” Life”… he said, clearing his throat again…
“Life is a journey that no one can ever avoid.. We, the travelers of eternal sea , are bound to sail whether we like it or not! On the way, we think we are in control we hold the steer.. but any seasoned captain would let you know that.. how one is at mercy of the sea.. out in the middle of the ocean.. nothing can protect us.. nothing else matters.. not position.. not money nothing.. just human strength and yes proud sails… These moments are when we actually live.. in utter nakedness.. we live pure.. and we live hard! And we live utterly vulnerable…
You may wanna disregard this as utter hogwash , you the new age scientific thinker.. you feel that “my life is in my hands… I decide my fate by my choices”.. I have only thing to say to you.. are you really being scientific? What facts do you have to prove this? What experiment did you do ?
Lets take a scientific route that we all know… Lets equate your will power to force… If we place you in vacuum isolated.. your will power might be your destiny .. however, in practical context you are affected by will power of everyone you come in contact with.. you are abetted as well as undermined… so the willpower is collective willpower… You don’t have you agree to this…” he said with a smile to a guy who seemed about to interrupt.
He continued, ” We have had this discussion too many times. You argue that this interference can be considered just noise and cancelled out.. but without any constant intensity or constant amount of noise how can you remove it ? Laws of nature my friend.. is not much different from laws of physics.. infact physics derives it from nature.. so if there are any contradictions.. its we who have erred not nature!…..”
He was talking to his star student, Auryn. They were sitting in a smoky old timer cafe. Most were used to their argument no one noticed.. i.e no one but Anwesha.. She was all ears.. She had a decision to make.. and .. she didnt have much time to know this guy.. This guy with silken white hair.. kind smiling eyes.. and who was looking fondly at Auryn.. He, Prof. Parijat Dey….. She had decided.. She will not approach him, ever! .. It was stupid to have second thoughts!
She felt a wave of revulsion for this man.. and underneath somewhere was a wish of a young girl.. to be loved .. She felt pure envy for that guy.. this look was for her.. and here she is .. sitting away like a thief looking for dribble of attention.. enjoying conversations that was hers by right! She felt betrayed!! Never again she decided! Never ever again!
Few weeks later,
” Hello ?? Prof. Dey ?”, said someone in the telephone.
” You are in danger! You have to leave you house now!”, she said urgently. It was a female caller
” What do you mean ?”
” We dont have time to argue. Believe me.. please leave now!!! there is going to be a fire!”
” But???!!! … Erm.. Who are you ?”
” Someone who loves and admires you a lot! I will explain later! please leave”
Before he could reply or ask further questions, the call got cut. And the smoke alarm started ringing. He ran outside the house.. there was a huge uproar with firemen and police everyone rushing in people in the apartment running out.. In the confusion he forgot all about the call.
The police found that it was a hoax. False alarm.. a naughty prank they said.. They suspected may be at this old foggy has gone senile and was trying to get attention.. he had no family and was bound to feel lonely.
He tried to tell them about the call.. but no records were found.
Then for long no call came. Professor forgot all about the call and became busy with lectures and et al. Our professor was very famous writer and a stellar orator.. when he explained everyone listened .. from the gate keeper to the guests on th dais.. and everyone understood..
Six months later, again, in the hotel room, in Brussels,
” Hello! prof! remember me?”
” I am sorry I don’t recollect you”
“No wonder, its been six months.. So hows life?”
” Its been good. May I know your name and which batch you were from?May be I will remember you ?”
” I was not your student sir.”
” Then ?? I am afraid i dont understand why you are calling ? Were you at the lecture?”
” No. Save it for those who want to hear it. I wanted to inform you that there is bomb in your room. Please get out”
” Oh! now I remember you! Tell me who you are! Why are you doing this?”
” Doing what ? helping you ? Coz I have a dad!” was her cryptic reply and she cut the phone.
She somehow seemed angry but she wanted to save him.. and he had no idea who she was. He called police and told them about her. They found a bomb indeed.. It was an amateur affair.. with mobile batteries and wires.. these were easily available.. but the curious thing was.. it wasnt set to explode at all.
They contacted his local police during investigation and as police do discussed the old case and decided the local police were right and closed the case. Professor felt humiliated but he had nothing to show. Even though the call had come through the switch board there was no record! The telephone engineer told him that this is not possible at all.
Since then things started to deteriorate.. the calls became frequent but short.. it was no longer pranks.. just talks.. sometimes just sighs and grunts.. he never had any records.. he changed his number.. unlisted it.. gave it to no one.. not even Auryn. Still she called.. wispy voice … murmuring in absolute stillness… Then calls came every night .. just routine calls.. they every few hours… no one heard anything but him.. no records were ever found..
And then he started to black out… missed appointments… soon he was avoided and refuted as senile old man.. All his achievements forgotten.. he had become the laughing stock for one and everyone..
And then the black outs became worse.. he found himself in weird places… that too deep within the slum.. once he found himself sleeping in the pig sty.. it was so stinky.. and he so fastidious! He vomited at the sight of it.. how could he sleep there?
Then the ultimate thing happened… he slept with his dead dog… his buddy! Drenched in his blood! his beautiful beautiful dog! And she called again… She kept laughing… not maniacally.. but in genuine humor.. infectious youthful and perfectly happy laugh.. and it kept echoing in his mind… again and again.. He lost it.. went out nude screaming at the top of his voice.. whatever remained of his respect was all lost.. and with that his sanity too..
At the inquisition.. no one had any doubts professor lost it… Not even the professor.. He kept repeating to himself… there were no records .. no facts.. but she called .. thats a fact too… premises.. check them.. nature can’t be wrong! He was sent to the mental Asylum temporarily.. But everyone knew.. it was just an formality.. he wont ever be a free man again..
Anwesha saw everything… She waited till everyone left.. She wanted to gloat.. but it seemed hollow somehow.. she felt pity.. not the usual pity we feel for the man on the road.. but gut wrenching pity that made you puke.. until she saw him.. Auryn.. the only guy who was mourning.. and all her resentment everything returned… she felt the sweet taste of revenge.. Ah the technology.. a duplicate SIM, a jammer and a mobile transreceiver, and her job was done. So neat.. and no one would ever come to know…
Mom.. I avenged you today.. finally.. I wish you were here to see..
There was one final thing left to do…As she had promised, Anwesha put her mom’s ashes in ganges . She had waited for 2 years to accomplish what she wanted.. and now her purpose was fulfilled.. She was finally free to mourn for her mom who also was her dad.. She decided now was the time to read that letter.. The final legacy.. That final email that she never could read.. She had tried many times but guilt never let her touch it.. She wasn’t there when mom needed her..When she had called!… Anwesha had been high strung and angry.. angry over some petty thing that seemed so important then…
She read , as tears spilled from her eyes.
This is very hard for me to write. I have something important to share with you.. I wanted to do it personally atleast over the phone… However, I understand your anger.. I was once you age.. how beautiful youth is and how idealistic.. I was too.. I wish I wasn’t…
There is no easy way to say this.. to cushion this.. I so wish I could.. I wanted to take this secret to my grave.. and now that am about to die.. and infinitely wise.. If i could say.. I cannot cheat you so thoroughly..
I was stupid.. really stupid.. hope you can manage to forgive this mother of yours after reading this…
Dear, your father didnt cheat me… We had a fight.. stupid fight over ideology.. and.. I got angry.. it was me who had one night stand.. whom you saw in that corridor.. it was dark.. and I was afraid.. stupid and afraid enough to lie.. to leave the only thing that was best in my life….
He tried to reason with me.. I didnt listen.. my lie giving me strength to do something that truth would never have ever given.. It was a different time dear.. I could have never lived it.. really.. He knew.. and he.. and he understood..
He let me go.. that was his love.. but in my stupid pride… I had dreamt that he would fall to my knees to take me back.. and I would be triumphed… but he didnt.. I had hurt him too much… he did ask for visiting you.. I refused always.. then he stopped even that…
I really wanna tell you one thing dear, I love you so! Please please do forgive me…
Your stupid mom
Anwesha Dey nee Mujumdar then started to mourn for the father she never knew.. for the father she sent to insanity.. the father whom her mother sentenced to a life of loneliness.. like mother like daughter indeed.. cliched.. but true.. her last thought was. that her Dad was right.. Laws of nature are same as laws of physics… and Every action had an equal and opposite reaction..
They found her body next day in the morning.. drenched with blood.. she was dead for 16 hours.. It was a suicide.. motive undetermined…