Joined: 31 August 2011
So, I've carrying around this concept for months and was unable to post it because I was too committed to my FF Now that it's over, I guess I can finally try it out.
It was that damned curiosity he had. That stupid, stupid curiosity which always got him in trouble. Abhay would never blame anything else.
Was excessive curiosity a sin? No, Abhay was pretty sure it wasn't - he was well versed in the sins and all the subtexts. All Yamaduts were.
But if the curiosity led to something else...that, perhaps, might be a sin.
He didn't care.
Checking the watch everyone of his ilk carried, he strode down the street to catch a glimpse of her.
Her - the girl who'd tried to attend an old, lonely woman as she lay dying three months ago. She was a girl, of course - just on the cusp of adulthood. But kindness was something he'd so rarely experienced among the humans that it had sparked his curiosity.
That, and the girl was really quite beautiful. He hadn't been able to stop staring at her.
And Abhay wanted to know why. He'd met beautiful humans, devis, and the ones in between, like himself. Several had sparked his fancy, but not like this one - he couldn't pull his eyes away from her. In the end, when Lata's soul passed to him, her tears had almost made him delay in delivering the soul to Yama.
And that made him more curious.
He checked his watch again. Plenty of time.
And then he saw her, coming out of the college gates, books in hand. It was the first time he'd noticed her hair - long and obviously curly, she'd tried to tame it by plaiting it.
He let himself smile. She hadn't succeeded very well.
She stopped near a group of girls who were obviously her friends. He watched as they laughed, his eyes only on her head as it flung back in mirth.
Eventually, though, the group of girls separated, each going their ways. His human walked alone, head held high - another curiosity. She did not walk with her head down, but rather stared the world in its eyes and dared them to take her on.
Spirit was something he had always admired.
So he did something he really shouldn't have done.
She knocked into him, hard.
Before she could trip over, he caught her waist and steadied her. "I'm sorry - I didn't see you coming."
Piyashree straightened and blinked. How had she missed such a tall man right in front of her? Her mind must have been wandering again...
Oh, how dreadfully rude. He looked like a man of means, too.
"I'm sorry," he said first. "I didn't see you coming."
Piyashree flushed. She should have said that first.
"I think the fault is mine," she said politely. "Thank you for not letting me fall."
She sidestepped him and began walking away hastily before he caused a scene. And if the neighbours heard she'd been knocking down men on her way home from college, she'd be in a nice soup.
To her chagrin, he kept up with her. "What do you want?" she said, annoyed.
He looked surprised. "Nothing. I thought I'd walk you home."
She didn't buy it. Boys generally weren't interested in her. She'd received a total of zero marriage proposals so far, unlike many of her peers.
And no one had ever stopped to chat with her. Or walk her home.
"Look, I didn't mean to bump into you," she said defensively. "There's no call for you to be angry with me."
"I'm not angry with you," he said, smiling. "I wasn't looking, either."
She stopped, staring up at him. "Then why -?"
He looked quizzical. "Why what?"
"This - this -" she gestured with her hands. "Walking with me..."
He glanced away slightly, his hands in his pockets. "I...er...you knew Lata Tripathi."
Piyashree frowned. "Yes, I did. But she passed away three months ago."
She'd worked in their family for as long as Piyashree could remember, and had been dearer to her than her own mother.
She looking up at the stranger carefully. "Did you know her?"
"She was my grandmother."
"Oh." Sympathy rushed through her. "I'm sorry."
"How did you know her?" he asked.
"She worked in my house, but she cared for me like a mother."
A good soul. He'd sensed that when he stood over her deathbed.
She started walking again. "Pardon me," she said, "but you don't seem poor. Why didn't you take care of your grandmother?"
"Because...I wasn't here," he managed.
She raised an eyebrow. "You don't look like you're from this area."
"My mother was," he offered easily.
"Oh. I see."
She fell silent then, and he glanced at his watch. "What's your name?"
She looked up. "What's yours?"
She nodded. "Piyashree."
He walked her home, then went back to retrieve the soul he'd originally been sent here for.
Three months he'd waited to come to this part of the earth. Yamaduts weren't allowed to come and go as they pleased, so he'd made the most of it.
He'd never actually hoped that people kept dying in a particular place, but now he was.
That might classify as a sin. He'd have to ask Chitragupt.
Or not. He'd never heard of any of the Yamadutas dallying with a mortal.
Not in the Kalyug, anyway.
Piyashree wondered about Lata's grandson at times.
He didn't come back after that day, so she wondered. He had seemed nice.
And then, a year later...he did.
She was lighting the candles in the house in the darkness when someone knocked on the door.
She hurried to open it and there he stood, illuminated by the candle in her hand.
For several moments, she gaped at him. "You...you're..wait, what was your name again?"
He smiled slightly. "Abhay. Can I come in?"
"Yes - but there's nobody home -" she said, then bit her tongue. What if he decided to take advantage of the situation?
"That's okay. I came to see you, anyway."
"See me?" she said incredulously. "Whatever for?"
He came in and she hurriedly put the candle down before the hot wax burned her skin.
"Loadshedding," she informed him. "So the whole place is in darkness, the servants have gone home and my parents are off visiting Rai uncle. He's very ill."
Abhay knew that, could tell her that Rai wouldn't survive the night. "Were you close to him?"
She shook her head, her face glowing in the light of the candle she stood next to. "Not really. I hope he gets well."
"Oh." That was good, thought Abhay. No major loss for her. "How have you been?"
She shrugged. "Good enough. What about you? What do you do?"
I'm the messenger of death.
"I'm in the Army," he lied. "I'm a soldier."
She looked up, her eyes wide. "Oh," she murmured, almost to herself. "That's why..."
Even the dim light, he could see that she blushed - but then, he had good vision in the dark. All Yamaduts did.
"You know," she gestured at him. "The way you walk, the way you stand...like a soldier."
He supposed that was true. He had fought in a war - twenty years ago, the Asuras had decided to fight the Devas again. Yama had sent some of the Yamaduts along to fight on his behalf - he'd been young then, the youngest in the group. But Yamaduts didn't fight like normal soldiers did. He couldn't tell her that.
"What do you do?" He asked.
She gave a startled laugh. "I'm in college right now. Most of the time, I'm just studying. Why did you come to see me?"
"I just wanted to know how you were doing."
Not true. He'd kept up with her, checking up on her everyday, using his powers to create a portal that showed him what she was up to. He'd checked her name in Chitragupt's list - she was high on the "good karma" aspect, would die peacefully in her sleep at 73.
It had been sobering. She was a mortal, after all. They had such short lives. He should have stopped checking up on her, but something compelled him to keep doing it.
He found out that she got angry easily, had a stubborn streak a mile wide, but had an easy, generous approach most of the time. He also knew she had had several fights with her father, insisting that a girl had as much right to an education as a boy did. Thankfully, her mother took her side every time.
She rarely interacted with males of her age, but he knew she was a romantic - she had a deep seated belief in love and fairytales.
She smiled at him now. "Would you like something to eat? Drink?"
"No, there's no need."
Nevertheless, she brought him tea and biscuits, insisting that she couldn't possibly not give him anything.
He wondered what his fellow people would think of biscuits - as far as he knew, none of them even showed themselves to humans.
"So, now that you've seen how I'm doing," she teased, "when will you return?"
He frowned. "I cannot say. It could be weeks. It could be longer."
She sobered. "I understand. Why don't you give me an address to write to?"
He could give her an address, but her letters wouldn't reach him there. "You'll write to me?"
"Of course I will."
"You don't need to do that."
She stared at him, her gaze penetrating. "You don't have to reply to me. I'll be like your family. Like a sister."
He almost choked, but kept his composure. "But -"
"You don't have parents, do you?"
Piyashree could see him become defensive. "Why would you think that?"
She shrugged. "Just a hunch." She wouldn't tell him that he always looked...lonely. As if he was always alone. She sensed that it would be too much for a proud soldier if she took pity on him.
"Uh, well..." He looked away. "Still, you, er...don't need to write to me."
A sudden thought struck her. "Are you married?"
"Good God. No! Of course not."
He looked shocked by the idea.
"Why not?" she asked, curious.
"Where I come from..." he hesitated."My schedule makes it impossible to spend time with a family."
That made sense, Piyashree thought. After all, he must often be on duty.
"Well, then..." She pushed a sheet of paper, a pen and an inkpot towards him. "Write an address to which I might send you a letter."
In the end, he wrote down one. Maybe if she wrote to him he wouldn't have the compulsion to peep into her life everyday - and feel like a stalker. This would be legitimate, at least.
Lies for a good cause wasn't a sin. While it wasn't banned for a Yamadut to consort with a mortal, it was discouraged. And revealing any part of their world was definitely a punishable offence.
He wouldn't be punished for harmless lies.
Piyashree nodded as he gave it back to her. "I'll write you every week."
Abhay didn't smile back. "I don't know if I'll be able to reply you."
"That's okay. You can reply me whenever you get time."
He hadn't really expected her to keep her word, but she actually kept true to it. Every week, when he dropped by the address of the fake postbox, he'd find a letter waiting for him in her neat handwriting, both sides of two pages full of her.
He hardly knew what to respond to her without revealing himself, so he kept his replies mostly revolving around her.
He'd never been...close...to any woman before. Not like this. It made him unsure over what to write and what not to write.
She never once complained about his briefer, infrequent replies, only laughingly alluding to them in her own. She talked to him about her friends, about her family. About wishing that her father would respect her opinions for once.
He did not meet her for more than a year. It was too much - he was writing letters, giving a stilted account of himself - something he was unused to. No one really talked about anything except work - he didn't either. Nobody had the time.
But then...everything changed.
He kept writing back, hoping selfishly...but things did not change.
He came to meet her a year and a half later, when she was coming home from the bazaar.
"Can I walk you home?" he asked her, politely.
She smiled at him. "How have you been?" she asked, as they started walking.
"You mustn't write to me anymore, Piyashree."
Piyashree frowned. "Why? What happened?"
"I won't come to meet you again. This...whatever we have...ends today."
Shocked, she almost let the bag of fruits drop from her arms. He caught it before it fell.
"But...why...what do you mean?"
"It is for your own good. And mine."
"Why?" She asked, horrified. How could he think that she'd let him decide when -
"You are getting married." He remembered how excited she had been when she'd first written about him. About how nice he was to her, how kind...how she was falling in love with the man her parents had arranged for her to marry.
If that had...injured him somewhat, he only had himself to blame.
"So?" Piyashree didn't understand. He looked honestly torn, something that gave her comfort. At least he felt terrible about it too. Additionally, that meant he could be convinced otherwise.
"So, you will be with your husband." He almost choked on the last word. "You must never write any letters to me. We will never meet again."
"Why? I've told Ronit about you. He's not the jealous type. He knows you and I are platonic friends."
"Yes, I know your feelings are platonic," he said, with a touch of brusqueness. "Mine, however, are not."
She stopped walking, her free hand going to cover her gasp. "That's..not possible."
He would have been amused at the disbelief in her face.
"I'm afraid so."
They stared at each other in silence.
"You mean...you have feelings for me. Romantic ones?"
She just had to be clear, didn't she, thought Abhay, angry at himself. He'd botched everything up.
"Well - but that's..." She seemed lost for words, then : "How did it happen? When - maybe you're mistaken -"
The first time he'd seen her and the many times after. Every letter she sent him - "I don't know. Does it matter?"
"Of course it matters!" she cried. "I have never, ever hinted at anything more - have I?"
He shook his head. "It's not your fault."
Piyashree couldn't look at him. She was irrationally angry. This was his fault. All his fault.
How was she supposed to know? He'd never even hinted at anything!
"I'm sorry," he said quietly. "It's for the best. You'll see."
She rounded on him. "You know what? You're right. This is for the best. There's no need for us to - why did you have to have feelings for me?"
He said nothing.
"Just go," she said bitterly. "Just leave me alone."
He walked her to her house, then turned and left.
He never thought he'd see her again, but he did.
Seven years later, when he was sent to retrieve a soul whose body was sick with one of those maladies that mortals had no cure for.
He stood beside the bed, invisble to mortal eyes, a lump in his chest, as he secured the soul of Piyashree's young husband.
She was at his side, silent tears streaming down her face.
And he took the one thing that she treasured most in the world.
He had no other choice. If he was sent, it was written in stone. If not him, some other Yamadut would come in his stead.
He let the husband wake, hold her hand. Say his last final words.
He didn't look at Piyashree as he took the soul away.
"What will become of his wife?" He asked Chitragupt, later. "Will she find happiness again?"
Chitragupt consulted his extensive diary. "Not soon, it appears, but after five years. She will find new purpose in her life, fall in love and live a fruitful and a happy one until her death. Why do you ask?"
Chitragupt's calm gaze scanned him."You lie."
"It doesn't matter," said Abhay dismissively. "Anyway, thank you for telling me."
He didn't try to see her again. There was no point, none at all. She would find love again.
True to his resolve, he didn't try to open a portal and see her. He concentrated on his job, as he had done before.
He regretted it when he saw her two years later.
Or rather, her soul.
He was dropping off an infant's soul - pure as snow - when one of the other Yamaduts came back with an Atmahatya case.
Everyone in the vicinity frowned in displeasure, including Abhay - why would a mortal be so foolish to cut short a life that would end on its own? He had never understood why someone would do such a thing.He looked at the soul again, shock holding him rooted to the spot when he recognised Piyashree. She did not turn in his direction, stared straight ahead till her turn came.
Abhay stood frozen.
Why? Why had she done such a thing? Why would she be so stupid?
Souls that were forcibly ripped from their body were different from the rest. They remembered their mortal identities, for one.
When it was Piyashree's turn, Chitragupt spoke sternly to her, scolding her for her unnatural death.
Though Abhay knew what the judgement would be - had seen it before - he moved closer, wishing and hoping Chitragupt would be lenient.
It was in vain.
"You will roam the Bhulok - the mortal world - disembodied, till the time of your natural death," he said, in ringing tones. "You will then be sent to hell for an amount of..."
Abhay tuned him out. He had to do something. Anything. She couldn't be punished for so many years. She was a good person, might have made it to heaven. And instead she would wander the earth, a mockery of what real life would be. And then, to be sent to hell, for the punishment for Atmahatya - killing of oneself - was almost as severe as that of murder of another person.
He hurried all the way to Yama's residence. Only Yama himself could overturn Chitragupt's ruling.
"My dear boy, never tell me you have affections for the poor mortal?"
He'd listened in silence to Abhay's request to pardon Piyashree's punishment. Of course he would have known - Abhay had known that it wasn't exactly hard to see. No one asked for a pardon in such a case.
He simply nodded.
"Hmmm." Yama watched him, his dark pupils seeing everything. "She has knowledge of our world?"
He shook his head quickly. "No, my Lord."
Yama looked surprised. "And yet you champion her?"
"She's a good person. If only you'd just -"
Yama held out his hands, and a scroll appeared in his hands containing all of Piyashree's karma.
He studied it in silence, while Abhay waited on tenterhooks.
"This is highly unusual," said Yama at last. "No doubt, the mortal would have had a comfortable afterlife. But she has killed, boy. I cannot pardon it. I cannot risk the balance of the Universe. She must undergo her punishment. When it is over, she will have a clean slate to start over. I will ensure her birth as a human, to make it easier for her, but that is all I will do. My apologies, Abhayendra."
Yama was the only one who still used his full name.
Abhay shook his head. "It's not fair. She - her husband died recently. She would have been overwrought - she loved him so. She doesn't deserve more pain."
Yama raised his eyebrows. "I saw this. And you have affections for her regardless of that?"
Abhay bowed his head.
Yama frowned. "There might be a way...how important is this to you, Abhayendra? How important is the mortal to you?"
Abhay raised his head, his eyes filled with despair. "What is the way?"
"You could take her punishment as yours."
Abhay sucked in a breath.
Yama didn't look pleased. "I can transfer the responsibilty of her death to you. All her punishment will be given to you.You will suffer for a lesser time than she would have, but your torture will be magnified by several times, given that you cannot become a ghost. So you will go directly to hell"
Abhay took a breath. "And Piyashree?"
"Piyashree will pay, too." Yama looked marginally more cheerful. "Now, don't look like that, boy. She will not be harmed. Not even a thousandth fraction of what pain awaits you, should you choose to take this path. But she must pay - I confess, it is a vindictive pleasure. She has hurt you, this woman...it is only justice. But she will not be harmed. I give you my word."
Abhay took a relieved breath. "You will give her another life?"
Yama looked at him. "I do not wish to lose one of you. All of you are essential to me. And yet, I know you will take this route."
Abhay nodded. "Yes."
"You will be reinstated once your time is spent," Yama decreed. "Once again, I implore you. Is the human worth so much?"
Abhay nodded again.
Yama sighed. "I would never do such an irregular thing were it not for you, Abhayendra. Very well. You will take every punishment on your own self. And you cannot change your mind."
"Thank you, my Lord."
"Don't thank me. Your sentimentality is catching, nothing more...Good luck, Abhayendra."Abhay felt a searing pain rip through him as he fell.
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How much does IF Rankings matter?
Author: EvIlNeSs_RoCkZ Replies: 31 Views: 1683
|EvIlNeSs_RoCkZ||31||1683||12 March 2012 at 3:49am by Dikshi92|
Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai Bai part-V part B
Author: --AROMAL-- Replies: 17 Views: 1574
|--AROMAL--||17||1574||05 January 2012 at 9:08am by --AROMAL--|
MATTER OF PERCEPTION ...
Author: carisma2 Replies: 15 Views: 1051
|carisma2||15||1051||27 September 2011 at 2:21am by .Reshama.|
One matter is not disclosed yet...
Author: ILTHBEB Replies: 7 Views: 780
|ILTHBEB||7||780||08 September 2011 at 12:56am by usha786|
meri life meri aur tumhari life bhi meri....hehe
Author: adits7 Replies: 41 Views: 5152
|adits7||41||5152||11 February 2011 at 3:11am by Marie_789|
Infact, they even shot for the same..
There are shows we just aren't ready for...
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