It was a bright sunny day, the dawn brought promise- a promise of change. Nupur was lying awake in bed. The sun was settling on her bed through the window. As the light rays hit her face, she sat up. Sat there for an elongated moment. She let the moment sink in. It was Thursday, 30th April 2009. 5 months had passed since the Mumbai massacre. The memory was fresh, Varun- her fiancé flashed in front of her. The stone hearted face of that young terrorist whisked away in her thoughts. She put her quilt away and walked towards the bathroom. She stood in front of the mirror. Nupur was 23, standing tall at 5 ft 7 inches with dead eyes. Her black t-shirt was crumpled, matching her state of mind. Her hair was tied in a bun, giving her face more volume. She stared in the mirror and said, “It’s time!”. She splashed water on her face, unfastened her hair and looked in the mirror again. She could hear her phone ringing, but she ignored. Splashed more water on her face, and run those wet fingers through her hair as well, pulling her hair back. She finally approached the incessant sound of her ringing mobile phone. Rahul- her now close friend was on the other line. “Aren’t you coming? You’ve rallied with the rebel party for three weeks now. It’s time to change our lives” -Nupur replied, “I’ll meet you in 45, outside Metro Adlabs” and she hung up. She walked towards the cabinet and pulled the drawer open. She took out a black coloured folder, and started skimming through it, until her eyes halted at this pamphlet. She took that pamphlet out while placing the folder on the chair, she went through the pamphlet thrice, reading over and over again.
“The massacre came with a storm- unannounced and catastrophic. It shook our lives, took lives, devastated many others. Whom to blame? The system, the constitution, and thereby the government. How long are you going to be passive? How much can you take? How much more? It’s time to make a change. It’s time to get your voices heard. It’s time to clean the system. It’s time to erase bureaucracy. It’s time for a new power. It’s time for a new voice. It’s time, we make India a safe place to live in. Come, vote for the difference. Come, vote for yourself. It’s time!”
She sat on the couch, her head resting on her knees. The piece of paper was still her hands. He hair had slipped down, strands of hair covering that piece of paper. She held her hair back with her left hand while staring at the piece of paper held in her right hand. She gets flashes of Varun. She remembers her first date with him- the coffee house- she was so nervous. She thinks of her birthday, when Varun in pouring rain had got her the cake she wanted from the other side of town along with her favourite flowers. She thinks of 10 months back, when he had proposed over wine. Tears have dried, they no longer come, she’s gone numb. She gets up and moves towards the bathroom.
Rahul in the meantime is already outside Metro Adlabs. Rahul befriended Nupur outside the Taj Mahal Hotel and Palace on the second day of that massacre. He wasn’t the crying shoulder she had that day. He was this enraged soul who wanted to fight back. Strange co-incidence or fate as some put it had brought them together.
Rahul was this young full-blooded man, who wanted to do something with his life. That was his motto- I want to do something. Too confused, but always pounced on every possibility that came his way, always gave full effort to achieve that something. He thought he’d achieve something in life. He always looked for a cause, and here he had one. He had not lost anyone that night, not even a friend’s friend. He just wanted to help, anyone and everyone. Nupur found a voice in him, and decided to second it, and thereby making herself heard.
Rahul was wearing black that day, because thats what they all had decided. As his eyes were scanning the people around him, he spotted Rajeev. “Hey, Rajeev, long time!!! Where the hell have you been man?” After hugging Rahul, “Just returned from Gurgaon, was managing a plant there. So what you doing here? Waiting for someone it seems haan!!” – “ Ya re, a friend. We’re going to vote today. We’re supporting this brilliant party, if you haven’t voted yet, read this pamphlet and make an informed decision. -” Ya, its sad what happened back then.”- “This woman, Nupur unfortunately lost her fiancé the same night. This party is cut for such individuals, to help them, to resurrect them and ensure safety for the coming years. I myself was one of the early followers of this party, they always wished for the betterment of the people, and this time when they win, they all will see”- so, you’re waiting just for her? – Rahul smiles coyly. “So, Rahul, when do I get to see you and the future Mrs? I can call her that, right?” – Rajeev, how about this Saturday night? dinner! I can’t promise if Nupur will come, but I’d try to get her along.” There she comes.
Back in Nupur’s apartment, she’s just out of her shower. She moves to the bedroom. Slips a pair of jeans on, and put on a black kurti. She gels that wet hair, and sweeps it all back into a tight bun. There’s this effort to look simple, but she ends up looking serene and godly. She stares in the mirror, thinks aloud, “it’s time!” She puts on dark glasses, and walks out of the apartment.