“Rayan , trust me its gonna be funnnn”.. she said ..her eyes widening ….
She loved doing crazy things, and playing pranks on strangers was one of them.
“But Gianna, are you sure? you sure no one ….”
“Stop being a wuss, Rayan, I’m sure……All you have to do is wait for my signal, and then we say , hey you are on candid camera of sorts, trust me it will be fun”.
“hmmmmm, are you…”
“YESSSSSSSS, I am, let’s get started, we need a perfect person or victim” she smiled and rubbed her hands together.”
No sooner did she set across, than he switched on the record button, Better have it set than hear her nag later, he thought.
They were in a deserted Park, not many came here often. It was said that the park was haunted and only outsiders, unaware of the myth used to come in for a stroll in the evening.
She waited for her “victim”, as she liked to call them….
She sat on the old park bench….. and nodded in Rayan’s direction... He smiled back reassuringly...and went back to check on the camera …
An hour later, they saw an old man taking a stroll, and walking towards Gianna …
“Namaste uncle”, she addressed him as he sat down. The bench creaked with his weight. He looked up, and smiled, and was back to his thoughts…..
“Aapko pehle nahin dekha hai, Uncle”
He managed a laugh which turned out into a cough, “Main toh hamesha yaha aata hoon , tum yaha nayi ho”.
Funny how that very sentence sent shivers down the nape of her neck; she forced a smile on her face, and cleared her throat… She looked closely at the Old man sitting beside her. He looked about 80…There was not a single crease on his khaki trousers, not a hair out of place, his sweater hugged his lithe frame… wonder why you would need a sweater in this weather, she thought to herself..
The silence was killing her ….
“Tumhe khamoshi main ghutan mehsoos hoti hogi nahi?” he asked looking straight at her, his grey cold eyes, pierced right through her soft brown eyes. She could feel her heart beating wildly .It took her a while before she could compose herself…..She cleared her throat, ignored his gaze and looked straight ahead…
“Nahi , uncle .. yeh khamoshi to meri zindagi ban gayi hai”…. Whoa what a dialogue she thought to herself “Pehle isse door bhaagti thi, ab issime sukoon paati hoon, aur aap?”
“Tum to apni umar se badi baatein kar rahe ho, aajkal ke bacchein kaha aisi baatein kartein hain”.
“Insaan ka shareer to bas is duniya ki rachaaiyi hui ek mazaak hai, hamari rooh bas sacchi hai …main shayad aapko bees saal ki dikhti hoon, lekin hoon nahi “ she trailed off, a veil of sadness engulfed them both.. She knew this was the apt moment, for her to play her trump card…
“kya matlab hai tumhaara beta”, he asked, she could feel an edge in his voice, and she knew she had him in her plan….
She took a deep breath … and looked straight ahead …”Ab kahoon to kya, uncle?, kehne ke liye toh kaafi kuch hai, lekin yaha” .. she dramatically looked around her “kisi ko bhi waqt nahi hai”…..
“Tum mujhe apni baatein bata sakte ho….. mann halka kar lo, shayad main kuch madad kar saku” , he looked imploringly at her…..
She smiled and looked back in his steely gray eyes, and tore herself away, from the cold stare … She felt cold , and hugged herself tightly …. “10 saal pehle ki baat hai “, she could feel the cold enveloping her frame, she looked at the octogenarian, who seemed to be in ease with changes in the weather…. She rubbed her hands together and cupped her face in them…He sat patiently, and waited for her to continue…
“Nitin aur main, hum dono , ek doosre se behad pyaar karte the… meri zindagi ki har pal, usse shuru aur khatam hoti thi, baavli si thi main.. uske liye….lekin usne “ she emphasized dramatically….forcing tears down her eyes “Usne mujhe Priyanka ke liye chod diya … ghar basa liya!!!.... ek baar bhi palat ke nahi dekha … aur main yaha intezaar karti reh gayi”
“Aapke gharwaalon ne aapko nahi dhoonda beta?” he enquired…
“err … ji .. dhoondte dhoondte , woh yaha aa gaye …. And then they found me here …” she sobbed hysterically..
“oh, am glad they did find you here , dear”.
She looked back at him to see him smiling down at her; she sobbed and cupped her face in her hands …. to stop herself from laughing …
“They found me uncle, oh yes they did, lekin .. they found me hanging by this very tree ….” She let the effect of her words drown on him …
“oh, phir… “, he stammered …”tum yaha …”
“Meri aatma ko shanti nahi mila hai uncle” , she said and looked at him …..
He stared at her, mouth agape , and suddenly held his hand over his chest , he made a small gurgling sound, as though he had a cardiac arrest….
“Oh shit, uncle I was just joking, this is a prank, woh dekhiya waha, mera dost hai.. oh God, RAYAN ….come here … fast….”
She held on to the wrinkled hands, and steadied his drooping frame over to the bench …. He inhaled deeply, “I’m fine , beta, but you … you scared me….mujhe laga ki … I seriously thought you were … that you are .. you know.. a Ghost….”
“I’m sorry , Uncle, it was all a part of the prank ….My friend is there …i'll go get him, I hope you are not angry on me na??”
“Na beta, it was a fun thing.. i'Il wait here for your friend…”
She ran towards Rayan … of course he had seen the entire scene unfold in front of him, she thought … she was excited and ran towards him …
Rayan …. She screamed , come here, I want you to meet uncle …..
He walked out towards her , “great job girl … you were brilliant, you scared the living daylights out of him, and don’t you want to see the video?”
“yessss”… she screamed, and snatched the camera from his hands……
“Rayan … “ she gasped …..
She sat on the old park bench….. and nodded in Rayan’s direction.. He smiled back reassuringly..and went back to check on the camera …
He looked up in her direction and saw an old man walking towards her … he adjusted his camera , but couldn’t capture him… he didn’t understand why, he turned the camera to her direction, it caught her movements and image, but not the old man…. He looked up again, and he saw the old man moving close to her…. He wanted to run towards her and warn her, when he felt an arm on his shoulders.. He looked to see an old wrinkled hand on his shoulders, he turned, and was met by a steely cold stare…
He let out an audible gasp… it was the same old man who was “now” sitting and talking with Gianna. He felt the blood drain from his body , he knew it was the last time his heart would beat again , he looked towards Gianna…. The old man managed a laugh which turned out into a cough….
The old man smiled, “told you, I’ll wait here for your friend”
P:S - Dedicated to a Fantastic Blogger and a good friend ... Sri, this one is for you