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The Pursuit: Part 7 (Final)

…continued from Part 6. She then began to run around the ruin. He followed and saw she was standing looking something at the ground. He looked down. A closer look revealed that it was a human body. He was interrupted by someone, “Who was it? the tribal man?” Rishi nodded. “Yes, it was the young man”. “When the police investigated, the whole thing was brought to light. Rahul returned to the village after a few days and found what had happened from the girl”. The girl told him her story. She was from the village below the ruined fort. One of the elder man in the photo was her husband. She was married off to him when she had turned fifteen. It was common in their tribe she said but she didn’t wanted this fate for herself. She rebelled and it was during those days that she met Nathu, the young man in the photo. They fell in love. He was from the other village at the top. Their path never crossed and nobody came to know. They started to meet secretly. The husband used to go to the city on Sat…

The Pursuit: Part 6

…continued from Part 5. He thanked them and left. All was well but a simple fact that the kid was talking the local Marathi language while he refused it’s knowledge on that night. He let it go. He was really fantasizing too much. He continued his way up the mountain taking rest every one hour or so.He now headed to the lake. It was again full moon night when he was at the same place. He was panting as he reached the plain. The dry grass was making swishing sound as the wind played with it. The water was making the slight sounds as it rippled and shimmered in the moonlight. Every thing, every movement was so much same as the last time he was here, that he had that uneasy feeling like the one that deja vu gives you. Everything repeated as if it was the same night. Everything except the presence of the girl. He searched the water surface in the darkness with urgency to see her, with an anticipation but at the same time his heart filled with dreadful fear that he might never see her. She …

The Pursuit: Part 5

…continued from part 4. The whole thing, the events, the doctor’s revelation, everything was disturbing. Nothing was fitting in. Who were they? Was he accidently poisoned or with intent to finish the eye-witness. Were they on a run? Should he go to police? He had made up his mind. He decided to go back. Not only to find the truth of the events. But for the girl. He couldn’t forget the girl and it was almost everyday that he dreamt of her. Not that she was very beautiful but the whole extraordinary circumstance that she had appeared and disappeared made him curious. Her face with the silver ornaments shining against her face kept appearing before his eyes. They gentle way that her petite face had rose through the water with rain dripping was not the thing to be easily forgotten. Even then he had followed her enchantingly and she continued to enchant him in the thoughts. He had to meet her. After that he will be fine and continue with his daily life, he was sure. When he reached the foot …

The Pursuit: Part 4

…continued from Part 3. He tried to sleep but the last event warned him against it. But his body was too tired and refused to cooperate. His eyes closed and his mind into oblivion forgetting about the storm, the fierce youth, the photo and the mysterious girl.As Rishi stopped, the others said in unison, “Then what happened?”He woke up to find himself alone in the ruin. It was already morning. The sun was up in the air. His watch indicated 11 am. His stomach was twitching and he felt sick. He ran outside. As he threw up, he saw something in the puddle of water to his right. It was his phone. There were number of random footprints around. He picked his mobile and tried to remember how it landed there. He tried to recollect if it fell out when the guy came to him for the fight. But it was in his hands and it did not fall, he could remember it clearly. Maybe they tried to steal it. When he tried to operate the phone, he found that it was ruined and was useless. As he handled it, a possibi…

The Pursuit: Part 3

…continued from Part 2. The chamber was dark but there was a light coming from the right opening. There should be another chamber over there, he thought. Little careful he stepped in. “What happened? Was the girl there?” someone asked with urgent curiosity. “No”, Rishi continued, “She was not there. She had vanished. Or perhaps she sneaked from the left opening of the other chamber although she did not had any reason to do so in the grave circumstances of the storm. But there were people inside” “So she was a spirit? Bhoot? You are making this up, Rishi!” they all grunted protesting “No. Why would I?” he protested. “Just like that. Just to make the night more amusing” “Oh no! You think I am this creative. (pause) I can stop if you think it’s all fake” They all looked at each other and shrugged. “Okay”, they said, “Carry on”. There were people inside, sitting against the wall. Light flickered from the lantern hanging from the ceiling. It was enough to introduce them to each other. There wer…

The Pursuit: Part 2

….continued from Part 1. Rishi sat down on the uncut grass and began his story. My friend, Rahul is also a hippie at heart. He likes to travel by the untraversed path. It gives him adrenaline, he tells me. It was one of his offbeat trek. The one that he will never every forget. He was trekking up the mountain in the Western Ghats. He said there was an easy way to the top but he had found a dirt path and the prospect of traveling by that path was enticing to him. The jungle was safe as the animals were minimal and restricted themselves to the jungle at the top. He had anticipated sparse habitation along the slope of the hill and was carrying enough food with him. The only risk was that the jungle was dense and brilliantly cunning. It was a mirage and could loose you all the while you think you are on the right track. He took the risk and started on the tiny track. It was the beginning of June and the monsoon had not reached Maharashtra. But the climate had been cooler than it should hav…

The Pursuit: Part 1

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Sometimes someone else’s grief gives you more pain than yours”, Rishi murmured looking distractedly at the cloud passing animatedly in the sky. It disappeared in the trees only to reappear in the small gap of the dense forest. They were in the veranda of a small cottage at the outskirts of Nimbude village. After an eventful day of adventure followed by extremely delicious food, the friends were lying down in uncut grass watching the clear pollution-free sky dotted by the stars, their mind dabbling in the double pleasure discussing the day and relive it. They had immensely enjoyed the jungle safari and were very happy that they had consented to Rishi's suggestion to come to Nimbude. It was a lovely night and they felt at peace like never before. The wind and abundance of nature melted all their tensions. After a long time they were together, talking their hearts out. As the night wore, their topics drifted from gratitude to complaints. They took turns to keep names and criticize t…