Janvi could feel the earth tremble below her, and its intensity kept on increasing per second. She looked up and saw a man, who looked not more than thirty, with thick black hair and a handsome face, freeze with horror. The trembling stopped. There was an eerie silence and …..BANG! She felt paralyzed due to the sight she witnessed. A huge wave, larger than anything that she had seen before, which looked capable of destroying the whole city was rushing towards them. It seemed to touch the vast grey sky and had a frightful breaking crest. The man beside her shouted something to her, but she seemed to be in some kind of trance due to the shock. The wave was just a few hundred meters away…..and there was a deafening noise…..all Janvi could remember was a gush of water and her own scream.
“Aaah!” She could hear herself and suddenly there was a splatter of water on her face. She opened her eyes to see her mother looking both angry and worried. “Stop dreaming! Its seven already! It’s your first day at work! You don’t want a bad impression by reaching late….Do you?!”
She heard her mother shouting from the bed room door. Janvi looked around….it was the bedroom that she had been sleeping in for almost twenty five years. She gazed outside the window…and was relieved to see a bright sunny October morning. ‘So it was all a dream….no, a nightmare ’,she wondered. Surprisingly, she didn’t forget any details of her ‘dream’. She clearly remembered every scene of it, and the man….but who was he? She had never seen anyone resembling him as far as she could remember…. but she knew that dreams do not make up unknown people. The thought of her ‘dream’ gave her shudders. ”Janu! Are you dressed? Come here quick!” her mother shouted from the kitchen. Janvi put her thoughts aside and took off from her bed.
Janvi loved her work and her job. She indeed got a good impression on her first day by smartly answering questions. She was a designer by profession and by heart. A month passed and she was already shining in her office. She wanted this to go on forever…. and that was when the topic of her marriage started. Her whole family was very proud of her achievements at work and promised her that they wouldn’t force her to marry a particular person. She wasn’t very keen on getting married but agreed nonetheless, for her family to begin the mega groom-hunt.
Hours turned into days and days turned into weeks. Finally her family came up with an alliance, a man they thought was worthy of her. She was very busy at that time designing a project and just had the time to glance at his picture. He looked good.…very good, in fact. She felt like she had already met him before and immediately took a liking towards him. His name was Nakul. He was an investment banker at a very reputed firm in London. He was an artist and a guitar player too. Her family was mainly keen on his high salary and of course… other qualities.
Janvi’s father asked her if it was okay if they called Nakul’s family. She pretended to be not bothered but in her heart of hearts she was looking forward to it. She agreed to the proposal.
Nakul’s family was very happy to get such a good alliance and they felt that she was worthy of him. They wanted to proceed immediately with marriage. But Janvi intervened and put forth a condition that she needed at least six months to get to know him fully before marriage. Both the families agreed.
As Nakul was in London, Janvi could only call, message or whatsapp him. They occasionally video chatted. She began to like him very much as they both had very similar tastes. He was a humorous and a witty person who could transform the mundane into magic. He guided her, supported her and encouraged her when she had any problem. A brief time passed, and both of them grew fond of each other. The families were very happy with this progress.
At the end of the fourth month of their relationship, Nakul gave Janvi a surprise. He said that he was coming the next week to India just for her. Janvi was over the moon! She had never been this happy or anxious in her entire life! She started counting the days, hours, minutes and even seconds!
Every time she thought about him, she had a funny feeling that she had already met him in person before. But she waved off her thought and wondered that they might have been partners in their previous life! She giggled like a school girl at the thought of it. Her colleagues at work were both surprised and alarmed to see her in a giggly-mood all the time.
Finally the day came. He was to arrive by afternoon. Janvi was very excited and anxious. She couldn’t accompany her family to the airport as she had a very important meeting at work. She called up Nakul and asked him if he was free in the evening so that they could meet up. Nakul too seemed to be very excited, as it was clearly visible in his voice. He said that he had all the time in the world to meet her. He requested her to come to the beach at 4 p.m.
She couldn’t concentrate on work the whole morning and she suddenly started feeling nervous. ‘What if he was different in person…? What if… oh! Stop it! He is going to be the same. Relax.’ She thought.
The cool breeze brushed her hair off her face. It was 3.58 p.m. The minutes seemed like days to her….3:59 p.m.……. 4:00 p.m. She looked around. All she could see was a group of people with their children going the opposite direction. It was 4:01 p.m…. She gazed at the rough seas in front of her and…. she suddenly recalled something….. she knew this place…. the seas, the sky….something seemed very familiar.
Her thoughts were cut off by a loud honk. She turned around….. Nakul was here! He started walking towards her with a beaming smile. Then it struck her!! He was the man in her dream! No…nightmare. The Earth suddenly started trembling beneath her feet….. she looked up and saw the same man from her dream…..the only difference was that she knew who he was….. He was frozen with horror. There was an eerie silence……. and Janvi knew what was going to happen next.