This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
This ocean, this wide ocean is like an open book; if you dont read that book, there will remain a mystery attached to it, and that mystery itself is what provokes one to dive into those unfathomable depths. In those depths are hidden treasures, sunken titanic, lost cities but there is more …
More with respect to the eyes which glanced at it like a mesmerized lover, more with the respect to the friendship which blossomed right at this place.
The ocean of “Bongoland” though was like any other ocean but it had seen the two little angels (Rashi and Kanika) grow from an infant to this present day. It has heard their bickers, laughter; it has digested their tears, fears. It has listened, and listened all, silently like an invisible being.
As her eyes, those small little eyes, were lost in the horizon; her long black hair were swayed by the cool breeze of the sea; At that time, suddenly, this swan like concentration of hers got disturbed by a vibrant voice. It was the sweet nightingale like voice of Kanika.
Kanika (in the highest of her pitches) shouted Rashi, “where are you?”
Rashi as if woken up from a dream replied, “Kan I am here, cant you see me?”
(Rashi and Kanika were the besties and they were sweet coz they were of the age sweet 16)
“So, Kan what brings you here today”, asked Rashi.
Kanika replied, “nothing, I have got a gift for you.”
” A Gift! Why, whats the occasion?”, asked Rashi again (with eyes turned as big as an elephant which is trying to protrude from a very small space).
Kanika (with ditto expression as Rashi’s) said,” oh come on Ra you again forgot , you silly dumb a**, that its your birthday today! It has been 14 years since we are together and still you are just the same, a true boy when it comes to remembering the dates, and dates i am not saying of occasions related to any of your near and dear ones but even you.”
( She continues saying while Rashi with blank expressions, as if she is sitting amidst of an exam and doesnot know anything, heard the non stop radio of kanika.)
Finally kanika stops after saying,”Ra it may sound filmy but honestly u make me recall my grandmother who dint know the date of her birthday and we celebrated hers whenever we felt like!”
” Kan, stop stop stop stop, I know you are such a sweetheart, had you been not with me how would i have survived? You are the one who completes my day , its your daily blabbers that get me going. You like your name are a small packet loaded with bomb like qualitites.”
(Kanika hugs Rashi)
“Come on ra Shut up, dont get this much senti you bonehead. And enough of the conversation, just open the gift, coz i am dying to see your reactions.”
“Fine Kan! opening and will try to unwrap it fast, else, I am sure your ants in pants will start creeping upwards. I know how much you love to see my reactions.”
(Rashi starts unwrapping that gift, removes the paper layer by layer, with eyes filled with mystery, tongue sticking out like a dog, and hands as playful as that of a child. The gift pack is unwrapped and the mystery surrounding it vanishes; it was the picture of them facing the sea. Rashi’s eyes were stuck to what she saw into that unwrapped box. It looked as if she has suddenly turned into a dummy, not a single movement , her eyes stuck to that enigmatic image, and she kept on gazing at it as if the picture has cast a spell on her.”
Kanika yells,”Whats up ra? Are you dead or what … come on saying a thank you, and some reactions wont kill you!”
“Ohhhhh Kan what shall I say, that gift ..that picture. Wow Kan from where did you get it? You just brought back all the childhood memories. I still remember how we spent all the day sitting at this beach , talking, playing, thinking about all the pranks, making the castles with sand. Kan I think this is the most awesomesto gift I could ever get from anyone.”
“Yes, yes, I thought that too. I knew you would love it. It was 2 days back I was searchin for an old diary of mine, it was at that time this photo slipped from my closet, hidden like a gecko there. I could not find the diary but that pic just took away all my jitters away, and brought a sweet smile on my face. Then this thought came in my mind , that I should get it framed, and give it to you on your birthday. Your birthday which is forget me not plant for me, and for you is like just any other day.”
(Rashi and Kanika’s eyes filled with colors, colors of past and memories of childhood when they together looked at the image in front of them. At that moment Rashi held kanika’s hand and took her to that same place where that pic was clicked. They sat there smiling. )
Rashi said,”Kan this place, this very place marked the beginning of our friendship and its been 14 years. Though we have grown in numbers but that magic of you and me together has never vanished away. ”
Kanika replied, “I know Ra”.
(They both sat there quiet and the breeze was brushing their faces , that breeze acted like a time machine, and suddenly both of them were driven away by past memories. They were physically there, but mentally there minds were on a magic carpet which took them years back.)
Everything looked similar like the scene in the pic.
Kanika in this hallucination said, ” Ra look it seems we have become children again. Hey ra see you are not wearing anything and iam in that green frock. Ooooo Ra we are lookin so cute. Do you remember the conversation which was goin on at that time?”
“Yes, i remember, i remember, you told you were thrown out of the class as you had developed that streak of throwing the water bottle caps of your halloween like classmates away from the window of your classroom. You were such a impish creature kan and to this I asked you, why you did that ? Your peculiar answer just could not stop myself. (Rashi laughs) O man kan water bottle caps!!!!!”
Kanika too starts laughing hard and says,” Yes ra water bottle caps! I mean seriously this was stupid, really stupid. I mean I had those lizard prankies; I had used them so many times. But this one was classic. Ra, but dont laugh at me ok ..Look at you, you sat there with me in your cute little boxers as your mom took your shirt away and why Ra, why was that??”
Rashi starts chuckling again, and in that burst of laughter she replies, ” How can that be forgotten she gave me punishment as I had spoilt my new shirt with the holi colors, which I stole from my brother’s almirah, and started playing with them. Then the colors were all over in the house, walls, my clothes, floor, mom’s clothes. It turned into a color splashed canvass!”
“Then your mom threw you out of the house and you nincompoop came out just like that calling my name. Then, we went to our spot sat there, and started talking about the events. Ra had this been this day, and you had done the same thing, I would have told aunty that dont take tension of the stains as with surf excel stains are good. Then, definitly she would not have scolded you.”
“Yeah very funny heroine!”, Rashi promptly replied.
“Obviously Ra I could have saved your ass if that event happened now.”
“But that day you were not able to, rather both of our asses got burnt Kan.” That day was full of punchy events. But this thing is still hazy who actually clicked this pic ? I can still make out that it might have been your dad as he loves photography.”
“Yes i too think that way. Feels like i should start doing it too. Ok lets forget that coz Ra i am loving it here, sitting with you, eliciting that funky day.”
(That day became more and more prominent in front of their eyes as they recalled each event which had taken place. Sometimes they shouted, sometimes they endlessly chortled. Each and every leaf of the memory opened in front of them and they tried living those gone by days again.)
“Kani what made that day more memorable was when we stretched our legs and had the freakiest experiences. First you went white when you felt something was moving in water beneath your leg and shouted aaaa mummmmy. Then, I called you a dodo snickering at you.”
“Fine you called me a dodo but what happened with you actually added the spice ra. That something which i felt was actually something, and about which you mocked at me; bit you, and you ran, and jumped, and jumped, and ran, and cried at the same time. All your reactions happened in asecond as if you defied e=mc^2 equations and just moved at the speed of light. I looked at you all puzzled, and confused. Then finally i realized you were bitten by something.”, Kanika said with eccentricity.
“Instead of taking me to my house you said told ya something was there.”,Rashi stared at her with pranky smile.
“That look of yours Ra which you gave me when i said this in a casual way. I can still see that in your eyes now!”
“Obviously i was groaning in pain, and you were all chilled out.”, said Rashi.
“Ok ok, but then I was the one who raised the alarm when you became all the cry baby. Then yours and my family came. When they say you hopping like a kangaroo they understood that it was not our sheep and fox stories. Dad being a doctor gave you first aid. That was nothing but a harmless crab bite.”, retorted Kanika.
“Harmless crab bite!!! Curse that crab which made me go berserk.”
“It was a delight to watch you go bonkers Ra. It was so goofy, and loony. You looked like tasmanian devil at that time.”
“Haah, hAAAh, you too looked the same, with an add on: big horns as well. Then our parents too sat with us, and my mom she forgot all her anger kissed me and you both.”
“Yes, Yes then it all ended with a happy luncheon which we did at the beach itself.”, Kanika commented.
(Their little incident with minty mentos moments ended, but they sat there for longer, like wise giggling and chatting. The sun soon was swallowed by the sea and what left was the reddish crayon like color in the sky. It seemed as if the time stopped for them. They were the same girls at the same place nothing changed for them. Nothing…..
It looked like a deja vu happening years after, when their family members pinched them from behind, and gave rashi a surprise treat.
What was heard in the background was the unending laughter , sounds of happy birthday angel, and of the waves arising from the sea. It felt as if the sea too wanted to greet rashi and kanika for the beautiful bond they had kept alive.
They say that there are relations which are the blood relations, which god chooses for us. But this one relation , this amalgamation of two souls as friends is done here on this earth. It is like color black that goes with everything!!)