The Enchanting Midnight

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A Matter Of Coincidences

CHAPTER 4

A Matter of Coincidences

As I entered my house, with my heart beating faster than I ran, I was more horrified than surprised at the possibility of an accident. I did not wait to see who all had gathered and directly stepped inside my mother’s room.

“What happened to her? How is she?”, I looked around to find somebody who could answer me.

“Here, have a glass of water first. She is fine now. You can talk to her when she wakes up”, my father replied and signaled me to leave the room with him.

I left quietly.

“But what happened to her?”, I could not stay in peace.

“Even I do not know the whole incident. She probably came in front of a speeding vehicle and the driver did not care to wait….”

“If I just knew who that person was…”, I interrupted clenching my fists.

“..But you may not know. I am glad she was brought here on time with just a few minor injuries. May God bless that girl. She had waited till I did the first-aid and got your mother sleep. And then she left in a hurry, without even giving me a chance to thank her.”

“Which girl?”, I was still thinking about the driver.

“Oh that would again be explained by your mother. But I think the girl would come back. She has left her belonging over here”, he pointed towards a diary in response to my curious eyes.

Out of curiosity and gratitude for the girl, I picked it up. However, the second thought that came to my mind stopped me from opening it. It was a girl’s diary and I was nobody to take a look. Not only would I have been ungrateful, but indecent as well.

I kept it aside and hoped that she would come back to take it. I wanted to thank her for what she had done.

It was 9 at night. There was no sign of the girl who had brought my mother safely back home. I was concerned about my mother too. I had not spoken to her till now.

At 10 P.M., she woke up and I, along with my father, sat beside her.

“Are you okay now?”, I enquired.

“Of course! I am still healthy. What do you think? It was just an accident, and God bless that girl. She is really sweet. She brought me here, arguing with the passersby as if I was her own mother”, she replied with a smile.

“Oh, that’s so kind of her”, was all I could say.

Our conversation was interrupted by a knock at the main door. It was 10-30 by now. I wondered who had come at that time and looked outside the window. There was nobody, but I had surely heard a knock. I opened the door and was about to close it when there was another noise: the noise of our main gate being closed. I hurried towards the gate but didn’t see anybody again. Just when I was about to turn, I saw a girl vanishing into the right corner of the street, before I could see her.

So she was the girl. Too bad I didn’t open the door in time. Probably she’d wanted her diary back.

I went back to my mother.

“Who was it?”

I narrated the whole incident. I told her about the diary as well.

“Oh that’s bad we couldn’t attend her. She might come again. But I think it would be okay to give it yourself. This much could be done for her. After all, she stays somewhere nearby, that’s what she’d told me. We had a long chat before I met with the accident while crossing the road. Probably you can check her whereabouts in the diary.”

I hesitated at first, but wanted to know, hence turned to the first page.

It read:

MISHTI SENGUPTA

Junior Research Fellow- Journalism

I scanned the page for any other information. It had none. No information of her whereabouts. I turned to the second page. As I saw the first line, I laughed out aloud and couldn’t stop for the next five minutes.

It read:

Access granted only if you know the password.

Password! I wondered if the girl had written that in her teenage and had forgotten to remove it later. This was getting interesting. I turned to the third page. It had a piece of writing, extended to the next six pages about the conditions of the rural areas in India. The next fifty pages contained similar write ups about various social issues, including the recent Jahangeerabad slums dispute. I didn’t feel like reading more about any of them so I kept turning pages.

There were too many blank pages and just when I was about to close it, I saw a glimpse of words. I turned to that page.

It read:

“What if one day I wake up and find that I am dead,

What if one day this soul would no more belong to this land,

I would still wish to be myself,

I would still love to fly high in my dreams,

For dreams were always better for me than realities…”

~Mishti

Impressive, I thought. The girl had written beautiful lines. And this part of the diary was a little isolated from the other one. The girl had two identities. Probably the meaning of the line on the second page. Nobody would have been able to see this easily. A feeble attempt to deny the access. I couldn’t stop myself from going further. Daring to enter a girl’s diary into a part where probably access was denied. But my curiosity won over my etiquettes.

I turned to the next page.

It read:

“And the dawn of hopes is but hidden in the dusk which I feel scared to face. For reasons I would never know, my joy seems to be eclipsed under my destiny. Though I wish to escape, my race against myself is another illusion which my innocent heart does not know.”

It was very thought provoking. I kept turning pages and found more words from the depth by this journalist-cum-writer girl. With each page, I found the words closer to a heart which had been suffering for something. Very strange. The words seemed to come from the after effects of some tragedy. From what I had heard till now, the girl seemed to be jolly. What a world it is, people seldom show what they actually live.

At the last page was a newspaper clip. It read: ‘Mishti Sengupta wins the Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism’. It was a detailed piece of information about this journalist, which said that as a part of this prestigious fellowship, she had to work for various reports under ‘The Times Of India’. There was another newspaper clip attached to it, which read: ‘Jahangeerabad slums: Campaign for the homeless residents scheduled after 15 days’. It seemed the same one that had caught my attention ten days back. I quickly turned and found that same photograph.

The girl I had met in the bus that night. The same lost look and that mysterious smile. As I turned to the next one, I found the answers to the many questions in my mind from the past few days. There was a photograph, the same smile, the same eyes, the same girl, with the name underneath that read ‘Mishti Sengupta’.

I sat amazed by the turn of coincidences from the moment I had seen her. I see a mysterious girl, I talk to her one night, she disappears after that, occupying my mind every moment, and then she appears as an angel to my mother, and disappears again. This was getting too mysterious now. She was the girl who had taken too much of me, and I needed to find her now. As I smiled at the lovely coincidences with a strong hope of seeing her again, I promised myself to find her the next day itself.

However, I was not the only one who wanted to find her. My mother seemed equally eager.

“You know I want to find this girl. I really loved the way she talked”, she said, the next morning as I was getting ready for the day. I had taken a leave for that day.

“Did you find anything in her diary?”

“No. I found nothing.”

I had lied to her. But I don’t know why, I didn’t want her to know that this girl had already taken up my thoughts since sometime back. Also, I didn’t want her to know that I had gone deep into a girl’s thoughts. It wasn’t just right according to me. I didn’t want to admit that I had read it.

“Oh, I hope she comes again to take it”. I hoped the same. I had found her after all.

As if both of our hopes turned in, I heard a knock at the door. I leaped towards the door with a hope, and as if by my luck, it was her. The girl my mind had been chasing. I looked at her. The look wasn’t a lost one and the mysterious smile had been replaced by a confused look.

“Hi, actually I had left something over here yesterday. Just wanted to take it back. I really need it. I’d come yesterday but I realized later it was quite late”, she said it in a single breath and I was stupidly lost in looking at her that I didn’t notice when she had paused, with a suspicious look,”I hope I am not at the wrong place?”

“No, actually now you have come to the right place”, my tongue deceived me again.

“Excuse me?”

“You saved my mother. This is the right place”, I tried to manipulate.

“Oh, how is she now? She seemed weak yesterday.”

“Perfectly fine now. In fact, she has been remembering you since then. She would be happy if you meet her.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“Yes”. I waited as she looked at me and smiled.

“I would have loved to but it is time for me to leave for my office. I will surely visit her in the evening. I stay just two blocks away”.

“You are welcome anytime, miss…”, I did not want to show that I knew her.

“Mishti”.

“Miss Mishti, anytime. By the way, it was a pleasure meeting you”, I said handing the diary to her.

“Same here”, she turned and left. I saw her going.

‘Just two blocks away’ I thought, The world is so small, I smiled. I wondered what remained to come as coincidences. I eagerly waited for the day to end. It was such an anxiety that I had to hide it from my mother who noticed me every time I looked at my watch, and asked if anybody was about to come.

I finally told her what had happened in the morning and also that she would have her most awaited visitor in the evening. She smiled at it and I felt as if she was reading my thoughts, though I hadn’t told her anything about Mishti.

___________________________________________

It was 9 P.M. According to my calculations, I was expecting her in the next few minutes. As the time to see her was coming nearer, I felt more and more anxious. What if she doesn’t come? I wondered. But she would, she didn’t seem to be somebody who would lie. I hoped she would.

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