Seven thirty on the evening of 16th May 2014, my phone rang. It was Shikha, my little cousin sister.

“My queen, at your service…..”

In response, I heard sobs.

“What happened??” I enquired.

“Di, …. Nishu is no more”, uttered she quaveringly.

Dumbstruck stood I, at this news of sudden demise of my beloved brother.

“We will reach as early as possible.”

*************

Nishu was a twenty-five-year-old hotel management graduate, about to move to Kuwait to pursue his career in a couple of days. Shikha, his younger sister and youngest of us all in our maternal family hierarchy.

Tightly clasping me she bawls and pours, “Di, everything is finished?? His smile, his pranks, his galling, everything is gone.”

(After a pause) “All was ready. He was leaving on Monday. We were so happy for him.”

“Then”

“In the morning he asked mother, ‘Can I go to Seventh-day Adventist high school to bid adieu to all before I fly?’”

“I fought with him to not to go out this last moment”, adds Shikha.

‘Smirking at me he added, “See, I will never return back, mark my words”, and left for his school with his friend. ‘

“It was evening and he was yet not back. Anguished at his smirk, I too did not inquire about him this time”, regrets Shikha.

***********

At around five in the evening, my uncle received a call from an unknown number. He attended and hurriedly left the house.

After a couple of hours, Vijay da, my cousin brother, came with my uncle completely drunk.

Sighting drunken father, Shikha fired, “So you went out for this…… disgusting.”

Wailing uncle uttered, “Nishu is no more.”

My aunt angrily replied, “Are you out of senses.”

“What you’re speaking, you drunkard!!”

Vijay da interrupted, ”He is right.”

“The call was from the police station to identify the body.”

“Heart was fearful but mind confident because Nishu never drove rashly.”

(After a pause) “But the moment the body was uncovered; our eyes just could not believe what was in front of us – Nishu in blood.”

“Mind was not at all ready to accept that it was he.”

“The police asked for an identification mark. A ray of hope shone on our shattered faces.”

“A black mole on right side of his chest”, anxiously voiced Uncle.

“Thoroughly the Police searched for it and found one, confirming that Nishu is no more.”

************

Onlookers narrated, “Apparently everything was cool when all of a sudden a loud thud drew our attention only to witness the black dio fall on the road with his friend on left and he himself on the right, underneath the rare wheel of the accelerating truck from opposite, crushing his head. He struggled for long on the road before lying still forever. “

At around two in the afternoon, they brought his body after post-mortem.

A tall masculine man with an elongated-crushed-empty-skull and distorted facial anatomy was what I could glimpse last in his coffin.

************

Written by Varsha Madhulika

Varsha is a nurse by profession who is currently working from home.