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Life was never a easy ride for me. From the time I realized it has just thrown challenges at me. I just had lost everything in my life. ‘Dream’ I don’t even understand that word anymore. For a person who just wish some miracle happen to get him rid off his hunger other than a bread piece nothing can be more valuable. Those dreams which give you solace in your sleep of course weren’t of any significance. Anyways I did not had time for it as the deep slumber always used to make the wandering thoughts of mine to rest. I’m harsh. Harsh on my thoughts, my feelings and on of course emotions which anyways didn’t serve any purpose in my life but only wasted my time. Is life all about purpose. Practically yes it is all about purpose.
I was hit brutally today. That moron Robert really avenged me for last fight. That’s the problem being a street fighter, for that case any fighter; though you follow the ethics you cannot assure it about your opponent. Last time due to his own mistake I had hit him on a wrong spot with wrong intensity knock. And he used all his force to distort my jaw today. Ouch it pained like hell. I work in Khan Kaka’s garage and for some extra money I participate in street fights. Khan Kaka always tried making me understand that the street fights are not good and they will affect my health. I never listen to him. For me living for the moment is important. Finally I came out of the clinic after fixing my wounds.
Someone was following me. I looked back and found none. I must be hallucinating. I continued walking. Again I felt someone following me. I turned more swiftly and could witness a shadow. Now I’m sure someone is following me. I thought of continuing the walk. As soon as I reached some distance I stopped and hid behind a bush. I saw her. She was standing biting her lower lip and scratching her head. Her face wasn’t visible. She was searching me. But why is she searching me? I walked to her from behind and touched her shoulder. She jerked my hand and looked for me again. I neared her and tried turning her holding her shoulder.
She jerked and was about to fall but I held her on time. Her face depicted her fear. She was literally terrified. My hands were holding her from her waist and she was looking at me with wide open eyes. Her breathing was in sync with her heart beat which was so loud that I could hear it. Gosh I freaked her out. Her eyes were so magical I felt I will be drowned in them. Actually I was already drowned in them. Her beautiful cheeks and pink shivering lips. What the hell is wrong with me. Why am I even observing a woman so much. Her hands were across my neck. I looked at them. I made her stand straight. I was lost still to initiate the conversation. I brushed my hair to cool my racing heart.
“Why are you following me?” I analyzed her facial expressions. Was she any secret agent. Lucky even if she is why will she follow you? You aren’t even a terrorist. Are you? My mind was annoying me with it’s stupid questions. She took the corner of her dupatta and started chewing it. Yew what was she doing. Wait was she avoiding my question? How clever. I huffed and held her elbow and dragged to me. She looked up at me. Again those black orbs. Hell why is she so beautiful. Her fragrance was something which made me lose my senses. Ahhh again I got back to my jerk mode. Control Lucky…. I kicked my brain so that it starts working again. Her dupatta edge was still in her mouth covering her lower lip. Her pink lips…. I don’t know I felt I’m getting drawn to it. Control Lucky one more kick. I took a deep breath.
“I asked you something Miss why are you following me” my voice was so harsh. Lucky she is so terrified and you are terrifying her more my heart spoke. Did I had a heart? Whatever. “I…I….” her voice… no no melodious voice dragged my attention. “Hmm?” only could escape me. “I lost my way” she pouted and as the dupatta fell down and revealed her lower lip Awww she looked so cute. I jerked her away when I felt I will lose my senses completely if she is closer to me for some more time.
“Where do you want to go” I looked other side. “I… I” she scratched her head. “Don’t know” she looked at me with puppy eyes and cute pout. Gosh is she girl or magnet. I composed myself again. Did she said don’t know? Oh my good lord. She is lost I mean seriously she doesn’t know where she wants to go. Reality struck me really late. What am I supposed to do with her now. Police station… I looked at her. No that wasn’t safe place for her at this time. Then where else…. A hotel… chi chi…. what am I thinking. My home that was the last option I had. I thought of taking her to police station in the morning. “Come” I walked and she walked with me smiling like a small kid. Was she normal just a thought came in my mind. May be not. Who forgets where they want to go. Now I was feeling pity on her. Lucky is feeling pity on someone really?
I opened the door of my kholi(small house) and turned on the lights. It was small one ya for my accommodation it was more than enough. She entered hesitant and looking around. In some minutes her anxiety vanished and she looked around curiously. “Lucky” I introduced myself. “Unlucky” she smiled bending her head. “Excuse me?” I asked her confused. “Excused” she said casually. “What’s your name?” she asked me. I got annoyed. “What did I say just a minute ago?” I tried to maintain my tough look. “Lucky so I replied the opposite of it. Now my turn to ask question so my question is what is your name” she folded her legs as she sat on the cot. Seriously how can someone talk so confusingly. Ladki hai ya Jalebi my mind spoke. “Tell na” she pleaded me. I gave her a fake smile. “Hello my name is Lakshya. Aka Lucky” I turned nodding my head as she was giving me shivers seriously.
“Hello My name is Ragini. Aka… I don’t know” I couldn’t control my laugh anymore. “Ya exactly Aka I don’t know. Gosh girl did you lost your brain somewhere or this is the only capacity of your brain” I held my aching stomach. She pouted like a small kid. She twisted her lips annoyed. Gosh she is driving me crazy for sure. “Hey Miss IDK” I handed her a bottle of water. She grabbed it and gulped the water in a go. I smiled when she closed her eyes satisfying her thirst. I know how it feels. “I’m hungry” her childish voice made my heart flinch. I wasn’t understanding why I’m feeling for her so much. Was it attraction? I don’t know but I never felt this ever in my life.
I gave her a sweet smile. Really can my face muscles give that sweet smile. It felt like I’m discovering a new me with her. I walked to my kitchen. Nothing was there. That’s how actually I lived. It was the end of the month and I used to sleep empty stomach only. I lost the fight also today I couldn’t earn a penny for myself. I searched my kitchen like I’m on a treasure hunt. Food when you are hungry is the most precious treasure of course. No I was failing. And first time it pained me to be a loser. I rubbed my forehead. Finally I found a bunch of bread. I grabbed it and analyzed it whether it is in good condition to eat. Luckily it was.
“Take this” I forwarded it in front of her. She looked at the slices and gulped. “Only bread?” “If you want to eat, eat it otherwise don’t” I again tried to be rude. She ate it uninterested. She choked after the first slice. I couldn’t control myself and rushed to her and patted her head and made her to drink water from the water bottle. Gosh I felt my life was in my mouth for a second. What the hell is wrong with me. Why am I getting so restless. I had no answer. “Careful” I warned her and walked away. I picked up a blanket and spread it over the cold floor and lied on it. It wasn’t new to me. I had bought the cot just two months ago and earlier I used to sleep on this cold floor only. I don’t know when sleep covered me. Night was little colder than usual. I was shivering due to the cold. In next moment I found a quilt over me. I held it and looked back. She was standing and smiling at me. She back walked and lied on the bed and gave me a sweet smile while closing her eyes. I did not knew how was I feeling. I never witnessed someone caring for me. I was an orphan from the time I gained my wits. I had never seen the compassion of people. A tears escaped my eye and I was so surprised. For the first time in my life my heart couldn’t control the emotion and it dropped out as a tear. Can this night be more abnormal. I pulled the quilt over my face.
“ You did not do anything bad with her na?” the inspector banged the Lathi on the table. She jerked and held my hand and hid behind me. I was expecting this question. I answered all his questions. “Okay leave her photo and go I will send it to all the police stations and let you know if we find any clue. Leave your number” he spoke as we finished filing the complaint. She was scared to be there. All the lusty eyes gazing at her she felt so uncomfortable. I couldn’t leave her there at any cost. “We will take your leave sir” I saluted the inspector and he gave me a pointed look before getting back to his files. She held my hand more tightly and walked out scared. She wanted to be out of there as early as possible. Like small puppy she walked behind me. How innocent she was. I just wondered what had happened with her. Other than her name she did not knew anything about her. She did not had her purse which might give a clue about her identity. I just wish she finds her family soon.
“You want to eat something” I looked at her when she was licking her lips looking around the food stalls on the street. She nodded her head like a small kid. Her innocence always touched my heart. I shuffled my pocket. I had 50 rupees. That also I borrowed from Khan Kaaka and tomorrow I have to work two hours extra for it. I dragged her with me to a near by pav bhaji stall. She smiled when she bit the first byte. Her smile was heavenly. It drew a curve on my face too. I wasn’t understanding my feelings but I was enjoying them. Strange. She choked bringing me out of my trance. I patted her head and made her drink the water. “Careful IDK” Ya that’s what I have been calling her from morning. And that mad girl instead of getting angry she smiled every time I called her like that.
“You be here. Okay don’t open the door if anyone knocks unless it is me. See from this window you can see who is knocking the door. Latch it properly okay. I will bring food in the evening” she nodded her head for every instructions I gave her. I nodded my head turning. I know she might not follow half of it also. Hopefully she stays safe till I reach back. I walked to the garage. As I was engrossed in my work suddenly I missed my concentration and hurt my hand. “Ouch” I screamed and Khaan kaaka rushed to me. “Lucky what is wrong with you?” he band aid my hand. I don’t know I was feeling restless. That dumb girl was prone to fall in problems. “Khan Kaaka I will just come in five minutes” I rushed out of the garage to reach my kholi. As I reached there I found the door open. I was so right about her. Stupid girl where did she go. “Ragini…. Ragini….” I screamed roaming inside my home. I shouldn’t have left her here only. So so stupid of me. I held my head placing my hands on my waist. I felt my heart will stop beating if I don’t see her in next minute.
“Lucky” I was sitting on the cot head down. Her voice made me breath again. In a fraction of a second I held her elbow and hugged her in a bone crushing hug. God it was just one minute and I felt I wasn’t living for ages. I held her tight like I don’t want to let her go. I had met her just last night and now I don’t know so badly I have got attached to her. My emotions were fighting a battle. At last a tear made its way and next it was like water fall. I cried, I cried like a small kid. I never was so vulnerable all my life. I don’t even remember when did I let out my emotions so openly last time. My heart which was stone was melting. Melting at a rate that I wasn’t able to hold it and prevent it from melting. I literally did not wanted to stop it also. Twenty odd years of emotion less life finally ended.
“Where were you?” I cupped her face. She was worried looking at me. Ya I was in such bad position then. “Aunty” she showed her hand back at Latha aunty my neighbor. “I’m sorry” she hugged me. I guess she realized that I was hell worried. Just in less than twenty four hours of togetherness I really don’t understand was it a miracle that this girl senses my emotions without me saying a word. What relation do we share. We were still strangers. But something was growing within us. Getting attached was one thing we both couldn’t resist. And I was confused. Confused like hell.
I started working hard from that day. Fulfilling her small small wishes had become like only purpose of my living. I started saving money. Tried winning fights with more determination. I started thinking about what to feed her next day. More precisely I started being responsible. It had been fifteen days she entered my life. I actually started my life just fifteen days before.
“Ragu” I entered with vegetables and saw her playing with the potatoes. This girl na. She does everything stupid to pass the time. I grabbed the potatoes from her hand and started preparing the curry. I learned cooking from Latha Kaaki as outside food everyday was harmful for health. If you would have said this to Lucky fifteen days ago he would have rolled on the floor laughing. But the Laksh now is a completely different man. I smiled remembering my life just fifteen days back. Strange life.
“Hello” I picked the call. The voice on the other side stopped my heart beat for a second. It was the inspector’s call. I did not prepare myself for this moment. My hands shivered. Her going away from me was something all these days I didn’t even give a thought to. How can I be so stupid. Finally her guardians were found. I have to take her to Police station tomorrow. She will be damn happy. All these days of talks we had revealed that she was an orphan who lived in an orphanage. She had come here with the nun of who managed the orphanage. She used to call her mother. At least she had someone to address that word to. Tomorrow she will go away from me. I have to buy something for her. Something she will keep with her as a remembrance of me. Will she remember me after few days; might be. After an year? She might recognize and after years I might have to remind her may be. I wasn’t sure the attachment I had grown towards her had a same reflection from her side. May be or may not be. Why? Why can’t this confusion just vanish from my brain. These feelings. Why the hell did I meet her in the first place. Questions and only questions.
I looked at the fighting ring. Today I’m going to face the strongest opponent I had ever faced. ‘Crusher’ was one of the deadliest fighter in our area. Not only ours but in the whole city. He had very rash tactics to fight his opponent most unethical fighter. But then it’s a street fight. That’s how it is fought. I don’t know after this fight what will be my condition. Khan kaaka told me not to go for ‘Crusher’ it will be dangerous for my life. But I wanted to buy the mang teeka(hairline ornament) which I saw in the morning for her. I thought gradually I will save money and buy for her. Then I did not realize that she will go away from me next day only. And better than this I had no other option to earn money in less time. I will get ten times the money I usually get if I defeat ‘crusher’. I needed that money badly.
He sat on me. It was the final round. I had to win this at any cost. He was laughing as he crushed me under him. I was struggling even to breath. My rib felt immense pain. Something pierced my flesh inside I felt. Yes ‘crusher’ was famous for his this move. He used to literally crush his opponents rib bones and leave them bedridden all their life. His opponents have not recovered after they faced him. My breathing became heavier. I can’t lose. I can’t. For him it may be challenge. But for me it was my life’s purpose. I can’t lose at any cost. I placed my palm on the ground and pushed myself up with all the power I had. I gritted my teeth so that I can tolerate the pain. The blood which was dropping near my eye was blurring my vision. And I fell again. No no no. I can’t lose this. I pushed myself more. With more force and finally I pushed myself completely and screamed as he fell on the ground. This was his first shock. His opponents have never done this to him till now. There was immense pain in my chest. I jumped ready for the next attack. His ego was hurt when the crowd screaming his name became silent when he fell on the ground and started screaming my name when I was ready for his next attack. I wiped my nose with thumb finger and gave him a glare and challenged him signing through my right hand to attack. He charged at me with full aggression.
“Ouch” I held my chest where it pained as I walked out of the shop after buying the mang teeka. I smiled looking at it. I adjusted it inside my pocket carefully and walked to kholi. “Lucky” she screeched when she saw me and ran to me and hugged me. It hurt. It seriously hurt like hell. Gosh please give me strength to tolerate this pain and control my emotions. I tightened my grip on her shoulder as the pain was uncontrollable. She came out of the hug. I looked at her face. She was crying. Why was she crying. “Hey Ragu. What happened?” I asked her concerned. “Where were you Lucky. I was so worried” she sobbed and her each sob sucked my life.
“Relax Miss IDK. See I’m fine” I gave her a fake smile controlling the pain.
I took the maang teeka out of the box and made her wear it. She looked like some Goddess to me. So beautiful. I couldn’t control myself and kissed her head. She held my shirt tight. “Lucky” she screamed. I panicked what happened to her. “This this” she showed me blood on her finger. Then only I looked at my shirt and realized that I was bleeding. Hell man. Couldn’t my rib bleed after some time. She was looking at me horrified. What am I supposed to answer her now. I smiled at her. “Wo actually Ragu. Someone met with an accident when I was returning. I was saving him so his blood only. Nothing to worry I will change it” I smiled at her. Her face still had the wrinkles of worry. Gosh what will I do now. If she came to know. “Actually I forgot my purse in Garage. I will just come okay” I took other shirt and walked out and rushed to a clinic.
She was sitting on the floor placing her head on the cot. I smiled at her innocent face. I slowly picked her up and placed on the cot. My rib was still paining. I removed the maang tika from her hairline and placed in the box and kept it near her pillow. She turned and cuddled in sleep. I caressed her hair and she smiled in her sleep. She looked so cute I cant explain. I kissed her forehead lightly and walked to my place. I slowly slid down and tried sleeping. But my heart did not wanted to sleep. I just wanted to admire her face all night. I will not meet her again. I want to fill my memory with her face. Just her face. My life had no assurance how much ever time I lived I did not wanted my memory cells to be without her even for a second also. My attachment to her was unfortunate one. In first place I shouldn’t have let this attachment grow only. I was feeling hollow inside now only. What will I do from tomorrow. Again the loafing life. It wasn’t that I did not like that life but I loved this life. Work to save money, live for someone, fulfill someone’s wishes how much ever small they were, reach home on time for a person waiting for you. It was new kind of a life and I got so much attached to it now getting detached seemed impossible.
“Lucky” she held my arm. “Hmm?” I looked into her eyes. They were depicting her fear. “Why have we come here?” she asked gulping scared. I can understand she was scared of the Police station due to the bitter experience last time. I placed my hand on her hand. “Surprise for you” I smiled at her. She walked with me. It reminded me how she was walking behind me last time. Today she was walking beside me. In next hour she will not be around me. How painful that thought was. But I have to go through this pain. I don’t know how much it will effect her but each passing second was sucking my breath away. How will I live without her now. But I can’t hold her. She deserved a better life and she was getting it. I don’t want to be the obstacle in her life. She has to live a happy life where she will have stomach full of food and peaceful sleep.
“Mother” she screeched and ran to the nun who was waiting inside the police station. When she left my arm she was holding my hand which was on her hand was still unmoved. I looked at it and brushed my hand and tried smiling. But my lips did not wanted to curve. I forced them and looked at her. She was so happy to meet her mother. Finally I fulfilled her last wish which I could fulfill being in her life. The smile on her face was what I needed at the end of all the pain I went through and now going through. I took a deep breath to control my tears. I can’t let my emotions flow now. A hot breath escaped my lips. Uff controlling these emotions is hell of a job. It was harder than winning ‘crusher’ last night. I smiled at my fate sarcastically. Can I ever have an end to my pain and suffering. I have no idea. And this unfortunate attachment had brought in lot of pain with it. I don’t know whether I will survive it.
“Okay Ragini. It was nice meeting you. Take care” I shook her hand. “Thank you beta” mother smiled at me. “My…” I paused. “Pleasure” I returned her a smile coming out of my trance. I dragged my hand away from her with heavy heart. I turned and finally her eyes were not seeing me. I can bring my emotional flood out. But to my surprise the pressure I put to control them was so high they were not flowing out. My face muscles started burning and my skin turned pink. The tear flood was about to burst as my eye brows shrank. I choked and before I could let the cry out I felt two arms grabbing me tightly. My tears stopped suddenly and my breath stuck in my throat. My eyes widened when I realized it was her.
“Ragu” I tried getting out of her hold but she was suffocating me in her hold. “Hey Miss IDK” she burst out crying and increased my worry. “Don’t leave me Lucky. I want to live with you all my life please” she spoke in between her sobs. I don’t know I had mixed feelings. I was confused. Should I be happy that she feels the same for me or should I feel bad that she will have only sorrows left if she stays with me. No I can’t let her suffer with me. I finally came out of her hold and held her hands. She was crying miserably. How am I supposed to see her like this.
“Ragu what are you talking? See your mother is there you should be with her” I tried consoling her but she hugged me. “Ouch” escaped my mouth as it hurt my ribs. She dragged herself away from me and looked at me concerned. She slowly opened my shirt button and found the wound and her eyes widened. Her horrified eyes moved up and met mine. I tried explaining her. “Lucky” she closed her mouth and controlled her cry. I couldn’t hold it more. I dragged her and hugged her and patted her head. She sobbed more. “Shhh nothing happened to me Ragu. See I’m fine. Just a small wound” I patted her head. “I wont go” she pouted like a small kid. “Why?” I cupped her face. “I don’t know” her answer made me chuckle. “My Miss IDK” I kissed her forehead. I looked at her mother she smiled looking at us.
Now I have a meaning in my life, a beautiful meaning. The unfortunate attachment turned to be the fortunate one. We got married in a month and my life took a 360 degree turn. In a year I became the owner of my own garage. I promised her that I will never step into the ring again.
“Ramya” Khan kaaka whispered in our daughter’s ear. I smiled and repeated it for two more times. One more purpose of my life our daughter.
“I love you” She back hugged me when I stood after placing Ramya inside the cradle. “Love you more” I held her hand and kissed her forehead.
I know you people were expecting it to be a sad ending wala but I couldn’t make it one though. I will be sending this OS link for the competition. Hope for the best. Thank you for reading. Love you all