Perfect Imperfections6 mins 1.7K 6 mins 1.7K
She grabbed onto her lamp tight, watched her surroundings closely, took her steps carefully, and took slow and silent breaths in between. It was dark, but she couldn’t say if it was either dawn or dusk. She felt as if she was stranded, left alone to find her own way back home, and yet she could sense a strong connection to the place; only she couldn’t identify how she reached there. She wanted to stop and rest for a while, to just breathe, to call for help and see if anyone answers. She couldn’t remember her last night of peaceful sleep- she was yearning for it, she gasped and decided to move ahead. As she moved ahead, the trees grew thicker and denser, and her lamp was running out of oil. There were unfamiliar noises and laughter she could hear, coming from right through the trees. There were blurred lights and shadowy figures, but the talking was loud and clear. She was relieved, she could finally get some company to talk to, and a place to rest.
“Hey, you came back! We were worried. Are you alright? We thought we lost you. Thank the Seven heavens!” They came and hugged her, gave her some water, and started gazing at her, eagerly waiting for her to say something. To her their voices were familiar, but not their faces. One of them came forward and handed over a backpack, and said, “We thought we would keep this to give it to you when you find your way back. Publish this! Creations like this shouldn’t be left unnoticed.” He smiled and patted her. She opened it and found in there a folder consisting of her photographs -printed and organized, as a story would go – and a camera. She remembered how capturing moments was the only thing she wanted to do, and the only thing that could give her peace. Everything that helped her evolve into a better person was hidden beneath those amazing photographs – a gentle reminder of who she is.
All her work had gone missing and she has been searching for it ever since. Having found it now, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She tried to speak, but all she could do was cry. “B-bu-but I don’t know if this would be of use to me, a-g-again,” she managed. The smiling figure stood there with a confidence that she had lost long back. “D, you should never stop trying,” he said.
Disha. ‘That’s my name!’ she whispered to herself. Slowly, she started to remember things from her shattered memory. It was her birthday, and she had received a nicely wrapped present which said: “Follow me”. It was a map to a maze, and it started right from inside her college. Dangerously brave as she was, she decided to enter it and see for herself, what surprises it had in store for her. It started with beautiful gardens and water fountains, couples dancing around, happy and smiling. As she went ahead, it started changing- the trees started losing their leaves, the fountains drying up, the lights getting dimmer. She wanted to leave, but it was too late. She has come a far way already. She could feel the darkness enclosing her, and she grabbed onto the last burning lamp nearby. All she could see was a narrow pathway that could lead to nowhere. She had two choices, either stay there in the darkness, till the light burns out, waiting for a miracle to happen; or move ahead. With that she came back to the present, realizing what she was holding on to now in her hands, was much more than just a backpack. It was her survival kit, that’s going to lead her out of the maze. It was a high time she did something about this, rather than being scared. She was about to leave, and notices the guy who just said her name sitting near the fire, playing a violin. She went up to him and asked, “I’m really sorry, you look familiar, unlike others here… but I’m not able to...” Before she completed her sentence came his reply, “Recollect who I am and how I know your name?”
“Y-ess,” she stammered in a low voice. “Just like how you found your way back to us, I’m sure you will find the answers to all your questions, don’t worry. You have come a long way, and that isn’t a small thing.” She stood there surprised and confused as he spoke to her. All she could think was why these people, who seemed to know her, are not accompanying her on the journey forward. But her heart trusted the words of the smiling stranger and decided to set off alone. She smiled at him and started off the rest of her journey. It was cold, dark and lonely, and for the first time, she didn’t enjoy snowfall. Within a few hours, she found herself in front of a door. She sensed that was it – the way out of this maze; what she has been waiting for. With all the courage she opened the door. Just as she took her first step inside, she saw herself falling steep down – into something deep, nothing to grab onto, and she could feel her heart beating like a drum. Just as she was going to hit the ground, she woke up.
She was sweating heavily, and couldn’t breathe properly. She could finally make sense that it was just another nightmare- like the others she’s been having. But today, she had answers to everything that she was questioning herself about all this time. It was 7 in the morning, and she had to leave in an hour. There was no more hesitation, no more confusion of what’s the right thing to do. She took a bath, got dressed up, wore her favourite saree and wrapped up the gift.
Disha was finally going to do the one thing she thought she would never do – attending his wedding. The one person whom she thought was perfect for her, whom she was in love with since she turned 20, and who destroyed her in the most beautifully brutal way possible- the maze she was stuck in for all these years.
She got out of her apartment and there they were her survival kit, who always stood by her side. When she broke down and cried on the roadside, when she needed someone to hold her and say things are going to be alright, helping her realize who she was every time she got lost, every time emotions took control over her mind; always telling her she was much stronger than what she thought she would be.
Love proved itself strong and alive that day when she finally realized she could count on someone to help her face her demons and bring her back to reality. And that the person need not be a lover or family. That the only strong bond, caste, religion, or race didn’t even stand a chance against was friendship. She had found it, and promised to hold on to it for a lifetime.