Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Chapter 2 : Like it happened yesterday

It was the end of March. After the extreme coldness of preceding two months the city once again started getting warm. The brightness of sun felt pleasing during these part of year. I was busy reading a story book when the little boy in front of my seat jumped off his seat indicating something outside the window to his father. My eyes naturally also turned to see the thing that filled the boy with excitement. There was a monkey jumping across the endless stream if trees. The expression of joy on the boy's face got me a smile.
"Our reactions and expression does not actually depend on the things going around us. It’s something within us that determines how we are being affected by the same thing in different manners. The jumping of monkey was same for me, the boy and his father. The father remained expression less; I smiled while the boy burst out with joy. The outer scenario was same. That inner thing made difference."
My eyes turned towards watch on my left hand. It was almost eleven of that morning. I looked down the window again. Thousands of feet below there were some tiny houses. The bus was entering the city leaving the calm and soothing sceneries behind it. I was coming from my grandparents place after spending my holidays. Both the cities were separated by a hill. They were connected by cutting and transforming the hill itself into roads. The sharp turns and curves made the journey alone a thrilling experience. The familiar crowd of the city signaled that bus had entered the main city.
It was around eleven thirty when bus stopped and I got off. I bought a bottle of water from a small shop and stepped towards the market area outside the bus stop. I crossed a number of buses until I was in the outermost area of the bus stand. There existed a series of beggars. I moved ahead ignoring their voices and the faces full of expectations. I tried to act like I didn't notice them. I hated the concept that someone's whole life in our society depends on others mercy or kindness. My father had already told me to go to my uncle's shop and he will pick me from there. I turned right towards the market where the shop was. I entered the shop and went straight to my uncle and bent down to touch his feet as a sign to show respect. He blessed me with a long life. I sat down on one of the chairs and after asking about the journey he got engaged l. I focused on the customers in the shop. There was a girl aged around 8-9 years. She was with her father. She had a smiling face. She was happy for what was happening. It was her birthday and her father brought her to buy a dress. or perhaps for buying her happiness. I don't think he would be buying that dress if it makes her sad. His aim was to make her happy in that case and buying dress was just a tool for that. The real transaction there was of happiness painted in the colors of that dress. They thought they were buying that dress, I was seeing they were buying happiness wrapped in that piece of cloth.
After they went we started talking again until a new family entered the shop. A beautiful girl with a man in his thirties and his wife. She was in white top and black jeans. I stated at her all the time she was at shop. She had a good figure and a beautiful face. Perhaps the most beautiful I had ever seen. I wished she could be there for more time so that I could see her beautiful face for some more time. How lucky are some people to see such person every day, to talk to her, to live around her. I felt pity on me. Actually I got jealous of them. I stared her walking down the stairs that connected the entrance to the road and my father getting up the stairs. The man with the girl bid morning to my father. They had some sort of conversation and both moved on their way. I got down touching the feet of my father. He responded with a lovely smile and embraced me. And we moved towards our home. It was two weeks since I met my mother. I was in a hurry to see her.
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I picked my lunchbox from the table and came outside the house where my father was waiting for me to drop me to school. It was the first day of the last year in the school. Just one more year to get out of this boring hell- I thought. I was a studios and quiet type of person. A little above average in studies and a good behavior makes you an acceptable creature in our society with lots of praises wherever you go.
I always had a problem with things happening around me. When the school used to run I wished for holidays, and when we get holidays I wished to be at school. I think this is with all normal students except those lucky ones to have a girlfriend and boyfriend at that age. We were at the school gate in fifteen minutes. I bid goodbye to my father and turn around to enter the school. As I took my first step inside the school my eyes fell on that stunning face. It was the same girl I met at my uncle's shop. She passed a smile as she recognized me. I always abstained from talking people especially when it came to girls. I just gave a similar smile in return and moved towards my class.
I didn't really have any close friends that I was eager to meet after a long holiday. Still we all met and in those silly conversations and studies the day ended. At the end we all gathered for the assembly. We all stand in rows while the principal uttered his bullshit that was in his opinion important enough to waste our time. Meanwhile my eyes found out that beautiful face again and our eyes locked for some seconds. My heart started beating fast and I took my eyes off her. She too started looking somewhere else. I looked her until she placed her eyes back on my face and this kept going on for whole assembly and after that we all moved towards our homes. The first day of school had ended and it was not quite different from all those boring years except for that beautiful face happened to me. My father was waiting outside for me as I crossed the gate with my friends who were laughing on some joke made on the math’s teacher. We moved towards our home with the image of that beautiful smile in my mind.
It was the next day of school. My father had some urgent work to do so he dropped me school a little early. There was no one in the classroom when I entered. I went inside, put my bag on the last bench and turn around to go to the ground where all the students gathered in recess. I started moving towards the gate of our class from where I had to take right and move down the stairs to reach the common ground. It was the last step to cross the gate of classroom and the first step to come in the corridor when someone bumped into me. I slipped a few steps back. Then I turned to see who the person was. And there was she standing. The girl with beautiful face with one of her friends. I knew the face accompanying her. Her friend was a class junior to me. She was standing with her beautiful eyes fixed to ground and I was staring her like I don't believe what's happening. My heart started beating very fast sensing the uncomfortable situation I was facing. She had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen. I was lost in her beauty when her friend who already knew me said - "She is newly admitted to our class and she is a little weak in history. You have just passed the class, if u can give your history notes.........." Her eyes told me that she doesn't mean what she is saying. It was not the actual reason why they were here. It was only a tool to what she actually means. Or perhaps I just wanted it to be so. I couldn't figure out what was the correct picture. My heart had started beating much faster. I had to come out of that situation. I agreed to bring the notes the next day and they moved ahead. After going a couple of steps ahead her friend turned towards me and gave a cunning smile. I smiled back in return. Now what was this smile for? Did that mean that the most beautiful girl of the school had started liking me? No how could that be possible. After all I was a isolated studios guy, nothing else. Why should anyone be interesting in me? But the thing happened moments ago were indicating the impossible. It took a couple of minutes for my heart to go back to normal. Can't it be possible that she just needed the notes and I started making castles in air? I shouldn't make conclusions without knowing the reality- I suggested myself.
Next day I was ready with the history notes. I waited in my class for them to come. It was fourth period but i neither saw the beautiful girl nor her friend even once. The bell rang in a continuous tone indicating that lunch has started. I finished my lunch and went towards the common ground to see them. Finding them gave me comfort. She was with her who nudges her seeing me moving towards them. "I have brought the history notes you have asked.” I was still lost somewhere in her beautiful frame. "Okay, we will come to your class at the end to take it." Her friend told me with the same cunning smile. I had nothing more to say. I turned around and walked towards the corner were my friends were looking at me talking to the new girl who was in everyone's conversation these days. Everyone desired to be with her, to talk to her for she was such a beautiful girl. They kept on teasing me taking her name like she was my girlfriend. School life is amazing where simple talk with any girl could make her your girlfriend in everyone's eye and you can't explain anything to them. The situation got worse when she came to meet me at the end of the class when everyone was leaving and she was coming towards the class. I took the notes out and handed it to her. Her friend was looking at me with her smile. My hands touched hers while giving the notes and the heart beat went faster again. I pulled off my hand. Both the Friends sensed my nervousness and smiled looking each other. Her friend said, - “if there's anything else you want to say her you can say it". I was busy at seeing the beautiful face which evidenced widening of the thin lips resulting in a smile full of shyness. Now what was that? What does that words meant. Is she wanted me to propose her.? Tell her that I loved her? My heart started beating faster.
‘‘No there's nothing else like that.” I stammered with my words. Her friend gave a big smile like she knew what I was feeling. Both said goodbye to me and left smiling. I went towards the place my father was waiting to pick me. The beautiful face turned towards me looking deep inside my eyes like they were saying that they loved me. I turned towards my father and we came home.
I was standing in the common ground in a circle of my classmates with my face towards the two friends standing at a distance. In the conversation about some movie released that week I took out enough time to see her in regular intervals. And Every time our eyes met she used to lower her eyes. I loved those moments most in the whole day. When the bell rang signaling that we had to go now in our classrooms I looked her in eyes continuously until the wall came in between. Our love story will be a great and different one. It's just four days since we first met. The face I hadn't seen ever four days ago had become so important to me. I will have a great love story in which we fell in love in three four days of meeting and never separated then. I will take care of whatever she wants and thus there will be no problem between us. I imagined a perfect love story for me in which there will never be any problems. I smiled feeling myself on the top of happiness.
                                                
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It was last week of April. The warm winds of summer had started. Usually it was around mid may when our city became too warm to come out in afternoon. But this year the temperature crossed forty five degrees in Last April itself. It was twentieth day of the school. We come to know a lot about each other, thanks to the kind friend of hers who always led us to a talk. If she wouldn't been there we would have spend all those days looking at each other face. She was new in the city and lived here with her uncle. Two daughters of her uncle were also admitted to the school along with her which I came to know later. We looked and smiled at each other all the time we got. Every day she used to come to my class with her friend and we used to talk. Sometimes the elder one of her two sisters also accompanied them. Her friend had asked the same question five times that whether I want to say her something. And as always I denied. I got nervous every time and it ended with her cunning smile as if she knew what was going inside my heart and brain. The whole day had elapsed as it did for last twenty days. We were assembled after the classes in common ground when principal made the announcement- “As per the orders of Deputy Commissioner of our city, keeping in view the extreme warmness of weather our school is going to be closed for summer vacations from tomorrow. And the next class would be sixteenth of the month if June. ‘‘I turned my face from principal towards her and I find those eyes were already on me. The announcement meant we were going to meet the next time after one and half month. I didn't know what to do. Being in assembly meant we were not going back to our classroom. Instead we have to go home directly from there. I was waiting at the gate when she came with her friend. A line of worry was clearly visible on her face too. We were getting separated for the first time after we met. I could remember how hard it was for me to spend my Sundays when school remained close. I had no idea what would happen in one and half months.
I want your contact number” I said. I already put a piece of paper in my upper pocket along with a pen. I took out the paper, put it on my left palm and started writing as she started speaking the digits. I felt it hard to write on that paper. The pen seemed too heavy to me to write anything. I hardly have completed writing one digit when her friend said, “Your hand is shivering badly” I noticed my hand. I didn't know what was happening to me. I was unable to move my hand further.
 “You seem to be nervous. Be comfortable." Her friend added.
It may be so" I didn't have anything else to say apart from this.”  Let me write the number myself" the beautiful lips had stopped telling those digits I was unable to write. She took pen and paper from my hand and started writing herself. She had gone to the fourth digit when her hands got the sand condition as of mine. We could see the shivering hands. Her friend took the paper from her hand, placed it on her shoulder and completed writing the number as she spoke the digits. I took the paper and put it back in my pocket when her friend asked again “do u have to say something else?” This time seriousness took the place of the smile. I could feel what does those beautiful eyes looking towards wanted to hear from me. We were going to be separated for one and half months and this was the time to say those words. My heart beats got faster.
"No there's nothing like that" I said and turned away to go outside where my father was waiting for me. They moved ahead. Sadness has taken place of those beautiful smiles. I felt pity on me that why I couldn't have said her that I love her. She must be happy if I said her. It was what i wanted, it was what she wanted. We moved towards our respective homes.

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It was about a week when school got closed. I missed her badly. Those small looks, those meeting of eyes and her smile. The beautiful voice if hers. I decided to call her. She had told me that the number was if her uncle. I took my father's mobile phone and dialed the number written on the paper. A manly voice picked up the phone.
 "Hello"
"Hello, can I talk to....  I took her name"
"Who are you?"
"I am her class friend" 
I said. 
He handed over phone to her.
" Hello, who is this" 
"Hi, this is me. How are you?"
"I am fine, why you called me?"
" Do I need a reason to call you?,"
" No, it's not so. But uncle will ask if I talk to you. So don't call me again." 
“Okay, I won't."
" Do you have something else to say?" 
Her soft voice was full of expectations. I knew what I had to say. I felt uncomfortable and answered. “No. There's nothing like that" 
"Okay, bye. Take care. See you again at school" 
"Yes. Bye" It was a few minutes we remained silent over the call when I disconnected it.
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I got ready for the school. One and half months of separation had passed. Today was the time to see her again. I had waited eagerly for this day. I ended my breakfast and went outside. My father dropped me. From the moment I entered the school my eyes started searching for her. But I couldn't find. It was in the k lunch break when I finally saw her with her friend in the common ground. She was looking gorgeous in the blazing rays of sun. She looked me passed a smile and got busy with her friend. And the day ended. I came home. I thought why she is behaving like this. Everything was good when we got away. Did I make a mistake by not saying her that I love her? There may be the possibility that she found another guy. One and half month is a big time for that when compared to four days of mine. This is the human nature. When we don't get the right explanation or reason of things happening around us. We start making our perception to support the happening of events. And what is the probability of our imaginative perceptions to reach the reality. And there is the place where all misunderstanding starts. So isn't it better always to tell the right reasons to person in front. Or the person should be wise enough to accept that it's not necessary that the perception he makes always be true.
It was the second day and I was dieing to talk to her. To look her the same way as I did before. I went to her in the lunch break where she was standing with her friend. "Can u please excuse  us for a moment. I want to talk her alone." Her friend looked at her face with the same cunning smile and got a little away leaving us alone. The smile gave me some comfort that everything was okay. 
"Come at my classroom when at the end of the day" I said to her. She looked in my eyes and gave a shy smile.
"Okay, I will be there" I got away from there and waited for the classed to end. 
Finally the bell rang and everyone started going out of the class. After everyone had gone I came out to see if they are coming. I saw her coming along with her friend and both the sisters.  The three of them remained outside the class at a distance as they always used to do while she came inside the class. I moved towards a corner and sit on the desk in front while she stood with her back on the wall four feet away the first desk. She looked at me and our eyes met. I looked her at beautiful face. That was most fascinating than ever before. I didn't know what I had to say. I stood in front of the desk and took a few steps towards her. She kept on seeing towards the floor. I took one more step. Her eyes came up and met mine. We kept on seeing each other for a long time until. I got deep inside her beautiful eyes. I got closer to her eyes to see them. It was only a few inches of distance remained between our eyes when her lips touched mine and my eyes got closed. I couldn't feel anything. The right arm got around her neck to hold her tight so that we could feel each other heart beats. The heart beats were the fastest I had ever felt. I didn't know whose heart beats were those. I felt nothingness when mind goes out of any thoughts. The hold of her hands around my back went light when we heard the voice of her sister. She came inside to tell her that her uncle had come to take them home as well as my father. She was surprised and smiling to see us. Shall we? We didn't know what had happened just then. We can't explain why and how that happened. It just happened. We took our bag and came out of class and moved ahead without saying anything to anyone.
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It was the next day. I faced the mysterious smile of her friend the whole day accompanied by the shy lowering of her eyes whenever they met me. The mysterious smile of her friend was like she didn't believe what she heard from her beautiful Friend's sister. The whole day passed like that. Her sisters looked at me like I am an alien and that left me embarrassed over what had happened. We met at the classroom at the end. This time her friend was with her. We talked about the vacations. She went to her dad after the day I called her and came back two days before classes started. We talked about various things before we moved towards our home. Her friend turned and asked "Is there something else you want to say her” "There is nothing like that to say" we both smiled with these and moved ahead.

I was waiting for her to come at the gate of the school the next day. My father dropped me a little early that day as he had some work. I moved a little ahead of the gate with one of my friend when a car stopped in front of us. A guy aged twenty four twenty five cane out of the car. He stood almost half a feet above me and had muscles almost double what I had. He asked me my name. I smiled and said my name. "SLAP" my face almost turned to the other side with his powerful slap. Before I could understand what was happening there were three more on the same side of the face. I didn't even scold before this. All I got was praise and in return I always smiled. This was all I had learnt. "Get inside the car" he roared. Seeing what had happened just I didn't had the gut to say no to him. I got inside. There were two more people in the car - one was driving and one was sitting in his left at front seat. I got in the back seat and the one slapped me got inside and sat with me. The other two were almost thirty years or more and have the physique of men. They all were in anger. I was thankful to the person behind me that at least he stopped hitting me. I was thinking during the way I had always lived in praises and love of elders. How I will be living keeping these slaps in my memory? 
"It was you who called to talk to her that day?"
"Yes" I said. My voice stumbled in fear. I started to have idea what was going around me. I started thinking the thing I had done was wrong. The person driving the car was telling the person besides him that I troubled her, talked to her and so on. I wasn't in a condition to think and analyze what they were talking. I just wanted to come out of this. 
" Have you informed his father to come " the person driving the car asked from the person sitting with me.
" Don't tell him anything. I swear I won't even talk to her ever again. I beg u please forgive me this one time. “I hold his feet with both my hands. Tears came rolling out of my eyes for what I had done. I had a respect of good boy in everyone's eye and if they know these how could I live with that guilt. They will hate me for this. I thought the moments of looking and talking her. Why I had done that - I thought. The car stopped and we all came outside a house. The person beside me took me inside the house. There was a sofa on which he indicated me to sit. The sister who saw us in the class appeared in that room. 
“He is the one?" He asked.
"Yes, He is" she answered looking at my face. 
“Can we go to the school now?" I turned recognizing the beautiful voice. She looked at me then turned away. The younger sister accompanied her. What was the meaning of this? I got puzzled. Three of them went outside the gates and the one who took us here went to drop them school.
I heard the footsteps of someone coming towards the room. It was the same man who come with her at my uncle's shop and talked with my father. I felt comfort at least he would know about me. He came taking fast steps and gave me a powerful slap. After which I couldn't feel anything on the left side of my face. He continued that again and again. I stood at my place by then crying in pain. All I could have thought at that time was to come out of that situation. He went towards the corner of the room and took a wooden stick and came towards me. I shivered in fear. The stock was almost a inch in thickness almost the same size of the one holding it. He came in front of me. Pulled the stick with both the hand taking the other end besides his head and dropped it on my left arm and shoulder with the maximum force he could. I moaned in pain and the second was on my thighs. Third time it was on my right thigh. I fell on the floor with the fourth one on my waist. I continued to beg them to leave me and he continued to beat me. He was abusing me, my dad, and my mom. He kicked my face with his shoes and blood spilled out my nose. I felt very week. My yes began to close down while he continued with legs and sticks. I hold his legs to leave me. My mind couldn't sense anything. I saw my father coming through the gates along with our principal before my eyes closed......

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