The Sign of Two

Shreyas was fading, he made it this far, but the last part of the journey is the hardest and also, he had to bear this alone without her. He felt even the most crowded train station had the eeriness of a mausoleum when you’re lonely, in a way it felt like it’s the fate writing his story line he wondered if it’s because he is going to a mausoleum. It’s fitting really, he thought to himself. He heard nothing, smelled nothing, felt nothing all his mind kept wanting to do was jump in front of the freight train which is going to enter the station any minute. All of this pain and numbness will be over. He will then be with her. His Asin.

2 years ago.

“You want to go to the Taj really? Are you really that cliched Ms. Originality?” Shreyas asked his soon to be bride.

“First of all, I will be Mrs. Shreyas secondly sometimes girl has to be old fashioned in her romantic inspirations, I will retain my originality where you least expect it” she said while biting her lips very sensually it made his heart stop.

“You don’t want to be Mrs. Kapoor my father isn’t going to be thrilled hearing that.  Me on the other hand though”. He laughed while he said that and embraced her playfully.

“No, I don’t want to be another Kapoor, I want our family to be named after you.  Besides Mrs. Shreyas doesn’t it sound like I am a hot MILF?”.  She acknowledged her embrace and kissed him on his lips.

“So, you’re fine with me marrying 13 other women like Shahjahan did and also we should’ve 14 kids if we truly want to pay homage. I will gladly take that sacrifice of pleasing 13 other women beside you but fret not I won’t ever kiss them on their lips”. They both cracked out laughing as he said that while he kissed her again.

“You’re underestimating power of my uterus besides I will just have 3, I even named them our first one will be Karan, second one will be Akash, third will be Indira, we will have 2 dogs as well one Alsatian and second a poodle”.  She looked at his eyes while she said that and saw that he teared up a little without saying another word. They kept kissing at the spot where they met 8 years ago where he just proposed to her.

“She is such a romantic and has a way with the words which I could never have. I am the luckiest man in the world”. He thought to himself. That’s when they decided they will visit the Taj before flying to their honeymoon to Mauritius.

 3 days ago.

Shreyas had the whole week off before his wedding to get the last-minute errands planned. He was planning to pick up his wedding gift for Asin. Asin wasn’t like most women she had her hobbies. She was a philatelist she had stamps from every single country in the world and could correctly identify all the stamps she has in her sleep. She had hit a snag few years ago she couldn’t collect stamps for Pitcaim & Inini islands. She wanted to complete her islands next before moving on to her next collection. She spent 6 months to no avail trying to collect them.

Shreyas still couldn’t identify those islands in the map but using his connections in the government he found couple of contacts in the embassy of those islands and had the stamps ready. Pitcaim only had 53 people residing there no wonder she had it thought. He was planning to collect those stamps after framing to give her as a wedding present. He was about to enter the shop when his phone rang it said “MA”.

He rolled his eyes and wondered if it’s not another last-minute errand she added to otherwise busy itinerary already. He picked up the phone and told her “MA I’m busy now, can we talk in a few minutes”. His mother’s voice was raspy, and he could hear her amplitude levels dropping lower than usual and controlling herself she said “It’s an emergency. You need to come home right now, I’ll tell you when you’re here”.

Shreyas understood the gravity of the situation before getting into the frame studio. He started his motorbike and hurried home. He tried to call Asin, but her signal was out of reach. “I really could use you darling right now” he thought to himself. “Calm yourself dear use your head now your family needs you” he pictured her in his mind’s eye calming him down.

He entered his house which was glowing with marriage decorations. He saw a lot of people than usual. He saw Asin’s parents crying in his living room that’s when it hit him. He went panic mode. Words didn’t come out of his mouth. As soon as they saw him Asin’s parents came and hugged him. “Shreyas our daughter has been taken by Lord Shiva already”. They cried on his shoulder. Suddenly he couldn’t hear anything around him, he couldn’t smell the fresh paint on his house decorated for the wedding, he couldn’t smell the flowers from the garland in the living room, he felt ash in his mouth, he went dumbfounded, drifting he fainted into nothingness amidst the total chaos surrounding him.

Present day:

The numbness has been a constant since he heard about the incident. He cannot picture her in his mind’s eye anymore. He took the taxi from the train station which brought him to the Taj. He was looking at the most beautiful mausoleum in the world. He picked a secluded spot where he sat with the framed stamps, he was planning to give her. He opened his traveling back pack and pulled the bottle containing rat poison out and added it to the coffee he was having.  He told himself “I just can’t live without you anymore. I will see you soon”. Before he could drink it. He heard a voice saying “Bhai sahib”.

Looking up he saw this really old man who looked like he hasn’t eaten for days. “Please Bhai sahib, can you spare me anything”. He thought to himself “I am going away anyways might as well add some karma to my account”. He opened his wallet gave him all the money he had which was around 50000 rupees. The old man was so shocked by this and also ecstatic he said “I will be forever in your debt Bhai saab my grandchildren will eat for months now and I wish you have lots of kids and a beautiful family bahut shukriya” saying that he left him alone again. Before he put his wallet he saw that sign again.

They made that sign together. It’s a double infinity sign she designed for him. Before she gave it to him, she said “We will always be connected through this as one. Always remember that, no matter what path life takes you I’ll be with you and You’ll be with me.” It was still so beautiful. Shreyas called it the “The sign of two since he felt infinities are cliched”. She agreed to it.

Suddenly he could hear the prayer in the mosque adjacent to the Taj. He smelled the bushes around him. He felt alive again. “She wants me to keep going” he thought. Wiping his tears he got up and decided to go actually soak in the monument for a change.

10 years later

The train station was crowded even in the offseason he thought. It didn’t reek of piss like it used to. Before he could look at the signs. Indran[1] shouted “Papa Karan and Akashini[2] are fighting with each other again”. Shreyas let out a sigh getting them here by himself without their grandparents was a terrible idea on hindsight he thought.

He went to the siblings “Karan what did I always tell you? Never pick on your sister?”. “She is the one who took my stamps away” karan spoke with tears running down his cheeks. Shreyas realized he was telling the truth. “Asin[3] why are you stealing your brothers stamp”. Guilty faced with eyes tearing up she ran and hugged his father “I didn’t want him to beat my collection papa. I am sorry karan bhaiya” saying that she gave his stamps back. He told them to go to the train station office to collect the post cards for this place and send them away smiling at them soaking in the moment.

“In a way I am glad the grandparents aren’t here, this is something I had to do alone to complete the 10 year anniversary”, He thought of Asin again and looked at the sign still and said “I’ve miles to go before I sleep” quoting her favorite poem to complete the cycle.

Context

I wrote this as part of Dr.Bourbon’s twitter challenge and added a tag to list similar articles in the future.

Bibliography

[1] – Indran is the male name equivalent of Indra they chose earlier which was a female name.

[2] – Akashini is the female name equivalent of Akash which means the sky

[3] – People with name Akashini are nick named Asin

 

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