In the Quest of Light #1: A Promise Made to the Woman.

Srikanta | Nagendra/Sharma/Indra/Wicky – The Author | Sravan

{Authors Note: The semi-epic journey I am going to elaborate through this series of journals is not a subject of debate of being a fact or fiction. This is a writer’s voice and I hope you’d enjoy these as they are, trying not to decode too much or trying not to deduce the facts from fiction. Thank you for entering our intriguing adventure!}

Foreword:

What can I say and how can I simply put what I have done? I don’t know. Is this an adventure in the name of love or is this plain stupidity in its name? No on can answer. No one should. It is all about perspective, isn’t it. What is true and what is not? I often read in Devadutt’s books, “Indra has a hundred eyes and Varuna has a thousand, you and I only two, how can we know what is true?” Madness or love is a discussion running down throughout the ages, and no one till this planet perishes off can answer that; may be not even after it goes perished. This is a foreword and I am not going to use this as a place to support me and my kind. Hm. My kind. Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Think of what is true and what is not. Think what life is and what life is not. Don’t be afraid. Anyway you are going to die. Then, the question comes: are you going to die with a good hope about tomorrow along with a huge, beautiful and memorable past or, are you doing to die pathetic thinking about no-tomorrow and blaming all your life that it is not proper? Decide. Live. For life is all we got and everything else is a lie of your mind. Popularly some recent Hindi song too is claiming the same: Tann mitti hai, Mann hai maaya!

I need to thank many, many and many. The list would go endless. I am indebted. I would like to do it in a swift. My Lord Shri Sita Ram – In whose name all the flowers bloom and rives flow, I bend down; thank you. Now, I thank my sister, who always is with me, and would be with me – without her, hm, I already am long lost. But, Aamani, haha, I wrote a book on her and still, hm, I don’t know, she is an angel who would let me stand every time I need to stand and still she says I am the best between us both: she is probably lying, I know – For is the name La’ Angelo. What would I do without you, tell me? I need to thank her would-be – Aadhitez – too, thank you man, thank you. Ravi, my love, man, I love you man, just for being there. Just for being there, that’s all. Just for letting me explain you the Madhurastaka and a thousand other things, thank you so much. My guys, my people, Srikanta and Sravan anna (for I call him as my brother) for being just beside me and Usha Kiran, even though not beside me, but for filling the spirit in me – without you people, I know, and I admit, all my attempts at this would be the most futile. And Sravan anna, I love you man, really.

I think I thanked everyone in one single paragraph, but no. All that paragraph is for them them all, but there is one more person I need to thank, I need to hold hands and pay my gratitude. I say them as a single person, but as two they remain in physicality. My two beautiful florets. Did anyone love me as you do? And would anyone believe me like you do? In anyone’s eyes would I be as big a hero as I am in your eyes? Would anyone believe that I am a Hanuman who would bring what it is ‘she’ needs the most? Who did say, without any doubt on me that I can do this? Who is is that sensed my every emotion and monitored my well-being like you did? Haha, hm, this is running too long and would bore the general reader, you see, so I would end this here. Thank you for being. You are the people who stood as a strength to my heart after my woman herself. But yeah, no thank you, I know.

Everyone said I was not sleeping properly, not eating properly, not being normal and not being very funny and everything. They said I am not focusing on anything properly. How would I when she was struggling. It was not with a disease, it was not with a condition or it was not a loss she was coping up with, but, how would I stay peaceful and normal when she was suffering with the loss of hope? Is it not I who should get the hope into her life? Our lives? So, I did. I was not distracted or disoriented, no, I was determined about something no one knows, no one at all.

I think, now, it is the time to expound this tale of adventure to everyone.

Prologue 1:

The night has fallen. The rain was tremendous. I was trying to stop and convince every single autowala I can in that roaring rain. “Anna, please, a girl and an elderly lady are stuck,” I would say, but no one were even responding. One or two would stop and listen at least and then I would say something more, “Please anna, the girl is suffering with a lot of fever, she’s unconscious, please,” they’d listen with a compassionate face and would simply ask me not to take them bad. Before I can beg them further, they would drive the auto forward, yanking my off. I would again, in that rain wait for another auto. Her father who was doing the same thing at the other end of the street walks towards me and I run towards him. “Found anything?” I would ask before him. She shakes his head in despair.

“Wicky,” the girl’s mother screams from the library, where we have hidden ourselves from the rain and night. The father and I run quickly towards her: I was concerned if something has happened to my woman. “Is she okay?” I ask, looking at my girl sitting in the window who was still only sub-conscious. “Is she feeling better?”

“It is not about her Wicky,” she says (So, people refer me as Wicky and Indra apart from Nagendra and Sharma), “It is about you. If you go damped in the rain, you will catch fever by night.”

I freaking don’t care is what I wanna scream, but I keep it inside me and I would say out pleasantly, “But we need to get out from here as soon as possible,” I look at my sleeping woman in the window. “It is already very late and the rain is growing bad.”

“Wicky, you leave, son,” she says and that stabs me badly. “It is very late for you. We will find something or the other and we will go.” I would say it will never happen. After a brief thought, I remember Sravan Anna and his car. I immediately called him.

“Listen,” I was saying. “Listen anna, I am stuck with my woman at the library, please, please, she is not conscious, please do something and come here.” without a moment’s hesitation, he says he would be there in the next ten minutes. With a lite heart, I said that to her mother, and walked towards my girl in the window. Haha, painful, but she was very cute. I simply stood beside her and she recognized me and tilted her head towards me. Her mother laughed out, heartily.

“She would be all diseased when she is with me. But when you’re around, she will know you and will tilt her head towards you.” Hm, in the comment I find a mother’s hope for her daughter. That evening, the girl after going unconscious, she has told me a hundred things she wouldn’t otherwise under any circumstance. She told me that loves me. She used the phrase, haha, for three times. She asked me to marry her that evening or the next morning. She asked her mother to leave and let me be with her. Many more apart from these all of which she would forget the next day morning. Haha! She literally shocked her parents and surprised me. But, the price for the shock is yet to be paid.

“At least she is feeling fine,” I said slowly. That is all I would care for.

“Yeah, yeah,” her mother said sarcastically. “She would feel all fine if you’re around. That’s what I am saying. You conquered her too much.”

In the next five minutes Sravan was there with his car, a little quarrel at his home, and we all got the girl into the car. For she cannot climb the steps, we decided to take her to their cousin’s house. We reached the house in the next five minutes and she was taken inside. I was about to go inside too, but I decided against it. I stood out for five minutes. Hm. they were moments of silence. They were moments of contemplation. They were moments of torment. My woman and what is happening to her? Hm, should I be silent, just looking at the suffering and do nothing? Nothing else? How can it be? Hm. Something should be done, but what is that? I didn’t know. Sravan was waiting and I got into the car with a throbbing head, troubled mind, trembling limbs and tormented heart.

I open my heart at Sravan. He listens patiently.

I tell him I can’t imagine myself without her. He caresses tenderly.

I tell him I was helpless. He pats gently.

I tell him I wanna do something or anything for her. He sympathises deeply.

Prologue 2:

All I ever saw in my woman constantly was her torment and anguish. I saw her weeping a hundred times. Her tenderness, her lovely compassion towards others, her determination to achieve the greatest of things, her ability to conquer anything she aims for are highly inspiring. Her despair, her pain, her plague and most importantly her hopelessness towards life is something I always successfully channelize ‘temporarily’ but could never kill for once and ever.

It was a tremendous journey how she even loved me on the first hand. Hm, haha, how well my tongue worked for a week, only I know, not even the gods can understand how I could be that good with all those arguments, my man! Ha. With the same thing I could do something at times, but forever, I never could. Till now.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said, trying not to break out before me. “I really don’t know what to do. All I can think is about not-living. You are my only hope, Wicky. But I am not able to control myself and my thoughts. I think I don’t have enough time.” My heart lurched at that. “I think my days are coming to an end.”

We were sitting in her house and her mother gave us the space to talk privately. “What is it that we can do, you tell me,” I asked, not to look worried. “We shall do it.” She didn’t answer. “Let us list down all the options we have,” I said. We both started to list down all the options we have. All the medicines, all the treatments and ways possible to get the situation under control. And at last, one stood: Herbs that can be found in remote areas of Brazil, South of Africa and South India.

“But who will get all those, Wicky. It is impossible.” She said, rolling her eyes up. “I really think my days are at an end.”

“I will,” I said. I didn’t think what I was saying. I don’t even know what I was talking about. “I will get them,” I said again, much determined.

For a moment there was a surprise on her face. Then it turned into a beautiful smile, like light piercing darkness. “Would you?” she asked.

I held her palms. “Yes,” I said, nodding my head. “I will.”

“But how?” she asked, again, the dark clouds of concern covering the light on her face.

“You don’t bother about it,” I said, like how I always tell her. “You don’t worry. I will. I promise.”

“But it is illegal too,” she was sincerely concerned.

I patted her palm.

Thus, was the promise made, which drove this journey.

That night, we stood in the balcony, holding hands, simply talking, expressing the love we have for each other and the hope we hold for the future together. We know that it is not possible to live apart from each other. After spending an elaborate time with each other, I returned back.

But.

I couldn’t expect she’ll fall unconscious the next day. I couldn’t expect I would be with her in the hospital with drugs infused into her veins. I really couldn’t expect she would be in a position not able to walk up the stairs and would be in a position to be carried in a car to her cousins’ home.

I couldn’t expect the fatigue that would happen.

I just went to Srikanta’s home whistling; remember the warmth of her hand and love in her words. I was imagining an awesome future and a lovely journey with her. What to do? I am just a human being, I couldn’t read the story upside down like you’re doing now. If I could know on the before-hand about the deadly night which would follow the beautiful day, may be it would be all different. But I couldn’t.

Chapter 1:

They were sitting in ChickBlast, the place where we generally hangout a lot, pouring out all our earnings on lousy eateries there. I joined them, after holding my girl’s hand for such long time. I was filled at heart. I was disturbed too. I promised her something and that needs to be done.

I entered the blast pushing the glass door open. In the meanwhile, Usha Kiran, Ravi and Sri Kanta were eating something, waiting for me to join them. I walked towards them, sat in one of the empty chairs. I took the phone out. Usha Kiran, as usual, started making out some fun, but my mind wasn’t ready for all of it. I asked my woman to research where we can find those herbs in South of India. After all, South India is not small, you see.

“Kodaikanal Wicky,” the message said. “There is a chance that those herbs can be found in Kodaikanal,” I asked if she was sure and she said she was positive. I too have a few friends who had a good hand in drug trafficking. I requested them to give me a plausible location to start the search. They too gave the same answer. Kodaikanal.

So, Kodaikanal was the place I need to go. I got it.

“Rey,” I said, calling out the attention of these joyful guys. “Gotta go to Kodaikanal,” I said, and there was just a moments silence on their faces. “For her. Need to bring something.” I am pretty sure, the determination surprised them.

No one asked me anything.

“I would ask you people: If you’re interested, you can join me.”

“If not?” someone asked.

“I would go alone. It doesn’t make any difference for me. I am just asking you for the asking’s sake.” Ravi said he’d think and say, but he couldn’t come later. I, from the beginning know that Usha Kiran can’t come for he got his own reasons. Srikanta was excited.

“I want to come,” he said. That was something I didn’t expect at all. “I will come, when should we go?” he asked. Little does Srikanta know how this trip is going to transform him.

“I don’t know. If possible, tomorrow or the nearest date possible. Day after tomorrow?”

“I will check tickets,” he said. But we didn’t know how to go.

“I will call C.S, wait,” and I called him. He picked up the call. I told him that I wanna go to Kodaikanal and asked him for the route. We can go there through Chennai or Bangalore. By Chennai is easy, but if we go through Bangalore, C.S offered his help by offering his car. I was excited. All the wile I was texting my girl and I told him that the trip was on. C.S suggested me to invite Bhargav too, but I didn’t want to. If I keep on inviting people, needs would grow and I was not about to go on an amusement trip; I wanna go and bring something back, that’s all.

C.S said he’d call back in a while. Srikanta set the course of journey in the meanwhile, but by Chennai. I told him the advantage of going through Bangalore and he was okay with anything as long as he comes along.

From ChickBlast, among the stupid jokes of Usha Kirana and serious enquires of Ravi, we set course towards Srikanta’s home. By the time we reach there, C.S called me. He asked me to wait till June 15th, so that he would be free. That would be one month away. I wanna go by June 1st at least and be back in a week. I softly told him it wouldn’t be possible. I asked Srikanta that I wouldn’t invite anyone and we both would go and be back. Little did I know that the most important guy of the journey would later embark on this venture.

That night I and Srikanta planned all the things which struck our head. But still, I don’t know where to go, what to find, how to find and what to do there. But I know one thing, I would go there and I would bring the hope my woman was craving for. That much I would do. Don’t know how, but I will.

That night we slept on Srikanta’s terrace.

They all pleasantly, I with a storm in my head.

Coursing towards an unknown journey.

Chapter 2:

The next morning after that rainy, disastrous night, Ravi and Usha Kiran left to Vishakapatnam, for Usha got an exam and Ravi needs to report to his PhD guide. But I stayed. My girl was unconscious all the day before. I need to know how she is. I need to meet her and hold her hand once before I leave to the journey I was about to embark. Hm, she was the only thing that was on my mind, conquering all my senses.

There were a few things happening at Srikanta house. I should thank the house-warming function that was happening right at the crisis moment. I got something to do. I got involved in the work, totally. The first day, Srikanta got fever and as Sravan and Usha Kiran were preparing for the exam on the next day, I and Ravi did all the works then. That night I and Ravi slept in Sravan’s house. The next day it was Srikanta’s housewarming, and that was the day I would be placing the promise on my girl’s palm.

The pressure was high in my head. I was not able to go distracted. The world of mine was falling apart but on the other hand the housewarming function was great. It was all cheerful and filled with joy. All the cousins of Srikanta has come and when Pratibha, his sister, is around, the climate automatically goes joyful. I could help for the function on the day before, but on the function day, I was all locked up in phone calls. My girl was not feeling well. It was going worse and I need to do something. I told her that I would come and meet her in the evening and was in touch through phone. But the harder I try to smile out, the fader it is dying. Then Pratibha came to me running. She held my hand when I was sitting outside on a bike, with my face all swollen with sorrow.

“Come, quickly,” she said.

“Where?” I asked, reluctant to move anywhere.

“Array, just come re,” She said. Pratibha has this child-like attitude. When she goes happy she always wants it to be kept as a surprise and sometimes it irritates others. But not me.

“Come on Pratibha,” I gave out a forced smile, for I can’t show her my negative emotions. “I don’t want to. I will come in a while,” I said.

“I would come if there is any work,” Ravi offered, which was instantly brushed off by her.

“Just come,” she insisted. “Will you come or not?” Before I could answer, she dragged me through the stairs, took me into the bust flat, pulled me into the crowded room. Ravi too followed. “Sing,” she said, with a wide, confident smile.

“What?”

“Array, sing, I gave you a lot of hipe, don’t make me look like an idiot!”

Everyone in the room; aunts, uncles, girls, boys, oldmen and oldwomen, were staring at me, waiting for me to sing. “But. . .”

“Just sing!”

Ravi too insisted.

Pratibha dragged me to the middle of the room and made me sit in the middle of the crowd. They were waiting.

I sang.

“Urike chilaca vechi unnanu kada varaku. . . .”

That was for my woman.

They were awestruck.

It filled energy in me. I could sense myself smiling. I was in energies again. We all together sang like heavens for the next two hours. Ha. I was good. I was strong again.

That evening we dropped all the cousins at TLD and helped with house shifting and then went to meet my woman.

This is an important episode to mention. For without the positive vibe it produced in me, I don’t know if I would promise her with such positive determination.

Chapter 3:

The next day was when Usha Kiran came and we all had one good day together. That afternoon I went to my woman. That was the day she was in the hospital. That was the day skies roared. That was the day my hands trembled and I decided I would do something.

The next morning, when Usha Kiran and Ravi left, I was waiting in the town, to meet her once more and then leave to Vishakapatnam. I met her in the afternoon. Held her hands. Wiped a few tears. Caressed her hair and spoke lovely words into her ear. And, reminded her of the determination.

She loves me and she knows.

I told her all the lovely things she spoke sub-consciously and she was blushing like heavens. She started denying all that like a child and kept on insisting that they were all true. My girl looked all happy. She looked all fine. She was blushing right in front of me.

When I was leaving the place, I looked at her and asked, “Shall we marry now?”

She nodded her head, with shy she said, “Yes, no need of Sutra too, simply knot with a turmeric piece.”

Haha!

I couldn’t stop laughing, as I walked out of the place.

Chapter 4:

After that for a few days Srikanta and I were completely involved in the planning and all the other essentials of the journey. Apart from this, I was standing as a reliable support to my woman in her hard times, which proved to be the toughest of all the things I have done till now in my life. But the most important momentary thing that should be worked out by me was NET. Not I and my woman, even Ravi’s and my dad’s hope were totally upon it. This beastly exam has been testing my patience since years and always I miss to slay it by too minute arcs. This time, the exam should be done, and that was what I have in my mind. But then, I gave a word that I would go and do something. Hm, then, I thought for a moment.

I asked Ravi if it will be fine to prepare after taking a break of ten days. He shook his head. It is not quite possible. NET is not that easy. I thought for a while. I asked him what he thinks is the right thing to do. He simply gave an answer. “Do what you think is right.”

I am a Bhiragi and many of my friends know it. Anything that I do doesn’t have any kind of an individual importance. I do everything just for the sake of doing them. I got the idea deeply rooted in head that this is all stupid. Everything that’s happening right now is totally and fundamentally stupid, but it should be done because that is how the formula has been set in the past million years. Let it be. I too indulge, just for the sake of fun, and nothing much. It is something like, ah, you play cricket with children, you know they are all stupid and funny, but you simply play because they are there and you have a chance to play with them. It is like that. Life is here and now, yeah, let us play, after all we got nothing to lose.

That day I talked with Ravi. I think that is the longest talk I had ever had about myself at anyone. Anyone. I even opened up about the recent claustrophobic tendencies I have been facing. Intense fear and the sense of becoming lonely (a fear sub-consciously originating from the idea of losing my woman) were twisting me like heavens. The only reliable support I have are my florets and I don’t want to make them too much tensed and conquer their mind with all these.

“It is your duty,” Ravi said, simply. “It is your duty and you have to do it. We all know you don’t care about all these exams and things much. When you care about her, just do whatever you wanna do, just do it.” That was the influential message he gave.

Those were the days when I couldn’t stay in closed spaces. No, not at all. The most frightening aspect of the day was the evening we need to return to the hostel. My god. My legs wouldn’t move. Hm. I slowly made it a habit to visit the sea every evening. I used to explain the ‘BOX THEORY’ to Ravi and how even the room in which we stay would control our sense of precepting life. I wanna break all the boxes. No, not because I am Albert Camus or Franz Kafka, no. But just because I am tired of living in one box or the other. I am afraid to be in boxes anymore. But, we always stay in a box, don’t we?

Every evening I used to take my diary with me to the beach. I used to write out the things that were torturing my head on the paper. It used to feel good. No. It used to feel great. The relief that the paper brings is heavenly. I didn’t want to be a burden to my woman by pouring out my fears upon her, at the same time I don’t wanna burden the florets, they were supporting me a lot already. Ravi is the most reliable partner anyone can get. I used to weave out my philosophies at him leisurely. He used to listen simply enjoy; sometimes he questions, which would dig depth in my ideas.

When time has passed like this for two to three days, one-night Sravan anna called me. “Srikanta said you people are planning for Kodaikanal,” he said. “Why didn’t you let me know?”

“We thought you are having enough with your family troubles and so I thought, ah, no to bother you.”

“But I wanna come to escape the same family pressures and I am on,” he said. I was more than glad he was ready to come. He got extensive experience in traveling and he already completed a tour all over South India on his car, covering the regions which even we wanna reach.

That was a good sign.

When you strongly believe in something, the determination bends the universe to pave a path towards the destination. Who knows this better than me?

Chapter 5:

The next day our journey starts. I made myself ready for it. Two days before I came to Vizianagaram. Three of us talked about the plan clearly.

There is a village by name Mannavanur near Kodaikanal and that is where we need to go to get the herbs. But Sravan was worried. This is not the season. That particular herb needs a lot of rainfall and moisture to grow. This is summer, even for the hill station. It was on his mind and was a bit freaking out with care.

But that was not I want. I want to prove. I want to prove and give a hope to my woman that I can go and get it whenever she wants it. I want her to hold on to something stronger. She is already holding on to me and I want to be a much stronger support to her. After all I have is her to prove myself for and on who can she possibly rely upon if not I?

“Love comes in different ways,” I tell my woman all the time whenever she bears a guilt of not caring me properly. Yes, love comes in different ways. Love is not always particularly lovely. Love often comes as despair, love comes as melancholy, love comes as pain and love even comes as an adventure. Love comes as the tiredness that would knock us. Let it come, I would embrace it. I don’t particularly want love in one single dimension. It will come in a thousand ways and I am ready to embrace them all. The best part about love is, love sometimes comes as loneliness itself, which is the name opposite of it, but still, it is love coming as loneliness, and it is mine. Isn’t it? All I should do is, stand up and hold on to it with a smile. It might be grieving, it might be piercing the heart, it might sometime knock us down, it is all ours, and only ours. When embraced, it suddenly becomes magical, haha, that is why it is compared with magic, may be.

Ha, anyway, what is it I know about love?

All I want to extract from the trip is hope for my woman that her dream can come true. I want to bring the samples from there at the least. I can’t ask my woman who is already tired of waiting to wait for a much longer time. Asking her to wait for three months? Reason might be there for me to ask her to wait. I can simply say, “If we can wait for three months there will be a good chance that we can find the herb,” it is very convincing because she also knows that it true, but then, am I not keeping a ‘reason’ again and am I too not delaying? If I go now, it might be a futile effort, but then. . . Is it not for my love?

May be this time the effort comes as a futile effort. Should I not embrace because it is futile? Is it very important that it should always be successful?  Thought, no! NO need. Let love come this time as a futile-effort, I would take it to heart. Futile or not, it is mine, it is for mine!

We packed all the bags. Everything’s ready. All I need to do is to meet my woman once before I leave early in the morning the next day.

I went to her home. She was waiting. Her parents too.

I met her, spent my time. Assured her of a few things.

Then her mom spoke. She was specifically happy because I had haircut and was looking clean. That was the first time in ages that I had hair cut and that too only for my woman. If anyone asks or talks of my hair, I would kick them on the face. But I had my haircut. Alright, alright, alright! Her mom too talked about how clean and smart I was looking and then, she put the clause on the table.

I should not meet my woman, simply! Why to discuss the reasons, they don’t want me to meet her. I don’t even know what was in my girl’s head. I simply nodded.

“When can I meet?” I asked. Before they can answer, “Once in fifty days?” I asked.

They said that was well.

My woman with a bowed face apologized for these countless obligations. What can I possibly do? I smiled and I said it is fine. Hm, so only once in fifty days, that was the obligation and the next morning I was going out into the wild for her.

Alright, love comes as an obligation now! Fine.

. . . CNTD! in #2

The next morning, at 03:30, before the sun could even wake up, we began. Then was when the journey for the promise of light commences.

{In the Quest of Light #2: Tyres, Trains and Tears}

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. RadheshGorle says:

    Haha, really great. I just liked it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You read it already?!

      Like

      1. RadheshGorle says:

        Yeah, I was just online

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And you read it this quick? My god. It took me three days to write. Hahaha. Anyway. I’m glad you liked it.

        Like

      3. RadheshGorle says:

        Haha, I am waiting for the next

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, let me see how I can work it out..!

        Like

  2. Mamta Indoria says:

    Just loved it ….it’s one of the best stories I have read…I dont know how to keep all my emotions….eagerly waiting for the next part…amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mallik says:

    Yes it’s very nice dear brother I like it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You rocked it……I totally loved it…..waiting for the next….very exited. Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymous says:

    Excited to know the remaining….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. keerthu says:

    amazing ! how can someone write something so good? Very curious to know the next one. I will be waiting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The second is already out. Check it out: https://wp.me/p8PmUS-bY

      Like

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