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Heaven - on The River Banks

It was usual for 12 year young Batra to come to the banks of the river ‘Garv’ to share his small little joys and the occasional disappointments. He used to unwind and relax himself while wondering about and admiring the nature, as the waters of Garv continued with their unusually consistent flow, with a rhythmic rippling effect.

Once when Batra stood first in the class, he rushed to Garv and declared the reason of his joy, to which the waters of Garv responded by flowing all the more enthusiastically, enthusing his ears with their magical sound. At a time when something was wrong between Batra and his closest friend Mitra, Garv seemed to first patiently listen to Batra and then through its flow advised both of them to be friends again.

Joy or sorrow, peace or pleasure, Batra had found the best way to live life- by sharing it with a trustworthy friend. Batra also used to spend a lot of time with the small shrubs and grass and many weeds at the river banks. He liked to know more about them, how they grew so fast, how after the monsoons, the grass-wall blocked his vision etc.

It wouldn’t be untrue to say that Batra had formed a bond with Garv. In Garv he found a common friend, with whom he could be himself- a friend gifted to him by nature. Throughout his school years, Batra shared numerous eventful moments with Garv and it seemed to him that Garv supported him quite well.

Once his Class ten results were out, Batra had to choose his college. Since Batra stayed in a remote village in middle India called Sthanpur, it was necessary for him to move out as the nearest colleges were at least 100 kms away. Batra’s interest in the science stream made him move to Gyanpur, which had the nearest science college. A day before leaving for Gyanpur, Batra came to Garv and emoted. He cried and one could see the sorrow of going away from his friend of many years. He left a small sapling, placed at the mouth of the river in such a way that it could be easily watered by Garv. Batra immediately bid good-bye to his friend and left for Gyanpur.

Many years passed and Batra got busy with his studies. He went on to become a doctor, Initially the separation from Garv bothered him, but soon he had left it far behind him. Batra’s parents were still at Sthanpur and asked him to come down, once his studies of five years were over. By now, he was 21. Batra wrote to his parents that he will come soon.

By now, Batra hardly remembered about Garv. He returned, unaware about the sapling that he had left behind some years back. He took a few days to settle, taking one day at a time. After ten days had passed, when he was going through nostalgia-evoking charms of the past like his old schoolbooks etc, he found in one of them, a leaf of the sapling that he had planted years back.

He took no time in rushing to his once-upon-a-time only friend. When he reached on the banks of Garv, he was pleased to see that his sapling had gradually and steadily grown big. As soon as his feet stepped on the banks, Garv seemed to extend a warm welcome to the busy friend. Batra conversed with his friend for hours together sharing his experiences at Gyanpur.

The sun that was over the head when Batra arrived near the banks was now getting ready to immerse in the seas and Batra still had lots to share with is friend. It again became a daily routine for Batra to make day-long visits to the river and spend a whole lot of quality time there. When Batra’s results came out and he scored good marks, he was pleased to break the news first to Garv before sharing it with family and other friends. He was now a science graduate. Batra now had the option of doing further studies or apply for a job. He opted for the latter and after giving a spate of interviews, again made his trips to Garv.

With such an unique bond with the river, Batra had developed an inclination towards nature. However, he felt that once he would get a job it would not be possible to continue with this special bond. He thought hard as to how can he continue with this soothing connection while also being responsible and practical.

On further introspection, he realized that his heart was at studying plants and various other nature’s elements. Moreover, his studies had also been about botany- about plants their various characteristics etc. He got a shot in the arm when the Government decided that the area around the banks of river Batra had to be enhanced with proper nurturing of the plants there.

One of the companies to which Batra had applied- Love-lea-nature was awarded the contract of five years. Batra was selected and assigned the task of supervising and taking the mandate for the enhancement forward. His joy knew no bounds. Batra got to spend five more years with his friend Garv. Every day, as hundreds of stories got shared between Batra and Garv, amidst the soothing melody of the ripples, Batra had the realization of finding heaven on earth.

His heaven- was – on the river banks. Grav, it seems was his angel.

Contributing Story Teller Saurabh Niranjan Turakhia is a 28 year young poet and has lately been dabbling in short story writing. I am also thankful to  for providing a good platform for writers like me

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