The Mysterious Man

I sensed a dark figure approaching behind me. My heart raced. I started to walk faster. So did he.

‘Hey! Come back!’ he shouted.

‘Come back where?’ I thought. What a strange thing to say.

My heart galloped faster.

‘He’s dead! The second one is dead!’

At once, my legs stiffened like a rock. My heart transformed into a painful lump.

‘It couldn’t be.’ I thought.

Curiosity overpowered me. I reflexively turned around.

‘What do you mean? They were both alive and well when I left five minutes ago.’ I said.

He came closer. His face was apathetic.

‘They are calling you back Doctor sahiba. Go now!’ he ordered to pointing the building on his right.

A sudden panic rushed into me. Suddenly the dawning sun was overshadowed by grey clouds.

‘What happened? What just happened?’ I said as I caught my breath at the entrance.

My aunt brought forth a newborn in her arms. He was still. No chest movements. No arms movements. Eyes were shut.

‘He just stopped breathing soon after you left.’ Her eyes welled with tears.

I quickly focused back at the innocent darling. The rest was a blurred set of trained actions.

Fingers felt for the pulse in the cubital fossa. The other hand flicked the soles of his feet to stimulate him. The pulse was weak and slow; the skin nor warm nor cold.

‘Get the car ready!’ I screamed at my Aunt’s perturbed face.

I grabbed the baby and placed him on the dining table. Two fingers pushed the center of the chest in quick successions.

‘One, two, three…..’ I mumbled.

The other hand simultaneously lifted the jaw and opened the mouth.

‘…28,29,30.’ Our lips sealed. Two breaths were given. Chest compressions began again.

‘1,2,3,4…. Come on little guy.’ I thought.

My hands had a mind of their own. The worst possible future scenario played in my head. Meanwhile, the other part of me was motivated to keep the light of his life from dimming.

Next thing I remember is the hunky unshaven neighbor looking back from the driver’s seat. The emergency personnel at the hospital said ‘Let us take it from here.’

They took him away. He disappeared into the emergency room.

‘But I am not done.’ I said desperately. It felt like the time my examiner took away the answer sheet during my final exams.

Strong hands grabbed my arms from behind.

‘Stay back. You did what you could.’ said a baritone voice.

‘Did what I could! What if it wasn’t enough? What if I missed something?’ the thoughts flashed through my head.

‘Hey. Sit down.’ The hand positioned me down in the waiting room seat. I stared at the hospital floor. I was lost in a state of mental standstill. Suddenly a hand with a cup of coffee blocked my vision. The rich fragrance gently caressed my senses. I looked up as I held the cup. There he was again. The neighbour. Those seductive brown eyes. The warmth released the stress from my shoulders. His raw sensuality was a rare trait. The hair was ruffled; his smile effortlessly serene. He rubbed the facial stubs on his right cheek.

‘Is something the matter? Something on my face?’ he said calmly.

I smiled mischievously. ‘Thanks…. for the coffee.’

He smiled back. I couldn’t help but stare. It was one of those surprisingly yet subtlely titillating moments. He held his coffee cup with both hands. On his right index finger was an emerald ring with ancient engravings.

‘They said he is going to be fine. Aunty is doing the payments for the neonatal ICU right now. Your second twin nephew is being checked up just as a precaution. The parents are coping well too.’ he said

The sun shone into my eyes blinding me for a few seconds. I opened my eyes to readjust focus on my new companion. He was gone.

Last week, my cousin had delivered twin boys. I took out some time to visit the two new members for the first time, last night. The older twin was awake while the second one was busy feeding. I could not meet the second twin. Time was short and my hours were long. I left early morning today to get to work. That was when the unfortunate events took place.

By night, everyone seemed to be preoccupied at home.

‘I suppose the baby number two was desperate to meet me huh’ I said laughing nervously. I tried to break the gloom. They looked at me and went back to changing diapers and folding clothes.

‘Aunty, who was the man who drove us to the hospital?’

‘A distant relative of the Sharmas. He is here for some personal work; signing property papers. He travels a lot on business. Mrs. Sharma insisted he visit them. He was luckily there last night.’ She paused and said ‘ It’s Karan I think. Yes I remember Mrs Sharma mentioning that name.’

‘What sort of work does he do?’

‘Don’t know Dami dear. It’s getting late now. We all must rest. Goodnight.’

I lay in my bed wide awake. A bright light flashed and then soft footsteps pattered outside. I slowly peeked from behind the window curtain. A dark silhouette was entering the neighboring house. Probably Karan after a late night out with friends. I pulled up the blanket over my head and dozed off to sleep. Soon I tossed and turned in my bed.

Giant alien robots were destroying the city. Very few humans were left. Mechanical arms thrashed aimlessly at the concrete towers which toppled like dominos. Dust and destruction overshadowed the city that once was. The streets filled with screams of pain and death. I ran in between their metallic legs to avoid being seen. An abandoned factory came my way. I ran along its smudged grey walls hoping for a sanctuary. At last, a door. I tried to budge it open. It was locked! The corner of my eye caught a dark spot in the far right. I sprinted towards it. There was a narrow alley, good enough to hide. I took a deep breath as I pressed my back against the wall. It was filthy. Suddenly I felt someone else’s presence too. A familiar fragrance made me turn to my left. A human figure emerged from the darkness.

‘Seeking an escape, Damina?’

‘Karan? Wha..what are you doing in my dream?’

He was bare chested with a black leather harness strap resting on his shoulder. His black trousers comfortably fitted his muscular thighs. He held out his left hand. A silver sword handle studded with a diamond shaped emerald appeared from his back. It looked absolutely stunning.

‘You must come with me. It is time.’ He said in a calm voice.

‘Oh great. YOU are my angelic saviour! Must be the Rambo movie I saw last night.’ I said as I rolled my eyes.

‘You must trust me. Run now!’

An alien had spotted me. The ground quaked as it gained momentum towards me. I had no choice but to run behind ‘my saviour’ down the alley. A brightly lit force field sprung in front of us.

‘We must jump in quickly. They are waiting.’ He pulled me into the force field.

We landed on fresh green grass. A circular white building stood about 50 feet away from our landing site. It was hidden within a forest. The air smelt of freshness. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. Placidity and inner joyousness energized me instantly. Sky was purplish and light blue. Everything was beautiful. This was new yet felt familiar; like home.

‘Where are we? Is this heaven?’ I said

He grinned.‘Welcome to Dveepti Rashtra. The Gurus have summoned you for your mission.’

‘Haha… I think I have to dial down on the movies. Hmm…. So what mission is this? I am a doctor not a military personnel. And what just happened?’

I was getting impatient now.

Karan said nothing. His face was mask like but serene. He walked briskly to the building. I followed.

The large doors opened automatically. There were no gaurds.

‘Dveepti Rashtra is a crime free country unlike yours. Everything is mind controlled. And yes I read your mind.’ He flashed a coy smile.

I pinched myself. I was still there.

‘That won’t work. We are in another dimension, another realm. This is not a dream.’ He said as we walked along a long corridor.

‘It didn’t look so big from the outside.’ I said in amazement as I turned around trying to take in the architectural marvel.

‘Dimensional Transcendence. Let’s leave the details for later.’

He stopped before another set of golden doors. They opened slowly inwards. A panel of men, women and children sat in a semi-circular fashion. They were all dressed in white and golden.

A young boy about age 10 years sat directly in front of the entrance.

He said’ Welcome Rakshak Karan. The session has started. Please be seated.’

Karan bowed and obliged.

‘Damina, welcome. You have many questions in your mind. I apologize for the hastiness. Let me explain. I am Aragya, the 2000th reincarnation. My child like body may astonish you. The body is just a shell. Our true self is the soul. We are the oldest souls of this realm. Once we reincarnate our consciousness transfers too. Thus we possess the collective infinite knowledge of the universe from a time before the many Earths that were created and destroyed.

‘Many Earths?’ I said finally finding my voice.

‘Yes young one. The cycle of life and death applies to planets and universes too. There is balance in nature to cultivate optimum growth and progress. Sadly, this is being destroyed by those who have lost faith.’

‘You mean faith in GOD?’

‘GOD is the supreme energy of the universe. It is in every life form. Our faith in ourselves and fellow beings is diminishing.’

‘With all due respect.. uh.. Aragya. I still do not understand my presence.’ I said with hands joined together.

All heads turned towards Karan. ‘O Great One. Time was less. A Dark soldier had detected my presence.’

Aragya gave a gentle nod. He was certainly mature beyond his exterior looks.

‘Few of our friends from this realm were disillusioned and turned into a group called the Dark Force. They seek to destroy us and the balance of the universe. We sent two of our best, Bharat and Mahat as reincarnations into your world. You have met them.’

‘I am not sure I know anyone named Bharat of Mahat.’ I said

‘Think again. Your nephews on Earth. They have chosen you as their guardian. The Dark Forces tried to kill Mahat few Earth days ago. Our messenger was sent to you for help. You have saved Mahat’s life. We are grateful for that. The unenlightened dark ones won’t be merciful next time.’

‘What can I do, Great One? I am a mere human.’

‘You shall be trained by Karan every night in your dreams. You will be gifted with powers at each stage. Our other rakshaks will be come when essential. Only the chosen can stay close to Bharat and Mahat. Only you have the potential to protect them. Do you accept this honorable task?’

I looked at Karan and every being in the room.

‘Yes.’ I said feeling proud.

Aragya and the others held hands with eyes closed. A few moments later Aragya opened his eyes and announced, ‘The council’s decision is unanimous. You are the Rakshak.’

I woke up suddenly and ran to meet the babies.

‘Bhabhi! We shall call them Bharat and Mahat.’

‘That sounds nice. I like it.’ She said

Several days went by with my night trainings. I had finally found an inner calling.

I looked at both the boys and said ‘Thank you’

I kissed them on their foreheads. I got up to leave but turned back suddenly.

‘I swear I saw one of you wink at me.’