“Why are you calling me ‘A mischief’?” And, I could feel the bullets of laughter coming out from his mouth. Though, I was thinking about why he was acting weird, what I really asked is “What was so weird that you were calling me ‘A mischief’?” And, all he said just slightly touching my strand of hair was” cos you are.” I looked into his eyes and laughed a mischievous laugh.
I realised I was so lost with my own thoughts and memories that I was not writing notes in class anymore. I was not aware why I was laughing, and my friends and fellow classmates were also doing the same. Maybe, they were laughing, thinking and wondering what made me laugh in so serious an episode. While, everyone was listening in class to the lecture, I disturbed the wholeness of it by my jolly outburst.
The next moment the bell rang and everyone was giving their attendance. The professor looked at me through her sceptical eyes, maybe asking me the same question that I was asking him or maybe wanted to ask him,“ Why were you acting weird?” I went back and came again in a moment and all I could do is to give a twitched notorious smile. Again I looked in the eyes of others and gave the same bland answer to them, the funny gesture of mine.
My younger cousin came up to me asking about the book I am reading. I showed her the cover of it and she asked the same question, the question of my heart questioning me of my weirdness.
She was sleeping in the vagaries of her dream, in the vines of her wonders, in the fantasies of her possibilities. The windows of her room were open, the cool air putting its feet inside and the shiver was out of her eyes openly closed. A naked blanket lay over the naked corpse.
“Give it back to me.” You won’t understand even the upholstery of it.” She throws it back to me. “ What the……? Let me sleep a little more. Don’t slosh water over me.” I am on my bed, half-asleep. My book and the photo of my younger cousin accompanying me in the same. It’s barely been two months that I am trying to develop this new habit of waking up early in the morning, and the day I don’t do that, I am rewarded with water sloshing. Well, this is one of the instances of your upbringing when your parents are not really yours. They’re your step parents. And, they treat you in ways that are at times not really what you had expected to be. The ways, that you can say as unjust. Well, there’s hardly any point discussing that anymore. Sometimes, you’ve to accept the present as it is.
I have been missing Aakriti all this while for reasons that only I know of. We have always stayed together in the same house, shared bittersweet memories. Those innocent laughter, the hue and cry over smallest of things and then again getting along well. Our naughty ventures and then supporting each other in that as well. We almost had the same choices and opinions on things, which made us more close to each other. And, we kept getting closer over the years. Despite similar interests and hobbies, we had the same friends with whom we used to hangout. Aakriti became more like a friend to me than just a sister. Being an orphan, I never felt the absence of being in a home. A home, not only made by cement and bricks but by people. The actual discrepancies of our treatment became more clear when she was no more. Though, earlier also I could sense the difference but it was clear enough now. When she was alive, even I had the freedom to sleep for long. I was not greeted with water sloshing over me. I was not over- burdened with so many responsibilities. Now, I have no one to share them as well.
The most shocking fact is, that she died because of me. While everyone thinks that she died of an accident, only I know the real reason of it. Her suicide note in my college locker was enough evidence. She had kept it there before going forever in the heavens. I had no idea she would come to know about it. I had no idea she would take such a step.
She had found us together at the Rockside Garden. Yes, me and Ajay! Though, we had lived together, we had shared things, A boyfriend is something or rather, someone no one would want to share with anyone else. But, she didn’t know she was doing that too. I had met Ajay so many times through Aakriti that me and Ajay had developed intimacy with each other. Though, she thought him to be her boyfriend, he never looked at her through those eyes. He was two years elder to her, exactly my age. She also didn’t know the story behind the stage. She was too innocent to decipher that something was going on between me and Ajay. But, maybe she had started suspecting that something was wrong, something unfamiliar. Both of us didn’t know that she had seen us. But, maybe that day, she couldn’t bear it anymore. The guy whom she had thought to be her everything was dating her elder sister. Maybe, she got certain of it that very day.
I only had that piece of paper in my hand where she had detailed about the emotions that she was carrying within her and her one and only wish, to die, to depart from this world. It was sufficient to tell the importance that she had for Ajay, but neither of us wanted to hurt her so badly. We had least expected that she would take such a big step.
She was found lying on the road, blood all over her body. She had been crushed by a speeding truck, or maybe it was a deliberate effort on her part.
She was sleeping in the vagaries of her dream, in the vines of her wonders, in the fantasies of her possibilities. The windows of her room were open, the cool air putting its feet inside and the shiver was out of her eyes openly closed. A naked blanket over the naked corpse.
In a moment, she had become the protagonist of this excerpt from the novel she was earlier calling weird. Even, its name was ‘Weirdness veritable’. It was actually a story of a young girl who used to see weird unusual things in her dreams relating to some strange things in space, or some strange unusual beings. Later, she realises that she has some disorder and she hangs herself out of despair. The ending was quite unjustified and so was the case with Aakriti. She died watching dreams that never got fulfilled, in her own fantasies and wonders.
Each day, he calls me ‘A mischief’, and each day I….. cry for her blaming my own self.
Still stuck in the lapse of times…
This is followed by a loud applause.
My first book launch.
“Thank-You.” Is all I murmur in the present.