I Looked Out of the Window, and Our Eyes Met.

October 2, 2023 8 Comments

It was a cold winter evening, and I had just settled down in my cosy reading nook by the window. The snow had been falling gently all day, blanketing the world outside in a pristine white. I loved these quiet moments, watching the world go by from the warmth of my home. I looked out of the window  ……..

As I sipped my hot cocoa and lost myself in the pages of a gripping novel, I suddenly felt an eerie sensation. It was as if someone was watching me. I glanced around my living room, but there was no one there. It must have been my imagination, I thought.

Returning to my book, I tried to shake off the strange feeling. But as I looked up from the pages once more, there it was again – the distinct feeling of being observed. This time, I couldn’t ignore it.

Slowly, I turned my head towards the window. And that’s when I saw her. A young woman, no older than her mid-twenties, standing in the falling snow just beyond the glass. Her eyes were fixed on mine, and they held a look of profound sadness.

I was taken aback, unsure of how to react. Who was she, and why was she standing outside my window on this cold winter evening? I opened the window a crack and called out to her.

“Are you okay? Do you need help?”

She didn’t respond. Instead, she simply continued to stare, her gaze unbroken. Her eyes seemed to hold a secret, a story waiting to be unravelled. 

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I decided to step outside to see if she needed assistance. I wrapped myself in my warmest coat, slipped into my boots, and ventured into the frigid evening. The snow crunched beneath my feet as I approached her.

“Are you lost?” I asked, my voice trembling from both the cold and the strangeness of the situation.

She still didn’t reply. Instead, she slowly extended her hand, her palm upturned. In it, she held an antique locket, its chain glistening in the pale moonlight.

“What is this?” I wondered aloud.

A sudden warmth coursed through my body as I reached out to take the locket from her hand. I felt an inexplicable connection to the piece of jewellery. It was as if it held the key to a forgotten memory, a story waiting to be unearthed. As I looked up after holding the locket, she was nowhere to be seen. Shocked, with shivers running down my spine, I ran to the safety of my home. I locked the door behind me, my hands trembling so much that I could barely fit the key in the lock. I leaned against the door, trying to catch my breath. I felt safe, but I knew that the nightmare was not over yet. 

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I brought the locket inside and studied it under the lamplight. (The electricity was gone as is usually the practice in my remote village.) It was exquisitely crafted, with intricate patterns etched into the metal. I carefully opened it, revealing two faded photographs inside. One was of a young man in a military uniform, and the other was a portrait of the woman standing before my window.

The woman in the photograph looked exactly like the one I had seen outside. It was as if she had stepped out of time itself and into my world. I couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of déjà vu. It was very cold. First due to heavy snowfall and rains and secondly due to the erring feeling of appearance and disappearance of that young woman. I had an urge to get into the warmth of my bed. Moreover, with no electricity, no internet, no googling or you can say in refined language, no research was possible. I get into my bed with the locket on my side table. 

As soon as I felt the warmth of my quilt,I drifted off to sleep. Visions of the young couple danced in my dreams, and I couldn’t help but my thoughts went towards the  couple in the photo and what might have happened to them. What did she want to tell me? 

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I got up with the chirping of birds and the warmth of sunlight, which fell straight on my bed. The weather outside was clear. It was a beautiful morning. As I put my feet in my slippers, my thoughts went to the locket and I knew my day’s assignment was lying there on my side table. After my morning rituals and eating a sumptuous breakfast, I sat down at my workstation and started using the technology to find out the secret about the locket that the mystery woman gave me. 

With my laptop open, I carefully scanned the old, faded photograph of the young army officer. I uploaded it to a reverse image search on Google, hoping to find some clues. After a few moments, the search results revealed an unexpected detail—the officer belonged to this very area. The revelation sent shivers down my spine.

Hours passed as I was exploring the history of the locket, determined to uncover the mystery behind it. It led me on a journey through time, revealing a love story torn apart by war and tragedy. The young man in the photograph had been a soldier, and the woman his beloved. They had been separated by circumstances beyond their control, their love story left unfinished.

As I pieced together their history, it became clear that the locket had been a symbol of their love, a promise to reunite one day. But fate had other plans, and their paths had never crossed again.

With tears in my eyes, I returned to the window. The woman was no longer there, but I knew she had chosen me to help her find the closure, and so had I. The locket had served as a bridge between our worlds, allowing me to bear witness to a love story that had transcended time and space.

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Feeling excitement and trepidation, I closed my laptop and decided to get some rest, promising myself that I would continue my investigation after my beauty siesta.

And as the snow continued to fall outside, I knew that some stories were meant to be discovered, even when you least expected them.

I couldn’t shake the feeling of connection to the young man and woman in the photographs. I decided to dig deeper and see if I could uncover more about their story.

In the evening, fueled by curiosity, I reached out to my house help and asked if anyone in the neighbourhood might know about the young officer and his love. Bhoori Kaki’s eyes twinkled with the anticipation of a long-forgotten tale.

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She began to narrate the story, one that had been passed down through generations. It was a story of love born amidst wartime turmoil, of a bond so deep that nothing could break it. The officer was known for his bravery and charm, and the woman he loved was equally adored for her grace and resilience. It was long back, the time of “mahayudh”, she said. 

However, tragedy struck when news arrived that the officer had been martyred in a distant battle. His love, heartbroken and devastated, had disappeared from the village shortly thereafter. No one had seen her since that fateful day.

I listened in rapt attention as the Bhoori Kaaki spoke, the story weaving its way into my heart. The disappearance of the young woman was shrouded in mystery. Some believed she had gone in search of her love, while others thought the pain had become too much to bear, leading her to a reclusive life far away.

The neighbourhood, with its collective memories and stories, held onto the hope that one day, the lost lover might return or unite, bringing closure to a tale that had haunted their hearts for years.

As I continued my investigation and spoke to my neighbours, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the story. The mystery of the young couple’s separation and the disappearance of the woman had captured my imagination, and I was determined to uncover the truth.

I was told that there were no after-death rituals done for the soldier and her beloved ever. There is no chance that she is alive by virtue of the long time gap. After all, it was the time of the second world war, 1939-1945 and we are now in 2023. 

These are the days of “pitra paksh” and I thought of doing the rituals myself. I consulted the village Pandit Jee and he agreed to do the rituals. We did the rituals next morning. The morning was beautiful and serene. As soon as we have finished with havan and bhog ( community kitchen food), suddenly clouds come in and it started raining heavily. We felt it as a signal of emancipation of the two sould.

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After my dinner, as I sat with my cup of coffee and my unfinished novel, I just looked outside and there she was with a charming smile, hand in hand with her man, her love of life! She smiled at me again and her eyes were doing all the talking. She thanked me..aankhon aankhon main and then made a move with her man by her side. 

And I had a feeling of them living happily ever after!

She was never seen again. I was the chosen one.

This is what I felt as an end. Can you think of some other end? Please do let me know in the comments.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop .

Neerja Bhatnagar

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