Tag Archives: Suspense

The Lone Orphan – Part 6

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction (Love to also add that childlike imagination ;-))

Read Part 5 : http://shineofdawn.com/?p=153

“But how does it relate to Pandavas exile?” I ask Shankar’s friend. He remains thoughtful for a while and says “During the exile, for few years, Arjuna travelled to the Himalayas to worship Lord Shiva and gain some divine weapons. That is how Himalayas is related to Pandava’s exile.” We all remain silent for a moment lost in thoughts. Shankar breaks the silence and says “Our investigation on the script started in Kamyaka forest and ended in Himalayas. This seems to be a dead end now. I guess we should leave it here.”

“I feel it is not a dead end but just a loose end that we need to connect. I have come so close to finding about my family and also how the attacks are related. I cannot leave all these at this stage. If I do not find out now, I can never be peaceful all my life,” I say and before I can control my eyes are filled with tears. “It is just that we do not know how to proceed now. All we have is symbol and few directions. You have applied for your advanced studies also outside India and can expect admission anytime now. Why do you want to spoil your life with all these things,” says Shankar. “I will carry on my quest with or without you Shankar,” I say determinedly. Shankar looks at me, takes a deep breath before he says, “Very well! If you have made up your mind then I will also support you. We have to decide what should be our next step.”

“The script talks about the exile and also directs us to the location near Himalayas. As per my analysis, the location is somewhere deep in the forest near Himalayas. You have to mark the locations and proceed according to the map,” says Shankar’s friend. “We have no idea about those forests or how to survive there. Is there a possibility that we might get any help?” I ask him. “I know a guide there who know the forest very well. I can give you his contact.  He used to work for our base camp when we were stationed there,” says Shankar’s friend.

“Thanks so much for your help friend,” says Shankar. “No problem Shankar. Just a word of caution, do not reveal about the symbol or your motive even to the guide. Just tell anyone you meet on the way that you are proceeding for research work. You carry your ID always with you. All the best,” he says. We thank him and cut the call.

“Let us make all necessary arrangements as we do not know how many days we might require,” says Shankar. We start doing the arrangements for our trip to Himalayas. “Let us make a checklist and divide the work among us,” says Shankar.  As we are going to unknown place, I pack everything we might require from battery backups to medicines and first aid box. The day of our travel has finally arrived. I feel a sense of excitement and anticipation of what to expect in our search.

I reach airport and see Shankar already waiting for me there. “Let us proceed to check in,” says Shankar. We stand in the line and Shankar updates me, “I have arranged for vehicle to pick us up from airport and drop near to the village. The guide will meet us there and take us further from there. I have made the maps as well on how to proceed.” I feel a sense of gratitude rush inside me and tears fill my eyes. I realise that relations are not always blood but also through heart. Unable to voice my feelings I just hold Shankar’s hand and he turns to look at me. I just look at him and try to say thanks but my throat is chocked. He nods his head as if he understood my feelings. Sometimes silence can express feelings better than words.

Flight lands in our destination airport without any hiccups. We walk to the baggage counter and collect our baggage. As we proceed to gate, we see a driver holding a card with Shankar’s name on it. “Hi, I am Shankar,” says Shankar to the driver. “Hello sir, Please come,” says the driver cheerfully. He has a wide smile and appears to be in his forties. We load the luggage into the car and settle ourselves in the back seat. “The drive is long sir. The temperatures drop as we go further so I suggest you keep your warm clothing with you. Usually we never get any booking this far. But our manager said you are important people so he sent me as I am experienced with this kind of journeys,” driver says.  He still keeps talking but I doze off and before I close my eyes I hear Shankar making a conversation with him.

I feel I cannot breath and somebody is trying to kill me. I gasp for breath and wake up in a jolt.  Shankar looks worriedly at me and says, “Are you alright? I was trying to wake you up. You have slept for long time and dint eat your food too. Do you want anything?” I try to relax my cramped neck and stretch my hands. “No, I am fine. I will have just juice,” I say and open the Juice bottle from my bag. I take a swig and watch out of the window. Sun is raising and I can see the orange light spread across the mountains. There are no words to describe the scenic beauty. Road is surrounded by lush green valley one side and snow-capped mountains on other side. Fresh morning air hits my face through widow and I fill my lungs with this fresh air. “We have arrived our destination,” says driver. I force myself back to reality and get down the car.himalayas

Shankar got down before me and he is talking to a tall, well-built man. I walk towards them and he turns to face me. He appears to be in early fifties. He has many scars on his face and hands as if he lived with wild animals.

“Hello, I am Arjun and I am your guide,” he says to me.

 

To be continued….

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The Lone Orphan Part 2

Read First Part here: Part1 : http://shineofdawn.com/?p=135

Part2:

“Welcome young lady, I am glad to have you in my team,” says professor Nandikeshvar. Professor is a medium built man in his late fifties with a warm smile and fatherly approach. He is well renowned in his field. After moving out of orphanage, I shifted to a hostel near my college. Even though I get scholarship and free books, I still have to work part time to support myself. As I aspire to be historian, I have joined as part time assistant in professor Nandikeshvar’s team. Professor is unmarried and stays alone in his 4 bedroom duplex house. His house is situated in the outskirts of the city and also has a lovely garden. Ground floor of the house is used for Professor’s study and research work.

“Meet this young man, his name is Shankar and he works as my research assistant”, professor introduces me to another man. Shankar looks few years older to me and has a very sweet smile. Shankar and I instantly hit off as friends. After college, I spend my evenings and Saturdays in the professor’s house sorting out the papers, taking notes, copying and arranging his research files.

acinet_image“Shankar, what are these symbols?” I ask out of my curiosity. It is a warm Saturday afternoon and we both are working in professor’s study. “These are related to an ancient language scripts found in professor’s research,” says Shankar, taking the papers from my hand, “I have prepared linguistic references for it. I can teach you how to decode it,” he says, “Here see this linguistic reference, using this we can match the symbols and write down the notes,” he hands over the reference papers to me. ” You can also learn how to decode but please do not tell professor I showed them to you. Off late he has become very restless regarding this research and I feel he is hiding something from me” says Shankar. I take the papers from Shankar and slip them into my bag and say “Don’t worry my lips are sealed. I am just curious that’s all.”

Somebody is trying to kill me, I cannot breath. I am struggling to escape and suddenly I am awake from my sleep gasping for breath. I see that my phone is ringing loudly which I why I have woken up from sleep. I calm myself and pick the phone. “Where are you?” asks Shankar. “I am in hostel today. I did not come as I was not keeping well. Is anything wrong?” I question him sensing the urgency in his voice. “There was an attack on professor today in his house and they have admitted him in the hospital. His condition is very serious. It seems the whole house has been ransacked,” says Shankar. “Oh my god!!” I say in shock, “Is he alright? Where were you when the attack happened?” I ask him still trying to digest the information he has given me. ”I was out of town on personal work and when I got back I came to know,” he says still sounding panicked. “Tell me which hospital, I will start right away,” I say to him. “He is admitted in city hospital. I will see you there,” Shankar says and cuts the call. I get ready and rush to city hospital.

“Professor is in ICU and we can see him only through glass door,” says Shankar as soon as I go near him in hospital. He looks strained and visible shaken due to this incident. We watch professor through the glass door. “Today you were supposed to be there right?” asks Shankar breaking the silence. I nod my head and a shiver passes through my spine to think of what would have happened to me if I was not on leave today.

“There is nothing much we can do rather than wait for professor to recover. It is already late night; I think you should go back to hostel. I will call you if anything is needed,” says Shankar.

I am back from the hospital and enter my room. All the linguistic reference papers on the table have scattered due to gust of wind. While I start re-arranging the papers, I notice a strange symbol on one of them. There is a text below. I feel I have seen this symbol somewhere. It seems very familiar. I take the paper into my hand and observe deeply. Shock hits me and my jaw drop open. I know where I saw this symbol.

To be continued….

 

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The Lone Orphan Part -1

tat1Part 1

I cannot breath. I can feel the blood rushing to my face. Some hand is squeezing my neck. I cannot see the attacker as my vision is blurring. I try to push that hand away but the hold is very strong. I need to get out of here at any cost. I do not want to die. I feel somebody is shaking me continuously. I open my eyes gasping for breath and sweating profusely. It takes a moment before I realise that I was dreaming.

A pair of eyes is looking at me worriedly. Slowly my vision returns to normal and I become aware of my surroundings. “Are you alright?” asks Prasuti madam looking worriedly at me. “I was passing through the corridor past your room and heard your screams so I came to check. You were screaming badly and trying to fight someone. Is that a bad dream?” she asks. I nod my head, at a loss for words. This dream keeps repeating and whenever it visits, I am left breathless.

While I am still composing myself, she walks towards the window and stands there in silence staring outside, lost in her thoughts. Several minutes pass and I feel awkward due to this silence. As if she has sensed my awkwardness, she suddenly turns and says “Get ready fast and do not be late for the prayer,” she leaves the room without looking at me. Taken back by her strange behaviour, I get out of my bed to start my day. It is mandatory to attend the prayer every morning in our Ganga orphanage for Girls.

I was left at the orphanage door when I was few days old, wrapped in a red shawl. My orphanage took care of me since then. Nobody ever knew who left me here or nobody ever came to take me from here. People around me always said I look very pretty with bright brown eyes, long hair, and dimple on my cheek. I always wondered if I look like my mother or my father. In childhood, I used to dream a lot of how one day I will be taken from here and how I would have a family of my own.

As a bright student, I studied in school outside my orphanage which offered me free education. One day there was a fire accident in our school and all the children of my class escaped a very big danger. Once we were bought to safe assemble area, I was shivering with fear. I saw how parents ran to their kids, hugged them and assured them that everything is fine. Nobody came for me. I just stood there watching all other kids with their parents. lonelygirl_5bsqhej1

My little heart cried for someone to hold me, comfort me and just assure me that everything is fine but nobody came. I cried my heart out that day and after that almost every night until my tears dried out. Even though life made me a strong girl, inside I am vulnerable child who craves for affection. How I wish I knew who my parents are. My thoughts are disturbed by a knock on the door.

“I see you have packed,” says Prasuti madam, standing near my room door. I complete twenty years today here and as per the orphanage policy, I have to move out. “Yes madam, I will be leaving now,” I respond to her while I pull my suitcase out of my room. “Have you found your part time job?” she asks me. “Yes, I have found a part time job to assist a history professor in documentation and organize his research papers”, I answer. “All the best,” she says, pauses for a moment and says “Stay safe and trust nobody”. Before I can respond, she walks away from me.

“I take my suitcase and come outside the orphanage. I hold my red shawl in my hand. This is the only thing with me related to my birth. Even this place from today will not be my home anymore. As I walk outside the orphanage, I feel a prickle on my neck as if somebody is watching me. I turn back to look at the orphanage and see Prasuti madam watching me with a strange expression from her room’s window and I can see that she is muttering something furiously under her breath. I take few steps ahead, turn back again to look and she is gone.

To be continued…..

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