Leave Me Alone-2

Previously on Leave Me Alone:

In the first chapter, Sasha takes Ajay her home. Ajay, who had never gone in before, is mesmerized by the decorations. However, the portrait of a woman on red sari who looks similar to Sasha (Sasha says it’s her mother) grabs his attention. Later, he sees a woman on a red sari. Before he can who she is, he is attacked. Ajay flees away from Sasha’s home.

Continue reading Chapter 2 here. . .

Ajay was gasping. The chilly wind that hit his nose and lungs did not help him. His legs, too were giving in and his feet were burning on the cold pitch. He did not stop, however. After a few minutes of run, he had realized that he was not being chased anymore but his mind had warned him that it could be a trap. Even under fear and darkness, his sense of direction had helped him reach the police station. As soon as he had stepped in, he had collapsed.

Ajay opened his eyes upon a hard wooden bench. He saw two men in front of him. One of them was a bespectacled man of about sixty. He had white beard and his demeanour spoke of experience. The other was clean-shaven man of about thirty. He looked the more curious of the two. “Bring him something to drink,” the younger man ordered. In less than a minute, Ajay was offered a cup of tea.

“Hello, Ajay,” the bespectacled man spoke, “How do you feel now?”

Maybe because of the tea, Ajay’s body had felt a little better. But the very thought of what had happened at Sasha’s place chilled his spines. “Sasha is in danger,” he said to the old man. “You don’t look like a policeman. Who are you? How do you know my name?”

The old man smiled. “I am Madan Shrestha. I am a doctor and I live nearby. I had been called here by Inspector Pradhan,” he pointed at the younger man, “who also happens to be my son-in-law. We had personal matters to discuss. That was when you stumbled into the station.”

“And I asked him to helped you,” Inspector Pradhan said sternly. “We took your identity from your driving license. You look well off. How did you come up here without your shoes? Who is Sasha? You were muttering that she is in danger even while you were unconscious.”

“She’s my girlfriend,” Ajay said and gave the Inspector her address. He took the case in his hands immediately. Leaving a junior officer Krishna and Dr. Shrestha with Ajay, he set off with some cadets. Krishna, who had been intently listening to everything earlier, spoke asked, “Let’s know what had happened to you and your girlfriend, shall we?”

Ajay said, “We met at a conference about a month ago. We discovered many similarities between us and we soon got fond of each other. We exchanged numbers. Text messages soon converted into phone calls. The more we talked, the better we started knowing each other. A week later we went on our first date.”

Ajay told them that he had planned a special treat to celebrate Sasha’s birthday. A cake and dinner was ordered at 9 o’clock that evening. He had reached Sasha’s workplace ten minutes before her duty would end. He made a call, which Sasha had received on the eleventh time. She had soon come down, smiling. He had gone to her and had dragged to the car. He had opened the door and pushed her. He had been a little harsh and Sasha had been face down upon the seat. Ajay had never wanted such a thing to happen. She had looked a little furious. He had run to his seat and played her favourite music before he had driven them to Sasha’s house.

Sasha had smilingly asked him to come over at hers. Ajay had thought that she was angry with him because of what had happened earlier. He had not struck a conversation because of the very reason. He had been surprised and had denied the offer as he had often done. But she had pressed him hard. He would not have given in if he had not planned the treat himself. So he agreed. If he had agreed to go to her house earlier, she would not have been as excited at that moment.

Sasha had walked off the car and opened the gate. She had also shown him the garage, where he had parked the car. While he was walking towards the main door, he saw Sasha standing still on the porch. She looked like she was thinking something. When Ajay had called her, she had come out of her trance, or whatever it was, and had said that she had been waiting for her. Soon she had taken him through the main door, which opened into the living hall.

He had been mesmerized by the grandeur of the room. Its floor was covered by fine red carpet all over. In the middle of the room were three couches arranged in the shape of ‘U’. The bigger middle one faced the door that they had just entered from; one couch on its left faced the kitchen and the other in the right faced the bathroom. A low table lay in front of the bigger couch.

Two stairs went up from the living hall, one just from a little left from outside the kitchen and the other symmetrically left from outside the bathroom. They met on the other floor to form a balcony. Under the balcony, within the living room, there were several paintings. Due to low intensity of light on that part, however, Ajay could not properly see them from far.

While he had still been wandering about the hall, Sasha had entered the kitchen. He had heard the sounds of the gas stove being lighted up some minutes ago. The God of Mischief had led him into the kitchen. Sasha had turned her back towards the door and had been watching the milk-pan. Ajay had walked up slowly looking at his own face in the mirrors on the kitchen wall. He had also noticed a small mirror over the sink. As noiseless as a cat, he had reached Sasha and all of a sudden, grabbed her from behind. At the same time, the milk had boiled up and fallen over the stove, ceasing the fire. Ajay had been scared. He had made a mistake again. However, instead of punishing him, Sasha had pulled him forward to kiss him. The stench of the LPG had hit her nose at the very moment and she had pushed him away and had taken care of the situation immediately.

Though Sasha had not said anything, Ajay felt that his mischief had been enough to make her angry. He had quickly left the kitchen and had rushed into the living room again. He had explored the part under the balcony that time and had seen a portrait-like photograph. It was a life-size photograph of a woman on red sari and a matching blouse. Her shoes and bag too were red. She had put on a small bindi on her forehead and sindoor above it up to her hair. Her hair had been tied in a bun and curls were left out just above her ears. The photo stunned Ajay because the woman looked so much like Sasha but the photo did not look like it had been recently produced.

Therefore, while Sasha had entered with two mugs of coffee in her hands, he had asked if she had taken a photo of that sort. She had said that it was not hers. An idea struck into his mind that the woman on the photograph could be her mother instead, and she had confirmed it.

“After that, there was no question in my mind,” Ajay had continued. “I had strolled a little, sipped the coffee, I sat on the long couch. She had soon come and rested on my lap. I could see her beautiful eyes. They were full of love. I could not keep my own eyes off them. All of a sudden, her facial muscles twitched. The eyes that were filled by love had become furious. They looked as if she was about to pounce upon me.

“My reflexes tried to keep me away from her. As I jumped up, a little coffee fell upon her uniform. She lamented for a while and shot upstairs. Meanwhile, I emptied the coffee mug and put it on the table. I also noticed that Sasha had taken her mug upstairs for I could not find them in the room and I clearly remember that she had not gone into the kitchen either. I do not remember how long I sat alone in that living hall waiting for her. I was attracted to her mother’s photo and had taking a closer look at it again when I heard the sound of breaking glass from the direction of the kitchen.

“I hadn’t noticed if Sasha had come downstairs or not. I had no idea if she had been into the kitchen. I guessed she might have and dashed into the kitchen. Fragments of glass were scattered on the floor. The big mirror on the opposite of the sink had been the victim. I was careful not to step on them. (I had kept my shoes on the shelf outside the living hall.) Then I saw a woman advancing at me from the right corner of the room. I don’t understand if the photo had enthralled my mind already, for the woman who was sprinting towards me looked exactly like the one it.

“”Get out of the house,” she shouted at me. I refused to budge. She came forward at me and furiously swung her left arm at me. What I had not earlier realised was that she had carried a knife. By the time I could notice that, it had already landed upon my face.

“I howled, cursed and ran away with my hand pressing the wound on my face. Whoever this woman was, I was sure had gone crazy and was after me. I don’t know if she was Sasha’s mother whom I had not seen earlier; nor can I say what she has done to Sasha. At the time I fled, I just wanted to escape the wrath of that woman on the red sari. A little later, I mind just told me as I ran hard, ‘Go to the nearest police station, Sasha needs help.’ That’s what led me here and I collapsed before I could speak out anything to you.”

 

 

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Leave Me Alone-1

This is the first chapter in a short story of total six chapters. It is a tale of Ajay and Sasha- a couple in love- and their families. Their parents had committed mistakes which are going to affect their relationships.

Sasha smiled as she swiped the screen of the phone to dismiss the call. In less than three seconds, the phone beeped again. ‘Ajay,’ it read for the eleventh time that evening. “Receive that call,” Rosa, a colleague of Sasha said to her, “he seems desperate.”

Sasha smiled coyly and swiped the phone’s screen to receive the call. “Finally,” sighed Ajay. “Now, before you decide to cut this conversation off, I have to say that I have been waiting for you in the parking. And I’m feeling odd.”

“It’s not the first time you have waited for me,” Sasha teased. “Keep waiting. You might make a world record of waiting in the parking- more than most of the cars over there.”

“That would be great. However, you would be the cause. You would also make the bad record of making people wait. Come quick,” he chuckled.

“Okay, I’m coming.” Sasha cut off the connection again and grinned. She closed the file she was examining and looked at the clock on the wall over the reception desk. She always preferred looking at that large clock when she was there even if she had a watch or a phone that could tell her time. She produced another register, signed up and said to the girl who had been sitting on a chair beside her, “Time’s up. It is your turn to take care of the patients, Rosa. Especially the one on bed number 331.”

Rosa nodded. She had already prepared herself for the night shift. Sasha smiled and walked out. The hospital she worked on was not as crowded and noisy in the evenings. She loved this tranquillity but she also knew was it was short-lived. Once someone wailed out of pain, the nurses would have to be the first to reach them. Sasha need not rush at that time, though. Her eight hours long shift had just ended. She could go home and get a good night’s sleep.

But she was not thinking of sleep that evening. All she wanted at that moment was that to reconcile with her boyfriend and celebrate the anniversary of their first meet. She had not told Ajay anything yet. She had planned a surprise for some days. All she had to do was to convince him to go to her house. He had left her up to the gate several times but had always refused to go in. It would be a tough job. Moreover, she was tired already. She wished he accepted the proposal without much effort.

All her fatigue faded when she saw him sitting on the bonnet of his red car. She had thought of surprising him but Ajay was certainly keeping his eyes upon the corridor from which she would come. He jumped and walked a few steps towards her and opened his arms, smiling. Sasha hugged him tight. Without saying anything, he dragged her into the car. When he shut the door on Sasha’s right, Ajay ran around and took the driver’s seat. Before the engine roared, he had played Sasha’s favourite music. Sasha smiled as the car went out to the street. Thoughts were racing on her mind, ‘How can you always care for me, Ajay? Am I even worthy of your love? Can I love you like you love me?’

They passed through the streets of the sleeping city quickly. Within fifteen minutes, Ajay stopped the car in front of Sasha’s house. “Aren’t you coming in?” Sasha said. Those were the first words since they had met that evening.

“No.” Ajay plainly replied.

“You must come in,” she insisted. “You always leave me at the gate and drive away. That’s not going to happen tonight.”

“Practically, I can’t drive into your house. How will I convince my dad to compensate for the damage upon the car and your house?” Sasha laughed heartily. Ajay continued, “Will you just stay here with me? That would be better.”

“But you won’t feel warm and cosy in here.”

“What did you just say? This is a luxury vehicle. Temperature and comfort is not a problem in here.”

Ajay looked a little annoyed. Maybe he was playing with her. Sasha felt she was failing. But she would not fail that day. She put her right arm around Ajay and looking lovingly into his eyes, said, “Just for a cup of coffee. Please.”

Ajay surprised her. He agreed. ‘Too easy,’ Sasha thought, ‘so he might have been planning something himself.’ She did not ask anything, however. She just hugged him tight and got off the car to be hit by a frosty breeze. She walked a few steps and opened the gate. Ajay drove in. She showed him the garage and she herself stood waiting at the porch. When her boyfriend saw Sasha standing outside her house, he said, “Did you lose your keys?” Raising his hands up, he continued, “If you want me to break into your house, I give up. I can’t do it.”

Sasha rolled her eyes. Ajay grinned and moved closer to her. She turned her back and opened the door with the key she had already taken out from her handbag. Within seconds, they were in the living hall. Ajay seemed mesmerized. Smiling, Sasha told him to rest on the couch while she went to the kitchen. She put the milk-pan on the stove, turned on the gas, and waited for the milk in it to boil.

All of a sudden, someone put arms around her waist. Shocked, she turned around to look straight into Ajay’s eyes. She too put her hands around his neck and pulled him towards her lips. At the very moment, a strong stench hit her nose- the stench of gas. She pushed Ajay and looked at the mess on the stove. At the exact moment Ajay had caught her, the milk had boiled and fallen over the fire, ceasing it. She turned off the gas and transferred the milk-pan to another stove. She added some water and heated the milk again. Within two minutes, she poured the content into two coffee-mugs, added two spoons of coffee on each of them. She then went back to the living room. She had already noticed that Ajay had left the kitchen as soon as she had pushed her.

Ajay was looking at a large portrait on the wall behind the couch. “Ahem,” Sasha coughed once. Ajay looked at her and smiling, asked, “This is a beautiful picture. When had you shot a photo on a red sari, though? This portrait does not seem recent.”

Sasha grinned as he handed a mug of coffee to Ajay. She raised her eyebrows as if questioning, ‘Guess who?’ Ajay looked at Sasha and the portrait again and said, “It’s your mother’s, isn’t it? Wow, you both look so similar.”

Ajay’s statement did not surprise Sasha. She had heard that compliment from a lot of people. However, she was impressed that Ajay had discovered the truth himself. Ajay sipped the coffee and sat on the long couch talking about something Sasha did not properly hear. She went closer to him, put her head on his chest, and looked up at Ajay. He too was stared at him lovingly.

All of a sudden, he jumped and the coffee in his hand spilled upon her clothes. Sasha noticed Ajay as she jumped up as well. He seemed scared; but she could not understand what he was frightened of. She could not have scared him. ‘Oh no, my uniform,’ Sasha also realized that she had not changed. Without looking at Ajay, she said, “I’ll come right now.”

Sasha rushed upstairs and picked up a beautiful red dress from her drawer. She put on some make up and was about to move out when she noticed that she had brought her coffee-mug to her room. She finished the lukewarm beverage in one gulp and went downstairs into the kitchen. As she put the mug into the sink, she saw a woman’s reflection on the mirror. The woman stood behind Sasha wearing a red sari and red blouse. She was smiling at her and talking, but her words invoked terror. She was saying, “Kill that boy, Sasha.”

“Why?” Sasha asked.

“Don’t act like you do not know,’ the woman snapped, “You know what I am talking about.”

“No, I don’t. I don’t understand why you want to harm him.”

“Not just harm, “Sasha’s mother looked enraged, “but I want him dead.” Sasha chuckled. The woman continued, “Why don’t you understand, Sasha? All men are the same. Once his desires are fulfilled, he will leave you helpless like beggars in the streets. I don’t want you to suffer.”

“You’re mistaken, Mom. He is not anything like you say.”

“Why is he not? You do not even need to look back into distant past if you try to understand what I am saying. Just recall how he had grabbed you from behind. That was not a move of a decent man. He did not even apologise.”

“He did not say anything, Mom, but I have looked into his eyes and know that he meant no evil,” Sasha replied. “And remember, I won’t let you harm him.”

“You don’t understand, Sasha,” Sasha’s mother stared at her angrily, “You have been blinded by love and you don’t leave me a choice.”She abruptly produced a steel rod (Sasha had not noticed it earlier) and hit hard on Sasha’s head. She felt her vision blurring. Sasha looked with disgust at the woman on the red sari, as she fell and hit the cold floor.

Read Chapter 2 →

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A Story that took eight months to complete

I began writing Leave Me Alone through a concept while I was writing Quest during last year’s NaNoWriMo. I had written about a book Arun (the main character of Quest) reads during his vacation. Sometime later, I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I write one such story myself?’

On 31st December, 2015, I began writing the story. I had set a goal to write about 4,000 words that resembled the story of the book Arun reads. I decided to use the first-person narration from the girl’s point of view. The first statement in that version was- “I was cold. So cold that it felt like my heart was frozen.”

When I read the first draft later, I was sure the story would not be completed in 4,000 words. Nor would one person’s view was enough. I decided to add one more character- the girl’s boyfriend. I made them enter the girl’s house together, where the boy would be attacked. Until then I had not given them names.

As I added more characters- a lawyer, a maid and a doctor- who, obviously had no names, I had to name the girl and the boy. That would make the narrations of latter characters easier. I gave them names- Ajay and Sasha. That was on May-April, I guess.
A month after I finished my notebook (not a computer) draft, I started typing. By this time, Ajay’s narration had preceded Sasha’s and each character was speaking in the first person PoV. When I reread that draft, I was distressed. They just looked like collection of judicial statements with only two characters having a little interaction.

Then I jumped to the PoV I am more comfortable on- the third person. And I decided to limit it, focusing one character during one chapter. ‘That will add suspense,’ I thought.

So the first time I typed it into the computer, Sasha’s PoV came up in the first chapter again. Sasha and Ajay would go to the girl’s home and Ajay would be attacked.

The same thing would be narrated by Ajay in different place. But there are differences and they are intentional. The foremost chapter has now become the third. The fourth, fifth and the sixth chapters have the stories of a maid, a lawyer, and Sasha’s dream on a back story linked with attack on Ajay. When the story ended, someone else than I had previously thought became the antagonist. I have not pointed them. 

I want you to unravel the mystery.*

*Note:The story is going to be published every Friday beginning on September 2, 2016. Be prepared!

How Difficult Writing a Story Can Be!

It’s been almost six months since I have been working on a short story- “Leave Me Alone“. It is a psychological thriller, where a boy is attacked in his girlfriend’s house. I can’t believe it is taking such a long time to complete!

It’s not that I haven’t written the story. After hours of thinking, I began writing on January 1, 2016. At that time, it had begun with the first person experience of the girl while she finds herself unconscious on a cold night. Then the next chapter would be a continued by the experience of the boy (in first person narrative). I did not write further because I thought there was problem with the plot.

Some months later, I revised those chapters trying to see if I can continue the story. I got stuck again. Several problems arose. The characters were unnamed. They carried on the story with whatever they saw or knew. I got muddled up in my own story. Gosh!

Then again in May, before my exams, I decided to bring up a little twist. I thought of the names of the main characters and separated each of their statements (diary entries, police statements and court statements) in five different chapters. The story seemed complete for the first time. Problem was- nobody spoke, not even once, the title phrase. According to my planning, it would have to be spoken. I don’t know how I missed it!

I started typing that version out. I had already thought of the places I needed to modify. But did not continue because of my exams. And then when I looked at it about three weeks later, I thought, ‘Why not change everything- the beginning, the ending and the PoV?’

So this final draft (until now- I am still modifying things here and there) has a third person limited point of view (PoV, if you had been confused by the abbreviation earlier). Each character got their names (Hurray!) and one of them is going to shout out, “Leave Me Alone”. Finally, I can see it reaching the finishing line. But this particular story has been like a hurdle race to me. The beginning of every chapter is like a hurdle. When I pass one, I can gain speed but another hurdle threatens to break my pace immediately. I guess I only have to jump over the last hurdle now. Once it’s done, I can run fast and end the race.

When it’s done, I would love to share my happiness with you as well.

Have you ever written anything which might have taken you longer than you had initially thought? How often do you modify your work? Would you like to share your experiences? Comment on the box below. Thank you!

Those Untold Feelings

The boy was looking down the street. He had been waiting for someone and it had not even been ten minutes since he had arrived. However, he felt restless. He had been looking at his watch more than fifty times and had taken short glance to his right every ten seconds. He would  stand up and walk a few steps. Less than a minute later, he Several things were running in his mind. He had never felt that nervous before. Neither had he ever gone through a situation like he was then.

Her arrival changed him a bit. She had finally come- he felt a little relaxed. But a few seconds later, his nerves got him again. He felt heat on his ears. She came up smiling at him and seeing him nervous, said, “Hi! You don’t look well.”
“No, I’m fine,” the boy said immediately.

She caught his lie as he spoke. He has never been able to lie to her. She knew something was wrong. She pestered on him. The boy did not say anything but smiled as he often did. He had so many things in his mind but had no words to speak them out. What was happening to him? He knew he was being nervous but why? He had talked with the girl before. They had talked fluently over different things. Why wasn’t he able to say everything he had in his mind.

Whether his smile worked or the girl had something else to preoccupy her, she changed the topic, “How did your exam go?”

The boy had just taken an exam for the government service. He had done well. He said so. She simply said, “It might have been easy for you. You have a knack for general knowledge.”

The boy just smiled. It was a fact known to most of his friends and he had no way but to accept the fact. GK had always been his talent. That was why almost everyone thought he could be a section officer easily. He did not want to talk about the exam and his employments opportunities that day. He was being distracted. “Other things aside,” he thought, ‘I must speak out what I actually want to.’

Determined, he had just opened his mouth when he heard the girl beside him say with ecstasy, “You know what? My boyfriend proposed me yesterday evening in front of the family. We are getting married as soon as the results of my back paper comes out.”

The boy was speechless. He could not let out another word. He looked at the girl who was almost talking to herself about the last evening. He could hear the excitement in her voice and he could happiness in her eyes. What could he say? He had known her boyfriend. He had even imagined how she and her boyfriend would have reacted if he had let his heart out that day. Now, knowing that they were getting married soon, within the split second, he decided to stuff the things he had been planning to say for long. He would never again bring them up on the surface.

She was still talking as he was looking at her with a smile on his face. Her happiness- that was what he had prayed to God everyday. He could have given up everything for that. All he had to do was to keep the secret of his heart to himself. Without ever letting it out, he could she smile on her face and happiness in her eyes.

He stood up all of a sudden and then said smiling, “Congratulations! Wish you a happy married life.”

“I’m not married yet,” the girl objected.

“You’re definitely becoming a bride very soon. I wish you well.”

“You are coming to our wedding. I will make sure you’ll be invited.”

“You’ll make sure of that, I know but I might not be able to go then. That’s why I wish you a blessed conjugal life,” the boy said.

“You wished me thrice already,” the girl showed her presence of mind. The boy replied looking at her eyes, “So that it might be lucky for you.”

She did not get logic in what he said. She laughed heartily as she said, “You can be so funny at times.”

After almost an hour, the boy received a call on his cell phone. He left immediately. But he felt there was a hollow in his mind which could increase if he did not do something to cover it up.

Indecision crept on him, though. He could not think anything except that he had been late. So late that nothing could happen. All he could think of was crying. That night, as the silence increased, he cried. Tears left his eyes like a stream and sobs changed into hiccups. He cried so much that only sleep could break it. When it came up, he could not say. All he could say was that his pillow had been wet with his tears and that he could never forget her.

What Next?

On January 22, I receive an e-mail from the organizers of NaNoWriMo. The mail says, “What next?” And that’s not the only thing it says. It says to awaken the editor within me to amend the constitution– (Sorry!) the novel I had constructed in the month of November. I just mark it as “read” and say to myself, “The author is here, I’m on fire. The story is on the computer.” Readers might say, “Fine. What’s wrong in that?” That actually is the problem and as I write this article looking at the dead desktop computer on my table I’m asking to myself if the problem will be solved.

Thanks to the “Good Governance” and the Great Nepali dream of becoming “load shedding free” by the next year, interaction with the electricity has become rare. Electrical appliances are running with an application of brakes every half an hour. Even if I get a chance to “open” my computer, there is a fear, “When will it go off?” By the time I will be ready to edit, I am sure I will be too late. The computer screen will be as dark as night. So I decide to stare at the computer, think of the story and edit it within my mind. I’ll also be checking out NaNoWriMo’s programmes. So, I can smile a bit, can I?

Readers might ask, “How are you writing this if your computer is in a state of coma?” I would like to thank WordPress for creating an Android App. There is a problem with Android phones- battery. Thanks to my parents, they installed a panel that catches up photons during the day. The free energy from the Helios is all that runs this phone these days. (The battery is draining as I type in with my thumbs!)

“What next?” My friend Anish (now famous for his jacket) said to me when I called him at noon the other day. He had asked what blog posts I had in store. I had two articles. One, I posted almost an hour after the call. The second is a monthly feature to be published on February 1st. I have compiled this somehow. Will I be able to post another? The question still lingers, “WHAT NEXT?”

The Craziest Birthday Party Ever!

I am not someone who would take the first step in breaking rules. I am not the one who would like to be in a crazy situation. But one day, I was pulled- by fate or friendship, whatever you may call- to this weirdest, craziest birthday party ever.

We were on the geological excursion- a once in a lifetime experience. The tour was becoming too mundane. Wake up at about five in the morning, have morning meal at eight run to the field at nine. Return back within five-thirty in the evening, dine at six and work until midnight before going to sleep. Most of us were following the same routine. There was a need for change.

Some boys had tried spicing up life already. In the room where I had stayed, a friend of mine had been awakened in the night by some of the boys on his birthday. It was fun then but the teachers scolded them, albeit indirectly. Two nights later, we had to celebrate a birthday. We had to make it special.

Girls took the initiation. They prepared everything- unknown to most of us. They decided to take permission from the Field-in-charge Deepak sir. Laxmi did the talking. I was there when sir said to celebrate the birthday in silence.

The wait was long. I had some work to do, however. Time passed on easy. Rabi dai and Pawan dai made faces and took selfies and clicked photos. Sanjeev was probably waiting for the midnight but he did not know what was in store. Anish was busy in his work and we had to remind him at the last moment.

We waited in the dark. The birthday-girl had been sent away by the other girls. They came out as well carrying slices of cakes with them. It was almost January 14. What were we doing at the time when ghosts move around for food? We were talking in excited whispers, eager to wish the birthday-girl.

She stepped up. We all hid ourselves behind the walls of the dark corridor. Within thirty seconds, as soon as she stepped up the last stair, we all jumped and wished, “Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday, Romi!” We wished the birthday-girl in whispers. We had done it. We had wished her in the midnight, with permission, in whispers! (Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s ‘permission leke, taar ke niche se’ was running on my mind!)

Romi was awed. She could not believe it. She wanted to jump and shout. “Ssh! Keep your voice low!” We demanded. The same warning used to come up whenever someone tried to speak up loudly. The party continued with cakes. Everyone wished in whispers again. Apart from the aforementioned people, excluding Deepak sir, Prasmita, Bhawana, Pratigya, Ravi (not to confuse with Rabi dai), Nirusha and Sarita had joined the party. We even took selfies to commemorate the moment. Within half an hour, Anish posted one of the photos on Facebook.

What else happened? The boys slept. The girls said they had had a silent dance party. Rules and ethics ruled us out from the silent dance party. Yet we had participated in the craziest midnight silent birthday party!

image

[From left to right]1st row: Pratigya, Romi, Bhawana; 2nd row: Prasmita, Sarita, Nirusha,  Laxmi; 3rd row: Ravi, Rabi dai, Last row: Anish, Pawan dai, Ankit (aka Sandeept); Selfie click: Sanjeev

[Before the end of this article, Romi, I would like to wish you Happy Birthday again. I know it’s been more than a week already but I also can’t wait another year to wish you.

Along the road of life – miles,
Never let go off your smiles!
May happiness devour all your fears,
Never you be soaked with tears!
With Pure Heart, may you win the World,
Blessed with Friends as precious as Gold!
                    Happy Birthday!!]

This one’s for YOU!

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Dear  SOUL-MATE,

We know each other – at least by our names. YOU may never recognize me and as I will never mention YOUR name, YOU may also never realize that this message is for YOU. So, why am I writing this? I asked this to myself several times. I thought and thought and thought and finally came to a conclusion that this is not just about YOU, it is about Me as well. If I don’t express these things somewhere or to someone, I think I’ll go crazy. I don’t want that to happen. If I go crazy and if people somehow find out that my feelings towards YOU are to be blamed, I will never be able to forgive myself. Yes, I seem a little selfish, but it’s for the good of us.

YOU might ask, “If we already know each other, why no mention of names?” My answer is that I want YOUR name discreet. I don’t want others to know that it is really YOU. While others will be reading this, they will never know that I am telling this only to YOU. If I reveal your name, you might fall into trouble. People may mock YOU. Even YOU may feel bad that I did not tell this to YOU directly, but write it down on a letter that can be read by anyone. To save YOU from any stigma that YOU might face, I will try maintaining the secrecy as much as possible.

The day I met YOU was special. It was a fine spring morning with the Sun shining brightly. We were headed to different destinations, but our roads had merged somehow. YOU may not agree, but I think our souls had been planning to meet each other for long. The moment YOU talked with me is still fresh in my mind. I had felt stupefied and I had not known at that time, that I would know YOU as someone I have been calling YOU now. How that feeling came up might sound like a story to YOU (if I can tell it in future). But isn’t every life in this world a story with fascinating details?

Waiting for YOU on that route was difficult. It was a fifty percent chance that YOU would show up on a particular day. When YOU did not come, I just thought of that fine day, musing with myself. That moment gave me happiness no one can ever think of. Not a single moment has passed without the remembrance of that moment and YOU. It’s like my mind has been programmed to loop the same thing over and over – something that will never end until the end of my life. The best thing YOU did was to make me know myself. Before meeting YOU, I had very little interest in philosophy. Every time I met YOU, I felt that I had to have a good knowledge of life and death, of the world and its ways, of humans and love. I took an interest in these philosophical subjects to improve myself. The basic philosophy I followed was to love myself. If I did not love myself, I could not love YOU and could never expect YOUR love towards me. It’s been difficult. The transformation is slow. But it is not invisible. I have changed myself in a lot of ways. I have started seeing everything differently. I have got rid off the prejudices I had on people because they differed from me. I have started respecting each and every life on the Earth, the Earth herself, the Souls and the Creator. Above the Creator, I place YOU on the highest throne, respect, and love YOU. That’s because YOU made me contact with my Soul after a long time and it was during such sessions that I had understood the Creator.

As I communicated with my soul more, I could seek for YOUR Soul as well. Whenever YOU were not in front of my eyes, I would look into my Soul to search YOURS. You might not have realized but our Souls have been communicating. When YOU are happy, I feel a surge of happiness. When YOU do not, I feel the world has gone sad, unhappy. YOUR problems have become mine. The Mother Nature signals me of these feelings. If Nature can not, my soul makes a contact with YOU and transmits YOUR state into my dreams so that I can find out ways to help YOU. So far, I have not been able to do anything except provide YOU with some words of suggestions. However, that makes YOU happy and if such small tasks of mine makes you happy, I will be doing such things again and again.

YOU may think that these feelings towards to originated out of lust and not off Love. That’s not the case at all. Had it been only a crush or physical attraction, I would have forgotten YOU long ago. It was not about carnal pleasures – never has that been the case. YOU have attractive looks and YOU are more beautiful than average, but that was not the first thing I had noticed about YOU. The first thing I had noticed was YOUR presence of mind and the way YOU could notice small details from the past. Then I saw YOUR good heart and then I could see YOUR Soul. From the beginning itself, YOUR abilities and Pure Heart have attracted me, YOUR physique – never. There is no desire, there is no fear. Our Souls are Eternal friends and that will keep us close forever, though we might never meet again in our bodily forms.

Words are insufficient to describe my feelings towards YOU and I am finding it difficult to go on with this letter. Before I wrap off, I need to tell YOU something important. YOU might have been disillusioned by the ways people behave. YOU might have given importance to what others want to see from YOU. I know YOU are much different from what YOU have been showing to the World. No matter what YOU do, do not let anyone corrupt the Purity of YOUR Heart. If such a thing happens, I am with YOU forever and I will rescue YOUR Heart no matter what problems I might have to face.

Your Soul-Mate

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