PS: If you have not read earlier parts of this story before, please first read them in earlier posts.
Jesse stops smiling and frees herself from embrace of Rohan. She shouts,"Who is Aabha? Tell me Rohan who is Aabha? Why is this name bugging me so much?" She is crying. Rohan has a blank face. He is almost sweating. He asks Jesse,"How do you know about Aabha?" Jesse is still crying,"Rohan, I have been having dream of a masked man who says Aabha to me, then I met an old man who said Aabha to me." She starts crying even more,"I am not any kind of glow, why is this name troubling me. I wanted to share joy of our first baby with you and wanted to surprise you and this name has ruined it. I hate Aabha, I hate Aabha". Rohan does not know what to say.
Rohan had met Aabha when he had gone on election duty to a town named "Asgoli" 4 years ago."Asgoli" is a small village with no electricity and is probably village at highest altitude in the whole Almora region. There were no roads which connected village to Dwarahat( the nearest town). Aabha was studying at Almora university and had come to her village for some days. Rohan had stayed at Pradhan Ji's house and there he met Aabha. Both liked each other very much. Aabha was also planning to work as reporter in "Parvat jaagran" newspaper. Rohan liked Aabha very much. Rohan wanted to marry Aabha. Rohan informed Pradhan Ji about his wish. Pradhan ji had read love in his daughter's eyes but before he could take any decision he wanted to inform Rohan about the truth related to Aabha. In between Aabha went to Almora for her last examination and also for some assignments at "Parvat Jaagran". She never came back. All sort of efforts were made but nobody could find Aabha. Months passed and slowly slowly everybody accepted the fact that Aabha was not going to come. They told themselves that she had died. Rohan made all efforts that he could to find out Aabha but it did not result in anything. Rohan also gave up hope after sometime.
Rohan has lived in hills since his childhood. He understands that hills are playing tricks. But why? what should he tell Jesse? He asks Jesse about the old man who had met Jesse. Jesse gives description of his appearance but Rohan has never seen an old man like that in Kafda village. He decides to tell Jesse about Aabha and tells her everything. Jesse asks Rohan explanation for her dreams but he does not have any. Rohan asks Jesse to come with her to the roof of their home from where they can see "temple of doonagiri" and says to Jesse that the goddess inside is queen of hills in that area and she will take care of everything. Jesse does not believe in anything like this but when Rohan insists she again imagines a church and bows her head with respect and prays to God to make everything better for both of them.
Sun has already set. Rohan says to Jesse that he would go to Shivalaya with her next day in the morning to find old man. Jesse feels little comfortable now and the fact that she has shared the news of being pregnant with Rohan makes her feel makes her relaxed. she smiles and comes near to Rohan who is cleaning the dishes. She hugs Rohan from his back and Rohan also turns back and smiles. Rohan keeps her hand on Jesse's stomach and kisses her on her cheek.
Today there is no masked man. It is a girl, a beautiful girl. No, masked man is there. He is chasing girl and girl is shouting,"Mummy,Mummy". Masked man slits girl's throat with a sword. Soon there is blood and a something falls away from girls hand. A horse comes running in the same direction. There is silence now. Same images are rolling again and again. there is nothing but silence now. A day has passed. Blood keeps dripping out of girls body. She is not even dead. She wants to say something. No she is saying something, but silence is killing all sounds. Girl also feels that she is not able to communicate through sound and she is now pointing out to the bag she has thrown. It is lying near a tree. Something is written on the tree. Some symbol in some language other than english. It is Hindi. Jesse is trying to read it: its na, chootee i kee maatra, Sha, aadha Ba, Da. It is Nishabd. It is Nishabd.
Jesse wakes up again, sweating...What does Nishabd mean??
To be continued...