She woke up with a surprise. Yes… She was finally turning 20. It was a much awaited day, as she had been waiting for this very day from the time she left school.
School didn’t teach her much, as she was never the person she wanted to be. She was just a puppet at the hands of her parents. But college changed her. And she began to love her life like anything.
She was elegant and fierce like the fire, active and carefree like the wind, yet graceful and adjusting like water. She was the earth to althose people who planted their troubles and confined their insecurities to her heart.
She was a soul so pure, yet her life was covered with dirt at times, only to be washed away by her faith and hope on life.
This is her story. A phase of her life. How she overcame the difficulties and became the queen, building her kingdom and reigning the hearts of her loved ones…
ELIXIR – the story of a thirsty soul; thirsty for love, peace and happiness.
So, the birthday morning.
The clock said 6 am. Everyone waited for her to wake up and come out, to wish her. Her phone had many messages and calls, some attended, some left by her sleep to be attended later.
Her mom called her , “Anju.. wake up. You need to wake up early atleast today. Guests would be here anytime soon. Your dad has planned a big party. Hope the guests would like it and know that we too could throw cool parties like them. Get up, you lazy girl. Get ready. Don’t irritate me today.” Since there was no reply, she opened the door with a tumbler of water to throw on her daughter’s face, only to find the window open and her Anju missing. And she read a note that was left for her , on the bed. “Ma, I love you for gifting me this day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MA, NOT ME. FOR WHEN I WAS BORN, A MOTHER WAS BORN IN YOU. ” And poor lady, astonished at her daughter’s disappearance, was fuming with anger but with a smile. For she knew her daughter had changed. But why today? Why can’t she be normal?
Anju had been waiting for this day. How could she make it ordinary? Hence, with her backpack set and mind excited, she left in search of a paradise. She left the home, reached the railway station, had a coffee from the stall and sat on the seat allotted to her.
Name : Anjali S
Age : 20
She was happy to see the age she desired the most, on her favourite piece of paper.
She was about to uninstall Whatsapp, but then, she saw a message. And that made her surprised and shocked at the same time.
“Hey. Hope it’s your birthday today, as far as I could remember. If yes, happy birthday. I want to speak to you soon. It’s something important.
But wait, you remember me right?”
Her hands started trembling. Fingers couldn’t type anymore as she couldn’t gain control over her body, which was shaking because of the heavy heartbeats that Anju was having. She was confused as if what to do. She suddenly had a flashback in the brain. The story which took place in her school. The story between two souls, of a 15 year old Anjali and a 20 year old Vivek. Yes. It was a message from Vivek, her crush, her love, her idol, or whatever the world could call him. But for Anju, Vivek was something that made her explore life, his words made her think and change, his smile was her medicine to all her pains, his reassuring pat on her shoulder was everything that Anju would need to cover miles and achieve things.
An attraction to her senior, who wrote well, was kind to everyone and always was pleasant, peaceful; that was Vivek. He was like Anju, exactly. They had similar likes, similar traits and similar thoughts and ideologies. It was no wonder that they bound well, thanks to the school that had college for the graduation course too. After all, Vivek was Anju’s inspiration to write and pursue the course in literature, despite the oppositions from her family regarding her career. It was for the first time Anju decided something on her own, and not her family. And yeah, Vivek was the sole reason. Vivek was the passive, invisible force behind that decision. He just inspired her and just few words from him made huge difference in her soul.
Anju walked in to love with Vivek. But, before expressing, she came to know that Vivek was not ready to accept as he loved Sandhya, his childhood friend. This didn’t break Anju much, but the grief did change her for good. As Anju was defined, she was that fire and wind, yet like water, adjusted to her new situations and went on to be optimistic. She achieved academically and also as a writer, only because she had Vivek’s words in her mind, his memories in her head and his soul as her force always, but yes, not physically. Vivek, who learnt that Anju considered him to be more than a friend, left her, conveying his disapproval.
A tear fell from her perfectly kajal lined eyes, the tear of joy and grief together. Anju was confused, and had millions of questions in her mind. What happened? Why suddenly now, after five long years? Where was he althese years? is he fine? She sat over there, on that train berth, like a statue. Now that she got a birthday wish, she thought to reply him first and continue the conversation. For the first time she had received the biggest gift on her birthday, Vivek’s message.
“Hi… How are you? I do remember you. Thank you so much for the wish. Its a surprise that you remember me and my birthday. How is life?” she typed. She was about to press the send button, but then, a sweet voice of a girl called her from behind.
“Excuse me, I guess this is my seat. Could I see your ticket please?”
But Anju was in Vivek’s thoughts. She was thinking about him, the way he changed her life and was anxious about the future happenings too.
“Hello!!”. The pat became harder.
“Oh! I’m sorry. Yeah ma’am, tell me. How can I help you?” Anju found the face similar.
“See. Sandhya. Seat no. 20. It’s my seat.”
Anju was shocked. Sandhya. What was the wonder created now. Vivek’s message then, and Vivek’s lover now. What’s happening! She controlled her shock and maintained her posture. She called the TC and got the confusion solved soon.
“I just can’t believe this stupid railways. How could they create such confusions!” Sandhya yelled as she arranged her bags on the seat.
“It might just be a small mistake in the system, since we booked it online. Normally such errors never happen. They’re very rare. If at all they happen, they’re sorted soon” Anju replied with a smile.
“Whatever! By the way, you’re from Bangalore? Where are you heading to? I’m going to Kolkata.” Sandhya was good at initiating conversations.
“Yes. I’ve the same plans too. Actually I’ve seen you. You were my senior. St. Mary’s! Batch of 2013. You were the topper. I remember” said Anju with excitement in her eyes.
“What? Oh no. What a strange coincidence! I never knew you though. So, Anjali right? What do you do? Graduation from the same old hell?” Sandhya laughed.
“Yes. Convocation takes place next month. But I’ve been selected for an internship programme, with City Beats, the magazine. I need to join in a month. Before that, I need to roam in the city I’ll be going to live for the next one year. Hence, thought about this trip to Kolkata. And yeah, Kolkata has always been my favourite” Anju said with a pleasant smile.
“Okay. Congratulations. You sound similar. It’s strange. Do you know my batchmate Vivek? Vivek Shenoy?” Sandhya asked with a grin.
Anjali was nervous. What if Sandhya knows their past completely? What if she lies and Sandhya humiliates her?
“Yes. I know him. I know him well, actually. We were very good friends. And he was the one who helped me prepare for the tests and get the selection for internship. He was the one who made me write everything and taught me the ways of being a better writer. Actually, my journey till now, in the path of being a writer, is totally built by him. I am his devotee, kind of !” Anju said with a child like glee.
“Ahh.. I see. And you fell in love. But, be refused you as I was already present in his life. And later, you cut the contact. Or did he do that? No wonder. I expect such things from him. I know him from past ten years. I regret spending my precious time with such a douchebag. A selfish, egoistic, hypocrite that he’d even…” Sandhya was totally angry.
“Please stop. He might be like that for you. I don’t know what has happened between you people. But for me, he’s everything. I love him more than myself. I adore him. I worship him. So please, don’t say such things about him, atleast to me. Im sorry for whatever might have happened between you, but, I don’t want to know more” Anju was about to break into tears, before Sandhya asked her to cool down and gave her a hug.
Sandhya was a bold, fearless girl. She was talented, equally talented like Vivek. Being his childhood friend, she was the one who knew Vivek the most. Yet, things didn’t work well for them when they chose to be in a relationship. Sandhya tried a lot, yet couldn’t keep it. She would always regret the ten years they spent together.
As she hugged Anju, Sandhya descended through the steps that led her into her past. Vivek was a good guy, her best friend. Yet… he wasn’t the one for her. She closed her eyes and immersed in his thoughts.