After 9 years, I returned to Dehradun. If I did not have any motive, I would have never returned to this place again in my life.

Surrounded by mountains that were a beautiful hill station was Dehradun, People used to come here for vacation but

Whenever I visited Dehradun I had some motive, first I completed my graduation from here and now I had some research work so I had to stay there for a month.

After getting refreshed in the Guest house, I did not know what happened. I decided to relive my old life again so I went to that old tea stall where I used to sit during my college days.

I saw one familiar face was sitting there, I become very excited and

“Murali Sir, Do you recognize me, sir? Me Shiva!”

I guess he did not recognize me, but he asked me to sit down beside him on a bench and he started looking at the watch on his wrist for the time.

“Sir, where is your famous silver color watch?”

“Do you remember? My daughter Meera took it along with her, America. She used to tell me. Papa, this watch feels like you are nearby me”

When he was talking about his daughter, My heart skipped a beat right there,

I felt a little bit uncomfortable. I wanted to leave but I could not.

Meera, Murali sir’s daughter, and Meera my first love.

You know first love is always very innocent and first love taught me if you love someone you would love everything related to her

Meanwhile, Murali sir was trying to remember my identity and his next question broke my attention.

“Your name?”

“Sir, My name is Shiva”

“Were you that class topper?”

“Sir, No I am not that Shiva”

“Volleyball team Captain?”

“No, I was not….”

“Anyways leave it…”

We talked for an hour and then I promised to meet him again and I returned to my guest house.

Dehradun, I came here for my graduation, and initially, I did not like anything about that city but when Meera crossed my path, I fell in love with this city

Shiva and Meera, People used to tell matches are made in heaven, our matches were decided by our professor

I was in her group for a group presentation but I used to bunk my class occasionally because I did not like anything about that college.

One day when I attended the class and after class, when I was returning to my hostel and she stopped my path.

Somewhere she was worried about my attendance. What if she had to do that presentation all alone.

“Is your name Shiva?”

“Hmm, I am Shiva.

“Please try to attend classes every day, it is important for our presentation. if you would miss any class, I would attempt suicide”

I became very nervous, her voice raised my heartbeat, and on the other hand everyone was looking at us.

“Hmmm, okay I will”

After a second, I run away from there,

From the next day, I attended every class, and we did a group presentation together and with time we became good friends. We used to have lunch together in the canteen and gossip in the tea stall for hours.

Remembering these college days, I did not know when I slept there.

Next few days, I spent my time doing research.

In that busy schedule, I have forgotten my promise to Murali sir to meet him again.

After a few days, when I went there I came to know that Murali sir used to ask about me regularly but then he too joined me there.

“You did not fulfil your promise, Shiva”

“Sorry, Sir that is why people used to tell us we should not trust strangers”

“Everyone has their theories and I guess one theory should not work everywhere, if we do not have the same faces, then how the problem could be the same”

And we started laughing together, I started thinking Meera was the same as her father alive every single moment, she was well connected to her roots, and everyone looked at her as a reflection of her father.

That is why my batchmates used to get frustrated with us because, why was the prettiest girl roaming with an average-looking guy?.

With time, she started considering me her good friend but on the other hand I was confused about my bond with Meera.

That college was full of students from the elite class, I was from the middle class so I used to feel inferior complexity in front of everyone.

I wanted to live my life like them but I did not have that much privilege.

Meera used to tell me, Shiva stop being pitied yourself. You are good.

I did not like my financial situation but I liked her thoughts.

I did not know when I started to like everything about her, the way she walked, the way she talked. Her innocent smile, Her cute anger. Everything!

I was in love but I used to deny this in front of friends but deep down I know someday, Meera would know about these feelings.

Murali sir used to meet me in that tea stall every day and we used to sit there for hours but one day he asked.

“Shiva, why are you still unmarried?”

I did not reply and I became serious for a while.

“Did you have any face in your dream that did not meet you?” He asked again.

“It was not like that Sir, Maybe I was waiting for someone would come on her own in front of me but I had to find her, or maybe someone who had already come, where I have tried to find my reflection of my soulmate but I was unaware about the fact she just came to get separated”

Murali sir started laughing,

“This new generation has this problem, when we talk about old traditions, you people always counter these things smoothly but you are entangled within yourself. Do you believe in an institute of marriage?

“I do not know, Sir”

What should I tell him that there was a time when I wanted to marry badly. Murali sir broke the silence between us.

“I don’t wanna praise the institute of marriage but marriage would give you disciplined life and makes life more hopeful and bound our society together even Meera was confused about marriage, she wanted to focus on her career, she was like a free bird but one day she becomes very sad one of her classmates proposed her for marriage”

I became very nervous at that moment.

“What was his name, Sir?” I asked him

“I do not know his name, she did not discuss that much about him but he was having a problem of inferiority complexity but he was talented, Meera was trying to help him out and wanted to refine his talent but don’t know what he thought about her and even she did not talk to her cat and she cried so much at that day”

I was listening to him while holding my breath.

“I have some personal experience who were weak toward positivity, they were more powerful toward negativity we should not talk to them it would be good for us”

I was lost in thought, Maybe that is why she discarded me from her life.

I still remember the day when she was looking worried when she came to meet me.

Even though I was feeling guilty after confessing my love to her and I could not see her worried because of me.

We both were sitting silently there for a while, she was strangely looking at me and I was looking down like a criminal.

And Meera broke the silence between us,

“Shiva, I respect your feelings but I can’t deny that love would be good only when it would be from both sides, you were my good friend Shiva nothing more than that. I think we should part our ways this would be good for us”

I looked at her in a surprised manner, my moist eyes were asking for a little bit of concession in her decision but my words did not support me.

She had sympathy for me but she did not want to deny the truth.

“Remember Shiva, the name of stopping is not love, love is what drives life”

In return, a tear came down my eyes. That was the last time we have met,

She looked at me,

“Tears….?” She asked.

“No, these are drops of rain that came down from clouds of memories, let them flow it would give peace”

She asked by looking at the lines on my forehead


“Naah, These lines are an attempt to live the rest of life. It used to shine on my hand when you were with me but now you are going so it is on my forehead”

She looked at her watch.

“I am getting late, I have to go now. Goodbye”

Love, Pain, and Memories who keep you together with me, nothing has separated with me. You should come in my dreams and we would try to relive this life again. After coming out of the clouds of remembrance, some rain drops will rain again. After coming down from the lines of the forehead, love will settle again in the lines of the hand

I do not want to remember this part of my life but Murali sir came into my life like a page of an old diary.

For some days, Murali sir did not come to that tea stall. Later, I came to know he was ill. I went to his house. Those cats welcomed me, I went inside and I found out He was quite ill and he asked me to sit down.

I sat right there holding his hand, silently. Suddenly his breathing became fast, his health started deteriorating.

I called an ambulance, Ambulance came and We went to the hospital, and when he was going inside the ICU

“I guess this is my final time, please call my daughter if possible”

I dialled her number with a shivering hand. That number is from America.

Her husband picked up that call and I told him that Murali sir is admitted to hospital and his condition is serious”

“Oh! We are coming as soon as possible”

I was awake the whole night outside ICU, her husband’s voice was still echoing in my mind.

Although Meera did not invite me to her marriage, I came to know she was going to marry a doctor.

I still attended all the wedding rituals secretly, even I cried when she was crying during her “Vidai”.

I remained depressed for months. My beards had grown, and my clothes remained unpressed.

In the evening, I used to sit there when I and Meera used to spend time together. I always tried to find someone.

Everyone was there except Meera. Everything seems worthless in her absence then one day I have decided to end this life.

When I stood on the bridge of the river to end this life, I saw a reflection of my mother in the flowing water and suddenly I closed my eyes and her final words started echoing in my ears.

(“Remember Shiva, the name of stopping is not love, love is what drives life”)

I opened my eyes and I ran away toward life. In that life, my mother and her happiness would be there and that day I decided that I should not conceal my mother’s dream because of breakup.

This love would give momentum to those dreams.

After some days, I came to know that Meera got settled in America with her husband. Slowly, I started trying to forget her, and then I took a research fellowship and became a researcher. I got so engaged in my research, that those old memories became blurry.

Even I would not remember anything if that piece of paper would not come to me. In that paper I was ordered to go to Dehradun as a researcher.

Murali sir’s health was improving and his son-in-law called me that he would be there in the evening. My mother called me,

“One more marriage proposal is there, Do not say NO, please. I wanna see my daughter-in-law before I die”

“Do not say anything about dying, I am coming”

Even my research was over so I had no reason to stay in Dehradun. I packed my bag but before leaving I went to the hospital where he was sleeping, I touched his feet and left.

After some hours, I was on the train and I was returning to my home and after some time I was getting bored so I took out the same file used to relieve boredom in every journey.

This file was a documentation of me and Meera’s Conversation.

In class and seminars whenever Meera felt bored she used to write something on paper and give it to me and then I used to reply to that paper. By the end of the series, the paper gets filled.

In that paper, we used to do conversation and some cartoon-type faces. I did not throw them away, I used to keep every paper with me and attach it to my file.

When I was turning those pages of my file, my phone started ringing. It was Murali’s sir phone. His voice seems more energetic.

“I am still alive, I wanna meet you”

“Sir, I have some important work, I would come thereafter somedays”

“Oh, Meera insisting me to come with her to America, I do not think she would let me live here”

“Never mind, daughter’s cat will remain, I would meet them”

And we started laughing,

“My daughter wanna talk to you”

And my heartbeat stopped and From there the same sweet voice echoed.

“We did not see you but you do not seem like a stranger, dad keeps talking about you only. if you do not have any important work please come we would thank you face to face”

I remembered the first meeting at that time,

“I will…..” I replied exactly as I replied when I met her for the first time and I cut that call.

I started looking outside through the window. It was raining outside and again I started turning pages of my file.

One cartoon was there on the page

“You are crazy, Shiva” was written on that page.

And again I turned to another page,

“I am getting bored”

And there was a question on another page,

“Why are you always silent, Shiva?”

My reply was below to that question.

“Some leaves broke down from branches, Some centuries passed by… Why are you searching for words in my silence… Just look into my eyes you would see countless secrets”

By reading those, my eyes become moist. The train was passing a river, that was a Ganga River,

How beautiful do the Ganges look with their pure flow, one old woman started chanting Har Har Gange! one small kid was joining both hands,

I do not know what came to my mind, I detached all pages from that file and threw them toward Maa Ganga,

The train was crossing the bridge throbbing, just behind the train, the papers falling from the height were merging into the Ganga, one by one.