Till death do us part – Final Chapter

– Chapter 1 –

– Chapter 2 –

– Chapter 3 –

– Chapter 4 –

 Chapter 5 –

How the mind perceives events during its nascent self ends up in shaping the way it acts/reacts to situations and the decision it makes. The course in which the river of life flows could be determined by a single action or that once decision. This is essentially what is described by The Butterfly Effect, which is a part of Chaos Theory.  Chaos – yes chaos.

December 6 1992:

Ameen’s mind, when young, unfortunately was fated to witness the cruel repercussions of heinous acts, of one selfish group of tortured souls, wreak havoc in his life. Someone’s act originating from a sole intent of spreading chaos took its wings and flew right into his tranquil life and brutally pecked away almost all traces of happiness.

When he rushed back home, he found out all that would be remaining is his life, besides the other sole survivor, were the memories and lessons that he learnt from his father. He had to find within himself the resolve to stick to the path of love and respect, that his father had pointed him towards, and not deviate from it.

February 14, 1998:

When Ashika’s friends had rushed to his doorstep with the news that she was caught in the midst of a clash that had erupted, it was déjà vu. It was at that moment Ameen had chosen to take a detour in the path paved for him, by his father. He didn’t want to lose her and vowed to himself that only people who love and respect others deserved to be reciprocated and the ones who didn’t had to be taught a lesson by being given a dose of their own medicine.

With this new found fury, he raced to the scene. Unaware to himself, the rage had given him a tunnel vision. He reached there with the sole intent of hatred and disrespect and didn’t think twice before striking Amar, who was there trying to save Ashika.

Ashika crying out “AMEEN” should have brought him to the right senses the first time around. But sadly it didn’t. Now there was blood in his hands. Blood that he wanted to wash away, but it refused to go. Everything had happened so quickly. Amar, on the first occasion had taken a blow from him.  And then he had taken a blow for him.

When the blow was from him, Ameen was able to make amends and bring back Amar. But when the blow was taken for him, there was nothing he could do. It was fatal. Fate intervened yet again, with a message that hatred begets more hatred and easily destroys love. Death had done Amar and Ashika part.

Ameen had a lot of questions that needed answering, but no one would be doing it for him. Ashika never spoke to him again. She had decided to seek solace by distancing herself from him. She accepted her onsite assignment and flew far away. Whenever he mustered the courage to contact her, she never responded. After a while he gave up.

Ameen always believed in his heart that Amar would have been the ideal one for Ashika and wanted them to get married. He was furious because neither of them, he thought, trusted him enough. His plan was to tell them on that ill-fated afternoon. But destiny had other plans. His buttery effect moment, the decision to deal hatred with hatred on that Feb 14, actually had its roots in the events of that Dec 6. Chaos was the loss of Amar.

Now Ameen knew that only true love can overcome hatred. He was again left with memories and little bit of hope. Memories of what hatred had taken away from his life – first his father, then his dearest friend Amar. Hope for a miracle to bring some sunshine into his life.

Slowly, and steadily, the city of Coimbatore was recovering from Valentine day’s disaster of 1998. Ameen just wished that Ashika would somehow find it in her heart to forgive him, her brother…

 —— Life goes on with hope —–

Till death do us part – Chapter 5

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Silence, strangely, can be deafening at times. The car was on its way back from the railway junction and there was a turbulent quietude as the occupants were lost in thoughts of their own.

Is it too late? I should tell him at least now” This was Amar.

So much for my surprise! Is something wrong between these two?” That was Ashika.

How long are they going to be hush hush about it?” And this was Ameen.

The uneasy calm was not just inside the vehicle. The street which they had entered into seemed to have contracted it too. Amar, feeling more uneasy by the minute, decided to break the silence and turned on the music. The song that started playing, by all means, was not the ideal one for that moment.

Why do they even come up with stuff like this?” Ashika spoke first. That was a song she didn’t like.

Oh, well…” is all Amar could up with, in reply.

Ameen kept mum. Not that he didn’t care to respond, he loved music. In fact, he considered music as his religion and its practitioners as divine. He wasn’t paying full attention, distracted by the deserted street’s eerie stillness. His focus intent on the road, like he was driving through the peak hour Coimbatore traffic – which had started to assume Chennai like proportions.

Something doesn’t feel right. You guys OK?” Ashika quizzed.

Everything is cool, I guess” Amar spat out, after giving up on his wait for Ameen to say something.

Nothing is as it seems” said Ashika. These words actually echoed what was in the minds of all of them.

That’s right. Quiet you two, NOW!” Ameen uttered his first words, in a while, as he turned off the music. Amar and Ashika were taken aback. Ameen noticed what looked like an act of violence. Having had his own trysts with such dastardly acts and his distaste for them, he snapped.

Both of you stay right in here” he roared as he pulled over the car very close to the compound wall on the side of the road. He stepped out and locked it.

Barely few feet away a group of three, seemingly of the faith which Ameen belonged to, was attacking one man, lying lifeless on the ground. They were shouting slogans. There was no one around. Ameen’s dormant rage was rekindled. This was something he despised and had zero tolerance for.

He looked around for any kind of weapon and found a fairly big rock. He lifted it up and threw it towards them. It hit squarely on the knee of one assailant, who groaned and fell to the ground. The other two stopped attacking their victim and turned towards Ameen, their eyes filled with fury.

I do not like people who embrace violence and spread hatred. I can and will do my best to fight them” Ameen challenged them.

The evil souls started advancing towards him; they had cricket bats as weapon. Ameen did not even flinch He was ready to take them on; he would rather give up his life fighting against hate. One of them came running and swung the willow at him. Ameen sidestepped and kicked hard at his lower abdomen. The guy cowered, dropped the bat and fell along with it.

The other guy, meanwhile, had sneaked behind Ameen and struck the back of his neck with his piece of wood. Intense pain coursed through Ameen, but he stood steady. He swiveled around, just in time to block another attack. He yanked the bat off him, gave a firm blow with it across his face and sent him crashing down.

Ameen threw the bat at the downed opponent, unlocked the car and started making his way back. Amar, who had reluctantly held himself him back till then, stepped out and rushed towards Ameen, who was staggering with that hit he had taken. He caught up with him and tried to steady him. That is when he noticed one of the assailants, back on his feet, running towards them with the willow in his hand. Ashika noticed this too. Not Ameen, though.

“AMEEN!” there was a shrill cry.

—— End of Chapter 5 —–

Till death do us part – Chapter 4

Chapter 1 –

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

“Doesn’t it hurt when your friend decides to keep things secret from you, Amar?”  Ameen asked casually, as he steered the car towards the Coimbatore Railway Junction.

Huh?” Amar responded, pretending he did not hear.

“I have one such one unfortunate friend”

“I don’t think I understand what you are saying, Ameen” shot back Amar with a quizzical look, fighting hard to mask his guilt.

There was no reply from Ameen as he hit the sudden break and the car came to screeching halt.

Oops, I almost drove past the red signal” he said, after a few seconds of silence.

Which friend and what secret are you talking about?” Amar shot the question, hoping he sounded indifferent. But Ameen kept silence, as the signal turned green and the car slowly moved forward, gradually shifting towards top gear.

Skip it. You wouldn’t know. You are my most trustworthy one, besides Ashika” Ameen said, as he slammed the brake again. This time because he almost overran the railway junction. He took a sharp right and drove in.

Amar, go on and check if the train has arrived. I will park the car and be right with you

Sure”, said Amar as he got down. Ameen’s words of confidence still seared his heart. There was no hint of sarcasm in his tone, when he said it.

Does he know? Should I have confided in him? What is going on in his mind? All of this and more such questions were rummaging through Amar’s conscience for answers.

Raptisagar express was scheduled to arrive at 7:55 AM and Amar made his way to the platform where it was slated to arrive. He checked the clock it was 7.45 AM. He leaned against the wall, lost deep in thought, as he waited for Ameen and the train to arrive.

February 14, 1998:

Curiosity often wins over common sense. And it did, despite the fear that had engulfed Amar. He broke from his trance and started advancing (curiosity), instead of retreating (common sense), towards the direction of explosion. It turned out to be a timber store. Someone had thrown an explosive from a moving vehicle and the thatched roof was set ablaze. There was absolute chaos and panic. People had gathered by large. Amongst them benevolent or brave very quite a few, benevolent and brave were just a handful.

Luckily those handful of people swung into action, inspiring the rest. No lives trapped in the burning structure helped to an extent. Once the fire settled down, all it took was just a spark to ignite the differences between the masses. That is when a more common trait took over – prejudice. Someone thought out loud on which faith would have been responsible for this. That was sufficient to dichotomize the group. There were finger pointing and yelling and very soon a clash erupted.

Unaware of the melee, a gang of pre-teens girls had bicycled their way though that street. This instigated a couple of guys from the mob to turn their attention towards these innocent passers-by. While the swift among the females managed to flee from the scene, a fear-stuck young one stood there, immobilized. Amar was just a spectator from a safe distance, until he saw this.

Gallantry overcame fear and he sprung into action. He neither had a Plan A or Plan B, but ran towards that girl, hoping someone would notice and help them out. He planted himself between the girl and those guys, facing her with his back turned to the two goons. He shot a look of reassurance towards here, as he got ready to turn and face the advancing menace. Before he could do that, he felt a hard fist across the side of his face.

AMEEN” the girl screamed and that was the last thing Amar heard before passing out.

“AMAR” he heard someone calling out. He realized the train had arrived and he turned around to see Ashika standing there, with an expression of pleasant shock. She didn’t expect to see him there and with it went her plans of surprising him.

While Amar, in his confused state, couldn’t think of a response, he heard another familiar voice.

So, are you guys up to something that I shouldn’t know?” It was Ameen

This time, Amar didn’t turn back to see what Ashika’s expression looked like. He only wished that he would pass out right there and hopefully wake up to realize this was just a bad dream.

—— End of Chapter 4 —–

Till death do us part – Chapter 1

The eyelashes tightly held onto each other, refusing to let go, while the eyes struggled to wrench them apart. It was a directive to the eye, from the brain which had sensed a mild pounding. It had gone quite for while and had started again. This time the eye succeeded in breaking up the romantic embrace of the eyelashes.The light of the breaking dawn, which was partly veiled by the haphazardly drawn curtains, managed to scrape through the gap between the two pieces of curtain cloth and hit the eyes.

Amar, squinted instinctively and drew the blanket over his head, cursing under his breath. His already broken sleep was rudely disturbed, this time by the sudden flash of brightness, the appearance of which made no sense to him. As he tossed and turned, he could clearly hear the pounding, which had grew from mild to intense. He realized it was his mobile ringing and groped for it.

HELLO!” he bellowed irritation evident in his voice

Hey buddy”, the voice at the other end responded

Who is this?” Amar shot back, making no effort to identify the voice at other end

Wake up dumbo, it’s me”, the caller shot back.

Running out of patience Amar, sat up from his bed, just about to hurl abuses, when he decided to a look at caller’s identity. The display was flashing the name Ameen, his best friend.

Ameen!!! You have given me a headache man

Get out of bed, you lazy bones. It’s getting late”

“Late for what?”

“You have 15 mins to get ready Amar, unless your face wants to feel the impact of my fists”

With that the call got disconnected. Amar unsure what this was about, dragged himself lazily to the bath, pretty sure he didn’t want his face to meet Ameen’s fists. The memory of their first encounter was still fresh in his mind, and he was very aware how destructive that blow could be.He hurriedly brushed his teeth, and stood under showers. As the jet of icy cold water hit face, his mind drifted back to that day, years ago, when their friendship was forged, amidst chaos, with a fist blow.

February 14, 1998:

It was Valentine’s Day and the unlike the other 364 days of the year, love very much seemed to be in the air. Love-stricken young ones would look forward to this day, more than any other festival on the calendar. Adolescents smitten over someone would eagerly devise plans to open up their hearts. The city of Coimbatore, though not as urbanized as the likes of Chennai or Bangalore, was no exception because Feb 14 was akin to Diwali, Christmas, Eid and every other festival rolled into one and celebrated by the universal followers of the faith called Love.

Amar, in his teens, had no special plans for that day. Fact of the matter is, he was equally attracted to every second girl he came across and it was tough for him to specifically choose the special one. He was merrily walking back home from the neighborhood grocery store, after having picked up a couple of household items for his mom. He glanced around and saw greeting card/gift stores, adorned with varying hues of pink, with hearts of all shapes and sizes hanging everywhere. That brought a smile to his face and he kept marching towards home.

Suddenly, he heard an explosion at a distance. Though he tried to convince himself that it must have been a firecracker going off, Amar noticed his arms were trembling. He wasn’t too sure that fireworks were part of the Valentine’s Day celebration. Nervously he decided to turn back towards to the direction from where the explosion came and saw smoke billowing up into the sky.

No firecracker this”, he realized as he stood transfixed, not able to take a step forward.The voice inside him urged to turn back and run towards his home, which was barely a few blocks away, but his body failed to react.

THUD THUD, he heard a loud bang. It was Ameen banging on his door, breaking Amar out his retrospective journey bringing him back to the present, where he was still standing under the shower.

“MAN! YOU STILL NOT READY YET?” Ameen was shouting from outside his room.

“Give me a minute. Will be out in a flash” Amar replied

“MAKE IT FAST”

“Yeah, in a minute”

Amar turned off the shower, dried himself in a haste, wore his dark blue jean, washed probably a month ago, grabbed a clean White T-shirt from the wardrobe put it on, sprayed liberal doses of perfume, unlatched the door and stepped out.

Come in Ameen

What took you so long? Forgot what day it is?

I know. It’s Saturday

That’s very funny! Stop kidding will you?”

Man, I seriously don’t remember

So it slipped your mind she is coming for holidays today and we have to go and pick her up

Then it stuck Amar. Awww! How could he forget, she was coming back today…Ashika.

If a group of angels had decided come down to earth, there was no doubt in Amar’s mind that there would be fierce competition among them to be incarnated as Ashika.

On Feb 14, 1998, Amar made this vow that he will be friends with Ameen, the same vow he made with Ashika, when she came into his life a few years later – “Till death do us part

 —— End of Chapter 1 —–