Chapter 1

Written by: Het

Gaurav knew that fleet of seven buses, which plied city routes in the morning and evening. Around 350 students from various parts of the region used these bus services for conveyance to and from the College.

He was waiting for the college bus with his friend, Vikas, but his mind was busy recalling past events. He got on board the yellow coloured college bus.

Someone called from behind, "Hello Gaurav... Glad to see you.” he started talking, nervously, to Vikas.
“I still miss our wonderful school days at Ahmedabad International School," he said.

The words continuously spilled out.

He still recalled the day he set eyes on Mahak. She was his very first neighbor at his Uncle's house. She was a stunning girl with sparkling eyes but she was also very fragile. Whenever classmates teased her he found himslf wanting to protect her.

He recalled a spring evening in the month of March, enjoying himself thoroughly withhis friends in the swimming pool. The serene, summer house had a beautiful palette inspired by shades of the sky and the sea.

On Holi,  the spring festival day,  Saumya, and Maha suddenly entered his messy, untidy bedroom, holding different organic colours and they all jumped into the swimming pool. Then it was covered with patches of bright colours, and they spilt water about haphazardly. Mahak waved her hand and the party began. They started pasting each other with colour, spraying water and gaily dancing.  

Gaurav loved the festival of Holi which signified the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter and for many - a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive. It  also was celebrated as thanksgiving for a good harvest, a time to enjoy spring’s abundant colours and say farewell to winter. And so they did bid farewell to winter, spectacularly. He gratefully thanked God, for that day.

Mahak and Gaurav celebrated each and every festival  together. They worked together on projects and went to the movies. In short they were always together. They were perceived by their friends as belonging together, as a unit.

And then after 6 months......

Gaurav was shell shocked! Mahak and Arpit entered the beautiful green foliage of Auda Gardens near their School, holding hands.  
In a loud, voice; as if addressing a large crowd, not  expressing grief, speaking animatedly, (or  was it with spirited courage?), Gaurav said, " Hello Mahak!” She turned without speaking a word, her eyes tried to tell Gaurav something but suddenly Saumya arrived and dragged him to his motorbike and they drove off. That moment became piqued with a sense of desolation. Gaurav was overwhelmed by a feeling of dreary pessimism. There was little hope that he would recover from it.

"Where are we going Saumya? Why  are you in such a rush? Is there anything wrong?" Gaurav asked.

Before he answered, he placed a phone call to someone. Gaurav sat still, choking on  his grief,  wordless.


There is some lovely imagery in this giving it an almost surreal feeling.
Thank you Suraya Dewing
The serene summer house..... is truly beautiful. Also the description of the festival.
Thank you Tulika Saha