Sunday, 30 November 2014

I met u again

                   I met u again……...
                             destiny of luv
 
                                        By Birister Sharma

                                                  Novel



Vir and Sunita both fell in love when they were merely studying in school. They loved each other very much like they were made for each other. When Vir was in tenth standard and appearing his Board Exam Sunita went away from him without his knowledge and got married in distant place. Vir couldn’t bear that tragedy. He was looking madly for his Sunita everywhere; however, he couldn’t find her. Nobody could tell him whereabouts Sunita. Vir started spending his entire time in wine shops and in deserted places. He turned drunkard and addicted in his tender age. Although he topped in the Board Exam. But he was not happy. He took admission in the town college of his place. But he couldn’t continue his studies. Because, he couldn’t forget his Sunita. Everywhere he only got the glimpses of Sunita. He dropped out from the college. He started visiting in brothel houses and staying in unknown places with unknown persons. Vir’s parents were very upset with him. They tried to change him. But in vain. It was impossible to change him. They lost hope on him, and allowed him to live his own life. He was living a life of nomad. He has forgotten his name, his family, his house and everything about him. He only remembered the name of his Sunita. He was on the path of self-destruction. But, he has one hope, that one day he will meet his Sunita.

Can Vir ever find his Sunita? Can he ever meet her? Can their destiny bring them together?

‘I met you again’ is a story of a true lover, who is ever looking for his beloved.






Read the first five chapters from the novel





                I met you again……
                                 destiny of  luv




                               1 

The time was flying away from me. I woke up late in the morning. I splashed my face in hurry and bit farewell to father and mother, Hari dada and Mohan dada, and Savitri nabo and Tulsi nabo. I knew they were not happy with my decision of early return to my service.

“Vir, beta, have some breakfast,” mother said.

“No maa. I’m getting very late. I’ll have my breakfast on the way. Please don’t worry about me,” I said.

Mother wrapped the eating stuffs with the old newspaper and put in my hanging bag.

I hugged father and mother, and touched their feet. Mother kissed me on my cheeks and forehead. Her eyes wetted with tears.

I left home hurriedly.

“Kalua, lets go,” I said. Kalua was our servant boy.

“Okay, dada.” Kalua said.

I had to catch the bus from the town. It was situated at a distance of 12 kms from our village. The thin rainy shower was falling continued since the previous day morning.

Kalua dropped me in the bus stand on a bicycle.

“Kalua, you go,” I said.

“Okay, dada,” Kalua said.

“Kalua, take this. Buy something for yourself.” I gave a note of hundred rupees to Kalua.

“No, no, dada. I can’t take it,” Kalua declined.

“KALUA?” I showed him my black eye balls.

“Okay, thanks dada,” Kalua said.

Kalua left me in the bus stand.


I reached in the bus stand very early. Then I waited there.

I was wetted a bit. I seated on cement made bench. I knew the exact time of bus. Its timing was as usual late, always one hour or half hour late. It never reaches its correct time and destination until its seats were fully occupied by the passengers. It was one and only bus service available from our place. It covered both on and return journey from our place to the district town.

I was waiting for more than half hours, but I didn’t see any passengers coming there. Usually at that time the whole bus stand would fill with the clamours and commotions of passengers and flooded with their heavy trunks, beddings and luggages. But at that moment everything was empty; no one was there, only the silent chorus of crows and few house sparrows; flying to and fro; swinging their tiny feathers in the open sky.

The thin shower of rain was gone and in its place the bright Sun was shinning overhead.

I looked at my wretch watch.

“What happened today?  No passengers! No bus!”

I stood and loitering there to know the exact scene.

I saw a man coming over there. He was wearing blue stripe color longi.
He was brushing his teeth.

I approached to him.

“Dada, why there is no bus today?” I asked the man.

“O, you didn’t know! Today is all state bandh,” the man replied, spitting the white colgate foams on the road.

“Bandh?”  

I felt like a sudden shock waves in my spine. I didn’t know what to do. I felt that somebody had snatched something from me.

“O, I see! I didn’t know that! Thanks!” I said.

He gazed me in surprised look.

“By the way dada, how many hours bandh?” I asked the man again.

The man spitting the colgate foams at the roadside again and cleared his mouth.

“It’s for an indefinite hours of state bandh,” the man replied.

“Indefinite hours of bandh?” My voiced rose a bit.

“Yes, it’s for indefinite hours of bandh…..” the man said.

“By the way, what’s the reason dada?” I asked.

“Last night, there was an encountered between the newly formed extremist group of the region and the police force and the Army forces….” the man said.

He cleared his mouth.

“….And in that encounter seven comrades of the extremist group were killed. So in protest of these killings; they have declared an indefinite hours of state bandh,” the man concluded.

These bandhs were not new things in our place. I had seen these bandhs since my childhood days.

“So, do you want to go somewhere?” the man asked.

“O, dada,” I replied.

“Where?” the man asked.

“In the district town!” I said.

“O! I guessed you better go home, bhai. There is no chance of any relaxation of this indefinite bandh,” the man suggested.

The man was busy again in his brushing teeth. Then he chased the three street dogs with a bamboo stick. The poor souls were loitering there, disturbing nobody. The poor street dogs ran for their lives, barking aloud.

Within a minute the man lost in the midst of crowded colony houses in the town.

I felt bad while witnessing the ugly treatment with the poor street dogs.

I didn’t want to return home. But I didn’t know what to do next.

The next day I wanted to catch my train. Even I had no reservation of ticket.

“I’ve still full twenty-five days leave to report in my service.

“How could I get hell out of this place as soon as possible?”

I didn’t get any idea.

I was waited there if I could get any vehicle to reach to my destination.

I kept my hanging bag on cement made bench in the bus stand. I stood up and walked there aimlessly; gazing the road ahead.

There was no bus or any kind of vehicle on the road, only the herds of cattle were grazing at the roadside far away distance. A few cyclists were riding on the road, but there were no co-passengers of mine and no bus for my journey.

I walked slowly and slowly, wondering there. I didn’t know what to do.

I was waited there.

I had already decided that I wouldn’t return home.

“I’ll go with any vehicle that comes on my way.” I said to myself.

I walked for a while on the road and wondered in the deserted weekly market place. And I recalled my early days when I used to come with my parents; sometimes with my brothers and sister; and sometimes with my friends. Those days were my golden days.

“How many long years have been past away just like a few days?” I was feeling nostalgia.

I came back in the bus stand. I lay down on cement made bench; putting my hanging bag beneath my head. And I dozed off.

When I woke up I felt very hungry and thirsty. I looked at my watch to check how long I had dozed off there. I found that I had slept almost two and half hours. It was 10’o clock in the morning. But I thought it would be 12 at noon.

I took out the stuff from my hanging bag that was packed with the old newspaper. I didn’t know what mother had given me. I unpacked the stuffs to silence my burning appetite.

I saw it was my favorite stuffs. It was roti-pudi, pittha, nemki and some sweets. The glimpses of these stuffs watered my mouth; and increased my hunger. I ate one after another, relishing my hungry stomach.

“Aha, it relaxed me for the day without feeling hungry.

If mother couldn’t give these stuffs then what would happen with me. I must be remained hungry for the whole day.”

I was delighted.

“Aa, Aa…..hmm…hmm....take this…..” I called the three street dogs; beckoning them.

They were gazing with their starving looked at me while I was relishing my stuffs.

I shared my stuffs with the three street dogs as well.

They were my companion in my solitude. Then I felt thirsty. I didn’t carry any water bottle. Mother had insisted me to take one, but I declined her.

I felt very thirsty; my throat was dried up. I started coughing. I needed water desperately; otherwise I’d die of thirst. But I didn’t have any option.

I looked here and there to get some water. All the hotels were remained closed. There was no any source to get water and quench my dried throat.

The villages were situated at far distance, only the silhouette of few houses was appeared and the hotels and the colony houses of town were completely shut down. There was no human soul to ask for anything. There were only three street dogs, my newly made friends and I.

I swallowed my spits to keep my dried throat wet.

I roamed for a while and I seated on cement made bench in the bus stand. Just then my eyes caught the running three street dogs, my newly made friends.

They were running towards the running tape water at a distance, not far away from the bus stand. I too followed them.

When I reached there they gave me a way. They too shared the tape water with me. I quenched my thirst kneeling under the tape water, and splashed my face.

I returned to my place in the bus stand. I lay down there again and dozed off.

I woke up with a roaring sound of a motor bike all of a sudden. I got up and saw a fast accelerating black Enfield motor bike zooming on the road.

The biker was wearing black jacket, black jeans and wearing a black helmet. And the man in the rear seat was also wearing the same dress code like they were men in black chasing somebody. Their backs were laden with heavy dark and shaded colour bags.

I stood up to get their clear views.

The motor bike was zooming like an aircraft before it takes off on the runway. Only the whirring sounds and the black smokes were oozing out from its two silencer pipes; polluting the silent ambience.

I got the smells of burning unburned carbon particles of petrol. I fanned off the dark smokes away from my mouth and nostril. I took out a handkerchief and covered my mouth and nostril immediately.

Within a fraction of second their views were disappeared in the thin air. I saw their disappearance.

“Who are these two men in black in this indefinite bandh!? They may be in some urgency or going for a war!”

I laughed making fun of them.

I got back in my seat on cement made bench in the bus stand. I tried to get some more sleep and complete my lost sleep. But I couldn’t sleep.

I couldn’t kill my time.

I took out my Nokia mobile handset to check some old messages in the message box. I checked every message, but I didn’t find anything worthwhile.
Then I played mobile game of cricket match between India vs. Australia for a while. But it also failed to kill my time.

I checked the time once again. It was just 12:30 at noon.

I browsed the newly taken photos with my mobile handset and flipped one after another. It also didn’t give me any good feelings or sweet memory. I deleted some photos from the album and closed it.

I opened music file and played my favorite songs. I put on the mobile headphone on my ears and listened it.

I lay down, entangling my legs; closing my eyes, and trying to lose in the rhythms of music. The music played its pleasant lullaby in my ears and soon I dozed off.

When I woke up it was continued playing its songs. I put off and rubbed my eyes. I went to the tape water to splash my dried face. I splashed my face; cleaned my mouth and quenched some water.

When I returned to the bus stand; suddenly my eyes caught the glance of a couple on a bicycle.

They might be coming from a distant village, I could assume them clearly.

The man was carrying his pregnant wife on a bicycle career and carrying a girl child on his back.

The poor woman was moaning; touching her swelling belly.

I was confused why the man was not riding his bicycle. Then I saw the broken chain of his bicycle.

I felt very sorry for the couple.

The maternity civil hospital was situated at a distance of more than 16 kms from our place.

“Keep patience dear! Keep patience, dear! Only few hours! Only few hours! I’ll carry you in time in the hospital,” the man said.

“I can’t! I can’t!.......I can’t resist anymore!......I’m dying…..” the woman said.

The man was sweating heavily. He kept pushing his bicycle in hurry and in desperation.

The girl child was crying aloud.

“Maa……Maa…….Maa…….”

“Keep quite, beta…..Keep quite , beta….Look we’ll have to reach in the hospital in time…..Don’t you want to see your brother, huh?” The man said.

“Hmm…Hmm….” the girl child acknowledged. She nodded; back on her father.

She smiled; wiping her welling tears and running nose with her little hands.

“Good girl!” the man said, pushing his bicycle harder and harder.

I didn’t know how I could help them in their tough time. I lost in my speculations.

When I was struggling with the webs of my own thoughts, till then the man and his wailing wife and his daughter were lost from my eye sight. I could only view their disappearing silhouette.

For a while I walked on the road just like I tried to feel their ailing breaths left behind in the humid air.

I walked like I was lost in my own world.

I walked back to the bus stand. I checked the time again. It was almost 2 pm at noon.

The weather was very hot and humid. I waited there all alone for hours, speculating and anticipations one after another and lost in my own random thoughts.

How the entire day was ended I had no idea and it was almost the night fall.
I was still lying on cement made bench in the bus stand. The soldiers of mosquitoes started attacking me with their sharp needles like stings; pinching me; and sucking my bloods one after another. I was their only prey for them.

I was beating them in the mid air; clapping with my hands; and kicking them with my legs.

I woke up hurriedly in desperations; breaking my reverie.

It’s not a good place to stay here any more time. Otherwise I’ll get malaria very soon.  

Malaria is very common disease in our place.

I got up and left the bus stand, immediately.

I walked slowly and slowly; gazing the lonely road, ahead of me which was about to curtain with the shadows of darkness.

“Now what? There is no vehicle. How could I reach to my destination?”

I had no option.

I stood in the middle of the crossroad. In one hand I didn’t want to go home; and on other hand there is no vehicle to start my journey ahead.

“There is only one option left on my hands and that is to return home.”

I was about to turn back to my home, just then I heard the honking sounds of three to four trucks coming in a row. I was vividly known the honking sounds of those trucks.

I felt euphoric.

I returned to the road and waiting for the in coming vehicles. I took out my ID card immediately and waited there.

I signaled the in coming vehicles. I was correct in my speculation that the vehicles belonged to the Army platoons.

The Army truck halted immediately.

I ran to the driver’s door and saluted the Army driver.

“Saluting sir.”

The Army driver acknowledged my salutation.

“This is Rifleman Vir Chandra Sharma of Assam regiment posted in Kashmir,” I introduced myself.

“This is my ID card, sir!” I showed to the Army driver.

The Army driver took my ID card and handed over to the Army commander sitting besides him.

The Army commander looked my ID card.

“I’m on one month leave, sir. Now I’m in an urgent need to go in the district town to get back in my service in Kashmir. I don’t have any vehicle to go there. I need your help, sir,” I said.

“Alright, get in back of the truck!” the Army commander said.

“Thank you, sir!” I saluted.

The Army commander acknowledged my salutation.

The three trucks were fully occupied. I got up in the fourth Army truck.

The Army jawans in back of the truck pulled me up.

“Thanks!” I said.

 “You’re welcome, brother!” the Army jawans greeted me.

I introduced with the Army jawans as I was their lost brother.

I shared light moments with the Army jawans. They had their base camps in the district town. They were just returning from the night long operation against the terrorist group in the hills, and they were heading to their base camps.

I was happy that at last I got lift to my destination.




                                                    2



My journey started.

Soon I fell asleep instead of rattling sounds of Army trucks and the bumpy concrete road. The road was zigzag like a crawling snake passing through the middle of the dense reserve forest.

The forest was dense and thick with the trees of sal, sigun and varieties of different plants and trees. Even in day broad light the sun rays couldn’t pierce through these dense and thick forests.

There were hills and mountains with narrow gorges, rivers, streams and waterfalls surrounding these reserve forests. These forests, hills, mountains, gorges, rivers, streams and waterfalls were created a unique natural beauty all around. But unfortunately these natural beauties were not yet known to the world.

It was probably after two hours, I didn’t know exactly, when I woke up all of a sudden with the loud explosions.

It shocked me terribly. I was rumbling and tumbling down inside the Army truck. And suddenly the Army truck halted screeching with a loud bang and with the twisting force it struck against something.

I was falling down and down; lower and lower. I didn’t know whether it was a miracle or any heavenly blessings bestowed on me. I felt that something was holding me gently and safely on time. I was stuck with something. I felt like I was landed with the help of parachute on some hard surface.

I heard the loud banging sounds of Army truck, crushing against some hard stuff.

In the dark patches of night, nothing was visible clearly over there. I could only see the twinkling stars in the night sky and the exact location of the pole star. I could hear the splashing and rippling sounds of flowing river; and the nearby roaring sounds of high waterfalls.

Everything was just happened within a flick of second like a moving dream or deadly scenes in a movie in front of me. For a moment I had lost all my senses.

I was landed on some hard stuffs probably it was a rock or something. I didn’t know what had happened with the Army platoons and the Army trucks.

In darkness I couldn’t figure out whether any one would survive or death. I didn’t know anything at that moment.

I was wondering with my random thoughts; just then I heard the wild firings of gun shots. The firings were continuous; wildly and madly. It was continued for ten to fifteen minutes non-stop. The sounds of firing gun shots were ear deafening, coming from the road. It was shaking the entire area.

Thereafter I heard the sounds of shouting slogans in unison.

“Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Long Live United!”

Then I heard the zooming and honking sounds of many motor bikes leaving the spot with their triumphing slogans.

All of a sudden there were overcast shadows of eerie that silenced the entire area. There were only the sounds of roaring waterfalls, splashing sounds of river; the sounds of wild insects and crickets and the cries of nocturnal birds; creating heart shocking cacophonies all around.

I lay down on the hard surface where I was landed. I was shocking terribly, and then I was waited for dawn; remained awake, but when I dozed off I didn’t know.

I woke up with the rising of sun and the rowdy chorus of birds, the trumpets of wild elephants, and the howling of foxes and wolves. I looked around to know my exact location.

I found that I was in the middle of the flowing river where there was a big flat rock and a huge uprooted tree having numerous branches which was my rescuer.

I was unhurt and without a slightest bruise of anything on my body. At that moment I truly believed that there is Almighty god all around us. For the first time in my entire life my instinct of atheist of God turned me into God believer.

The river was wide with many twists and turns full of rocks and stones. Some places were very deep like a gorge. And some places were shallow.

I was very lucky that I didn’t fall into the lower course of a river which was very deep. I was safe in the middle of a river in the upper course which was shallow.

The road was situated at a height of probably twenty to thirty feet above the river.

When I looked above the river, I saw the dead bodies of army jawans hanging and dangling with the twigs of trees.

And when I looked at the lower course of the river; I saw the wreckage of Army trucks, and the dead bodies of many army jawans, lying and flowing over there.

It was the most horrible scene I had ever seen.

I looked around to find out any route to reach the road safely as soon as possible.

I thought for a while.

Then I broke the branches of a tree that rescued my life. I choose the branches with hook like shapes. I broke ten to twelve branches of tree with similar sizes.
There were many wild creepers dangling above the river bank. I pulled off those wild creepers and used as ropes. I tied the hook shape branches with the ropes of wild creepers and tied stones.

Then I tied those ropes of wild creepers on my waist. I swung the ropes of wild creepers repetitively and threw it above the river bank with all might. It struck with some hard stuff. I pulled it back, but it came down without any obstruction. I threw again and again. I tried five to sixth times tirelessly.

And in my seventh attempt it struck with some hard stuff. I pulled it back. I felt that it was nailed intact somewhere. I pulled it back again to check whether it was nailed tightly or not. I rechecked many times; pulling harder and harder, and as much as I could. Finally I confirmed that the hook was nailed there intact.

Then I started climbing slowly and slowly, following the same processes of throwing the ropes of wild creepers having hooks and climbed on continuously like a rock climbers.

I had to take a lot of breaks while climbing the height above the river bank to die out my tiredness.

Two to three times I was about to fall; but luckily I was saved. At one moment I felt that I was going to die. I lost my breath and felt numbed when one of the hooks couldn’t hold me, and it was broken suddenly.

Immediately, I threw another hook in its place and held it safely.

Finally, I reached on the road. It took me at least one and half hours.

I was perspiration, fatigued and dead tired. For few hours I couldn’t get up. I lay down there like a dead corpse.

I woke up from my tiredness when I felt the climbing ants and hovering flies all over my body and when the smells of fresh and dried bloods, burning petrol, iron materials and ashes caught in my nostril.

I opened my eyes wide in disgraced. I looked around to check where I was exactly.

I was lying at the roadside. I was feeling hard pains. My hands and legs were aching terribly; bruise marks and injuries were all over my body.

I saw the blood stains all over my body and clothes; and sticking tiny green and dried leaves on my clothes and hanging bag. My clothes and hanging bag were torn a little bit. I stood up and brushed off my clothes and hanging bag.

But when I stood up, I saw the most horrible catastrophic scene surrounding me. I saw the complete messed up, damaged and destruction of everything.

The half of the road was dug out like a big and deep hole with the explosion. There were thousands of broken pieces of glasses. There were burning parts of trucks and hoods. And there were half burned rubber tyres and ashes.

The road was filled with fresh pools of greasy and sticky bloods and dried blood stains.

The torn and half burned body parts of dead bodies of army jawans were lying like waifs and strays, hither and thither.                                                          

Some body parts were without head; some body parts were without legs, some body parts were without hands, some body parts were without fingers and thumps, some body parts were without limbs, and some body parts were only with few pieces of sticking tiny tissues. All these body parts were beyond any identification.

I was shocked and fainted. I started vomiting.

I looked around to find someone alive.

“Is here anybody? Is there anybody?” I cried out.

“Please, answer me! Please answer me!”

But I didn’t get any reply. I only got reverberations of my own voice.

I didn’t find anyone.

I spent for few minutes there, and then I felt suddenly a pang of terrifying shocks while staying in the midst of dead bodies of jawans. I felt that the dead jawans might awake me at any moment and call me for some help or some stuffs.

I was scared and my inner instinct asked me to leave the horrible spot as soon as possible.

I ran and ran, fast and faster; leaving behind the dead spot without turning back. How much speed I had been running and how much distance I had traveled; I didn’t know.

I just kept running and running; non-stop and continued.

Finally, I halted.

I had almost lost my breath. I sat down for a while on the crossroad. My throat was dried up. Somehow I stood up and looked around to find some water.

I saw two to three hamlets a far distance. I saw some rays of hope to get water there. I started walking. I walked fast; faster and faster. And I ran.

But as long as I walked and running; I didn’t get the hamlets. Then I realized that it was very far away from me. I saw its mirage. I was dead tired; I couldn’t walk, but I kept walking slowly and slowly.

When I reached at the hamlets; I saw a well there where many women were drawing water from the well and pouring water in their pots.

“P-PANI, P-PANI…Give me some water please!” I cried out and fell down there.

The crowded women and children around the well gazed me in astonished look. They gave me sides immediately.

One of these women fetched me water in a bucket. I gulped a bucketful of water. And I asked for another bucket of water.

I splashed water on my face and pulled off my full sleeve shirt and pant, took off my shoes and socks; keeping my hanging bag aside and washed my hands and legs.

Then I lay down under the nearby tree. And I dozed off.

I woke up when the herd of cattle were returning to cowshed and the flock of white cranes were returning to their nests and the birds were started their usual broodings in the nearby tall bamboo trees.

The sun was gone down behind the steep mountains; and the perspectives of orange-red hues in the west direction were scrabbling few straight lines in the sky.

I felt hungry. I took out my eating stuffs that left in my hanging bag. I ate my eating stuffs.

Then I started walking and left the hamlets.

After walking a few miles, I got a small deserted market place. Everything was remained closed there. There was no human soul; only a few cows on the crossroad, munching fodders and grasses. There were sparking tube lights and bulb lights on the advertising boards on the roofs of few shops.

“Oh, thank god, at least this place is not in the shadows of darkness.” I heaved a sight of relief.

My destiny was still 16 kms left from there.

I seated on bamboo made bench at the closed shop there. I breathed a fresh air of relaxations and stretching my aching legs. 

I tried to walk, but my body and legs didn’t help me to move further. I felt that I couldn’t walk anymore.

I decided to spend my night there and resume my further journey the next morning.

I looked around to find my safe haven for the night. I roamed hither and thither.
Finally, I got my safe place to spend my night. I saw many unused home pipes lying there. I chose the home pipes as my safe haven.

I brought two empty asphalt drums lying there on the road and blocked the first side of the home pipe. Then I didn’t find to cover the other side of the home pipe. I searched here and there; again and again. But I didn’t find any useful stuff.

I decided to break the bamboo fence of a nearby abandoned government office. But my instinct didn’t allow me to do anything like that.

“No, no…”

I saw the sign board Men at Work of PWD workers on the road repairing site. I brought it to cover the other side of the home pipe.

I entered inside my safe haven.

I switched on my mobile torch to check whether my safe haven was clean or not.

I found that it was not clean as I had assumed. I saw many plastics packets, torn biscuit packets, torn pieces of old waste newspapers, stain marks of many colours, and black stools of goats lying inside there.

“Oho, small kids used to play here and the goats spent their times after grazing grass, huh?”

I came out from my safe haven and looked around.

I saw many dried leaves lying on the ground. I gathered those dry leaves having long twigs. I joined together and made like a broom. I swept my safe haven cleanly with a broom of dried leaves.

I got inside my safe haven. I unrolled an old newspaper on the floor of my safe haven.

Then I lay down and tried to sleep.

My tiredness and fatigued didn’t allow me to think or speculate anything at that moment. I couldn’t get sound sleep. The terrifying scenes of killing army jawans; their mutilated dead bodies and the deadly explosions were appeared in front of my eyes again and again.

I was shocked. My heart was pounding harder and harder, again and again. I tried hard to forget those horrible incidents. But I couldn’t. At last my tiredness and fatigued helped me to get some sleep.

The heavy downpours were pattering, non- stop, pouring like a bucketful of water in the night.

The angry thunders were flashing lights and roaring aloud. It stroke somewhere mercilessly with a loud bang. It seemed that it had stroke some big trees. Instantly the electric current was cut off; and the darkness engulfed everywhere. Its flashing lights shocked me hard and its deafening sounds blocked my eardrums.

I woke up in shocked. I found that with the splashes of raindrops, my safe haven was wet.

Actually, I didn’t cover the mouth of the home pipe properly. Immediately, I covered the mouth of the home pipe. The splashes of raindrops halted instantly.

The heavy downpours were continued for more than one hour. Then it was halted. I checked the time on the screen of my blinking mobile phone. It was 12:30 am.

I went to sleep again.

Suddenly, I woke up with the zooming and rattling sounds of motor bikes. I looked through the holes of my safe haven. I saw a dozen of men on their motor bikes.

All the men were in black masks and wearing leather jackets. They all carried AK-47, Assailers, and different sophisticated guns on their backs.

They halted on the crossroad.

They brought three men in blindfolded. The hands of three men were tied on their backs. They stood the three men on the crossroad.

“Yes, stand them there…..Okay, okay….” One man on a bike commanded.

The three blindfolded men were stood in a row on the crossroad.

The men got down from their motor bikes.

They kept the headlights of their motor bikes on; and focused on the three blindfolded men. Then they started firing indiscriminately over them.

The bodies of three blindfolded men were fallen down with the pools of bloods on the crossroad.

I closed my eyes in disgraced.

“Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Long Live United!”

They were shouting their slogans after killing the three blindfolded men brutally.

Then they left the spot on their motor bikes.

I had witnessed the most unseen heinous crime for the first time in my entire life with my naked eyes; although I had seen many war crimes and battles in my life. But not that kind of crime.

I lay down inside my safe haven, terrified. I couldn’t sleep. I remained awake, and waited for dawn.



                                                       3



I left the place before dawn.

I kept running and running till I reached the district town. It was noon when I reached the Railway station.

I ran straight to the Railway waiting room.

There were a lot of passengers waiting there. I looked around for a vacant seat. But I didn’t find any. All the chairs and benches were occupied by the passengers.

I couldn’t wait for any vacant seat. I was very tired. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t stand. My body, muscles, hands, limbs and legs were aching awfully.

I was about to fall when I found an empty space at the corner most part of the waiting room.

I went and lay down there on the floor; unrolling an old newspaper. I was gasping and dying for breathe.

“O god, no more any trouble!” I evoked.

I had no food and no water. I was dead tired. I got sleep, putting my hanging bag beneath my head.

I woke up suddenly with the loud whistling sounds of a train.

I saw the sitting passengers; sleeping passengers; lying passengers; walking passengers; standing passengers; and running passengers to the railway platform.

I heard the final bell of the railway station. Probably a train was about to arrive or about to leave the station. I checked the time. It was 11:30 pm.

I was feeling hungry. I opened my hanging bag to have my food. I unpacked the packet. But there was nothing left in the packet accept a few pieces of nimkies.

I stood up and left the waiting room to have some food in the railway platform.

I looked around.

There was an announcement that the Intercity train was about to leave.

The passengers were hurried to get inside the train. They were pushing and pulling each other with their bedding and luggage. Some passengers were already in and some passengers were getting out.

The station master was signaling the green light. And the Railways TTEs were responding the signal.

Some passengers were got down in their destinies and crossing the railway bridge above the railway tracks; carrying their heavy bags and suitcases.

The hawkers, the venders and the chaiwalas were running behind the running train; carrying their stuffs.

And some people were giving their farewells to their kilns and friends. The train was left within a minute; heading to its destiny, with its whistling sound.

I was waiting in the railway platform watching the leaving train.

Within a minute the railway platform was appeared as a deserted place; no more people and no more passengers and no more hustles and bustles, only the blinking red signal lights at the railway tracks.

I went to the railway tea stall.

I ordered some paranthas and tea. I ate and had tea. I bought one bisleri water bottle of one litre. The shopkeeper charged extra two rupees from me, more than MRP mark price.

“Why did you charge extra price from me?” I asked.

“Babu, we’ve to pay to the railway authorities, GRPs, the police and the local goons,” the shopkeeper replied.

I had no more query for his reasons.

After having paranthas and tea I went to the railway counter to check my train status.

I asked about its correct schedule. I got its correct schedule written on the schedule board.

My train was in its usual schedule time at 7:15 am. I booked one current ticket of Brahmaputra mail to New Delhi in sleeper coach for the next morning.

I was lucky that I got one ticket in the waiting list. I was sure that my ticket would be confirmed.

I returned to the Railway waiting room.

There were very few passengers left in the waiting room. I got vacant chairs and benches, lying there. But I lay down on my earlier place, the corner most part of the waiting room. I placed my bed sheet on the floor and I dozed off.

I put on alarm clock at 6 am in my mobile phone.

I woke up sharp at 6 am in the morning; a micro second before the mobile phone awake me with its sharp ear deafening ring tone.

I brushed and bathed in the bathroom of the Railway waiting room. And I came out from it before the schedule time of my train. 

I reached in the railway platform; but I didn’t find any passenger waiting there. The Railway platform was empty.

I check the time again in my watch. It was only 6: 50 am.

I went to the Railway inquiry room, immediately.

“Dada, is the Brahmaputra mail in its schedule time?” I asked the person in the Railway inquiry room.

The person in the Railway inquiry room was in his sixties. He was coughing terribly before replying my query.

He indicated me to go out and check on the schedule board.

“O thanks,” I said.

I came out from the Railway inquiry room hurried. And I looked at the schedule board.

Brahmaputra Mail- 12 hrs late…

Busy Express-10 hrs late…

Intercity Express- 8 hrs late….

JanSatabdi -6 hrs late….

………………………………….

The schedule board reads, scrabbling with white chalk pencil.

“Oh, No! Now what? What the hell is this? All the trains are delayed?”

I seated down for a while on the beach of the railway platform.

I didn’t know how to spend those 12 hours.

I looked around to figure out something. I didn’t know what to do. Different haunting thoughts were flooded in my mind and attacked me one after another.

“Is that whatever happening with me indicating something bad omen?

“Is it better to go home? Is it better to stop my journey?”

I didn’t know what to do next.

I stopped thinking and decided whatever going to happen would be happen.

I went to the same tea stall the night before I had paranthas and tea. I asked the same stuffs and had my breakfast and tea.

“Bhaiya, what has happened? All the trains are delaying today?” I asked the shopkeeper.

“I have heard that there is a riot in the district last night because of the killing of three men brutally,” the shopkeeper replied.

He was busy in preparing paranthas and tea.

“WHAT!?” I was shocked. “Are they the same three blindfolded men killed by the dozen of mask men that I have seen with my naked eyes the previous night?”

I felt a cold sweat on my body.

I couldn’t figure out anything.

“Yes, Babu, I’ve heard that!” I shopkeeper said.

I had no other option rather than wait there.

I waited in the railway platform with the companies of my old memories and nostalgia. I felt that all the old memories of my life was rewind in my mind again and again, one after another, and leading me in the world where once I had knitted my dreams.

I kept my hanging bag beneath my head and lay down on the vacant bench in the railway platform, looking at the whirring ceiling fan and the couple of pigeons, cooing together like expressing their love.

It reminded me every golden moments of my life.

The railway platform was already turned as a deserted place. There were no chaiwalas, no hawkers, no passengers, and no train.

I closed my eyes; putting hands on my forehead. And I lay down there.

I heard an old melody song played on a mobile phone of a shopkeeper in my background.

It was a song of Kishore Kumar from the film Safar.

Jindagi ka safar

Hai ye kaisa safar

Koi samjha nahi,

Koi jana nahi……..

I became hysterical and emotional.

And I lost in my old memories.




                                                      4


Twelve years ago…….


Our school was the only English medium school in our place. Our school was situated at a distance of 6 kms.

I met Sunita everyday on the way to the school and way back to home. But we never talked with each other.

I met Sunita for the first time in our school when I was in eighth standard. Sunita came to take her admission in seventh standard in our school. Previously she had studied in her aunt’s place. Then she joined in our school.

Sunita was beautiful, sweet and cute. She was soft spoken girl. I saw her whenever I crossed her classroom in the school hours. And I always tried to steal her glimpses from outside. She was sitting in the first bench of her class.

I had never seen her talking with anybody or peeping outside when a teacher was teaching in her class. And I had never seen her talking with anybody outside our school. 

Whenever I saw her she was silent and attentive in her class. I had never seen her absent in her class either.  

When she was sitting in the middle of the crowded students of our school in co-curriculum activities and games and spots, I had never seen her shouting aloud in excitements and happiness like the other girls of her class did. She was just passed her sweet smiles and clapped her hands silently and cheering in the midst of the crowded students. And at the end of the school hours she softly bid farewell to her friends and rode her bicycle straight to her home.

And if anybody passed her any comment or teased her in the school or outside the school she never reacted anything like the other girls did. She remained pre-occupied herself.

In her house she was always busy with her household chores and helping her mother. She was an ideal daughter of her parents.

I had visited in Sunita’s house in two occasions earlier to invite her family for Hari dada and Mohan dada’s(brother’s) marriages.

In both the occasions I didn’t get her any glimpses. She was not available at that time. She was in her aunt’s place.


It was only few days left for Jyoti didi’s wedding. Everything was arranged and prepared for the marriage. Mother and I started inviting our relatives and friends a week before. But still a half of our village folks were left.

I accompanied with mother to invite Sunita’s family. It was my third visit in her house.

Sharda khuri (aunty), Sunita’s mother, served us tea and malpauya.

“Baiduo (elder sister), have tea,” Sharda khuri said.

“O, Sharda, no need for this, why did you trouble with these stuffs?” mother said.

“Vir beta, have tea and malpauya,” Sharda khuri said.

“Thanks, khuri,” I said.

Mother and I had tea and malpauya.

“Sharda, you might get news that the next week we’ve arranged marriage for our Jyoti. So I invite you and your family for the occasion,” mother said.

“O, baiduo. (Yes, elder sister). I got that good news,” Sharda khuri said.

Then mother and Sharda khuri both busy in their tit-bits gossips for a while. They were talking like two lost sisters meeting after a decade long separations. And they had a lot of things to share with each other.

But my eyes were searching for Sunita. She was nowhere there.

“Sharda, where is your daughter? Is not she in the house?” mother asked.

“O, she is? She is inside her room. She doesn’t come out until you’ll not leave. She is very shy girl, baiduo,” Sharda khuri replied.

“O! Sunita is inside!” I got a sudden jerk of excitement.

“I haven’t seen her since her tenth birthday,” mother said.

“O, baiduo, what to say she is so shy girl. I don’t know what to do with this girl,” Sharda khuri said.

“Aaha, Aaha, (Come, come). Don’t feel shy. I’m not here to look you for my Vir; when I’ll come for Vir’s bride then you feel shy,” mother said, laughing.

“MAA….!” I said. I was feeling very embarrassed.

Both the old ladies laughed aloud.

I turned my eyes away from them.

“Sharda, today I ask your daughter’s hands for my Vir. Will you accept my proposal?” mother asked jokingly.

I bowed down my heads.

“But, baiduo(elder sister), will your son ready to marry with my shy girl?” Sharda khuri replied.

“Why not? My Vir is an obedient boy. He’ll accept whoever I chose for him,” mother said.

“Do you, Vir?” Sharda khuri asked.

I couldn’t reply anything.

But somewhere in my corner most heart I felt euphoric when mother asked Sunita’s hands for me.

Both the old ladies chuckled.

“Okay Sharda, we’re leaving now. I’ve to invite a lot of people. Still half of our village folks are left,” mother said.

“O, thank god.” I heaved a sight of relief.

“Okay, baiduo(elder sister). Thank you for inviting us!” Sharda khuri said.

“And haa, Sharda, don’t forget to give your pretty daughter’s hands to my Vir,” mother said.

“Why not baiduo(elder sister)? Off course, off course,” Sharda khuri said.

Both the old ladies chuckled again.

“Okay, Sharda, don’t forget to come. And bring your daughter along with you,” mother said.

“Okay, baiduo(elder sister),” Sharda khuri said.

“Ahisu khuri( Leaving aunty),” I said.

“Okay, Vir beta,” Sharda khuri said, touching my head and raffling my well combed hairs.
I just passed her fake smile and caressing again my raffling hairs.

Actually I hated whoever disturbed my well combed hairs, but Sharda khuri was about to be my future mother-in-law. I couldn’t say anything.

Earlier in two to three occasions in my school I had fighting with the boys for the same reasons.



                                                          5



On the wedding day of Jyoti didi, Sunita came in pink and white salwar kameeze along with her mother, Sharda Khuri.

She was looking absolutely stunning and gorgeous. Her face was only visible in the midst of many young and pretty girls.

I loved her way of dressing. Instantly I fell in love. I thought if I were young enough to marry, then on the same day I would marry her along with Jyoti didi.

Sunita and her mother took active part in the make room of Jyoti didi.

Three to four times I had entered inside the make room of Jyoti didi for unwanted stuffs like to give water bottle, to provide tea and to check the lights and so and so forth.

Sunita was very busy inside the make room preparing Jyoti didi.

I looked into her eyes. But she had no time to look at me for a fraction of second. I was very disappointed with her attitudes. But I couldn’t do anything.

I was asked to attend the guests in the reception hall. But I kept my eyes glued in the make up room of Jyoti didi.

At one moment Sunita was coming out from the make up room of Jyoti didi. When I saw her coming, I followed her instantly.

“Sunita……Sunita…..” I called her from behind.

There was an ear deafening loud trumpeting sounds of drums and music bands all around inside the pandal. And the singing and dancing people were matching their steps with the beats of music.

Sunita turned to my side.

I was just standing behind her.

Sunita looked around to find the person who called her name. Our eyes met with each other for a fraction of second for the first time.

I looked into her eyes for a flip of second. She lowered her eyes. And I turned away from her.

When I turned back to look Sunita, she was disappeared in the crowds of singing and dancing people. I stood there and looking for her. But I couldn’t find her.

I went straight to the make room of Jyoti didi. I flipped the curtain to see her. I saw Sunita. She was busy inside the make up room, preparing Jyoti didi.

I came back in the reception hall.

In the mean time the groom and the party were arrived with the floral and banana plants decorated cars and bus. There was a sudden euphoria and happiness of breaths mounted amongst the people.

There were voices of our men and women relatives.

“The groom has arrived! The groom has arrived! Hurry! Hurry! Get ready to welcome! Get ready to welcome!”

Mother came with sacred water and a tray of rice to welcome the groom.

The groom was allowed to stand at the entry gate of our courtyard. He covered his half face with a white handkerchief. He was under a black umbrella, carried by his hokhi (friend). He was surrounded by his closed relatives and friends.

Everywhere there were echoes of smiles and laughter.

The groom was allowed to stand on pirha (a wooden made short plank) and placed his feet on a bronze plate.

Mother splashed his feet with sacred water. She rubbed his wet feet with her sari. Then she brushed his cheeks with betel leaves and kissed on his cheeks and forehead.

There was loud cheering of groom party.
 
The groom was carried on arms by one of our uncles to the mandap.

The groom was seated at the sacred fire. The pujari started chanting Vedic mantras of marriage, non-stop.

Jyoti didi was brought at the mandap by the woman folks and her friends. Sunita also accompanied with Jyoti didi. Jyoti didi was seated besides the groom.

All our relatives and friends were present on the occasion.

The video cameraman was taking live shots of each and every event of marriage ceremony. I had already instructed my friends to take the photos of pretty girls in my camera. And they were doing exactly as I instructed them to do.

Father and mother, Hari dada and Mohan dada, Savitri nabo(Sister-in-law) and Tulsi nabo(sister-in-law) and I, we all stood together at the mandap.

The pujari asked father and mother to perform some rituals. Hari dada and Mohan dada, Savitri nabo and Tulsi nabo and I were also asked to do the same.

The pujari was chanting the mantras non-stop and asked the groom to put the ghee and the flowers in the sacred fire after every completion of mantras.

The ceremony of chanting mantras continued for an hour.

Father tied the knot of both the groom and the bride.

Both the groom and the bride were garlanded each other. Then the ceremony of circling of seven times around the sacred fire was performed. Both the groom and the bride were showering with flowers.

There were a loud cheering of joy and happiness all around.

Then the ceremony of blessings of elders was performed. Father and mother, all the elder family members and relatives of our family blessed Jyoti didi and her groom.

The wedding of Jyoti didi was solemnized with great joy and pomp.

The parties of groom were dinned in the dinning hall with grand reception.

Jyoti didi was allowed to sit in a decorated bed in the bride’s room. She was accompanied with her closed friends, our relatives and the relatives and guests of groom’s party.

Jyoti didi’s bedside was flooded with colorful gift packets and items. Sunita was also sitting besides Jyoti didi. She smiled a lot and laughed. Her laughter was audible to my ears.

Our eyes met for the second time without any expression.

“Vir, come here!” Hari dada called me.

I excused my friends and went to Hari dada. He was very busy.

“Ki hol dada? (What happened brother?).”

“What are you doing there?”

I couldn’t reply anything.

“Go to the dinning hall and look after the groom and his parties and other guests. Go quickly! I’m busy here,” Hari dada said.

“Okay, dada!” I said.

I turned back when I was almost collided with Sunita.

“O, I’m so sorry!” We both said in unison.

Our eyes met for the third time.

Sunita smiled and lowered her eyes like the previous two occasions and left. I was euphoric. I was flying above the seventh clouds in the sky.

Sunita disappeared again in the midst of crowded people before I react anything.

“Come here!”

I beckoned one of my friends who were busy talking with the pretty girls present there.

They were trying to flirting with the girls who were accompanied with the groom’s party.

“Take her photo.”

Just then mother called me.

“Vir, beta, call Sunita in the dinning hall immediately. It has been very late that she hasn’t taken any stuff. Her mother is waiting for her in the dinning hall,” mother said.

“Okay, maa,” I said.

I jumped with joy. I got a golden opportunity to meet and talk with Sunita.

I went straight to the bride’s room where Sunita was seated besides Jyoti didi.

“S-Sunita….Sunita,” I called her.

My voice was so feeble that Sunita didn’t hear my voice. I beckoned her, but she didn’t notice me. I went close to her.

“SUNITA…” I said.

Sunita raised her eyebrows and looked into my eyes like I had committed a crime while calling her name.

Our eyes met for the forth time. She didn’t lower her eyes at that time.

“S-Sorry! Actually, Sunita, your mother is waiting for you in the dinning hall, you come with me,” I said.

“O! Thank you,” Sunita said.

I was glad that at last I heard her sweet voice.

Sunita stood up. She spoke something in Jyoti didi’s ears.

“This way……!” I said.

Our fingers brushed with each other.

“O, I’m sorry!” I said.

“It’s okay!” Sunita said.

Sunita followed me. And I led her to the dinning hall. For a moment I felt that Sunita and I got married and we were revolving the sacred fire seven times.

Sunita joined her mother in the dinning hall. I served Sunita and her mother with my own hands.

“Khuri(aunty), if you want anything, then please call me,” I said.

“Okay, Vir beta,” Sharda khuri replied.

I would be more delighted if Sharda khuri addresses me as her son-in-law instead of calling me ‘beta’. I thought.

Sunita was eating silently. She was bowing down her head.

I stayed in the dinning hall, watching her till she finished her dinner. She didn’t raise her eyes above for a fraction of second.

When she raised her eyes; our eyes met for the sixth time. She smiled and lowered her head.

Just then I got a signal from my friends that they had taken Sunita’s photo along with me. They raised their thumps up sign.

“WOW! That’s great!” I was euphoric.

Every now and then I took care of both mother and daughter.

“Khuri(aunty), Sunita, do you want something?”  

“No, Vir beta. I don’t want anything.”

“Sunita, do you want something?” Sharda khuri asked.

Sunita shook her head in reply.

“Hey boy, bring here some rice, dal, meat and fish,” I cried out.

“No, no, I don’t want anything,” Sunita said.

“O, sorry,” I said.

“Dada, who wants rice, dal, meat and fish?” the serving boy asked.

“Not here, go there. Give them,” I said.

“Khuri(aunty), how was the food?” I asked.

“It was excellent, Vir beta. You people have made very good arrangements,” Sharda khuri said.

I led Sunita and Sharda khuri to the tape water. I opened the tape water to wash their hands and mouths.

“Thank you, Vir beta,” Sharda khuri said.

“You’re welcome, Khuri(aunty),” I replied.

Sunita didn’t speak anything. She lowered her head when I opened the tap water.

Then I led them to the reception hall. I handed them gamusa (hanky or small cloth) and betel nuts.

Sunita rejoined Jyoti didi in the bride’s room, and her mother seated in the reception hall accompanied with other guests.

Finally, the moment of farewell of Jyoti didi was arrived.

Jyoti didi was crying bitterly, hugging and kissing mother and father, Hari dada and Mohan dada, Savitri nabo and Tulsi nabo and her closed friends. Their eyes were wetted with tears.

I couldn’t hide my tears. I too broke down. I hugged Jyoti didi tightly.

“Baiduo!!” I cried.

Jyoti didi kissed me on my cheeks and hugged me.

I saw few tricking down of tears on Sunita’s cheeks. She was accompanied with Jyoti didi until the final farewell.

Jyoti didi hugged and kissed Sunita before giving her final adieu.

Jyoti didi got inside the wedding car and within a few minutes she left us forever and gone to her new house and new world to begin her new life.

Within a minute our house became like a deserted and lonely place. All our relatives, friends and neighbours were started leaving our house one by one and one after another.

Before leaving our house Sharda khuri met our every family member.

“Okay, baiduo, dada, we are also leaving now,” Sharda khuri said to mother and father.

“Bye Vir,” Sunita said. She passed me a gentle smile.

“O-O….” I was fumbled.

I couldn’t expect that Sunita would say something to me before leaving our house.

I was thrilled with joy.



                                                     


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1 comment:

  1. gripping story of two lovers....

    ReplyDelete