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Palak Sharma


Palak Sharma – ‘The Strange Journey’






What was the journey, I couldn't know. What was the reason I know neither. What came out of it was undecipherable too. What made it lasting, perhaps that could be given a second thought, maybe it meant a turning point, a bend on the lonesome path of life. Whatever it was, however unforgettable it may appear, it is human nature to delete a scene too old from the memory. It was one of those days when what your eyes felt was far more important than what reality comprised of. So all of it started with a train ride. Where the tracks lead to is a matter of clandestine deal with my heart. To not let open every card that lays inside it. All it permits me is to admit that the journey was not what you would expect from any story. It was as simple as it was special. And for something to be special, it need not be pleasant to eyes but certainly beautiful to heart. And that it definitely was. Its beauty lay in the soul I shared the journey with. Now all thoughts would turn to a guy, tall-dark-handsome-kind. But shush your imagination. It was nothing that good. A mere eye-lock could sometimes touch that chord of heart that lay untouched & unseen since eternity. And so it happened, the magical moment of my life, but alas, there were hardly any stars in neither the day nor those flowers in the air, rummaging my hair and giving that cinematically romantic look. All my hopes of that cheesy-eye-lock-with-handsome-dreamy-man were not fulfilled. It was simple in a very basic sense. I looked at him. He looked at me. And boom. Our hearts started beating together. In the wild rush of adrenaline, I couldn't even think what reality I was in. All I could imagine was me and him, and the whole world meaningless. May be that is what love does. It deletes the "world" from your database. That is how silly it is. But metaphors aside, I felt a click in my heart. The kind you hear when two distinct parts of a puzzle fit in together. But do I know what he felt. Oh, I always claimed I could read eyes but I was helpless. How to fathom the feelings you hope to see in the eyes of someone whom you have seen just two seconds ago. How to?

I lost on him. I lost my heart on him. But wait, who was he? I tried guessing. He could be an army man; he was tall enough for that. He could be a doctor, that frown was intellectual enough. He could be a sportsman; those muscles were well built after all. What could he be? I ran through every inch of his appearance. Couldn't fathom? Nah, I couldn't guess.

And then he rose. He caught me staring, I told myself. No, there was something in him that I missed. Yes, he took her support and rose from his seat. She accompanied him up to my berth. He made her sit comfortably next to him, from where I could see her clearly. She had changed my whole perception of him. She seemed to belong to him. The kind of possessiveness I could see in his eyes spoke tons. He did love her. It seemed that they shared an unspoken attachment. They needed each other. Inevitably. I tried ignoring her, but my eyes never went off her. He told he called her Cripps, it sounded perfect he said. I could see tears in his eyes as he explained how he met her. Their first touch. Their first encounter. I could sense it all. Tears gathered around my eyes too.

That is how I learnt how people find true love. In the most ugly faces and in the most difficult times. Love is not always voluntary, it sometimes happens as a compromise. But sooner or later, even a compromised life becomes real. He found his love with Cripps, his soul-mate forever, his crutches.

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Articles/Discussions


Editorial
Charanjeet Kaur

Conversations
Lucha Corpi: In Conversation with Ketaki Datta
Mamang Dai: In Conversation with D Ramakrishna

Literary Essay
Sharad Chandra: ‘Theatre of the Absurd’

Literary Articles
Devika Karnad: ‘Lakshmi Kannan’s Going Home
Kaushik Acharya & Kiriti Sengupta: ‘Commentaries on The Gita
Shailja Chandra: ‘The Mona Lisa Phenomenon in Gulzar’s Writings’
Subhra Roy: ‘Re-reading Easterine Kire’s Bitter Wormwood
Tuhin Mukhopadhyay: ‘Anita Desai’s Voices in the City
Yogesh Kumar Negi: ‘Himachali Folk Music’

Book Reviews
Chandan Das – ‘A Certain Way
Manjinder Kaur Wratch – ‘Murder In Mahim
Nirojita Guha – ‘The Ocean of Churn
Rittvika Singh – ‘Baaz
Subashish Bhattacharjee – ‘And Gazelles Leaping’ & ‘Cradle of the Clouds
Tuhin Sanyal – ‘Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral
Wani Nazir – ‘Where are the Lilacs?’

Poetry
Ambika Ananth: Editorial Comment
Ambika Ananth
Amrita Bhattacharyya
Anil Bairwal
Nilamadhab Kar
Parag Mallik
Rahul Jayaram
Shelton Pinheiro
Sunil Sharma
Swati Srivastava

Fiction
Smitha Sehgal – ‘Editorial Musings’
Chandra Mohan Bhandari – ‘Himalayan Splendour’
Debasis Tripathy – ‘Convenient Friendship’
K Srinivasan Subramanian – ‘Tulasi has flowered’
Mohammad Shamsur Rabb Khan – ‘Old Man’s Fare’
Palak Sharma – ‘The Strange Journey’
Pragya Bhagat – ‘Portrait of an Old Man’
Shweta Tiwari – ‘His Love’
Sunaina Jain – ‘Lost and found’

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