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writingAdnama


Date: 14th NovemberYear: 2008Event: ‘VerveCross’, our annual college bashMood: Exhilarated! Our last college fest and all of us
were having the time of our lives. With no parents at
home and no nosy neighbors in the new building we had
just shifted to, I really had no restrictions. I could
reach home whenever I wanted to (read: any time before
2 a.m. under these favorable conditions was obviously
not permissible), and in whichever state I wanted to
(read: state - inebriated)Importance of the day: My life was about to changeStory:
Raj dropped me right in front of my building, from
where both of us assumed I would reach home safely. It
was our last year at VerveCross and oh what fun we all
had - danced till our legs hurt, partied till we ran
out of booze, and screamed till our lungs fell short
of air! All these moments would perhaps never come
back! With hundreds of mixed emotions running through
my mind, I felt a certain discomfort in the air. I was
sure it was the liquor, and the only sensible thing
that my now-nonsensical mind felt right to do was to
go to bed. And tired that I was, it wasn’t difficult
at all! Zip – I popped into my bed, and Zap – I was
lost in lazy slumber!

I don’t know how long it had been since I slept. I
however remember waking up with a start. Lightning
flashed, thunder roared, and there was a sudden
torrential downpour. I looked out of the window,
unable to understand the sky’s sudden outburst in the
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 2
middle of a calm and peaceful November night. There
was something queer about the whole setting. But it
was the lightning that grabbed my attention. It glowed
constantly and was shaped differently – more
elliptical than linear – in fact it was almost saucer-
like! But before I could start reacting to the
mysteries lying outside my window, something else
diverted my attention - a severe headache that I had
suddenly began to experience. I realized it was the
much-dreaded migraine attack. I usually got these when
I drank a tad too much!
I got up from bed to get some medicines. My eyes fell
on my reflection in the mirror of the cabinet.
Something was amiss! I looked so pale. My color! I had
lost my color!
What was happening? I decided to ignore it and jumped
back to my bed. I needed some good sleep. I put in a
decent effort to get some, but even sleep eluded me.
Why? Maybe it was what I saw in the mirror! Or was it
the eerie silence in the new house? Was it the weird
lightning? Or was it just the migraine? Was I
visualizing things? Or was I plain scared? Staying all
on my own over the weekend was completely my idea and
how I regretted it now!
I tried reaching out to my parents in Kolkata, and
found that the phone lines were jammed. I mustered up
some courage and decided to go to the cabinet to have
a look at my reflection again. The image had a scar
this time!
I tried to turn the lights on. But even they wouldn’t
budge. With time, my eyes got accustomed to the
darkness. Not knowing what to do next, I saw no harm
in exploring further. I looked out of the window. This
time I saw scattered white clouds in the sky. Under
the clouds on the ground, there was a gigantic white
mass!
I turned around and again saw my reflection at the
opposite window. I took out my torch. The reflection
was smiling, almost as though mocking at me! The scar
I wore was brighter, and this time I didn’t look pale.
I looked blue!
Sudden realization dawned upon me and I recollected
that there really was no mirror in the cabinet. Then
how did I see the image? Was it a reflection at all
then? It seemed to me a perfect mirror image though.
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 3
What was I missing? Now I was sure I was
hallucinating! I never knew four pegs of vodka would
give rise to such creative imaginations, but knowing
that I was hallucinating actually worked in my favor.
It converted my fear to curiosity.
Could there really be someone ‘else’ in the room with
me? A female who resembled me? Logic gave way to hope.
As a child I had always loved miracles. I had always
wondered if I was really unique. Was there no one in
this entire universe who’d be just like me? Well I’m
sure some childhood fantasies come true, because there
she was - standing right in front of me! It was time
to face her!
She stood near the window, still smiling in all her
blue ethereal beauty. Her long curly tresses, her
large magnetic eyes, and her smile made me proud to be
her look-alike. Yes she was real. And it wasn’t me
with the scar. It was her! It adorned her right cheek,
and she wore it very gracefully. Time for the
introductions: I spoke for the first time in what
seemed like – ages ‘Hi, I am Amanda. Who are you? Why
are you here? ‘ADNAMA, ADNAMA’ ‘uoy teem ot ecin’ she
squeaked. I obviously didn’t understand a word of what
she spoke. I asked her again, and she repeated the
same. What on earth was adnama?
Another flash of lightning later, I saw her face
suddenly twitch and morph into a sight I really
couldn’t bear to see. I cringed. Beauty or Beast, what
was she? And why was I stuck there? What was
happening? Hallucinating or not, this time around, I
was really very scared!
- She screamed ‘ereh morf yawa teg’ ‘ereh morf yawa teg’
‘ereh morf yawa teg’. I heard the words reverberating
in my ears. She stretched her right hand and there was
a bright sword in her hand. Realizing she wasn’t
really there to be friends with me, I made a run for
the corridor. I stumbled across something and fell. I
knew I was nearing my end. All of a sudden, I looked
up and saw it wasn’t her. It was a monster – a very
ugly, very devil-like, and very hateful double-headed
monster! I could still hear her voice from behind -
‘reh morf yawa teg’ ‘reh morf yawa teg’ ‘reh morf yawa
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 4
teg’. Now there were two of them! What were my odds
against the two really? I don’t know what happened
next. I was sure one of them got me and I died.
I woke up on my bed, my cell phone ringing by my side.
It was mom. She said she was coming back by afternoon
and asked if I was fine. I told her I was alright,
just had a nightmare the previous night. She asked me
to take care and hung up. I could still not forget the
dream. It seemed so real. I was glad it was just a
dream, glad that I was alive. I made coffee for myself
and started reading the newspaper. ‘Huge crater
observed. Networks jammed and unexpected lightning and
thunder showers in the newly developed township of
Raka’. ‘Our correspondent reports very few inhabitants
were around at that time of the night, owing to Diwali
holidays. No one really knows if these events are
interlinked. Scientists have even gone to an extent of
saying, it could be a UFO.’
My coffee gone cold, I was still trying to convince
myself that it really was a dream. I wanted to go back
to sleep, but there was someone knocking at my door.
It turned out to be my neighbor who had shifted that
morning, and she definitely seemed anything but
convivial! She pointed out to numerous unintelligible
scribbles in blue in our corridor. She made herself
quite clear- rub off the marks or forget your peace of
mind! I read out aloud. ‘EYB, YRROS –Adnama’. I
realized I was squeaking, and not speaking. It was the
same tone in which my lookalike spoke. My neighbor
stared at my face and left me alone in horror. I
looked at myself in the mirror. I actually had a scar
- on my left cheek! It was REAL!
I went to the window and looked out. There really was
a crater. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED! Then how was I still
alive? I saw a bouquet near the window. It wrote the
same thing ‘Adnama’. I was nonplussed. Was the sword
for the monster and not for me? Was she a savior and
not a predator?
I stood in front of the mirror. All my doubts seemed
to vanish in thin air. I got the clue! I reversed the
letters - Adnama read ‘Amanda’. I tried to recollect
everything else that she spoke. EYB, YRROS – sorry
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 5
bye’. ‘uoy teem ot ecin’ –‘ nice to meet you’. ‘ereh
morf yawa teg’ – ‘get away from here’. She was
actually trying to save me. How I wished I could meet
her again. But all she had left behind was my scar
-which according to logic had to be on the left,
simply because hers was on the right. She was, in the
truest sense of the word – my ‘mirror-image’
The police was at my door asking me if I knew anything
about what happened the previous night. I looked at
her flowers, thought for a minute and said ‘no - none
that I can remember.’ I didn’t want to close on an
opportunity to meet her again.
Date: 21st NovemberYear: 2009Event: My weddingMood: Excited
It had been a year and I had almost forgotten the
entire ordeal, the only thing that reminded me of
Adnama was my scar which had also almost faded by now.
It was my wedding day and I had a severe migraine. I
was getting ready in my ‘bride’s room’ and as it has
always been in our Indian marriages, even your
bridesmaid leaves you cornered in your room to have a
glimpse of the groom when he comes riding on his
beautifully decorated wedding horse. So I was all
alone when someone came in with flowers. I had thought
it was yet another wedding gift, and nodded for her to
keep them on the table and leave. She left and
suddenly I felt my scar burning. I honestly didn’t
know what to expect. I went and checked the flowers.
It read ‘gniddew yppah – adnama’. I remember her gait
and that she wore a red sari too. I had to follow her,
meet her, greet her, talk to her, and thank her. I ran
out of the room, my scar still burning. Unfortunately
neither could I spot her, nor was I allowed to run
around in my red benarasi for long on my wedding
night.
Incidents like this continued. My birthdays, my
wedding anniversaries, new years’ or diwalis - she
never forgot them. My husband was a bit uneasy in the
beginning and then realized he could never track the
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 6
sender, let alone the police that he had informed. I,
on my part never revealed my experience to my family.
But it was never to be. I could never meet my sister
from the other world when I was in my senses. She once
appeared in my dreams. I guess that was the only time
we talked to each other. She explained how important
it was for me to not reveal her identity. It could
affect both our lives. The monster that appeared
wanted to kill me just because he didn’t want me to
know that she existed. I accepted my fate. ‘Just
promise me, you will never let go of our little
secret’, she said. I said, ‘Just promise me, you’ll
never leave me’
And we both kept our promises – at least for a long
time!
Sometimes my scar would glow in the night and I would
rush to stand near my window to see if history ever
repeated. But all I ever saw was a faint light in the
sky. I knew it was Adnama, saying hi to me. Sometimes,
if I hurt myself – the scar would glow and the pain
would disappear. It was Adnama, watching over me. If I
felt sad, the scar made me happy. If I felt lonely,
the scar did its trick and I would feel better. The
scar was a part of my life and I knew it connected us
both.
Date: 14th March
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 7
Year: 2011Event: My birthday eveMood: Upbeat
A few years had passed thus. I had my migraine pain
again. Only now, it was so excruciating that I felt I
would die. I rushed to my window. I saw twinkling
lights. I had a small telescope that I had to bring
out. It felt as though two massive bodies were up to
something. It seemed to me - a fight; and my glowing
scar said Adnama was in one of them. I prayed, with
all my devotion. I tried to rub my scar and reach out
to Adnama. Nothing worked. My headache got so severe
that I couldn’t take it anymore. I succumbed to the
pain and fainted. The next day, my scar had
disappeared. I did not even want to think about the
unthinkable. It was my birthday. I kept waiting for my
flowers. They dint come. Seven months later, it was my
anniversary. Still no flowers! I knew I had lost her.
She had broken her promise. She had left me!
Date: TodayYear: 2012Event: My declarationMood: Somber
Arpa Mukhopadhyay/Adnama/Page 8
It has been a while since it all ended. The emotional
turmoil that I have been going through about the
promise that I had made to Adnama about not revealing
my experience had to stop. I made up my mind - to
narrate my story. And I feel much lighter now. Not
because I felt hurt, not because I wanted to break
free, and definitely not because she had broken hers,
but because I wanted the world to know the truth. I
read about aliens everywhere, watch movies, television
series on them - watch how cruel they can be, and read
how much destruction they can cause. That is so unlike
Adnama!
If there really is anyone out there who’s willing to
lend an honest, empathetic ear, I would want him to
know: ‘Yes I knew an alien, if that’s what you want to
call her. She was from a place, far away from my world
but she was closer to me than even my real sister. She
looked just like me, but she cared more than I ever
could, she was as understanding as our mothers, and as
friendly as our sisters, she was stronger than most of
our lot, and she was definitely more human than all
humans I have ever seen.
She was Adnama- Amanda’s alter-ego and she was indeed
very special!’

On her last college fest

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Arpa Mukherjee

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