Kamakshi Farswan

Sitting next to the car’s window, with her head resting on the door, she was admiring the view outside. Lush green mountains, the majestic river, birds chirping, and the cold early morning breeze making her curls touch her soft, wheatish skin repeatedly. She loved this place. Well! Her favorite place, her hometown in Uttrakhand, where as a child, she had spent all her summer vacations and made memories with her Grandfather. Continuously gazing and admiring the beauty outside, she suddenly raised her head. There was a glitter in her eyes as if they had spotted something unusual. Hurriedly, she unzipped the backpack lying on her lap and started searching something. Couple of seconds of searching and she finally found it. Her cell phone! She opened its camera, set the focus, and captured the amazing view she was witnessing through her eyes. View of the sun rising between mountains, the orange and pink skyline, and a group of birds flying in its direction. Uttarakhand is all about such beautiful mornings. After capturing the view, she quickly started running her fingers on the mobile screen- Instagram, direct messages. She was going to message someone? Oh! She was sending the picture to someone with a good morning message! Friend? Boy friend? Don’t know. But she was blushing. She scrolled the chat for a while. That was not even a chat, they were merely one-sided messages consisting of her thoughts, her wishes, and some lovely pictures none of which included her in the frame. Few minutes of scrolling through those messages and she finally kept her phone back in her bag.

Surprisingly, the person on the other end never replied, but the messages were always seen. The happiness on her face while gazing at those messages indicated that she did not even wish for a reply anymore. Oh no, not because she did not want to hear him out. Instead that is what she wants more than anything. She wants to listen to everything he beholds within him, everything that he has said, and everything that he has left unsaid, but only when he wanted to tell and not because she begged. Awake all night, she decided to doze off for a while and as she was about to go deep into her sleep “ping” she was disturbed by a text on her phone. She could have ignored the text, but because it was her first time traveling alone, her parents must be worried, and not responding to the text would mean a call in sometime. She raised her head, and with her eyes half open, looked around to figure where they have reached. Oh! They were coming out of a petrol pump. “Never saw this one around this place before” she thought. She has traveled through this route every year since childhood, it was easy for her to spot if something was new or has changed. Then in all her laziness, she took out her phone and as she was about to unlock it, “thud,” there was a massive sound and within no time along with the other passengers she fell forward and banged her face hard on the driver’s seat. Something had hit the car at the back and now it was completely out of the driver’s control. Within no time the car was off road and went rolling down the cliff. Screaming with fear people in the car cried for help. Their screams echoed through the mountains, felt like they were coming from all directions, and then as the vehicle hit the end of the cliff there was silence. Dead silence. The only voices now one could hear were of people bustling out of the buses and cars, wanting to take a look at the situation. The car was destroyed. Looking at the condition of the vehicle, everyone seemed terrified and started speculating the destiny of the ones inside it. “I don’t think any of them would survive,” a man said.

“Dear lord, I hope their families get to see their bodies,” a woman behind him added in a worried voice. There was not much they could have done other than praying, it only possible for a professional to climb down the cliff and find out if anyone actually survived the massive accident. Two hours later, when the rescue team arrived at the location, it took them another half-and-hour to reach the accidented car. Looking at the bad state of the vehicle, the rescue team was completely hopeless. They were sure that none in the car would come out alive, and their assumptions proved true as one after the other they took out bodies of eight passengers along with the driver. When the girl was taken out of the car, she still had her pulse, but few minutes of performing CPR and she breathed her last as well. "Is that a cellphone ringing?" a rescue member asked. No one replied. Everyone was busy. "Yes it is" he thought before looked at damaged vehicle and started moving toward it. He looked into the car, and somehow struggled to take out the cell phone from under the driver’s seat. The screen was badly broken. He could barely see anything, however, the man slowly wiped the screen on his pants and looked closely.

Did it read “Maa?”
It had been a few days since the boy received a message from the girl - a picture of the sunrise. Him being a celebrity, it was assumed that he wouldn’t be particularly curious about a fan’s message, but here he was thinking about her. Finally he decided to check on her and once again after a long time, he went to her profile to see her last update. The last post on her profile was the same sunrise picture that she had sent him personally. She was quite lazy when it came to posting things on Instagram, so one cannot conclude anything about her presence through her posts, but there was something else, something that sent a sudden shiver through his body. "This can’t be true," he told himself in his head. “RIP” a comment read, and then there were few others similar ones. His view was blurred by the tears in his eyes, yet he read it over and over, until he started struggling to breath, he clenched something tight, it was his pillow. Finally, he opened his eyes and got up abruptly. “God a dream” he thought as he gasped for breath. Sweat from his sideburns rolled down through his face.

Constantly praying it was untrue, he started looking for his cell phone in haste. Within 30 seconds of his search, he could sense a feeling of rage rising in him and then gradually falling. He could not find the phone, but now there is something else he needs to find - the answers to his “ whys?” He picked the water bottle on the side table, drank almost half of it, decreased the temperature of the AC, and finally sat resting his back on the headboard of the bed. Looking straight through his eye line, staring at the texture of his closet, he thought about the “whys?” Why did it matter? Why does he have the same sinking, melancholic feeling that he had every time he lost someone close? Frustrated by his thoughts he took a deep breath, rubbed his face with his hands and slowly brought them down. Was he blushing? Yes, he was. What was it? Does this mean he has an answer now? I think he does. Now, back to his calm self he once again looked for the phone. Huh, there it was, resting on a small table next to his bed. Smiling at his stupidity, he picked it up, opened his Instagram, went to the girl’s text window, and saw the sunrise picture similar to the one in his dream, prettier instead. He prayed only this part of his dream was true and so he moved to her profile.

She hasn't posted the picture, there were no sad comments on her other posts either. Relieved he went back to the chat, liked the picture, and replied “it’s beautiful.” “Pling,” a message woke her up from her already unsound sleep. Partially awake she saw that they were moving out of a petrol pump. “Never seen this one around this place” she thought, took out her phone from her backpack and as she was about to touch the power button, “thud,” she heard a massive sound, fell forward and banged her head hard on the driver’s seat as the latter abruptly applied breaks to see what went wrong. Something heavy from the carrier on top of their vehicle has fallen down. She rubbed her head and started looking out of the window. The driver went out, picked up the bag, and adjusted it back on the carrier.

Finally as the things were fixed, she pulled her head back in and checked her phone. She could not believe her eyes. “Is this for real?” she thought. Looking at the message, she almost had tears of joy. Holding them back, she calmed herself down and with the sparkle in her eyes and the smile as wide as ever replied “Thanks” with a heart. The driver sat back on his seat, started the engine, and as the vehicle commenced its journey once again a journey of a beautiful relationship started as well.

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