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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Shashank and Simar - Short Story by Abhishek Mishra

"Janpath Market!Janpath Market!" the auto rickshaw driver was yelling to attract passengers."Will you be passing near the Bus Terminus?" I asked the driver. "Yes" the driver replied as quick as possible. I took the back seat which was almost empty. The auto rickshaws here can take three passengers at the back and two in front or at least the rule says so, but who cares the drivers can even adjust with four people at front! Obviously to earn a few bucks more. People are also used to it and do not protest.

I was returning home after almost six months of my schooling away from home. I was excited and couldn't wait to rush back home and spend some time with my mom and dad. I really missed them since the day I left. Not that I had a bad time at the boarding but home was much more fun. I missed the delicious food which my mom made especially for me and how everyday she used to come smiling to me and ask " What do you want to have today for lunch?" I missed dad, although he is a strict person. I also badly missed my bed and my room and I was longing to see them once again.

It was the month of June and it was boiling outside at eleven in the morning. I had two heavy bags and a rucksack with me. Sweat covered all my face and I looked as if I had just taken a bath and come out. Cursing the weather and the green house effect I somehow adjusted me. 
A girl, who was already sitting there, was looking out at the other side. She had a small school bag, which she had kept on her lap. I had no time to observe her then; I was struggling with my luggage. After I somehow got myself seated, I took out my handkerchief to wipe my face when a sweet voice interrupted me.
"Keep your leg inside the rickshaw."
 I saw my left leg was partially outside the rickshaw. I quickly put my leg inside although it was not comfortable enough. "Prevention is better than cure" I heard her voice again, I looked at her and smiled she did the same. She was indeed beautiful.

She wore a peacock blue salwar kameez her eyes were large and were perfectly done with kohl; she had very little makeup but looked quite breathtaking. Well you get such a chance once in a while I thought to me, when a pretty girl is with you in an auto rickshaw and willing to start a conversation.

"Hi, I am Shashak." I said "I am Simar" she replied as we shook hands. "Are you going somewhere?" she asked looking at my bags. With a smile I replied "I am returning home after six months of boarding." 
"Oh, that is why you have so many bags with you; you know we should be careful while travelling in these roads. Who knows anything can happen" she said quite afraid. 
"Yes, I know but don't worry" I said reassuringly. But she looked tensed. "Any problem?" I inquired.
"Only a few days back an old man was hit by a high speeding truck and he died on the spot, all this happened in front of my eyes..I really feel scared these days" she said worried. 
"No one can stop what fate awaits, though we need to be careful." I tried to release her tension. 
"Oh I forgot to ask you, where are you going?" I asked. 
"I am returning from my mathematics classes" she replied. 
"So which standard?" I wanted to know. 
"I am in 10th. You?" 
"I will be giving my 12th boards this year" I replied smiling.
"So we both are boarders" she tried to have a laugh. 
"So where will you go?" I asked again.
"Bank Road and you?" 
"Bus Terminus" I replied. 
The Bus Terminus would come first I thought to myself when she said the same, "So you will have to leave first" and I nodded. I didn't want the journey to end. I felt nice spending time with her. It seemed I had a strange relation with her as if She and I were known to each other for a long time.

We kept talking about everyday life and school, she said she wanted to be a doctor and that she liked sports and dancing too. I also told her about my hobbies etc. We were having a good time together. I gave her my facebook id and she promised to send a friend request. Her mom called her to know where she was, she said she had found an old friend and was on the way back home. I smiled at her and she did too.

My stop was near and I had to get down soon. "We’ll keep in touch, in case luck favors we will meet again" I said as I started to take out my bags. 
"Yes we will for sure" she said. 
"err, can I have your phone number?" she asked with an expression mixed with a tint of happiness and anxiety. What? She herself asked for the number! I was on cloud nine. Soon we exchanged our numbers. She promised to call me and send me a friend request the day itself as I bid goodbye to her.

When I reached home I was really very tired but it felt good to be back home. Back in my bed I was thinking of Simar and how we met. It felt good and I was smiling for no reason. I switched on my laptop to see whether she had sent me a request or not. There was no new request instead I visited her profile and sent her one. I wrote a message with it, "It was such a nice time together, hope to meet you soon.:)"

One day passed then two but she had still not accepted it.
Strange thoughts came rushing in my mind. Was all that just a drama? or was her internet connection out of order? I kept thinking. Neither did she call me nor accepted the request. I felt dejected and sad.
I was returning back for boarding when I decided to call her from the auto which I had taken to go back. Her memories rushed back in my mind while I was calling her.
"Hello" a hard and rough male voice spoke from the other side. 
"Hello, can I talk to Simar,please? " I said. 
"Who are you?" he asked firmly. 
"I am her friend, Shashank. We met recently" I said trying not to fumble. I heard voices from behind, "it's some Shashank calling". 
Then he said to me "Simar is in ICU and I am sorry she can't talk to you right now" he replied.
"What? What happened?" I was terrified. 
"Few days back while she was returning home she met with a fatal accident and since then she has been in the ICU”,he said with a chocked voice. 
It must have been that very day I thought. I was about to end the call when he spoke again "Oh wait son, she says she wants to talk to you" the man said and next I could hear a faint voice. 
"Hello,Shashank. Feels very good that you called. I am sorry I couldn't keep my promise of sending you a request or calling you."
"Just get well soon." I said with tears in my eyes.
"Ya I promise this time I will get well soon, I kept thinking about you." she said and after stopping for a while she continued "I promise to call you when I get well. Trust me I will." I could hear her voice fade away.

 Her father told me she was in a very critical condition and doctors were worried. I hung up. I prayed for here then and there itself. I made up my mind that I would wait for her call.

Months after months passed but she didn't call back. Yesterday when I was going through my phone contacts I saw her name and realized that a year had passed by and she didn't call back. I didn't have the guts to call her. She and her promises were left incomplete forever....

Author : Abhishek Mishra
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