“What is your problem with fire?” asked Shyam.
“Nothing man, really!” Guna tried to lie to his friend.
“Cut the crap, will you? Anyone could notice you were not so very comfortable during the festival.” said Shyam referring to the Bhogi which was a day back.
“Okay. I’ll tell you, but promise me you won’t ever blurt it to anyone else. Will you?“
It really didn’t take Shyam a long time to coax his friend out of his so called secrets. Most of them were just silly to the point of being stupid.
“You know sometimes when you feel you know what it‘s all going to come down to. Like how the chapter ends. You know what I am talking about don’t you?“
“I would understand it more clearly if you just come to the point.“
“Okay to be very straight here, I think fire is my nemesis – I always have a feeling that it’s the thing which is going to end my life. I have always thought so ever since when I was a kid. You know…“
Shyam was very patient. He couldn’t still make sense out of this stupid talk which he could not believe was coming from a guy whom he always thought was sensible.
“Okay and what made you believe in this… this…” Shyam tried to churn out a word out of his vocabulary.
“Karma?” Guna completed the statement.
“So what made you believe in all this bu** sh**….” Shyam reconstructed the whole phrase again. He was getting angry that he had pushed his friend to tell something which he had never wished to hear.
“I really don’t have an answer here. Really! Maybe if you are some stupid director you can cook up a story of some bad incident happening in my childhood!” said Guna mockingly.
“Some people have this… this premonition about how it will all come to.” Guna continued. “Some believe it will be water, some think it will be snakes, you know it‘s just a thought. You can’t put it off as a dream. The thought doesn’t always stick in your mind but just pops up, like a shadow creeping around your mind…” Guna’s eyes were glaring and distant.
“Enough.” Shyam was in a rage. “You have already pi**** off my morning. I should have never asked you in the first place.“
“Okay cool it buddy. Let‘s go have a breath of fresh air. Come on.” Guna urged putting on his track suit.
“You go. I am not in a mood to come.“
“Okay, whatever. You know the prof’s daughter always takes a walk during Sunday mornings at this time.“
Guna too knew of Shyam’s weaknesses! He left the room.
‘Oh heck!‘ thought Shyam, in an instant he blasted out of the room. “Hey wait up will you…“
It was some months later, when tragedy stuck. Guna was hit by a speeding car. It was Shyam who admitted him in the nearby private hospital. Guna’s parents were shocked, to say the least. It took Shyam a long time to convince them that nothing will happen to Guna. The doctor had visited Guna the previous night and said that the damage was serious but he still had an outside chance. He had given the name of some part of the brain which was supposed to have suffered the most. The name made no sense to him, but the word Coma did.