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City Mental Asylum – Room No. 3

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 55; the fifty-fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​Rashmi Kumar, the author of Hooked, Lined and Single and Jyoti Arora, the author of Lemon Girl. .

“Avaya, c’mon, give that to me.”

“What? This?

Nope! Never!

Come rain or shine, but I won’t.”

“Dear, you know when you see that pic an insane urge attacks you. I dunno from where.”

“What? Come again.”

“No, nothing .”

“I said, come again Avinash.”

“No, it’s nothing Avaya. I said nothing.”

“I don’t want to hear that again. Do you get that?”

“Okay. Great. I’ll zip my lip forever, if that’s what you want.”

“I can’t fancy speaking anything that makes you go nutters like this. In fact, I haven’t said anything at all.

Now, give that picture. Giving or not?”

“Get lost. That’s mine: forever. Did you get that?” Said Avaya, tears leaking from her eyes.

In next to no time, there’d be a downpour.
 
And there it was. She was gone.

“Avaya, open the door. Damn it! Open the door, I said.”

“I will. Just give me a break. Will you?”

“Nope, I can’t take this anymore. Come out now or I will break in.”

Avin… er… Avinash, can you just shut up and go away. Give me a minute at least.

Okay, fine enough. I am out.

Avinash, thought for a minute, how nice it would have been if he could simply transfigure into Avin forever and embrace Avaya’s pain?  Avin was the world for Avaya. Avinash ranked somewhere down the priority list for her. He was probably no more than a stupid, slimy scumbag for her now. But then there was no getting around the fact that, Avinash’s heart ached for Avin a hundred times more than Avaya. But then he could never work up his nerve to tell her that. Never in his life, at least so far, could he stick out for himself. 

It was he who Avin loved the most, given that he was father-friend to him – played, panicked, partnered and pacified him whenever needed. He was always around him, unlike his mother who had other agendas on mind so so often. Probably, that was the reason she could never overcome his going away.   
So now, there was just one thing that was eating away their lives now. Grief. He was trying hard to get over it, but Avaya wouldn’t let him.  The rains brought memories fluttering back to her mind year after year and she’d start behaving oddly.    


Now, at least, the best way to skive off this situation was to leave her alone for some time.   

                                      ###############################

The milieu outside was no different. It was pouring. His heart suddenly grew lighter.

As if the rain gods got a clue of his mind beforehand and acted promptly.

Avinash never minded the rains. It was his only source of joy in life, though Avaya had a diametrically opposite opinion. She hated rains from every single fiber of her being.

He enjoyed them. He enjoyed them because he could cover his overwhelming emotions easily under them. If it was not for the rains, his heart would have literally burst out from his body. He couldn’t show to the only love of his life that he equally is vulnerable. But then he had put up a strong front before her. He wouldn’t allow himself him to go into pieces in front of her.

This was first rains of the reason. The mango tree out there seemed unhappy too, instead of swaying happily as it usually did, it stood there lifeless like a dead tree. It hardly bore mangoes now. As if it had given up its will to live forever. It was just biding its time.

Then a sudden burst of understanding dawned on Avinash, doesn’t Avaya hold us both responsible for her sorrow? No wonder, the tree looks so grief-stricken. It too had developed an inordinate liking for Avin, until that fateful rainy day, when rain Gods imperiously conspired against both of them. Of course, the rain Gods had made up their mind that time. As they thundered down in full force. Suddenly, there was cloud burst backed by a deafening roar of lightning. Avinash's stomach had lurched. But then instead of running in, Avinash had lingered around the mango tree with Avin. Avin faced the brunt. Avinash still couldn’t believe it…the rain God had turned himself into a Grim Reaper and had come fully prepared to ambush Avin.   

                                         ############################


“Come on in,” Avaya shouted, suddenly breaking  me out of my reverie, “I am preparing breakfast.”

Avinash made his way slowly, amidst puddles of water, to the stairs, and towards the living room.

And waited there patiently, patting himself clean, and hearing to his hearts' poundings;

The sky outside seemed to be in a murderous mood today, he thought.

There was a loud burst of thunder followed by lightning, and he stood there fearing: What next?

And sure enough, he could hear Avaya sobbing. And he knew in his hearts of hearts that the entire scene would get repeated once again. She would start crying hard and yet again he would have no control over her. Yet again he would have to take refuge in rain.

But then she was not wrong in her ways. She had every right to hate him and the rain gods. She had forewarned both of us 5 years back, that was.

                                                  ######################

“It’ s raining heavily. Can you guys simply get in the house? But then, I and Avin had a special affair with rains. It’s one of those bewitching seasons that I and Avin simply couldn’t think of missing.

“Let your mom keeping shouting at the top of her voice and bring down the roof as well if she wants to. But we will keep enjoying.” I had shouted at Avin from somewhere behind the tree, as thunderous downpour blinded our visions completely.   

“Stop it and get in,” she shrieked at the top of the voice.

“Just 10 more mins mom and we will be in.”

But there was no stopping Avin. He went round and round the tree playing with me. Then in a moment there was a flash of lightning and our lives where changed, of course for the worst, forever.

He lay there on the ground, turning blue. I couldn’t take it. My only son… the why of life…

Our next-door doctor, hearing the commotion outside our house, rushed in to our compound.  He too was drenched by now, though his sprawling bungalow was just 10 steps away. He checked the pulse of my boy immediately. I could see right through him. He was sure…the boy…my boy…nope…nope…nope…

“How could you play in such heavy rains with a six year old kid Avinash that too around a tree?”  the doctor gave me highly questionable look and blurted out, “you really are an irresponsible father?

The entire blame felt squarely on me. I looked up at the tree in disbelief. It was there when things happened. Probably, it was equally responsible. But as a father, my responsibility towards my son was not tad, but thousands times more.  

                                          ###########################

“Chop it down, I said. Did you hear me, Chop it down, or I will bring an axe and do the job myself.” Avaya shouted at the top of her voice.

 “Nope, don’t do it. I and Avin have too many shared memories here to chop it down so ruthlessly.  How he enjoyed swinging from its branches. Then he also loved climbing onto the tree and making space for himself amidst those dense branches savouring  delicious mouth-watering mangoes. How could you just forget that. This tree is not just a tree. It was his best friend Avaya,” Avinash was trying his best to make Avaya see sense
.
“Please Avaya, understand. It was accident. I know, I shouldn’t have let him played in such heavy rains, but then I am really sorry. If you hold the tree responsible, then what’s your opinion about me?

“Nope, nothing I would hear. Chop that heartless tree down now,” she thundered.

                                                     #################

But then, I was not too ready to obey her commands. The memories of Avin were fresh in mind and both the tree and Avin had a special relation.

The fresh showers had brought back fresh memories of Avin alive. It was same fateful day, 5 years back when Avin bade goodbye to us: forever.

Avaya has never been normal since then. Our relationship has not been normal since then. She had lost her only kid. I understand. I, his father was construed as the culprit so I didn’t have the right to cry as well.
I too have been driven on the verge of insanity since them, my own guilt feelings and Avaya’s accusations on top of it. Thanks to these rains, I can pour my heart out, at least once in a while. I simply go and embrace the mango tree and start weeping. We have been partners in crime. Both helpless in a way. But it was time now. 

They both couldn’t take it anymore. A world without Avin. Both equally missed him.

The fresh rains have come as a blessing in a disguise. Yet another lightning struck.

This time it took two more down.

                                               ##########################
Avaya stood there speechless.

Who killed them she kept on asking herself . “No I didn’t, no I didn’t.”

And then let out a wail that would have the brought the roof down

The inmates of the hospital gathered instantly and put chains around her hands and legs.

Now she was tied to bed, where she writhed in pain crying her heart out.

This time the intensity had just doubled; it was raining hard and fast outside.

But what she never realized was that it was never the rain Gods that had wreaked havoc in her life, her past was catching up with her. Had she ever taken her family for granted?
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 04. Image Credits: Monsoon by Yann (Wikimedia Commons). Shared with GNU Free Documentation License CC Attribution-Share Alike.

Comments

  1. Gripping story Jini Fernandez,
    Im participating at BAT after ages and its nice to discover new bloggers.

    Please do visit my blog too and tell me what you think of my story?
    http://klishmaklaver.blogspot.in/2015/06/the-man-in-wall-mural.html

    Wish you all the very best for BAT55..:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jini,

    Welcome back to BAT!

    The narrative picked up from the start, the story line kept me hooked till the last line of the story, the question at the end melted me. The character names started with A, which was bit confusing at the start, but other than that, everything you wrote is a beauty! All the best for BAT! Keep writing!

    Someone is Special

    ReplyDelete
  3. wonderful story, intriguing and gripping narrative kept me hooked till the end ,

    My Blogaton55 post The Monsoon Pain

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my God! This is so painful. I was so lost while reading this. I am happy that I could come to your blog due to BAT. All the best for BAT55. :)

    Read my entry for BAT55 and share your words at: When it rains, tears pour within

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi jini,

    Visiting you from Blogaton.

    I agree with Sarav, it was a bit confusing with the names but it was gripping! I was looking forward to read the next chapter, nice twist.
    More or less karma.

    Regards,
    Megha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whoa this is an amazing story jini! All the best for BAT 55

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great layered story .. loved it and especially at the very end .. Lovely work Jini.

    All the best for BAT

    Vikas Khair - Memories

    ReplyDelete

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