Ravi wasn’t sure he should do this. Vineet realized that Ravi was hesitant. “My friend, we are doing this only for fun. Go ahead, live your fantasy.” Ravi gave a half smile. With trembling fingers he typed the words, “Hi Natasha,” “Don’t expect a response immediately, sometimes it may not work, just keep your fingers crossed.” Vineet was advising Ravi. For a very long time there was no movement. There was complete silence and the rustle of the dried leaves outside his verandah gave Ravi a very eerie feeling. Ravi’s heart was beating very fast.
After what seemed a very long time, the screen flashed and the words appeared, “Hi Ravi, at last you found me,” and the lights went out. The screen became black. Vineet was as astonished as Ravi was “Are you sure what we are doing is right,” Ravi muttered under his breath. He knew he always was waiting for this moment, a moment to get in touch with Natasha.
The whole day he could not concentrate on his work. The scene of the previous night kept on flashing back in his mind. The evening too was very drab. He went about his routine task and after dinner he was watching the news. His mind was not at rest. He opened his computer and typed the site name. After confirming his credentials, the computer screen asked, Type the full earth name of the spirit you want to contact. With trembling fingers Ravi typed ‘Natasha Sen’. The screen flashed with the words ‘The spirit you are trying to contact is busy, please try later.’ Ravi got irritated and thought the website was a hoax. He closed his computer and went to sleep.
Sarita, his wife, was going about her daily chores when she felt that Ravi was not his usual self. He was too quiet and only gave answers in mono syllables. She asked him if everything was OK. He just smiled and evaded the question.
At office in his email box Ravi found a weird message. It said ‘a spirit has been trying to contact you. For more details log on to (site address). ‘He could hardly concentrate on his work. He seemed to be in too much of a hurry to reach home. So much so that he almost knocked down a cyclist and had to profusely apologize to him. At home his wife Sarita was waiting for him to take her out shopping. Ravi made an excuse to her that he had an important presentation to make, he would not be having dinner and she should take the driver to go out for shopping.
As soon as his wife left for shopping, Ravi started his computer and read the message once again. Then he clicked on the site address. The cursor was blinking for a very long time. The spirits are working overtime he smiled in his mind at the weird thought. Then a name appeared on the screen Loveleena (nee Natasha). Ravi rubbed his eyes. He even touched the computer screen to ensure he was awake.
“Hi Ravi, remember me?” Ravi smiled. He had never forgotten her. She was on his mind like an obsession. “Of course Natasha, what a question to ask!” he replied. For a long time there was nothing happening. “Are you there Natasha?” he typed. There was no response. He felt happy that he could at least make some contact. It was much past midnight and he had a busy day ahead so he switched his computer off.
The next few days Ravi was living almost as if he was in a trance. He was speaking to Natasha in his mind. He had not visited the website after that day. But he could not resist the thought of meeting up with Natasha. One evening when his family was away, Ravi started his computer and typed the site address. “I’ve been waiting for you!” The words on the screen flashed and Ravi was visibly excited. “Natasha, I miss you very much.” He typed and waited for the response. “Me too.” The words from her side were appearing in blue and continuously flashing. “Is this true ?” he typed, still unsure of whether he was hallucinating or plain dreaming. “There is nothing untrue in this universe.” Was the reply that came. “You have not changed Natasha, you still evade my direct questions.” The screen showed the words, “Like what?” Ravi quickly switched off his computer when he heard the sound of his car being parked in the garage. He was experiencing mixed feelings of fear and excitement, of anger and disappointment at having to cut the chat short.
Ravi appeared to be almost obsessed about Natasha. During the day he would keep thinking of questions he would ask her when he chatted with her. Chatting with a spirit, the thought was weird but Ravi knew that it was true . He had heard stories and theories in his childhood which spoke about ghosts, spirits and how people never die, they just transform from one physical form into either another physical form called next life or into a non-physical form called soul or spirit.
Every night the ‘chat meeting’ as he liked to think about it was growing from strength to strength. Natasha was telling Ravi about her world and how the universe had a perfect order. How their meeting was not a miracle or a chance but totally pre-defined by someone she referred to as ‘Chief’. She told him that when you are in a non-physical form you are able to grow spiritually at a much faster rate. You are able to see the Chief and ask for blessings. She told him that the chance to get connected to Ravi was her blessing. Ravi was thoroughly enjoying this phase in his life. Natasha had been his first love. She had died in a freak accident and Ravi’s life was shattered for a number of years. Now she was in touch with him on chat. What was difficult was to keep his feelings a secret. He looked visibly happy and his wife even remarked, “Hope you’ve not found a new girlfriend.”
It was a couple of months since Ravi had met up with Natasha. They shared old memories, they fought and they exchanged love mails. But Ravi, human that he was, could not but ask her to appear to him in flesh and bones, only once. He pleaded with her. Natasha told him that it is not impossible, but very difficult to change planes (as they are referred to in the spirit language). However, she promised Ravi she would try her best. She also told him that for her to appear to him, he should give the Chief an application and justification. She told him that every day he should meditate and think about the Chief. There could be a moment when his frequency matches with that of the Chief and he could put in the request. Ravi found it weird but the thought of being able to spend real and not virtual time with Natasha was too lucrative and Ravi sincerely meditated every day.
Ravi was deep in meditation when he saw a light. It was very soothing and peaceful. “Ask my dear, what your heart’s desire is.” “I want to have a day with Natasha. Can you please send her for a day? I will not ask you for anything else.“ pleaded Ravi. “Your wish can be granted, but there is a hitch. You can spend twenty four hours as per the earth clock. But if she does not return within that period, then she will never be able to return and it will be a curse on her because your memory will erase her forever.” Ravi was too excited to think about the future, and immediately agreed to have her for 24 hours.
For the next few days Natasha did not respond to messages from Ravi. He was worried but the thought of meeting her on Valentine’s Day was far more exciting.
“Your room is ready Sir. Would you have dinner at the restaurant or room service sir?” the voice at the reception desk of the apartment hotel was sounding very sweet to Ravi. He was all excited. The love of his life was to meet him tonight. “Thank you, but I have already had my dinner.” he replied. He took the elevator to the 29th floor. The elevator door opened into the apartment. Everything was kept ready for him. He decided to have a quick shower and be ready to receive Natasha. The time just seemed to stretch too long. Ravi kept on looking at the clock in the room. A couple of times he went out to the terrace of the apartment just to see if he could see Natasha anywhere. He was almost dozing off, when he heard a loud sound outside his terrace. He rushed to see what it was. There in front of him, dressed in a white evening gown, with matching white pearl jewelry was the love of his life. He stretched his arms and she hugged him very passionately. Ravi felt as if he was in heaven. He led Natasha into the apartment. They sat at the small table where he had kept a cake and a gift for her. “Happy Valentine’s Day, my love,” he gave her the gift and kissed her.
Holding hands, sitting on the terrace, they did not realize it was already dawn. Natasha told Ravi that this day on earth she wanted to spend the day with him as if it was a date. She wanted to visit the museum, walk on the beach and go on a boat ride. Ravi spoke to the hotel travel desk to make the necessary arrangements. It was a day of his life which he would remember for eternity. They got ready to leave. Natasha looked stunningly beautiful in her pink dress. Ravi could not take his eyes off her. She teased him and said, remember, I am here only for a day, don’t stretch your imagination too much.
Ravi enjoyed the visit to the museum. Natasha explained all the paintings and artifacts in detail, as if she was the curator and then Ravi remembered that Natasha was a student of history. They had lunch at a nearby cafeteria. Natasha joked and told Ravi, you humans have so many wants and needs. Till then, Ravi had almost forgotten that she was a spirit in human form. The drive to the beach and the walk on the sand with waves lashing all around was very soothing. Natasha held Ravi’s hand tight and rested her head on his shoulder. He put his arms around her and stroked her hair with his fingers. They watched the sunset and its beautiful colours with a comforting silence between them.
At almost twilight they moved towards the boat ride. Ravi had chosen the most exclusive boat available. It had a room where the couple could have wine and dinner. There was a small porch which gave privacy to the couple. She was continuously talking to him about her world and his world. He led her towards the porch of the boat and they both sat on the wooden plank. He held her in his arms, kissed her and thanked her for agreeing to come to him.
It was very close to midnight when they returned to the apartment. Natasha took out a gift for Ravi from her hand bag. She told Ravi it was a gift from the Chief for him. It was the replica of the Chief’s castle. “The place where all decisions of the Universe are taken” she said. “This is meant to be a reminder of this day and to always remember that the Chief is very benevolent. “
“I must leave now”, she said. My time in physical form is getting over, but always remember I am just a thought away. Ravi hugged her and told her he would love her always. “I’ll be waiting for you,” With a heavy heart he said good bye to Natasha and she vanished from his arms. He stood there for a while. A tear drop rolled down his cheek.
“How was your trip?” Sarita asked Ravi. “Oh the usual business stuff.” He was feeling guilty to lie, but knew that no one would ever believe him if he told them he spent a day with a spirit. But Ravi knew that in the last twenty four hours he had lived his most romantic dream.
The TV channel was showing breaking news. The anchor was saying, “The website e: planchette.com has been banned as it was found that a great number of people were getting affected by the site. It was leading to an increase in the number of cases of mental depression and nervous breakdown. Also the authenticity of the site could not be ascertained. The owners of the website had refused to comment.”
Ravi sat in his verandah sipping his coffee. He stared at the beautiful replica of the Chief’s castle and knew that even if the website was not authentic, Natasha’s gift in every way was real. He smiled in his mind, closed his eyes and gave a flying kiss to Natasha.