Not so very long ago, there lived a wise man Bhargav in the outskirts of a small town of Kalka. Kalka is a hill station situated in the state of Haryana and a very peaceful place in the lap of nature. It is a remarkable place because it is one of the world’s heritage sites as stated by UNESCO. Anyone who wishes to go to Shimla by train has to take the Toy Train from Kalka. This entire journey from Kalka to Shimla is full of excitement and adventure. Kalka Shimla Railway is known for dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages. The panoramic feast of the picturesque Himalayas from the Shivalik foothills offers a great delight to everyone travelling with that Toy Train.
Bhargav was a simple, gentle and honest human being. He always considered his duty as worship. He was married to Anamika and had twin sons, Varun and Tarun. Both of them were pursuing B.Tech in IIT Delhi. Bhargav and his wife Anamika were highly religious and had faith in Lord Shiva. Everyday Bhargav would wake up early in the morning. After taking shower, he would spend few hours in the temple built nearby his house and chant the name of Lord Shiva. Bhargav used to serve Indian Railways as a guard in that Toy Train line. He was responsible for the safe transit of passengers going from Kalka to Shimla and coming back from Shimla to Kalka. Usually railway guards do not get time to return to their homes as they have to go to long distance journeys. But luckily, Bhargav would get ample time to return to his home and he used to spend the rest of the day with his wife. In the absence of her husband, Anamika used to spend her time by knitting sweaters and sewing clothes. After Bhargav gets back to home, Anamika would prepare dinner for herself and Bhargav. They used to pray and eat their meal and go to bed early as they have to wake up again in the early morning.
One fine morning Anamika got a call from her mother’s house. She got to know that there is a reception ceremony of her brother’s marriage. Earlier, Anamika refused to attend her brother’s marriage as there was nobody to take care of Bhargav. She simply requested her mother that she will not be able to manage both things. Her mother understood and did not force her the first time. But now Anamika was not in a condition to refuse again. After all it was her real brother’s marriage reception ceremony. Anamika said yes to her mother. After hanging up the phone she thought deeply about the situation… her heart was pushing her towards attending that ceremony but her brain was alerting her not to go as Bhargav will be left alone. Who will take care of Bhargav… how he will manage to cook food… his clothes…?? These were few questions which created fuss in her mind. Well at last she decided to discuss it with Bhargav. That day Bhargav returned back late in the evening. They both ate their dinner and went to get some sleep. Anamika discussed the entire matter with Bhargav. Bhargav, being a sensible person, allowed Anamika to attend that function. He motivated her wife and assured her that he will take care of himself. Next day after sending Bhargav to his job Anamika left for her hometown, Solan. She was supposed to stay there for three days… three days away from Bhargav.
That day Bhargav came back home in time. He was aware that Anamika will not be there. He cooked his food, ate it and went to sleep. As usual, he wake up next day early in the morning, took shower, spent three hours in the temple worshiping Lord Shiva and left for the duty without eating anything as Anamika was not there to prepare breakfast for him.
Bhargav reported at Kalka station, signed his duty slip and he was all set to leave for Shimla. He gave green signal to the driver and the toy train rolled on. Whistling through dark tunnels, glossing over the bridges, the train caught its pace. Bhargav always kept a photograph of Lord Shiva with himself. Whenever he felt sad or low in spirit, he would see that photograph and talk to Shiva. This would give him inner peace and calmness. That day too he was feeling sad and alone as he didn’t see Anamika for one day! This was the first time he was all alone for three days.
Suddenly Bhargav felt an impulsive stroke from inside his mind. He recalled past 25 years of his service in Railways. He realised that days are just passing by and he has the same boring routine. He realised that his life was so monotonous, there was no time for him to live happy moments with his family. Every day he follows the same old and programmed schedule. These thoughts gave a rise to a rage inside Bhargav’s mind. He took that photograph of Shiva and placed it in the front. Bhargav was absolutely swayed by emotions and he released that impulse on the photograph… well to put it simple, he shot that rage on Lord Shiva.
“Since the last twenty-five years I have been worshiping you like anything! In peace… in rage… in joy… in sorrow… during days and at nights too! I have given my valuable time and devotion to you… Did I ever ask for anything from you? Did I? Have I ever cheated on you? I know the answer is NO! Why aren’t you speaking anything… you fake…you false! Is this what you give to your devotees in return? The silence… the nullified hope… Tell me are you fake or real? Where are you? Where can I see you? Do you ever speak? I see no you! I question your existence! Are you listening? I question your existence… you unreal being! Prove me wrong if you can! Can you ever prove me wrong? Tell me that you exist… Can you? Huh… certainly you cannot! Because you are nothing, you are nowhere! I, Bhargav hereby neglect your existence… deny your presence! You, the so called almighty! Go to hell you fake… I see no you!”
And Bhargav tore that photograph into pieces and threw it outside the train. He took a sigh of relief after doing that. Suddenly he realised that what he did under the influence of hidden emotions was completely strange and unjustified. That day he did not eat anything. In the evening while leaving for home from Kalka station he got to know from the station master Mukesh that he has to go for a special duty next day. He returned back home and went to bed. He could not sleep the whole night as he was thinking about the incident which turned his thinking about God upside down.
Time flew by and the alarm rang. It was four in the morning; the time when Bhargav used to wake up, take shower and go to the temple for worship. But that day he wanted to get rid of the things which tend to strengthen his faith in Shiva; something that was unknown and clandestine to him. He left the bed and without taking shower went to the temple. With an enormous rage, anger and thrust he entered the temple and again started shouting in front of the Shiva Ling. Eventually he started crying and sat near the Shiva Ling. Hours passed away but Bhargav did not leave from the temple. He did not even realize that he had to go to a special duty assigned to him for that day. He was under the influence of some supernatural power. The day passed and in the evening Bhargav realised that since the last twelve hours he has been sitting in the temple doing nothing; just sitting idle with a blank mind thinking absolutely nothing!
After coming back into his senses, Bhargav stood up quickly and ran towards his house. He took his cell phone and rushed towards the station. While running towards the station, he noticed that there was not even a single call from the station that day; not even a text message or a single phone call. This seemed weird and unnatural to Bhargav. Somebody was supposed to call him at least for once in order to remind him about his duty and to know the reason for his sudden absence. But there was neither any call nor any text message for him. As he was in a hurry he did not think that deeply about the calls and texts. He reached the station and entered in the cabin of the station master, Mukesh.
“Hey! Watch out Bhargav! Why are you in such a hurry?” said Mukesh.
“I am really sorry Mukesh. I can explain it to you…” Bhargav said while taking a deep breath.
“What are you talking about? Sorry for what!”
“Something happened to me today… something unnatural, strange and unexplainable… I totally forgot to report here for the duty……”
“Whoa… Dude I am absolutely not getting it. What are you talking about!?” Mukesh stopped Bhargav by interrupting in between. “Are you out of your mind? Are you kidding me! Is this the right time to play pranks on me! You yourself reported here in the morning and took that special train… almost half an hour ago you returned from the special duty, signed your daily report and duty slip and left for home. And now you are apologising for not reporting to the duty! Go get some mental checkups buddy! I am not the right person to play pranks with… Huh!”
After listening to Mukesh, Bhargav was shocked. He stood still, without any reaction for a few minutes. Mukesh gave him a nudge and told him to sit down.
“Show me my signature on the duty slip.” Bhargav said with a shaken voice.
“Here it is… See for yourself.” Mukesh showed the duty register to Bhargav.
It was another impulse of shock for Bhargav to see his own signature on the duty slip of the respective day. He was unable to understand how that signature came to that register when he had not even reported for the duty. How come Mukesh is claiming so firmly that he did report for the duty and accomplished his special duty for the day? Who was that guy who performed the job in his place? Everything seemed like a dramatic film to Bhargav. He was simply blank and shocked at that moment, before he could understand something.
“Bhargav I was sending someone after you to hand over this thing of yours… Somehow you dropped it in my cabin.” Mukesh said while putting his hand in his pocket.
And what Bhargav saw was absolutely unbelievable. Mukesh handed over the same photograph of Lord Shiva to Bhargav, which he himself tore and threw out of the train the previous day. After seeing this Bhargav was not in a condition to think properly, to utter even a single word. He simply left the cabin. Mukesh was still wondering about the behaviour of Bhargav.
Bhargav came back home and wrote a note for his wife Anamika.
“Dear Love, thank you for everything you gave me in this life…Thank you for what you did for me and thank you for always being my support and motivation no matter what. You see you left me for three days and my life changed entirely! Where I am going is not important. What is important is why I am going. I am going to find the inner peace of mind… I am going to find the answers to the inner quest of my soul…What happened to me in these three days is unbelievable and trust me I have no words to explain that. Please do not waste your time in searching for me… Even I don’t know where I am heading. Never lose your faith in God… And the most important thing, never challenge his existence… Because now I know that he exists He is there in every single nook and corner of this universe!”
Anamika, after returning back home read this note pasted on the door of the house. She lost her consciousness and fell down on the ground. Some people helped her and got her inside the house. Later it was discovered that she lost her mental consciousness partially due to intensive emotional shock, and will forever be mentally unsound.
Bhargav’s whereabouts are still unknown. Some say he headed towards the Himalayas while others assume he is dead now. No matter what the world thinks about Bhargav, Anamika is still waiting for him. She believes Bhargav would return one day and everything would be fine… fine as it used to be.
About the Author
A journalism and mass communication graduate from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, Gaurav Sharma has authored books related to development communication, photography and graphic designing. He is a critical thinker and an active learner. Gaurav has written several opinion articles in the field of religion, politics, and education. He is presently in Canada, pursuing his higher studies in the field of business administration.