[ultimate_heading main_heading=”The Lost Bag by Romy Tuli- Issue.XXXII : September 2017 ” main_heading_color=”#1e73be” sub_heading_color=”#8224e3″ spacer=”line_with_icon” spacer_position=”bottom” line_style=”dotted” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#1e73be” icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^48|url^http://ashvamegh.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ashvamegh-ICO.jpg|caption^null|alt^Ashvamegh Journal Icon|title^Ashvamegh ICO|description^null” img_width=”48″ main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:34px;” line_width=”3″ margin_design_tab_text=””]a short story…[/ultimate_heading]

Romy Tuli has done her Master of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from Central University of Punjab. Currently, she is working as an Assistant Professor at Amity University, Haryana. She has publication in Sufi Literature as well. Her interest is mostly in poetry and story writing.


The Lost Bag

The phenomenon was not new, her sleeping late night after 5 till 9 in the morning. The wings that she desired to span in the open air were often spread via Internet. Her dreams let not her sleep and the mornings were lazy. At one night she used to feel the amorous cravings for her lover and on the other, her aspirations to become a professor. It appeared fanciful to her to sleep with the stars.

After having a futile chat with Aditya, she knitted hallucinations of a romantic date with the guy next morning. It was a cold night which she enjoyed in the arms of a tepid blanket as if she was with him. The reminisces of the happenings of her first date when they roam gaily by the brook and splashing water on each other compelled her eyes to remain open. The only audible sound was that of the watchman’s stick.

“Why are we paying him if I am here to look after until morning?” she thought.

But quickly the voice faded when the blanket held her tight. Everything was okay at the time but her continuous peeing and drinking barrels of water.

“Oh c’mon Ria! Sleep Sleep Sleep! Nothing is going to be happen tomorrow the way you’re thinking. This fervour might be converted into fever if all this go rampant.” She ordered herself and closed her eyes tightly.

It was a sluggish morning and she woke up late. She checked her phone with one eye opened and a text message was delivered to her, “Good Morning sweetie. See you outside your college at 12”. She was about to rush to the college with the issued books from the library along with the bag and her mother cried,

“Ria! Breakfast!”

“Mom I slept late and in no mood to eat. Bye! Close the door.”

Driving her way to the college, she was travelling mentally as well. Call it dizziness or what, her thoughts were out of her reach. Things assumed complex shapes when she climbed the stairs to go to the library for returning the books. In a panic, she hurried to her classroom to avoid getting marked as absent, she collapsed with Kritika and rolled over the ground. Her hair clip opened up and her hair took the shape of an umbrella.

“Hey relax! Where’s your mind? Didn’t slept last night or skipped your breakfast?” Kritika commented and continued, “By the way, Sir is on leave. So enjoy!”

“Oh Thank God! I thought I am about to stand outside the class” Ria uttered while binding her hair.

“So, what’s the plan now? I think it would be stupid to go back home within an hour after leaving. Isn’t it?”

“Hmm… you are right.”

Adding to the discussion, Neha joined and proposed them for a movie and on this Ria suggested, “Why don’t we go for shopping to the mall nearby? Guys, actually, I am going with Aditya at 12.”

The name brought a little sparkle to her dizzy eyes and a coy smile ran over her lips.

“Ohh! So this is the matter! Hmm… we understand da’ling. You both are having a gala day today. Keep it up! Keep it up! We won’t mind going for shopping” commented Neha. “Actually guys, it’s his birthday”, Ria uttered to avoid the girls’ snooping in their romance.

Aditya was doing MBBS from Delhi and was at Chandigarh for few days to spend holidays with his family. He was, rather, a tall guy but Ria was short. Their couple might not sooth the eyes of the people but their appearing love overcame the looks. Ria was an intelligent girl but her carelessness led her to remain idle mostly.

The girls walked to the mall and after shopping, when it came to the payment, a gush of anxiety rolled over her face.

“Oh no! Where’s my bag! I had my credit cards and cash in it” she cried haplessly.

“Ria, have you brought it from home? I haven’t seen it in your hand when I met you in the morning” added Kritika.

“Friends, I think I have locked it in my vehicle’s basket. Even the keys were slipped into it. It has an auto-lock system” Ria calmed herself.

“So how will you reach home? I am sure you won’t be having any spare key right now” worried Neha.

“That’s not a big deal Neha, as I am having it at home, Aditya will drop me home”.

Kritika paid her bills and when they came out, Aditya was standing outside with his arms open to receive his beloved. The opened arms gained a repelling answer when she straight away sat inside the car. The incident of the locked bag had made her head even heavier.

“Adi! How come you know I am here?”

“When I can feel your fragrance in the midst of millions of flowers then how can I don’t know where you are. Don’t waste time here. Let’s move.”

On the way, he took her hand and kissed, “Your friend Madhur told me that you were at the mall.”

Ria didn’t replied and was looking idly outside the window.

“Ria . . . .  Ria”



She didn’t show interest in asking what he was saying.

They were sitting by the brook but Ria was lying down in a sense on his shoulder with her eyes closed. Aditya was touching her face and playing with her hair but she paid no heed.

“So you had a fight with mom” Aditya uttered after twenty minutes had passed so as to make the conversation begin. His inquiry appeared judgemental to her.

“Are you going to be a doctor?” she asked.

“Ha Ha… Do you have a doubt?”

The question went unanswered in the same way.

“Why are you doing this? If you don’t want me here then why have you called me?” cried Aditya.

“I want to sleep on your shoulder. I am tired. I need some sleep. Can’t help without” she answered in a very requesting manner.

It was two in the noon and she didn’t want to open her eyes to look at his buffalo like face. The garland that she wove last night smelt foul to her. The thing she didn’t like was his habit of judging her.

Soon she asked, “Adi, would you mind leaving me home? I have left my bag and keys inside my scooty”.

“Hmm… Get up”

To her surprise, he didn’t scold her the way he used to. Way back to her home, there was a complete silence on their faces. Aditya had a lot to say and Ria appeared sleeping to him.

As she reached home, she narrated the incident of the lost bag to the family and she was harshly scolded by them all. With her mother, she decided to reach her father’s shop on walk. The distance was about five miles and after travelling two mile she yowled suddenly, “Mom! I forget to pick up the duplicate key.”

Fitte Muh. Run then. Pick it up. I am waiting here. Careless lass”

She rushed towards home as if a rat run for his life from a cat. Today, she was sure that she was about to be the prey to her dad’s mighty wrath. Getting the duplicate keys, she crossed her mom who was getting roasted in the sun helplessly.

Both of them reached at the shop and Ria along with her father went to the college to fetch the scooty, bag and the key. It was 4 in the evening and the college was almost empty. The sweepers were playing with each other with their broom and were coerced to start their work when the Head of the Department left.

Her happiness knew no bounds when she had a glimpse of her scooty. She opened the basket to collect her bag. The sight appeared as if it was a bolt from the blue when she observed that the basket was all empty and clean even without a trace of a dust particle.

“What happened? Got the materials?” her father asked impatiently who was sitting on his bike.

“Ya…” she uttered in a trembling voice “you go dad, I am coming within a few minutes”.

Her bag! Which contained credit cards, cash and books was lost. But where? Neither did she stop anywhere on the way in the morning nor she had given it to anyone. Where it was? She ran here and there for help but no one came to her rescue. She climbed third floor to her classroom, to the ground, to the canteen everywhere but helpless. By chance, all the enigmas solved when she crossed the library where she had returned the books in the morning. Her red and black carry bag was lying aimlessly in the rank outside the library untouched.

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