“Thanks for worrying about me yesterday. Advaith told me that you had ringed him up”
“He did? What did he say?” she asked questions in her voice more than she wanted to hide.
“That you had called to check on me and see if I was fine.” I told slowly sipping the water. “I thought you did not like me being with him”
“It’s not just that. There is always something more than what we see.” She looked thoughtful. A moment later she was back to being her old self.
“There is some unexplained joy I can see in you” she said rising her brows, her usual way of inquiring people.
“I wish I could tell you Sahana, but know that I finally found what I am destined to, like I said all stories are true…”
She seemed traumatized and asked what I meant. I couldn’t possibly tell about everything that happened, and it would not make any sense to her.
“Megha, I don’t know if to feel happy for you or sad for your father.” she had said before disappearing out of the room.
I did not understand what she meant but It was definite I had not found out everything yet.
I waited for sahana to come to room. it was nearly midnight and she was not back.
“Advaith, there is still more I have to know, is not it?” I thought.
“There is.” His voice was grumpy and sleepy. “Why are not you sleeping. Its midnight!?”
“Sahana has not come to room” I said not wanting to sound worried.
Don’t worry about her she is well trained” Advaith said.
The day was bright, I looked at the novel that are yet to be read. There was other important things to do. We were testing the water samples in the lab and it was not possible to do advanced tests on them with the limited instruments kept in the lab according to the syllabus.
Advaith had sent the samples to the various labs to know the results of various tests. We still have to wait. Meanwhile we started doing a report on it. Sahana was absent from past days. Advaith and I sat together in the class and it was the current hot news in the campus. I didn’t realise it before but Advaith had never shown attention to any one before and now he being with me all the time in college, walking me to hostel was definitely not a pleasant sight for many girls.
“I think I am being mean to all the other girls” I told him once.
“Why? You think people are jealous of you? The fact is, there are many who are jealous of me for having you, you were so busy thinking about me, you never noticed it”
I was wordless. I did not think about anyone other than Advaith and I had not seen myself attractive either.
“There is someone who wants to meet you” Advaith said unexpectedly.
“Who?” I asked.
“He is one of the unknowns”.
“I don’t know what that is” I said slowly.
“Let’s bunk the class” he said as the bell rang in the distance which was the end of the 15 minutes break in between morning sessions.
He ran to class and came with our bags. “To know the answers. I think it’s better if you hear it from him.”
We drove to the opposite of the college, to what looked like an old house. The compound was high above feet. And I was looking at the house when suddenly we were at some other place all at once.
“What’s it?” it was a magic i have believed in since childhood.. All stories are true i remembered granny saying.
“Teleportation. This car is a gift from my uncle” Advaith. Took off his seat belt.
“For what?” why would anyone gift something that’s beyond human technology? Are there many such things in his world? I read how Bella in twilight had felt about knowing things that was far reach of simple understandings of life, and now I was feeling it and living it.
“For topping the warrior’s test” he said reaching to open my side’s door for he knew I would take a little more time in comprehending things he said and I just saw with my eyes.
“Test?” I exclaimed. I thought we were engineering students and he was talking about topping some warrior exam.
“Listen Megha” he held my hands and stopped walking. “I wanted to tell you everything, but the person you are meeting today will be more suitable one to speak to you, believe me” and we walked in silence.
It was the green lands. The slender grass bent in the direction of the cool breeze. I had been there before. I had loved this place. It was a part of my life.
“You know what had happened when you left me alone?” Advaith asked.
“I can’t live in a world where you are not there” -those words of aniketha had hurt more than the killing injuries on my body,more than the last minute sufferings of a death. how i had put all my last of the energy asking him to live. how badly i wanted to live at that moment breathing my last in his shoulders, live with my aniketha, as lavanya and how badly it dint come true.
I did know what happened after that.Granny had said after Lavanya’s death, Aniketh had stormed into the devils cave and had killed each one of them as he feared nothing then, he had nothing else to loose. There was also a prophecy at that time-that the death of one of the warrior ignited the in human strength in the person they loved the most.and that prophecy came true through Lavanya and Aniketha. I remembered granny telling how Aniketha had left his life jumping off the cliff not bearing to live without Lavanya-the same cliff I could see now from a distance. A shiver passed my down my spine.
“that’s how much I need you even now and if you wish to live there in the world like everyone else is, like how you father wants, I agree to your decisions and follow you” he said holding my hands to his lips.
The cobble stone house, the lines of oak trees appeared closer.it was our place, where we had shared thousands of memories, laughter and tears, birthdays and anniversaries. The place we spent as Lavanya and Aniketha.
I was overwhelmed with the unrecognized longing of a very long time. The same old man I saw in my dreams was sitting on the grass covered ground. He smiled on seeing us as if he was expecting us. It was not dream, none of it was but I had no clue who that man was.
“This probably is the longest wait” the man laughed and asked us to sit.
“I have seen you” I said politely.
“Yes yes, I met you after a good stretch of search, finally it’s a pleasure to meet my granddaughter” he was genuinely happy.
I wanted to know more. I did not remember seeing any of my relatives.
“I don’t keep you wondering about what you need to know.” He said putting back the shawl that fell down from his left shoulder. The injured mark on right elbow showed. The mark indicated an old injury of straight cut.
“You are, my granny’s brother?” I framed a sentence of shock and delight.
“Good catch, I had shown you that part, to make it easy for you. Rukmini was indeed very naughty” the old man said. I was not still sure if I should address him as grandpa now.
“He can show things he wants in your mind,” Advaith spoke up.
“Like a power?” I said.
“I wasn’t very much lucky to have born with power, as you guys do. This is more like an acquired one, a very basic essentials of being an unknown. But I must appreciate your resistance.a very few minds can do it. I literally had to ask you to let me in to your dreams. ” The man paused to look at the sky for a moment before he continued.
“I am relived I found you, that you are grown to be a powerful, independent, Charming and again a true lover. Your father hid you, afraid of losing his last connection to his love- your mother, the gift of your parent’s love. He does not wish to make you a part of what we are, to fight the bad ones, to protect the ancient knowledge”
“My father hid me?” I could not think how indirectly abandoning meant protecting me from something he thought not safe.
“Yes, after your mother’s and grandmother’s-that’s my only sister’s death in a dark battle, your father did not wish to make you a warrior who fought without the fear of life and death. He did not abandon you, he simply kept you far, in a very ordinary way where he assumed you would grow normally like how most of the humans are. He was always watchful and you were taken care each moment.”
I thought of my father, those awkward moments of feeling nothing when I spoke to him, the anger and the disappointment I had on him slowly becoming cold in the days passed. I had no longer worried about him and thought he felt the same. Now, when I knew, he cared, cared enough to send me away, because he wanted me alive, to enjoy normally, to live in simple way, I felt shame on myself for my thoughtless decisions.
“Always watching me?” I tried to swallow back the tight knot at the throat.
“Sahana” Advaith told looking at my supposed to be addressed as grandfather. “Since when you know her?” he asked.
“We met in high school and we became hostel roommates” I began to sense the rest.
“Exactly, Sahana is your protector, she was asked to be with you. But it is true she became more than that. She is your best friend and she is well aware of the failure that follow if you decide to be like us for which very reason your father had appointed her.”
“She knew we all are the same?” The thought of my best friend being an undercover raw agent astonished me.
“She had doubts if I was one of those she has to chase away from you but she figured it not so soon. She wants you to be happy but she is committed to her job. that why i said she is confused about her support to our relation”
“Now I know why she was saying…” I said to no one in particular. “She does not know I can easily throw a grown up man in the air? I don’t have to be protected.”
They laughed. And Advaith seemed to cheer up. “no one knew. You had never felt the need of using your powers and hence you never knew it” my grandfather said.
“I feel bad about myself for not trying to understand my father” the bitterness soaked my blood.
“It’s not your fault if you hated your father for leaving you when you needed him, when you had no one to call family. He knows it. But he had his reasons. He decided to live on after the battle only because he wanted you safe.”
“He never wished to speak about you. He never spoke about you to anyone after that. In fact for a long time I thought you were dead. It’s when I saw aniketha, who is named Advaith now,” he looked at Advaith briefly.
“I knew Lavanya was reborn and you would eventually meet to complete something that had ended sadly. My quest began with the intention of uniting the two heroes of my time.” there was admiration in his voice.
“Of course I am happier to find my blood line, to know you are alive and safe. I am not compelling you into something without your heart in it. But I had to make sure you knew your choices even if your father doesn’t want you to know.”
A week back, my life was like everyone else’s. I sat reading and enjoying the solitude, a less interfered circle of silence. Today I am sitting in place that looks like a magic land, with someone I could do anything, with someone who could be called as family.
Advaith was studying me. The other man waited to see my reaction. I wanted to be with Advaith more than anything and my father’s sacrifice is beyond words. It was hard to make a decision then and there.
“What you people do? You told I was one of you. What does that mean?” I asked instead of saying about what I choose.
“We are nothing but human beings, or group of human beings called seekers who are appointed by one of the greatest emperor of India to protect the ancient secrets and prohibit its immoral practice.” There was wisdom through years of experience and knowledge in his voice.
“We protect the ancient knowledge, we guard it. Not every seeker knows the knowlwdge. Only chosen ones will learn them and become the unknown. The rest of us help protecting them. It’s passed on to the next generation and the secrets continue to survive in the world.
“You are an unknown?” I asked
“I am. And there are eight more, though there are in different parts of the world now. We unknowns warn the seekers in case there is a threat to the society.”
“So I will be a seeker?”
“Yes, if you wish to. Seekers are the warriors. They are spread across the world. Some of the conserved seekers still completely dedicate themselves to the king’s order and live a secret life in dark. Some choose to stay away from it in light of the world, and some like Advaith’s family lead an ordinary life yet are the followers, they fight for what they are supposed to.
“My family was one of them” I thought loudly, remembering the old blurred visions of my childhood-My mother taking me to the parties, my father’s friends at home and how socializing it was and yet they were the supporters, a part of this ancient cohort, an alley of the secrets.
“They were. Your mother and father were vicious fighters, your father still is”
I imagined my father as a warrior. His hesitating and hurt words on the phone buzzed in my ears. How badly I had mistaken him.
“I understand what your father must-have gone through, I have endured the loss too. I know the pain, and trust me there is no secrets in the world that can cure the hollow caused by the loss of our loved one.” his eyes saw past the sky, somewhere I couldn’t reach. “We have to learn to live in their memories”
Months and months have passed. Things have changed pretty well. I am no more a nerd now. Still I love reading but I invest most of my time in physical training which is a must for the seekers. I even decided to get a degree from the Seeker’s Education Academy after I complete my engineering. (Though my grandfather feels normal human education do not come handy in battles).
Advaith’s engagement rumor was a trick to expose a criminal business man. the results from the laboratories showed high percentage of heavy metals in the river water we went a year back and currently a state level issue. Presently some serious investigation is being carried in the surrounding areas.
I met my father. It was not awkward anymore. It was reconcile. Obviously, it was hard to convince my father what I wanted- to be a seeker. He was stubborn but on knowing everything that happened before, he accepted. he is impressed with Advaith.
Sahana has left studies here and joined Academy to do her majors in martial skills. We are still best friends and I am waiting to join her in the academy. Advaith is here with me supporting all my decisions, choosing to stay by me.
“I shall meet you often, now that I don’t have to worry about your father” my grandfather had said before leaving to his place he did not name for it is unknown’s secret.
I am finding out how my newly found power- my strength could be controlled as per needs.
I have been practicing regularly with Advaith, I am learning to use the weapons. Sometimes our practice sessions turns out to be a dating and he still remains an old school type! I think we should get married soon to make further moves.
“let us wait till you complete studying what to you want” Advaith had told.
“I can manage studies after marriage” I had protested.
“I don’t want you to keep studying all the day and especially at night” he looked shy speaking.
Finally, I found where I am fated to be, what I am fated to do and where I am destined to belong to. I found my family, my mother in Advaith’s mother. I have decided to enjoy this life of surprises, hopes and unfulfilled wishes. No one’s life is perfect, so is mine but as grandpa says we should learn to live with the memories.
As I finish saying my story, Advaith came to my room (my room in his house)
“whom are you speaking to?” he asks.
“to the readers” I say.
“what did you say?” he hugged me from behind, his arm breath tickling my sensitive neck region.
“that all the stories are true….” I say turning to face him and put my shoulders around his neck.his deep brown eyes continuing to mesmerize me…