Three Magical Words [SHORT STORY]

paper boats in rain
Written by Pooja Vaidya

(This story is the sequel to She – A Traveler, He – A Photographer. Read the first part here)

So, here’s how the infinity of exploring their passion and understanding every unspoken feeling for each other started….with this one-night trek….set in early monsoon…in this beautiful place amidst the Sahyadhri ranges – a place called ‘Prabalgad Fort’. She – ‘A Traveler’ – had taken complete charge of planning their first trek successfully, and he – ‘A Photographer’ – blindly trailed after her.

Both boarded an early evening train from one of the most heavily crowded stations of Mumbai, going on to Panvel to join their trekkers’ group, and reached the base village called ‘Thakurwad’ from where the hike was to commence.

It was pitch dark and they were hiking their way through rocky and wet patches. Everyone had a torch in their hands for obvious reasons. Looking at her with a misplaced feeling he asked her to hand him a torch. Baffled with his request, she looked around her and realized their first mistake. They had no torch! He kept calling out his request again and again. Finally regaining her senses, she uttered an awful sorry into that darkness. Without uttering any word further, he pulled her by hand and started the ascent again, safeguarding her heart and hands together throughout the stony, dim and damp covers.

Half an hour more into the trek, it started pouring down heavily and soon she was getting all drenched. With a troubled voice, he told her to cover herself with something from her backpack. Numbed at his words, she realized her second mistake. Fearing an angry outburst, she quietly walked on. She had unknowingly disappointed him yet again. Suddenly, she felt his hands resting on her shoulders with his jacket in that dark silence and the warmth in his touch. The silence that could spell a thousand unsaid words in her ears, overwhelming her in every sense as they continued the ascent further, hand-in-hand.

Luckily, the downpour from the clouds came to standstill and they reached midway, out on to an elevated outcrop. And their eyes witnessed the most beautiful view – of the expressway connecting two far-off cities and flashing hazy lights from the moving vehicles; whereas on the hilltop, the silent and glitzy sparks of fireflies filled the whole place with magical mystery. At first, he was disappointed about the absent DSLR camera that could have captured the striking moment. But her presence very next to him breathed silent spurs in his heart and made him forget all.

Holding each other’s hand, they sat on a stone, letting the sight further descend into their memories and suddenly he placed her hand on his fast-racing heart. Confused, she struggled to look at his face in that dark, just to make sure that he was  fine. And finally, he uttered those three unspoken words to her and she reciprocated instantly making the darkest of nights the brightest one of their lives with the light of their love.

He decided to stay on at the outcrop and let her conquer the fort; after all this was her first adventure for which she had come all the way. And it was very evident to both of them that he definitely did not share her travel enthusiasm!

Unknowingly, this trek became the reason for three most important things in their lives so far – first his decision to buy a DSLR camera, learning and exploring basics of photography and getting skilled in his craft. Next was her undying enthusiasm to create more travel memories but this time only with more attention to details. And finally (and the most important one!) having each other’s presence in their lives when they actually made their passion and dreams turned into reality.

At the end they knew, the chaotic moments spent together had molded them in a such way that their life journey would never be same again.

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Pooja Vaidya

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