I am moving along a narrow path.It is hazy, but not dark.I can see Sai walking with me.I cannot be sure if he is walking or sliding.We have reached a place that looks like the edge of a Cliff or a bluff, but it could be a bridge as well or a steep mountain side.We are in the realization of an obstacle in our path.But it is not quite an obstacle; there is a way over it, but a longer route.We probably discuss it, and I must have proposed taking the available longer path.Sai is an adventurous person, or at least that is the impression I have.Sai is insisting that he be allowed to take the river at the bottom of the cliff and swim across. I am reluctantly agreeing to it.
As I am looking down the river, I am starting to doubt my decision.The water in the river is gushing as if moving with a purpose, and there are islands of concrete in between.Sai jumped. I am now seeing it from a different place and height.I can see the well-cut, square concrete slabs floating in the now still imagery.
My entire body is quivering with fear.The diminishing image of Sai's body is moving towards one of the concrete slabs.
He hits it!
There are people sitting on this concrete island and on other like it.But no one is moving or giving me any indication of them being alive - as if I am seeing them in a photograph.
There is no blood.Sai turns over with open eyes but frozen at an angle; he must be dead.
The fear is now physical; I can feel the lump moving in my chest.
"I didn't do this! I am not responsible for his murder !"
I am back in the hotel where others were to wait for us.I don't see anyone.The news of his death must have had reached them. They wouldn't want any part of this.They must have left.I have checked out. The manager doesn't look happy.Probably he expected a longer stay and a fatter bill.He could also be in the knowledge of what happened to Sai and was probably told by the cops to be on alert, and inform them when I am back.They must be waiting; I could sense movement behind me. I turn around.
My parents! I will be safe with them.I am seeing myself speaking to my father over a phone and crying uncontrollably.I am telling him that Sai killed himself.
"I didn't do it! I don't remember anything! "
My father is accompanying me to a familiar place.It could be my office; an office definitely.The people inside look conversant. But the looks on their face changed from surprised at my presence to the awkwardness of having to talk to me.I am slow in my responses.I am meeting different people - some acquaintances and some strangers. But all are looking different from some point of expectation I have.I don't comprehend what that difference is but, I know it is not how it should be - that man in blue pin-striped shirt shouldn't be having the kid he says is in school or this young lady, being an intern, should not be occupying the office cabin; I just know she shouldn't.Everything has changed in a couple of days.But I am laughing.I have a weird way of laughing now.I realize that my eyes and region around it don't contribute in the laughter. I am producing a quack as I laugh uncontrollably. I am observing myself laughing from a distance but from a higher place.
Everyone, it seems to me is trying hard at something.I don't have the sense that they had ever spoken to me like the way they doing now.My father has held my arms tight as he is taking me from people to people.My breathing is now faster now.The voices around me drown and a thought emerges. I am not sure if it was a voice or a visual information but, I am now aware that it is 23rd January'2014 and not 2009.Years had slipped away since that day and lot had changed by leaving little trace of it in my mind.Even pain needs memories and I am left only with a nauseating aftertaste.
I wake-up to a comforting reality and I know my father is in the next room.