“Doctor, are you sure? Really, I don’t have time?” she asked. Doctor remained silent, as if he was trying to be hopeful. But quickly he added, “You have a month with you. You still have hopes.” She couldn’t understand, “I am so young, I am only 26. My life hasn’t even started. My career has not even taken its shape. I was supposed to support my family. What happened to me?” Thinking all these she left the hospital. For the first time the honking streets and the hustle and bustle of surroundings didn’t bother her. She sat in a park – the park which had always been her second home, the place where she becomes a child, and the place which makes her forget the bitterness of life.
But that day was a different day. Every word of the doctor was echoing in her ears – vibrantly and clearly and was tormenting her. She was feeling helpless. It was as if the life was making her mad but asking her to calm down; as if she was bleeding but could not even ask why she was stabbed. She saw her friends playing a new game. They were those friends of her with whom she used to enjoy playing hide-and-seek, merry-go-round - the games which the time had forgotten. Those kids were sobriquet of smile for her. But that day she didn’t feel that enthusiastic anymore. She was chained, she was lost. Seeing her sitting on the bench, her friends came jumping to her to play “What’s Special Today” – a game she had created in which everyone had to narrate one good thing one learnt that day. But that day she could not admire her day. She recalled she had forgotten to have a couple dance with the vegetable vendor – a customary 2minutes dance she used to make sure she spends with a 60-year old woman selling vegetables by the side of road that falls towards her home. Haplessly she went astray. She did not, after a long time, forget to rejoice the brilliant sunshine that shafted through the skylight.
She came back to her room only to find her roommate was not there. She switched off the lights and sat quietly until her landlady knocked at the door. But she was not hungry; she was numb and was not able to understand what was happening to her. She called up her Mom to footloose herself. The moment she heard her Mom’s voice, she could not speak. This was certainly not a thing she had ever wanted to tell. She shaking lips remained locked and she sat back speechless. Drops of tears passed through her eyes when she heard her Mom saying “Keep taking food in time. You are really very lazy. You won’t even eat anything unless someone comes and feeds you or your stomach really starts growling….”and on and on and on. It was not that she was iterating those for the first time. A talk with mother had always been like this; as if a transistor had been shoved in her head and she could not just put it off. But that day was a different day. She wanted to listen more of it. She wanted to tell her how much she loved her, that she looks beautiful when she wears blue, that she should take care of her skin, the wrinkles are making her look older and drier. But she could not. What if Mom senses that she is in some deep trouble? What if her motherly instincts make her worried for her child staying miles away from her? She decided she would not let her family know. She disconnected the call. Restlessness did not spare her though. She started writing down. Somehow she calmed herself down. Things would fall in place. Crying would not give anything. There was still a hope.
Day passed, but her body stopped responding. But when she had no choice, she chose to believe. “Weakness is the greatness sin.”- a line by Swami Vivekananda her heart would whisper to her mind whenever she felt weak. Unfortunately, everything she tried only to taste the flavor of failure. This day was her last day with the world, perhaps. She decided not to waste the most wonderful day of her life, she did not want to cry, crib or complain.
Her father called her up, “Is that you who has sent me a bouquet? Why? It’s neither my birthday nor father’s day.” And he chuckled. “In the race of achieving something big in life, I never got time to tell you whatever I am today are because of you and for you.”
She called up her tattler sister – her best friend, her adorable company and her life. And as expected she spoke volumes of actually nothing. But this time she enjoyed her every word. It was one of those times when one wants to be quiet and just sit around one’s dear ones, enjoy listening. She suddenly got up, dressed herself, went to a nearby shop, bought her sister’s favorite chocolate and started eating. It was relishing.
Time was ticking. And she suddenly got on her feet – her best friend, she had to talk to her. She had to tell her everything in her life would have gone wrong had she not been there. She was her soul. She called her up, “I don’t know which idiotic bench in the school was that that I met you.!! You were one pain in the ass. I hate it when you keep talking nonsense. I hate it when you get nutty. I hate it when you don’t study and crib on the syllabus. I hate it when you eat ice cream when you know you will get cold. But I somehow like it when you say you are sorry. I like it when your nose gets red and you swear on me that you would never touch it again. And I love you the most when you actually again pick up one. I hate the way you hastily cross roads, but I love it when you hold my hand and stand on my left to guide you. I hate it when you do not understand my point, but I love you the most when I find only and only you when I am lost.” She could not say much and hanged the phone.
She wiped her tears when her roommates entered. “Ah, my loves. I don’t know what relation I share with you. Perhaps a friend is not the word, nor is a family. I don’t know if there exists any relation between the two. It was probably you who made me Room Idol – I never knew I sing so well. And that mess in the kitchen, phew..!! I am sorry that I scolded you for walking under the sun. Understand – you have migraine. But I have always loved keeping your head in my lap. I don’t know if it soothened you but I loved kissing your forehead all the time. Today I die for that half cooked bhujia. Probably I am a lesbian, I loved my roommates more than a guy.”
And the as usual response, ”Why you acting nutty? High or what?” she chuckled.
It is 2 at night. She made a final call. He picked up the call. Half asleep, he asked, “What happened? Is everything okay?” She said, ”Nothing. You sleep off. Let the cell be on and keep it near you.” Deep asleep that he was, he did the same. She could hear him breathing. She could feel it. She wanted to speak, but her voice fumbled,” Would you mind if I say I love you? You are my friend and you adore me. But I could never muster up courage to tell that I love you. I loved you when you appreciated me and I loved you when you scolded me. Can, for a moment, I can take you as the person whom I love? That essay that you had first written, I still have those sheets. Is it okay if I keep with me? I am sorry I had recorded our first conversation. You came as a surprise in my life. You have grown matured, you speak big things now, you have huge dreams. I love seeing you enthusiastic. But happiness always follows insecurity. Will you remember me or my name at least when I am not around? You have given me an immense respect as a friend. Would you start hating me if I tell you that I love you? Will you forgive me that I lied to you many a times only to hear your voice? I irritated you a lot, but I didn’t have time. Else, I would not have minded waiting for you all my life. Take care. Don’t be angry with me when get to know this. I’ll never leave you – even if you don’t want me. Because you are my angel.” She felt good. He did not hear anything. But she knew he would understand her, after all she was his friend.
She has now grown weak, too weak. And by then, doctor too had lost all hopes. While crossing the road, something came across her mind and she, all of a sudden, stopped when a van ran over her. She died , of a road accident, so that the family bears with a sudden pain and not gradual agony.
She is no more with an untold story to go with her to her grave…