RaaGaM GloBaL ChaT FoRuM

RaaGaM GloBaL ChaT FoRuM

Never Blame any Day In Your Life. Good Days Give You Happiness. Bad Days Give You Experience. Both Are Essential In Life. All Are God's Blessings.
 
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Lekha

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PostSubject: Nowhere    Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:20 pm

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Nowhere




Sadhana was dragging her son Sathish to his class. He was surprisingly stronger for his four years and she had to exert a bit. Feeling disgust, anger, self pity and guilt, she pushed him to his class. "How many times I requested Chandru to come with us to school! If only he comes, it would be a lot easier!", she thought.

They had recently moved to a less known city from a metropolitan one, due to Chandru's change of location. He was a venture capitalist and was very smart in picking up small firms that would do good in the later years. He was wise enough to spread his capital in other avenues too. But, he was glued to his job that he almost neglected Sathish and Sadhana. "Come on! As I promised before, I will take you to Singapore this time! We'll spend a whole week there!", he said when Sadhana asked him to stay a few hours at least for Sathish's sake.

Sathish had a special bond with his father, and he always received chocolates / toys / gifts frequently from him. His only concern was that dad was not always around, but he was ok with that too. Sadhana herself was a columnist for a magazine and occasionally wrote stories too, before. She liked to pursue her ambition once Sathish grew up a bit. And she did not like the way he was shaping up. Adamant and at times violent, he took most of her time and behaved only when she raised her voice. She hated that, but.

The school where Sathish was admitted was not in top 10, but had a reputation for many years as a good school. Sathish was of course refusing to go there and would do all things to avoid it. As she was waiting for Sathish that evening, she was planning to write something after a long gap. Just then, the bell rang. She quickly went in and took her son, back to her car. Sathish wanted to walk, so she allowed him to get down. Immediately, he ran away in a side lane. Sadhana shouted and ran behind him. He took some blind turns and soon went to a part where there were only ruins of a very old building, amidst lush greenery.

She bit her lip hard when he entered through a gap in the rusty iron fence on the other side.











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PostSubject: Re: Nowhere    Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:31 pm

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Nowhere - 2




"He did that because of the damn fun trip, we had earlier", Sadhana cursed herself. Couple of months back, they had a trip to "Fun City", a place that boased that it had the best entertainment for kids. One of the attractions it had was that, the kids should figure out their way to a particular spot through a confusing landscape. The activities involved sneaking through a fence, managing through marsh and water and some steep climbing as well. Chandru had urged Sathish to take it and told him what was needed to be done loudly, so Sathish could understand.

She shouted his name, but Sathish thought that she was playing a game that involved catching him and ran faster. She finally managed to go through the gap in the fence. By then he was a bit far already. She ran, praying to God and shouting his name. Sathish was now tired. His little legs had already ran quite a bit and he wanted to sit down. As he tried to stop, he could not and was almost about to fall, when a strong arm came from nowhere and resisted his fall. It was a boy, not more than 9 years, but was lean and strong. He was black, had only a torn cloth on his waist, and was genuinely surprised.

By then Sadhana had reached there, pushed the boy away and was shouting "Sathish dear! Are you alright?". The boy [lets call him 'Munian' from now on] was afraid first, and ran away, only to bring back water in a very old vessel. Sadhana did not understand what he spoke, so he signalled her to sprinkle it upon Sathish. She did and wiped Sathish's face. "Mummy!", Sathish was calling, urging for water. She had already left his bag somewhere while she ran there and was fumbling when Munian gave the vessel to her son. Sathish drank some, before she could protest. And she realized that she had to thank Munian. She did, but he did not understand that anyway. She lifted Sathish and was ready to leave, when she heard that sound.

She froze.








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PostSubject: Re: Nowhere    Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:33 pm

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Nowhere - 3





Being born and brought up in a village close to a river for the initial years, Sadhana could clearly say what the sound meant. And she just couldn't believe it. The place was so quiet and she could clearly hear that noise - the flow of water. "Is there a river nearby?", she asked Munian in an excited tone. It brought back her nostalgic memories then. Munian did not understand that, but was able to do so, for some extent when she drew on the grassy floor, using a stick that she found nearby.

He nodded, grinned and then asked them to come with him, using signs. Curiosity won her, as she followed him. More than an hour elapsed since the school bell rang. There was no need to hurry for her, as she knew that Chandru would not return before 10 p.m. She could not move with the speed that he went ahead and was finding it harder, carrying Sathish. They should have walked more than a mile now and the path was a bit more rough and steep. She asked Sathish to walk along with her and signed Munian to walk slowly. After a few hundred metres, she found that the path had been winding upwards towards a hilly area. She felt a bit of fear and thought of returning too.

But the sound of water was more inviting. She climbed up while Munian waited for her every now and then. As the path took a rough spiral turn, she found it very difficult. Munian came down and carried Sathish safely to the other side. Finally they reached a point. And what a sight it was, to look at the other side from there! At the bottom, there was a small river and the water was gurgling, making her ear lids to turn red [they did whenever she was happy]. She showed it to Sathish too and was like a 10 year girl enjoying the feast by her eyes before tasting it.

Then Munian urged her to climb even higher. He was deft in his movements and she was sure that there was definitely something of a surprise that lied ahead. And it was, when she reached another point. Wondering whether anybody knew about these places, she let her mind wander, now carrying Sathish who was fast asleep.

Suddenly, Munian was nowhere to be seen.









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PostSubject: Re: Nowhere    Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:35 pm

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Nowhere - 4




Sadhana was in panic first. "Did he fall down? But I didn't hear a sound at all! Has he tripped and hanging on to something? Let me look!", she thought, waking Sathish and carrying him along, as she couldn't risk leaving him and go on her own. There was a sharp turn and she somehow managed to go past it. And was precariously balanced for a while, and then fell.

She let out a gasp, and tried to hold to anything at first. But she couldn't find anything at all. She suddenly realized and held Sathish tightly. Within seconds, she reached the bottom and found that the fall had not been that bad either. Bumpy at one or two places, otherwise very smooth, it resembled just a slide. When she got up, she found that Munian was standing a few paces from where they were, with a big smile in his lips. She understood what he meant. That naughty boy must have known this and slided previously too. She too smiled back.

And then figured out how the natural slide must have been formed. Perhaps there could have been a water source from way above, which had been flowing all along for God only knows how many years, in that path, that had softened the rocky surface. And that could as well be the source for the river that was below [now they were standing closer to the river]. But at that point of time, the entire slopy passage was a bit dry with brown mossy patches here and there. "What a ride!", she thought.

It looked like a leaf out of an adventure book that she read many years back. Sensing that several hours passed, she wanted to return, but was worried how to. Munian led her to a different path this time, which was a bit rough, but manageable. She was happy that she need not have to climb up anywhere in that. After half an hour or so, they reached the point where she first saw Munian. Relief swept her and she shook Munian's hand vigorously. He had a sheepish smile and stood there seeing them till she and Sathish left.

She reached her car soon, carrying Sathish and his bag [which she found on the way]. Then she took her cellphone and was surprised to find that she had 15 missed calls from Chandru. She called him immediately.

"Where the hell have you been?", he shouted.









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PostSubject: Re: Nowhere    Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:36 pm

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Nowhere - 5





Sadhana was too exhausted to even respond and mumbled that she had been to a friend's house and put her cellphone in silent mode. Chandru cooled off and said that he was really worried, as he could not reach her. Then he asked her if it was possible for her to arrange a quick dinner for a couple of his new friends. She refused and requested him to take them to a hotel instead.

And when she was back, she wanted to just reminisce about the unexpected and wonderful trip she just had. Seeing Sathish to sleep after feeding him, she was in no mood to eat and wrote down the entire experience. Initially it was very difficult for her, as words were scarce. She knew that it was because of the gap she had in writing and didn't worry much. Soon, she was writing freely. After finishing it, she ordered a dinner for herself and went to bed after locking the house from inside. Chandru came after 11 p.m. that night and entered using his pair of keys. Without disturbing her, he went and made himself a tea and finally retired.

Next morning, he woke up and to his surprise, found that Sadhana and Sathish were still asleep. He quickly checked if she was ill and was relieved that she wasn't. Then settling down in a chair in the hall, he read that morning's newspaper, which he picked up. After a casual glance, he put it in a shelf nearby, where he found a roll of papers. Curious, he unfolded it and was a bit surprised to note that it was written by Sadhana. He read it all [appreciating her narration]. "Is that good?", Sadhana asked. "Nice, as usual, dear!", he said. "You didn't tell me that you are writing for a magazine meant for children! Nice to see that you wrote as though it happened to you!", he said.

"Come on! Its all fact and happened to me, yesterday!", she said. "What? Is it April 1 today?", he asked. Just then Sathish came up, ran to him and said, "Pappa! We had a big fall yesterday!". Chandru was confused at first and found it very hard to believe. Sathish was not sent to school that day and Chandru left a bit later than usual. When he came back that evening, he had a plan. He wanted to send Sathish to his parents' place for the week-end, starting the next day and pay a visit to that place, with Sadhana.

Sadhana readily agreed without knowing what was going to happen later.








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PostSubject: Re: Nowhere    Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:40 pm

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Nowhere - 6







They did as planned and Sadhana took him to the area where they found Muniyan. But he was nowhere to be found. She took Chandru through the path that she had been to, the previous day, albeit, slowly, stopping now and then. Its difficult to say what Chandru had in mind then, but he was chatting with her, happily though, rekindling the memories of their honeymoon days. They had been to Kodaikkanal, and both had thoroughly enjoyed it there. In particular, the Guna Cave, pine forest, Coaker's walk and the Kurinji Andavar temple.

Sadhana spoke about how she forced him to buy all flavours of home-made chocolates for more than thousand rupees and the romantic moments that followed. After Sathish's arrival and Chandru's acute concentration upon his business, such moments were rare and they enjoyed the walk. They finally reached the place and Chandru took it carefully, based on Sadhana's instructions and did enjoy the slide as well. While walking back to where he started, he said that he was so happy and hugged her. She was in cloud 9 then. They reached home and soon, Sadhana was busy in her daily chores, though she longed to visit that place frequently. Chandru advised her to keep it as their little secret for sometime. She agreed.

Chandru was even more busier and came home even later. Sadhana urged him to come home soon. He promised her that he would be taking them to a vacation soon. Three months later, Sadhana went again to that place, with Sathish. This time too, there was no sign of Munian, but there were many changes that she saw. The first was that the fence through which she entered initially, was not found and gone were the ruins of the building too. Some trees were sawn along and the grass was cleared to make way for a red sand road. She went further, but was stopped by security guards. "But I went there three months back!", she shouted. "A big construction work is under process, Madam!", the guard said and requested her to leave.

She came back disgusted and shared it with Chandru the next day. He was not bothered at all. That surprised her and she had a suspicion later on. Two more months later, Chandru was on a very happy mood one day and took her to the site all of a sudden. "We've hit gold mine, dear! And we are so rich! All because of you!", he said, as they went there. The guard saluted them and Chandru showed her the progress that had been made in a short span of time, telling her how it was all made possible. Being a venture capitalist, he never missed an opportunity when he saw one. Sensing that he could not manage this entirely, he brought in a few more friends too. They first verified whether the place and the adjoining land were owned by anyone and went ahead to but the piece of land.

Next, they used their political connections and got the license to build a private theme park, taking the place near the slide for a long lease. The fact that it led to a river, was conveniently 'ignored' and the sand from the river bed was used in constructing the buidling required. "In 3 years from now, this place will be operational dear! And we will get 1000 times the ROI", he exclaimed. Sadhana was awestruck and for the first time realized how wrong she was, in letting him know about the place. "Natural Slide! -thats the name we've given to this place, dear! And we will make it super soft, starting with an entry fee of Rs. 500-/- per head. The events will include, trekking, some water sports and many other joy rides, but the center of attraction will be that slide!", he said.

Sadhana stopped him abruptly and asked him - "Did you happen to see some tribal men or women - in particular, a little boy?". He said, "I don't know dear! They told me that they had to drive away some tribal folks on the other side, who resisted taking sand from the river!". Sadhana cried.


For, not only Munian, the child in her too, was lost forever.

--------------------END













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