Jesse has been dreaming a masked man, a sword and a horse since last week. Today also she got up shivering as masked man came closer and said, "aabha". What does "aaubbhaa" mean? Why is she dreaming the same dream again and again.
Rohan, her husband is sleeping beside her. They had an argument last night over Jesse giving contracaptive pills to their maid Gita. Jesse thought she had done a noble act while Rohan had said that it was dangerous for both of them if Gita's husband Santosh got to know about the pills.
Jesse left the bedroom and came to kitchen. There was no electricity in the house and that made Jesse guess that it must have been 3 am as that was the time for routine electricity cut in small hilly town of Kafda nearby Ranikhet. It was January and it was freezing cold. But Jesse wanted to come outside in the gallery. But she dropped the idea as some nights ago they had found a tiger resting outside the gate that opened at Gallery. She sat in a chair outside kitchen and put her feet on stool nearby. she then lit a candle and in the candle light she stared at her "Payal" peeping out of the green socks. What a beautiful Indian ornament she thought, she always had a dream of wearing such a thing regularly in California where she spent most of her childhood and college days.
She had come to Ranikhet two years ago on a reasearch project related to effect of non organised construction on ecology of Shaivalik series of Himalaya. It was a team of 5 people Mark, professor Bhowmik, Cristie, Jonathan and herself. Professor Bhowmik belonged to department of environmental studies of University of Shillong. Mark had contacted Mr. Bhowmik from University of California showing their interest in ecology of Shaivalik series and then after some exchanges they had decided to come down to Ranikhet as ecology of this region of Himalaya was changing continuosly after Uttaranchal had become a separate state and a lot of development projects were started by new Uttaranchal government with out much care for the environment of this beautiful Himalayan region.
She first met Rohan when their team went to visit a small school in a village called Kumalta. Children of school and even teachers had never seen a foreigner in person. And everybody seeemed to behave in very absurd manner except Rohan. He greeted the team well. Children could not stop giggling seeing the white men and some of them even had started shouting in unison,"Chimpoo", which Jesse now understands means monkey. Rohan was also a teacher of Mathematics at school and used to take some classes in social science also. He was a very handsome person and an unusual 6 feet hight for persons belonging to hilly region. He wore spectacles consisting photochromatic lenses. He took the team to a temple nearby and gave them information about villages nearby and the water sources for each village and some details about kind of animals that villagers used to have. When Rohan met Jesse, he pronounced his name, "Rohan Kafadwaal", at which Jesse couldnt stop laughing. What a funny name she said. At this Rohan smiled and explained that his name was so because he belonged to a village named "Kafda" and people at hills of Uttaranchal have a tradition of having their surnames rooted in the names of places where they live. Jesse was impressed by the manner he spoke. She noticed the well built body of this young man and also couldnt help silently appreciating a little curl on the upper lip of this young man when he smiled. Jesse now went to bedroom silently watching Rohan sleeping with a little smile on his face. Jesse couldnt help but smiled.
PS: I am planning to complete this story in many posts as I myself want to think over what should happen next, though I have some broad outline in mind. I dont know how many such small posts will complete the story but I expect comments on the parts read so far or on the direction that you anticipate for the story.