Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Trust me, Prachi! I know it all!

05:08

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Today, it has been 3 days that I am out, away from my parents, away from my love, away from home. I am sitting in this train since then. I do not have any intention of getting to the place this train is heading for. I want this train not to have any destination. If the train stops, so does my life. I have convinced myself to this. ‘A train having no destination’ is out of the world stuff. I know that this is not possible, but I still wish for the same.

I am sitting near the window, my body and face covered in a blanket and eyes stuck at a place called nothingness. It’s been a long time that I have moved from my place. My lips have gone dry. I do not feel thirsty. There is not even a grain of salt inside my stomach yet I am not hungry. It seems as if thirst and hunger have been removed out, from my system. I was never like this before! What has happened to me? Am I sick?

The train comes to a halt. Some passengers climb in while some get down. I turn my gaze from the window to the entrance of the compartment. And he gets in. Our eyes meet for a brief moment. He is an average looking guy with curly hair. He places his luggage on the berth and resorts to reading a novel, I suppose. I glance at the cover of the novel from the corner of my eyes. He notices my movement. I quickly turn my eyes towards the window. He smiles to himself. I see him smile. I do not react. I go in to nothingness once again.

***

My sleep is disturbed by the hawkers. I wake up and the first thing I do is ‘look at him’. He is busy chatting with another passenger. I fetch my water bottle from my bag and take a sip. During this process, the part of blanket that is covering my face shifts and my entire face is visible to him. He looks at me and smiles. I frown and close my eyes. I drift in to my dreamy world. Sleep has been my best friend since 3 days. She is with me always. I do not need anything else.

***

I am woken up by a tap on my shoulder. It is him. He stares directly in to my eyes. His brown eyes have an intoxicating effect on me. They are telling me a story, instructing me, advising me, shouting at me, killing me. I cannot look further in to them. I shift my gaze and purse my lips.

“You need to eat something. You mustn’t ignore food for long.” He says softly.

There is something in his soft, melodious voice that makes me nod my head in affirmation.

“I shall get something for you!” He says and leaves.

He is back few minutes later with dosa and chutney.

“You love it. Don’t you?” He asks.

I nod. I do not have any energy left to speak.

“How does he know that I love dosa with chutney?” I wonder.

I eat the food hurriedly and wash it down with the cold drink that he has got for me. I smile at him, for the first time. He smiles back with a twinkle in his eyes.

“Feeling better?”

“Yeah!” Words escape from my mouth, finally.

“I am Akul. You are Miss?”

“Prachi.”

“What’s your story?”

I am puzzled.

“I do not have any story.” I say while shrugging my shoulders.

“Frizzy hair, empty stomach, tears dried on the cheeks, dry lips, sleepy and hurt eyes, covered up body, a single bag pack, no mobile phone – and no story?”

“Yeah! No story!”

“Come on Prachi! We are friends. Aren’t we?”

“No! Not yet!” I say.

“It’s okay! I know your mind is busy in that whirlpool of thoughts.”

“I am not thinking anything.”

“Prachi, you are a bad liar.”

***

It’s night time. He is sleeping and I am awake, counting the stars. I think about his talk.

“How does he know about my thoughts?

You appear so very vulnerable! Anyone could have understood about your situation!” my mind replies.

“Have I over-reacted to the situation?”

“No! You haven’t. You did the right thing.”

“Emotional right or Practical right?”

“Right is right – no emotional, no practical! Appropriate is the word.”

My mind is yet again, travelling to places which I do not want to visit. Tears are welling up in my eyes again. I find difficulty in breathing. My head is spinning round. The next moment I see is that I have landed up on the floor.

***

“Are you okay, Prachi?” His arms are hugging my shoulders.

“Hmmm.”

“The next station we reach, you are getting down and seeing a doctor!” He orders.

I just stare at him.

“Okay? Answer me!”

“Okay.” His soothing voice is casting a spell on me. I am enchanted with his presence around me.

“You shouldn’t have left your home, Prachi! A loveless marriage has no meaning. It’s better to break the bond and move on. Clinging on to things which do not mean anything to you won’t do any good. Accept them the way they are. Respect their decisions. I agree that you should not have seen them like that. But has running away helped?”

“You do not know anything about me! So just stop blabbering all that nonsense.” I shout.

“Trust me, Prachi! I know it all.”

“No! You don’t!”

“Here! Read this!” He hands over a letter to me.

“Read it when I am gone.” He further adds.

He places a kiss on my forehead, cups my cheeks and moves towards the entrance of the compartment. I am surprised at his gesture. I look at him. He is near the door. I blink my eyes. He is not there.
“He has fallen off the train! He has fallen!” I cry.

My fellow passengers pull down the chain and the train stops. The Ticket Collector and few passengers get down and look for Akul’s  body. His body is nowhere to be found.

“There is no one there, on the tracks. You are mistaken Ma’am. You must have been dreaming.”  Says the Ticket Collector.

“No! He was here. His name is Akul. Please check for his details.”

The Ticket Collector opens up his register and searches for Akul’s name. I, too, do the same. He scans through the second page. No results. Then the third and so on! Akul’s name is missing. I am angry now. He deceived me.

I open up his letter to read.

Dear Prachi,
My body is missing. Is it not? Do you know who I am? Have you wondered why I knew so many things about you? Have you given a thought as to how I know about your parents and their extra-marital affair?
Prachi, whatever happened has happened, you cannot change it. Always remember, you are the mentor of your future. What you sow today, you will reap it later. Running away from problems is not the solution. Solution lies in facing it.
Suicide is the heinous crime. Don’t ever commit it.
Go! See a doctor today itself!
Have you figured out who I am?
 “Trust me! Believe me! I shall not disappoint you!”
Love,
God.

I had tears in my eyes now that I had finished reading the letter. I hugged the letter and cried my heart out. I looked like a disaster. I folded the letter and placed it inside the pocket of my jeans. I rushed in to the washroom.

On returning back, I decided to re-read the letter again. I found the letter, nut it was blank. The letter was no more, it was just a paper.


The next station arrived. I got down the train, all fresh and determined to live a better life, to go home and forgive my parents. My God is with me, watching me, protecting me! Do I need anything else?

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