EVOKED STIMULI

                                                                    Surya Pratap Mishra 



Some day in my life...
It was around 8P P.M. As usual I went to the mess with my friends to take our food. The food served at IIT was awful, to say the least. So, we decided to go over to the adjacent canteen instead. My dinner consisted of a plate of butter noodles, one plate of bread-butter and two cups of hot ginger tea. While having food, our discussions ranged from the recently concluded GATE examination to the biggest psycho amongst our friends. I went back to my room after taking dinner. The computer was running and g-talk chat window suggested that a friend had messaged me while I was away. She was already offline. So just messaged her back and closed the chat. I had some important graphs to show to my B-TECH project guide. I thought it would be a better idea to complete the graphs first. So I started working on that. It took two hours to finish up the task. Finally all the graphs were done. Origin Pro 7.5 has helped me a lot. I checked the g-talk list again. However, there wasn't anyone online who I thought would be a good company at that time. I had already watched two movies that day. So sleeping was the only option. 

The next day..... 
I opened my eyes with great reluctance. I was inside a soft blanket. And felt that my hands were wrapped around someone. I was shocked…. That person was looking at the other side. As I tried to get up from bed in haste, I had a look at that person. To my utter astonishment, I saw a woman!!! In her light green gown, with black long hair and black eyes she looked pretty. She seemed to be around twenty three years old. She looked happy as if she was smiling in her sleep. I was terribly scared... I had totally no clue about anything. I stood there looking at her, still thinking what had happened. I remembered that I had slept in my hostel room!!! “Where am I?” That was the only question running in my mind. Suddenly she woke up. Rubbing her sleepy eyes she got up and rested against the back of the bed. “Good morning honey!” She said. I did not know how to respond. I even did not know her. I had never met her in my life. But she seemed to recognize me well! I stood there blank faced. That was a great dilemma in my mind to wish a “Good morning” to that unknown lady. She smiled at me and got up from bed and walked towards the large mirror to her right. While she watched herself in the mirror, she asked me to get ready for breakfast. I had no option! I immediately went to the bathroom and closed the door behind me. I was still trying to figure out the situation. From inside I could guess she was still standing in front of the mirror as if she was innovating something about her looks. “Oh God!!! What these women are!!” was the thought that crossed my mind? But suddenly when I realized that I was querying about the identity of that women who was behaving as my wife, I thought I was in a terrible dream. I tried to pinch myself, but could not the pinch although I could feel was not hard enough I guessed. As I turned around, I stared open-mouthed at the mirror. “Whoa!!! Who is this?” That was not me!!!! I examined the face closely. That was me, but I looked older!! And it was definitely not the same clothes I wore last night! I started to get panic. What happened to me over a night? How did I change so much? How did I get to that place? And who was the woman outside? 

“Knock! Knock!!!” Open the door honey said she. I was ignorant of the next course of action. I was in a fix about whether to tell here that I didn't know her, whether to open the door or not? 
Yes, coming in a minute reluctantly said I.
“Be fast, you will get late for office” was her reply. 
“Office!!! God, what is happening here?” I was terribly shocked. I came out after sometime. There was no one in the room. I went to the wardrobe and picked some clothes. I was getting ready for office… Suddenly I noticed something on a small rack on the wall. That was a photo frame. There I was, not alone though. She was there too. And we both were smiling. From what it seemed, she was my wife… I could hear a mobile phone ringing at that instant. I looked around and found one lying besides the bed. Whose phone was that? I wondered that was mine! I Picked that up. My God! The mobile had the woman's picture as the wallpaper. And at the top-date displayed as “08:25 AM 12-05-2012”… I was in 2012! I could not believe my eyes. How could I be in 2012? It was only 2008 when I slept in my hostel room last night. Was I in a trance? Had I lost few years of my life somewhere in a black whole? Several thoughts engrossed me. The mobile was still ringing.

“Are you there in the room? The phone is ringing. Pick up the phone.” I could hear my wife. 
That brought me back into the room. 

“Hello.... Hello Mr. Mishra, this is Saxena. I got to inform you about a sudden change in plan today. Instead of our office, we will be meeting the clients at their office. Be ready. I will come and pick you up in about 20-25 minutes.” That said the unknown voice. 

The mysterious Saxena hung up before I could ask him anything. I went out of the bedroom to find my wife at the dining table. She was preparing breakfast for her husband quite unaware of the fact that he had no clue when they got married! In a confused state about how to act in front of her, I wore a smiling face as if she was the only one I ever knew since I was born on this planet. Mr. Saxena arrived in twenty minutes. I said good bye to my wife and set off for the meeting with Mr. Saxena. While in the car Mr. Saxena said he wanted to discuss some issues about the meeting. I was still thinking about the four years that I lost in a night. Moreover, I did not have any inkling to what the meeting was all about. I tried to avoid any discussion on it. ”Oh Mr. Saxena, I know you have worked hard on it. I am sure you have prepared quite well. In fact, I would also like to give you the opportunity to present this in front of our clients. Do not worry. I will be with you and back you up. But I am pretty sure, you would not need that.” I said wearing a false confidence on my face. There was a quick glow on Saxena’s face. 

“Really Mr, Mishra?” exclaimed he. “Oh, yes! I am not kidding.” I said with a hidden joy that I was saxena’s boss. 
Again I tanked God for saving my life in that bizarre meeting. We reached the clients' office. Mr. Saxena took the lead in the presentation while I sat in the conference hall besides him, pretending to back him up. I was just praying for the meeting to end as soon as possible! The meeting was a successful one. We clinched a good deal! Mr. Saxena was ecstatic and thanked me for giving him that privilege. I humbly replied that he deserved it. “Mr.Mishra, lets take a break now. It was a good day! I will drop you back at your home.” Said Saxena.Yeah ! “Thanks to you Mr. Saxena, we now have this contract…” I replied to him. Mr. Saxena dropped me at my home. That was the after noon around 4 o’clock, my wife opened the door. I followed her to the living room. 
“So early today” … said she, with a joy in her voice. 
Yeah, the meeting wrapped up soon. Mr Saxena was good enough to drop me home. Can I get coffee? I said her as I was feeling like taking something to take. Oh sure, why don’t you get fresh, you will take some snacks as well, said she. No just I want coffee, I pleaded. A nice aroma of coffee made me a little moved; she definitely likes to prepare good food -I wondered. And she loves me a lot for sure; I was lost somewhere in my thought. 

“Coffee”….. “coffee” wake up Suri….
I was amazed; whose voice was that anyway…. Oh God, I was in my sleep and in a dream that was felt as real… I could not believe my eyes, my old friend Sunita was standing in front of me holding a mug of coffee. That was 8 o’clock in the morning. With utter disbelief I took a sip of coffee and that made me get back the lost four years of my dream. I came to know from her that she just arrived and prepared coffee for me to give a pleasant surprise. 

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