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SHORT STORY: See It Come True

SHORT STORY: See It Come True

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 Feb 2019 12:40 PM GMT

Arunav Barua

There was a mild numbness that Arihant felt even though things were progressing in a manner which he could only dream of...

Soon, Kamlesh and Arihant got used to the idea of getting up every afternoon at 3:00 pm and getting ready for their cab which would pass by the Banerghatta main road, which was a five minute walk from their place. They would reach work before 4:30 and log in with their access cards. That was how attendance was taken, through their access cards. They tried being present every day as there was a good amount of earned incentive that would be theirs for 100% attendance. Their V&A classes with Kanya progressed with a lot of fun activities and interactions. Arihant tried answering all questions Kanya asked as he felt that he wanted to get to know her better...

“Does anyone here know what the capital of Florida is?”

“I believe its New Orleans, Kanya.”

“Yes it is, Arihant...and could you tell me what the yearly festival held there is called?”

“Mardi Gras”

“You do know your bit of America, don’t you?”

“Well, I loved Louis L’Amour when I was in school and was interested in the Wild West, enough to read up a little on that land.”

Their classes progressed till 2:00 am in the night and they had three breaks in between. Two coffee breaks of 15 minutes each and one break of half an hour. So, their total breaks amounted to an hour, which meant that they were trained for 8 hours every day.

Monday to Friday...

“Could you give me your number?” Arihant didn’t know what it was or how he gathered up the guts to ask that of Kanya, but he did and was pleasantly surprised when Kanya did give her number...

“You can call me at night Arihant, after we reach back.”

It seemed to Arihant that Kanya did favour him a little because whenever he made a mistake, Kanya would choose to ignore it. Kamli meanwhile, was silent through most of the training and didn’t have much to talk at home too. He looked to be going through one of his silent phases.

“Rehan, you like her, don’t you?”

“Who are you talking of?” Though in his mind he knew that Kamli had guessed correctly, not wanting to keep his friend in the dark, he decided to tell him.

“Kamli, she is beautiful, isn’t she?”

“Yes...so?”

“Yes, I think I have a crush on her...”

“Wow! Now, tell me what you think of Madhuri?”

“Madhuri, who...?”

“The girl at the reception, that Madhuri”

“Ah! I see that my friend is on the game too.”

As the two smiled at the events taking place in their lives, they settled in to sleep. Just when Arihant remembered when Kanya had asked him to call. The ringing didn’t stop and no one picked up.

So much for amour...

He was about to turn in for the day, when his phone rang. He picked it up and his heart gave a short leap. It was Kanya.

“Hi! I received a call from this number. May I know who this is?”

“Hi...I mean Hello, I mean...!”

“Arihant?”

“Yes, Arihant.”

“Hey its good you called. I was thinking about you today after reaching back home.”

“Me too.”

Kamli, who had fallen asleep kicked Rehan and when Rehan looked at him, he saw that Kamli was grinning from ear to ear, apparently happy at the turn of events. Later, when Kamli forced the details from Rehan, he made him repeat that part where Kanya had said that she was thinking of Rehan after she reached back home. In a turn of events, Kamli gathered up his guts to ask Madhuri her number and he got it. Everything was flowing smoothly when one day, Kamli told Rehan he was not going to work...

“Are you crazy? Think about our bonus!”

“No...I think I will take an off today as I am not feeling too well.”

“Well, I will stay back and look after you, then.”

“No, not needed, and there is Kanya, Rehan.”

“What if she is? You are not well”

It was lost unto Arihant when they stopped talking and when he fell asleep but he remembered his dream clearly...

This time he was in Shillong again, he was in the Srimanta Sankardev Namghar where he had spent a major part of his life when in school. It was a Namghar dedicated to the Assamese community in Shillong. There was a Thapana in the sanctum sanctori and he knew the Bhakats or the temple priests well. A Thapana is a seven ledged pyramidical structure denoting the seven heavens where the holy book, The Bhagavad is kept. The temple priests are simply clad priests who keep the Naamghar clean and perform the holy rituals. His mother made him go every Sunday and later Arihant had managed to convince her to let him go once a month. In front of him was a strange sight, a man, tall, taller than most men he had ever met sat in the lotus posture facing the Thapana. He looked at Arihant, his eyes were lotus brown, his skin gave off the odour of sandalwood and he had prominent cheekbones. At once Arihant fell down and with folded hands, acknowledged the seated man. The man called him and indicated with his right hand that he wanted Arihant to sit facing him. Arihant didn’t know why but he realised that there was no mortal who could say no to this man. His gesture when he asked Arihant to sit was of the sort only classical dancers have. The fluid beauty of his movements, the arched head, the enquiring eyes, the hands with artistic fingers which seemed to flow as though from a stream in the Himalayas on its way to meet the sea. Saying no to the man was impossible, that much Arihant realised. He also realised that he was somehow connected to the man, a connection that was long, longer than human lives...

As long as eternity...

“Arihant”

The voice was a picture in vibration. As if you could actually draw the words spoken. Something like a painting being drawn with a human voice that at once, was not human. The voice made Arihant sit down as he would with a long lost pal from whom he had been stranded for years. Lifetimes old...stranded in the vortex that time is. The voice didn’t expect an answer, it didn’t make a statement, it didn’t give orders, it didn’t sing and yet it was a song. Soothing to the ears and created an exuberance that could only be felt by hearts still not attuned to the mundane. By hearts that still believed in the divine. It was a divine voice.

“I have been waiting for you, Arihant”

“I...I don’t know why, but I have been waiting for you too.”

“Yes, I know. You know me longer than you can comprehend now. In some time though, you will understand Arihant.”

“Yes” That was all he could say at that moment. Yes seemed like the best word to utter and he did.

“You have been called here for a reason. We need your help.”

“My help?” Even in his dream Arihant couldn’t understand or believe that the man he was seated with would need anyone’s help. The man seemed so complete in himself, so full, like a circle that doesn’t have sides, complete in its roundness. Even then Arihant thought that the man could only be compared to a circle, complete in every essence.

“How do I help you, sir?”

“By not calling me sir...remember your trainer Arihant, the one who asked you not to call anyone sir.”

This had never happened to Arihant in his life. A dream had always been a dream. Perhaps a dream of a dream, like the one with Ahura Mazda, or even the dream of the darkness eating into the light and accelerating progress, but this was a first. Arihant suddenly realised that he was dreaming but he could feel himself. His dream self saw that he was in the Naamghar in Shillong, yet he was in Bangalore. The job! Kanya! Kamli! Bangalore! Now, Arihant was a little scared, but he looked in front of him and his fear disappeared. For he realised that he could never fear anything when in the presence of the man he was now seated with. He felt all his fear pour out of his body when those lotus eyes looked at him. There was a tiny smile playing on the lips of the man. He smiled back.

“How am I here when I am asleep in Bangalore.”

“I had to wake you up, Arihant. I had to bring you to your senses and I had to bring you here.”

“Why?”

“It is a long story but let me begin. You were marked from your childhood for the task that you will be given. You are Arihant, the one who walks the path. From time immemorial, you have been here and you know me. We have been friends before, in another lifetime, we have walked together. This time, it is time, you will have to walk the path. We have all been together before, this time; perhaps we will prevail as we have in the past.”

“How can I help, I am not qualified.”

“Listen carefully, Arihant.”

“From untruth to truth, from darkness to light, from death to eternal life...has been the norm of the Universe that we inhabit, this is the law of the cosmos but there is a force that wants to reverse this order that wants us to go back to the primeval state where there was nothing but chaos. To stop that force, we have incarnated throughout time in different forms and different identities. A war is on and Arihant, we need your help.”

“How can I...I mean I am a nobody, I think you have mistaken me for someone else, I am a nobody...”

“You are his friend, Arihant. Close your eyes and see; remember a time when you had read the Gita and had chosen to take him as your friend. Everyone takes him in different relationships but you had chosen him as a friend. Now, it is time. Open your eyes and look at me...”

“Now, do you see me?”

“Xonkorguru? Wait, it cannot be...I, I must be dreaming. Yes, ofcourse I am, but you, I know you. Gurujona, how do I serve you?”

The smile on Sankardev’s face was the most beautiful thing that Arihant had ever seen, it was a star that was blue in colour and red in essence. A rose in spring and it gave him a confidence that he never knew that he had. He looked at those eyes of his Guru, for he now realised that the smile was for him and he felt he could give this man anything that was asked of him.

“The plot, Arihant, the plot will be revealed to you in stages. All you have to do is be true to who you are. Remember that you have a role, just remember that every time you have to make a choice.”

It was the phone ringing that woke Arihant up and he took a while to get his bearings. He picked up his phone and looked at the displayed number. It was Kanya...

“Are you asleep, Arihant?”

“Not really, no...umm how are you?”

Arihant realised that he had bumbled nonsense, you never ask someone you met almost every day how she was...

“Yes, I am reading something, I was dreaming, I...I”

“Arihant, get a grip. I was wondering why you hadn’t come to work today. Infact, neither had Kamlesh, and do you guys realise that you missed a lot?”

“Yes, Kamli was not well, and I had to stay back for him.”

“Are you guys gonna turn up tomorrow?”

“Yes, for sure...”

“Do you call Kamlesh that, Kamli?”

“Hehe, yes I do...”

“What does he call you?”

“He calls me Rehan, as do all who have known me for long?”

“Alright, I guess I don’t qualify then, ‘cos I have not known you for long.”

“No!!! You Do!”

“Alright, Rehan...you sleep now, I will try to too, good night Rehan”

Arihant felt he had never heard his nickname sound as pleasant as he did when Kanya called him Rehan.

“Good night, Kanya.”

He went back to what he had dreamt of, if it was a dream, for he felt he had been there, with his Guru. He suddenly though of teleportation devices that he had seen in sci-fi thrillers and read in those books. Had he been teleported? He smiled at his own foolishness...

His last thoughts were that if the man in his dream had asked for his life, he probably would have given it a thought...

Feedback: arunav_barua@yahoo.com

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