|It was a serene Sunday afternoon. Sameer was trying to concentrate at his writing desk. He was a lecturer of Psychology in one of the lesser known colleges in his small town. He would have been just another small-town boy; had he not had big dreams. He wanted to write an essay on the human mind, something that would get the Booker or the Pulitzer. Or maybe the Nobel prize for Literature. He had lots of thoughts and ideas in his mind but he had never quite managed the time to put them on paper. Today he was determined to get some serious work done. "The human mind is really such a wonderous entity", he thought. "One moment you are here and the very next moment...|
The doorbell rang. A look of despair passed over his features. He went to the door. His expression underwent a drastic change: he smiled. It was Antara. Maybe she had changed her mind after all. Maybe she had come back to him. Maybe...
"What's wrong Sameer, won't you invite me in?", her voice sounded like soft music.
Harshly pulled out of his musings, he said " Oh, do come in! Sit down. A cup of tea perhaps? So, what brings you here?"
"I won't stay for tea. I just came by to give you this invitation for my wedding".
The words gave him a physical blow: he staggered back, all hopes shattered. His heart broke into a thousand little pieces all over again.
"Be sure to come Sameer. I got to leave now".
"O-ok", was all he managed.
He saw her to the door, locked it behind her and rushed back to the desk. HIs eyes were burning and there was a lump in his throat. He started to weep. All of a sudden he sat bolt upright and said out aloud: "No, I can not afford to be weak. The Nobel awaits me". He grabbed the pen and started to scribble something. But the tears in his eyes were making it difficult for him to see. And his thoughts kept returning to Antara and the golden days of the past. Of a past that had no future.
He was sitting on the rocks on the beach. The sun was getting ready to turn in for the night. The fading light felt good to his eyes and the soft sound of the waves felt better to his ears. But what felt the best was her head on his shoulders, and his arms around her. That was a different Antara. he breeze was blowing her silky black hair against his face; and he could recognise the faint whiff of her perfume. That was the past without a future- a yesterday with no tommorow. But it had all felt so real and beautiful then- even the sweet nothings she had uttered, every empty promise she had made. she had said she would always come back to him. She had said it so convincingly that he had believed her. That was just a few moments before she had walked away from him- for the alst time. He had stared after her long after she had vanished from view. And that was his last thought as he fell asleep.
The doorbell woke him up in the evening. He checked the watch and did not bother to open the door. He knew it was the evening paper and he did not want to know about anyone else right then. HIs mind returned to the Nobel prize. He faintly remembered having written something. He checked his notebook. He was horrified. He had scribbled "Antara" from the top to the bottom of the page. But the last line intrigued him. It did not look like his handwriting; or was it? It read: "The maze never cease to amaze".