In search of water
It was a time when kings hailed and wars prevailed. The blazing rays of sun shot like arrows on a blood spattered dessert. A battle was won by the Nishparans.
Victory echoed in slogans and pride shown bright the army marched back to their camp. Life was celebrated and the dead were forgotten. But one kneeled to pay respect for the broken swords and surrendered shields.
He was Dhruv the Co-commander of the main regime.
It was a night of celebrations with cling sound of glasses and joyous laughter. Songs, Dances would last like day or night were alike.
Dhruv distanced from the celebrations, sat outside and stared at the flag of Nishprans.
A soldier with his sword ,armor and an empty space to the left,Nishprans were heartless it meant. Dhruv felt his heartbeat and sighed.
Zashan the chief commander was in ecstatic mood and granted slaves their wishes. “Gold” wished a few,
“Clothes” the other.
Next was a 23 year old girl who served as a nurse. She was forced to slavery from an young age.
“Freedom” she asked with no hesitation.
In a jest the tent was silenced and eyes were on the commander, eager for his reaction.
He held a grin and broke it with a smile,
“What’s your name” he questioned patting her back. “Lehar” she replied in a firm voice.
Dhruv alarmed by the silence walked in,
Zashan raised his glass, “Lehar gets her freedom!” he declared.
Gossip spread around the tent on the commanders decision.
Foolish girl Dhruv murmured staring at her.
“Are you all right” Zashan hugged his brother Dhruv.
“Never knew you cared” Zashan was a commander and never an elder brother for him.
“I had to do what was necessary” Zashan retreated.
“Kill him” they shouted with rage in their hearts.
Dhruv haunted by the past turned and blinked to snap out of it.
“I was called on duty?” he was in pain but hostile to accept it.
“Very well then,
Next city to invade is Bhupan the land of water”
“But we’ve just won a war, resources are less, army has to be regrouped......”
Zashan raised his hand and continued “Our spy has asked to meet him ,
Cross the camp and travel takes a week, And you need time for yourself so.......”
“When do I leave?” Dhruv interrupted,
“Today and I’ll join you a week later, Take the route through Karah,Deity,...
And keep your identity a secret,
The more battles we win the more enemies we make”
Dhruv gave a nod and reached for the exit, When Zashan interrupted.
“And one more thing”
“You need to be careful out there” Sameer inspected Dhruvs wound,
“Thanks for the help” Dhruv with a cut on his thigh was unconscious on the battle field. Sameer helped him to get back to camp.
“Three days’ rest” Sameer suggested
Dhruv rolled his eyes in Disagreement.
That evening Sameer walked around with his head low. “In deep thought?” Dhruv mocked.
“What is the purpose of our lives?” Sameer questioned. Dhruv was puzzled to hear this. “Purpose” Dhruv clarified.
“Is it to just kill,
Loot cities and work for the king, With no thought,
Don’t you think we need to be in search of something else? Something meaningful?” Sameer was indeed in deep thought.
Dhruv burst out in laughter, irritated Sameer continued his walk.
“Okay sorry....: Dhruv pleaded but he didn’t stop.
Days to come Sameer met people outside the camp and wandered like a nomad. Zashan grew suspicious of him.
Lehar prepared for her journey. “Happy journey” they wished,
“Be safe” she was warned”. A calm and collected person ,dared to ask for freedom was the talk in the camp. She was naive they knew but a fighter they were sure.
She crossed the camp and a man in black vest followed her from the start. Lehar knew her freedom couldn’t come easy and was cautious.
Miles from the camp and footsteps from a village Lehar decided to rest for the night.
The man in black vest was closer, worried she tried to run. But it wasn’t easy, he walked twice her pace.
Lehar turned back and in a jest he was not seen. The wrath of cold had begun and she took shelter under a dried tree.
The next morning she noticed the man lay dead amidst the rising sand. He was dehydrated and the chill night froze him. It was Dhruv she knew, and his vest had dagger, gold and vessel filled with ashes. With the help of passerby’s he was taken to the village.
Dark clouds filled the sky and vultures circled to feast on a prey of dead. Dhruv stood with a dagger bleeding with blood.
A Dream! A Dream! End it End it
He pleaded and woke in a sudden stance.
Lehar gave a glass of water. He pushed it and recognized her face, The slave he noted.
Last thing he remembered was falling into a deep ,deep pit. He took his things put aside and wanted to leave.
“You are not healed” Lehar tried to stop him.
Kill the slave she asks too much Zashan had ordered him at the camp. He put the vessel into his vest and placed the dagger to her neck,
“So he wants to leave” The head nurse interrupted. She let herself in unaware of the situation. Dhruv waited for the nurse to leave.
“Did you give the medicine twice” she gave a dusting to the mattress. “Yes” Lehar’s voice trembled with the dagger pushed and a cut made. “His fever?” she gave a second round of dusting.
“High last night , Normal now” she swolled a gulp of fear and felt her heart race.
It was clear she had helped and for the moment the dagger was retrieved. The head nurse made her way out,
“You need rest son” she warned.
Lehar took in a breather and sat on the ground.
“Why didn’t you kill me?” she asked.
Dhruv cared less to respond, he felt an acute pain and decided to stay put for few days.
The next three days Dhruv stayed back and Lehar helped the head nurse. It was a season of diseases and victims were more in the village.
Lehar with a set of band aids moved in to a tent
“Where are you headed to?” questioned the head nurse inspecting a Patient. “Bhupan” Lehar replied having a peek at Dhruv.
Dhruv was alerted,
“That’s far, when do you plan to leave?”
“In a day or two” The nurse requested Lehar to observe the patient and left.
“Why to Bhupan?” Dhruv sat on his knees, She ignored and continued her work.
“Answer me slave!” he demanded holding her wrist.
She fiddled but couldn’t fight, he was strong after all he was a soldier.
“Why did you kill him, will you answer that,
Or walk with arrogance again?” with sharp eyes she stared right at him.
“Who” he asked but the name he knew.
“The one person you grieve for” Lehar knew Dhruv, he was the co-commander and the slaves gossiped a lot.
“None of your business” he retreated ,his grip was weak.
“You couldn’t save him.
But the least you could’ve denied” ,it was a war of words.
His Locks beyond which pain and grief were trapped began to unfold.
It was impossible to forget because he was human and impossible to grieve because he was Nishpran.
Never grieve for the dead, you are here to do your duty was what he knew. Alas he was trapped.
“Answer me this and I shall answer yours” in a tone of dominance she spoke.
Agitated and in an attempt to make her stop he held her throat. Fear gave him strength and Threatening was his tone of dominance.
“Why did you save me?
So that your good behavior will give mercy on your life” he clenched his teeth and spoke. His words humored Lehar,
“Am a slave yes, but not a coward who begs for mercy,
Just as it is your duty to kill mine is to save” with that, the fight with words was over.
Dhruv couldn’t slit her throat,Why?Why? he wondered. Staring at her blue eyes a realization came soon
He couldn’t kill another who saved his life.
“Traitor” Roared Zashan and kicked Sameer.
“Kill him!” The army shouted with rage in their hearts.
Dhruv was dumbfound, Sameer fumbled and stood on his ground. The frightened look on Dhruvs face demanded answers, and so Sameer spoke.
“Few may wonder what led me to do this?” the crowd assaulted and threw stones at him, yet he continued.
“Wars and wars we rage!
In the name of our king whom we hail to be great! open your eyes
We no longer fight for peace but for greed!” the whole of crowd was silenced by his words.
A stone hit Sameer hard and his cry of agony made Dhruv shiver.
Zashan held Sameer, “We are Nishprans,
No god exists for us except the king, And who cares what we fight for”
“I care” he replied with angst.
“Then you must die” Zashan declared.
He called Dhruv to finish the job. They stood face to face, “Have a good life friend” Sameer wished with a smile.
Dhruv held his sword that killed with no thought, but his heart for a first weighed to do so.
“Kill him” Zashan ordered, “Kill him” the crowd followed.
The sword was pierced and he watched Sameer breathe slow to death. Unshed tears filled a void in him, the pain he felt was boundless to accept.
Dhruv bargained a camel in exchange for gold. He felt dizzy to mount and the pain in his head hadn’t stopped.
“What if I fall weak” he Worried and stared deep at the road,
The sun was unapologetic and dust swayed with the wind. With the shout of the vendors and a busy street the market was crowded. Noise with chaos is what he saw.
Lehar came out, washed blood off her hands. The victim couldn’t be saved , she felt pity for a young life lost. The head nurse thanked for the service and bid goodbye .
Dhruv traced her moments,
Just as it is your duty to kill, mine is to save her words played in his mind. Maybe we both are foolish to take our jobs seriously he smiled
Dhruv was unstable with horrid dreams and weak with grief. He was in need of a friend like Sameer.
What if I fall weak again he looked at the camel...
Maybe she will help a thought lingered.
Lehar walked amidst risen dust and a busy street. It appeared less chaotic.
Again....... with a newfound trust he followed her.
Lehar was frightened by Dhruv. He trailed like a shadow and let her lead the way. None bothered for a conversation and continued their journey in silence.
The city of Karah was reached. A war struck land in ruins with no laws became a boon to thugs. The rich emptied their houses, the poor stayed with no choice. Food and water was
deprived, survival in whole was tuff. Dhruv was cautious since it was a city they had waged war on.
People with ragged clothes strolled the streets. And with suspicious eyes stared at Dhruv and Lehar.
Dhruv clashed with a drunkard, his dagger with sack of gold fell from his vest. Afraid the symbol on his dagger had caught attention, he moved fast.
Soon a gang of people followed ready to pounce on Dhruv.
He ran and bypassed Lehar, into an empty wooden store. Lehar unaware of the situation was frightened to see people charge at her. Dhruv wanted her to get in, but she hesitated. The thugs were close, left with no choice she ran in.
Thud!!! people crashed on the door.
Dhruv locked the door in time.
They stayed in for an hour and the noise from outside hadn’t stopped.
Irritated Dhruv held his dagger and opened the lock, “What are you doing?” Lehar stopped him,
“I can finish them”
“Threatening and Killing won’t work always” she locked the door. “Do tell me how to get out” his rage had peaked.
Lehar wondered what they were after. To Dhruv it was because he was Nishpran but she was not convinced. People who were deprived of a living wouldn’t care for a Nishpran.
Another bang was heard, they were breaking the door.
She noticed the bag of gold with Dhruv and her sack of dates. She tied them and threw it out of a window pane.
“And this will work” he asked sarcastically. Lehar had a stare which meant he had to shut up.
The breaking had stopped and Dhruv checked for their presence. It was clear.
The gang sat across the street distributing gold and food. A small kid fiddled between them to get a few dates,
“Good choice” one of them shouted showing the bag of dates.
“The world needs more food for the hungry, not wars” Lehar held an apple and called for the kid. To Dhruv a soldier who was aware of death never understood content. And that smile on kids face overwhelmed him.
A fight had begun for the sack of gold, a strong man pushed an aged person to the ground.
“The greedy are strong....” Dhruv spoke spectating the fight. The old man was punched hard.
“The weak need to defend themselves” The old man hit his opponent on his @#@# .The crowd hailed in his favor and he ran fast with his share of gold.
“Maybe that’s why wars exist” Dhruv spoke and walked front.
The setting rays of sun through the worn out buildings showcased the effects of war. An entire city was deserted in a matter of days. Sameer words made sense to Dhruv battles were raged for greed.
This is what I fight for he felt ashamed.
Lehar a naive nurse who trusted in good of people had seen an ugly fight for gold.
Morales do not exist with gold the thought disgusted her.
Lehar had no strength for another step. Her appetite made the sand look edible. Dhruv , placed dates with an apple for her. Lehar wanted to dive in but worried if they were poisoned.
Dhruv sat beside and had a few dates. It bought a smile on Lehar’s face,
That was understood soon she thought and had her mouthful.
He tried to kill me she recalled. Dhruv was arrogant to Lehar but had saved her at Karah and now this. She was confused what his intentions were.
Dhruv turned to check on her.
He does care she was convinced and gave a nod asking him to lead the way.
The sun had set and the chill breeze reminded her of the dangers ahead. The new found trust on him assured her a safe journey.
Deity was the land of gods with temples and harmonic chants heard aloud. Flowers and Diya’s sold in abundance, holy was the spirit of the city. Lehar was awestruck with the huge statues of gods and white marble buildings.
To Dhruv religion and traditions were a means of control, temples a waste of space.
It was a festive day in Deity, a Chariot the Maharath was pulled by a hundred people and elephants. Dhruv and Lehar witnessed the procession with the ecstatic crowd.
“Do you believe in god” Dhruv questioned at an enthusiastic Lehar. “No I believe in faith” her reply puzzled Dhruv.
The chariot moved by afternoon and the street was clear.
A fragile sound of water was heard in a distance. The kid in Dhruv was set free with the thought of water. An excited Dhruv followed it ,his complete life until now was spent on dessert and never had he seen a river.
He pushed his way out of the crowd and there was river Svahi.Its blue spread wide and its water danced with the sparkling sun. He held his hand against the current and closed his eyes. Never had he seen water flow so swift and free.
Lehar ran ,scared he may go out of sight. She found him sit by the banks with his legs immersed. He looked peaceful. From arrogant to caring and peaceful Lehar had seen all sides of him.
“I believe in faith that gives hope,
Hope for a better life ” she pointed at a temple that fed the poor.
He had seen a hungry world at Kaha and here in the name of religion they were fed.
Maybe religion is not so bad he wondered.
“Faith that blinds us” Dhruv pointed at an astrologer who sat under a tree and gold being looted from a temple.
How low can people go,
Is gold all that powerful to drag people to deist and cheating.
Lehar bought the vessel of ashes to Dhruv. They were Sameer’s,
“Trust me it helps a man in suffering” she pursued him to do the ritual. “A ritual so that the soul lies in rest, there is no point ” he argued.
“Do it and you’ll know” she pursued more.
The priest chanted a few verses,Dhruvs emotions were evoked. The ashes were set free with his trapped grief .Uncontrolled tears made him weak and he kneeled in pain,
“Forgive me !” he begged with his head low. He sobbed as memories played back in his mind.
Killing can no longer be my Purpose, he lifted his head to the setting sun. What am I in search for? Was the question he was left after the ritual.
Dhruv paid the priest and walked to Lehar.
“The point is for the living to continue with their lives
knowing the dead are at peace” Lehar spoke to Dhruv ,his face was pale with unwiped tears. “Calm down” she convinced him and clenched her palm onto his shivering hand.
“Why did you save me?” he asked in a low voice.
“Because I saw a man carry burden in those ashes” she wiped his tears.
Foolish girl was his first impression on her. She was foolish to help a person who wanted her dead. Her eyes were blue, blue the color of water. He looked at the river and then at her.
OH! He wished had he seen water early in his life.
He hugged her, no words were spoken .She hugged him back awkwardly.
The crescent moon with clouds was a perfect setting for a night .It was bumpy on the horse cart and sleep was deprived.
An enthusiastic kid had questions of questions for his mother. “Why does the moon follow us?” she wondered,
“Maybe it likes you” the mother laid the kids head on her lap and brushed her hair, “No what’s the actual reason?” her mother’s cover was blown.
“Why can’t cart be called sand, and sand be called cart?” she asked another, “Why do stars twinkle” and another,
“Why can’t we see the wind?” and it never stopped. Dhruv smiled at the her innocence,
Where does the wonderment go with age? he wondered.
Lehar sat by the corner and observed the kid,
Am I naive as the kid? she worried.
The wrath of sun was replaced by a chill breeze and three year old Dhruv in blankets, stood star gazing.
Empty spaces were a mystery and sky looked so free, a paradise of dreams he named it. He lifts his hand high and wished for once to touch the sky.
There was another bump and Dhruv was bought back to the present. A cherished memory long forgotten gave a smile. He looks at the sky and wished to be a kid again.
Three year old Lehar stood by the wall with innocent eyes and pleaded her mother. “play with me” she requested,
“no” her mother rejected busy with the kitchen.
She sat out when a dog howled in pain with its broken leg. Lehar bought it in.
“Mother” she called and got no response. “Mother help” she cried and her mother came out.
Lehar and her mother took care of the dog . It was the first time Lehar acted as a nurse. The dog in the end became her lovable pet.
Young Dhruv had wandered again ,his father Balveer searched for him.He caught him hiding behind a tent,
“Come on will you” he demanded,
“But I don’t want to watch it” he pleaded and his father pulled him out.
It was the annual fair and a day of joy for everyone. A ritual practiced by the Nishprans was to sacrifice an young calf. Dhruv was scared to witness it.His brother Zashan had no hesitation and they stood ahead of the crowd.
Its head was placed on a wooden bench and the king lifts his sword.Balveer,Zashan with the crowd ,hail in excitement. Scared Dhruv tried to go back ,yet was pulled front.
The head of the calf was cut in a single blow and the blood spattered.
For years to come Dhruv hesitated less and his wonderment lost its way with adulthood.
Lehar played with the dog when a group of angry men charged at her house. They demanded her father to come out. Her mother took scared Lehar into a room and her father hid inside the kitchen. The door was broken and he was pulled to the streets.
“Where have you sold them” they questioned holding his collar.
“They are beating him up” Lehar exclaimed, her mother closed the windows “He deserves it” she murmured and looked at Lehar.
“Close your eyes and ears” tears rolled down and her voice trembled.
Days to come she was thought to ignore the bad, the naiveness of a kid never lost its way. Bhupan was Lehars homeland.
The city of Bhupan they reached. Surrounded by sea and lakes amidst, the land of water they called.
Lehar with few landmarks recalled, walked in search of her house. She made her way through the fish market and to her house. It was by the docks.
A smile expressed her unbound happiness. She gave a knock and none answered. “It’s locked” Dhruv noticed.
She looked to enquire when a girl peeked from the window.
“Is it my sister” Shanti was her name and she had grown tall and unrecognizable. Lehar smiled but she stood in silence.
“Do you have the key?” Lehar got no answer.
“Let’s just break it” he joked and Lehar was in no mood to laugh. They waited for another three hours but was of no use.
“I have to go ” Dhruv had to meet the spy. He was informed, the spy would wait by the abandoned ships for two weeks.
“Dhruv.....” she called,
“I won’t leave....” he assured and left.
A calm evening had unfolded and the market was busy.
The environment was nostalgic and her childhood memories played in her mind.
A red dress she wore and wandered streets with the dog. She played with waves that came by, and built castles on the shore. An imaginary world she built where sweets were in abundance and grief never saw its way. She grew up to think that imaginary world was the truth.
Lehar smiled at her innocence yet she never lost her trust with it..
She was unaware how she ended with the Nishprans.The last thing she remembered was falling asleep. When she woke up, her hands were chained and was in a cart filled with children of her age. She was eighteen.
Shanti knocked on the window and dropped a key. It seemed Shanti searched for it the whole afternoon and the house was a mess.
“You know I am your sister right” Lehar spoke awkwardly inspecting the house. Shanti responded with a smile and showed an old doll of Lehar,
“Yeah this was mine” she exclaimed.
Shanti stayed with her grandmother through her childhood.
“Where are mother and father?” Lehar questioned.Shantis face turned pale. It scared Lehar,
“Mother is no more, Father......” she paused “Father has gone out” she continued.
Lehar was in shock ,her mother’s health was never in a good shape. But she had never thought of this. Not even once it crossed her mind.
Lehar gave back the doll to Shanti and noticed rashes on her hand. Someone had held her by force. “Come here” she called and noticed scars and rashes all over.
“Who did this?” Lehar asked in shock. Shanti was in tears, scared to name the person she moved into the kitchen.
It took the whole night of persuasion and consoling from Lehar to get answers. And her answers shocked Lehar.
The place was dense with wrecked boats, scattered wooden pieces and no room for light. A perfect spot for a secret meeting. From the dark a man walked towards him,
It was Zashan,
“You are late” Zashan spoke and Dhruv walked in.
“Long story, where is the spy?” He stood at the entrance and searched. “I’ve met him”
“I am too late” Dhruv cursed himself.
“The slave is alive I see” Zashan spoke unhappy. “How do you know” Dhruv asked out of suspicion. “My men saw you and the slave at Deity,
Pity time was wasted in doing a ritual, For that traitor of a smug hole Sameer” “Don’t” Dhruv warned.
“Why not, we did not spit on him.
That would have been a better insult” Zashan wanted to agitate Dhruv. He was worried that he had slipped into the right and wrong of life.
In a moment of anger Dhruv charged to Zashan with a sword.
“So still stuck up on Sameer are we?” Zashan unarmed and his hands tucked back walked to Dhruv, calm he was.
“Don’t you understand it’s a regret ill hold forever, You could’ve called others to kill, but no,
No less than a sadist you are” the pointed sword held firm showed Dhruvs rage, rage of a Nishpran .
“Do you want to avenge his death and kill me?” Zashan wanted the sword pierced and proved Dhruv hadn’t slipped into morality.
The grip on sword was weakened and rage of Dhruv had vanished. “His death made me count the number of people I killed,
I grieved, that grief taught me the value of life.
We need a life with purpose .No longer can mine be to kill” he dropped the sword.
“So what you’ll do now,
Stay with the slave be a fisherman and sell fish” Zashan lost his cool. Dhruv appealed by his brothers mocking words spoke
“Don’t be surprised if I do”
Zashan picked the sword and swung it to Dhruv
“You better decide to run or waste your time in killing me” Dhruv moved back and missed the blow,
“I’ve tipped the army a few Nishprans are strolling here, they may arrive......”
The sound of horses were heard, city guards approached them at a racing pace.
“What if I’ve tipped the spy to kill the slave” Zashan warned Dhruv and kept his sight on the city guards.
“You were never my brother” Dhruv pushed him to the ground and mounted Zashans horse.
Zashan held his sword ready to fight .He watched Dhruv run into the cold night to save a slave. That’s his purpose Zashan got up and priced the sword into a city guard.
The morning sun had risen ,Lehar held her sister close .She was in shock and tried to gather her thoughts. Suddenly everything was clear to her.
Footsteps were heard, Lehar went to check who, It was her father,
“Why are the doors open” he shouted .With a torn dress and shabby hair he looked like an alcoholic.
“Who are you?” he demanded to know. At the same time Dhruv got down from his horse and ran to the house.
Lehar was glad to see Dhruv ,
“Close the doors and windows, stay in until I tell you so” he warned and locked the windows. “What is happening?” Lehar stopped Dhruv.
“Have to keep you safe, I’ll be out to see anyone suspicious” he went out. Lehar couldn’t stop Dhruv and her father observed their movements. He held onto a knife in his pocket.
“Why did you rape her” Lehar shot the question to him. “What?” her father asked .Dhruv locked the door from outside.
“Do you even remember me?” she asked and yet he failed to recognize her. Dhruv stood by the door and glanced the streets with caution.
The horse of Zashan outside Lehar’s house lead a Nishpran to Dhruv.
“Where is my daughter” her father looked around. Lehar went to the room,
“Close your eyes and ears if any loud noises are heard” she warned Shanti and locked the door. Her father laughed
“She speaks lies and you trust her, why would I do that”
The Nishpran ran to Dhruv with a clenched fist. Dhruv bent and punched ribs.
In pain the Nishpran held his ribs .Dhruv charged to give a final blow. But he was swept off his feet and fell on the ground.
“Maybe not, in the beginning but it hit me, You sold children to other states,
Mother couldn’t take it and exposed you” a tear rolled down her cheek,
“So you killed her and sold me didn’t you” her voice was angst. Tears filled her eyes with grief of her mother’s plight.
The father let out a wicked smile,
“That was easy to figure out” he spoke like pure evil.
“And to clear your doubt I kept the younger one......” he pulled his knife out, “For needs...” a man blinded by lust is what her father was.
With uncontrollable anger she slapped him. He put out his knife to stab but missed leaving a scratch on her.
The Nishpran held Dhruvs neck and pressed it ,Dhruv struggled to breathe.
“Dhruv should’ve killed you” her father gave a second blow but Lehar ran in the opposite direction. “And if you may wonder how I know him,
I was the spy he wanted to meet” Lehar couldn’t escape, her shivering hand laid at the back tried to get hold of something.
“I was given a nice ransom to kill you” he advanced to her, Lehar searched hurriedly,
“For your information the father is the spy.” the Nishpran pressed his neck harder. Dhruv grabbed a stone and hit the Nishpran.
“You were so small when you left” he arched his hand high and Lehar found the black vest. She took the dagger out and pushed it front.
Her father fell unconcious,Dhruv stood puffing air and Lehar held the dagger with closed eyes. Dhruv wiped her tears and held her face in tender. Lehar saw her father lay unconscious and blood stains on Dhruvs hand. Panicked she hugged him with a loud cry.
They opened Shanti’s room who sat in a corner. Her eyes and ears were closed.Lehars father was prisoned for rape.
“She was raped Dhruv, by her father” waves simmered her feet. It was calm with fragile noises from the sea.
The evening ended with the full moon shone bright and darkness spread unbound. A single star was seen, the north pole it was called.
“Gold makes us forget morale’s, We are fooled in the name of faith, I thought those were worst
But lust, lust is so strong,
It makes us forget the value of the bonds we hold” roared the sea with sound of waves.
“How can I help her?
How can I tell the world is a better place?” Dhruv in silence listened to her agony. He couldn’t judge right, wrong for he had wronged many.
“I don’t know Lehar” he wished to hold her tight and let her cry but will she agree he worried.
“I was promised a boat ride” he pushed the boat into the sea. Lehar wiped her tears and showed no interest.
He pursued and they roared amidst the strong waves, “The world is corrupt, bad,
I was naive to trust otherwise” Dhruv still spoke nothing, he had no idea to make her trust otherwise. He struggled to hold the oars with an unsteady boat.
Far from the shore they stopped. The reflection of sky with moon, star and ripples of water in between ,let the kid in Dhruv free. They sailed amidst an unbound sky, that had descended. He touched it once and again until satisfied. In his palms he held the chill water,
What am I in search for? the answer he knew,
Water, In search of water I was, he smiled and looked at Lehar. She was lost he could see.
“Maybe not, the world isn’t so bad” he filled the silence.
“A three year old me once wished to touch the sky, It was so silly it made me laugh,
But today it’s here” he pointed to the reflection, Lehar noticed how euphoric the moment was.
“If that silly wish can be fulfilled, maybe the world isn't so bad” Hope teach her hope” her words he reminded,
“How to when I myself can’t trust it?”
“Look at me, And know that hope changes people” he leaned,
Dhruv had become her comfort, comfort to share herself. She believed he could change when the world was a better place for her.
“The state I am in, I need a reminder more than once”
“I’ll stay” he held her hand.
“Dhruv ,Better find someone......” Her belief was shaken so hard that she doubted if he can ever
“I doubt I want someone else,
To a warrior who fought a hundred battles, In a dessert his whole life.
You became my reason for peace,
And the water I was in search for ” he held her hand and pleaded for Love. Adamant he was to never let go.
“I don’t know if I can or will......” to her the world had become a dark place. A naive mind had nothing but doubts. That questioned her belief.
“I‘ll wait” he assured.
They reached the shore and walked on the beach. None lead the way and none trailed but together they walked for a first. The breeze was calm and in each other a solace was found
Dhruv cast his net over the glimmering sun and with his might pulled a load of fish. A fisherman he was who woke up for the early tide and sold fish.
Lehar held a dusted black vest and waited for him by the shore. “A nice surprise” greeted Dhruv to Lehar.
“Remember this?” Lehar held the vest and questioned. How could he forget it was his identity as a Nishpran.
“Can you believe it’s been eight years?” he sat beside her and watched the rays of sun spread in the sky.
“Four years since our marriage” Lehar reminded. She pulled out the dagger and gave it to him, “You know there was a time it when this was in your hand forever” Dhruv took the dagger out from its shell, it was rusted.
“Old times” he was reminded of Sameer.
“How is your brother any news?”
“Maybe dead or alive,
If so he’ll be still bowing to the king and fighting wars, He would be the same” he pushed the dagger in its shell.
“Don’t need a reminder of those ” he threw the dagger into the sea far, far so he can forget.
Shanti came in search of them, her rashes were not seen. Her health was shown in her bright smile. Three of them sat by the shore and were lost in the beauty of sea.
Dhruv placed his hand around Lehar and she her head on his shoulder. Peace was his at last.
Author Notes: Dhruv,Lehar,Zashan,Shanti,Bhupan,Nishpran-indian names and places