‘Gandhinagar’ this was what I said to the bus conductor who came to me asking for the fare.

He said, ‘u have boarded the wrong bus. Get down go back from where you boarded and take the bus that comes from the right direction’.

A wrong bus? How could I do this? I take the same route every day.

I got down from the bus. And I had no clue where my mental presence was. I was only physically standing on the road side. I still can’t recall, where I was mentally.

I could only realize my presence when I was about to meet with an accident. A car was coming and the driver was continuously blowing the horn, but I was stoned. I have no clue how God saved me that day. It must have been hard for God as well.

Yes! That car driver scolded me like anything. But I was least bothered about that. I was all lost. Trauma, pain, agony had all engulfed me. I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t feel anything. My eyes were dry. It was hard for them to blink. My heart was heavy. It was hard for it to beat. My nostrils cringed. It was hard for me to breathe. My limbs were jammed. It was hard for them to walk.

I was standing on the bus stand. I don’t know how I noticed that man staring at me. May be, the universe wanted me to see that. I ignored. Again, universe made me notice that. It happened like many times. But I was least bothered. I was already lost. After all, how can a lost thing care about anything?

A bus passed by my side and I was all filled with the mud. And that was the moment I realized I was all drenched in rain. I didn’t know since when it was raining.

Soon I boarded another bus. I sat to the window seat. Again lost.

Somebody came and sat next to me. And I had no clue when that did happen till the time bus conductor asked for the fare. Still I couldn’t realize somebody’s presence. It was only me on the earth at that point of time.

‘You lost your mother’!!! A sound came from somewhere. My heart choked.

The sound was of the man sitting next to me. I stared at him in surprise.

My eyes smoked. It was the same man who was staring at me continuously a little while ago. I was dumbstruck.

He again said, ‘ you lost your mother’!!! I took it as a question.

But that was not. It was a statement.

I was all shut. I had no clue what on earth was happening. I was in the hell where I was more comfortable than the earth. But that man ruined my comfort with those words.

He said, ‘ I am from _____’. I seriously have no clue where was he from. Why should I have any clue about that man from nowhere!!! I could only understand that he was somewhere from the middle India.

He said, ‘ you are going to Gandhinagar. I want to visit the famous temple there. I will get down with you. It is near the place where you stay’.

Another shitty statement to shake my brain.

I was silent. How can a stone speak? That too with a crawling heartbeat.

He again spoke, ‘ Your mother had no disease. Somebody killed her. She was under some black magic’. And he started crying.

What the fuck!!!

What has this man spoken? I was like dead hearing that. Yes I was already dead. But at least my dead heart was beating. After hearing all this my brain went cold. All I could feel was the ice storm in my brain and a tsunami in my stomach. And yes, the earthquake off course in my heart.

I was shivering. I was frightened. All in my mind was… How does he know I lost my mother?

I was very sure that man was from nowhere. He was none of my relatives or anybody I could even imagine off. I could find no sort of connection or relationship with him.

How come he know about all that?

I was in shock. Moreover, he was crying. Why would anybody cry for me or my family? That too some man from nowhere!!!

He said many things which I can’t even recall. How can I? Those things were enough to squeeze the blood out of me.

He said,’ don’t worry. Your mom is fine. Even my mom just passed away. She too was a victim of black magic’.

I was least interested in his black magic story.

My loop of thoughts and emotions struck up at “YOUR MOM IS FINE”.

He asked me for a pen and a paper. He asked me to write my number and was about to give me his.

I was confused. I was hell terrified.

He started looking for a pen from other passengers. And that was the time, I got up from my seat and stopped the bus and ran away.

That day…. And this day….

That episode of my life is still a mystery, yet a story…

 OakTeller : Aayushi Banotra