‘Aashayei’ 5th Abstract

‘Aashayei’ 5th Abstract-By Udisha M.

Yashwardhan was left alone in his room with the luggage. He had come to this place with lots of hopes in his heart! But the encounter with Arjun, had made him question his decision. His beliefs got eroded today, he was questioning his god for being so unfair and brutal!
“I don’t know how can a kid of 17-18 can get a fatal disease like this!”, he kept pondering, he didn’t know whom he was supposed to blame?

There was a sudden knock on the door which broke Yashwardhan’s thoughtful slumber, he realized somebody had been knocking on the door since quite long, but he was too lost in his thoughts to take notice of it!
“Hello sir! Good-evening”, Sanskripti greeted him.
“Good-evening!”, Yashwardhan replied, still in the trance of his turmoil.
“Sir, the dinner is served at 8:00 P.M. sharp in the dinning hall, please be on time! We are a little particular about timings over here!”, Sanskripti explained him.
He nodded head in yes, and she went back to her desk!
Sanskripti had noticed Yashwardhan’s uncomfort while talking to him, she very well understood his psyche. She was not just the receptionist of the aashayei, but also the counselor for the patient. Who made sure that every person living in the ashram, lives freely and happily.

She was like a godmother for every patient, she looked over everyone, be it children or old ones. She made sure, that everybody gets adjusted in the place well and discovers a new home. This little abode was her entire universe. The constellation of happiness always danced in her little sky, she felt relieved every time she saw people putting up a brave fight in front of a fatal disease like AIDS. She was an inspiration for many.

*

Yashwardhan nervously unpacked his luggage, placed his clothes in the cupboard provided, shoes were shown their place in the shoe rack. He pulled out a picture of his wife and placed it on the study table! This photograph was something which he valued the most. A small idol of Lord Ganesh and goddess Durga adored a corner of his room. He was a realistic man, but had started worshiping after his wife’s death, as she was very much fond of her ‘gods’ and believed that they were there with her and more importantly ‘with them’ always.

Yashwardhan took a bath, changed into a white Kurta-pajama, lighted a Diya in front of the gods and made his way to the dining hall. His brain was still not able to rest, he had thousands of thoughts churning in his veins, which were throwing his consciousness apart.
“Are you new here?”, a man almost of his age called from behind.
“Yes!”
“Oh! I stay in the room next to you! Hello, I am Sandeep Awasthi!”, the old man introduced himself.
“Pleasure meeting you! I am Yashwardhan!”, he shook hands with him.
“I guess, you are heading to dining hall?”
“Yes!”
“Oh! Then you can join us, you know we are a gang of 11 oldies, you are the 12th one who looks youngest!”, Sandeep laughed as he kept his hand on Yashwardhan’s shoulder. Yashwardhan was a little amused and surprised by the sudden friendship which was forming.
He didn’t say much, just smiled. He was actually not getting the right way to react to this situation.

“Oh! I understand, you are new that’s why you are finding us weird. Isn’t it? Honestly, 2 years back when I came here, I too was like you! My children had abandoned me as they thought that they couldn’t face the society because their father was an HIV+ man! At that time, I hardly had any idea of this disease. I was in depression, but you see, this place is magical! It brought me back to life! Now I have friends who have the same secret as I, so why should I feel depressed and ashamed?”, Sandeep told his story without any hesitation. Yashwardhan realized how brutally honest, this man was, but somewhere down the line Sandeep’s story had a stark resemblance to his own. This made him feel better. Those thoughts of Arjun got sidelined for some time.

Yashwardhan walked with Sandeep towards the dinning hall, in the way he was joined by many men and women of his age. Now, he was getting why Sandeep had said, “we are a group of 11, you are the 12th one!”
They all introduced themselves to Yashwardhan, they had almost the same stories to tell, some of them were abandoned by their families, some didn’t have anyone to take care of them, some had walked out of their hometowns to escape from the social stigma the disease had!

They all had a dark past, but were brightening each-other’s present by being there, their lives were imperfect at their own levels, but their group seemed so perfect to Yashwardhan. They didn’t judge him for the disease, he was carrying, didn’t pay heed to why and how of his infection! They were just the way they were, happy to have each-other!

Yashwardhan didn’t even realize when he reached the dining hall, when he ate with them, even the tasteless food in the mess seemed fun with a company like this! They exchanged jokes like youngsters still had the understanding and knowledge befitting their age.
Yashwardhan felt as if he knew them for ages! He no more had any remorse in his heart, somewhere deep he was thanking Vinay for suggesting this place! He felt as if he was falling in love again. And this time, this love was the love for himself! There was a strange courage building up in him suddenly. There was a time, when he just wanted to cuddle the coming death and leave the world quietly thinking he has done the necessary duties towards the world, but today he was realizing that the duties were not just meant towards others, he had a duty towards himself as well! And that duty was to love self unconditionally and live the life fully!

This new realization was taking on him and brought a bright smile on his face in that darkness of the night!
TO BE CONTINUED………………………………………………………..

 *© MagMug 2016 . Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the Author and www.magmug.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content *

‘Aashayei’ 4th Abstract

 

‘Aashayei’ 4th Abstract 

Yashwardhan kept staring outside his window as the chauffeur drove him to the beautiful and serene land of Haridwar. The soothing and refreshing air of the holy land was filling the atmosphere. Yashwardhan was in a deep slumber, as if he had finally found a lap of someone so beloved, to rest himself forever. He didn’t even come to know when he reached the asharam, ‘aashayei’.

“Sir! Please wake up!”, the chauffeur woke him up and held the car’s door open for him.  Yashwardhan was rubbing his eyes like a little kid, trying to adjust himself in the bright daylight of the city! Haridwar always had a special place in his heart. It was the birthplace of his beloved wife Yamini, and also the place where she took her last breath. How much he missed her! He felt as if she came rushing to hug him as he felt the fresh air touching his body. Her childlike laughs were still audible in those currents of the Ganga on whose basin the asharam was built. Those chirping of birds reminded him of her blissful voice, nothing on earth was as divine as that! For a second he was taken back in those days when he visited this city as a young man, coming to meet his would-be bride for the first time. The beauty of Yamini’s eye which made him go bonkers in the first encounter. The bright clear sky reminded him of that blush-fill smile of her’s which she noticed, he was looking at her from the corners of his eyes. That first emotion, of that thing which poets and authors called ‘LOVE’. Who says there is something called, ‘arranged marriage’?
You fall for your soulmate in seconds when, you know, you have found the one!

“Sir!”, the chauffeur’s call brought him back to the present state. His heart sank a little, he missed Yamini every second, every minute of his life! But he knew she was there, somewhere inside him, and everywhere around him. Holding his hand, walking next to him. Smiling with him, every time his lips stretched in one, and crying every time he felt something paining.

Yashwardhan walked towards the reception area of the asharam. It was a beautiful place, with plants and trees adoring every corner of the area. He passed through the joggers park, and was surprised to see that people from all age groups, even young kids were playing around. He felt a little amused, as he had thought that an HIV+ asharam must be only for old aged people like him.

“Hello Sir! Welcome to aashayei!”, a pretty young lady Sanskripti welcomed him.
“Thank-you, my friend Dr. Vinay Singh had spoken to you about my stay I guess!”, Yashwardhan asked.
“Oh! Yes, sir, I hope you are Mr. Yashwardhan Singh from Delhi?”, the lady at the reception inquired.
“Yes!”
“Alright sir, the arrangements for your stay have already been done! I am calling an attendant, he will take you around the asharam and will show you the rooms allotted as well! I hope you will like our humble place! If in case, you face any problem, we are here to assist you!”, she said with a smile and called a young boy Arjun to escort Yashwardhan to his abode.

Yashwardhan smiled at Arjun, as he picked his luggage and requested him to follow to the room.
“Hey, you don’t need to carry everything, wait! Let me share your trouble!” Yashwardhan smiled, and look a bag from Arjun. Arjun was relatively impressed by Yashwardhan’s kindness, he said Thank-you and smiled back to him. There was something, which was connecting them instantly.

As they walked towards the room. Yashwardhan noticed Arjun, he was a tall and well built boy, still in his teens. His growing facial hairs or beards and mustaches were giving the signs of his growing masculinity. His demeanor and etiquette clearly showed he was a kid belonging to a cultured and well to do family. Still, why was he working in an asharam like this?
Yashwardhan kept pondering over it. He wanted to ask Arjun as to why was he here. But wasn’t able to get right words for that.

“Here’s your room sir! I hope you will like it!”, Arjun finally uttered something, as they reached the room allotted to Yashwardhan and he opened the door for Yashwardhan to enter.
“Thank-you son! That’s so kind of you!”, Yashwardhan thanked him and pulled out his wallet to give him some tip for his service.
“No need for that,  sir! I am not an employee over here. This is my home!”, Arjun told him when he saw Yashwardhan opening his wallet.
“What?”, Yashwardhan was taken aback. He couldn’t get, what was Arjun trying to say.
“I mean to say, sir, I also live in this ashram because of the reason you have come here!”, Arjun told his side of the story.
“That means….you too are……………”
“Yes sir! I am also an HIV+ patient! That’s why my mom and dad have sent me here! Now this is my home!”, Arjun replied. He seemed so composed, as if expecting a fatal disease that too at such a young age meant nothing to him. Yashwardhan was crestfallen!
He felt so sorry for the kid! His life was just about to start, and it took the turn of a dead end out of nothing! He went numb, he didn’t know how to react. He kept staring at Arjun’s adolescent face! He was such a handsome yet so innocent looking boy!
“You don’t need to worry sir! I am perfectly fine. I take my medicines regularly, and the doctor says I have, many years to live!”, Arjun replied confidently. Even though his reply made Yashwardhan feel better, still his heart for pounding in pain.
“How did you get this infection kid?”, Yash asked him.
“Nothing much, sir! You make mistakes out of stupidity and lack of knowledge of consequences, then pay for it!”, Arjun answered. His remorse was coming over face now, but he was trying to shove it!
“I didn’t get you!”
“Sir, it is simple, I went to Goa with my school friends two years back, we all decided that we will get a tattoo of our group’s name on our shoulders! I didn’t want it, but still out of peer pressure I agreed! We didn’t have any knowledge of how and what precautions should be taken while getting a permanent tattoo! We went to the shop with cheapest rates as we all were mere school kids and didn’t have enough to pay a hefty amount! He used the same needle for tattooing  for at least 10-15 people. My friends were lucky that they all got tattooed by a un-infected needle, but I wasn’t!”, Arjun told Yashwardhan.

Yashwardhan collapsed in bed, he had never expected that HIV could spread by such casual mistakes also. He stared at Arjun’s face blankly, unable to utter anything. There was a long undefined turmoil which was troubling him inside. His eyes were going moist. He was just not able to take the harsh truths of life! He lay down there like a stone suddenly hit by a thrashing sea wave, he was hurt but couldn’t move. He wanted to scream, but didn’t have any strength left within him. He wanted to hug Arjun and tell him, he will be alright someday. But that too was a lie!
TO BE CONTINUED………………………………………………………..

By – Udisha M.
 *© MagMug 2016 . Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the Author and www.magmug.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content *

‘YOU’ :tiny love tales #1

You are a figment of her memory. Living somewhere at the back of her mind,  somewhere in those lost smiles and dried eyes. Your soul has left,  but it’s touch still remains! Somewhere in the essence of that dried rose,  somewhere in the touch of that silken robe!
You are a dead event,  but tend to remain alive! In the lonely corner of that coffee shop! In that favorite menu kept on that table top. In that hustle bustle of the city!  In the quietness of the lanes which told the stories of your long walks! Hand in hand you walked with her, making her feel that you are the one for her!
Though your finger prints have faded, but that card still holds your writings! Not-so-beautiful,  nor so-charming,  still these words held so much when once they were born on this paper! They are dull and blur,  craving for the meaning which they once held!
Had she known that the tokens which she thought were a memory, will be the chains of her past!
She still holds that dried rose,  trying to smell the love which once it smelled of!
She sits at the same lonely corner of that coffee shop,  eating the same favorites in a hope that somehow they will taste the same as they did!
The stars in the sky are still the same,  but why do they have lost the directions?  The directions of  your love which they once showed to her? 
The shooting stars no more show up to her,  as they are also tired of granting  her wishes!
You compared her beauty to the moon,  now it is the only one watching over her when she weeps at night! #tiny_love_tales
-Udisha M.
* © MagMug 2016 . Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the Author and www.magmug.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content *