Love is… By Jitendra Kotai

Love is …. By Jitendra Kotai

Hi Friends.
I present to you my first published e-book on Amazon Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0751YBKL2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1…

When a long lived dream comes true. The feeling is unexplainable. The butterflies in your stomach make you hysterical.You are apprehensive and scared but at the same time you are also very enthusiastic and exuberant.

It is titled ‘Love is…. ‘51wzysn6G2L

Synopsis :
An Individual’s discovery of love through different phases of his life. He loves with all his heart but loses in love on three occasions. He discusses all the scenarios with his current fiancé.
At every stage he realizes that love is not what he thought it was. The dimensions of love change in every love story and then comes the ultimate realization. This is not just love in terms of a couple’s romance. This is love as an amalgamation of all human emotions. This is love as the core of all sensibilities and feelings.
This is the story of ‘Dev Kripalani’ and his three past affairs that he narrates to his fiancé ‘Trishna Shah’ to maintain the transparency in their relationship before they get married.

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The Recurring dream

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Anmol had woken up with a Loud petrified shriek in the middle of a lonesome quiet night. He wiped the sweat from his forehead with his palms and looked in all directions to ensure he was alone.He sipped some water and looked out of the window. Still unsure of what he had seen.

His destiny was playing games with him. He had falsely claimed to have a supernatural ability. to cure recurring dreams. He had accidentally cured the recurring dreams of many people by giving them the only thing that actually works, A Positive Hope.

We humans have a tendency of believing in miracles. Things automatically fall into place on most occasions but we associate some miracle to it. Like a Tuesday where we prayed and god heard our prayer.. Or blame a Thursday where we ate meat and a unforeseen distasteful bad omen occurred.

Anmol poured a strong cup of coffee in his mug in an attempt to stay awake. It was the fifth working day and he was struggling to keep his eyes open in his office . Sleep had not alluded him but he had desperately attempted not to sleep to avoid the horrific dream, The Healer was unable to find a solution for to heal himself of his nightmare.

Just as he was about to call it a day. She entered the room. Her vibes gave the room a certain enthusiastic revival. Her fragrance glorified the positivism of the  room. The Curly haired dusky young woman then sat down and revealed her problem to Anmol. 

Her recurring dream sounded so similar. The only thing uncommon was the starting point of the dream, but dreams usually start in the middle of nowhere. They never have a beginning or an end. They are abrupt. .

His eyes widened in exasperation. This had stretched his levels of his imagination and thinking ability. How Could an Unknown woman see the same recurring dream , The Exact same dream he had been petrified of ?

She had given every minute detail of this dream, . A Red coat which belongs to a girl who has barely out of her teens.. She hands over the coat to her and then runs, this girl has a very unusual way of running, she glides through the path, her running is breathtakingly fast. She reaches the top of cliff , panting for breath, turns around and laughs viciously. Her laughter has insanity and its loud and profound. as soon as she finishes laughing, the expression on her face changes. She turns extremely sad. and without saying a word..she jumps of the cliff.

Anmol sat gazing at the curly haired woman lost in the intense recollection of his own dream which has more gory things in it. In his dream the same red coat is soaked in blood. The girl who sits crying inconsolably holds anmol responsible for her death, runs in the same eerie way and jumps off from the cliff..

The common factors were a girl, red coat, the cliff and the eerie running jump to death

Was it the same girl they both had been dreaming about. Was it some kind of sign ?

The Curly haired woman was Madhu, by profession she was a history teacher and she had never believed in anything supernatural until one day she saw this girl from her dreams .

“She was crossing the street and looked alive, she even blinked at me “ recalled a horrified madhu who had seen the same girl on the Ambedkar street a few days ago .This caused a great deal of agony to Anmol as even he expected to see her any moment

However Being brave he walked up to the street where madhuri had a glimpse of her.As he strolled across the street he started reliving the moments of his dream. He realized that he may have seen a prospective future which may occur and he had seen it in advance since he may have gained the ability of foresight somehow.

Just as he was thinking this, he saw the girl in the red coat furiously push a man as she rushed across on the opposite side of the road.

Without caring about zooming cars and red lights , he rocketed across the street and started following her. Her speed was untouchable, she swayed her hands and ran with intensity. He could barely come close to her , She was wiping her tears while continuing to fiercely race away. As she reached the cliff and stood there.. He shouted in agony for her to stop ” Naina” His voice echoed everywhere.. She looked behind and tilted her head. He stood there with his hands folded, pleading her not to jump and she stopped.

Surprised she walked back towards him . He had called her by her first name. How had he known it ? 

What was that supernatural power he possessed ? Had he gained the ability to see a glimpse from a future untoward incident and stop it.

As he sipped coffee in her house , she inquired with him in sheer amazement about how he had reached that place, how was he aware that she was going to jump off that cliff and commit suicide. 

He narrated the entire dream to her that he had been seeing since a few days, he had a deja-vu feeling when he reached the market place and he recollected every small landmark from his dream 

” But how did u know my name” Naina questioned

Anmol was as astonished as she was.. How had she shouted the name of this unknown girl ? He clearly remembered that there was no indication of her name in the dream. 

What made you think of ending your life ? He asked

I am very lonely, stressed and currently going through a very bad phase in my life , I have no job and my unpaid bills are piling up. The Credit collection agencies are calling me everyday and using filthy abusive language” I am tired of ensuring them I will pay soon.i might soon be falling into a debt trap and i found no other solution”

He consoled her and ensured her that he will help her come out of this situation “ I am there as a friend whenever you need me , just give me a call , Ok “ he said, as he strolled around in the house still pondering on How he knew her name ,when suddenly he saw the picture of Madhuri, the curly haired beautiful woman who had come to visit him. 

Her picture was put in the centre of the room and it was garlanded with beautiful yellow  fragrant flowers. As he continued to gaze at the picture, Naina uttered ” That is my mother’s picture. She passed away when i was nine years old” 

That revelation shook Anmol completely. Naina continued ” Right since childhood, i have been telling her photo about all my problems, i have always cried my heart out and complained about my life , my circumstances. i always feel her presence around me”

Anmol said with tears in his eyes ” She is always around you, maybe even now.. She is the one who told me about you. She approached me.. She was the one who implanted your name in my conscious. Naina helped me connect with you and save you”

Naina was overwhelmed , She felt extremely bad about taking that decision. She decided to fight with her situation and take things positively and emerge a winner and make her mother proud.

“Never attempt to take your life again ” Anmol said as he saw Madhu ‘s spirit appear in the mirror opposite him, with her hands folded and watery eyes, she gestured a heart felt thank you to him 

He walked out of the house with his heart filled with gratitude and happiness. He had a great  responsibility on his shoulders now and an ability to see the glimpse of a future he could change.

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Neeyati -Linked Destinies

A Thick line of red vermilion applied through the parting line of her hair was her trademark. Leela Chakraborthy also wore a round red bindi on her forehead and usually wore elegant solid colour sarees.She was fascinatingly attractive and could seduce any sage to leave his serenity and fall in love with her.She had big kohl shaped eyes and was usually very pleasant to talk to.

Inspector Francis D souza, a reputed policeman in his late forties  had been smitten by her face since the day she came to the police station to file a missing persons complaint.

The Man missing since two days was her husband Dr.Arjun Chakraborthy, a renown psychiatrist who had many celebrated people visit him as patients. Well known actors, politicians , industrialists formed his client base. He was extremely well connected. Anything could have led to his disappearance, possibly he had known someone’s hidden secret.

Life was not easy for Leela, she had understood the luscious gaze and the hidden intentions of officer Francis Dsouza , who came almost everyday under the pretext of interrogation or investigation and complimented her about her perfume or strikingly beautiful face.

However Today she had herself demanded his presence as she had been unnerved by the an unknown man who had followed her on the street around her house.When she opened the curtains after her afternoon nap, he had stood there staring at her window , as if under an unbroken trance.

Francis D souza said ” i understand how difficult it must be for you”, but do not worry. i will be here tonight to make sure nothing untoward happens”. She prayed before sleeping and all she prayed for was Inspector Francis Dsouza to maintain his decorum and not turn from protector to predator at night.

In the middle of the night, Francis walked up the staircase to Mrs Leela’s room. He had uncontrollable urge to have a glance at the alluring woman while she was fast asleep.

He stood outside her room and slowly pushed the door open, He had never got the time of finding himself a girl to get married to ,when he had been young. He had always been a dutiful policeman who never thought of anything that distracted him from doing his job. However Mrs Leela had appealed to his heart, body and soul. He was obsessed with her.

While Francis was lost in admiring his new found obsession while she innocently slept unaware of his gaze. there was a some unsettling noise from the kitchen. Francis Dsouza rushed to the kitchen to find an unkempt, insane looking man trembling with fear. The Tall and sturdy officer grabbed him by the collar and sternly inquired “Who are you ? “

The Man was shaken, he started folding his hands and asking for forgiveness

Mrs Leela heard the commotion and came there. To impress the lady,the Officer hurled two hefty blows at the shivering man who started bleeding from his mouth and sat down on the floor crying

A Strong Kick on his back ensued that everything he was carrying in his bag fell on the floor. It was sketches , lots of them ,of the same face.Mrs Leela Chakraborthy’s dazzling face shined from all those sketches.She looked like aphrodite in those sketches. A goddess of love, beauty and pleasure .

Seeing those sketches fall from the man’s bag,Francis was extremely furious and he attempted to hit him again. However the man showed resistance this time and held his hand. He had a new confidence in his eyes as he winked at Francis and forcefully twisted his arm .He started speaking in a different tone which was obnoxiously rude and writhed in anger.He lifted the big man in one hand and threw him against the wall causing him to break his jaw and fall to the ground with a loud thud. After this the man started shivering and squeaking and fell unconscious

While the man was still unconscious, An Extremely Cautious Mrs. Leela checked his wallet to find that he was a famous young painter named Nagesh Dixit who had a huge female fan following at one point in his career.They were shocked to find out that he was in this state, 

Nagesh Dixit, the famous painter opened his eyes and found Mrs Leela seated opposite him. He tried to get up, but he had been tied to the bed. He then noticed a gun pointed on his head and Inspector Francis who stood there with great discomfort , looking at him with a sullen expression.

” You Cheap pervert” Francis growled. Nagesh shaked his head in disbelief and said ” I never intentionally wanted to sketch her face, it just automatically happened, i keep on drawing her face again and again , as if some external force is making me do it..” 

The Door bell rang and a handsome man entered. Mrs Leela ran up to him and embraced him with great intensity. He was a well known surgeon, Dr. Ranjeet Sinha. He was Mrs. Leela’s ex-flame who had re-entered her life by becoming her husband’s best friend. She had noticed the same passion in his eyes but they both avoided the rejuvenating electric chemistry they had so far. Today was different, the events that had unfolded had left her completely drained out. She badly needed a shoulder to cry on and his shoulder appeared to be the most reliable compared to the other two men available. 

Dr.Ranjeet , Francis, Leela and Nagesh sat down to analyze these mysterious occurrences. Ranjeet Said ” Leela you are the centre point of everything, He draws your sketches first and then throws this man who had cast an evil eye on you on the wall ” pointing towards Francis, who looked away in shame.Leela added angrily ” I really wished i could use my nails as claws and scratch his eyes, he makes me sick by the way he looks at me “

Nagesh suddenly got up and walked towards Francis.Erratic winds started blowing as Nagesh walked with his stiff body and tilted head frantically laughing. He held francis by his arm again and this time with tremendous power he broke his arm and as he fell into a crouching position he kicked him on his shoulder. Francis fell on Mrs Leela’s feet asking for forgiveness. Nagesh’s eyes then started moving with berserk movements and he started sketching something with his trembling hands .All four of them recognized the sketch as Mr Arjun Chakraborthy’s farmhouse.They had all been there at some point in time.

“This had been rented out to a famous TV Actress” Said Mrs Chakraborthy “And i hardly go there anymore” she continued.They all decided to visit the place together.

It was pitch dark inside the farmhouse as the four of them walked slowly. Mrs Leela holding Ranjeet’s arm and Nagesh trying to hold Francis who shooed him away. They heard some commotion in the basement and using their cellphones for light, they slowly walked down the stairs to reach the basement.

An Open door at the end of the basement emitted eye-catching glow. They felt there was someone standing there.By the structure of his body it seemed to be Dr.Arjun Chakraborthy. As they neared the door they saw him more clearly .Dr Arjun Chakraborthy was seated in a rocking chair cross-dressed as a woman in a parrot green saree. As they entered that room , he immediately jumped from the chair  and sat down in a crouching position with his back towards them, hiding his face 

A Crying Mrs Chakraborthy made him uncover his face,The shocking aspect was that his face was smothered with vermilion.He was loaded with ornaments , Maang tikka, bangles, ear rings and even a nose ring. Mrs Chakravorthy noticed he was bleeding as he did not have the piercings. He had pierced these ornaments forcefully on himself.

All queries were going to be answered it seemed, in this very basement lied the secrets all these people had been holding. Their destinies were linked and Dr. Arjun Chakraborthy had brought them all together to face their karma.

Dr Arjun Chakraborthy then noticed Dr.Ranjeet and walked towards him with a cheekish smile.

He put his arms around Dr.Ranjeet and said ” Do you remember me ? I am Roma, Do you miss me ” he said in a feminine voice.

Everyone was horrified at what they saw. They were all connected in someway and they had all been to the basement of this farmhouse at some point in their lives and they all had caused some distress to this young TV Actress named Roma 

Roma Mathur, the famous TV Celeb who played a righteous bahu in TV Serials was completely the opposite in real life. She had an unscrupulous affair with a married man , A famous surgeon Dr Ranjeet Sinha, who spent most of his nights at this farmhouse in the arms of his object of desire.There was another facade to Roma Mathur’s personality. She was extremely greedy and even the wealth amassed so far had not been enough for her. 

Dr Ranjeet had been very fascinated by the hidden room that he had seen in the basement , when he had visited it for the first time after an amorous and adventurous night of pleasure with Roma.He was astonished to see that this room had a wonderful code locking system and it could be used for something extravagant that occurred in his mind 

Ranjeet saw this as an opportunity and promised Roma to play as her pander to get her closer to her infatuation with her greed of accumulating enormous wealth,provided she allowed him to run his shady business in her basement. 

Broken from the trance of his memories by the cross dressed Arjun trying to kiss him. Ranjeet pushed him away.Mrs Leela was jolted , Nagesh attempted to run but the doors had a certain electric current flowing through him that pushed him back to where he was positioned before.

Francis Dsouza tried to climb out of the basement but the last ply of wood he had kept his foot on broke into pieces and he fell with a loud thud fracturing his entire body.He Got up to run again but tumbled as he had no strength left in his body.

Arjun Chakraborthy then spoke in a screeching voice at exceeding decibel levels , it was the loud voice of Roma Mathur which could be heard alongside the meekly male voice of Arjun. “Nagesh, Francis and Ranjeet , i am sure you all know why i brought you here” Do you remember that Night ? ” and his eyes grew wider and blood oozed out from his eyes in the form of tears.from both sides.

That Night of July 31st at the farmhouse had been very infelicitous. Nagesh dixit stroked his paint brush on a beautiful painting he had been making of Roma while she posed in a seductive manner. Dr Arjun opened the door of the farmhouse with his own set of keys with a bang. He had brought the police with him as he had been tipped about some insane inhuman offence that was regularly being committed at this farmhouse , It was Inspector Francis D Souza who walked next  to Dr,Arjun as they raided the basement of the farmhouse.

As the Code-locked door opened.They saw two unconscious men who lied on adjacent beds, One was a patient and the other one was a Donor. Dr Ranjeet and a few assistant doctors and nurses were in the middle of an illegal surgery. A Kidney transplant was in progress.Dr,Arjun slapped his friend for playing with the life of these poor people. It was a poor beggar who had been lured under the promise of good food and some money.Some medical tests had been done and once everything was positive he had been drugged to make him unconscious .The Beggar was totally unaware that his kidney was being transplanted to a rich businessman.

Hundreds of such illegal operations had been completed right there in that basement and Roma had allowed these things to happen after earning a hefty amount of remuneration every time Dr Ranjeet planned such an inhuman event.

Citing the life threatening consequences of leaving the surgery half way through. Dr Ranjeet and his assistants completed the operation .Then Dr,Ranjeet then sat down with Dr.Arjun and Inspector Francis and tried to sort the issue amicably so that they all could benefit from it. Apart from Hefty amounts of money he also promised them something terribly wrong and horrendous.

After discarding the unaware and incognizant beggar at the same street he was picked up from in the same unconsious state.

Dr.Ranjeet Sinha  Dr Arjun Chakraborthy, Inspector Francis , Nagesh and Roma clinked their Wine glasses and they all said “Cheers”.

After sipping the wine Roma felt tipsy , “Its really strong” she said almost falling off. It had been planned as Dr Ranjeet winked and the others smiled gleefully. Her vision blurred and she fell to the ground in an inebriated state. The First one to satisfy his greedy urge was the desperate policeman who lifted an unconscious roma in his arms and took her to the bedroom.

Dr.Arjun sat on the floor with blood oozing from eyes and wailed loudly

” You all turned into animals, you thought i was unaware, so you could do anything. I felt the pain, it was tremendous pain, I wriggled in pain every time one of you left the room” ” What pleasure did you get from a unresponsive woman , Did any of you even notice my tears which were flowing from my eyes when you were busy fulfilling your fantasies”

“And you played pander , as you said but not to my desires of amassing wealth. You played pander to your friends. How could you do that Ranjeet , I had loved you with so much passion and dedication” He Screeched and pounced on Ranjeet with his Claws digging into his flesh on his arm and he dragged him into a corner and scragged his neck with all his might and power till he drew his last breath. Tossing Dr.Ranjeet’s dead body away he turned angrily to Francis 

Francis lied on the floor with his hands folded. but Arjun thumped his foot on his face umpteen times with tremendous power till he collapsed to his death.

It was Nagesh’s turn who decided to hide behind Mrs Leela and suddenly grabbed Mrs leela from behind and threatened to strangle her if Arjun did not stop..Arjun walked slowly towards the end of the room and flung at nagesh the painting that he had made of Roma with great intensity that broke his skull making him bleed to his death.

Mrs Leela winced, aghast at their cruelty. Dr.Arjun was arrested from the scene of crime and another body was recovered from the house , it was the dead body of Roma. Owing to the strongly spiked wine roma had slipped into comatose and when these monsters continued with their beastly attempts to savour her body, she had died. 

A Renown Psychiatrist was now mentally unstable , it is difficult to believe that he was possessed by a ghost. It was his own guilt, he had enjoyed the malicious proposal given by his friend Ranjeet .He had thought that no one could ever come to know about this dark secret where they took advantage of an unconscious woman. Unfortunately she died and Dr Arjun was overburdened with guilt. After discarding her dead body they all had left with a promise of never speaking about this ever again and not recognizing each other in public. But Dr Arjun had come back to the farmhouse, read Roma’s diaries, moved around in the basement and seen her wardrobe. His mind had been extremely disturbed.He had a fraction of humanity in him which was slowly killing him. He felt extremely agitated and frustrated , His friend Ranjeet had traded his girlfriend’s trust and her life as a small bonus to the Painter, the inspector and him to keep their mouth shut about his shady business.He kept himself locked in the basement and his guilt made him lose his sanity. In his madness and in his rage towards these men he had killed them all.

Mrs Leela visited her husband in the mental asylum where he sat gaping at the sky , she cried as he started crying inconsolably. He was still cross-dressed as a woman, possibly feeling things from Roma’s point of view. “It is never pleasure, to use unconscious people to your advantage. Dr Ranjeet sinha has been let off too easily. He deserved a more gruesome death ” He said

Mrs Leela wiped his tears knowing that he had indeed committed a gruesome crime but he had repented and he had done more than people do in today’s times . Even if he had been more human than most of the rapists , his doing was still unforgivable. The Righteous bahu in the serial had been changed , another lady was wrapped in a saree and she shed the same glycerine tears and mouthed the same cliched lines.Television seemed to be so much in Irony with real life.

© Jitendra Kotai

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Anootrit – The Unanswered Quest

Akash stared ceaselessly at the gigantic portrait of his deceased mother and father on their tenth death anniversary.He was impassioned by love which was very evident in that picture, the only one he had.His mom had kept her hand on his father’s chest and their smiles in that picture were electric.The Portrait depicted absolute contentment on their faces.

Their Memories usually came in blurred images, sometimes in nightmares, sometimes while he was awake and in a trance of his queries relating to their death.They had died under mysterious circumstances, their death had been unexpected and gruesome, but akash was never told anything, and his questions were always avoided.

He was a 6 year old boy then and his Grandfather, Shri Vishambhar Das Chaudhry had promised to tell him everything when the time was right ,but today again, he had blatantly refused to divulge any information.His Aunt sushma had nurtured him, mothered him since he was a child but whenever he raised the question about his parents she would be distressed and shuffle off the conversation with a new excuse every time.

The Summer holidays of 2001 , when young akash had travelled with his parents to their village in Rajasthan for the first time. He remembers the excitement on the face of his grandfather when they reached.Bheem singh, the right hand man of his grandfather had prepared so many delicacies and he remembered going berserk playing hide and seek with his Uncle Sarang in a Fort nearby.The Next thing he remembers is two dead bodies lying on the floor and his Aunt Sushma covering his eyes and taking him away.A Faded voice echoes in his ears where he had kept on asking ” what happened to mom and dad” but the voice got crushed and refuted with no response.

A Decade of his life was behind him, this question had still not found a valid answer and now he had predetermined to find the cause of their untimely death.He understood that the fate was unalterable, but he wanted to do this for himself, may be not revenge but he wanted to just get an answer

He travelled to Satwa bhoora village , his village in Rajasthan alone without informing his aunt and grandfather as he feared confinement again.Never ending Long stretches of barren land was all that was in sight for a long long distance , as he walked dragging his baggage on a hot summer afternoon.A glimpse of cattle ensued that there was a village nearby, he hoped that there would be someone who would quench his thirst for water first and then show him the way to reach his ancestral house in the village.As he entered the village, a woman carrying water in a earthen pot readily offered him some water and also offered to walk with him till the Ancestral Haveli belonging to Shri Vishambhar Das Chaudhry.

The Haveli was protected with towering Chain-link-fencing from all sides and a mammoth lock at the centre. Inquiries on getting aside led him to another colossal mansion nearby.
This Prodigious house belonged to Mai Baap Dilawar Singh. Mai Baap was a metaphor used to describe his authority in the village, he was the village sarpanch who was smoking hooka on a charpai Seated in a leaning back position he asked ” What is your father’s name ? ” in his deep unsavory voice.

“My father is dead “he retorted ” he was killed”,

” Name” Said Mai Baap Dilawar singh with his palm to the young man’s face and an abhorrent expression ” I am only asking his name” he roared in anger.

“Animesh Chaudhry ” He said slowly and Mai Baap hit his head with his palm furiously and looked at his men as if gesturing something.

in the next moment two muscular bare-chested men wearing dhotis lifted him and threw him out of the haveli and warned him to never dare to come back.He attempted to divulge in a different direction and re-enter the village and using the darkness of the night,he climbed on a tree and entered Dilawar singh’s mansion through the huge window on the first floor.A Picture of his aunt caught his eye and as he lifted it to see it more closely, dilawar entered the room and said ” That’s my daughter “. He was so terror-struken by the sudden appearance of the old man that he reached out to lift his ancient gun hanging on the wall and point it at him. “You have to tell me everything ” he shouted in pain , the pain of the sketchy memories that have been haunting him for a decade.

Hearing the commotion the Two Muscular men appeared again,this time from both sides of Dilawar singh, looking at Akash with angst.Dilawar signalled to his men to leave and gestured akash to sit down.
He had finally decided to end the young man’s agony by fulfilling his quest for those unanswered questions.

                                                                 July 1981
It had all begun when dilawar singh’s daughter was four years old.The Haveli had been weighed down with decorations, and dilawar had personally distributed sweets in five villages nearby. Vafadar Bheem singh, the staunch loyalist of Vishambhar das chaudhry, felt proud when he lifted the 8 year old prince Animesh Chaudhry and made him sit next to his bride in the mandap, a 4 year old Sushma.

 

The Marriage had been talked about in the five neighbouring villages with tremendous enthusiasm and both the village childhood friends had turned their friendship into a strong relationship and impressed the neighboring five villages with their stature and prominence.

They came to decision that the Gauna (the actual time when the marriage is consummated and the girl goes to live with her In-laws) will be held after 10 years.

                                                                   May 1991
They realised the gravity of the mistake they had both made,when Animesh announced one night before the said date for the gauna that he loved another girl.
Vishambar das chaudhry wanted to see his son alive and hence ordered for him to run away. Bheem Singh was given the task to ensure that Animesh reached the station securely and left the village with the girl he loved.He had hidden them in an abandoned house nearby till dawn and with the first train in the morning he made them leave the village and made them swear on his head that they will never return. The fear was outrageous, the fear of the Khap Panchayat.

The Khap Panchayat which has the undisputed supremacy and dominance in these villages announced that Vishamdar Das Chaudhry had to suffer from banishment as he was considered an outcast and had to live in the outskirts of the village in an isolated place as his son had left his wife in a terrible state and now there would be no one to hold sushma’s hand.There was no other solution to this problem , the only one being finding animesh and bringing him to the village and forcing him to take sushma’s responsibility.

Vishambhar Das Chaudhry and his younger son Sarang Chaudhry who was only 9 years old then had to leave their ancestral mansion and live in shabby conditions and hear the most nasty foul statements from the villagers everyday.

Dilawar Singh was the only villager who showed some respite for his friend and his son and even sent them some food grains and groceries from time to time considering that the entire village had disowned them and even after paying money they had to hear the sickening curses from the food grain vendors , vegetable vendors whenever they stepped out and tried to buy those things .Dilawar made sure that his childhood friend survived in these difficult times.He visited him secretly , cheered him up and ensured him that time will heal everything .He even got sarang to work in his fields even after facing criticism and disapproval from the khap panchayat.

 

                                                                   March 2001
Life revived for the two friends 10 years later, Things had fallen into place and life was going to be smooth again for Vishambhar and Sarang,

Vishambhar’s younger son Sarang Chaudhry had fallen in love with Sushma and they both thought it was the best way to rectify the past. The Marriage Ceremony of Sarang (19) and Sushma (24) was going to be held with the same flourish.The date was announced and the panchayat was informed that Sarang was trying to rectify the sins that his brother had once committed.

A Shocking Uninvited guest spoiled the carousal. Yes, Animesh Chaudhry had arrived with his wife and his 6 year old son in tow.He stated that Sarang had sent the wedding invitation to his only brother as he had been stirred by emotions but the heart warming family get-together came to dramatic end.

The Khap Panchayat decided to disrupt the wedding and call for justice, they were not convinced with the re-marriage of sushma when her first husband was alive and in the village standing right there in front of their eyes.
They decided to take an completely inappropriate decision in the name of justice, they discarded animesh’s legal marriage by burning the marriage certificate and throwing the ash remains on Vishambhar’s face.
The Four Supremos sitting there with their heads held high then commanded something atrocious to resolve this problem. They Ordered Animesh to complete his abridged marriage by commemorating  the gauna of Sushma and consummating his marriage with her and since Animesh’s wife Ashmita would become destitute, they ordered
Sarang to marry Ashmita and accept her son as his own child

if this was not followed that would mean wrath and fury of the villagers.

The villagers of Satwa Bhoora Village and five neighbouring villages had been given the authority to kill them if they disobeyed the Panchayat’s decision.

Vishambhar Das Chaudhry and Dilawar Singh decided to follow the fatwa issued by the panchayat as they believed having their children alive was far more important than seeing them unhappily married.
Animesh had other plans, he decided to elope again this time with Ashmita, Akash, Sarang and Sushma.He brought them to the same abandoned house in the outskirts of the village where bheem singh had helped him hide last time.
6 year old akash had started playing hide and seek with sushma totally unaware of the prevailing tension, A Mob of villagers had started the search for them carrying swords and Lathis.

Sarang seemed very uneasy as he looked out at villagers shouting their names with curses and moving around the house carrying mashals and swords. He decided to go out and surrender and left the concealed house even after repeated attempts to stop him by Animesh.

Vishambhar Das Chaudhry and Dilawar Singh were disgusted at what they saw a few minutes later. it was a horrific site of villagers carrying Sarang on their shoulders and shouting slogans of ‘ Sarang Chaudhry Zindabad’.He had given away the hiding spot of the four stashed loved ones to those blood thirsty villagers and earned himself the love of the Khap Panchayat and the villagers.
The whole purpose of sending the wedding  invitation to animesh was to bring back the lost glories of his family.Animesh had eloped 10 years ago and everyday for those ten years sarang had faced the atrocities of the villagers who called him an outcast, this was his attempt to revamp himself and revisit the honour of his family by killing the one who had dishonoured.

Dejected and distressed Vishambhar and Dilawar searched for the dead bodies of their children. They entered the camouflaged shelter and found the dead bodies of animesh and ashmita but were unable to locate sushma and the child , after frantically calling out her name Sushma then emerged from the crest box where she had been hiding with the little boy , she kissed the almost suffocated little boy and when he shouted “What happened to mom and dad” she covered his eyes and took him away.

Bheem singh again contributed  in hiding sushma , Vishambhar das and akash and then safely helping them board the train.
“This is how you survived” Dilawar Said. As an inflamed akash got up with tears in his eyes.

“This was not the end” Dilawar continued ” Five Years Later Sarang decided to get married and invited us all for his marriage”

                                                                    December 2006

Vishambar had then come back to the village when Sarang had decided to get married to the daughter of the wealthiest politician in that district and emerge as a politician.

He was building his career curve perfectly and trying to show his superiority to Dilawar and his own father, Vishambhar by calling them to the wedding ceremony .

Wearing a heavy embroidered sherwani  and a few gimcrack fat gold chains, as sarang had danced on the shoulders of the villagers lifting him, there had been a loud gunshot which had brought the celebrations to a stand-still.
His Sherwani had turned red with blood oozing out from his chest, he had fallen from the shoulders of the villagers straight on to the feet of his father who had held the gun.

Dilawar had also taken things in his hands, when he sent out the message strong and clear that he and his men would never allow any more honour killings to take place in their village and he was ably supported by the police and law authorities this time.
He had ensured that the village was never ruled again by these petty people who dramatized things in the name of honour.
He made himself the enforced judge of everything now and in these few years , he had built himself a huge reputation and following. He had saved many lives of love-lorn couples residing everywhere in the radius of Satva Bhoora Village and the neighbouring five villages.

He was the messiah of young kids who did not wish to follow the diktat given by Khap Panchayats or anyone who was under the pressure of any unrealistic , unethical jugdements given by the Panchayats.

The fact of his parents death had only been hidden from Akash because it was distasteful, This is an absurd reason to have for the death of your parents, your children , your near and dear ones and in fact no one should die such a death which is ordered by some autocratic men posing as honour saving authorities  in a country like india which is a democracy.

Another reason to keep Akash away from the village was the fear of those villagers who thought it was their responsibility to take the revenge of their martyr Sarang Chaudhry’s death.

The fanaticism was controlled but not completely done with

What could have they possibly said to you? “” Your father and mother were killed because the Khap Panchayat made an insane decision and the villagers drew out their swords to kill them”
“In a independent country like india, every individual has the right to marry someone of his choice and child marriages should be stopped with immediate effect ” Dilawar says as
Akash decides to stay back in the village and spread awareness along with his mentor ,someone who has stood up amidst a rural society and brought about a change.

Mai Baap Dilawar singh has spread awareness about the consequences of a child marriage and he has tried to kill a few norms and practices which are being followed in the name of Maryada, (Limits)  Prathistaa(Prestige)   and Parampara (traditions) all over india

The Rural areas are not the only places where these events take place. There have been horrific examples of real life horror in cities where fanatics have laid down lives trying to protect their honour by killing their own children.

© Jitendra Kotai

PS:

“The vilest crimes are committed in the name of defending the honour of the family or women and we should hang our heads in shame when such incidents take place in India in the 21st century.”

—P. Chidambaram, in response to a calling attention notice in the Rajya Sabha

The Loop of Obscurity

Kshitij , his name suggested the horizon, a point where the sky meets the earth The existence of a horizon seems very evident when you look at the end of the sea, but it is atrociously fictitious and poetic to believe that the horizon exists..

Sky and earth never meet at any point ever and hence the very existence of the point where they meet is questionable

He had lived up to the reputation of his name by not earning any realistic growth in life, At the age of 36 , he had been a failure at academics by not been able to clear his graduation even after four attempts and hence absorbed in self pity he always made sullen expressions and looked a depressed shadow of himself living in despair.

Wearing a full grown beard at all times, smoking cigarette one after the other, he was a loner who had now got used to living this way

A perfectly disturbed Kshitij was irritated already as he had been woken up in the middle of the night to do his graveyard shift at a call centre located in Powai, Mumbai where he worked as an executive

Struggling to keep his bloodshot sleepy eyes open, he walked towards the pan beedi shop to buy a pack of his regular smokes

As he looked at his watch, the time was showing 1.30 am , he noticed some scrathes on his wrist which could possibly have been caused by brushing against some rough surface unknowingly he thought

The Shop owner gave some new brand of smokes and told him they give a tremendous amount of kick and they were only 50 rs more than usual, he decided to try them out with a mischeavious grin said “Let me try them”

The first puff made him realize that this was something very strong, he felt very light in his head and started feeling a bit tipsy. it hit hard on his throat too and he realized that it was not just an ordinary smoke

As he waited for the call centre cab to pick him up , he decided to take a stroll in the area whilst waiting and he walked towards the left in the direction of the main road and put on his headphones with loud music blaring into his ears as he walked in a slightly inebriated state singing the song playing in his cell phone in his own husky voice loudly

He saw a big four wheeler speeding towards him with the headlights glowing into his eyes, he thought it was the vehicle which had come to pick him up for his shift at the call centre,but the vehicle turned left .

he turned in the direction of the vehicle, thinking that the driver may have mistaken the road towards his house and taken a wrong route As he walked ahead, there was no sign of the vehicle and he kept moving ahead in a street which seemed completely isolated on a gloomy dark night,

He was spooked by the sound of night crickets which pierced through the silent street, there was no sign of any creature living or dead, it was him alone walking on this street well past midnight.

He stood there in silence, slightly scared to walk ahead, the possibility of a vehicle existing in that street was very low considering the fact that the silence was deafening, he decided to turn around and all the street lights went off in a row leaving him in pitch dark.

The fear of the unknown is far more scarier than the fear of a ghost. A Ghost is very blatant and predictable but the unknown can be fiercely unpredictable

He walked slowly ensuring that he made his way back safely considering the fact that it was completely dark,

the only source of light was his cell phone which was helping him find his way back. He stumbled upon something and fell flat on his face, in literal words breaking his front tooth.

” Bloody Hell” he shouted as blood flew out of his mouth, he immediately drank all the water from the bottle he was carrying in his office bag.

He wiped all the blood from his face and put his handkerchief on his face to control the bleeding

He realized that he had some scratches on his lower elbow too and it was bleeding too, as he angrily turned towards the thing lying on the floor which had made him stumble and fall , he was shocked to see what he saw, It was a dog that had been ruthlessly murdered, he shrieked as he saw the disfigured dead body of the dog..It may have been a street fight between two dogs he thought and decided to move on

He made it to the place he had turned from and decided to take a right and then left which would lead him to the pan beedi shop and then his building and he would go back to his house and sleep.

If eventful things start happening on a given day, they decide all happen at once on one horrible day.

There was an attractive woman waiting at the bus stop, she was wearing a knee length red dress and very dark red lipstick, her hair were neatly tied behind her head, he looked away as soon as he she noticed him. even though he felt attracted to the vulnerable looking woman he decided to ignore her and walk away “Excuse me” She said and his heart started pumping fiercely, he had already started construing various possibilities of what she could be from a witch, to a vampire, to a ghost he had considered all possibilities Do you think i will get a taxi to seepz at this hour? “As a human he felt protective about her for a moment, but suddenly he thought ” what was she doing there at that hour alone “He neglected her and started walking ahead in his own direction, he heard an excuse me again, his heart melted as he felt she was in the same situation he was and he could be her savior

He turned around to see absolute silence again, there was no one standing on that bus stop. the woman had disappeared into thin air, it would not have been possible for her to walk away so quickly

He looked around for her, not finding her anywhere, he called out, O Lady in the red dress , O Lady . As his voice echoed in the silence night, he felt convinced that the woman was his imagination

He thought to himself that these could be the hallucinations which were resulting due to the dope he had consumed in the cigarette earlier, he decided to take a breather near the abandoned water well stationed there This Well had a history,

The Well had belonged to the people residing in that bungalow, An Old woman living in that bungalow alone after her sons had migrated to overseas countries had committed suicide she had jumped into the abandoned well and had died as her head hit the rock inside the well, as children they were not allowed to go near that well of the fear of them being possessed .

He realized that he had been taking a breather on that Water Well and from the popular legends of his area this was the most believed one , most of his friends had seen that old woman around the Water well and confirmed the story that her spirit haunted the area around the well, he felt completely shaken as he looked inside the well, there were a layer of leaves and stones that existed in the deep water well

As he looked up at the banyan tree , he was petrified at what he saw, the old woman he feared all his childhood, sat there squatting on the branch of the banyan tree, his hair was completely messed and she laughed loudly to the level of insanity, the decibel levels of that laughter were extravagantly loud , he covered his ears, and cried inconsolably , he felt stiff, he had no power to move from that place The Woman than jumped from the banyan tree straight into the well and disappeared .

Everything fell silent again, as if nothing had happened, as if all that he saw was again imagination. His head was spinning, had he seen a real ghost, or had he been imagining so strongly under the influence of drugs that he actually saw what he had happened.

Nevertheless, he decided to run to his house he ran as fast as he could, panting for breath, sweating profusely, he ran uncontrollably and suddenly slipped and fell with a thud.

As he got up he realized he had not even moved an inch. He was right there, exactly where he had started from The Water Well, the laughter of those women although nonexistent was crystal clear echoing in his ears, he cried as he found no respite, no way out. He ran again , with all his strength , had towards a different direction , as his fate would have it today he fell again with a loud thud, stumbling on the same dead dog . He shrieked “No” and ran again .He was sprinting now, assured that he could reach his building this time, or at least the Pan beedi shop where he would wake up the sleeping pan beedi vendor and ask him for Help Yes Help clicked in his head and he started shouting ” Help ” Help ” Help” as he ran and stopped and waved his arms in disbelief when he ended up at the same Water well again.

He was stuck in a vicious loop of obscurity and he felt helpless. He fell to the ground thumping his chest vigorously, wailing loudly and asking for forgiveness for every insult he had made on the dead woman negating her existence as a child and mocking his friends who were scared to go near the Water well.He requested her to let him go, he told her that he had never caused her any harm. After a long time, he stopped crying and asking for forgiveness.

Sensing that he is still alive and that he can still try to reach home, he thought of breaking the loop by walking backwards with his face to the well .He kept looking at the Water well and started walking backwards slowly , he smiled as he was moving away from the well, he thought he had found the rescue, but it was very short-lived as he saw the same dead dog , he wailed ” Get lost” and continued walking back , his smile resurfaced when he saw himself moving away from the dead dog, but then he was paralyzed when he saw his bike lying on the ground it had suffered a mishap, the headlights were broken and it seemed it had been hit by a vehicle, he decided to keep moving back leaving his bike behind and then he stumbled upon something again.

It was the dead body of a man with the same height, same body structure and exactly identical clothes to what he was wearing, in shock and despair, his hands started shivering, he tried to see the face He tried hard, but the face appeared blurred, he rubbed his eyes and tried to see again but he could not be assured of the face. he slapped himself, rubbed his eyes again Was he dead? Was it his dead body? Then it became clearer, yes it was him. May be he had been killed earlier in the day when he was riding his bike but he had not realized, he decided to keep walking back and try to negate all this he thought by walking back he was breaking the loop of obscurity , as he walked back he fell again but this time he fell into a dark hollow , he was now assured that he had died as he saw the light at the end of the tunnel of life, he saw the bright light coming right into his face, he saw the disillusioned figure of god calling him into heaven, yes it was not as painful as he expected, death was such a simple process.

He decided to close his eyes now and surrender to his fate, tears dropped down his eyes when he realized that he had missed the opportunity to say goodbye to his loved ones

He felt that after leap years of travelling through space he finally had reached heaven, as he could hear some sounds around him, some birds chirping, some people speaking. He kept his eyes closed as the light from heaven was extremely bright, it would not let him open his eyes and then he felt something hit his knee very hard, He shouted in pain as that thing hit him again, it felt like a rod, as he slowly opened his eyes he saw a mustached man, looking at him. He became more aware of his surroundings when the man spoke “Why do you drink so much ?”

As he got up, he realized that he had been sleeping in a manhole, which had been dug in between a construction site; he had been hallucinating all night. He felt a strong headache as he walked towards his house. there was no dog, no bike, and then he looked at the Water well and the banyan tree in disbelief, what a nightmare it had been, The Pan beedi vendor was laughing hysterically as he walked past him

The Vehicle had come to pick him up last night but he had not been there below his house, they had waiting for him for quite some time before driving away, his manager told him.

© Jitendra Kotai