Tuesday, 17 June 2014


The Whisper Valley


The bus came to a screeching halt on a road, that was covered with  a carpet of red gulmohar flowers,that were still raining down the trees that were standing proud, cascading their branches overhead covering the entire highway!There was a slight drizzle that brought with it a thick opaque fog that was slowly settling over the valley!

The door opened with the hinges squeeking so loudly that a flock of magpies settled on the nearest Gulmohar tree flew away in a flurry and a beautiful leg covered in an ornate chadhav, descended on the road...as its pair joined it with a hand bag and a suit case with a trolley!

Khushi looked around and her lips inadvertantly broke into a smile- a smile of sheer wonder and admiration! It was just like what amma had told her! Even after all the years, she thought as she slowly walked off the road on to its perephery!

The bus door closed and a knock by the conducter made it zoom past her leaving her to the nature at its loveliest!
She looked around for some sign of the estate manager who was supposed to pick her up! But there was none! Her mobile concked off an hour ago as constant calls from Amma and the publishers robbed it off whatever power that was left in it as she had forgotten as usual to charge it over night! She did not even remember the number that was given by Nani ji! One of the perils of modern technology! We no longer use our in built memory cards!She grimaced

She looked at the sign board that indicated the direction to be straight ahead and then right and said THE WHISPER VALLEY! She started walking as the previous day unfolded in her thoughts!


"Khushi you won't regret it" Amma said.
"I know..."She said sipping on her tea and looking at the traffic down their 6th floor apartment!

"Dekh bitiya! You need..."
"A break amma! I know! But whatever happens I shall not change my decision! I have made up my mind and please! Please try to understand! Aap samajhthi haina?" Khushi asked with tears in her eyes!

Garima closed her eyes and said..." I do! And that is the whole problem! But... I want you to settle down in life like every mother! Its not... "She raised her hand as Khushi tried to say something in protest!
"...Its not about your settling down as such meray bacchey!"She said sombrely! 
"Its about someone being there to take care of you! Be with you after...after I leave the planet!"

"Amma!" Khushi chided her mother! "Don't!"

"No Khushi! Thats the truth! Lets be realistic! I cannot live for ever and you need someone! Some semblance of a warmth of a companionship that will let you tide over a rainy day! I have you! But... you?" Garima asked her!

None !Khushi thought! Its been four years since the worst year in her life! Her dad Shashi passed away with no apparent reason! The doctors said he simply had a Cardiac Arrest! One in  a thousand case! That very year, she had another close brush with life's reality as her sister Payal who was married was thoroughly humiliated and left by her husband! They did never get to know as she passed away that very night along with her two year old daughter while coming back home as the bus in which she was,... met with a grevious accident!

She had rushed to the hospital to collect the badly battered bodies and sought solace in her only hope in life Gaurav!
She closed her eyes in defeat as she recollected how she found him when she walked in to his apartment unannounced at the spur of the moment! He was in bed with her best friend Vartika!
She just walked out! She neither blamed nor shouted at him! She understood! It was not meant to be and only thankful to her upbringing that she never visited him at the apartment with him before, even after repeated requests from him!

She was now at peace with herself and with the world- which amma failed to understand!She did not need anyone! The bubbling energy in her which made her chatter and chirp like a little bird which everyone said was her mark as a person was now substituted by a calmness that took over! Now she seldom talked! She just observed and all her expressions found their way in to her profession-writing!

The world did not know that Khushi Tripathi was none other than the famous writer-The Wanderer!
Her latest book on Indian terrains was already making waves in the scientific field and the travel world although there was much more to write! The publishers had gone ahead and advertised without heeding to her- the result, she had just over three months to finish and edit it! And then Garima fell ill! It was a horrendous three months taking care of her and getting her back on track so much that she herself was reduced to a reed!

"Khushi" Garima called her as she was lost in her thoughts!
"Haan! Amma?" She asked her!
"I will join you once I am done with this legal issue! You should enjoy some quiet time you know?" She said softly!

"Its you who had been sick and I wanted you to go when I wrote to Nani ji!" She said remembering how she wrote a letter to Devyani Chandaavar Garima's child hood buddy Vindhya's mother who after loosing her daughter and son-in law still kept in touch with Garima!

"Nani ji nay ithnay baar bulaaya hain! Suna hain unka ghar bahuth sundar hain!" Khushi asked Garima!

"Haan bitiya! Its not just a bunglow its a 16th century castle! Its called as the The Willows Castle! But sab usay Whisper Castle bulaathein hain! She said.

Yeh ... how did they settle there maa? Khushi asked her!
Vindhya and me emt through our fathers who were posted near Pondicherry as they were defense employees and so we grew up together!
Maasi ji was very kind to take care of me when my mom suffered from prolonged illness!
Later the climate and the place was so to our liking that both families settled there! Its a cosmopolitan place coz of the defense establishments and was an english colony!

Yeah I heard that it is something like Dehradun!
Exactly! Mucg higher than Dehradun nearer to the peaks of OOTY! Garima said smiling! Your father too wanted to settle there! But well, we had to move out! She said sadly!
What happened to Vindhya Maasi Maa!

She passed away garima said with teary eyes! I sort of feel her close to me even now and there I shall be peaceful with memories of past!
Magar... Khsuhi knew her mom did not like to speak to her about her friend!

Iss liye tho! You must go not me she changed the topic!

"Baba! I am just am coming in two weeks! You are going ahead as my F&F settlement has to be done and I promise you will find me there in two weeks!" Garima assured Khushi! She had reluctantly agreed to leave her in the care of their neighbours the amazing Mathurs!

Khushi walked further and realised she had taken on to a mud road in her thoughts and did not know where she was! It was barely six in the evening but the fog was thick making it very dark with poor visibility!Khushi tried her best to look around but failed miserably! There were no lights... and she was not on the road! Oh! GOD!!! How could she! She looked back and gasped.
There was only thick grey fog moving towards her encompassing the valley slowly! As if it was chasing her...!

She started running lugging her suitcase and bag and stopped after a few minutes as she had a stich in her stomach from running on the muddy uneven surface! She stood still and looked ahead! Nothing! Just fog! The light chiffon chunri that she wore suddenly fluttered as a breeze soft and steady blew and the fog started drifting giving her a temporary visibility which was rather poorly but definitely better!

She started walking with the wind thankful for the respite and then she could hear it!
The russle of leaves! It was the wind she answered her own query! But wait a minute! The breeze was very weak! It was ...was almost like a whisper! Then how could leaves move! She stopped and the russel stopped! Khushi felt odd and a little creepy!
She closed her eyes  and thought! Khushi what have you gotten yourselves into?She chided herself!

She moved again! The russel started! She stopped! So it did!
Devi Mayya! Someone was following her! She broke into cold sweat! What should she do! There was no one in sight and she knew there was no use screaming as she did not know how deep she walked into the valley and also how far removed she was from the road and human habitation!

She looked to her right! she could not see further than a creeper dangerously coiled to an oak tree! She looked to her left, thick fog and she knew fog was chasing her, from behind her and if she did not move she will be lost into it as it was gaining over her along with whoever it was,that was following her!
Khushi hit upon an idea! She started walking briskly and did not stop for the next seven minutes or so! And then she suddenly stopped and yessSSS!!!! She got the confirmation! The russel of the leaves did not stop as whoever it was, was not expecting her to stop ....
but... the russel continued making her panic! Oh no! She had challenged whoever it was and now they were not willing to stop! Khushi had no choice! She threw her bag on the ground and let go of the handle of her suitcase and ran in earnest! Her dupatta flew away and as she turned to catch it,she failed to as the wind picked up speed now with the fog now enveloping her overwhelming her....she saw it then...!
A form in the fog  coming towards her...which was closing in on her... and it was pitch dark now and she just fled...for her life...

Khushi suddenly realised the earth underneath her feet became harder and it started to taper towards something she could not gauge coz of the thick fog! But she was sure the landscape was changing and suddenly she was hurled down with double the same speed that she was running with, indicating that it was a steep descent! She struggled to maintain her balance as a small rock chipped her right foot and out went her chadhav and she then realised what the land was tapering into... looking ahead of her!!!
A DEEP GORGE- It was her guess as the fog suddenly seemed to vanish beyond a particular spot leaving behind whisps of it to wander around!
But it was too late she had come too far and now she was unable to control her speed and she closed her eyes and thought of her mother!
And as she fell she was hurled back by something that wound round her wrist and she shreiked in panic landing against something warm... a body?She did not have the courage to open her eyes to check!
She opened them in a flash and closed them in reflexive action but not before conjuring up something which made her break int goose bumps all over!

She caught a glimpse of a pair of beautiful eyes! Peering out of the fog! ...and then a face or a part of it that was covered in an English hat slanted to the side and so covering the face fully, impairing her vision! Just for a fraction of a second or so!

The eyes were that of a man and were staring right at her! She gulped hard and out of fear closed her eyes with a strange feeling, which was a mixture of fear and awe!
She savoured the warmth for a second or two and then she found herself cold...
Somehow it felt desolate and forlorne suddenly as she thought she felt a presence but only for the fraction of a second! 
She took a deep breath and opened her eyes again!She noticed a movement on her hand and saw something slither away and panicked but found a white and black chequered scarf being withdrawn from round her wrist!She saw it slowly vanish into the fog that now surrounded her heavy and thick....
There was zero visibility and by the time her eyes adjusted to it,.... there was silence. All round and absolute!

There was none there! She was on her own with the trees made invisible by the fog and she heard something which made her legs shake and turn into jelly!

A Whisper!!!!
There you go! Started with this new novel on a whim as it happened to me in a flash! Hope you enjoyed the first part! Please do let me know!
Enjoy and express!



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Shubhanjli Saxena said...

Yeaa first chap. Mesmerizing,got goose bumps. This whisper valley is so enticing. Bring it on.
Anu ji you are so amazing... Loved it.

Shubhanjli Saxena said...

And wow I am second :-)

arnaushi said...

it was exactly like watching a thriller movie...when you are being followed by someone....it was that awesome...khushi has faced many problems and i hope she finds solace in the whisper!!

Aditi kaushal said...

Lovely and awesome.. very thrilling and beautiful begining... I am falling in love with the place that u have described .. i wanna visit that place ..
Loved it totally.. :)

Lakshmi said...

WOW!! very thrilling!!Beautifully written. Looking forward...

Shubhi Gupta said...

Nice ud
Mysterious but interesting ud
Loved it Ud soon

Paramjeet said...

wow that was superb start.. do continue soon.. would like to know was really somebody was there or just an illusion but khushi heard a whisper.. hope you update it soon..

thanks for mail :)

subani jayasinghe said...

Wow!!!! That was a brilliant start..
Beautifully written.. Waiting for next update already ..

cuteazmi91 said...

First tell me its not a ghost story ohhhhh so amazing i was having goosebumps while reading is arnav doesn't exist here ohhhh please tell me i m wrong arnav should be a living being

smart girl said...

its such a beautiful start...
enjoyed reading every bit of it...
plxxxx continue soon...
eagerly waiting 4 more...
IF smartgirl9009

Charu Bhatia said...

I really liked the beginning. Very interesting.

dream light said...

loved it
so who is d whisperer

Meem01 said...

Beautifully written!
seems like it's full of mystery! waiting for the next..

armela a said...

Wonderful start

Anu Reddy said...

Wow Anu that was really good start!!! I loved it :-)

Cannot wait to see where it goes from here!!!!

jahnavi tammareddy said...

Amazing start. I love to read thrillers.

Nadia Almeida said...

Amazing Anu.......absolutely loved it.......

imran78 said...

This is amazing. Little bit mysterious. I have goosbumps. Loved it.

menaka said...

ooooh. love the first part. can't wait to read more