March 25, 2018

He brushed his hair and dressed up in white shirt and blue jeans. He packed up his bag with all the necessary things. The letter. That was all the bag carried that day. For the final time he checked himself in the mirror. Everything was in place. It was the day he had been waiting for so long.
He didn't care what else he had to loose to get her. Yes, she was his first love, Kaveri. And today he will confess his feelings to her.
"Anurag?" His mother called him from downstairs. He didn't waste a minute and hurried to her. After his father's death he never left his mother's side. Even for once. He knew he was all his mother got. And he cannot run away from this responsibility.
He came downstairs to find her standing near the door with a letter in her hand, trying hard to read it. "What is it ma?"he asked. "If only I could read it, " his mother replied. He took the letter from her. And to his utmost surprise it was from Princeton University granting him the admission for his course in photography. The letter asked him to join as soon as possible. He was so happy that he screamed out of joy and hugged his mother.
Life is so unfair. Right at the time when he finally mustered up his courage to confess his love to Kaveri, he has to leave. He went back to his room. Took the camera from the table and left the bag with the most necessary letter in it there.
"Where are you going?"
"In the woods. I need to get some fresh photos for Princeton," and he left.
The woods. A serene place to quieten down his thoughts and anxieties. A place where he felt he belonged. He walked up to that part of the forest from where the deep sky with rain clouds could be seen. It was his favourite place as no one goes there. And he could feel the silence of nature.
But today he was shocked. There was a man who stood there with his camera, looking at the sky. Anurag walked up to him and asked, "Are you a tourist?"
The man turned around. He was above 40 years old. And his camera was one of those models that Anurag had never seen before. But it seemed to be very costly.
"No. I'm a visitor." His voice was deep.
"Visitor? Oh so there is someone you came to meet here?"
"Yes. And I guess I'm meeting that person," and he smiled.
Anurag was so confused. He couldn't understand what the man was saying.
"Oh you're a photographer too?" The man said shifting his gaze on the camera in his hand.
"No. I'm just a freshman in the Princeton for photography." He felt proud saying that.
"Can you show me a good spot for photography here?"
"Yes sure." Anurag walked up to the sides of the rocks on the edge of the forestry and peeped out at the misty clouds that covered the deep sky of Meghalaya. Such beauty.
"Here you can capture the best pictures. The light and the---"
"---the clouds form a heavenly solace among the woods." The man completed his sentence. Anurag was shocked, "Yes, ... That's what I wanted to say."
"No. Definitely not. You wanted to say something else to someone."
"The one who's still waiting for you near the bridge across the forest."
"You know Kaveri?"
"Kaveri... Yes, that is her name."
"Are you a visitor of her?"
"No. I'm here just to visit my reminiscences of nature."
"Then how do you know her?"
"I don't know her. But once I certainly did want to know her. Back then I was led by responsibilities and the thought of having a secured future. I never imagined I'll regret one decision of my life that I took in my 20s so much that it will make me visit my memory lane just to rectify it. I left a part of me behind. Her. My emotions. My feelings. Everything. Just to chase my passion for photography. But I forgot the reason behind my photography was always her face. The solace I found in her eyes, her beauty. I wondered every night if she still waited by the bridge for me. I wondered whether I'll get a chance to see her once I return home, as I tossed and turned in my sleep. Those painful nights cringed me in my bed. Though I flourished in my career but I never found the same fire that I once loved in her eyes, to keep me warm during the sleepless winters of my life. They say, whatever decision you make in life builds up your future. But they never tell you that you need to let out those words inside you to the ones they are meant to reach. So I had to come in front of you to let you know that it's much better to speak up your emotions, to let out your words before it's too late. And who knows if you'll ever get a chance to say them again?" Saying this the man turned around and started walking deeper into the woods. Anurag stood there stupefied. He looked at the man slowly fading in the mist of the forest. But he needed answer before the man leaves him. He shouted out, "Who are you?"
The man stopped. He turned around. With a smile on his face he said, "My name is Anurag."

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