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‘Can I tell you something, Nisha?’ Sanjay asked over the phone.
Nisha’s heart beat thundered; cyclones and hurricanes inside her ribs almost collapsed her respiratory system. He was finally going to tell her what she was desperately waiting to listen from him. ‘What’s it?’ she polished her tone with enough drama that drilled fear into his heart and brain.
‘Actually I...’ he said. She was already shivering, storms passed out of her nostrils and chemical reactions, that she had only heard of in her books, happened inside her tummy. Tears filled her eyes. She smiled wide enough; a millimetre extra would have torn her lips apart.
‘I love you…’ he finally managed to tell her.
Silence prevailed from her end for few seconds and the call got disconnected.
His heart almost skipped a beat. He was sweating profusely. He thought she did not like it. He thought he would meet her in person and apologize the next morning.
With the trifling hum of the fan, cradling him to a deep slumber, he slowly drifted to sleep. He checked for Nisha’s message as soon as he woke up. There was a text message from an unknown number. The text was scrambled. He hardly understood anything. Suddenly the word “s’ahsiN” caught his eyesight. It read “Nisha’s” in reverse. He read the entire message which was reversely ordered,
‘Your mobile waves entered into our World a few hours back. You will remain connected to Nisha’s mobile. Thank you.’
He had no idea what it meant. He dialled Nisha without any further delay but the call did not get connected. His mobile beeped and it was Nisha’s text- ‘I’m stuck in the Mirror-World (MW). I can’t talk or hear. We are all just images here.’
‘What’s happening? I don’t understand the text message.’ He sent a reply.
‘When you had expressed your love I felt like looking at how I blushed. I looked into the mirror and I didn’t know what happened after that. Now, I am inside the mirror world. Everything is so different here. I was taken to the ‘truoC’ (Court). It seems this is the first time; someone was pulled inside when they were on phone. That’s why we are able to connect to each other even now.’ She messaged.
‘Which world are you talking about? Where is this world?’
‘I have no idea. Everything in this world is a reflected image of the real world. But everything is two-dimensional, including humans. We have law courts, shops, malls and even schools here where to my surprise, the ABCD is also written laterally inversed!!!. People are really living here. I was first shocked but now I am truly amazed.’ Her message now confused him more and he was unsure if she was excited or frightened.
With tears brimming in his eyes, he replied back, ‘Tell me dear, how to bring you back here?’
‘It’s not easy Sanjay. Time is elongated here. A minute in the real world makes a day in Mirror-World. I have been here for days together. I am 2.5 years elder to you now. People speak ‘Reflective’ here. I am named ahsiN. We also have a government. The ruling party is the mirror images of the real world people, called the ‘stcelfeR’ (Reflects), while people who were pulled in like me, called the (senaM) Manes, forms the opposition party. This Mirror-World spans across Tumos, our city. They are trying to swallow our entire city.’ She replied.
‘But why should they pull in people?’ he was concerned.
‘The Reflects wanted their Mirror world’s somuT (Tumos) to be unique. Since they lose their identity if we all survive, they are trying to suck in manes and vanish our real world’s Tumos. They are cunning.’ She sent a message out of rage.
‘I’m looking into a mirror but I’m not pulled. How do I come there?’ he asked desperately.
She had replied, ‘If someone looks at their reflection in any mirror under the moon light they will be sucked to this Mirror World. I overheard people when I was in the truoC (court) that today is the last day of their powers to pull in real world people. You please don’t come here. You should save Tumos.’
‘How do I stop them?’
There was no message for a long time.
‘Nisha?’ ‘Nisha?’ he kept messaging but none got delivered.
His mobile beeped after 15 minutes. ‘langis hguone ton si erehT’, it was from the same unknown number. He did not understand anything. Suddenly he realized that everything was mirrored there. He found out what it meant -‘There is not enough network.’ He tried over and over again but couldn’t reach her mobile. An hour passed. 60 days in the MW had passed. An idea stuck him in an instance and so he quickly got into his bike sweeping the road as fast as he could, reached the nearest cell phone tower. He took out his pocket mirror and reflected the image of the tower in it. He then tried messaging.
His mobile beeped and it was her. ‘Listen, we don’t have enough time. Day by day it’s getting worse for Manes here. We are treated like slaves. You need to save us all; save our city. Please help us.’ She cried.
‘Tell me, what am I supposed to do now?.’
He read her instruction carefully. ‘Don’t see your mirror reflection under the moon light else you will also end up here. If you break all the mirrors in our city before the sun rises tomorrow, the Mirror-World will get destroyed and we will escape into the real world from here. We saw in one of the television’s reflection that thousands of people have gone missing already. Also you can’t tell about Mirror-World to anyone as they’ll come to know that it’s me who gave you this information, as I am the only one who is connected to the real world. They will tear my head. ‘
‘Okay in that case, why did they allow you to stay connected?’ he was puzzled.
‘It’s against their law to prevent people from using the objects they came in with. We don’t have time for this. Break all the mirrors. You can do this. You have a lot of time.’
‘Not much time I’ve in the real world. What if I am not able to break all the mirrors?’
‘All those who are pulled into MW before sunrise, tomorrow, will get locked in here, forever.’
‘I will try my best Nisha. If I am not able to do it I will come inside your world. I am breaking the mirror that reflects the signal for you. So either we meet here or there. Love you.’ He sent that message and thrashed the pocket-mirror that reflected the tower.
For the next few hours, he was into mirror busting spree. He spread rumours that a popular mirror making company has announced a contest that they will replace all the broken mirrors with their company’s decorative mirror. Their agents will hop in any time and if all the mirrors in a house are broken they will also be awarded 5 thousand. This rumour was spread like a forest fire until evening, but as the sun was setting in and the day slowly drifted towards the dusk, the rumour actually backfired. There was a complete power shutdown in the city that evening. People gazed into the mirror one last time before they shattered it into pieces. Many got pulled in but many such mirrors were broken.
The kid smiled with joy as it appeared to be a magic for him. To his bewilderment, Sanjay vanished all of a sudden. He held the mirror with both hands and lifted it with great force behind his head. He brought the mirror forward to throw it away and break it. When it was right on top of his head, he lifted his head up and got absorbed. The mirror swirled around fell on the bed without experiencing the slightest of the damage.
The sun rose, the next morning. The city, Tumos, was vanished into the Mirror World forever.