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Eternity.......Where "END" Is Just Another Illusion!
The Voice of Solitude
“ Are you here?”
Jon receives a response , “Tick — Tock !”
The antique wall clock. He isn’t really surprised. He has learned to live with this. A spider spins its web around the old dust - ridden Anglo-Indian artifacts. It was his great grandfather , Jason , who had won the heart of Lord Dalhousie. Jason Michael Fanning. A well-known guitarist and composer of those times. The artifacts were the tokens of appreciation.
“ Where are you , Anjana?”
Now it’s the distant tap dripping…tip top! tip top! tip… Jon rests his back on the sofa. He has started to get tired. How much can a heart , 60 years old , take? His scotch can barely supply the energy to continue. His arthritis is just killing him these days. Hardly does he leave the house nowadays , and there’s no more visitors in his shabby pigeon nest.
But he still holds on to his old McLeod Street in Calcutta. He has lost his relatives to Australia and England. The legacy of the Fannings now rests solely in his old wrinkled hands which are too weak to support even his saxophone.
“ Anjana , I am leaving…I can’t hold on anymore , Anjana…!!!”
The last few words which sounded much like a groan finding its way up from his heart echoes through his room , or what was left of it. He hears the thunder and feels a damp chill through the numerous cracks in the wooden panes. He lays himself down , still holding the last peg in his hands.
Before he could have the last sip , he felt the glass slipping down. The last thing he hears is a crash………
Jonathan Fanning. Anjana Mitra.
Roman Catholic. Hindu.
Friends? Best friends? Lovers?
We don’t know. It was difficult to categorize their relationship. In fact , one couldn’t give a name to the affection these two souls nurtured between them.
People who knew them still recollect the days when a fair , short , thin kid used to run after the all-girls school bus every morning and a little girl with curly hair and eyes like diamonds , waved through the window of the bus. They played together , be it indoor or outdoor. They really liked being together all day.
Anjana was an orphan who had lost her parents at the age of three. The police coudn’t find a trace of their body after their car fell two hundred feet down into the Indus near Ladakh. Some said there was a brake fail. The others said her dad was drunk. He indeed was an addict.
The uncles had brought her up. Rather , they had given her a roof over her head and a school to study in. They had a huge construction business..some don’t dismiss the rumour of their attachments to the underworld.
Nobody was interested in her life and activities.
Jon’s parents were divorced. He lived with his mom. Some ten years ago , he got the news of his dad’s passing. Jamie , Parvez , Sunil , Richard , Monti…they used to laugh at them. But that just brought them even closer to each other.
Jon never climbed the stairs of any college. He loved playing his saxo all day. He was hungry , with his empty pockets , but as long as he had his saxo , he stayed full. His mom was an English Teacher in a local convent and was managing somehow. Jon and Anjana…they wanted to live together. The former wasn’t at all serious when it came to earning or his future..but both wanted to hold on.
"Society" wasn't too pleasant with them. Anjana was abused at home and was locked up for days. Jon was warned to stay away. He did not and there was a serious attack on him while he was returning from a program in a pub near Park Street which sent him to hospital with a fractured skull and a smashed limb.
Eventually , her uncles got her married to a Subhajit Guha , a middle-class lad , a mechanic.
No sooner had they spent a year together , than the man changed. He started showing his true self. Cursing and drinking became the normal habits inside the house. She wanted a child , he wasn’t interested. He preferred hanging out with other girls. He had finally lost his job.
Anjana coudn’t take any more.
Beginning of the "END"
The last time Jon heard from Anjana directly was when she wanted to meet. She looked terrible , depressed and ready to leave the city. She still wanted to be with him , but knowing well that it would eventually be fatal for Jon , she resisted. Her uncles were looking for her. Jon kept requesting , insisting and begging. But she left. Before leaving , she had made him promise that he won’t indulge in any confrontations with her uncles and Subhajit.
She called him a few times from local booths. She said she was in Jalpaiguri ( North Bengal) with one of her relatives. She wasn’t interested in discussing anything about her location or address and went on to change the topic in no time.
One night , she called again and said that she was sick. Her voice was feeble. Jon wanted to see her. She didn’t. He was furious and decided to go straight to Jalpaiguri…only to find neither her nor her address. Nobody in the town knew her.
The last time she called , she once mentioned that she had to undergo Chemo or something like that. Jon had no idea what in hell that was……
She said it was just a medicine.
Jon wished her a speedy recovery. He was so angry with her! The fact that Anjana didn't want to see him any more kept haunting him every moment.
Anjana had stopped calling. It had been months since Jon had spoken to her.
One Year Later
THE CATASTROPHE STRIKES!
The news burnt the little house in McLeod Street like a wild fire.
A letter. A parcel. A cold December morning.
Anjana was no more!
Inside the packet were some fifteen to twenty pictures of Jon and her , from their childhood.
It was the end.
Or was it?
Two Years Later
Jon hears the window squeak open. There is a bright white light emerging from nowhere.
Neon lamps? No.
Lightning? No way.
It’s deeper and kind of attractive. He notices his whole room change , he smells a flower. Jasmine? He remembers the fragrance. Anjana used to lay her head on his lap , and he used to get this smell. Is this real? No , it can’t be.
“YES! IT IS REAL!”
The voice was so clear , profound and near to him , it made him jump up on his bed.
ANJANA? ANJANA MITRA. Rather Anjana Guha…there she is…right by his side!
Jon was going to fall , she catches him.
“ANJANA! IT’S YOU! IS IT REALLY YOU , ANJANA?”
He is trembling. She put her finger on his lips.
“QUIET! HOW COME YOU ARE SO SURPRISED TO SEE ME?” , she whispered.
She is in a multi-coloured kurta , it looks like a rainbow. She is dazzling , not a remnant of the previous scars were visible anymore. Her hair is tucked neatly behind her ears , her lips are more beautiful than ever. It seems to Jon that her presence has lit up his room with a bright white light emerging from her whole body.
“BUT YOU ARE DEAD! YOU ARE DEAD ANJANA. WHAT THE……!”
She stops him again , and holds his hand.
“DEAD TO YOUR WORLD , MICKEY!”
She used to call him Mickey , nobody knows why!
“YOU HAVE BEEN CALLING ME ALL THESE MONTHS. HOW CAN I STAY BACK?”
“STAY BACK WHERE? YOU ARE NOT DEAD? HOW ARE YOU? WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE TO ME…WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL ME? ANJANA , DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH I MIS………..”
He can’t finish. She has hugged him. That same touch , that same emotion, that same volcano erupting in his heart.
“I STAY VERY NEAR. TO YOU , TO ALL. ‘END’ MEANS NOTHING. IT’S JUST A PERCEPTION. A TRANSITION. LOOK AT ME. HAVE I CHANGED?”
Yes , you bet she has changed. Except her warmth , it’s still the very same!
“WHERE DO YOU STAY NOW , ANJANA?”
“WITH MY PARENTS…….YOUR DAD LOVES YOU SO MUCH MICKEY…!”
Jon starts to sob…
“WHAT? MY DAD? WHERE IS HE? WHAT DOES HE SAY?”
“HE MISSES YOU A LOT , MICKEY. HE CAN SEE YOU AND TOUCH YOU. BUT IT’S DIFFERENT THERE!”
“DIFFERENT WHERE , ANJANA?”
“IN THE HEREAFTER!”
“WHERE THERE IS NO MORE PAIN , NO MORE TEARS , NO MORE ANGUISH!”
“YOU ALL ARE IN HEAVEN?”
“HEAVEN DOESN’T EXIST , MICKEY! THE PEOPLE DEAD TO THIS WORLD ARE LIVING MORE THAN THEY EVER DID IN A DIFFERENT DIMENSION!”
“WHY DON’T YOU VISIT ME, TALK TO ME, ANJANA?”
“IT’S BECAUSE IT’S SO DIFFICULT. WE NEED A LOT OF ENERGY TO VIBRATE IN YOUR DIMENSION. IT’S REALLY DIFFICULT!”
Anjana’s voice is fading away.
“I NEED TO GO NOW , LOVE!”
“NO…ANJANA! PLEASE DON’T… DON’T LEAVE ME AGAIN! TAKE ME WITH YOU , PLEASE!”
“YOUR TIME HASN’T COME YET!”
“WHEN CAN I COME TO YOU , MY LOVE?”
Jon starts to sob really hard. He feels a touch wipe away his tears and her lips on his forehead.
“WHEN YOU HAVE ACTED YOUR PART HERE…DON’T GIVE UP. I AM REAL JUST LIKE YOU. I MISS YOU JUST THE WAY YOU MISS ME. I AM JUST A THOUGHT AWAY , MICKEY. WE REALLY ARE NEVER APART , NEVER WERE! DON’T CRY FOR ME…LEAD YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU ARE MEANT TO…….” ,
Her voice fades away even more now.
“……. I AM ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU …….”
Jon holds her near and kisses her all over her face. She looks more beautiful than an angel. He simply doesn’t want to let her go anywhere. If only he could have this moment forever!
“…GOODBYE , MICKEY. I WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU…”
The voice has turned into a whisper.
She smiles back at him for one last time and drifts away through the window like a wave in an ocean.
Jon is still holding , only now she is no more in his arms.
At first , Jon couldn't understand where he was. His head is still heavy and the bed is draining. The late night storm had thrown the old rugged window wide open and the rain had splashed away the room. It’s the same dirty , filthy and rotten one.
But something is different.
It’s 3:30 am now. The rain drops are still dripping down.
“Oh man! What a dream!” , he thinks to himself and looks at the glass lying in pieces on the floor.
“Perhaps I drank a little too much today!”
He closes the window , takes a glass of water and before he gets back to his bed , he notices something.
What’s that? Is that a scribble on the mirror?
He gets down , turns on the only 60 watt lamp in the room and goes near to have a better look. He has forgotten where he kept his specs. There was a sudden flash of lightening and a thunder.
“I LOVE YOU , MICKEY!” , he reads.
A tear rolls down his eyes to his lips.
The city sleeps on but a room stays awake all through the night.
There is the man , who had lost and has got back everything , sitting on his bed.
An old envelope…some old photos…his childhood.
The first bird tweets nearby , close to the window. May be she too couldn’t sleep all night!
A Message from the Author's Desk
All the characters used in this article are purely fictitious!
"Eternity" is not a horror story. It is just a new way of visualizing Life and the so called "end" of it. It is a message of ultimate hope and joy for the agonized souls trying desperately to cope up with the losses and the miseries of life.
"Eternity" is based on a true story involving the unbelievable phenomenons of "ADC " or "AFTER - DEATH COMMUNICATION " and " DREAM VISITATION ".
- Nilanjan Ghosh