Parallel10 mins 404 10 mins 404
A drop of Sun stirred in my cup of tea
A hint of Moonlight and some coffee
A mild shower on a sunny day
A faded orange winter-morning ray
A rainy day spent just indoor
and a rainy day drenched, outdoor
A shining star that stands apart
A moment when a beat skips in the heart
A chirpy morning that is bright
A silent night that seems just right
A touch of shiver running down the back
A long and warm hug with some love-knack
A longing that burns across two hoping hearts
A ride to nowhere, in fairytale horse carts
A fondness floats in, about the way I look
A magical happiness flowing like a brook
That glide on my mind, these are just few...
Whenever I find myself thinking about you.
Aditya read the poem for the nth time and smiled as he looked at his phone. He lay stretched on the bed in his bedroom. The magic of the faded night had not faded from his mind. His mind kept swaying back and forth to the incidences of the previous night. He typed back into his phone and awaited her response restlessly - I can't believe you wrote that for me.
Ohkk. What do you not believe? That 'I' wrote it; or that I wrote it for 'you'?
Aditya smiled to himself and struggled to respond as his phone slipped out of his sleepy grip.
I don't doubt 'you' wrote it. I love you Shamika.
Me too, baby. I can't believe you came at 2 a.m. just to meet me, yesterday. I mean I was so angry initially about whatever happened, but I'm so glad now that it happened. Everything happens for a good reason! See? I told you...
Aditya could not disagree. Everything suddenly seemed to have fallen in place. A few hours ago, a few moments spent together and a few words exchanged; had created magic in their lives. A failed plan of a night out with friends had brought to them an opportunity to spend time with only each other. A severe headache had wasted the whole of the previous day for him. When Shamika had sent him a text to confirm their night-out plan, he had been in two minds about it. With a heavy heart he had responded to her with - "Sorry, can't make it. I'm down with a terrible headache" - just an hour prior to the time they had decided to meet up.
Aditya had expected a bit of concern to reflect in Shamika's next message, but he was disappointed when his phone beeped and he read her response - "That's great. Akash is not responding to my calls. Jennifer is not in the mood to get out of her house. Tripti is making excuses that we meet up tomorrow, instead. And you have a headache! So why am I even here at the venue, already!? This is so awesome!"
Aditya dialled her number immediately but she did not respond. He then drifted off to sleep for an hour or two. When he woke up, he felt better than before and made another attempt to contact Shamika - no response.
His phone beeped after some time and he read her message across the screen of his phone - "I'm sorry. You had a headache, but you still responded to my message. The others are not even answering my call. Was I the only one who wanted this plan to work out? I lied at home and so had to leave for somewhere... couldn't stay back at home. Last minute changes don't go well at my place. Hope you feeling better now. Take care."
Aditya looked up at the clock on his room's wall. It was 11:20 p.m. He felt concerned and texted back - Where are you?
He wasn't satisfied with that answer but he let a few minutes pass before he sent her another text.
Where are you, Shamika? I am worried. If it is okay with you, I am feeling better now and we could still meet.
He waited patiently for her response. His phone beeped again after three seemingly long minutes.
It's okay, Aditya. I am out with another friend who wasn't so busy or unwell. We are drinking.
Aditya felt a warm gush of blood run up his spine. After a few minutes of anger however, he felt more concerned, nullified his anger as unreasonable and typed another text message - Who is this another friend? What are you drinking?
Shamika did not respond for a few minutes. Aditya began to get restless. He almost counted the 900 odd seconds after which he heard the next text message beep and light up his phone's screen - Can we still meet up? I can't go home until morning - I'm too drunk... Nihar has to go home, though.
Aditya did not think before he replied - Yes, we can. Can you think of an excuse that I can make up at home, right now? Quick!
Lol. Adi, I am too drunk for an excuse to cook up in my mind right now.
Okay. Give me a few minutes and I will get back to you.
The next few minutes crawled like hours before Aditya had reached the spot where they had decided to meet. When she had reached, he saw her get out of the auto rickshaw calmly and wave at him. He opened the door of his car for her and she threw herself on the seat next to him heavily. Aditya smiled at her, "Vodka?"
"How sweet of you to come at this hour for me, Adi!" Her speech was slurry.
"How many did you drink, Shamika?" He continued to smile.
"I think 3 large. They had a Buy-2-Get-1 free offer... No, I think 4. Buy 2 get 2. And Nihar doesn't drink Vodka. He was having beer."
"Who is Nihar?"
"He's a good friend. Know him since years now. And he's just a friend, okay! His girlfriend was also with us for some time."
"Okay, I was just worried."
"Yes, I understood when you sent me those messages asking for my whereabouts." Shamika looked into his eyes and he saw a mischievous glint in her eyes. "I can't believe you came for me at this hour." She said and threw her head loosely onto the seat's headrest.
"Are you okay? Do you need some water?"
Shamika nodded her head sleepily. She looked into his eyes again and whispered in a sheepish grin, "Thanks for coming." She turned a little louder as she garbled, "I can't imagine wherrre I would have gone like this... drunkkkk, at this hourrr."
"He was so caring. Everything seemed so perfect when we started dating. He would treat me like a princess. I wonder what has got into him." Shamika wept into her phone.
"Has he hurt you physically?" asked Ajay.
"No. He just keeps hurting himself. He starts with an argument and then there's no end to it. He wants more time with me - but he's not even willing to speak with our parents about marriage right now. The arguments are mostly so pointless - they have no head or tail to them. He resorts to emotional blackmail whenever I talk about breaking up!"
Just a few months into her relationship with Aditya, Shamika was reaching the breaking point. The man who she thought was her Prince Charming, had turned life into a nightmare for her. The verbal abuse had become so unbearable that she had lost all respect for him and fallen out of love. She kept going back and forth about her decision to break up with Aditya and thinking about giving their relationship another chance as Aditya continued to end up in tears after every fight, professing his love to her.
Amidst a nasty fight one day, Aditya had suddenly announced to her about a romantic getaway that he had planned for them to a resort, a few miles away from the city. Shamika had no say in the decision as that was his plan for his birthday - saying anything against it would have resulted in yet another fight. She just knew she had to make sure she got herself drunk enough through the evening and drift off to sleep - and that was exactly what she did.
When her eyes opened next, she scanned the room for Aditya but did not find him anywhere. She got up instantly and walked out of the room. The resort was unnaturally silent, notwithstanding a distant chirruping of the insects. Shamika walked out of the room, the resort and towards the parking lot. The dreary sounds of the night were rather loud now. Aditya's car was at the same place where he had parked it in the afternoon. She looked around the place but did not see anyone. Just then she heard the rustling of leaves on her right and her attention shifted towards the shrubs that further ran into a denser jungle. Something about the insipid darkness of the night, pulled her towards the forest. She began to walk ahead, her heart thumping loudly as she felt concerned about Aditya's sudden disappearance. She felt certain he was somewhere in those woods and soon she was walking deeper into the woods.
The droning of the cicadas was getting louder with every step ahead. If the owls still hooted, they were too faint to reach her ears anymore. The light of the moon was not quite reaching her path now as the woods kept getting denser. She wanted to stop right there, but the force kept pulling her further. The sound of her foot steps however, kept her going; even as the path turned stark. The sounds were thankfully, still familiar; as dried twigs snapped under her feet just the way they had initially when she had left from the resort and started to walk towards the jungle.
Her next foot-step however changed this feeling as she felt the dampness of the foliage under her feet. A cold shiver ran down her back as her nostrils sensed the stale scent of blood all around her. In a snap, she felt a hand pull her by the leg and she went thud, on her face - hitting the ground and adding some of her own blood, to the muck. She wanted to scream but she could barely lift she face up. The darkness around grew darker and her eyelids gave in to the heaviness. The senses in her ears however, began to turn clearer with every passing minute. A soft puff of breeze brushed against her ear, and she heard her name in the whisper louder now - "Shamika!"
She opened her eyes with great efforts, only to watch a ghastly face staring back at her; just a breath away. She pushed the face away with all her might and let out a full-throated scream.
"Shhh! Shamika! Why are you screaming?" Aditya sat beside her, dismayed. Shamika wiped the sweat beads off her forehead. "You came here to sleep, is it?" Aditya kissed her on the cheek and began to make further advances.
"Adi, please! I'm not in for this right now." Shamika pleaded.
"When are you ever in for it anymore?" Aditya scowled.
"Is this all you want out of this relationship, Adi?" Shamika wailed and another heated argument followed.
"It's like I'm living those nightmares in this parallel. He loves to create drama out of every petty thing."
Aditya had almost begun to stalk Shamika. The more she tried to avoid him, the more he would try to contact her. Soon enough it started to affect her professionally. Aditya began to create scenes outside her workplace; making it quite embarrassing for Shamika to deal with his tantrums. Upon speaking with friends and recognizing the fact that she was at the receiving end of an emotionally abusive relationship; she had decided to seek professional help.
"So what's stopping you from putting an end to this relationship?" Ajay, the counselor on the phone asked.
"He threatens to hurt himself if I do that. It's so scary. He keeps texting that he is cutting his palm... banging his head on the wall... the other day he said he will walk down the railway track and..."
"From whatever I have heard so far, I doubt he would do that - have you seen any of his bruises, ever?" Ajay asked.
"Exactly! Never." Shamika responded instantly.
"You know it already, Shamika. Don't stay victimized like this. Block him from contacting you on every channel. Keep in touch with us and we will guide you further, but you have to trust us completely and follow what we discuss."
Shamika stood firm on her decision to help herself out of the mess she had got into. Sometimes, freedom is just a few dedicated sessions away.