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 dejected Tongawalla, and now, he felt the earth slip beneath his feet.
While he was thinking all this, “she” came towards him and asked him if he could take her to Srinagar.
She was prepared to hear a “no” as no one would take a trip so far at dusk, that too when the girl is all by herself.
But Aayushman agreed. She too sensed his red cheeks but didn’t say anything. She quietly got into the cart and Kumar neighed back home.
“Why did you agree to undertake this journey?”, she asked.
“Because I too live in Srinagar.” He answered. “Moreover, I was myself looking for someone who could accompany me till Srinagar.” Aayushman was biting his lips.
“You are so beautiful.” aayushman said in a very low voice.
“What?” asked the girl.
“No, nothing, I was just saying that this weather is so beautiful.”, Aayushman grew red with shyness.
“What is your name?” he tried to re-initiate the conversation.
“Why do you want to know?” asked the girl, trying her best to fake some anger. Obviously, who could get angry on such a cute face?
“Just to know my passenger well!” answered Aayushman, thereby vowing to keep silent.
Both could not control their emotions. Aayushman was feeling what he generally used to, but this time, and for the first time, even the girl felt the same for him.
Neither could they confess, nor could they confine.
The trip ended at her gate. She got off from the carriage and went up to Aayushman.
“My name is Meeru. And thank you for calling me Beautiful.” She said while smiling and looking in Aayushman’s eyes.
As for Aayushman, he couldn’t say anything. There were no words in the dictionary which could convey what his heart said to his soul.
But his true love didn’t require words for expression. His inner voice and eyes were enough for it.
Thus, even without saying anything, Aayushman told Meeru all that he wanted to tell her. She read his eyes and understood everything.
That moment, Meeru heard HIS SILENCE SPEAK!
BY: TEJKIRAT SINGH SUKHIJA