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Jigyasa, the Curious one #storytellersbloghop

This post is written for #StorytellersBlogHop FEB 2021 hosted by Me and & MeenalSonal.

‘Parapsychology, University of Edinburgh.’ The Google search results were driving Jigyasa ebb and flow. Two weeks had passed since that fateful crash on Lucknow-Agra Expressway. That was the last time she saw her family. And that changed her forever. She often found herself spending time wondering if there are supernatural realms beyond our own?

She was convinced there’s a way to establish connect with people in another world. More than that, she wanted to believe that the other world truly existed. All the horror movie scenes flooded her mind. All unusual power the spirits possessed. Right from temperatures plummeting in their presence to hair tresses blowing up eerily with wind. All she needed was a figment of hope that she could establish connect with her parents. Who were now in a different world from her. Just one meeting, final goodbye & a prayer for peace. It’s important to look reality in its eyes. Sad reality of life is that, reality is far from expectations.

Jigyasa was a brat growing up. Absolute Tomboy. She was the biggest prankster in her college who always resented Goldilocks approach. Life meant celebration and she lived it fully. Her attitude was true to her name, Jigyasa. Always curious, rebellious but exceptionally gullible. It was hard to ignore her and dislike her. And one incident changed it forever. Now she was alone, unsure about what tomorrow would bring.

She shut the lid of her MacBook Pro. Raised her eyes to see the milling crowd on a Sunday evening as the barista punched red green buttons at Starbucks. . While she slid her laptop in a sleeve and walked out, she overheard a young lady talking on her phone “Mondays should be optional.”

The Delhi winters are one of its kind, and so are Delhiites. As the world was barely recovering from a prolonged quarantine period, with vaccination news round the corner, it seems Covid19 never happened to Delhi. People wandered around without masks, paid no heed to social distancing norms and had absolutely no problem with blowing candles on birthday cake again. Jigyasa secretly envied them. ‘Sad memories are bad but good memories are the worst’, she thought.

Her dad always used to push her every time she felt like giving up about a km from Half Marathon finish line. ‘Jigyasa, one step at a time. Inhale through nose. Exhale through mouth.’ Her father’s voice echoed in her ears. And after every race, they’ll open Budweiser cans in the backseat of car as Pawan drove them home. Her mother loved watching cuisine shows on internet and dish out delicacies for her. And how she ask her for OTPs every time she created Jigyasa’s profile on her phone. From Tinder to shaadi.com to Bumble. “Mom, you better stop doing it before we hit a bad turn”, she would scream. Bad turn, that’s what their car hit and in a bait of eyelid, everything changed.

The metro station gates at Botanical Garden had malfunctioned again. She had to walk past the third gate, one next to CISF personnel. She felt the gush of wind in her hair from incoming metro train as she waited on the platform. The headlights followed moments later and slowly the train stopped. She hopped inside the coach, mostly empty. She grabbed a seat and flicked out her phone. ‘Currently unavailable. We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.’ Her search for Ouija board on Amazon app returned this message. She had pondered over option of a successful planchette for a fortnight now.

Her melee of thoughts ran faster than the Magenta line metro sped. In last two weeks, she had done everything to put the pieces of paranormal puzzle together. Right from staying alone in the Bhangarh Fort overnight to walking alone in Kitchner lines in Lansdowne. She wished to see what spirits were capable of and how much of connect was possible between people on two sides.

“Next station is Hauz Khas, the doors would open on right”. The announcement broke her thoughts. A young couple standing right in front of her recreated an almost pole dance session as the train stopped at Hauz Khas slowly. ‘At least someone got lucky with Bumble.’ She disembarked from the coach and took stairs. The escalator was not working. As she huffed and puffed out of exit gate, she could spot only one Autorickshaw at a distance. 10pm. 8550 steps. Neon readings shone on her Fitbit.

As she craned her neck inside, the driver snored with Neha Kakkar blaring through his headphone. She tried to give him a nudge, then a shaky-wakey! ‘Kumbhkaran is deep asleep!!‘ She got down from the kerb and tried to stop a couple of other Autorickshaws. But, no luck! She wasn’t sure if even one would stop and then decided to walk down to her home. The visibility was bad but that never slowed down the cars. ‘More than eighty percent of cars are driven under influence’, she thought. All of a sudden, a white Hyundai Creta almost ran her over as she tried walking past the zebra crossing. “Saale, Andhaa hai kya??”, she cussed as the taillights disappeared in fog at a distance. She had tripped over in the middle of Inner Ring Road and there was no one else to help her either. She picked herself up.

A ten minutes walk and she was standing at Green Park Market. The vendors were scarse and she definitely was not in mood for eating. Even the last of the Kathi Rolls cart was packing up. She longed for food that her mom cooked. Plain boiled rice and daal with ghee and achaar.

As she sat on the bench, a dog came up close, stared at her face and wagged his tail. She touched him behind his ears and gave him a cuddle. The dog stretched in an arch and touched his cold nose to her finger.

As she approached the porch of her independent house, all the memories filled up her mind again. Learning to peddle up her first bicycle with her dad running behind her. Her 10th birthday celebration when her Mom had decorated the entire garden. The newspaper wallah flinging the newspaper over the iron gates every morning.

And now, Jigyasa stood outside the window grill. She watched her Mom stirred some curry in non-stick pan that Jigyasa gifted on her wedding anniversary last October. Her mom moved around in quite robotic manner. Aloof & uninterested. Her passion for cooking now seemed to have turned into a chore that she just waited to get over. Her mom dabbed the tear trickle down her cheeks with her Duppatta. Jigyasa shifted her focus across the living room and saw her Dad sitting on the sofa, talking to Anu Mama over his mobile phone. “UP police recovered Jigyasa’s body from the abyss. I can’t believe our little girl is gone, Anu”, he broke down as he spoke.

 All folklore about dead people is hoax. Dead people don’t just exist at particular places. They are everywhere. Even right now, between your screen and eyes, as you read this. And they are powerless. The iEnergizer BPO video on YouTube is hoax too. Dead people can’t even move a blade of grass. Dogs don’t get perturbed; humans can’t see or hear or feel them.

The swing in the park creaked as the wind blew. Jigyasa’s heart had exploded, looking at her own life size garlanded photograph in the living room. She just couldn’t muster courage to go further. Right on those stairs at porch, she curled up for the night. Still thinking of a way to communicate with her parents. And tell them about her afterlife. And That’s just the beginning…

If you liked this story, I am sure you must check out this one too!

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This Post Has 70 Comments

  1. Ruchi Verma

    I am just glued to this touching story …I really wish if there anyway to speak your loved one after death…

  2. Mayuri Nidigallu

    You got me there, Ujjwal! The end took me by surprise! Loved the read, a great start to the blog hop!

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Thanks Mayuri. Its my first attempt at thriller/ horror. Wanted to try something different this time.

      1. Ila Varma

        The end was a surprise n the way of expression is mind-blowing. Keep writing
        #storytellersbloghop

  3. Nitisha

    Oh My God! Whatt! I am still stumped with the end!
    Also loved loved your writing style Ujjwal! I am definitely taking back a few tips from here.

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Glad that the story took you by surprise. We all are learning. Waiting for your story too.

    2. Jhilmil D Saha

      Simply wow Ujjwal. That was so engaging and the ending was full of surprise. Wonderful work.

  4. Shamik

    Very nice. I liked the style of your writing. I’m a fan of thriller/horror genre and thoroughly enjoyed reading the story.

  5. Aditi Kapur

    I’ve always loved your style of writing and Woah! What a beautiful story to start the blog hop!!
    The end took me by surprise 😮

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Glad I could do that. This is my first attempt at ‘Kahani mein twist’ story.

    2. Seema Bardeskar

      Your story brought me chills! How Jigyasa must have felt! What her parents must be going through. It’s so hard to lose someone yoh love. We should not take our daily life for granted. Don’t know what’s kept in store for us in the next moment.

  6. Srishti Rajeev

    The end was a complete surprise. Once I began reading, I couldn’t stop. The style is different but kept onr hooked on to know what happens next. Glad to have such an amazing start to the Blog Hop.

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Thanks srishti. You have reviewed my non fiction book. Its glad to hear such feedback for fiction too. This is my first attempt at horror.

  7. Varsh

    What a wonderful weave this was, Ujjwal! While I waited Jigyasa to find a way to communicate with her parents, the poor girl had herself lost her chance at life. I’ve always wondered how true afterlife is. No one knows, I guess!

    1. sonam jain

      omg the end is a surprise.. love your writing skills .. you kept me on toes till the end ..I am anyways a fan of thriller and this one was perfect

  8. Deepika Sharma

    Totally loved your style of narration. You described the locales and the emotions so well. The end adds a boost to the story line. Wonderful read.
    Deepika Sharma

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Hope it was surprising enough to qualify a horror genre

  9. Dipika Singh

    I was shocked by the twisted end, Ujjwal. What a lovely narration, you built up the whole plot so well only to give readers a surprise in the end. Very emotional and what a storyteller you are man! Hats Off

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Glad to hear such encouraging words from you

  10. Ira Mishra

    Lovely narration… Totally kept me hooked till the end and just didn’t expect the twist at the end… Superb!

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Thanks Ellora

  11. Romila

    The narration was so real that when I read the last part I was taken a back – what? Jigyasa is dead! Oh no! I’ve read some real incidents where dead I believe communicate with their loved ones as soul doesn’t die and after life exists. Your story made me remember those ghostly stories I read in the past. Google search results to Macbook to Tinder and boooom….there is no life in Jigyasa! Your writing skills are amazing. Enjoyed your story.

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Happy to hear such encouraging words.

  12. Sadvika kylash

    Love the way you wrote.
    Last few lines made me so heart felt. Afterlife and parents are those two accepts that are hard to imagine. Well written.

  13. What a plot twist ! I adored every single scene that you narrated and I could feel a sense of both surprise and shock towards the end ! I loved it !

  14. Ramandeep Kaur

    This is my pleasure to read such an amazing story. You have an awesome style of compiling the theme.
    Keep writing and keep inspiring…

    1. Ujjwal, this story caught our attention from start to finish. Your story brings goosebumps and its spine chilling end is wow. Must say a great start to the #StoryTellersBlogHop

      1. Ujjwal Mishra

        Thanks guys. Your feedback means a lot always.

  15. Amritha Srinath

    What a fabulous story Ujjwal! That end was unexpected and just caught me by surprise. Loved every bit of it.
    You have nailed the emotions we feel after losing our near and dear ones.

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Glad to get that feedback Amritha.

  16. Alpana Deo

    Now that is the reason why I adore your writing Ujjwal. You know your readers very well. Strong story plot beautifully and carefully weaved. Starting from the name Jigyasaa, and the way you took us on a story ride, it was beautiful. Recently, I developed a habit of reading loud any fiction story 🙂 and this one was bang on….

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Learnt a lot from you. Thanks

      1. Noor Anand Chawla

        That was an unexpected twist! I particularly liked the emotions of loss you have portrayed in the story. Good one!

  17. Daisy

    This was indeed a captivating thriller! You turned the plot 360 degrees in the end. The last 3 paragraphs shook me in eerie and pulled emotional heartstrings too. Your writing was vivid, juicy and descriptive. What an end you painted to this beginning… absolutely out of this world… literally!! Kudos 👏

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      Thanks daisy for such motivating words.

  18. Surbhi Prapanna

    Wow you had a great style of narrating story Ujjwal. you know, I had felt that I am watching an episode of latest web series. since beginning to end you had written this with such a crisp and precise narration. the plot of story was so engaging and end has made me shocked . such a perfect start of #Storytellersbloghop. now, I am feeling so nervous about my story.

    1. Ujjwal Mishra

      You will do great, I am sure. Thanks for encouraging words

  19. Priyanka Nair

    What a narration Ujjwal! I was hooked till the end, horror and suspense mix. You gave me a feeling of watching a thriller series on Netflix 🙂 I have never written fiction before, let’s see how I weave one at #Storytellersbloghop

  20. Prerna Wahi

    I loved the unexpected twist and actually had goosebumps. Very well written Ujjwal. you should surely write more fiction across all genre.

  21. Neha Jain

    Surprised! I was in awe of your narration while reading the story, then with the unexpected way, the story came out left me surprised. I loved reading it.

  22. Urvashi

    you have written it so beautifully. I couldn’t have imagined Jigyasa is the one dead.. superb narration. I loved your grip on the story. I am going to take some pointers and update my story …

  23. Sivaranjini. A

    That was truly an interesting read. The way you have woven the story is simply great and has all the elements of good fiction. 👏👏👏👏amazing

  24. Dr.Amrita Basu

    Its so very very sad.Very nicely written and gripping till the very end Ujjwal

  25. Noor Anand Chawla

    That was an unexpected twist! I particularly liked your portrayal of the deep emotions of loss.

    1. Arulmozhi N

      I was not prepared for the ending, not at all. Loved your writing ! It keeps one at the edge.

  26. Dr. Anita Sabat

    Touching story, Ujjwal. Well expressed.
    I do agree that there are souls around us.
    No one knows what happens after death.
    Loved ones, in this case- Jigyasa’s parents, suffer the most…

  27. And my love for your article reading remains the same. Outstanding narration, brilliant super thrilling plot, and the unexpected climax left me awestruck. Kudos to your writing skill Ujjwal!!

  28. Neha Tambe

    Lovely read! The end definitely caught me by surprise. Looking forward to all the other posts in blogpost.

  29. Sundeep

    I love reading such thriller stories. You written very beautiful. Looking forward to read more stories.

  30. Geethica

    Wow, Ujjwal simply wow. I love to read thrillers and horror and if this is your first attempt then you must continue for sure.

  31. Vasumathi

    It is so true…those who we truly love or who love us never leave us. Had goosebumps towards the end though I kind of anticipated that she was the one who died after the bit about the taxi driver not responding to her. Great read and an amazing start to the blog hop!

    1. Minal Jain

      This really i was glued till the end … so interesting one … hope to read more… looking forward

  32. Hansa Kajaria

    Wow that’s was a wonderful story and I was hooked…. loved the twist in the story towards the end… unexpected but interesting….

  33. Sandy N Vyjay

    The story is really gripping and sucks the reader into a vortex of words. A nice effort which is really commendable.

  34. Dr. Anita Sabat

    Well narrated, Ujjwal.
    So true. What happens after death- no one has any clue.
    I do believe that some souls are very much near us. But, we never know or do we?
    Reminded me of Hollywood movie directed by Manoj Night Shyamalan- “Sixth sense”. Recently, I watched another movie- “Passengers” that deals with traumatic experience. Do watch, if you haven’t.

    P.S- I had shared my comment a few days ago, but I don’t seem to find it here. Thus, writing this fresh comment.

  35. Jenifer

    Very beautifully written & expressed. May b this is fiction, but such tragedy is real. Would like to know what happens further.

  36. Raks

    Wow that was intense and amazingly written. I couldn’t stop reading and I read it till the end. Absolutely brilliant, I loved it and wish she gets to communicate and say a final goodbye.

  37. Seema Bardeskar

    It was a complete surprise at the end. What a wonderful twist. Loving the story Blogathon and reading such wonderful fictional stories.

  38. Monidipa

    Wow, the story was amazing. I can’t say that I completely predicted the ending but I enjoyed it… Well expressed.

  39. Rahul Prabhakar

    Stories about afterlife and connecting with the dead always interest me. I loved your attempt at making us read till the end. Also, wanted to mention here that Blog Hop seems like a wonderful initiative.

  40. Suhasini I.P.

    I just realized that I didn’t add my comment here. Honestly, I was totally surprised by the twist at the end which left me gaping for a while. Well done Ujjwal. Your narration style gave me goosebumps.

  41. Aakanksha Vohra

    This gave me goosebumps. Wish we cohld communicate with the ones who have left.

  42. Harshita Nanda

    loved it, such a twist!!!

  43. TheOtherBrainInc

    oh what an ending and the crisp narration.. Loved every bit of this tale Jigayasa.

  44. Sreevas M

    This is the perfect story to start a blog hop. Waiting for you to extend this world.

  45. Prisha Lalwani

    What a brilliant twist towards the tail!

  46. Mayura Amarkant

    Nicely woven. Interesting take on the prompt. I would love to know what happened to Jigyasa. Wonderful connecting with you through the blog hop. Thank you for organizing this unique activity.

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