Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Tryst with Fate !!!

First thing which struck me, when I entered the room was a stout green object that was slowly creeping, around the slippery surface inside a glass box. At a closer look my heart rattled. It was a snake, with highly keeled green color scales and yellowish spots. It was in the reptile box right at the edge of the wall. I kept wondering about its presence in that room of the farmhouse at Panvel where Karan brought me to party.

Karan & I were childhood friends, grew together; hence our bad habits of adolescence were very similar. Booze was part of our routine and sometimes Karan managed entry for us to parties, where we had our share of high with opium. If it wasn’t for Karan’s assurance of LSD and Ecstasy available at the party, I would not have been able to pull myself to go, as I was a little ill that day.

We were already a bottle down when we entered and the perfect ambience at the party with dimly-lit candles at each corner of the room added to the zing. A strong scent of amber and trance music playing in loop, made me feel hypnotic. Such was the effect that for a moment, it made me ignore the reptile in the box. Karan was busy on the phone so I started to look around for some company and just then I spotted this lean and tall guy standing comfortably near another glass box and giving me a wily smile. Since I didn’t know him, I thought the smile was for Karan.

I turned around to look for Karan but couldn’t trace him. Unable to see him around, made a call but his phone was not reachable. I felt a sense of paranoia at Karan’s disappearance and by this mysterious guy who continued to shower a smile at me.His pierced eyes made a scary impact and sent my subconscious mind in action.

I wondered if I knew this guy. Seeing a flummoxed look in my face, he came forward and introduced himself as Gautam, the host of the party. I asked if we knew each other. He smiled casually and replied that there are seven look-alikes in these world. I smiled back, unable to find an anything to say. The reptile boxes lay exposed as Gautam moved towards me. A black tailed python and a rattle snake lay in the other boxes. The agility in their sudden movement gave me a feeling as if their wait was over. Curious, I asked Gautam about his weird choice of pets. He told me that they were his friends of silent moments. I felt a sense of panic now and my instincts told me to find Karan immediately and leave the place. But the host offered me a drink which I could not refuse. Realizing that I and Gautam were the only people in the room, I asked him about other guests, to which he politely replied that people are evenly spread out and enjoying their privacy. While chatting with him, I spotted dots on his forehead which looked like marks from an injury. With a little hesitation, I gulped down the drink hoping to feel better. I felt dizzy after some time and I blanked out.

I woke up to a dingy smell in a small empty room. Half asleep, when I looked around, a chill ran down my spine. The python lay at a distance away in the reptile box. I realized that Gautam must have spiked my drink and I now suspected that Karan may be in danger too. As I wondered about the whereabouts of Gautam, he banged the door open. He looked pitifully at me, only his smile had turned into an evil grin.

Gautam: Welcome to Hell. I have been waiting for this day so long.
I asked : Who are you and why are you doing this to me?
Gautam: I am doing nothing; it’s your fate, born out of your Karma.
I pleaded: Let me go. Where is Karan?
Gautam: Your friend met his fate. It’s your turn now. Enjoy your tryst with death. Feel the fear and pain. Wait for it. Fight with it. I have left you free to make it fair. If you win, you live.

He unlocked the latch of the reptile box and locked the room from outside, leaving me to die a horrific death. The seventeen feet dorsal color object slowly started to raise its ugly head out of the box. It silently wagged its pinkish red tongue and finally its two vertical pupils seem to set eyes on its prey as it started crawling towards me.

I tried to weigh my options for survival. Only one glass window, three feet above where I stood was my path to escape, but by no means, I could climb that. My heart seemed to surrender but my mind was not ready to die.

Suddenly an object broke through the glass window. The python stepped back half inside the glass box by this sudden provocation. A rope was thrown inside. I couldn’t believe the miracle but I latched onto my life line and started climbing, without looking back.I broke the remaining piece of window and jumped down only to find a blood stained Karan as he pulled me out from the jaws of death.

I hugged him and asked: Where were you? How did you get injured and who is this guy?

Karan: We do not have time to discuss, let’s go fast.

We managed to reach the garden and could see the main gate. All set for final escapade, we saw Gautam standing between us and life with the green serpent loosely hanging in his shoulders.

Karan: Let him go, he was not at fault. He wanted to save you.
Gautam: There is lot of difference between what he wished and what he did.

I wondered what Karan was talking about. Gautam pulled out his dagger and ready for the final kill. Karan stood in front of me, to combat him.

Gautam attacked but Karan plunged on to him pushing to the ground. The snake sprung towards me.  In an attempt to run, I skidded. Hooded, it was ready to strike with its venom; there was a swing in the air, chopping it into two pieces. Karan was standing with the dagger. Gautam made one final attempt but Karan stifled him, while signaling me to run. I nodded but I couldn’t leave without him. Karan’s eyes pleaded me to leave. That’s when I noticed the same two dots on Karan’s forehead too which I had seen on Gautam’s head. There was a deep pain in his smile.

I kept running till I heard someone calling my name. I woke up to my mother’s face, surrounded by doctors and nurses staring at me with disbelief. They told me that I had a miraculous escape; my heart had stopped responding few minutes back. I was in coma for the last two days following a car accident on my way to Panvel. Slowly flashes of the accident unfolded before my eyes. The car toppled along the marshes of the highway and Karan had a fall from the gorge. Doctors informed that Karan died that night.

I was shocked! How was that even possible? Karan was with me at the party few minutes back. Suddenly I saw the date; it was Tuesday, while we went to party last Saturday. ‘Fuck man! All that I experienced was my dream. But something in me told me that it cannot be just a dream. I closed my eyes in an attempt to find the missing pieces of the story.

Gautam’s face looked illuminated in the candle light and eyes content. I knew those eyes .They looked at me with hope, the night Karan ran him over, on the highway near the jungle, on our way back from a party at Panvel. Scared, we left him to die and fled.

Doctors told me another startling fact. Karan did not die due to the accident but because of the bite of a venomous snake on his forehead.I could now put the pieces of my dream together. Those dots on Karan’s forehead were the marks of a snake bite. And probably that night, Gautam too lay in pain, struggling with death, before silenced to death by a snake. I suddenly remembered his words: “They are my friend in silent moments”

Last night, he had come to take me to the place where he and Karan now were.Gautam wanted to seal my fate with a kiss of death for my karma but a friend’s love stood in way, between life and death, and saved me in coma! No one would believe in this dream of mine, hence I thought would blog about it. After all truth is stranger than Fiction!!

Disclaimer: This post has been written as a part of The Indian Bloggers League, 2013 conducted by Write-up café. And the pictures used are basically Google Images.