Akash was surprised, then he was baffled, further he was amused, suddenly be became serious.
Vikas although being three years younger to him, was more of a same aged friend. Other kids of Vikas's age would have had a fearful reverence towards the highschool cricket captain. Indeed it was Akash who was a secret admirer of Vikas. Did Vikas ever recognise it? nor did it seem so to Akash.
When Akash glanced through a rejected copy of a presentation(project), he was struck by the brilliance of the masterpiece. He saw drops of water collected during the lashing monsoon, naturally created watersheds, canals that formed only during rainy season, fish travelling upstream, the dichotomy of landscaping guiding the water and water changing the landscape, small streams all feeding a tiny rivulet, and when it tumbled dowm, it created a faint rainbow when seen from a strange angle.
All of this was simply happening in a large campus of a residential school nestled somewhere in the western ghats. No wonder the project was rejected, no wonder Akash liked it.
Initially reluctant Vikas, slowly opened his pandora's box to Akash. It had
a bird's voice,
a forest's silence,
a saint's calm,
a rivulets's flow,
a stream's meandering ability,
a tiger's silent roar,
smell of decaying leaves,
a cloud's shadow,
a fox's footsteps on sand,
… an unseen rainbow
Akash thought he was talented, now he was seeing a new world altogether. Perspective grew, friendship evolved, wild walks turned into short treks, library hangouts turned into nightouts. Akash still felt that Vikas grew more and more distant, oblivious to immediate reality, or did he encompass it?
For somebody who could hardly middle the balls, scooping the last ball, an off spinning delivery over the wicketkeeper's head for a six was unthinkable. Akash was not surprised, to him, Vikas could do it was as true as the fact that he actually did it.
Its has been forty years nearly, Akash remembers only bits and pieces of it. He remembers Vikas telling him of this interesting part of the forest which had an entry. That is, not that it cannot be approached by other other direction but one would never reach the place if one did. Yes, it was commonsense defying. Akash remembers Vikas showing him the entry from a distance. Akash did not go that day as planned, for he was hearing for the first time, those words from a girl who liked him, to him, everything else could wait. No investigation revealed the whereabouts of this middle school boy, nor did Akash spot the entry point again.
Sometimes Akash wonders whether Vikas ever existed at all, sometimes it's just like the previous moment. Many times you will find Akash near the rivulet fall searching an angle to catch the glimpse of the rainbow …
— 15 Mar 2013 14:41