THE BLOODTRAIL

Chapter 3: His Silence Speak!


25 Dec 2002: Winters were at their peak. There was snow everywhere but Aayushman’s heart was burning with desire. It had been nearly a month since he first saw his dream girl, who, after making a guest appearance in his life, seemed to have vanished into thin air forever. His patience was on the verge of collapse.

The once “happy-go-lucky” Tongawalla became restless and quiet. He stopped talking to Kumar, his horse. He would remain completely isolated, cut off from everyone. Even at the time of taking rides, he would keep to himself and would prefer smaller trips so as to minimize interaction with people.

Chacha noticed this changed behavior of his beloved nephew. He decided to openly counsel him. In the afternoon, after closing his shop for lunch, Chacha went to Aayushman’s cart and quietly sat beside him.

Suddenly, Aayushman woke up. Seeing Chacha watching over him intently scared him for few moments.

“What happened Chhote Miyaan?” asked Chacha.

“You just scared me to death.” responded Aayushman, still in shock.

Chacha laughed and responded, “I want to talk about your mood son! What happened to it? I’m noticing a different Aayushman these days. Certainly, you aren’t the one who came here along with my friend.”

“Nothing Chacha, I’m just having a very bad day.”

“Day or month?”

Aayushman’s eyes fell. He wasn’t ready to believe that chacha knew all about what he thought was his secret.

“I was standing right behind you that day Aayushman. I had come to the Haat for buying fresh produce for the store. Now tell me Miyaan, who is that girl?”

“I don’t know Chacha. I know nothing about her. I just felt her charm, and it ignited a feeling in me that I’ve never felt for anyone else.”

Chacha smiled and said, “I know son. When I was your age, I had the same feelings for a girl too. The only difference is that neither could I speak my heart out to her, Nor could she.”

“Then what happened?”, aayushman inquired.

“She was married off to a wealthy man down south, where she never lived happily and recently, died of depression, and me, I’ve remained single since.

“You never felt the same for anyone else Chacha?”

“True love happens only once my friend! Once you miss the chance of boarding the train with her, you might never get it again!”

Hearing this, Aayushman felt uneasy. He was certainly not ready to give up his true love fearing the world.

“So, what should I do now Chacha?”, asked Aayushman. He was determined to find the girl and confess his love to her.

“First of all, remove all negative feelings from your mind and have faith in ALLAH! If both of you are made for each other, then ALLAH will himself take you where she is.”

Aayushman’s face brightened. His smile returned, and that brought a smile on Chacha’s face as well.

“Go son, happily accept the trip that the first person asks you to embark upon. He will take you to your correct destination.”

With a pure heart, positive mind, and true faith, Aayushman woke up Kumar from his slumber, and went to the station to find any traveller.

As soon as he reached the station, a Buddhist monk got off a train and called for him.

“Will you take me to Sonmarg? Asked the monk.

“Sure. Please enter my cart.” said Aayushman gleefully, but he still had some fears.

The road to Sonmarg was in ruins due to heavy rain, nightfall was just 6 hours away and travelling at night was dangerous due to fear of dacoits.

Yet, with true faith in lord, he set out. This time, as cheerful as he used to be.

Miraculously, he reached there in just two hours. Dropping off the monk near the Zoji-la pass, he set out towards the heart of the city to find some company back home.

The moment he halted in the city; he saw what his eyes were yearning for.

It was the girl.

Aayushman couldn’t believe his luck. Just three hours back, he was a d