That Day Was Valentine’s Day

“Priya ji (a word used to give more respect in Hindi), I am drunk and I know you don’t like talking to people who are drunk, but this is also a fact that when a person is drunk, says always the truth. I love you very much and I want to marry you. Had it been possible then I would have entered your house, picked you up, and eloped.” This was the first message on face book messenger in the morning of 14th Feb. I was horrified and angry after reading all this crap. It was 8:30 am by then; I called him up and started shouting at him, “Is this the way to send message to a girl? Now, like a villain, you are going to pick me up and elope. Disgusting!!! Shame on you. What class of person are you?” Then I dropped the call.

I came to know about Aman Sharma from a common friend Philip, I was preparing for civil services exam, and so was Philip. Common interests brought us together and we became friends.

Few months back, I had got message on fb messenger from Aman, saying, “Priya ji, I came to know about you from Philip and I am really touched after knowing about you. You are very strong willed and inspiring. I don’t want to hide anything from you about myself. I have been recently released from a jail after an imprisonment of 7 yrs. I was the convict in a murder case. There were 5 convicts, 4 were killed by the family members of the guy on whose murder we were charged. I am the last. I had not murdered him, but had been trapped. Due to my good record I have been released from the jail. I belong to a very rich family; we have many acres of landed property and a flourishing transport business. I am the only black sheep in my family. I knew from Philip that you are a good counselor and motivator. I have your phone number but I won’t call you until you permit me. I need your guidance. What should I do now? I feel so hopeless. I see no hope in my future life.”

After reading that, I was in dilemma and upset simultaneously. I called up Philip to scold him for sharing my number. Upon calling, Philip informed me that he did not share my number; Aman had himself taken out the number from his cell phone.

I did not reply Aman’s message on that day as I was not getting any genuine reason to talk to a person with this history, though somewhere I was sympathetic to that man who was merely asking for guidance. Next message of his was, “I know you are not replying me because you think I am a criminal. I am a murderer. Why would educated people like you talk to people like me? ” It was something that shook me inside and I thought, being a responsible citizen, I should guide him in managing his future. What’s wrong in it? I messaged him to call me next morning. He called me up and chatted very decently and respectfully. I gave him many ideas about new beginnings in future. He started calling me once in a while, informing about his plans etc. He requested me to make him learn English by communicating with him in English. I used to enjoy his respectful tone of addressing me with “ji”. Somewhere I was happy that I could help him in that.

He used to tell me that he has to change places and phone number fearing being murdered by the notorious family members of the murdered person. He was regularly in touch with me, informing me about his progress and plans. Then, suddenly after the gap of few months, he contacted again on 14th Feb. with that strange message on messenger.

On that same very day, at 1:30 pm, while watching my favorite news channel and reading subtitles; suddenly, I came across with one statement in subtitles, – ‘Aman Sharma is killed by some unknown people in the downtown area in an open fire, 2 hrs ago’, I was shocked! My mind was totally blank. I could hardly think what I would do now. In the same morning, I had called him to scold. What would happen when police will enquire about it? They would call me to the police station. I had no idea how my parents would react. I was feeling as if I was caught in unwanted troubles. I messaged Philip to tell him about Aman. Messaged delivered and read. I got the service message from the company. Still Philip did not reply me. Philip was out of station on that day and had told me that he won’t pick any calls as he will be with his parents after a long time. Still I tried calling Philip. He did not pick my call. Every hour was putting me in deep thought and horror. Every hour was passing by with more thunders of thoughts, possibly all negative ones. I had no clue as what every new hour was going to bring with it for me. It was 8 pm by then. After finishing my dinner, I rushed towards my phone that was on charging, entered password with trembling fingers to check if I had any message. Finding no message disappointed me for a while. And suddenly, an SMS tone rang and my eyes rolled down towards the phone and fingers typed tremblingly the password without giving a second thought. The message was from an unknown number again, stating- “Priya ji, don’t worry it is some other Aman Sharma who has been shot dead today in the downtown? I am perfectly alright. I won’t die so early. You take care.”

That was a valentine day which which proved to be a rather terrible day.

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