suraj caught Diya’s hands and stopped her. As she turned, he asked her, “Rohith will save Pooja but Suraj will definitely give his life for Diya… don’t you know?” His emotional query indicated that Diya’s playful reply had hurt him. She struggled with her words for the right answer, but he changed track shaking his head. “Come, let us get some pani-puris… I feel hungry.” Diya found it hard to comprehend Suraj. They enjoyed the spicy savouries in peaceful silence. The children, who came to Diya’s rescue earlier waved their hands as they crossed paths again. Suraj and Diya walked ahead. A bangle-seller called out to them. “Why don’t you buy a dozen of these bangles for your beautiful girlfriend?” Diya argued vehemently, “I am not his beautiful…” Suraj interrupted and asked, “Are you not beautiful then?” “I did not mean that…” she hotly denied and acted as if she was going to hit him. Silently laughing at her attitude, he purchased a set of pink glass bangles and presented them to her gallantly by getting down on his knees. The old lady grinned at Suraj’s gesture and Diya glared at her. Not accepting the bangles, Diya said, “Don’t cheat me, Suraj!” He was genuinely puzzled. “But why?”

“Our advertisement is a massive hit and all you offer me is a set of glass bangles, huh?” Suraj did not reply. Instead he captured her hands gently and put on the bangles. He willed her to understand that those bangles were a token of his love and not an appreciation of their success at work. Diya gazed at him as if she was in a trance. A droplet of water broke that intimacy and they looked up at the dark-clouded sky. Heavy raindrops fell and they giggled uncontrollably like a pair of mischievous children. People around them hurried to find shelter from the rain. Suraj followed suit but was stopped by Diya. He turned to her with a questioning gesture. Opening an umbrella, which she took from her handbag she waved at Suraj to join her. The white umbrella printed with red hearts added more romance to the ambience. Suraj joined Diya, now believing that she was ready to take their relationship to the next level. They walked towards a tea shop. The outer shed of the shop protected them from the rain. With more people bustling in to find shelter from the heavy downpour, the shed became quickly congested. Standing close to Diya, Suraj decided that this was the right time to propose… to tell her how deep his feelings were… “Diya, I…” The sound of the rain and the buzz of the crowd made it hard for Diya to hear him. He cleared his throat. “Diya, I have to tell you something.” “Okay… but I can’t hear you well,” she returned not giving him her complete attention. She was captivated by the beauty of the rain. “Oh heck…”

He pulled her close to him. Her ears were almost touching his lips. Involuntarily, she withdrew putting some space between them. “Why are you serious? Can’t you just enjoy the moment?” Suraj wondered how she could be so dense when his emotions were written all over his face. “This is important, Diya…” his voice faltered and she turned to him. “Yes, go on… I am listening,” she told him, finally heeding to him. The shed was now filled with people and there were patches of water around the shed. Suraj and Diya were at the front, struggling to stand inside against the pressure exerted by the other people. “Diya…” Both of them were pushed out of the shed by someone at the back. They were thrown into the rain. Suraj fell heavily on Diya and water splattered all over them. She tried to push him away.

A University topper , a software engineer , a dog lover Saranya Umakanthan is ready to take the world in her hands by conquering people’s mind through the magic of her words. A romantic by heart Saranya loves gazing at the night sky while delving over a cup of coffee. She savors the biblichor and it illuminates her mundane life like the moon does to the night sky. The aroma of freshly baked cakes tickles her nostrils and she surrenders to the pleasure of this wafting delight. A food connoisseur by choice, she loves pampering her palate with sumptuous delicacies.

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