Fairy Tales

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Love is a strange phenomenon exposing itself in unusual times and places, at times it is alomost embarrassing yet when found truly it is the thing of utmost beauty, peace, enchanting. The very essence of it endows motivation enough for life to go on.

Submitted: April 18, 2016

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Submitted: April 18, 2016



Nisha had never witnessed such grandeur as she did then. The chandeliers, the heavenly ceiling lights, the exquisitely designed carpet that felt like satin, the waitresses as pretty as angels, the managers handsome like royal princes, the smell of fresh flowers and everything else enchanted her. As she approached the reception to her surprise the dashing male receptionist greeted her “Welcome to Taj Mumbai Miss Nisha all of your colleagues and Mr. Tripathy and the clients are waiting in conference hall number four.” Nisha was actually stupefied by his smartness, yet somehow she blurted a soft “Thank you!” and was about to express her ignorance of that palatial building when the receptionist said “Our attendant Manoj will take you there, Thank you”.

The conference hall seemed like an art gallery with its medieval paintings, beautiful showpieces, etched glass doors, the exquisite dome from inside “Wow! This is awesome” Nisha felt like crying out in awe but instead she tore her mind away from all that glitter and tried to concentrate on the meeting. The hours seemed like years to her. But she presented her marketing design enthusiastically although the same enthusiasm cannot be seen on her listeners’ faces but she ignored the sneer, the disinterest and continued. Finally it was over. Nisha collected all her papers and darted out of the conference hall which despite its elegance seemed to suffocate her.  However the Taj like all other historical buildings had its usual disadvantage of being lost in its labyrinthine hallways. She went left and right but every time she ended up on a dead end between rooms. “Oh My God!” she cried, “All I want is to go to the reception and relax,” she despaired. She stood there helplessly. There was no one, not even room service people from whom she could ask for direction.

“Hi Nisha” a familiar voice brought her back from her despairing reverie. It was Abhay her college mate working in the same company but a different department. “Hi Abhi I mean Abhay...I was just..just...”she mumbled stupidly, she was both relieved as well as embarrassed “What are you doing here? You are supposed to be in the conference room.” he asked a little surprised “The meeting is over I was just just.....” she scrambled for an answer in her mind “Are you lost?” Abhay asked mischievously “Lost! NO no...I was just...just...” Abhay folded his hands and looked at her intently “I am lost Abhay and what is so funny about it. Why are you smiling? As if you learnt the map of this palace” she said angrily “You are a lousy liar Nisha you always have been. And actually I have the map of this palace in my mobile. A friend of mine works here and he gave me this app.” “OK ok” Nisha said walking quickly.

Nisha stared at the intricate ceiling work, “And this is the work of human hands, everything is so perfect” she whispered to herself. Its mind boggling. The building, the people, the flowers, the food which she had a little bit while being at the meeting created a fairytale land way beyond the stark realities of human existence. “Here hold this” Abhay said extending a blue colour drink towards Nisha and she was jarred back to reality “Abhay, what is this? I can’t pay for that, take it back” she said totally irritated; nothing comes for free, not even fairytales. “You know you are still stupidly funny Arre Yaar I am offering you this drink you don’t have to pay for it” Abhay said with a sigh “How dare you.....” she was ready to shoe her rage when she was quickly cut short “Cut the drama and tell me how is the drink. Any other girl would have taken advantage of this situation and asked for more of Taj Palace delicacies but you....” he sighed again “What situation?” Nisha looked confused; the frustration in Abhay’s face could be seen prominently. Nisha noticed it yet chose to ignore it. She casually said “You are acting weird Abhay” and sipped and the heavenly drink slide down her throat taking her again to the fairy land of happily ever afters.

Nisha relished every drop of that teal blue drink and finally she had to give in to its taste and said “It is very tasty Abhay, thanks really its very very tasty. It has unique tanginess in it” Abhay looked at her apprehensively as if expecting more “What! You offered me a drink, I had it, I liked it, I said thanks. What more” Nisha reasoned, Abhay dropped his eyes and sighed saying a very grave “Hmmmmm”.

“Nisha, there you are. Did you forget that we are here for the client, they really liked your presentation they want to talk to you I am looking for you everywhere you were supposed to stay at the conference hall...” it was Mr. Clive Nisha’s Boss, amidst storming on Nisha he noticed Abhay “Oh! Hi Abhay” then he noticed the empty glasses and said irritated “Are you guys on a date or what” he said sarcastically “I don’t care if you are dating each other or someone else I just know the client is waiting  C’mon Nisha” he held Nisha by her elbow as if a hostage and almost dragged her away. He being one of the senior most employee was a father figure of the company and despite his always-busy attitude he was loved and revered by the young generation. Naturally Nisha did not mind but somehow she managed to say “It was really nice of you Abhay.”

Abhay kept looking at the way they hurried away as long as they could be seen and until the door of the elevator closed. Nisha was almost numbed by a sharp pain in her chest as soon as the door closed and Abhay’s face disappeared “Hmmm forget all that romancing client is more important” Mr. Clive said mischievously “What!” Nisha cried but could say no more as the elevator door opened and the client was really waiting.  

It was indeed a stressful session for Nisha. There were lots of confusion to be cleared followed by persuasion techniques, more questions to be answered, more confusion more stress, more of everything. After about three hours and another half an hour of nail biting tensed waiting the client offered the project. It was a very short moment of joy of victory because that project was a big one with very short deadline.

Nisha , Mr. Clive and three more of their project coordinators tried to relax over a drink. “Friends Miss Nisha not only won us this project but she also won over the heart of someone today, this drink is to celebrate these couple of victories” Mr. Clive announced very proudly. Embarrassment devoured Nisha as everyone bravoed “What the ....” she checked herself. Ronita said nonchalantly as if she knew this was going to happen “Well it must be Abhay. He proposed you didn’t he. “No he did not....it was just.....” Nisha was cut short by Dhriti “He will and when he does we want a treat”, Ridhiman casually said “He will”. The three of them left for some more snacks after all everything was sponsored by the client.

Now Nisha turned to Mr. Clive angrily demanding “Why did you say that Sir there was no such thing its so embarrassing! How could you....” she could not finish when Mr. Clive said “What did I say wrong and don’t pretend you don’t know anything. C’mon Nisha everybody knew the huge crush you had on Abhay. From the day you joined everybody saw that except you. Are you blind? Its been a couple of years yet you are like....” Mr. Clive swung his head as if frustrated.

 “What do you mean Sir?” Nisha asked totally confused. Mr. Clive gulped his drink and said “Don’t be so naive. Get the hint kid. That young man standing over there really likes you and is going to keep liking you” he pointed at the decorative pillar near the parking exit. Following his finger Nisha saw Abhay standing there with his hands in his pocket. Mr. Clive left mumbling something.

Nisha felt nervous as she saw Abhay coming towards her and take a seat at the table facing her. It was the most awkward moment for both of them. ‘Its so so weird. Why isn’t he saying anything?’ her mind pondered. On the other hand Abhay waited for that moment eagerly for the last three years and now he was totally at loss of words, he actually rehearsed a couple of times what he would say but somehow someone sealed his lips. Emotion of various magnitudes stormed inside him, he felt his heart would burst.

Since the days of their post graduate classes Abhay felt strangely drawn to this below average girl. He used to pester her to extract some reaction from her but somehow she always ignored him. Her nonchalance offended his ego and he irritated her even more in ways that cannot always be considered mischief yet, somehow she failed to understand the turbulence she brought on him. Nisha on the other hand being certain of her plain uninteresting looks and attitude never paid much attention, since her childhood being bullied became a part of her existence.

Two years passed and despite the devastating effect of recession Abhay managed to get a job in an MNC while Nisha went for interviews for almost a year landing on odd jobs which could not be continued for more than a month. Seeing her fruitless job hopping her parents ventured in the avenue of marriage (at least something should be there to keep Nisha busy with her life, if not a job then marriage is the best option for girls in India). After failing for half a dozen times they married Nisha to a well educated upper middle class family residing in one of the posh parts of the city. However recession hit her even in that area. Mental torment regarding dowry and her inability in domestic work made it impossible for her stay being more than three months. She again landed in the same place with added bonus of the terrible stamp of divorcee. But it was in those hard times by some miracle she got a job in the same MNC where Abhay was working.

Suddenly the recognition of a twisted truth dawned upon her “It was you!” she whispered, her eyes dilated: it was no miracle, on Abhay’s recommendation probably she landed on her dream job. But she wanted a closure, she needed to know “Did you recommend me and so I got this job Abhay tell me is it true?” Abhay smiled there was certain calmness in that smile that abated the turbulence inside Nisha. Probably that was the twist of fate the turbulence that Nisha created in Abhay’s mind was tormenting her now. As he opened his mouth to answer a loud burst almost deafened them. “What was that?” he said looking outside following everybody’s terrified gaze. Then an incessant chorus of rat tat tat followed.

Abhay grabbed Nisha’s hand and started running, she still did not realize what happened “Why are we running from firecrackers.....kids just.....” “Shut up you stupid girl we are under attack those are gunshots....”but before he could finish he toppled bringing down Nisha. The next minute both of them were rolling on the ground. “Get up quick!” as Abhay tried to get up he felt all the strength vanished. He was taken aback “What! I can’t....can’t  get up....”

“Abhay Abhi....Abhi.....Oh Abhi....you’ve been shot.....Oh My God! Help Help somebody....please” but people were running frantically for their lives Nisha’s screams were unheard. The rat tat tat continued. Soon the whole reception area emptied. They could see a gunman in orange t-shirt and cap entering the reception area. He had huge backpack probably loaded with ammunitions. “Go go hide......he’ll start firing again Nisha please......” the gunman was followed by a couple of gun men. They were looking around like hyenas for any movement of life determined to exterminate that immediately.

“Shut up!” Nisha hissed. Her eyes frantically searching for some shelter from these death dealers. “C’mon lets go in the elevator”. She crawled towards the elevator and pressed the button. Kept on pressing it until her fingers throbbed with pain. Then she put her arms around Abhay from under his armpits and pulled him towards the open door of the elevator. The gunmen were searching meticulously for a living being to kill. They had blood in their eyes. The elevator door closed.

Gunshots could be heard as the elevator moved down. One bullet hit the elevator door with a loud clamouring sound. Nisha gasped in terror. She felt an icy cold hand tightening around her throat. She wanted to scream desperately but she could not. It was fear. For half an hour they remained engulfed in silence. Finally she crawled towards Abhay “Abhay Abhi.....” she called him softly as if not to disturb his sleep. His head was hanging down; his chin almost touched his chest. She felt his hands, they were still warm but there was no movement in his body. “Abhi Abhi please Abhay....wake up” she held his elbow and shook him gently. Tears trickled down her cheeks. “Hmmmmm....yes....Oh.....yes hello......” Abhay said as if talking in his sleep, he slowly raised his head and looked at Nisha “I am not dead Nisha I am right here.....” he said with a smile “I was just....just.....” he tried to sit up and immediately the already throbbing pain exploded with greater magnitude and Abhay let out a loud “Uffff!” “Abhi Abhi” Nisha nervously tried to support him but he could not sit up “Don’t move just keep lying down”. “Yes I can’t move rather” silence re established itself, this time more snugly until nothing but the mechanised breathing of two scared helpless beings could be heard. They were scared to move even. If it would have been possible these two would have even held their breath back to reduce the sound.

Abhay passed out again. Nisha kept pressing the close door button of the elevator for how long she had no idea. She alternated her fingers on the button until all of them throbbed in pain. It seemed that they were stuck in the elevator for eternity. But Abhay did not have eternity, it was quiet obvious that with each passing minute he was weakening. “We have to get out of here” Nisha made up her mind. Abhay made a groaning sound but could say nothing. In all this turmoil Nisha completely forgot about her cell phone and the ease of communication these little devices provide. Excited and happy she cried “Abhay my cellphone! I’ll call the police and they’ll send for help. She grabbed her fashionable bag which is a cheaper version of top brands and rummaged through the bag “Where is it?” she cried in irritation. Impatiently she turned her bag upside down emptying it completely “Wow!” Abhay meanwhile came around and was surprised to see almost the whole universe crammed inside a vanity purse. There was everything scissors, glue, lipstick, paper clips, pen, pencil, makeup things, battery and etc. Nisha searched for her phone frantically.

“Found it” she exclaimed in happiness as if she found gold. Abhay watched calmly, he looked exhausted. The searing pain was consuming his life force. Nisha called police helpline but the call could not be connected, the engaged tone infuriated her. “Ahhhhh c’mon stupid phone.....c’mon!” but it did not work. Suddenly she noticed the sign of ‘No Signal’ on the screen “What! No no Abhay can you believe it? This is so....so....” tears streamed down her face in despair. Abhay said softly and calmly “Mobiles don’t work in the elevator. Here take my phone it has internet. Whatsapp one of my important friends?” “What? Whats what?” Nisha asked confused. Abhay smiled “O Nisha Nisha you are still the same” as he moved to take the cellphone out of his pocket, a piercing scream escaped him. Nisha quickly embraced him “Ok ok I am taking it out you just don’t move Abhi.” She put her hand in his trouser pocket and found the cell phone along with something else. It was a small jewellery box .

Nisha just kept it with her and said nothing. Her eyes dilated as she took a full view of the sleek, shiny smartphone, “Nice phone. Now What?” she asked Abhay with a childlike innocence. Abhay smiled “Ok you wont know how to handle that phone.Its ok, give it to me.” As Abhay extended his hand pain surged through his body again “Ahhhh” “I am sorry Abhay” Nisha said ruefully she cursed herself for her own ignorance.

Even moving a finger seemed like a herculean task for Abhay. Somehow he opened whatsapp application and asked Nisha to type informing the son of assistant commissioner of Mumbai police who was his college friend about being trapped in the elevator of  Taj Mumbai on that cursed night. “Now what? So now they’ll come” Nisha asked eagerly. “Now we wait” Abhay said calmly tilting his head backwards looking at the ceiling of the elevator. “Wait! But.....but....” The tears that trickled from corners of Abhay’s eyes halted her. She came close to Abhay and touched his eyebrows, he slowly opened his eyes as if in a dream “Is this for me?” Nisha asked softly holding the little box on the palm of her hand. Abhay smiled and nodded a yes “See if you like it and whether it fits you” Abhay said pausing for long intervals. Even speaking was draining the life out of him.

“Am I going to wear it all by myself?” Nisha’s eyes sparkled adorably. Abhay clutched her hand and stared at her helplessly. “OK” Nisha tried desperately to subdue the numbing pain churning her insides to divert Abhay somehow from his physical pain. “Wow! It fits me perfectly” she cried in surprise. It was simple yet elegantly designed double hearted gold ring. “How did you know the size of my finger Abhi?” Abhay could no longer speak but whispered softly “Its easy you are very slow at the keyboard I used to look at your fingers”, despite the pain, mischief sparkled in his eyes “Abhi!” “No no just kidding pure guess and lucky me” Abhay smiled. Nisha giggled softly looking at the ring “I must confess your choice is very classy. Its very beautiful.”

The blush in Nisha’s cheeks quickly faded as Abhay collapsed in Nisha’s arms. “Abhay!” a scream escaped Nisha. There was no time to loose. It was pointless to wait for help in that suffocative elevator. Nisha pressed the first floor button from where they had escaped. She decided to escape from this hell if the coast was clear in the reception area. Deathly silence ruled the reception as Nisha peeked from the open elevator door. “Abhay Abhay, I am taking you out of here. Ok, I am going to check if those killers are gone or not. Just don’t move” Nisha said as softly as she could. There was no response from Abhay. He remained motionless. Nisha kept her hand on his chest, she felt his heartbeat that gave her courage.

Her own heart seemed to be stuck in her throat. Her mind was blank. She pulled a decorative antique showpiece of a female figure in between the elevator door to keep them open. She was now purely working on instinct. She took her high heels off to move as silently as possible. Slowly she walked across the reception area. The sight of bloodied dead bodies nauseated her. Somehow she subdued the vomit from escaping. She started chanting the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’. She was shivering all over. The once so grand reception is now turned into a wasteland in a few hours. Nisha walked softly as if not to disturb those who died so unpredictably. ‘Let them sleep.....let them sleep....’ a voice murmured in her ears.

Suddenly a faint cry of a child reached her. She stopped on her tracks. She pinched herself to check whether it was real or not, but it was real. It was coming from the reception desk. Nisha slowly walked towards the desk and bend over. She was overjoyed to find living beings under the desk. Two young women and three men who were attending the reception desk were hiding under the desk hanging on to their dear life. The male receptionist who had earlier welcomed Nisha was now stripped of all his dashing smartness, he was holding a little girl probably two years old shaking like a leaf in a storm. “They killed her mother.....killed her.....” he said in a shivering voice, his eyes were blank; it seemed he had no control over his body. “Help us!” a woman cried. Before Nisha could say anything the cursed sound of rat tat tat of AK-47 s came back. Nisha grabbed her hand and said “Quick into the elevator c’mon” she yelled at them. Her instincts took full control of her.

She ran like she had never run before. The rat tat tat chased them. She darted into the elevator hitting the wall of the elevator hard. She frantically pressed the close button of the elevator. The door closed right when a shower of bullets dented the door. Nisha realised she was not followed by the people she intended to save. The rat tat tat continued. The killing spree started again. Nisha put her hands on her ears and screamed hysterically “STOP! Stop you scoundrels......Stop stop......”

Finally it stopped and the silence of death with all her power descended upon them. Nisha wept bitterly “NO....no....the little baby....don’t kill her....NOOO” Nisha banged her head on the elevator door in despair “They killed her.....they killed her too (sob)...” Slowly Nisha calmed down. She turned her head and saw Abhay lying motionless on the floor. “No! No....” her jaws tightened. She pulled his head on her lap, he was pale yet breathing very slowly, all his blood was drained. She wiped her tears and said “No Abhay you cannot abandon me now. I am alone all alone. You cannot ditch me like everyone else.....by the way did I mentioned to you that I was married and divorced a couple of hundred times. I could not find the right man for myself. Can you believe it! Abhay look at me. Stay awake you fool !” She lifted his face and slapped his cheeks.

Abhay opened his eyes and looked at Nisha “I know Nisha you were married and it did not go well my dear” Warm tears washed his face and everything else in the world “I am sorry Nisha for being so late. I failed you. I should’ve told you that I love you earlier when I had time. Now time is not left anymore. I really love you and I am the stupid one to feel the love for you so late. I am sorry for every mean thing I said and did to you” Abhay desperately wanted to sob but he was too weak for that. “Don’t say that. How can you be so sure that we don’t have time? And you’ve to wait for my reply. After all I still can reject your proposal” Nisha tried to draw a fake pride on her tear stained face. Abhay kept staring at her, his eyes steady, he wasn’t even blinking. Finally he said smiling brightly “You are still a lousy liar Nisha”. Even this simple smile was hurting, both of them.

Nisha wished this nightmare to be over soon. She wanted to celebrate her second chance in sunlight. Little did they know that this cursed nightmare would last for several days to come? Gradually Abhay’s breathing became slower. The interval between breathings kept increasing after every inhale and exhale Nisha would wait patiently for the next breath. Her own breathing seemed to pause. After almost an eternity Abhay’s phone rang. Nisha fumbled for a moment since she had never handled a Smartphone before but nevertheless she managed to receive the call and blurted a nervous “Hello!”.  From the other side a man replied “This is Inspector Gaurav from Mumbai Police. Where exactly are you Abhay? The NSG commandos have already entered the building but cannot locate you. Abhay Abhay are you there?” The little ray of hope almost choked Nisha with relief. She muttered somehow “Hello, this is Nisha....Abhay is shot.....he has lost lots of blood....he is very weak.....please help.....” and she broke down to tears “We are trapped in the elevator.....please....please help....they are killing everyone.....” The voice from the other side replied calmly but sternly “Miss Nisha kindly compose yourself. We are calling you from satellite phone, this call has limited duration. Your steadiness will be at our advantage. There are many elevators in this hotel. Can you tell us which one you are trapped in and on which floor is it?” “The elevator near the reception desk, the middle one and we are on the fifth floor but I keep changing the floors to keep the door locked. Those devils are hunting for people and killing them. Please save us....” Another wave of intense sobbing was about to sweep her away when the tough voice from the other side replied steadily “Miss Nisha stay with us now you are in charge of the situation. Keep Abhay calm if he gets excited now he might have a cardiac arrest. Even the lives of our commandos are depending on you.” Nisha was perplexed how in the world she can be in control of such a terrifyingly scary situation she is indeed the victim of the situation. Anger and irritation now devoured her fear “Are you totally Mad?” But the line was already disconnected. Never before was Nisha shaken by tornado of such varied emotions. She felt exhausted yet could not close her eyes to relax.

“I am going to be promoted this year Nisha......” Abhay whispered slowly. Nisha was a little startled. She thought Abhay was totally unconscious but his eyes were open but there was something not normal about them. He was staring straight at the ceiling looking at nothing. He kept saying as if in a trance “There would be enough for both of us Nisha you won’t have to do a job I’ll earn enough for both of us. Not that I’ve any problem with you working but I would wish to see you opening the door when I come back home it just would feel nice and homely and warm....Nisha Nisha.....” Abhay called for her as if searching, tears trickled down from the corners of his eyes. “Abhi Abhi be quiet don’t talk please please calm down......” the lump in her throat almost choked her “Listen to me they are going to help us. The commandos are coming please stay with me......Abhi”. “Nisha Nisha I have lots of plans ahead......” Abhay clutched Nisha’s hands desperately “So do I.....” Nisha tried to calm him. Abhay smiled. “I’ve a song in my phone ‘I’ll follow you into the dark’ can you play it please. It’ll make things easy.” After a long pause Abhay said “Its by Death Cab By Cutie, a nice one.......please......”

The song, its lyrics, its music all seemed to be woven into their lives or death but somehow the song even calmed Nisha. Nisha was engrossed by the song after a long time she noticed that Abhay’s eyes were not moving, he was quiet. “Abhay Abhi Abhi.....” Nisha called him. She nervously grabbed his hand, rubbed his feet tried to listen to his heart beat. “Its going to be fine.....he is unconscious again, his hands are warm......I should calm him down.....” Nisha talked to herself like a crazy person. She kept rubbing his hands.

Numbness crept into her, her entire existence, even time seemed to be devoured by this numbness. Nothing moved, nothing stirred. The whole universe seemed to come to a standstill. Probably this was the blankness that existed before creation began. Even time had no existence at that time.

As the young commando of the NSG pried open the door of the elevator since the electricity lines were cut to corner the terrorists he yelled to his fellow commandos “There are two dead bodies here Sir, a male and a female”.  “What! Both of them are dead” the leader of the small group of five commandos cried in surprise. “I had the intimation that the man was shot but the woman was alright. She even gave direction to us.” He pondered in confusion. One of the commandos said impatiently “Sir there is no point wasting time for dead people. Live people are trapped in different parts of the building. We should help them first”, “But this was our mission. Our team was supposed to rescue these two persons. Let me see.” He squeezed through the door. Half of his body was inside the elevator. He called Nisha “Miss Miss are you Ok.....Miss.....Miss.....we are here to get you out.”

Nisha blinked giving the signal of life. “She is alive !...... hey Gaithonde see she is alive” the leader claimed in relief and happiness. He was proud that they were not late enough to find dead bodies. He squeezed out of the half open the elevator door and chided the junior commando “What did you check? Thank God! We did not leave listening to your lousy advice. Open the door and let’s get them out.”

The men immediately got to work. With brute force they manage to open the door more. One of them asked Nisha as gently as he could “Can you walk Miss?” “Yes” she replied. As she tried to stand up she toppled but the commando caught her. “I got you. The whole dead weight was on your legs for so many hours they have gone numb. Don’t worry we will carry you” he assured with a warm smile. Nisha looked at him incredibly “It’s not dead weight. He is alive. Check him. His hands are warm. Please don’t say that he is alive. Alive, like me and you.” All of them paused for a moment. The leader ordered “Work fast those scoundrels are still alive. Armed and lethal. They could be anywhere.”

Gunshots almost deafened them even before he could finish his sentence. “Fire fire” the men fired back. It’s like guns were conversing. One of them lifted Nisha on his shoulders as if a stuffed toy. “Go go we’ll cover you.....” the leader of the team ordered. In that chaos Nisha screamed “Wait wait what about him?” she asked pointing to Abhay. This miniscule distraction lead to a grenade blast almost blinding and deafening everyone. Clouds of dust filled the air. Followed by more gunshots and a scream from the man named Gaithonde “Ahhhh Sir I am shot.....” The leader continued shooting “Miss try to understand he is dead. Dead cold....Gaithonde can you keep shooting I’ll carry you. Guys we have to get out of here. Rathore keep shooting you are the only one in our team with both hands free”. “Yes Sir.....” the young man yelled “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and kept shooting “Die you morons....die”

It was a full blown bloody encounter. Despite all these chaos Nisha tried to logic “But his hands were warm......” “Not hands Miss only the one you held was warm.....he is dead Miss. I am sorry” the leader said calmly despite the situation. As they climbed down the stairs Nisha kept staring at the face down body of Abhay. All the gas, the fire, the dust in the air could not cause her to blink. He looked calm and fast asleep “Probably he is dreaming about his future plans.” Nisha whispered “What’s that you said Miss?” the commando carrying her asked but he received no response.

In fact nobody received much of response even when they were outside safe and sound with no casualties of life. The rescue mission was declared successful.  Nisha stared blankly as the medics attending her. She did not respond to any of their queries because she could hear nothing. The song “I’ll follow you into the dark” was still ringing in her ears. It seemed to her nothing in this world could be more beautiful, more melodious than that song. She must listen to it. She must.





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