” Lily, where are you?”
No I don’t want to reply. Why should I? She is just asking about me because she hadn’t seen me the whole day and nothing more. Lets see how much time it lasts till the end of her voice faded away.
“Mom she is in her room. I saw her going upstairs.”
“Thanks Mili, for letting me know. That girl is just totally spoiled.”
“Mom don’t worry she will change one day. People do change with time. Give her time she is just 17.”
“Isn’t it that what we were always doing?”
“For you Mili.”
And I stopped hearing their voices. Tears rolled down my cheeks. The pillow which I hugged with my full strength was also showing the proofs of my salty tears. I grabbed the diary which was lying on the floor. It was from the time when I was in class 4. I read the dirty scribbles.
I am nothing. Sis is too good. She wins singing competitions. She is loved by everyone. No one loves me.
And then I took my current diary and went through the first pages.
Everyone criticizes me in the name of my sister. She is a great singer, dancer and even good in her studies. She is praised by others. No I don’t mind it but they should stop comparing me with her. I hate this. I hate it when they say I can’t be like my sister.
Nothing changed from back then thought I. Its still the same. I rubbed my tears.
No its not a full truth. Nothing changed but I do had. Now am considered a spoiled brat in school. Not giving a damn about anyone. Got a nick name in school by the girls. “Devil”, this is what they say. I don’t care… if I try to be good then everyone will have a mouth to criticize me in front of me. I will never care like I never did.
“Miss lily when are you going to submit your essay on the topic, ‘The College I want to get in’? ”
“Lily I am fed up with your behavior. Look at the other students of your stream. You are a science student, try to be like others. And you have the best inspiration at your home, your sister. Despite being a medical student she still shines out like a singer and a beauty”
“Blah blah blah”
I really felt beaten up the whole day and when I reached the doorstep of my house, I heard noises. I rang the bell and mom opened it. I stepped inside to see a grand celebration at my place without me.
“Whats all this ?”
“Your sister won a music show. I will send your food upstairs.”
Without a question I started walking upstairs. It was always like this, I never celebrated my sisters successes with my family. But they never complained about it since they thought I hate parties. For my sister there was many and I never attended one and there’s not a single for me. Therefore they thought to leave me in my own space.
I had the grand lunch and grabbed my bag and walked to the place where I always calm down. A place not everyone knows. Even I guess people hadn’t been aware of it though its in the town. We have to walk to the town park and then get through its second door. Then we get to see the rarest view of the town lake from the forest side. I took out my guitar from my hiding place. I remember the day when I quit my singing classes and lied to my parents that I lost my guitar. I got scolded hard and they said they wouldn’t buy me any musical instruments. I didn’t need any, the guitar was enough for me. I took out my tab and my lyrics book and wrote down Arash and Helena’s ‘Broken Angel’ from my tab. I shouldn’t say it but I was really shocked to see the internet speed here when I tried to use for the first time.
And I started singing but suddenly a figure from no where bounced in.
“Hello! Who are you?”
“I am sorry but I need to hide. Please let me hide here, please.”
“Those girls in the park are following me.”
“Its not like that I own this place, so hide wherever you like.”
“Thank you, were you humming ‘broken angel'”
He thinks that was humming. I was singing thought I but went with the word humming and a negative answer came from my mouth, “No”
“You are a photographer?” asked I looking at his camera for a while.
“Yes… I love photography but am a student”
“Oh…then bye. See you later.”
And within a second that figure disappeared.
“Who the hell was he? It didn’t seem that he was hiding.”
Suddenly I saw a piece of paper lying on the ground. I opened it.
“What…a map? Was he in a treasure hunt?”
Next day I woke up with a dazzle. Curiosity never stopped me. The whole night I could not sleep thinking about the map. And the word treasure written on it.
I opened the map and started reading the words written on it.
” Ice cream parlor,photo studio, park, second gate, town lake and treasure”
I thought for a little and then I was sure the place where the treasure is. It was beneath the tree under which I always sit.
Since it was a Sunday, I directly followed to that private space of my own and started humming.
“So you actually sang that day also”
Today he used the word sang then why did he used the word hum that day thought I.
“I told you see you later so I came to see you.”
“Will you be my model for a picture?”
“What are you saying? Me model…never…You are taking picture of this place just take them”
“But I need a human being”
“I am not a human being.”
“I am a devil”
“Then I will definitely take a picture of yours.”
After struggling a lot with him he said he would not take any picture of mine.
“What’s your name?”
“Lily. How did you end up in this place?”
“Years back I came here with my parents and I came to visit this park. Curiosity pulled me and I ended up here. And I was so enchanted by the view that I took picture without even knowing. How did you end up here?”
“Actually I was running from my loneliness and ended up in this place.”
“I was always compared with my elder sister. I was nothing but she was brilliant in everything she did. I was so jealous of her. I couldn’t look at her ever since she was so dazzling that I always had to avert my eyes. And I never knew when I started running away from everything. I understood it when I already passed half of the road.”
“Everyone averts their eyes when they look dazzling things. You are an amazing singer and you know it deep inside. You should let yourself shine. Only this way you can face your sister.”
His words touched my heart.
“Thank you…Well your map”
“It was with you. I thought I lost it. Thank you”
“Yours welcome and bye. I am gonna take your advice.”
I reached home and saw everyone in the hall.
“Mom, dad and sis I am sorry for my behavior till today. I promise I will behave properly.”
“The door for you was always open Lily.”
And everyone hugged me. I really never thought that they had loved me this much and they will forgive me with one sorry. What a fool I was! I lost so many years and precious moments of my family.
Suddenly the doorbell rang and an envelope came inside. Sis picked up and said its in my name, I kept it on my table and came downstairs to have lunch. Dad was watching TV. Suddenly something caught my eyes, it was Raj on TV. There was his interview going on.
“Raj you are just 19. Being such a good photographer at such a young age.”
“I think I got this talent from my father.”
“I heard that you are going to London for your further studies”
“How is your whole India tour for photography?”
It suddenly clicked me and I ran upstairs to open the envelope.
There I found the map and some pictures and a note where it stated ‘Paste the pictures on the map’ and find out the treasure. I pasted the pictures and was shocked to see the pic which I pasted in the place of treasure. It was me sitting under the tree with the guitar when I was in class 5.
I could not hold any longer and went to the place where I used to calm down. Its been two days I met that guy and everything in my life changed.
He was there in front of my eyes.
“I thought you left for London.”
“You know about that? Well I will leave tomorrow. The real reason for me to be here was to take your photo. Years back I took one without knowing . This time I want to take one with your acknowledgement.”
“Oh…I made this hair band for you with wild flowers.”
“Put it on me”
“I will pose for you only once.”
He smiled and put that band on my head. I sat with my guitar and heard his shutter clicking.
Suddenly out of nowhere tears rolled down my cheeks. I could not control them. But I was more shocked when his warm lips touched mine.
“I will take more pictures of yours until the day you have white hair.”
Hearing his words I could not stop my laughter this time.
“Both crying and laughing. What an adorable girl…should I click once more?”
9 Years Later-
My father is watching news.
“Breaking News…Yesterday only Miss Lily and Mr Raj announced their marriage. Yes the female sensation of Indian music industry who also did albums in Hollywood and world re known Indian photographer is getting married.The amazing fact is Lily is an engineer by profession and Raj is a business man. They maintained their passion and profession at ease and their relationship also. What an amazing couple and they announced their marriage in next month. For more information stay tuned with our channel.”
“There is no extra news than this” said my father being irritated.
“Lily is making the whole India her singing patients” said my doctor sis.
“Can’t help we are famous” said Raj with depression who came for lunch with us.
“Stop complaining about my daughter and son-in-law” said my mother.
And I …I decided to keep mum as I am planning to run to my hiding place with my guitar and my lover. There we will have the last picture of mine where I will give pose sitting with my guitar because next time a new element will add. That’s vermilion on my forehead and I will not hate to have that in the future pictures till my hair gets white.