Archive for the ‘Short stories’ Category

Lost in my dream Island…

Posted: October 11, 2010 in Short stories
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The blue sky smiled gorgeously as I opened my eyes. The leaves of those tall trees glowed like an aura, making me feel like I was in paradise. It was a beautiful morning view; but was not the ones I was used to!

Where am I? I wondered as I rubbed my eyes and stretched my arms.

Only then I had noticed her. She was lying on my chest; her hairs and lips kissing my skin, her beautiful skin shimmering in that morning light.

I thought of asking her where we were; but something inside me demanded me not to wake that angel up. I tilted my head sideways and watched the surroundings.

White sands spread all over the place making it look like some fantasy world. There was no sound except for the distant resonances of waves.

Is it a beach? No! it can’t be. After all, why should I be in a beach!

My thoughts broke as the trees around us swayed along with the wintry breeze. The air which was smooth till then whispered something softly; a feeling of coldness washed me.

Why am i not wearing any shirt! Baffled, I let my hands and eyes search for it frantically. Soon my hands felt something. I looked at it curiously. It was a fruit.

I took it in my hands and stared at it… Slowly my vision started getting hazy!

***

The first thing I saw when I woke up was a sea. It was evening time and she looked gorgeous in that greenish blue attire. The horizon seemed like miles away; still he was complimenting to her seductive looks.

As I gazed her, it occurred to me that she was beckoning me. Her spell was already on me by then and it was over powering me in a mysterious way! Without my permission, my legs walked towards her.

When she kissed my skin for the first time, my inside shuddered; the coldness she had contained in herself was unbearable. Still, I kept walking as if in trance. My mind was totally blank; it even occurred to me that everything around me was still. In a little while, my lips tasted something salty. I didn’t think much; but took a complete dip there…

Totally cut off from all the sounds around… Bliss!

I opened my eyes and smiled. A feeling of happiness washed me!

As I emerged back to the surface, I took a quick look at the surroundings. That view just took my breath away. I gulped some air.

An island! What the hell! I exclaimed.

I stood stock-still there, marveling her beauty. But suddenly my eyes caught something strange lying on the shore. I ran towards it. The white sands got crushed under my feet. Some managed to get stuck to my wet naked feet.

A girl!!! I exclaimed as I halted just before her.

I kneeled down and looked at her. Her back was facing the sky. She was wearing a white dress; her long black hairs covering her face. Though I didn’t see her face, I figured out that she was a beauty.

Angel fell to earth! I wondered. I tried to wake her up by calling out something. But there was no response. I bend forward and shook her arms. All of a sudden she moved with a jerk.

That took me off guard and I fell backwards.

As I looked she woke up and sat there as if she was disturbed from a deep sleep. After a few seconds pause, she looked sideways. I adjusted myself to catch a glimpse of her face. Suddenly she looked backwards and her eyes caught mine.

For a moment, I was frozen!

Yes, she was an angel; may be the most beautiful one among them.

“Who are you? Why are you with me?” I heard her voice and saw her lips moving. But I was too paralyzed to respond.

“Hello, I am asking to you, sir” and she waved her hands.

Oh! I said as I woke up from that blackout state. What did you ask me? I looked at her innocently.

She repeated the question. I thought I was answering her. But all that came from my mouth was “Are you an angel?

May be my expression was funny, but she started laughing to it. A smile blossomed on my lips. Slowly it turned into laughter.

Some strange pleasure wave washed my inside again, for the second time that day.

My eyes met hers again. I felt like somebody was pulling strings inside my body; strings which connect my heart and my secrets. Again that frozen state!

How could a girl I met few minutes back do this to me! I wondered.

She smiled again; her face was calm and sweet. I felt as if my life was oozing out of my body…

“Do you know where we are now? Or at least, do you know whether there is anyone here apart from us?” She asked as if she recollected all that happened few hours earlier. I shrugged. She smiled again. “Good!”

“Do you think we can take a walk in here? This island seems to be beautiful”

I would have even jumped off from Himalayas that time if she had asked me to. What she asked was nothing compared to that. I nodded gladly…

She began talking like a child as we strolled along that paradise; about her favourite food, dresses, movies, and even about her childhood. A few minutes later, to my surprise, I discovered that I was too taking to her all silly things. Our chemistry had matched by then. We were laughing and enjoying each and every moment.

“Look, the sands are kissing your feet!” She said with a naughty smile. I gazed at her. A smile bloomed on my face.

“Probably they might be begging you to step off her. You might have been the worst creature that ever had set foot in here” She added quickly. The smile and wonder on my face faded in no time.

I gulped some air and tried to smile… She turned her face towards the distant sun.

Though she tried hard, she couldn’t hide that mischievous smile that blossomed on her lips.

Oh! Ok… I shrugged and smiled.

On one side the sea stretched beautifully seducing anyone who spared a look at her. At other side, was the sexiest island I had ever seen in my life! Tall trees, white sand; cool breeze… everything was seducing. And the one walking close to me was a divine aura; an angel. I was confused which was seducing me the most!

As I was battling those thoughts in my mind, my eyes spotted a small rock cave structure at a distance. Wow!

She followed my gaze and then halted for a while. I looked at her. Her eye brows contracted. A playful smile blossomed on her face and then without any word, she ran towards that cave.

“Let’s see who reaches there first” She called out as she sprinted.

I always hated it when someone challenged me!

Really! Then I must say that you turned the sprinting machine on, my angel” with that I sprinted.

A few seconds later, she stopped before me, panting. I was at the entrance of the cave. “I was just checking your speed. Not bad for a baby like you”

What! My jaws dropped. She smiled and ran her fingers over my hair.

“Your hair style just sucks!” She said in a careless way.

I felt like someone hit me hard with a big hammer.

She stood there and gazed me for a while. Swiftly she walked towards me and scrambled my hair; then took a step back and scanned me from top to bottom.

“Now you look sexy!” She smiled.

I don’t know where the lightning came and hit me from at that moment; but I just stood petrified.

“Hello Mr. Supernova, come on in. Are you planning to spend the rest of the day here standing like a stone baby?” She waved her hand again; that naughty smile lingered on her face.

She walked in first and I followed her. I should have named that day a stunning day. As my eyes caught a view of inside, I was like “Oh-my-freaking-god”…

She suddenly grabbed my arm and said “Even if I am trapped in this island for the rest of my life with you, I would never repent. This is heaven.” She paused.

“But the only concern is that I have to spend the days with the dumbest person on earth!” With that she loosed her grip on my arms and looked at me in a different way.

Why are you looking at me like that! What did I do wrong here? Though I tried to ask, words didn’t come out. I tried to smile.

She burst out laughing as she saw my expression. That’s the part which I never understood. One smile and all my inside melted… Just like that.

Is it some kind of spell or a charm? I asked myself.

A sudden sparkle appeared in her eyes; she was looking at something, wonderstruck. I followed her gaze. What I witnessed then was something breathtaking.

The sun’s rays were entering that cave though the tiny holes on the roof of the cave. The rays gushed inside like a blessing from heaven. Below was a water surface, an aqua blue one. The sands below the water were white just like those in the island. Some rocks popped out of the surface of water at various places.

The cave was enormous and it looked like it was a home to several secrets. My heart told me that it was the most romantic place I had ever seen and it asked me to freak out; and my mind, on the other hand, told me to be cautious as it was the most mysterious place I ever had seen.

“Come, let’s explore it” I called out looking at the different corners.

I think she was baffled at first, but was quick enough to respond “No, I am not coming. You do it alone” She shrugged.

“What make you think that you have an option there, apple peach?” This time it was my turn to give a naughty smile.  I took her arms and started walking through the stones. She followed; wearing that delicious smile on her face.

At times we had to hop from one rock to another. Some were slippery and we had to balance ourselves well not to lose our grip.

Yes, my mind was right. The cave was mysterious and cavernous in a unique way.

“Do you think there would be devils or demons in here?” She asked from behind.

“Why? Are you afraid of them?”

“Why should I be? I don’t care about them.”

“Well, you shouldn’t be; because you are walking with one now.”  I turned and winked at her. She poked her tongue out, pulled her ears and shook her head sideways. We laughed loudly…

If it was my legs which acted weird when I saw the aqua blue sea, it was my eyes this time. To my surprise, my eyes were studying her gorgeous figure in a much seducing way. Slowly, she walked close to me and looked over my shoulder. I gazed her for a while and then shifted my eyes away from her to the surroundings.

Soon, I felt her fingers against mine. I didn’t look at her. Neither did her. Leisurely, my fingers caught couple of her fingers. In a little while, I found myself playing with her nails. Suddenly she pulled her arms away. I looked at her eyes. She looked at mine for some time and looked down. I smiled as I figured a trace of shyness, for the first time, on her face.

“Can we keep exploring this place?” She asked me. I smiled and shrugged. We kept walking. But I knew by then that my heart had already accepted that angel… Occasionally I turned back and looked at her. She was silent all that time; her lips still wearing that lovely smile. The devil had already stolen her heart!

Time flew… The sun’s rays were fading. I understood that it was getting dark. We started walking back; hopping and balancing through the stones.

“Look back!” I turned and shouted. “Devil is standing right behind you!”

It almost took her breath away. She shot a sharp warning look at me. I gave a naughty smile and shrugged.

“Now if you do that again, I will… ah… I’ll do something!” She warned me with a naughty smile.

“Ahan… Let me see that then” I said playfully.

We were almost near the entrance. The sun’s rays, by then, had almost faded; what left was a faint light! Everything then looked like silhouettes.

“What will we have for din…” I couldn’t complete it. I felt someone pushing me from behind. I lost my footing. The next thing that got registered in my memory was my head hitting hard on that rock. For a moment I wondered what was happening to my body. I felt as if I was going down freely.

Is this the way to hell? No! It should be a refrigerator!

The water was dead cold! I felt as if it was tearing my muscles apart ruthlessly… The last thing I heard was some faint voices. But nothing was clear. Suddenly two arms grabbed me.

****

She moved gently. As she raised her head she saw me. Her lips moved; I smiled as I saw that same naughtiness on her face. Soon her eyes caught the fruit in my hand. She looked at the trees around.

“So I think our breakfast is ready” She smiled, resting her chin on my chest.

I smiled. She was drawing some shapes on my chest with her chin.

“Do you know what happened to me yesterday” I asked her.

The smile faded from her face.

“It was me!”  She looked down for a while. “I thought you were going to frighten me again. I thought I was pushing you to the pool. But you hit the rock…”

“I am sorry. I didn’t mean it. Only after pushing you I realized that you were just asking about dinner.”

That’s ok. It was nothing. I smiled. But how did you manage to take me here?

She stared at me for a while.

Slowly that mesmerizing smile returned to her face. She kissed my chin slowly “I was scared then and I didn’t want to lose you”

My jaws dropped; mouth wide open. She just kissed me!

Now who cares what happened to me! I felt like jumping upside down and screaming at the top of my voice.

“I did everything; but you were shivering badly. I rubbed your arms, hands… still. That’s why I did this”

That statement pulled me back from the dream land. Er – did what? I was confused.

But she just smiled and pulled herself up and sat next to me.

My jaws dropped dead again and I looked at her dumbfound. I wanted to speak; but I was too stunned to do that. She sat there beaming at me. Her eyes were shining.

At last I managed to open my mouth you – er-  you are naked!

You!!! I thought it was we!” She shrugged with a mischievous smile.

I didn’t look at myself but smiled as I pulled myself close to her.

“You were shivering badly and this was the only thing that I could do then.” She whispered to my ears.

My eyes met hers. She leaned towards me and slowly kissed my eyes.

I found it hard to breathe! Everything around me was revolving…

Yesterday’s was the luckiest accident in my life! The words came out of my mouth without my consent. She smiled like a Greek goddess…

I don’t know your name yet!

“call me apple peach!”

I just smiled to that.

She threw her arms around me. Our eyes met. The state of trance was on by then. I was already floating among the clouds. Her head moved close to mine; eyes closed. Before I closed my eyes, I saw her lips parting…

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THE SCARED CROSSING…

Posted: September 7, 2009 in Short stories

She never thought she would walk that way again! That was the scariest place she had ever been in her entire life! Yet, she was there on that winter night… strolling through that uncanny highway, alone… The winter was at its peak and she knew that well… yet, she didn’t feel it! 

It was during the last year, while she was returning from the ‘green lake villa’, she walked that highway for the first time. But it was different then… She had Jason with her.

Jason was the only one who could make her feel happy and secured even in the hell! All she cared was his presence… and nothing else really mattered to her. They had waited there for 8 long hours before a mechanic came and repaired their ‘Maybach’…

She desired to spend their ‘waiting time’ inside their luxury car… making love with her sweetheart. She felt that their vacation at green lake villa was short, even though they had spend 2 days and nights there, and wanted to make up for that! After all, it was a much awaited vacation… But Jason insisted that they should take a walk!

She was very hesitant in the beginning as it was freezing outside… Besides, the place looked eerie and unwelcoming. She tried to convince him about the possible dangers hidden out there, but Jason was always different… He took her along, dismissing her ‘girlish’ worries…

She had decided to express her disappointment over his decision by not talking him until he took her back to the car. And she succeeded… but just for a couple of minutes! As she walked by his side silently, she realized that her two pullovers were no match for that freakin’ climate… she quivered like an ‘autumn’ leaf! And in a little while, she grabbed his hand and pulled herself close to his huge arms. He just smiled and put his arms around her…

The moon and the stars beamed at them as they sauntered happily through that lonely highway… She leaned completely on Jason and walked in a state of trance… After a little while she realized that her worries had departed miraculously from her little heart. She no longer had any concerns… she was enjoying each and every moment of that divine walk… ‘Jason effect’ was the only puzzle she had ever failed to solve in her entire life… and she was proud of that! She held him tightly and strolled along with him… It was then Jason spotted a Punjabi dabba…

She woke up from her dreams when a truck’s head light hit her hard on her face. It was approaching her furiously. But she leaped on time to save herself!

Where the hell are your eyes, stupid? She shouted at it furiously… But it got dissolved in the noise of that old truck’s ailing engine.

She always knew that the truck drivers are like wild buffalos when they hit the national highways! Jason had told her once that they would be drunk and be half asleep most of the times. The only thing that makes sense to them, then, is the head lights from other vehicles… You would be dead if you are walking in trance! He said to her once…

Why are you always right, Jason? She chortled…

She shot one last outraged look at the old truck and turned to walk… Someday, I would teach these idiots a lesson… She said to herself. And just when she turned, on the right side she saw that Punjabi dabba – the same dabba where she and Jason had dined last year. She then understood where the truck came from!

She walked towards the restaurant lazily, but carefully. She didn’t want to bump into any stupid trucks!

As she approached the dabba, she realized that nothing had changed much there – like last time, it was crowded and noisy.

Last time when she walked in there with Jason, the people drinking there had stared at that couple as if they had descended from some alien city! Some ‘drunk’ truck drivers had even passed some hushed comments. She wasn’t sure whether they had recognized her but wondered whether they had x-ray eyes! She still remembered the ‘eagerness’ and ‘hunger’ in their eyes… She ignored all those and glued herself close to Jason… She knew that there was nothing to worry when she was with him… Besides, he was a notorious IPS officer…

The dabba was still the same. ‘Drunk’ drivers were laughing and singing merrily… devouring fat chicken legs and rotis. Most of them were completely drunk and were blabbering nonsense. A group on the first table was shouting at a poor waiter for not serving ‘mango’ pickle to them… She walked past them without getting noticed. The one in the next table was engaged in a heated debate over some celebrities ‘unchecked life style’…  

Ridiculous! What the hell they know about us! She sneered and continued strolling…

The ‘old’ group on the other table was talking about ‘swine flu’ and its ‘future’… The next one about some freak accident that they had witnessed… Then some on rape and assault! It went on…

Suddenly she spotted some ‘uniformed’ young truck drivers drinking on the table next to the corner one. They were boasting about their ‘adventure’ journeys through the highways and their number of ‘hits’…   I should tell Jason to arrest these idiots… I’m sure, that truck driver must be one like these jerks… She mused and walked slowly to the corner table where they dined together last year…

Everyone was in their own world… Strange that they pay no attention to me! Have I lost my appeal? Or these people don’t know celebrities? She pondered over those thoughts. But she knew the answer… She looked at herself. She wore a loose T-shirt and rugged ‘anti-fit’ jeans. Besides, the loose ‘soiled looking’ leather jacket she wore was Jason’s which she took from him during his last visit. That was 3 days ago… when he turned up, out of the blue, on her door just to see her new hair style!

It was during the last week she had changed her hair style – a stunning boy cut!!! Jason had protested that idea in the beginning, but yielded when she insisted. She wanted a change.  He thought she would look ‘weird’ in that style but when he saw her, he realized that she looked more attractive in that style! After an initial ‘drama’ Jason had confessed that to her with a naughty smile.

She chuckled, straightening her cap. No wonder they are not staring at me! I might be looking like a nasty boy now! She tittered and started walking back…

She didn’t feel like having anything even though she hadn’t had anything since breakfast… Besides she didn’t want to have food from there alone. She missed Jason…

Just then the waiter shot a look at her. He stared at her for a second or two and then withdrew. She wondered whether he had recognized her. She smiled at him but he didn’t return it! She just shrugged and walked to the gate silently.

She admired her guts to walk into that dabba alone at mid night. ‘Jason’s would-be’ status had given her an extra grit these days! However she felt lucky to have escaped those drunken truck drivers eagle eyes. I think I can work with Jason now! She giggled when she thought of mentioning about her ‘lonely’ visit to the dabba to Jason. She was sure that Jason would get upset when she mentions that to him… He was always possessive about her and she had enjoyed that very much… It was warm and something she loved deeply…

She walked forward… Jason had taken her, last year, to the nearby field after that dinner. She wasn’t sure what was cultivated there. But it seemed something like wheat in that darkness… As they walked towards the field, holding their arms together, some old lady popped up from nowhere and warned them about the ‘ghosts’ in that area…

Jason never believed in them. “When the living is more dangerous than dead, why should we fear the dead” She didn’t say anything back as she knew Jason well.

He had joined the Police for a reason… But when he got inside the circle, he realized that they were all just ‘poker chips’ in the hands of some political devils. Directly or indirectly they ruled the city and controlled the activities of police. Jason had tried, desperately, many times to protest that, to chain them down… but!

He soon found that his mutiny was not against the culprits but against the ‘guardians of law’… At some point, the latter becomes more dangerous than the former Jason always said that… Couple of times he went against his superiors and acted against their will. But the only things he received were some silly transfers, half wounded enemies and embarrassing rounds of ‘firings’ from all top level ‘gods’.

Eventually, even he started accepting that ideology… Police is just another puppet in the hands of skilled political leaders and money launders…

He had encountered many terrorists and dacoits… some had threatened to ruin his family, some tried to kill him… but luck favored him all the time! Besides, he was a one mountain of man! Nobody would dare to attack him from front!

Its better to live among ghosts than with them He once said that to her… She chucked at that time. Hey big boy! You want to change this world in one day, ah? She tried to pull his legs…

Suddenly she wondered why Jason was talking time… He had promised to meet her there in half an hour. She checked the time… She knew very well that Jason was a man of words. He had always made it on time… Never even once had he been late! A thin breeze of fear and anxiety washed her… He is smart and strong. He knows how to get out of trouble… and my God will protect him… She reassured herself and walked to the huge oak tree on the bank of the field…

It was their second winter vacation and they had chosen ‘green lake villa’ again… She had asked Jason, at 1 p.m., to check in to the villa by day break. Then she promised him that she would meet him at the villa by mid night as she had some urgent work left.

She completed her assignments by late evening and started to the villa in her Volkswagen Jetta. But the damn car! I don’t know what’s wrong with it… Pooh… She heaved a sigh. She had called Jason half an hour back and he had promised to pick her up from there…  

Normally, it’s only a half an hour journey from the villa to there. And for Jason, it’s just a matter of ten minutes… He was crazy about speed and always had teased her for her ‘snail-driving’. She laughed silently…

She checked the time again and waited impatiently. She was eager to meet him… After all, it was a much awaited vacation. The year was tough for her, but fruitful. She thought about her future assignments and heaved a sigh. It’s a glamorous world… but it demanded her to put in nothing less than 200%. Moreover her designs were the ‘most sought after’ in the business world.

Ah! I have to edit those and send to the client by Tuesday morning! She suddenly remembered…

At that moment a rustle from behind woke her up from her thoughts… Jason!!! She wheeled. But it wasn’t Jason…

A young lady of about her same age stood there…

She studied her in that darkness. She wondered whether she was a Greek goddess! Even in that darkness she easily made out the exquisiteness of that young lady. She couldn’t help herself wondering what a beautiful woman like her was doing there in that strange place… that too in the middle of the night! It seemed that she was expecting someone – her eyes rummaging around the distant horizon!

She cleared her throat just to gain that lady’s attention.

Slowly the young woman turned to her and smiled at her affably…  

“Well, I wonder what a beautiful lady like you does here at this time of night?” she inquired to her returning her smile.

“May be the same thing you are doing!” The young woman responded…

“Waiting for someone?”

“ah… not exactly… but, yes, I have to receive someone…” she turned her face towards that distant sky…

Receive! She wondered what she meant by ‘receive’.

“Do you belong to this place?” She asked casually. But the young lady gave her a sharp gaze and turned her head again to the horizon…

“Just asked…” she paused. “you know, they say that there are ghosts around this area.” She shrugged… “and that they hurt human beings…”

“No they don’t…” her eyes still fixed on the distant dark sky…

How does she know for sure? She asked herself…

“Hey!!! You speak as if you know them and have seen them?”

“Yes, I do…”  Her posture, still the same!

She felt that the young lady’s answers were short and indifferent! Moreover it lacked clarity… She had been nice with her till then. Yet she had paid no attention to her and gave the weirdest answers. Besides, she still stood staring at that distant sky…

She doubted whether the young lady was playing tricks on her! She had heard about ‘those’ people who play such ‘cheap’ tricks on common men and cheated money from them… Jason had told her about them once. But she didn’t seem to be one among them… Besides, those kinds of people usually target the lonely highway passers and definitely not the ones who were waiting for someone near a paddy field!

But her previous answer had annoyed her beyond limits.

“How absurd! That’s the silliest thing I have ever heard. I have never seen them or came across anyone who had seen them either!!!” she snapped.

“That’s because you were not one among them…” She spoke, still staring at the distant sky “…till sometime back!” her voice was firm and profound…

“Excuse me…” her voice trembled… “What did you say…”

The young lady slowly turned back and looked straight into her eyes… As she looked, her eyes glowed… just like two sharp lights…

Her memories began to fade… It travelled 45 minutes back through time…

The only thing she saw was two bright lights. She tried to steer her car away. But it was too late! Those lights crashed into her ruthlessly…

First, she was confused… then there was a sudden sharp pain… She couldn’t sense her right hand. The left one rummaged frantically for something inside Jason’s ‘soiled-looking’ jacket… Soon she found what she was searching for. She grabbed her mobile and rang Jason up…

Words didn’t come out as she wanted! She wondered whether she was making any sense to Jason… She spoke many things over the phone for the next two minutes, but didn’t remember even a single word she spoke! But there was one thing she still remembered – his promise… He had promised to meet her soon…

“You are fine… okay… just stay with me honey…” Jason’s voice shook when he said that…

For the first time in his life, she heard him taking the name of God…

She knew that he was crying… “Just hold on my dear… I’ll be there soon”

But she knew that she was losing…

“I am coming, my love… just stay with me…okay” Jason’s voice faded gradually… She smiled weakly for one last time…

The young lady suddenly broke the eye contact and turned back and stared the distant sky… This time she too followed her gaze…

Half a kilometer away in the highway, Jason sobbed like a child clutching her close to his body… That faint smile still lingered on her face… her mobile still safe on her left hand…

“I’ll always be yours, Jason” The last words he heard from her about half an hour back… but it still resonated in his ears like jingles from a fairy land…

***

As they both looked, a star popped up at that distant sky and glimmered… The young lady turned back to face her…

“It’s time… to leave…” the angel whispered to her in a soothing voice.

As she struggled fighting that trauma, the angel gently took her hand on hers…

A cold breeze passed by… Again there was a rustling of leaves near that huge tree…

As the oak tree and the paddy field stood still in that darkness, at distance, near the horizon, a new star slowly brightened…

It wasn’t an unfamiliar place or time for Raghav. Besides, he had been following that same routine for years; to be precise, since he was 16. But that day, it was different. He felt that there was something strange about the day! He walked slowly to the nearby bench and sat there, clutching his hands firmly on the metal bar. He sensed a strange pain inside his body, which was like never before. It felt as if someone invisible was trying to overpower him completely…

Museum Palace is one of the most beautiful and fabulous historical fortresses in the city. Located at the heart of the city, it’s a favorite spot among visitors too. The beautiful garden inside is a wonderful place to hang around… There was one more attraction in there – the zoo, the biggest in the south Kerala.

Inside the palace compound, surrounding the fort is a beautiful garden and a nice pathway. The health conscious people reigned that track during mornings and evenings. Some people jogged, some sprinted and others just did a brisk walk… In a way, it is one of the most happening places in Trivandrum.

It was early morning and Raghav hardly had completed his second round of brisk walk when he suddenly felt a strange pain in his chest and decided to relax for some time. He sat there clutching his left arm on the metal handle and the right one on his chest for some time. He slowly raised his head and looked towards the other people who were engaged in their morning exercises. They were too busy to notice that old man…

Slowly his vision began to blur…

It was 59 years ago when one of his neighbors suggested the idea of ‘jogging’ in the Museum compound. That time Raghav was young and fit and wondered why he should be ‘jogging’. As far as he knew, only old or middle aged people jogged there. Yet, upon his neighbor’s insistence, he decided to try that out. The following day he went with his neighbor and walked a few rounds there…

The morning sun, the fresh air, the beautiful garden and everything… everything there was marvelous … He wondered why he hadn’t started it earlier…

He had met several people and made lots of friends from there… But none of them continued the ‘morning exercises’ for long, not even his neighbor. The reasons were several – getting old, increasing job responsibilities, relocating, health issues… and list goes on… But nothing stopped Raghav… Not even the two mild heart attacks that he had encountered with very recently… 

Life was always fun and mysterious… When he was a teenager he used to chat with his companions about sports and other girls who walked there. As time progressed the topic started circling around their future and job. Then the main topic became the family issues and responsibilities and when he crossed forty, he used to discuss nothing, with his companions, but about his children and their future…  

However, for the last few months he had been more or less alone there. The young had always paired up with the young and it was difficult for Raghav to find people of ‘his age’ there. But occasionally, he had company and their talks mainly circled around their ‘good old days’ and ‘after life’….

It was on a winter morning when he first met Radha… She came there to walk with her dad. Raghav, who was 23 then, was completely charmed by her beauty. But he didn’t have the guts to talk to her then, also it wasn’t a good idea considering the fact that she was with her dad. So he just followed her at a safe distance all the way in that Museum track, just like the Vodaphone dog…

He repeated it for the next 8 days praying to God for a chance to talk with her. But nothing happened; except for his world getting filled with her and her thoughts… soon he realized that he was in love… for the first time in his life.

From the 9th day onwards, he couldn’t find her! However, her father came everyday to continue his routine… Later, through a mutual friend, Raghav came to know that Radha’s father was a government employee and got transferred to Secretariat during that winter. So he shifted to Trivandrum with his family. However, that mutual friend had no clues about Radha. Raghav felt that he couldn’t live even a single moment without seeing her. The pain of not seeing her was growing sturdily with each passing day! He became uneasy and disturbed… Finally he made a plan, to escape from all those pain…

He got acquainted with her dad and started giving him company. Fortunately, her dad found Raghav to be a good kid. Also, his knowledge on politics and current affairs had impressed that government employee immensely…

Gradually, they became companions and during their long jogging sessions, they enjoyed debating over various socio political issues. Soon Radha’s father realized that he had started admiring that gentleman for the deep knowledge he had possessed…

Even though Raghav had started talking with him for a different reason, he realized, with time, that he was enjoying that old man’s company…

Through her father, he came to know that she was his only daughter and she was doing her graduation in another district, the place where he worked previously. During her vacations she came home and stayed with her family. He also told Raghav that she was coming home that summer and would stay with her family for one month…

From that day onwards Raghav felt that he was breathing just to see that summer vacation…

Radha’s father introduced her to Raghav on that summer morning. Radha was 21 then and was slim and tall. She smiled graciously at him. Raghav stood froze in his steps. He had waited all this time just to see her again and now she was standing in front of him with a mesmerizing smile. He felt a chilling breeze passing by… He had just met the most beautiful woman in the planet…

Radha, on the other hand, felt that she had just met a ‘cute stupid’… She noticed the ‘joy’ and sparkle in his eyes.   

Days passed… All three were enjoying each other’s company… especially Raghav!

Raghav soon understood that she had inherited her father’s wisdom and elegance. Radha too, like her father, was quite impressed by the way he talked and behaved. He was no longer a ‘cute stupid’ for her. She understood that he was a little genius. Moreover, her father used to talk highly about him all the time… and gradually, they started sharing a special bond…

They continued to meet every morning in the museum and by the time summer vacation was over, Raghav had completely occupied Radha’s little heart…

It was just a beginning… Inlands soon became an integral part of their life. Initially Radha bought 1 or 2 inlands in a week… but as time passed she felt that she could better start an inland making factory!

Raghav got a job during that time and for him, everything was going well… Radha had accepted his proposal to marry him… His friendship with her dad was growing stronger and deeper… His parents were, then, happy and proud about their son…

Three years later, on a monsoon season, Raghav’s parents went to Radha’s house… Radha’s father was more than happy to give his daughter to Raghav…

After 6 months, they married and started living together. Since then it had been a different world for Raghav… It was beautiful and fascinating. They lived a great life in there… sharing and caring for each other. Their kids were bright and lovely. Raghav always made sure that they were happy and satisfied all the time. Later, when they grew up, they moved to UK and settled there with their families.

Raghav and Radha were leading a perfect retired life. They bought a farmhouse in the country side and spend their leisure time there. Occasionally they went to UK to meet their lovely grandchildren.

Everything was going fine and live was fun and beautiful, as always, to Raghav… One day, when they were planting some vegetables in their garden, Radha fainted all of a sudden… Raghav rushed her to the best hospital in the city… but…

His children flew down immediately. They were shocked to find their father in that devastated state… They insisted on taking him with them… but…

“We lived here from the beginning… we were always together here” tears rolled down through his cheeks… “She still lives here. I can’t go anywhere…”

“I always wanted to be with her… always… no matter where she goes… but…” Raghav sobbed like a 5 year old kid

“…may be God wants her more than I do…”

But HE can’t have her always… she is mine… only mine…

That was 5 months ago… Two weeks after her demise Raghav went to Museum again… He knew that she was walking beside him… He no longer needed any companions… His best friend was with him…  Yet, occasionally, the other old people joined him, to which he had no complaints…

Raghav shuddered abruptly. He can’t bear that pain any longer… The rising summer Sun stared straight at Raghav… He knew that it was the last light he would ever see… slowly, his grip on the metal bar loosened…

Suddenly he saw Radha at a distance… She was walking with her dad on that winter morning… She was hardly 20 years old and looked as beautiful and elegant as usual… Raghav stood up and quietly followed her… at a safe distance…

But this time she turned back and smiled at him… Her eyes were beckoning him dearly…

yes… Gods can’t have her for always…