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An Unbelievable Incident

“Oh my gosh! What’s this? How did I come here? Anand, are you actually standing in this bungalow?”
An incredibly unbelievable incident happened with me, something beyond imagination! I, Anand Ajmera, professor of history, was sitting in my room at night, reading a crime thriller. I had almost reached the climax of the novel and all of a sudden, I wasn’t in my room.

Astonishingly, I had entered inside my novel! Flabbergasted, I glanced around. No one was paying any attention to me. The protagonist of my novel, Kailash Kumar was sitting next to his father’s corpse and crying bitterly. There were policemen everywhere, searching, asking questions and basically investigating the whole case. Having read the previous chapters, I was suspicious and almost certain that the murderer was Kailash himself. He had killed his father for inheritance. But how will this be proved?

“Check every single corner, don’t leave out anything. I don’t care if the entire place is toppled over in a mess. But mind you, nothing should be missed out. Under any circumstances, I want proof against the killer. Is that understood?!?”
The police inspector was throwing orders to all the constables in a very stern voice.
“Inspector, my father’s murderer must be punished severely!”
I was amazed to see Kailash’s hypocrisy. Definitely, he was a good actor. Now it was all the more important to expose him in front of the world. But how?

My eyes fell on the computer and an idea propped up in my head. My sixth sense became alert and my gaze landed on the CCTV camera. Immediately, I went to the computer and switched it on. Opening the CCTV folder, I displayed it on the screen, hoping it would catch somebody’s attention.

My eyes jerked open, and once again I was sitting at the table in my room. Was I dreaming? Did I fall asleep while reading? Rubbing my groggy eyes, I drank some water and commenced reading the exciting novel once again. Now I was on tenterhooks. As I continued to read, my heart was stomping in my chest and my eyes popped out in utter disbelief. The climax that was written was extremely difficult to digest.
*”There seemed to be an invisible force present in the room. How can the computer come to life automatically? Who opened the folder of the CCTV footage? Nevertheless, all doubts were dispelled and the screen was clearly showing Kailash Kumar pressing a pillow on the face of his sleeping father.”!!!*

Shamim Merchant, Mumbai

Morning Dream

This morning, when I went to wake up Hansika, she had a big smile on her face. She was still sleeping, but seeing her, it looked like she was enjoying a nice dream. There was still time for college. She was forever bubbling with enthusiasm and went about her daily activities excitedly. Now was the time when she was in deep slumber. In that moment she looked so calm and beautiful, that I only wanted to keep gazing at her and not disturb at all.

After a while, she opened her eyes on her own and the first thing she saw was me. Hansika’s lips stretched from ear to ear as she looked at me, and her face shone more than before. Seeing her, I couldn’t help but smile in return. I perched on the bed next to her and said lovingly.
“Good morning dear.”
“Good morning mom.”
“What’s the matter! You were smiling away in your sleep today and looked so happy. Were you dreaming about your prince charming?”

Hansika sat up, habitually, looked at her open palms and rubbed them over her face. Then she blurted out eagerly,
“Not a prince, but yes mom, today I had an amazing dream, I don’t know what it means, but whatever I saw, it filled me with delight.”
“Wow! Oh my my! What did you see? I’d certainly love to hear about it.”

“Of course, I’m excited to tell you.”
Hansika stood up and slowly, with caution, began to recall the dream, as if not wanting to miss out on any important details.
“You may find it a little strange, but I saw the shadow of water falling on the sky. A large peacock feather was spread across the entire galaxy, which was filled with constellations. And in the middle of the feather was shining the big north star, which a little girl was trying to reach out to. And that little girl…..was me!”

I was awestruck by Hansika’s dream. When she came and sat next to me, our smiles were identical to each other’s.
“Mom, you’ve studied so much about dreams and astrology, tell me, what does this dream mean? It’s a morning dream, so I’m more enthu to know about it.”

I silently pondered for a while. I didn’t want to give her any false hopes, but at the same time, I had to make sure that her enthusiasm did not diminish.
“Hansika, I think this dream can have two interpretations. First one is about the peacock feathers. They allure wealth and prosperity. They keep negative energy at bay and attract positive vibes.”
Hansika’s excitement piqued to newer heights.
“Wow mom! That’s great! Please don’t delay, tell me more.”

I laughed.
“And seeing a star in a dream represents that you are searching for your goal. In general, seeing a star in a dream is a sign of a delightful outcome.”
Hansika was elated and clung to me like a koala bear.
“Fabulous!! You know I want to be a writer, isn’t it? A famous writer.”
I jokingly bopped her nose and ordered her to get ready.
“Yes of course. However my sweetheart, dreams become reality not by just seeing them, but toiling towards your objective. Understood?”

I straightened my glasses, closed mom’s diary and glanced up to see my driver standing in front of me.
“What happened Ramsingh?”
“Madam, it’s time for your book launch ceremony. The car is ready.”
“Thank you Ramsingh. Just give me five minutes, I’m coming.”
I looked at mom’s photograph which was framed in vintage gold and embellished with a garland made of sandalwood flowers. Lighting the lamp near her picture, I joined my hands and took a bow.
“Mom, today is my eighth book release ceremony. I had seen the dream, but it was you who defined it’s depths to me. Not only that, you also made sure I was focused and never strayed away from my goal. Just like that, please continue to shower your blessings upon me forever.”

Shamim Merchant

Saraswati Aradhana

“Why are you such a big bookworm!! Raj, you were born with a silver spoon, you don’t actually need to study so much. Let’s go hit the pub.”
Raising my head from the book, I glanced at my friend Mayur. I was flabbergasted to hear all this coming from him.
“Mayur, if I don’t study, how will I fulfill my dreams?”
“What dreams? Your dad has a huge clothes showroom, you simply have to go and sit on a readymade business.”

My laughter erupted in sarcasm.
“No thank you. I want to make a name for myself. I wish to become a software engineer. Dad made money by working hard, but I want to earn it smartly. Mayur, what are you planning to do?”
He shrugged his shoulders and replied casually,
“My plans aren’t anything specific. I’ll do some small-time job, like my dad.”

I was surprised to see Mayur so careless about his career.
“Mayur, you should be more serious in studies than me.”
“Forget it man! Reading these fat books is not my cup of tea.”
I went and sat next to him.
“Alright, answer a question of mine. What do you find more appealing? Earning 500₹, after doing a day’s donkey work, or sitting in a revolving chair in front of a computer in an air-conditioned office and earning 3000/- per day?”
“Obviously, sitting in an air-conditioned office and earning 3000/- daily, is any time more tempting.”

I slapped his back and remarked,
“Mister, then this luxury cannot be obtained without doing Saraswati Aradhana!”
“What Aradhana?”
“Oh dumbo!! Not what Aradhana, Saraswati Aradhana. Only when you respect Maa Saraswati, will she bless you with knowledge and wisdom, which will eventually lead you to name and fame. Capeesh?”
He got confused and I explained further,
“Because our parents sacrificed, we got a good life and education. Now it’s our turn. In today’s world of inflation, hard work alone is not sufficient. If there is education, then we will be able to live the life of our dreams. Besides, we will be capable enough of giving a better life to the next generation as well.”

Dragging in a deep sigh, he said,
“Raj, you are hundred percent right. But man, looking at these fat books makes my head spin.”
I bantered,
“If you envision yourself in an air-conditioned office, earning Rs 3,000 per day, then studying would automatically become more fun.”
With that we both cracked laughing.

🖊️Shamim Merchant