It’s not that Samarpan is uninterested to attend the semester exam this morning, but his mind is elsewhere. With a chorus of delirium by anonymous questions and heart pounded with fearful thoughts, he is sitting on the bed at the same place since last couple of hours. Though today he is supposed to go to college early to attend papers, but he almost forgot that. Lost in those moments he felt last night, he is not able to collect his thoughts, emotions and fear to reach a conclusion.
All these happened yesterday night during the sound sleep after a late night study. At around 1.00 am, He woke up from his sleep to the cell phone ringing. He reached out to attend the call but it went silent by then. He could barely open his eyes and relapsed into deep sleep. He couldn’t recollect for how long he must have been sleeping. This might be a while later, suddenly out of no where he felt a touch of soft fingers on his cheek. Lights inside his room were turned off. It was impossible to see anything because of the mysterious darkness outside and no illumination had seeped in from the sides of the closed curtains.
His sleep got interrupted with that touch. He woke up but couldn’t dare to open his eyes. Something very soft, intense and affectionate was still touching his lips lightly. It was mildly wet too and there was this faint smell of perfume spread all over the room. The fragrance was quite familiar and the sense of touch was so close to his heart that he could still feel them even after the moment has passed. That woke him up fully and his conscience mind signalled an experience that he never felt before. Someone kissed him while sleeping. Its a lady as he could feel the nearness of her face, rhythmic tempo of slightly warm breathing and the caressing of her soft hair on his face. Nothing could be seen; everything was a sense and a fragrance!
It’s 4.00 am already. Samarpan got up long time ago with alacrity; this is not something which could possibly happen. Strangely, nobody seem to be there in the room. He already did switch on the side lamps. Looking around with a tinge of apprehension, he confirmed that the room has no other person. The single point bulb is dispersing the diffraction and shades around but everything appeared absolutely normal, just as it was before he went to bed. He got down the bed, looked around again, checked behind the door, peered under the bed and unblinded the window curtains yet found nothing. He is frowning. he can still smell the fragrance of that familiar perfume. He is on bed now though his heart is faintly palpitating.
“What is this..! Who was here..! Is this just a dream?” Samarpan touched his own lips. He found there is a faded touch of pink lipstick on his fingers. Many thoughts are crossing by and Samarpan has almost lost his mind completely. He looked at his hands and felt a pain as if he has done some intense physical activities. But as far as he remembers, he hasn’t done anything of that sort in recent days.
Picking up the cell phone Samarpan started scrolling down the list of missed calls which had come earlier in the night. It was from Sonali, lady of his long passionate love story. He tried to call her back but there is no response. Few more calls turned futile. Rest of the night Samarpan struggled to sleep. He is feeling awful, uncertain and scared of something he is not aware.
The morning sunlight fails to make him feel any better. He keeps on calling Sonali’s number repeatedly with the same result. Sitting on the chair he is moodily contemplating as to what he could do. The experience of the night was something which is beyond his comprehension.
It’s 9.00 am in the morning. All of a sudden his mobile rings. It’s Riyaaz on the line.
“Somu..have u heard about what happened to her..?” Riyaaz’s agitated voice floated in.
“Sonali has met with an accident last night while returning. She was in her dad’s car. The driver was drunk and is dead. Passersby brought her and admitted in Care hospital. We got the information now only. Come quick.”
Samarpan wasn’t able to stand still. He almost fell down on the floor. He couldn’t believe whatever he just heard from Riyaaz. His mouth became dry with worrisome and fear of losing her.
“God let her be all right…” his eyes got wet and hands went up in prayer.
Soon rushing towards the garage, he took his bike. Driving as fast as possible, he reached the hospital within an hour. The morning traffic is sparse on the roads of Kolkata. His last night experience kept on coming back to him and he was realising with a shock that the unknown lady of his dream may be Sonali, but how is that possible..!
On reaching the hospital he ran towards the emergency services. Seeing Riyaaz, Meenakshi(Sonali’s best friend) and her family standing outside the ICU, Samarpan started feeling a deep pain in his heart.
The only thing he can ask at this time is, “Is she alright..?”
Samarpan took the support of Riyaaz’s shoulder to steady himself. Riyaaz and Meenakshi consoled him and made him sit on the nearby chair.
“She is recovering. Don’t worry, she will be fine.” Riyaaz’s voice has a comforting tone. Samarpan was feeling helpless but these words are giving him a sign of relief. The doctor came out of the ICU about an hour later. “She is out of danger.” Doctor smiled and told, “She’s very fortunate that her head and other vital organs are unharmed. The fact that she got thrown out of the car door on the impact of the accident and probably that saved her life. She has gained conscious and you guys can meet her soon.”
A sense of relief goes through Samarpan. Time wore on. Samarpan thinks to take a walk alone towards the lawn of the hospital. He wanted to reconcile the ethereal experience he had and the fact that Sonali met with an accident. He is by now certain that it can’t be her who kissed him in his dream last night and that is having no rational explanation too. He didn’t feel like discussing this with his friends. They may say that its nothing but figment of his own fear or imagination or just a fortunate dream.
Around noon, Samarpan entered the ICU and went near the bed where Sonali is recuperating. Her large and beautiful eyes are wide open with a tinge of tiredness. The medical equipment, many cables coming out of them and strapped to her body are indicating various parameters, but thankfully positive.
Samarpan took her hand in his hand, smiled and asked, “How are you feeling..?”
Sonali remained quiet for some time, staring at him unblinkingly then said in a very low voice, “Thank you for saving me. You responded to my call right before the accident. I was scared as the driver was drunk.”
Now its Samarpan’s turn to stare at her blankly.
“What are you talking about..! How did I save you..! I didn’t even know that you met with an accident till this morning. Riyaaz called me and………”
She wasn’t shocked at all. She was calm and collected, “No Somu. At the time of accident I was on call with you and I saw you on the edge of the road, smiling at me. As soon as the car hit the tree, you came running towards me and opened the car door, pulled me out. You were so fast and worried at the same time. You saved my life. Then I don’t remember what happened next.”
She was smiling faintly at his astonished face and added, “Remember my kiss when I was in your arms!, or you don’t recall that also!”. She closed her eyes in exhaustion and as the nurse appeared for the injections, Samarpan had to leave the ICU.
Samarpan’s thoughts are becoming coherent. He can’t believe that by some mysterious occurrence he was there at the accident site, rescued Sonali and in return she kissed him out of thankfulness and love. He can’t believe that none of them were near to each other physically but both shared the same experience.
Can love come to rescue even when they are bodily far away…!
Samarpan is overwhelmed. He wants to be with Sonali at the moment but doctors didn’t allow him to go inside. He is standing still outside the ICU. Though he can’t get into that room but now he doesn’t care. He knows the love has no bound of this physical world. Even though he is there on the other side of the door, he felt his soul walking into the ICU. With a seraphic feeling, he closed his eyes. He is discerning that his feet are moving towards Sonali’s bed. No-one is there except Samarpan and Sonali. He held her in his arms with all of his affection, caressed the hair on her face, raised her closer towards him and kissed her once again.