This is a short story I wrote sometime back, a fictional love story :)
Originally published on Medium : Here. Also, ironically this was written when I was still a Software Developer and 1 year later, I would quit my job to work in a school as a teacher :)
Chapter 1 : The day she asked me out
It was just another day in the deserts. People here have given me everything that I could ever imagine.. I thought my life would hit a dead end, when my belongings were stolen. It looked like I have been stripped off my identity. I was away from my native, in a place where people do not know me.
I owe my life to this village. These people gave me a place to live and took care of me till now. I’ve been here for the past 6 months and I don’t feel like leaving at all. My perception regarding the world changed over the course of this tour. At first I thought the whole world is an evil place, but during the course of the tour, I began to feel there are good people, just like you and me, everywhere.
But it was time for me to leave. It’s time to continue on my journey of life, exploring new adventures.
The school that we built has been doing well. One thing I owe my parents for eternity is the education they’ve given me. I would not take credits for the school, if not for Tara, Shushiang ji and other people of this village, the school would have never been at place. I am just grateful for being here at the right moment.
People here will forget me after a few years, but the school we built will stay there, educating the people of the village. Tara and Shushiang ji will take care of it.
I do not know how I’m going to tell the people that I’m leaving.. People here have accepted me as the son of the soil and many people think, Tara and I will get married. I am sure Tara wishes that too.
One look at their eyes will tell you, whether the person is in love with you or not.
I decided to tell Tara that I’m leaving. It’s not very easy to tell you’re leaving to a girl who’s madly in love with you. I could feel my heart beats and my pulse raging as I go near her. I see her walking towards me with a smile. She’s just returning from her class. Shushiang ji, being the only educated person of the village has brought up his daughter in the best way possible. Tara is now one of the senior teachers in the school. As I wave her a hi, she acknowledges it. Breaking the ice, I tell her, Tara I wanna tell you something..
She replied humorously, ‘What? Are you running away?’
Always I would tell her on a lighter manner that, someday I would leave all of them without telling them. All those jokes are now an hard reality as I try to tell them.. So I continue..
Uhmmm yes.. I’ve decided to leave!
You cannot expect people to react immediately for a situation like this. Especially from a girl who’s madly in love with you. But, she, without thinking an instant, said
Take me with you! Please!
That moment, her eyes will with tears with a pleading look, no man can tell her in the face that she can’t come with me. I stood there silently not knowing what to tell her! But she regained her composure quickly and asked me, when I was leaving.
I replied, today.
She asked me to wait for just two days and then leave. And she asked me that as the last thing I could ever do to her. I could not deny that. She knew she can’t come with me. This village and the school belongs to her. It’s her responsibility to take care of it. She will not leave it.
Such is the determination of a girl with dreams.
Tears started rolling out from her face, for the man I am, I couldn’t control my emotions too.
Chapter 2 : The Farewell
Tara went back towards her home without uttering a word. I did not have any clue why she wanted me to wait for another two days. I just decided to talk to the kids in the classroom. I was feeling a bit emotional and I did not know how to express it to them.
When you have to leave behind something that you love and moving on from there is one of the difficult things to do.
And existing for two days just to experience that mental trauma within me was worse.
I wanted some ‘me’ time. I decided to visit the lake. The lake is situated in the middle of a desert and has good flow of water and its one of the rarest phenomenon of nature. Whenever I feel lonely or want some time in solitude, I visit here! The lake, which is an alien to the desert, is situated right there every day! I could relate myself to the lake.
Sunsets along the west are always a bliss to watch. I had actually spent more than three hours sitting idly just staring at the water. The sun had began to set and dusk sweeps in. I come back, I do not feel very good of what is happening, but I just feel it has to happen. I try to sleep in my couch, but remain idle staring at the walls and the room. The room was a small one, but convenient enough for one person and it was greatly decorated by the kids under Tara’s supervision. I look around me, nothing actually belongs to me, everything here was given to me by them. That devil voice within me crept in again.
Why are you doing this?! Who are you doing this for?! Why should you leave?! Should you definitely leave?! Where are you going to go? What are you going to do?!
It’s often the inner battles that you have to fight. And the ability to fight your inner battles will only make you a stronger person.
All my life, when a question like this pops up, I just go with my intuition. I don’t know it’s for the best or not, but I’m ready to face it.
Nobody has ever done anything extraordinary by doing the same thing like others.
I close my eyes and I try to sleep. But I could not. My mind is rewinding me the incidents that has happened till now.
When I wake up tomorrow, it will be my last day here, in this beautiful village of Siuli, miles and miles into the deserts of Rajasthan.
After trying a lot, I couldn’t sleep anyway. I just sit up right, and start staring at the walls, lifeless. Thoughts about Tara, and the school, and Shushiang ji, is not letting me sleep. I just hope everything falls in place for them.
I didn’t know when I slept, I woke up with a strange feeling. The dim sunlight through the broken window, just welcomed me for another beautiful day. It’s going to be my last day here, and I want it to make it my happiest! I get ready, for my farewell.
Chapter 3 : One last time
I walk out of my room just to witness a huge crowd near the school entrance. All the people have gathered together. Looks like the news about me leaving has widespread already. People give me a sympathetic look and indulge in small talks.
Tara welcomed me with a light hug. She had been planning to give a good farewell to me. Kids bombarded me with lots and lots of cute messages of love, in form of cards! The reaction with which they give it, is priceless!
The feeling that you’ve created some impact in their lives makes you feel honored. No amount of money can ever do that.
Other elders start showering me their love and blessings and wish me good luck ahead. They also wanted me to settle down sooner.
One thing universal, irrespective of where you are, the urge to ‘settle down’ has gone deep into our blood.
The concept of settling down, still remains a mystery to me.
I see, Shushiang ji walking towards me. I excuse myself from others, to go meet him.
He gives me an envelope and wishes me good luck. He is a man with a few words. His face talks a lot than his mouth. I check the envelope he handed over to me.
There were sheets of paper , with some numbers and signatures, the text written in all languages. Oh wait! I can recognize it. It’s the same paper, that people go mad, kill each other, and become slaves of it and finally they let it rule them. It’s the same damn thing. It’s the God of modern civilized world. The currency notes.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen any form of currency note, as I have never felt the need of it here. And it was a complete shocker for me, when Shushiang ji, the person whom I respected the most, handed over these!
Before I could say anything he started speaking,
“No amount of money can ever replace what you did. And no matter how much I give, I know you’re not going to accept it. But you need this. You may or may not use them, but it might help you stay secure and beat with hard times. Please accept it. We are forever indebted to you, And you can come here any day. We will be waiting for you.”
I couldn’t utter a word. The day when Shushiang ji brought me to his home, I did not have a single penny and I had starved for almost one week. Money can indeed save me in worst times, and no matter what happens, I’m forever indebted to this village. I accept the money he gave. Shushiang ji walks away.
There is just one more person I have to meet. She stands there, leaving way for her father, who’s returning back. She walks towards me, her eyes swollen and filled with moisture, with a little forceful smile. Our eyes talk.
Why are you doing this to me? You know why. Do you think I can handle it? Of course you can. Will we meet again? Time will tell.