They say time is the greatest of all healers. But I am a living example of the fact that this statement is not true. It was six months since my wife Reena died. In the past six months, I had done everything possible to get on with life. At first, I tried to drown myself in work. When that had proved ineffectual, I resorted to other things like spending a lot of time with friends and relatives. But nothing was good enough to wean me away from the sorrow of losing Reena. Finally, I lost my job and hit the bottle. That was how I happened to be sitting down that Sunday night on the shores of the Marina beach in Chennai drowning my sorrows in a bottle of hard toddy.
It was a full moon night with the stars blazing. I shifted my gaze away from the waves and looked up towards the sky. Suddenly I caught sight of a falling star. I looked hard at it and wished, ‘Please reunite me with my Reena, just for an hour.’ The star disappeared from my site and as I was just about to take another swig from my bottle of toddy, something strange happened. The waves of the sea parted and out cruised a circular vessel that was roughly fifteen feet in diameter. I looked at it mesmerized, unable to take my eyes off it.
The vessel stopped some ten feet away from me and a door on the front side opened. After a few minutes, out stepped my Reena! My joy knew no bounds. I immediately stood up and ran towards her. I swept her into my arms and kissed her on the lips. It was wonderful to hold her after such a long time.
I looked into her eyes and spoke in a voice choked with emotion, ‘Wherever have you been? Oh God, it is so good to see you. Don’t ever leave me like that again Reena. I can’t live without you.’
‘That is not possible darling,’ she said holding my face with her hands. ‘You have asked for just one hour with me.’
My face fell and I was ready to burst into tears. Reena looked at me and said, ‘Don’t worry dear, we will enjoy this one hour as much as we can. I will take you on a ride you could have never imagined and show you things you have never seen. Come with me. You are going to love this.’
Reena took hold of my hand and led me toward the vessel. We entered through the door in the front which closed automatically after us. I could see a huge comfortable-looking sofa inside the vessel and Reena asked me to sit on it. I sat down and found everything outside was clearly visible. Reena sat next to me and held my hand. She then spoke through a speaking tube in front of her and said, ‘Let us move now, Captain.’
Soon the vessel began moving through the sea. We cruised on the surface of the sea for around ten minutes after which I could feel a downward movement. Reena snuggled up to me and said, ‘We will now look at all the wonders of marine life.’
As we moved downwards, I could see various forms of marine plant as well as animal life. I was wonderstruck by their beauty and drew my breath in sharply as I looked at them. As we moved downwards, I could observe a variety of fishes, Octopuses, Squids, Jellyfish, Sharks and several others forms of life under the sea. I could also see a plethora of aquatic plants. Being a marine biologist, this trip was indeed a wonderful treat for me.
After some time, there was a light thud. Reena looked at me and said, ‘We are now at the bottom of the ocean, and we have already spent 50 minutes of our time. We must go back to the top and then we have to part.’
Something in the finality of her tone made me realize I could not take her back with me. The vessel started moving upwards again and soon we were back on the sands of the Marina beach. The door opened and we stepped out. I hugged her tightly for one last time and then said, ‘Please give me something which will help me to remember this trip forever.’
Reena looked at me and handed over a piece of small cloth that had a beautiful image of her face embroidered in the middle. She got back into the vessel, and it started moving back into the sea. Suddenly I lost all my self-control and ran behind the vessel shouting, ‘Reena, come back. Please do come back… Reena…’
Suddenly, I jumped out of my bed with a start. I had a splitting headache. God, what a dream! Tears flooded my eyes and I wished whatever I had dreamt was true. Suddenly, I realized I was clutching something in my right hand. I straightened it out. It was a small piece of cloth. I looked at it feeling stunned. It had the image of Reena’s beautiful face embroidered in the middle…
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3 thoughts on “A Wish On A Star”
You had me in a vicelike grip. Great story.
Thank you so much, Tom.
Very nice, Jai. It started like your past and took us into the world of dreams and finally coming back to reality.