The Blue Lotus - continued
by Pragati Bakshi
(Ranchi, Jharkhand, India)
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A day before Sarwasti Puja was Friday. It was unusually wintery for February. I wanted to see her Husband and Granny, But it was Kopal whom I wanted to see. Somehow my regimented existence connected to her surreal existence. Perhaps it was not the serendipity that we discovered each other.
Kopal might have deliberately barged into my life. Hope so! I hurriedly got ready and headed towards street number K 30. As I was inching towards my destination, I felt strange palpitation even perspiration. I could not comprehend my sudden illness or nervousness, that more or less befitted a newly wedded. My car stopped near a dilapidated palatial structure surrounded by eerie silence and very heavy air. With the thumping heartbeat I, Major General Shah, stepped inside with my full dignity or vanity into an unkempt Garden. "Kopal," I called aloud.
Within a few seconds, a frail old lady all wrapped in white, with very dark hair stepped out of that dilapidated structure. “Yes! Who are you?” She demanded very authoritatively.
I started mumbling. Then with utmost politeness, I said, "Madam I'm General Shah, wanted to meet Kopal Verma.”
"Kopal died of snake bite last night.” The answer thrown towards me was strong enough to unbalance my whole existence.
“What?" I nearly screamed.
“Don’t Shout, General.”
Kopal is dead.And she disappeared. I was baffled.. or was devoid of any emotions? Kopal Dead. Why and how? Suddenly besides the shrub of Gulachin or Shamshan Champa my eyes caught a hold of what I never believed and would not have ever if I had not seen. It was THE Blue Lotus blooming sinisterly in mid of a small pond.
Kopal is dead and will ever be. No Resurrection. One month passes and it was summer. On one terrible summer noon, post man delivered a brown envelope. Inside was a yellow paper and my Kopal’s perhaps last words in her strange slanting serpentine handwriting."Dear General Shah,
I will die on 12 of February this year. Blue lotus will bloom next day. You never understood my plea for help. I was indeed not a serendipity. I jumped into your life and deliberately chose to befriend you. Each time I met I tried to convey my agonies, my fears and my desire to live. Not for eternity but for few more years.