“Quick girl, get up soon” papa was shaking me gently. I opened my eyes adjusting my sight to the darkness. I am a rise- early –morning person. But this was too early. Its 9 minutes past 3 in the morning.
“Chinni get ready soon” he repeated again. The early morning or too early morning appointment with doctor uncle has created this waking- up- your- lovely- daughter job for papa.
All were up. Mamma, papa, grandparents and my Parta, Arjuna and Drona were already on their legs welcoming me down the staircase as I got down from my room.
“Who all are going?” I asked yawning to supply sufficient oxygen to my brain that has become dumb lately.
“Papa, you and Arjuna” mamma told.
“Why Arjun?” I asked in confusion. Why should a dog come to somewhere like this?
“He needs some fresh air too. He is dull these days” my grandfather answered me.
We rode nearly 20 km to reach the so called hospital which is actually a bungalow. The sky was still dark at 4. I was covered fully with sweaters and gloves. Arjuna was with me in the back seat and the heater in the car was like sun in Antarctica. My eye lid were half closed trying to get at least half sleep!
I opened my eyes to a natural light that was coming from the glazed glass of the roof. I didn’t know for how many hours I have been sleeping there. It was a usual thing from past 1 year. Doctor Uncle gives me a kind of transparent tablets, it kind of hypnotizes me and I would wake up an hour or so later and return back home for school. He said I have to be cured at the very delicate level of my being. That is the first level of subconscious. No other medicine but faith can cure me.
Previously as soon as I get up I would find my parents near me but today no one else was there in the room when I was up. There was nothing in that big room colored in white except me and the bed I was sleeping.
I walked out of the room in half dizziness. Dragging my legs that felt heavy. I felt I was carrying something on my head. Arjun was there at the door guarding me. Dogs are faithful always. I walked to the center of that bungalow searching for papa, Arjun followed me.
I saw an angel coming towards me. My angel. For a moment I thought I have been hallucinating and they were the effect of the medicine just like some previous examples. But it was not. I clearly saw him. The one with the roman god features…
Arjun ran towards him barking. I was panicked by his sudden reaction and wanted to stop him before he bites my Vishnu. I ran behind it in that long corridor. The heaviness that I experienced a few seconds back didn’t stop me from running my fullest to save Vishnu. I am still amazed at the power that love can give you.
To my surprise Arjun jumped on him and started licking his face and Vishnu hugged him back patting his head. Arjun never met Vishnu before but from what I saw it seemed both of them knew each other.
I was delightfully surprised. Who cannot like his charm? Even an animal is influenced by his charisma. He bent on his knees and Arjun seemed lost in licking him.
There were so many questions racing inside me. How come he is here? Or have I come somewhere else? Where is my papa or doctor uncle? Uhhh!!! I hate not knowing….
“How are you feeling?” he got up on his knees. Arjun stood wagging his tail.
I gave him a “what are you doing here” look, gasping for breath.
“I can explain.”
“Explain then. What are you waiting for” I could not stand without putting an end to my curiosity. I felt hard to speak anything. The words were followed by the heaviness in my head.
“Take it easy. We have all the time in the world”
I have long known the obvious fact that I dint have that lot of a time. Making him understand that is the worst thing I could ever do. I don’t know why and how I run away and come back to the same person. What should I say to such a thing? An opportunity? Unfortune? Luck? Or unluck? I was running out of anymore words. I really wanted to sit before I fall again on him like I did that day in Bengaluru.
“Where am I? Is this your place?”
“I can answer that later. For now…” I stopped him. Things are going out of my hand. I had enough of this can’t- do- anything situation for a while. I had to put an end to it. I had decided to enjoy my dying days rather than feeling guilty of leaving him. But this man, just like my fate is not leaving me.
“What the hell you think you are Vishnu? When I have already told you I really am not interested, why the hell do you keep on making me suffer? Just quit saying some dramatic lines and go away from here.” I wished I could die there when I heard me speaking.
“You don’t mean it Paavana” his eyes filled with tears.
My heart ached. What was I doing with him? With myself? In fact what’s happening? Why am I still living? I am breaking him. Where is the use of my intellectual or intelligence or whatever which I was once proud of?
“You like me being around you always, you are just not accepting it openly. I have known you more than you can imagine. I know how much you cried each time when you thought you hurt me. I know how much you suppressed your love to keep a distance from me. I can understand how much strength it takes to purposefully ignore someone you are in love with.”
I was listening to him blankly. I was not sure what I was supposed to feel.
“I know how hard it was for you to try not to blush and unknowingly you blush always. I know how hard it was to take your eyes off me and unknowingly you keep staring, I know how you smile when you walk in front of me thinking I can’t notice”
“your stealing smiles, your sadness as soon as I get away, your silent prayers that saved me at times,”…
“Gifts on my birthday from an unknown person, the way you speak to me in your dreams, and a lost page from your dairy…”
Saying that he took out a folded paper form his pant pocket. The familiar pattern of the page, it was from my dairy.
“I am sorry. I read your dairy when we were in regionals.” He said holding his ears with both his hands.
I wish I could call you like that all the time… today I saw you in the playground playing volleyball. I don’t know why, but you looked so cute and dashing. Please stop looking so cute to me. I could see the sweat on you forehead from our throw ball court. I wished I could wipe them with my hands. Neetu told you were looking at me in between the game. You could have just called me. Even I was waiting for that.
Again in the afternoon we met, I loved it when you said what was there in my mind. I am sorry for not accepting it as right. What you told was so true that I had to pretend it was wrong. I am afraid you can read me.
Afternoon talk on “how to concentrate on studies” went without me concentrating on what the speaker was saying. I was busy dreaming about us. Its ok, at least I can dream without letting you know. I think I lost count of time and kept continuously staring at your direction. Hopefully you dint see me doing that.
Yesterday night I dint get sleep and went downstairs to get something to eat. I heard mamma sobbing in her room. Papa was consoling her saying that’s how the fate works and if I wish to run on tracks they should fulfill it as my parents and allow me to go to regionals. I ran back to my room on toes without making any noise. I am causing so much of troubles now. I wish I can live still more… to love you…like you do for me.
“You love me enough to already change your sir name to Bhakta” his dull face became cheerful again.
It was too filmy… I dint ever think someone apart from my family could ever me love to observe that many things. But strangely I knew Vishnu did.
“That’s because we are family” he said.
I dint even open my mouth and he knew what was there on my mind.
“I would rather die than living without you Paavana. No lover wants to see his love in pain. I was the reason for your tears. Now I will promise to be your definition of happiness.”
“You are not the reasons behind my tears…” I was unable to speak. I was holding back the pain knots at the throat. And was afraid of letting it out with my words. I didn’t want to make it happen again for the second time.
I was not sure of feeling anything. It looks like he knows more than me about my own self. Does he knows why am I here? About my diseases?
“Vishnu, I want to tell you….” I needed to tell about my strange illness before we continue this conversation further. But he cut me in.
“Today I want you to listen to me. Just listen. We have rest of the life with us and I will promise you, I will hear your everything”
“But this is…”
“Ok I should know you don’t stop if I say like this” he came near me…
And as usual I was conscious of the gap between us.
“Stop doing that and look at me, not the gap. I told you I will cover that soon. The time has come now.” The smile he gives… god just tell me what was there on your mind when you created him? He is perfect…
I started moving back. Not that I dint want to cover the small distance but I was afraid if someone sees. I dint try to run away this time for I was sure I was going in the right path. Time and age is just a number. I was happy the we loved each other like this. Isn’t it perfect? No one can hold birth or death. Mamma is right. I should do what I love to do.
“No one is there. Your dad and my uncle have gone out leaving three of us here” he said looking at Arjun.
He came closer and closer. And obviously I have watched countless romantic scenes like this. I can say where it leads to… but wait… he said his uncle! Uncle!
His uncle? Who and why will he be here?
He saw my expression changing to confusions and questions.
My hands moved reflexively along with my mouth to ask him…but even before I opened my mouth-
“You regret spoiling this moment Paavana” he said trying to show the disappointment.“Yes my uncle, or I should better say your doctor uncleeee” he tried to imitate me in vain.“I don’t know where to start from or how to start. I don’t even know if you believe me and…”
I am ready to believe whatever he says whether it make sense or not
“I believe you even if you say you can fly” he smiled. His beautiful smile…yes I surely spoiled the moment earlier.
We sat on the Stone bench in the garden. We were in doctor uncle’s house. He started-
“I have always had this feeling that you like me. Since long back. Not just one or two years. As long as I remember. May be the first time I saw you… I don’t know how you take it if I tell I loved you since first standard. But that’s how it was. The first time I saw you on the….”
“On my first day in school. 2nd June 1997, somewhere in between 9:30 to 10: 00 AM. I am sorry I dint have a watch then to tell the exact time”
For a second he looked blank and lost and I was searching his face for some clue to know what happened and suddenly we both laughed. It was the best moment. I wish I live enough to share this moment with my children in future. But, no, I will not let the thoughts about future to snatch my best moment.
“You remember that colored eraser incident?” I asked.
“Yes. I do, you really looked funny searching for that tiny thing.”
“How can I lose it? It’s still with me.”
“You have it even now?” he was shocked.
“Yeah. I actually kind of robbed it from you”
“I know. I purposefully kept it on your desk”
It was my turn to get shocked.
“Not just I kept it on your table. I was the one to take it again and made you search it the whole primary section and play ground.”
“That was cheating vishu” I said making a face.
“Neetu is right. You are dumb sometimes. The way you tried to act and the way you speak like a child in sleep are complete contradiction.”
When did he hear me speak in sleep? Did mamma tell? Or papa? Or does he have any special powers of some paranormal creature?
“I am not a vampire” he clarified.
“Stop reading my mind” I snapped back.
“I can’t help it. I can hear it at times. Did I ever tell you to stop when you do that to me?”
“Yes you. There are times you answered me without me speaking a single word”
“I have seen you speak every time you come here. It’s not just you family that gets up too early to come here. Even my family does it.”
The situation I was in was the most suspense -thriller and mysterious drama I have seen. I was unaware of Lots of things about me.
“He is my maternal uncle. He left the house even before I was born searching for spiritual knowledge. He came back here for us”
“He believes we two are connected from the past life.” Arjun barked.
“Ok not just two of us. Even Arjun” he said patting him
“All of us knew it and believed,except you, and uncle told not reveal it to you until this day. Don’t ask me why. It was just making me restless. One side I couldn’t ignore you and the other side I could not tell you”
“All of us means? My parents? Brother?”
He nodded. “Your mother is the first one to believe it. She had found many clues for that scientifically. There are many artefact’s she found while constructing your house. That is even before you were born.”
“I am trying to digest what you are saying” I said. we kept silent for a minute.
“I don’t know what happened in our past life, I am not sure if it is true or false. I love you in this life. I see you as I my other part. I have loved you all these years and felt the same feelings return in your eyes each time. I saw the “sparks”, which you wrote in your dairy, turning to pure fire of love. Will you marry me?”
I was already crying. They were the tear s of happiness. For the first time I experienced what it is to cry when we are very happy.
“Yes. I love you Vishu…” I stopped to take a breath. “But I am still in high school”
He hugged me laughing…and crying at the same time.
to be continued….