A Diary !!
A new day and a new morning. I get up and start getting ready to go to the office. As I get out of our apartment, I call for an auto rickshaw and get in it.
I look out of the auto. It has been long since I stepped into one of these. But now, for a few days, this will have to be my mode of transport. My car was burnt beyond recognition.
The auto takes a left, and I see the blast site from a distance. The cars are still lined up in their burnt state there and my car is amongst them.
“Bhaiya, can you drop me there ?!!” I ask him and point to the parking lot.
The auto driver nods and heads there. I pay him ten rupees more than the fare and get down. He smiles.
I had hoped I would feel good after helping a stranger and making him smile – something I couldn’t do that day. But nothing changes. Money can’t buy you happiness.
I walk towards my car. Everything has returned to normalcy. The blood has been washed off the streets. People have found places to park their bikes amidst the burnt cars. There are hawkers on the streets again. I am sure some of them are missing.
I walk close to the car and look around. It is burnt and black. I don’t know what I am doing there. I trudge towards the place where the bomb had gone off. The ground is black, charred and there is a huge crater there.
I could have been there, I think.
I no longer want to go to office. I take a deep breath and start walking close to the pavement. There is a guy cleaning the street. I wonder if he was around that day. He seems unfazed. Life goes on for him.
“Carefull !!” the cleaner shouts out as I stumble over a dustbin.
“f**k,” I say to myself.
My shirt is ruined and I curse the road. It is just not one of my better days. The road cleaner helps me up and I smile at him. I thank him and keep walking ahead. Suddenly a voice calls out from behind.
I look back to see the cleaner running to me, waving his hand frantically. He is carrying a notebook in his hands. He shows it to me and asks, “Is this yours ?!!”
I look at it. It is a diary, which is in tatters. The back cover is totally burnt and its edges have been consumed by fire. I stare at it for a while. It must have dropped out of the dustbin I had just stumbled over.
I look at it again. I want to shake my head and walk away, but I can’t.
“Yes, this is mine,” I say, taking the diary from him, and thank him. I take a ten-rupee note out of my wallet and hand it to him. He smiles, thanks me and walks away.
I clutch the diary and wait on the side of the pavement for an auto.
The sides of the pages of the diary crumble in my hands and are reduced to ashes.
The sun has come out and I start to sweat.
I look at the diary. It has nothing written on the cover, except the year—2015—which is faded.
There is no auto in sight. I sit on the pavement and flip through the contents. It is nearly full. The handwriting is not the best, but it is neat and deliberate. The first few pages are damaged beyond recognition. The top-right corners of the pages keep crumbling into charcoal.
I stare at the burnt diary. This is the diary of someone who must have gotten seriously hurt in that day’s blast, I think. Not many people survived the blast. I was one of the few who did.
The diary is in bad shape. It doesn’t look as though the person to whom it belongs would have survived the blast.
I open the first unburned page. There is no name.
Just the initials – VK.
“You’re late.”, Naksh looks at me and says.
“I know. Got stuck,” I say.
I clutch the diary inside my office bag. It is still there. I have kept myself from reading it.
Naksh and I had been to the same college. We were college buddies, as they call it. We had a crazy time there. It was during those days that I had started dating Naira.
We have a come a long way from then. It’s been many years now. Man !! I almost feel like a granddad, only thinking about the past.
Anyway, between Naksh and me, he had always been the bright one. My mother loves him and all my ex-girlfriends have always found him very attractive. The most striking thing about him is his disregard for the impossible. There is nothing in the world he thinks he cannot do.
I was working with the American Express Bank as their chief accountant when he made me to quite my job. We started a new business venture together and started our own event management company.
Despite everything, I know this guy is really talented, because I am now making more money than I would ever have had in my old job. Yes, it is hard work in a way, but it’s amazing.
But today, I am in no mood to reflect on how my life has changed ever since Naksh decided that my old life was not the life I should lead. Right now, the initials “VK”, are troubling me.
My worst fears, the recurring dreams, have just come true. Someone died that day, someone that could have been me. And I have his or her diary in my hands.
There are about a million mails in my inbox but I couldn’t care less about them. I take the diary out of my bag and put it inside the first drawer of my table. The burnt edges make me shiver. The hand that held it that day must have been torn apart. The hand may’ve belonged to one of those bloodied faces that had asked me for help that day and for whom I did nothing.
“So ?!! Still haunted ?!!” Naksh asks.
“Haunted ?!!” I ask him back.
“The blast, Karthik. Naira told me.” He states.
Well its sometimes very annoying when your girlfriend and your best friend get along and share every detail about you. You cant keep secrets from either of them.
“Nope. I am fine now.” I said, repeating the same line I had said to Naira about 50 times yesterday.
“Ohkay. Anyway, I need to leave to meet someone from the Times. Will you be able to handle everything here ?!!” Naksh asks.
“Yes, I will.” I answer and smile at him.
That is our code for a date. We have people working under us and we don’t want them to think that we go out during office hours for movies and dates. Because that’s something we do a lot !!
So whenever we have to go out, we say we have to meet “Somebody from the Times”. I wave him goodbye, he checks his hair in the mirror and leaves.
Precap : Unfolding the diary !!
So as you all might have come to know its Naksh and Keerti who would be the second couple in this story as the majority of the comments were about them.
Sorry to all those who voted for Gayu but don’t worry as I intend to include her character in the story soon. Just that she won’t have a love angle.
Also peeps, the number of comments have decreased. There were above 20 comments on the first Chapter but now there are hardly 10 comments. Is something wrong ?!! Are you all not liking the track ?!!
Please do comment as that’s the only way I would know if you all are liking the FF or not.
Do comment. Keep smiling. Keep watching Yrkkh !!