….continued

More than 100 times he would have figured her, pictured her in his mind and painted her on the canvas, still he wasn’t able to make out who the hell was she and why these thoughts were occurring over and again. But now he is able to figure out something out of nothing perhaps. He is able to get a flash of his memory. A blurred scene, cars on the road, Ashish’s on his motorcycle and the signal turns red and he halts. Beside him stops a big car. From the window shield he could see the same face of the same girl over again. And the memory is sharp clear now. He looks at her face and she smiles back. The signal turns green and the car catches up with full speed. He tries to follow the car but loses it because of heavy traffic. He comes too far in search of it but its lost. He realizes that he was dreaming again and after coming back to his senses finds himself in the middle of his lecture with all of his students staring at him. He feels uncomfortable, as if something is choking him. He just makes his way through the corridor to get some fresh air. He is so disserted by even the thought of her. He is unable to figure out what was happening with him. Where were the thoughts heading to? To whom they were heading? What from his past was haunting him? He was just so lost in figuring out a solution that again the same face flashes in front of him, the face from the portrait. Across the corridor, she walked past him and went to the opposite side of the building.

Ashish followed her. He saw her crossing the road. For the very first time he was so close to her in reality. He calls out for her, and she stops in the middle of the road and Bam! A car hits her and she is gone. After a minute of silence, Ashish, shouts out loud. Hearing his cry all his students just rush out of the classroom. As one of the students patted him on his shoulder he returned back from the world where he was and realized there was no road, no crowd and no traffic around. It was all in his imagination. He could not get what was happening to him. What was all that he saw in front of his eyes? He was growing mentally unstable. He was taken back home, o the same deserted place on the beach where he had been. He stayed in his room. Did not talk with anybody or spare a word from his mouth. He did not paint even since 10 days as her thought did not let him do that. He wasn’t able to figure out the whole thing now. He was constantly troubled by his thoughts.

That evening when Karim ChaCha came with tea, he was awestruck at the sight of Ashish. He was painting again but was mumbling something. “You will have to come to meet me, you won’t trouble me anymore right.” Karim ChaCha heard all this from the corner of the door without disturbing him. His sleeps were lost that made everyone worry for him. He was feeling like being jailed inside his own house. He was dying to go into the free air outside. So early in the morning he just went outside on the beach and found a silent cliff and just sat there. The air was so cam and relieving. He felt relaxed as he was not troubled by her thoughts more frequently now. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. As he opened his eyes, something flashed around him. He saw the same girl, just heading towards him across the shore. He even rubbed his eyes to blur the vision but he did not lose her. He jumped down the cliff and started walking towards her. But she was again lost. All he saw next was her moving out towards the road and sitting in an auto. He tried to follow her but then lost her again. He took an auto back home. He did not know what else to do at that very moment.

…….to be continued