Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mirage of Eternity (part-3)

Four years and six months earlier…                                                                                                                                   Campus recruitment INFOSYS
  The day has arrived for which every engineer waits for almost four years after high school. Though there are very few who could make their place in the complex qualification of the company. I was amongst one of them. My name was last on the list of the applicable students and first on the list of students being interviewed. Perfect.
  Many of our seniors had said that the interview is most critical situation of the life. They ask questions and expect answer that is most simple, however we try to implement complex logic to it and fail. OK lesson number one give simple answers.
  But if they ask programming question they expect you to answer the question in terms of complexity of program. Lesson number two forget lesson number one.
  I was standing in the boy’s toilet trying to remember all the lessons by the seniors. The interview was going to start in an hour and I was afraid as if was being sent on the war field.
  “Hey Aquib!” Prakash entered “someone is looking for you” he said smiling.
  “Who?”I asked in irritation.
  “Doctor doctor…” Prakash would not call her by name instead he used “DOCTOR” as her name.
  “What? Here?” I asked being horrified by her presence in the college. Now I have to give a special interview in entire campus.
  I chained up and got out of the toilet where I saw her surrounded by all the boys with their tongue’s out as they have seen a chocolate cake. She was wearing a pick top and blue jeans and was looking extremely hot.
  The meeting six months ago in CCD had started a new schedule in my time table. Now I used to catch 7 PM return train instead of 5.30. The one hour was reserved for Gauri which we generally spent in CCD talking. Actually she used to talk I just used to see her pink lips moving…

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mirage of Eternity (Part-2)

Five years earlier(cont..)
  “Are you sure you want to call her” asked Prakash.
  “Think once again…It may create a mess and you remember how she was” Prakash was constantly warning me not to call her. But watching her phone number on the ID card had fused up my senses. I was very determined to call her and tell her about her lost bag.
  “She must’ve been worried Prakash. She has lost her ID card, I can’t even imagine how bad she must be going through without it” I replied.
   Though I had a very strong reason to call her but that was not my intension. I just wanted to hear her voice. Once, may be last time. We had found her contact number on her ID card and that had awakened the helping and the soft-hearted person within me.
  We went to the STD booth near the station and I went inside the chamber to call her while Prakash waited outside. I picked up the receiver and saw the ID card to dial the number. Her face was still there smiling, beautiful charming.
  “Hey call her quickly” shouted Prakash from outside.
  “Ya…ya…” I nodded my head.
  I started dialing the number. For initial five numbers everything was normal and after my hand started trembling, my heart started beating faster and finally at the last number my fingers stopped. I looked outside Prakash was looking at me. He raised his eyebrow. I gave back a smile and dialed the last number. There were few beeps in the beginning and then the phone connected to the other side. As the ringing on other side started, my heart beating also fastened and pulse started running low.
  “Hello” a strong firm male voice answered from the other side.
   Is it a wrong number? Why would she give a wrong number on her ID? Typical girl.
  “Is it Miss sengupta’s number?” I gave a blind formal start.
   “No it’s Rajesh” the voice replied.
   “Oh sorry, I think I dialed wrong number”
   “No it’s sengupta’s number, Just Mr. instead of Miss” the man chuckled.
   She is married???
  “Oh…I wanted to talk to Miss Gauri, she forgot her purse in the train” I said in a down voice. She is married…it’s over..
  “She is such a…Are you from railway authority?” he enquired.
  “No sir, actually we travelled together in the train”
  “Ok I give you her number call her and handover the purse… I am in Mumbai, she is in Nagpur” he said.
  “Actually why don’t you call her and ask her to call me, actually I have to rush for the exams right now and am running out of balance too” My heart was totally broken. I gave him my cell number and hung up the phone.
  “What happened?” asked Prakash seeing my contracted face.
  “Nothing” I replied in a nervous voice and headed towards our college which took almost fifteen minutes from the station. She didn’t call in the period. I watched the cell for the last time and switched it off as I had to enter into the exam hall. But only cycle roaming in my mind was… She is married!! She is married…Is she married???
Present day…                                                                                                                                                                            MLA’s house…
   A man entered into the house. The guards at the gate and the door saluted him on the way. The man did not respond. He was not in the condition to, or may be physically he was here but his senses were still in front of the burnt train.
  “This is the most shameful event in the Indian history. Because of some psychic fellows an entire community’s head has been laid down. I have personally called CM and discussed the issue. A high level investigation is going to be conducted that would find out who the hell was behind this inhuman massacre. CM has declared this as a terrorist activity and the guilty would be punished mercilessly. Until then we have to remain calm, we are the followers of Gandhi and believe in his quote that an eye for an eye would make entire world blind. So please maintain peace and have trust in the Government” The MLA was saying.
  “They were in thousands” someone said from behind and all the eyes turned behind to see who he was. It was Dubey a Pandit from the Shiva’s temple. His eyes were red and filled with tears which resembled anger “And a thousand people cannot go psycho on a same day” his voice trembled and he broke into tears.
  “What do you want to say Panditji?” asked MLA.
  “I just want to say that you are a fool or the CM has shut your mouth with a huge amount. This was not a psychic activity sir, it was a cold blooded murder of the sewaks” he shouted back.
  There was a shock throughout the hall. The younger ones who were silence because of MLA’s orders also stood up to support the pandit. This was the truth that was in every one’s heart but anyone could not go in oppose of the MLA. But pandit has seen the cruel bloodshed by his own eyes and that had eliminated all the fear of MLA or any higher order person.
   The Pandit stood up from his place and took out a sword hung on the wall. He held the handle of the sword by left hand and made a cut on the thumb with the tip of the sword.
  “I pledge in front of the holy fire, wind and the earth that I will not intake a sip of water or food until and unless I cut every bastard who did this” the pandit announced.
   “Panditji, what are you saying? You are promoting a violent activity and if you do so then neither I nor any worker of my party will be supporting you.” The MLA also stood back.
  “They will not be supporting me, then they will be supporting the inhuman activity happened in the morning” he said turning around. Almost all the workers had joined him and now were following him.
   The MLA stood up in anger and shouted “Why the hell are you so worried about the bloodshed, this is not for the first time this had happened in godhra?”
  Pandit paused at the place where he was. He turned around. His eyes had turned redder and were filled with tears. He must not be able to see clearly through the wet eyes. “My son was a Ram-sewak, and he sacrificed his life for the sake of his duty towards his job. Now it’s my duty towards him to finish it all what they have started”
  When you are in final year, it doesn’t matter how you write or what you write. The only thing matter is can you write. There are thousands of students and only tens or twenties of checkers in the university, the answer doesn’t matter to them the only thing that matters is the length. The more you write the more marks you get.  So following the same policy I completed my paper with 3 additional supplements.
   But throughout the paper my eyes were constantly at the bag. I was afraid if she calls and my cell ring in between. Then I remembered I switched it off. I should not have. What if she is calling? What if she could not attend her college due her missing ID card? And I am damn sure she must be out of money. WHAT IF…?
  Then another thing stroked that said she is married…
  But she looks so young how can she be married?
  I was totally confused. I decided to give away the answer sheet and get out of exam hall. As I got up Prakash who was sitting a bench or two behind started cursing. I signaled him that I had a severe headache and I am leaving. And in return he gave me a FU…
  The first thing I did after getting out of the exam hall was checking the mobile. As expected there were about 15 missed calls from an unknown number. I gave a return call. The phone rang for a second and a sweet, soft voice landed on my ears.
  “Hi am Aquib, sorry I switched off my cell I was in exams” I said stammering.
  “Oh ya actually DAD told me” she said.
  “He called your Dad?” how mean he told everything to her dad, by now her entire family must have known about this.
  “HE…WHO??” she asked giving stress on the last words.
  “Your husband” I answered.
  “My husband, you called my husband. Shit… you ruined my first impression on him”
  “First impression???” I was confused.
  “Ya you called him and told him about this. I have not even met him.” She giggled from the other side.
  The girl is out of mind, Is she a medical student or a patient?
  “You called my dad, fool” she said after she was finished giggling.
  “Oopss!! He said I am Mr. Sengupta,  so I thought he was your…” I was stupid, foolish out of my mind
  “Ha.Ha..Ha…”she laughed “You are cute I like you” the words entered my ears travelled through my veins filtered through thousands of tissues got compiled in the brain and finally landed in the heart.
  “So when are you going to return my bag?” she asked.
  “Oh ya, when?..Where do I come to return the bag?” I asked stammering.
  “Let’s meet up at CCD near railway station, what say?”
  I have heard that medical girls are very forward but this was my first experience. Of girls, medical girls and of CCD also.
They say a lot can happen over coffee, indeed a lot happened; I met the girl whom I used to imagine in my dreams. She was the same but still different. I thought as I knew her for ages but still there was lot unexplored, unknown to me. This meeting cum date in CCD changed my life for once and for all… 
(To be continued...)
Next part: Mirage of Eternity (Part-3)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Mirage of Eternity (Part-1)

27th February '02, 7.45 AM
3 Kms away from Godhra station;
    There was a wave of holy spirituality in the train. People were singing the songs of lord Rama. Their lives had been enlightened by the great yagya happening in Aayodhya. The entire train was occupied by the “Kar-sewaks” or the “Ram-sewaks” returning from the sacred place of Aayodhya.
    All of them were tired to hell as they were chanting the name of their holy God during the yagya and also during the to-and-fro journey. They all were in a hurry to get home and ever eye was waiting for the train to reach the station, as the train was already 4 hours late.
   But the destiny had stored a different plan for the innocents, which was going to change the history forever.
   As the train arrived near the station, the passengers started making rush on the door to get out. The station appeared quite empty in beginning and the hawkers who used to grab their customers on running train were absent. It was a surprise for the regular passengers. The hawkers used to harass the passengers convincing them buying their products.
   But still their absence generated a little discomfort among the passengers. Something was wrong, was the only feeling in their minds.
    Then in front they saw a mob. A deadly mob of over 500 people was waiting eagerly to welcome the train, with huge swords and petrol bombs. All of their faces were covered and anger dropped like molten magma from their eyes. They were all determined. Their aim was locked. Their task was cleared.
    “Run… the mobs have got the weapons” someone shouted in the train.
    The sentence made every single person sitting in the train aware of what was happening out side. They tried to peep out of the window. Only thing they could see was the angry mobs in both side of the train.
    “Attack...” someone announced and the cruel bloodshed began. The mob with covered faces entered in to the coach and started cutting every human being in their way. The people were trapped from both the sides and had no chance to escape. No one could protest no cry was heard nothing could stop this bloodshed.
    The armed mobs were inside the train while some unarmed were outside.
    One of the mobs then picked up the petrol bomb and raised his hand. It was the signal for the others. The others also did the same in the response.
    “This is a warning to those who are in favor to build the temple. The Jama will be rebuild” he shouted and threw the bomb with full acceleration. The bomb entered in to the train through the window and a blast of fire came out in second.
    The others also threw their bombs. The entire train was burning and flames were rising above creating a black fog.
    No one could get out of the train. The bodies were lying burnt on the floor and on the track. None of them were in a condition to be recognized. The children women wept and died watching the scene in front of them. The rest who could make were killed by the armed mobs.
    The humanity was feeling ashamed. This was the cruelest face of the mankind. The most unfortunate thing was the train. The train that resembled peace purity and the peace was shattered into pieces. The train was SABARMATI-EXPRESS…

Five years earlier… 
 “Hey…wake up” I felt a terrible shatter throughout my body. It was Prakash who shook me with his full power. I opened my eyes and watched out of the window.
   “It’s Sewagram, it will take us an hour more for Nagpur station” replied him again closing my eyes.
   “How the hell can you sleep in this earth shattering train? I am not even able to read a single line” he said.
    It was the exam time for Engineering and hence every student travelling in the train was seen deeply involved in their books. I had studied a lot last night and now was in no mood to so more. Also being in final year reduces the stress of subject being BACK, Thanks to Nagpur University. I didn’t believe in the studying-till-the-last-minute fact as I know it never works. I mean if you are not able to mug an answer in an entire semester what miracle are you going to perform in the last minute?
    “Hey Aquib… Will you please tell me in short what this quiescent point is? It is very IMP for 3 marks” asked Prakash.
    A typical Engineer, striving for single mark…
    The train stopped at the Ajni-junction and I finished teaching Prakash the quiescent point phenomenon. I saw outside from the window. The station was empty as always. There were some newspaper sellers on the very far end of the station. Except him there was no human being visible. Although many living beings were visible like dogs, huge rats, and cockroaches.
    I turned back to Prakash was chanting loudly the phenomenon ignoring the outer world. This was the best way to mug any answer and if want to be a successful Engineer then you have to be a quality mugger.
    I gave him a smile and again closed my eyes. After a second or two I heard some people quarrelling. I opened my eyes. I saw a huge man who was sitting on a window side seat and a girl was quarreling with him.
   “At least give us a seat, If you don’t want us to study” she said loudly.
   “Madam, I am sitting here for last hour and I’ll get off at the next stop. You can sit here after” the man said.
   “The next one is the last stop” she said.
    This is normal when you travel in a train. I have never witnessed a journey without such a quarrel. I stood up and went by side of the girl.
    “You can sit there…” I was paused in middle of my sentence. Those eyes didn’t let me say anything. She was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Her lovely pretty brown deep eyes with a slight amount of surma applied to it were looking very extra ordinary. The long hairs were nicely tied up. She must have applied a little bit of pink lipstick that made her rosy lips look more beautiful. She wore a blue jeans and a white top with perfect combination of accessories. She had a white apron hanging on one hand while a handbag on the opposite shoulder. She must be a medical student.
     She went and sat on my seat without even noticing me. I went near the door and stood their holding the bars. But my eyes had lost the focus. Though I was looking forward my eyes were seeing behind. They wanted to watch the eternal beauty for their lifetime. I turned behind to see her. She was sitting in the opposite direction hence I could not have direct view of her. A small boy was sitting in opposite seat carrying a steel box full of ladoos. I could see her in the image created on the box.
    I tried to look sideways but my eyes didn’t allow me. My heart wanted that this journey would never end.
    In five minutes we reached the Nagpur station. She stood up in a hurry and got out of the train as fast as she could. My eyes were fixed on where she was going, but my legs didn’t want to follow her. I followed her, a step or two then paused on the place watching her go. She covered her face with a scarf while walking and vanished in the ocean of crowded station.
    “Hey Aquib, wait” shouted Prakash from behind.
    “Did you saw the girl who was sitting in your place?” he asked me.
     “Yes why?”
     “Where is she?”
     “In my pocket” I replied.
     “Don’t joke yaar... Have you seen where she went?” he asked being annoyed by my joke.
     “But why are you so worried about her buddy?” I asked him in surprise.
     “She forgot her purse in the train. Here it is” he forwarded a black purse to me. It looked expensive. I opened the chain of the purse and found an identity card on the top.
     “See if it has some contact number of hers, or we will hand over the purse to the railway authority. They will deal with it” said Prakash.
     But my eyes could not move away from a part on that card. Her picture. I turned my eyes to the other part that showed her name. It was Gauri Sengupta, student of third year Medical…

    The Sabarmati express was burning and the black smoke had occupied over a large area around the station. The burnt bodies were shattered all over the place. Some were recognizable while many were not even in a single piece. The whole railway station was turned into a cemetery.
    A man entered into the station. He was wearing a saffron dhoti and had a scarf of saffron color around his neck. His eyes were damped and his entire body was shivering watching the vision in front of him.  He stepped into the dead bodies lying search in for someone in them.
    All of them appeared the same. Burnt. The black ash was all over the station. Nothing was left except it. No living was visible in the area. Or maybe his eyes didn’t want to see anybody alive in such painful condition.
   Suddenly the man stopped watching a dead body. It had a locket of lord Rama in his neck. The body below was in good condition but the head was stucked below another body. May be he was alive. The man lowered and put a hand below the body and pulled up.
   A sudden shock travelled throughout his body. Rama has protected the body part below him. What If he had tied the locket on his forehead what If…?
    The man screamed out at his highest pitch holding the headless body and started weeping seeing the most inhuman, cruel and beastly act in human history.
(To be continued...)
Next part: Mirage of Eternity(part-2)