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SHORT STORY: Meet Me Where The Ocean Ends

SHORT STORY: Meet Me Where The Ocean Ends

Sentinel Digital Desk

Arunav Barua

'Even loss has its use; it teaches the human soul that tears are a part of us...'

The four of them couldn't forget the shared dream though! What transpired between them on the bus to Goa didn't pass away into the dungeons of memory as most happenings do. It rankled deep down, somewhere where first kisses and stolen chocolates were kept. It was not what they discussed though. Peter, their guide in Goa, left them with a promise to come back later in the afternoon with the bikes. Kamlesh and Arihant had decided that they would rent two bikes to make travelling through Goa a tad easier. Peter made sure they had valid licenses and when Kamli and Rehan showed them their two-wheeler and LMV Licenses, he was satisfied that they would qualify as prospective clients for his bikes. He asked them what bikes they would ride and they asked if Pulsars were available. He nodded in consent and that took care of their transportation. That left choosing their rooms and Casa Nunez, as much as it appealed to their senses, didn't seem like a place with a room with a view. They were surprised when they were led to the first floor by Annie. Annie was the hotel manager or Inn Keeper if you may! She saw that they had very little baggage and asked them shyly;

"You people won't stay long, will you?"

"We will be here for three nights and four days, Annie..."

Kamlesh had assumed the role of a tour leader, if such a term existed! Arihant liked it when his best pal assumed this facet of his character. It reminded him of the earlier Kamli, the one in Shillong. That was before Kamli's silent spells and coffee induced stupor. Now though, Arihant could see that Madhuri had a very positive impact upon his friend. Whether it was the fact that Kamli liked her or the fact that she was a very mature, lovable girl, Kamli seemed more in touch with his real self now. He looked at Kanya who saw him smiling and she smiled back. She nudged him with her elbow and they suddenly burst out laughing. It was soon a chaotic scene because Kamli and Madhuri burst out laughing too! They could hardly control their chortles; Annie though looked bemused and happily so. Who wouldn't want to see happy, jovial people around?

"Here are your rooms!"

Her words suddenly broke their chain of laughter. Kanya and Madhuri didn't show it but Arihant assumed that they were nervous too, as girls are wont to be when faced with the question of accommodation. What Arihant liked though, was the fact that both Kanya and Madhuri had left it completely up to them to choose their accommodation. That showed the amount of trust that the two girls placed upon their shoulders and Rehan just hoped that they were able to keep that trust. What faced them was a corridor with room on each side. They were on the first floor as Kamli had wanted them to be. That way, they didn't have too much to climb and neither on ground level, which would mean that they would have no view. Annie took a key and opened the door to the room on the left. Room 302 at first glance looked like any hotel room but they were in for a surprise, they had a fridge with a few drinks in the room and they had a coffee/tea maker and they saw that Annie had brought up some Satches of tea and coffee with sugar. Hardly had Arihant seen them and wondered that at 1200 bucks it seemed like a good deal, that too in a place like Goa, when Kamli intervened;

"Let's have some coffee!"

"No Kamli, no way, you know what coffee does to you!"

"I promise Rehan, I promise that this coffee would do nothing to me. It's Goan coffee and what could be wrong with coffee sourced from the beaches?"

"You dimwit, coffee in Goa doesn't mean that it is made here! Look, Bru coffee, made in the plantations in Karnataka."

"Yes, but it's travelled to Goa. So it is safe."

Arihant then realised that Madhuri and Kanya were waiting for them to finish their banter. He decided to play along with Kamli this one time and let him have the coffee.

"Ok Kamli, make us all some coffee."

"Yay! You mean it Rehan? I can make coffee...I promise I will make safe coffee."

"Yes Kamli, I know you would. You do have the safest pair of hands."

Kamli suddenly remembered that he had been the worst fielder in their cricket days in Shillong and the term 'safe hands' was a jibe at his ability to hold the ball...

"We...Well, maybe not in cricket but with coffee I am good!"

"No doubt that you are, yes you are! Now make us some coffee."

Annie had been listening to the two of them when she turned to the two girls and said something that seemed from her eyes because it was her eyes that spoke.

"You girls will be safe here, two wonderful boys you have with you! Just go on and have coffee or whatever you'd want and I will leave you here. The other room is the one opposite this, its Room 303 and it is the same as this one, though the view is different."

"Thank you Annie!" Both Madhuri and Kanya uttered in unision.

As they were sipping some very good coffee that Kamli had managed to make, true to his words, there was a moment of silence before Kanya blurted out first.

"How could it be possible that we dreamt the same dream? I never heard this happening...how is it humanly possible?"

"Kanya, have you heard of telepathy?" Arihant asked in answer to her question.

"Yes, but that is all make belief isn't it? There is no such thing."

"See, it is like radio waves, radio waves have a frequency don't they? Well, so do human thoughts. It was Shakespeare who wrote that 'There are more things on Heaven and Earth then we can even imagine'. He wrote something very similar to it. I believe it was Horatio who was answered when these lines were spoken. Not exactly like this, but there nonetheless, imagine how much there is that is uncharted, that we have never even imagined, imagine Kanya."

"Yes, but shared dreams?"

"There is more to this, the cosmos sends messages through dreams and I believe it was a message that was meant for all of us. The implosion we saw, that bubble was only a metaphor."

"Now, even dreams have metaphors?"

"Yes, Kanya dreams have metaphors."

"But who was that voice, was it Sankardev?"

"Yes, it was his voice and he had a message, the message is that we are in the middle of history being made. I believe we are safe for now but remember Kamli and Madhuri's abduction?"

That made everyone silent, as if a spell of chill wind had passed through them. Yes, they were in the middle of something that none of them understood and yes, perhaps it was history being made.

"I have a question though, especially to Madhuri and Kanya."

"Ask!" Both the girls were waiting.

"Do you have any doubts that my Guru, Sankardev is here to help us? I ask because you heard him too and that means that you are trusted."

"No, we do not have any doubt, Rehan, I don't at least." Kanya answered quickly.

Madhuri seemed lost in thought for a moment before she answered...

"Rehan, I have done my own bit of research on your Guru after you had told us about him a long time ago. I know that if ever someone needs a teacher who would guide them through trouble, your Guru, the one you call Gurujona would be best qualified. My convictions were confirmed when I heard his voice on the bus, in my dream. I don't have any doubt, Rehan, I do not!"

Arihant looked at Kamli and saw that his friend had that same smile on his face, the one where he seemed to be lost, deep in thought...

"Kamli, Kamli...Kamlesh!"

"Huh! Ye...yes...yes, Rehan!"

"See, this is why I didn't want you to drink that infernal drink. It does things to you, things I don't like."

"No, this is the best coffee, it is Goan coffee Rehan, coffee made in the beaches, hehehe!"

Arihant decided to let him be and as they took their allotted rooms, they felt a tad shy. Never had either Kamli or Rehan shared a bed with girls or slept on one with one. They were shy because they felt awkward sharing their most intimate moments on a bed with two girls. What helped though was that the two girls in question were extremely beautiful, or attractive if you may call them that. Arihant and Kanya left Madhuri and Kamli in room 303 and made their way into Room 302. Rehan for the life of him couldn't remember where he had seen that number before...302 seemed like a very familiar number but as much as he wrecked his brains, he couldn't remember where he had seen that number. Now, to think about it, even 303 was a familiar number...perhaps he had read about the number somewhere, he was not sure though.

"Kanya, well we are here...ummm...I mean we, you and me, I mean us..."

"Hah! Stop being so formal Rehan, for the sake of me I cannot imagine why you are acting as if we have never been alone before."

"I...I yes, we have haven't we? I...hell!"

"Yes, now close the door..."

For the four of them, they never realised how time passed, as swiftly as it did then. When they went down for lunch, they seemed to give off an aura, of satisfaction, of belonging and of wholeness. They seemed complete, these two friends from Shillong and their two friends who happened to be girls. Lunch was tasty, fish for Madhuri, Kanya and Rehan and Paneer for the vegetarian Kamli. They decided to take an afternoon nap, a rest for a while and had just settled down in room 302 when their phone rang. It was Peter!

"Yes, Peter, yes we will be down right away!"

"Our bikes have arrived!"

Kamli didn't need to be told anything else as he rushed out of the room in his pyjamas. Rehan followed. They were greeted with Peter holding two keys. The bikes were black Pulsars, 180cc which was good enough for both the boys. They paid an advance of Rs 2000 as specified by Peter and Peter left them with the bikes. Kamli and Rehan didn't need to be told anything else, they jumped on their bikes and Arihant decided on L4490 Kamli on DDD958. They kick started their bikes as they loved kick starting stationary bikes rather than the electronic start. Both bikes started without trouble on the first kick, which showed that both bikes were in good condition. They took a short ride to Miramar beach and when they turned together to look at their Inn, they could see the outlines of Madhuri and Kanya on the first floor balcony. They waved at the two happily astride boys. They waved back! That brought them to the doorway of adventure on their first day in Goa. They had managed the hotel, they had managed the transportation, so all that was really left for them to do was ride into the beaches of this sea side town and they were ready to do that. The two boys from Shillong didn't know how they had managed all that they had after their trip in Shillong, it was Kamli who broke the silence.

"We should thank Street Dogs, huh Rehan?"

"Ha! You were thinking of Snowy, weren't you?"

"Ummm...I was thinking of how we became friends."

"Yes, we do have to think Street dogs!"

They knew now that Goa would probably be miraculous, unless they encountered a Tsunami! But then who can say about waves? They make themselves...

(Arunav is an Asst. Professor in the Department of Business Administration in NERIM Group of Institutions. He can be reached at arunav_barua@yahoo.com)

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