Yet to read Part-1: Click This- Part-1
Yet to read Part-2: Click This- Part-2
Six months had passed by. The word has changed a little so as Arunkumar. The managerial, technical and communication skills of him have augmented and so as his looks. No more tidy hair and 19 day beard. He looked like a Professional to the core and has gained few kgs. It doesn’t mean his mom is a bad cook; the reason being he won’t come in time to eat when he was a GETHU. The Freshers, after their training were given an option for their permanent posting and Arunkumar had no choices in between than Chennai. Again, the luck at his side, he was posted to Chennai with appraisal in salary too. Before leaving Chennai he bought dresses, cosmetics, soft dolls, chocolates and all Archana’s favorites without knowing the shock and aftermath goanna happen when he reach Chennai.
Given a week break along with transfer, Arunkumar was in full josh listening to romantic songs in his I-pod (Chand Sifarish-Fanaa 4 times; she loves the song) , planning how to regenerate the lovable moments they’ve shared and those that were lost in the last six months. The train journey to Chennai was a pleasurable one with a newly married love couple in his compartment and both exchanging their love stories for time being. They also gave him few tips on how to rejuvenate the exquisite days, wishing him all the best and never forget to drop the wedding card at their door. After having a few hours sleep in his house, dreams full of Archana; he dressed in her favorite White T-shirt, bought roses, chocolates and knocked her door.
Her parent, who never expected his sudden entrance were dumbstruck for a few moments. Then realizing he never knew what had happened the D-Day (Death Day; Archana’s death was still unknown because she never had close friends in her college and her parent had arranged with the college authorities that she’d got TC and left to Vellore. Since Arunkumar was no more in contact with his juniors, he couldn’t get informed this info), they responded positively by welcoming him in, gave coffee and informed (lied in other words) that Archana was out of town with her friends for a North India Tour and will be back in 10 days. They added further, so as to make him believe that if he’d arrived yesterday by this time, he would have met her and dropped her at Railway Station. She was missing him so much and was expecting of his arrival. Arunkumar was disappointed but he didn’t show it to them. He said that by next week he’ll be back again and bid bye to them. Her parent watched as he left, tears leaking, thoughts running hard what they have to say for next week. Is he ready to digest the fact that his love is no more?
A week passed sooner than expected and Arunkumar got ready with his white T-shirt (nothing to worry. He uses AXE and had washed the T-shirt the next day), chocolates and roses (Not the same again that were wasted last time) in his hands. The same kind of greeting he got last week (again not the same coffee: P) but this time they weren’t speaking; an uncomfortable silence prevailed between them. Arunkumar broke the silence.
“Ehmm… Not so bad climate? Where is Archana?” looking at her room.
Her dad felt a searing pain in his stomach at the sound of the name.
“I’ve got a big teddy for her and she has asked a Titan Raga watch, err… watches, a pink and a blue. Hope she’ll like it”
“But what happened uncle? Hasn’t she returned yet? Or ill… Been to hospital? Nothing to worry? Where is she?”
“She….” Her dad cleared his throat; it was dry from panic and sorrow. “She won’t return...”
“Won’t??” Arun said loudly staring down at him. “What are you on about?”
“She is dead… the day before you left to Bangalore” and he broke down.
“Noooooooooooo…!” Arun shouted looking wildly from her dad to mom, as though hoping the latter might contradict him, but when she burst into tears, he collapsed to his knees.
“We know how you are feeling now ma boy!” he said moving towards him and put his arm around Arun’s shoulders.
Arun instantaneously pushed it.
“How dare you uncle?? How dare you? Lie to me? Lying your daughter died? You are insane and stone-hearted, heights of idiocy!” roared Arun, his eyes now red with anger.
“No Arun… We don’t… believe us… why should we lie on our daughter? Please don’t hurt us! We are weaker…. and your words piercing me like scalding knives”
Arun took out his mobile and threw at him. He caught hold of it.
“Check the inbox, sent items, received calls, missed calls, dialed numbers and what so nonsense the mobile has. We were conversing for the past six months, which is from the date you said she has died and yesterday she called me saying she has reached Chennai. Check the messages dim-witted.” his voice trembling with anger, still refusing to look at her dad.
Archana’s dad was shocked and terrified on seeing the mobile. Yes! What Arun said was right. She had messaged him for the past six months and moreover called him yesterday night too. At last it seemed to dawn on him. The mobile; Archana’s mobile from which he was getting messages. The mobile, with the dolls, the gifts he’d bought for her were buried along with Archana at her funeral. He explained to Arun of what had happened and what they’d done to make the college believe Archana is still alive and tried to convince as well as console him. But he was not ready to accept the truth and was obdurate in his belief- Archana is not dead. After a long discussion, he persuaded him to accompany to the Graveyard so that they can prove him the truth.
The chilly breeze ruffled Arun’s hair as he looked out at moon-lit street and star strewn sky. They reached the graveyard and Arunkumar felt Goosebumps. He could not tell whether the shiver he was experiencing were due to the coldness in climate or the thought of Archana coming out of grave and kissing him.
The sound killed the silence that had prevailed so far as they pushed the wreaked iron gates and walked in.
They could hear a dog howling somewhere, taking a hard breath, they gulped and waded deeper into the graveyard. Their footsteps made echoing sound which furthermore broke the silence. Arunkumar found the place and the silence oppressive, unnerving.
“Who is that?”
With a noise like an explosion, a man jumped at their front, ugly and bloodcurdling, foul smell from his body and Arunkumar stopped breathing for few seconds and her dad leapt backward in shock. His heart was still thundering. Then her father recognized he is the Undertaker of that graveyard and told him for why they had come. Giving a wicked smile, the undertaker said they were here at unlikely time and better they get out of this soon. After thrusting few bugs in his hands, he gave another horrible smile and pointed to the place, after all being there throughout his life he know who were buried where. They moved to the place he pointed, Arunkumar's heart still pounding. The undertaker took out something squarely from the pouch he was holding at his hip and started tuning it. It was a FM player and as he adjusted EVERYBODY… ROCK YOUR BODY song started floating in air. Though he didn’t know English, he started dancing disgustingly, holding the FM Player close to his ears.
Seeing the grave was worse than hearing the story behind it. All that’s taking place around him seemed to be a nightmare for Arunkumar. Is it really happening? Is she dead? Am I to a cemetery to see my love buried? The headstone where they stood was made of white marble and this made it easy to read, as it seemed to shine in the dark. The words engraved upon it are
Archana, Born 9-6-86, Died 7-6-06
He gasped and her dad called Undertaker to dig out her final resting place. After forcing another few bugs in his hand, he started to excavate the place, his FM set still playing the Back Street Boys song. Arun had no idea what’s going around. He watched nervously and his thoughts were all of monsters, ghosts taking the form of Archana and coming close to his face.
As the shovel hit a skull, Undertaker stopped digging, took the mobile and dolls out, handing over the mobile to her dad and scanning the dolls, eyes wide open like a kid. A gut-wrenching smell filled the place and they shut their faces with hands but Arunkumar remained immovable.
His startled voice echoed loudly over the silent cemetery, sick rose in his throat.
“She…. Is…. Not…. Dead….”
He had reached the ground, his breath coming in searing gasps. Archana’s dad grabbed Arunkumar around the chest, holding him back who was about to jump into the pit. A part of him realized as he fought to break free from her dad that she is not going to reappear out of the grave. Then how come he had been getting calls and messages from her? Has someone already dug out the grave before they had? Has someone took the SIM from the mobile and were playing prank on him for these six months? Has someone, maybe a girl who cared for him took the SIM and was speaking like Archana for these six months not to throw him into disappointment? How come the girl could exactly mimic in Archana’s voice? But the undertaker confirmed no one has dug Archana’s grave after she was buried. Yet the mobile remained new and was not down in charge. How come? Both of them were thrown into the state of shock. Using the presence of mind, Arunkumar took out his mobile and called to Archana’s number.
Ooh ooh aah aah sexy eyes
I'm gonna take you to paradise
Hey hey my my look at me
You got me felling free
Was it from the undertaker’s FM?? No… It was from the mobile that was taken out minutes before. Yes it was Archana’s and Arunkumar could remember Archana saying him last night that this was her present ringing tone. Something heavy was pressing on his chest. Horror struck Arun and he dropped his mobile to ground. He opened her mobile to see whether the SIM is present. Yes it was and then as the undertaker adjusted his FM again, a customary voice from one of the FM stations came into the air
WHERE EVER YOU GO, OUR NETWORK FOLLOWS
Now all suddenly became clear to him and he saw the SIM again- it was HUTCH
Two years had gone since this incident and now Arunkumar was not receiving any calls or messages from her. Scared again? Do you know why?
BECAUSE HUTCH IS NOW VODAFONE!!
THE END (May be for me)
Vin, G3, Seno, Lancelot, ST, Thoorika, Karthik, Gayathri, Swati, Vijay, Kanagu and all others. I know how you are feeling now. I could sense a white-hot anger, frustration boiling inside you and a rushing madness to kill me. But again I bring the bottom line, YOU AND I IN THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD. I’m like the cute dog. Still wanna kill me? Sob! Sob!
PS: This is dedicated to all the friends who used, are using, love to use, whose lover/boyfriends/girlfriends using Hutch/Vodafone networks. HAPPY TO WRITE.
THANKS!!! KEEP VISITING!!!
THANKS!!! KEEP VISITING!!!