I was sitting under a tree, having a burger with my friends when I noticed the mess, the bird above me had just made.
“Yeah, that is precisely what it is called.”
This was Suraj, standing beside me, enjoying even a larger burger, proportional to his size.
Me and Suraj are from the same place and had recently gotten admission to ICE. We were both Computer Engineering students, so hanging out together made more sense.
We finished our burgers soon and rushed to the classes. It would have been a shame to be late for the first class of our college life!
I rose up my hand quietly. I was more of an introvert student, not so keen to make my presence felt to the class, so I had preferred to remain silent throughout my school life.
My head spun to 2’o clock. Though I liked to keep away from the girls, I wasn’t so reluctant to notice them. So, there she was, sitting alone and looking into her books.
This time the pitch was slight higher. The lecturer was visibly irritated with no reply.
“Ye-yes Sir.” She stammered, but finally managed a reply.
The lecturer gave her a star-wars look and went back to his job.
“Sale, tu bas ladkiya dekh, himmat to hain nahi samne jane ki, fattu!”
I presume, my overexcited fatty had spotted me looking at her throughout the class, sometimes tucking her hair behind her ear, sometimes chewing on her pencil and sometimes just her face looking outside. She looked beautiful to me (so do have some girls in the past on whom I had secret crush), but I was kind of attracted to her eyes.
So, the days passed by and slowly we were loaded with assignments, test, quizzes (and CS in my case). I spent hours on my laptop carrying that gun, hiding behind walls and shooting at any given opportunity. Suraj had given up advising me, suggesting me, scolding me and finally yelling at me to stop that routine and get a life. Though a sane person, as I am, I went back to my one and only soul-mate time and again.
Finally, our mid-terms were round the corner. I didn’t have enough books to read from, so I went to the library. Soon enough, I was bored, so I went to the novel section and my retreat came to a sudden halt and the next thing I could feel was cold library floor.
“Oh, I am really sorry! I didn’t see you!”
Some girl picked me up. “Ah, It’s all right, I have an art of bumping into others.”
“Hi, by the way, it’s Nikita.”
A smug smile on my face, followed by dramatic lifting of my head and I could see a familiar figure that I admired every day during my classes.
“And you must be…hmmmm?”
“Actually, I was kind of asking your name.”
I suddenly found myself blushing. Let me give you a tip. Don’t ever look into a girl’s eyes while talking lest you want to fail in alphabet test.
“Oh, it is Aditya.”
“Hi again Aditya, sorry, did that hurt?”
“No, not really.”
“Ok then, see you around.”
She surely hadn’t noticed me in the classes. I felt she hasn’t even recognized me. I went back to my table but I found that my novel was no more in my hands. I went back to the novels section, searched for it on the floor, but couldn’t find it. I picked up another novel and went back.
Soon, I and Nikita became good friends. I had gone to her desk in the class, and had finally forced her to remember me. We started to have lunch together. I noticed that she had no friends. So, it kind of felt nice to be with her most of the time. The days passed by and so did the months. We got to know each other more. There were times when we couldn’t bear without seeing each other.
“I have to go home Aditya, its some kind of emergency.”
We were having lunch at the canteen. Suraj joined us.
“What kind of emergency?”
“My mother is ill. I have to go and see her.”
“When will you come back?”
“I don’t know, but most probably, within a week.”
I was disappointed of the thought of not seeing her for 7 whole days, but I knew her visit was more important.
I bid her goodbye, it was 5:30 in the morning and I didn’t like to get up so early. However, I came back to my room by 6. I thought of going for a walk (which I hadn’t done in my entire life). I put on my shoes and track-pants. I locked the door. I felt I heard something. It was early winter, so everyone else in my corridor was asleep. I looked back. It was dark, so I couldn’t see anyone.
“Rahul, tu hai kya?” I called out, but there was no answer. I got a bit apprehensive, and thought I was dreaming. I must have walked two steps when I heard rattling noise, and this time I was sure. I thought Suraj was playing pranks. I looked back but even now, there wasn’t a living soul to be seen in the dark corridor. I saw some movement through the corner of my eyes and saw that my door handle was rattling.
A cold shiver ran through my spine. I had never experienced anything like that in my whole life.
Suraj opened the door. I kicked his butt.
“You really think there was a ghost?”
“No re, obviously not.” I knew I was lying.
He had hid in my room when I had went to see off Nikita, he told me later, inviting few more punches to his butt.
I was in my room, busy doing my assignments. It was quarter to 3 already and I had so much left to be submitted the next day. I got up from my study table, and went to the bed to take a nap. My laptop was open with the CS screen open. I closed it to keep it on the table and saw my google page open. As far I had remembered I didn’t open my internet browser. I thought, maybe Suraj had opened it. Something clicked in my mind. I was tired after so much work, so sat down for timepass. I typed “Nikita Jain” in the search bar. It is a kind of fun, searching for someone’s name on google.
“17 year old girl suicides, a shame to Indian education.”
I ignored the first link. I scrolled through the page, and the word “ICE” flashed in my eyes. I opened the link.
“The city and the college is in a state of horror, as a 17-year old girl, Nikita jain, jumped from 7th floor of the college building, yesterday night. Her roommates are unable to say, she wasn’t the type of girl who would give up on something so easily……………….”
I read the whole report. It was dated 3rd March, 1973. I didn’t know something as such had happened in my college so long ago. I was amused that a girl with exactly the same name and same age once studied in the same college.
I typed http://www.ice.in and moved my cursor to the student’s search box. I typed “Nikita jain”
Student does not exist.
I remember looking at the laptop screen for 10-seconds without a blink. I was confused and yet frightened by the thought. And I saw her reflection in her mirror right behind me with her face without any colour. I shouted and my voice echoed through the corridor.
People came running to my room. My face was white with fear.
“Where is Suraj?” I enquired.
“He is not in his room, but what happened? Why did you shout?”
I couldn’t say anything to them otherwise they would have termed me another psycho. I told them I had a bad dream. I saw the clock. It was 5 minutes past 3. I couldn’t sleep in my room. And where the hell could have been Suraj at 3’o clock?
Suraj didn’t return to his room the whole night. We went to the warden in the morning who told us that Suraj was in the medical centre. He hadn’t spoken anything from the past night. I went to the medical centre in the evening to meet him.
“hey kya hua, tu yaha kya kar rha hai?? What happened to you?”
He didn’t say anything. His eyes were stoned and he was looking at the ceiling all the time. Meanwhile the classes went on, my doubts became true after I confirmed with the teacher, that there was no student named “Nikita Jain” ever in the class.
I got the contacts of the roommates of Nikita of 1973 somehow and talked to them over the phone. I told them about that night and they didn’t laugh. We fixed a meeting the next day.
“She was a normal girl. She used to be brilliant in the classes.”
There were three ladies all of them in their 60s.
“So, what happened to her?”
“One night as we were crossing her room, we heard her talking to someone in muffled voices. In those times, we didn’t have cellphones, so I thought someone was in her room. So, I opened her room and found her sleeping on the bed.”
“We thought, we had misheard the winds. So we didn’t bother, and even she told that she had slept early. But, as the days went by, we grew more and more concerned. I woke up Simmy and Rhea and we three opened the door. We thought we had caught a glimpse of something outside the window, but they were just leaves.”
“One night, as I was filling up my bottle, we heard a scream in Nikita’s room. We rushed to her room, and found her on the floor, crying hysterically. We called her parents and told her about this.”
“Nikita told us that while she was sleeping, she felt a cold touch on her hands. She woke up with a start and found herself on the floor and saw her body in a strange posture and she was weeping. But she says that she has no memory of being on the floor.”
“Nikita’s parents made her see a psychiatrist. Her parents heard her screaming in an uncanny language, calling abuses. And this grew more often. Her parents consulted a doctor and he said that this was the involuntary control of mind. But we knew that this was something else.”
———————————————————————————————————I woke up with a start. My head was paining like hell. The meeting with the roommates of Nikita had been a week ago, but the fear was fresh in my mind. I went to the water cooler and took my medicine. We used to turn off the water cooler because of winter, but it looked like someone had left it on, that night. I took the icy water and went back to my room. The corridor was numb. It was really cold that night. I bumped against something and fell.
“Sorry, I made you fall again.”
A chill ran across my spine. It was Nikita with that novel which I had left in the library. I blinked my eyes, and she was gone.
It has been 10 years now, and I am a successful person now. But, the uncanny moments have not stopped. Sometimes I feel someone is in the kitchen or in the living room. The life goes on. It’s not up to us to believe whether ghosts exist. But what I believe is souls exist and I can feel that. The rest is up to God.
BITS pilani Goa Campus
“Long ago in some small kingdom, ruled a king. He was shrewd but kind, at the same time. No one could escape his eyes, not even the poor farmers, who barely made 2 meals a day. But his public was happy, nevertheless. He never did any injustice to anyone. And he was thus far, known for that. “
Grandma had started the story. It had been hardly 10 minutes and little Nikita was sound asleep. Dreaming of kings, queens, palace her eyes had shut down into the peace of the world where she could go without anyone saying a word to her.
Little time ago, life had not been as tough on Nikita as it had become now. Her eyes searched for her mother but rarely could find her. Sometimes she could look outside the windows and look up the sky in the dark nights. Her grandma used to say, God kept an eye over us. Oh ya, she was afraid of God. She used to pray to Him for the goodness and well-being of her mother, wherever she was.
Poor Nikita, she didn’t know her mother and father had some other plans for her.
Sometimes she could feel their presence though. She asked her grandma time and again about her parents, but didn’t get the answers he longed to make her satisfied.
Nikita was a 5 year old girl who lived with her old grandma and her uncle and aunty. She didn’t know how the time flew away. She didn’t seem to have lived her childhood. She was cheerful, joyous and grew up to become a lovely girl. Now and then some of her relatives would drop by, see her, show their sympathy but didn’t ever care to love her. Love, yeah that was the thing missing from her life. Apart from her grandma, she never ever sought or in fact got love from anyone. Not even from her brothers and her uncle and aunty. But seldom did she complain! That was her determination to live her life the way God had gifted her.
She grew up among those thorns and bushes. She became beautiful day by day. And yet more mature. Sometimes even her grandma was amazed by her maturity. She was an intelligent girl and knew how to shape up her life. Her life was perfect and she was happy. All she wanted was her grandma, her stories, her school, her friends and her mirror. But fate has a cruel way to smile at you when you think your life is perfect.
“Grandma wake up!! Its 7 am!! I will be late for my school..!! ”
It wasn’t a regular thing. Usually her grandma used to wake up way earlier than her, prepare her lunch and her dress before waking her up. But today the school bus was honking outside, sun was scorching on her to go to school, but here she was waking up her grandma.
“Grandma, the bus is outside and I have not yet dressed up!!! “
Tears were almost into her eyes. Funny tears! They even didn’t know when and for what reason they should come out. Grandma was not even moving. Nikita kept shrugging her but in vain.
“Aunty, grandma is not waking up. I don’t know what is wrong with her.”
A chill went down her spine. What could possibly be wrong? She called her husband and the three of them went upstairs. Grandma was sleeping peacefully with a smile on her face. They called the doctor.
“Sorry, she is no more. “
The doctor’s words left Nikita struck like statue. She couldn’t feel herself moving. She was standing there so still. Her lullabies seemed to hovering over her head. And she was yet standing there. The prince, the stars, the castles all seemed to keep crossing her mind. What was her world after the lady she saw all the time she grew up. She didn’t know the answers.
Nikita didn’t eat or drink for a whole week. Her grandma was a great loss to her. Her grandma was everything to her. She was her mom, her dad, her family and her God. Everything!! She meant everything to her. She promised to see her become a doctor or an engineer. She promised to dress up her like a princess to meet her dream prince. And now she was gone, gone forever. Tears had dried up but the pain didn’t. Every day she woke up by herself to see an empty bed in front of her, dressed up herself, crying all the way through, came back to school, just to get locked in her room, no one to speak or share her day. She felt so alone that sometimes she looked up those skies without the clouds and stare at one those million stars. She was alone.
“You look like a princess. “
Snehal was sitting beside her in her room while she was dressing up for the wedding party of their cousin, Shreyansh that night. She was 19 now. Usually it was her grandma who used to dress her up. But, here she was sitting in front of her mirror, putting her kajal, her mom’s earrings and the necklace. Yeah, she looked like a princess. She imagined her grandma looking at her.
She and Snehal got into the car. She was very happy today. She looked outside the window, felt the evening breeze. She didn’t know why she was so happy. They reached the wedding hall. She met rest of her family whom she had never ever seen in her whole life. But here she was, a stranger in that crowd. She was apprehensive, but she decided to hide her nervousness. It was the first time she had seen so many of her family members at a single place.
The wedding began. She loved the wedding tune always. She always fantasised about her wedding. Well, no one else would. There were kids, people of her age, old persons and other people. She looked her and there, about the different activities going on, kids running across the place, old men talking to each other, women laughing. She felt out of place, so she went to the terrace to get some fresh air.
It was dark here. It was a marriage here and yet someone had forgotten to put on the lights. She had bumped into something, or someone.
“I am extremely sorry. Are you OK?”
“Yeah I am alright. Sorry I didn’t see you.”
“Even I didn’t. I am extremely sorry!! “
Someone turned on the lights. A young boy, of 21 years of age was standing in front of her. She was so nervous that her hands were shivering. Sweat was all over her face. She didn’t know how to look into his face. Somehow she wanted to talk to him, at the same time she wanted to run away from there. She had never ever talked to a guy in her whole life.
“Nikita di, are you there?”
It was Snehal. God, you seemed to be so generous sometimes. Nikita had a lucky escape.
“Yeah, I am coming. “
She went downstairs, the guy standing there. He was so awestricken by her beauty that he was unable to speak anything. He didn’t even dare to ask her name, but God was with him. Nikita, at least I got her name! All he had left with him was her name.
He went downstairs.
The marriage was going on and meanwhile the dinner was being given. Nikita and Snehal were busy choosing their favourite food. It was a grand marriage. There were different food items of almost all cuisines. They settled down at a table to eat.
“Excuse me! Can I sit here? It seems that all the rest of the tables are filled up. “
Nikita looked up. Fate didn’t seem to favour her today, it seemed. It was the same guy. She couldn’t eat without looking at him, it seemed. Something strong attracted her to that guy.
Nikita was taken aback by Snehal’s voice.
“Why were you smiling like a stupid?”
Yeah, she was smiling like a stupid, all the time, looking at that guy. They had their dinner and got up. The wedding was almost done. The bride and the groom were standing up to take the feras. Nikita could stand the crowd. She went outside.
“Hey, sorry I didn’t catch your name that time.”
The guy was standing next to her, smiling. The guy didn’t know why he was following her. Nikita’s lips were trembling.
“Yeah, you did.”
“I didn’t catch your name by your voice, though.”
And Nikita smiled. She hadn’t felt this good from a long time.
“It’s Nikita. And can I know yours?”
And Nikita smiled again. She didn’t know why she kept smiling like a stupid. But she didn’t care.
“Are you from the groom’s side?”
“Yeah, he is my cousin.”
“I am Shreyansh’s friend.”
And they kept on talking for like hours.
“Nikita di, aunty is calling us. We are going back.”
“Ok, I am coming.”
She didn’t want to go. She felt like she had known this guy from the time she had never known.
“Sorry, I will have to go.”
“No problem, carry on. See you then!”
“Ok then see you. “
Dumbo how will you see me!! At least ask my number!!
“Ok, Goodnight. “
But he didn’t. She was getting back to her car.
“Hey can I have your email-id?”
Nikita felt like laughing her stomach out.
“Yeah sure, it’s email@example.com .”
At least he asked my email-id!
She was so happy now. Maybe she got to know why she was so happy.
“Ok I will mail you. “
“Good Night Aditya. “
In the car she was smiling all the time. The breeze felt stronger.
“D, who was that guy?”
“He was Shreyansh’s friend.”
“Did you know him?”
“No re. Why?”
“It’s because, I have never seen you talking to a guy.”
“Sometimes, you don’t expect things to happen to you.”
Life teaches u a lot..sumtyms u win sumtyms u lose… bt dat one moments compensates all ur pain, all ur sorrow..
my lyf has been a journey of gud as well as rough patches..lyf turned me d way it wanted..twisted me d direction it culd..bt i never lost my hope..neither my determination nor my belief!
IIT-hmm..dream of a lifetym.. dream of over 5 lakh students..the dream which is lived by just 1.5 percent of those 5 lakhs..! ya thats IIT-INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY..
well to confess..evn i din evr dream 2 be there evr..my lyf story is nt dat of geeks, spectacle borne muggers (though i wear spex) my lyf has been of my parent’s n my mama mami’s belief in me, my frenz support n my lovely bro’s n sis’s unlimited love..
i hav heard sumwhere..go as ur lyf takes u..bt m nt d one 2 follow suite.. m d one who takes all d decisions by my own..
der is a place called kota in d sub-urb of rajasthan.. dozen coaching insti exist der..students rush der lyk herd of sheeps.. i wuz a part of dat herd..believe me..lyf was tuff..sum bad company..sum stupid acts n lyf landed me in a situation frm where i culd do nthng..i was destroyed..my results were nt even aweful..dey were rags..
i saw my mother crying..probably those tears helped me gather myself n fite..
i rose frm d ruins..packed my bags 2 set up for d tuffest journey of my lyf..if i failed again it wuld b the end of my dreams..bt d risk needed 2 b taken..
i went 2 ranchi under d shadow of sm1 whom i place next 2 my parents.. i din lose hope n worked my mind wid a simple line ‘y cant i b in those 1.5 percent’
my aim was simple ‘clear JEE-2010’ .d scene wasnt dat i locked myself in a dark rum wid table lamp and books all around.. i watched movies, played cricket wid my bro, njoyd my classes wid PJs n pranks..
there was cont support frm my parents..love frm my frenz.. sum frenz discouraged me sum gave positive comments., i took both…workd on my mistakes..
10th april, 2010
bang arrives the penultimate day…my parents arrivd at ranchi 2 help me pass those slog moments widot ne stress..
11th april, 2010
the d-day had arrived! d most awaited day which had been anticipated by me frm the past 300 days..i had butterflies in my stomach..
at d xam centre i took a deep breath..n gave my paper..after i had submited my paper i knew i had done a fair job..
26th may 2010
results were 2 come in d morning..i wuz nervous..bt more dan meh my dad was nervous..he woke up at 4am n started checking my results…i woke up at 6:30..only i knw how i passed those 90 mins..i opened the jee website for bot 100 times..
i remember i was drinking water at bot 8 am n saw d link ‘jee 2010 results’ water was bot 2 spill out…final moments i prayed 2 god..n wrote my reg num 5077093..
7865 dat was all i culd c in my first attempt at my lappy cuz my father was already patting my back.. i culd feel it.. i felt lyk yelling bt better sense prevailed! YEAH I HAD PULLED IT OFF!! MY DREAM 2 BE IN THE TOP OF THE SHARPEST BRAINS OF THE COUNTRY WAS FULFILLED!
i din write all this for mere tympas..i juz wana show u all dat nthng in dis world is impossible..hav determination, foremost believe dat u can..
CMMON GUYZZ U CAN DO IT..!! TRUST URSELF..IMPOSSIBLE ITSELF SAYS I-M-POSSIBLE..!!!! FITE UR LUCK N UR LIFE..!! BEST OF LUCK
IITJEE2010 AIR 7865