Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The return of Zoya……..

The return of Zoya……..

It was four years since Appachhan sold fish in the market. Every day he wished only one customer.. Zoya.. But she never came .. never spoke a word.. never saw him .. never made any contact with him…Each day Achhan would walk down.. to the last crab hole and call out his friend..The carb was actually 92 years old. His name was Ajapa. Ajapa was Achhans fathers and his fathers friend too. Ajapa consoled him that day”time is nearing….Life shall look upon you soon”. How could that console Achhan? For the next six days he was out in the deep sea none understood what he did there any way. So, none actually bothered .
On the seventh day Achhan finished selling his fish…and was counting his money…not much money was there to count..for he never had any thing much to sell…
The n he heard a voice…..
The voice said..”Where were you all these days” the voice continued” in the last four years, never has it happened that I come to the market, and You are not there.” It was a voice that Achhan fell in love with completely and fully at that moment. There was a force in it, It was anxious, worried and angry. Achhan slowly lifted his chin up and opened his eyes….There was none!!!!!!!!
But then he could feel the same old fragrance of the deep seas….of the flowers born in the house of the coral princess.
Is it Zo?.......he asked
Yes I am !!!.........
Hearing this phrase Achhan became livid in anger…and ecstatic in joy…both at the same time…But he chose to tell Zo
‘I am ecstatic….”…as he understood that the joy of hearing the voice of the love of his life was …. Ecstasy…and it was ‘definitely but relatively more permanent ‘ than the anger .. Anger he proposed to himself to be manifest only because he could not hear Zo’s voice all these times.He actually had thought that he was talking to a rock..while his friends thought that he was the only one they had seen who appeared drunk without even smelling pot..or simply mad!!

And Zoya spoke he felt…..Zoya talked he talked…Zoya laughed…his throat had a lump..But Zoya heard him out…as if on a mission to make him speak. He felt as though Zoya was on a mission to listen to him, his voice, his self,
What could Appachhan say? Could he give the sea to her or the pearls that he had collected ..going where none had ventured…and storing them where none could the cave of Ajapa….the crab.

Zoya said…She loved to see him making boats, she loved the way he displayed his fish..She even said she loved the way he converses with “Kutti” the woman in the next shop. She liked the road which leads to his shop, she said it all…………and became silent….
Achhan listen to it all. And he was collecting all the drops of her voice…as if he is going to hear them no more……
Here was Zoya……..saying it all but saying nothing….
She said that she came to the market… to buy fish from kutti….!! While she talked to appacchan for the first time in last 38years 5months. 28 days 23hrs…and a million moments.
Achhan asked her wheather her ship was ready to sail? ?
Zoya told yes… it was…
Achhan asked her….how far she would go? In the next 2 years ?
Zoya told she doesn’t know….and she hadn’t planned.
Achhan liked it……he knew … people could only sail as much as the sea would allow them….
For people with open mind….. the sea welcomed them… into its heart and even to its womb.

With each passing is moment, Achhan listened the voice but felt from the heart. How many of his friends could do that.he couldn’t tell.What he could tell that here was a woman , remembered even the cloth Achhan wore the first time when he went to the sea and who appeared to have loved everything that Achhan stood for…….except him..

But such things !!! do they really matter ??

Unless people explore the sea themselves, how would they know Achhan?
I thought standing the rock where people told me that Achhan once used to sit and sing. I heard beating drums and a million bees humming and the fresh gentle stream flowing….and smelt the breath of the earth that has been touched by the first drops of the monsoon. I heard some body calling me.
That was a fish. Her name was ‘ele’ and she was smiling. I am the fish that Zoya bought from Appachhan and ele said

“Take me home”

Story submitted for the Mahindra XUV 500 Incredible story context. It is not written FOR the contest. At the time of submisson   the author  never imagined that this would go into the car and bikes section( as he had actually registered in his mind... the term  'the incredible stories'...only)...but being the  traveler he is......took it in his stride.....and if you want to know more about the XUV.. here is the link .  ....its another amazing stuff...from the house of Mahindra... 


  1. I really liked the way you narrated this awesome love story :)

    Just one simple question, did you write this piece for Incredible Story contest or just like that you submitted it there...

  2. Hi Puneet. Thanks. for ur note... most of the written prose or poems of mine seek audience now. so when the incredible story was announced...the story chose itself...:) written in 2009 and unpublished as of now i said why not...