Thursday, 30 April 2015

# 26 Zephyr



There was a long list of things I had to attend. So were a long list of patients waiting for me. A get together was planned in the evening as Anwesha had got admission in her dream college. Mom was really happy. Now a days she keeps happy most of the times. Her tensions, her worries seemed to have vanished somewhere. As if her life was again falling into place. I keep too busy these days. Sharing time for everyone and with everyone isn’t an easy task for a doc. My child patients save my day. Their smiles, their complaints, their wobbles, their screams bring charm into my professional life.
Finishing off my duty I hurried towards the parking lot. It was difficult to find my beloved four wheeler. I wasn’t exactly able to remember where I had parked it. Forgetfulness. Its has also become one of my habits. I punched my head in the back and tried to remember where it was. There. It’s there .
I zoomed towards the supermarket making sure to buy each extra thing that was ordered. Packing up the stuff I headed towards home. Not forgetting to buy flowers on my way.
The door was opened even before I placed my fingers on the bell. It was Anwesha. Gosh she has grown up like hell. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The little girl who was crying and didn’t even understand the reason behind it had turned into a beautiful girl today.  She hugged me. I smiled and moved inside. Almost all our guests had arrived. So I was the last one. “ Mr.Late, always late” Ritesh teased me. And I reciprocated with laughter. Habits you know, they never leave us even if we intend to. Mom was sitting in the sofa. With our invitees around her. Reading a story to them. They listened with abrupt attention. Even Sandhya was there. The girl who had introduced me to a complete new world of her charity home.
And then she arrived. With glasses of soft drinks for everyone, serving them with her own hands. My nose got attracted to the aroma from the kitchen. I moved towards it. Trying to sneak into what special had she made today.
“What are you doing there stupid ? Touching food with your unclean hands. Is this what medical science teaches you ?”
“I was just…”
“I was just what ?” she asked pretending to be angry. And I watched her. As the zephyr from the window gently blew in. Playing with her hair strands. Letting them stick on her face to the sweat drops. Making her feel uncomfortable. And I stepped closer to her. Moving her hair aside with my fingers. Arranging them in their place. The way she had done with my life. Making it beautiful with her presence. Making it serene with her poise. Making it liveable with her life. Making it lovable with her love. I felt losing myself, not her. The way I had felt when she was asked to choose. In her depth. In her aura. In her elegance. To get tied with her for eternal times, making this bond travel universes.  
“Amrit we need to arrange for dinner. Shall we start. Kids you know how they are, they get hungry really soon” she said in a concerned voice. This is what I loved most about her. She cares for everyone just the way she cares for me. "And ya, Mom and Dad are about to reach in few minutes"

As everyone was eating, I settled down on a chair in the balcony. Watching them from far. The kids. Who had literally become my family now. My mom and my In laws indulged in some discussion as if they are about to change the world. My  sister who was sitting in the sofa and fighting with Ritesh for something. Ritesh my friend, my brother, my companion who was more than my family.
 And Smitha among all. The woman who stepped into my life on that fateful day, Choosing me over everyone else. Who had made our house, a home. Decorating it in a simple yet elegant way. Filling my life with uncountable reasons to smile. 
As the zephyr blew by, past the wind chime. Tingling it, making it rhyme. My eyes closed in thankfulness to God. For blessing me with relationships that travels beyond words.






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                                                     ******  The End ******

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

# 25 You Choose



We stood their for few minutes until our silent conversation came to an abrupt end. “Smitha” a voice thundered from the background. Though the face wasn’t visible clearly still I guessed it might be of her father.It was not. It was of her eldest uncle as told by Smitha in a hushed up tone.
“ Who is this man ?” he asked raising his pitch higher than before.
His appearance made Ritesh trembled like a leaf. One glance at him and I realized why Smitha had tried to explain me that we both belonged to two different worlds. After seeing him I thought what about worlds, we actually belonged to two different universes.
“Nobody dares enter this house uninvited. How did you ?”
I had no answer to that. As I hadn’t entered it on my won. We both were literally pushed inside by other guests eager for the ongoing lunch as if it was the last meal of their life. I was about to mumble something when he signed me to keep quite. I followed his instructions like a school going kid. His face was raging with anger. 
So was my heart. I was standing in those people’s home who had left my family homeless. Standing on the ground that had made the ground slip beneath my feet. Even I wanted to shout  just like the man in front of me. Hold on to his collar and torture him. Make him repent his every bloody mistake. Ask him to beg near my mother for forgiveness. But I didn’t. This imaginary behavior of mine would lead us nowhere. And anyways I hadn’t come for seeking any sort of revenge. It would be of no use. As it can never return what I had lost. Rather snatch away what little I was left with. So I maintained my calm. What I couldn’t understand was how did he recognize me. Had Smitha already informed about me ? What did they tell in return. What should I expect to face next. Different things were running in my mind when slowly other members of the family gathered in the courtyard. The celebrations got stopped abruptly. All the outsiders were asked to leave. It was only two of us on one side and Smitha’s family on the other that were left. Ritesh was still shivering. But not Smitha. She stood still. Completely. Her eyes fixated to the ground. As I closely observed her, I could mark the changes. Changes in her appearance. Her eyes looked tired. Face lusterless. Like a dried flower in the winter snow. I imagined what could have happened. I was the reason behind it. Her entire family had arrived now. Leaving every mundane task they were involved in. I saw her parents for the first time. Smitha was a completely combination of both. So it wasn’t difficult to recognize them among others. Chairs were set. The eldest ones sat down. Others remained as they were. Standing. No body brought a chair for us. Nor did they offer a glass of water. We were intruders not guests. 
There was complete silence all over. Drops of water trickling down from a tap could be heard clearly. I had no idea for how long this would continue. But every passing second definitely felt like eternity.  Smitha stood between both sides. One her family. Her world. Her people. People to whom she belonged. People who should mean every thing to her. And the other me. A loner. A stranger. Someone who has felt her presence even in her absence. Some one whom she should consider a nobody.
“ We had enough discussions about this Smitha. And you know what we want. And what’s our decision. You are not a kid. But not an complete adult yet. You still need us. You always need us. A drop is lost from the ocean, the ocean doesn’t go dry, it’s only the drop that loses it’s existence.” Smitha’s uncle said in a very strict tone.
“It’s you who will choose. To be the drop or to be with the ocean. It’s us or it’s him” he said in a thunderous voice again pointing his finger towards me. 
Smitha was silent. Dead silent.  So was everybody else. 
At that very moment I felt, I lost her again.



                                          




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* To Continue..... 


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

# 24 Xenial



Finding the house wasn’t the difficult part. Neither entering it was. In a small town where almost everybody knew the other at least by their ancestral names it won’t be much of a task to find someone’s house. And here the house we were searching for was one of the most popular in the town. They said there are numerous visitors to their home for some or the other reason. Be it personal or professional. And everybody is received with xenial spirit that enlightens them for a while. The family which is famous for it’s hospitality today was also famous for it’s notoriety to some.
We moved in the direction. Finding it standing exactly second left to the lane behind the children’s park. How much we avoid, there are some lanes we may have to walk one day. And today was one of those days. As we approached nearby we could see people moving in and out. Of different ages and different backgrounds. The scene resembled some sort of celebration going on. Though not in a very typical decorative Indian way. Still one could sense something going on. May be a preparation for an upcoming celebration. Drops of perspiration started appearing on my forehead. My mouth started to feel dry. My legs became heavy. Not agreeing to move ahead. I was getting uncomfortable. So was Ritesh. All his bravery had vanished even before appearing at the real scene. I could sense his fears about the impending moments. I had no time to care for my own rather solaced him saying everything would be fine.
It stood their in front of us. The house. With huge pillars. A broad doorway. And a larger courtyard where we both were literally pushed inside by others who were trying to get in. Once inside we just looked around with stunned eyes. It was not a house. Rather a mansion literally. Painted all white. With magnanimous walls and pillars. Doors and windows. Brown. Furniture that represented old days. We could guess it must be Smitha’s ancestral property where they still reside. The environment was very very different from what we both normally live in. Everybody was in a hurry. For arranging things. Bringing stuff. Getting tasks accomplished by workers. Some people were busy eating in some corner too. I was a huge fan of south indian movies during my graduation days. And this particular circumstance where I had landed myself today and my poor best friend exactly resembled one of those. Never ever in my wildest dreams had I imagined this day in my life. 
We both were standing transfixed when somebody called out Smitha’s name in a loud voice to which she replied in a bit lower pitch. My eyes followed my ears and I found her. Walking through the first floor, approaching the stairs to climb down towards the courtyard. Seeing her after these many days brought life back into my body. She was dressed in a traditional way and looked stunning. Before I came out of the trance she came straight near me and said “ Amrit” . I could only give a smile in return, though aware of the approaching storm.



                                                       







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* To Continue.... 

Monday, 27 April 2015

# 23 Wait



The journey of traveling from one part of the country to the other couldn’t be easily accomplished. That to alone. The idea of giving Ritesh a surprise had totally bombarded. The sudden change in circumstances was unbelievable. With the letter, I had imagined things to slowly settle down. Rather it had  moved the other way.
My call to Ritesh describing him about what had happened in the past few days was received with absolute attention and then blasted with words we normally don’t discuss. He cursed me with every single curse he had learned since his birth. Still being the sweet heart he is,promised to reach in 2 days for even he had to seek permission for leave.
Ritesh hugged me the very moment he stepped on the platform speaking words I was dying to hear.
“Don’t worry, things will be fine”
“Hope so” I said in a low pitched voice.
“Hey, cheer up bro, we are going to set things right. It’s time we do that. How difficult things may look there is always a way out.”
“I know, still I am worried”
“Worried about what ?”
“About smitha, who knows in what circumstances has she left and in what circumstances she would be now”
“Whatever it may be Amrit, you need to go and face it. at times that’s the only option we are left with”
“Ya, I know” I replied taking a deep breath.
Our train was scheduled for the next day morning. With a bag pack we set upon. As the engines rolled, so did my heartbeat. It paced up with the train. Unable to control my emotions I moved towards the door. Ritesh had started to doze off owing to his tiredness. It didn’t seem wise to disturb him. I enough had already. Gusts of wind clashed across me, making my hair go wary. Their coolness could be felt on the skin. My perspiration vanished away. I looked on. And on. Traveling along with the wind. Moving with the tress. Running side by side with the kids. The journey seemed like the most difficult one I have ever made. Bringing back the anxiety I had faced once after my board exams.
I was going to the place that had taken and given me at the same time. I was going to face people. People I had avoided all the while. My mind was getting restless. Imagining the worst possible scene. I thought the ticking hands of the clock has stopped. The passing hours unrelenting. I wasn’t able to comprehend when my wait would be over that seemed never ending.



                  
                                                   




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Saturday, 25 April 2015

# 22 Voyage



I hadn’t called Smitha after reading the letter. I decided to talk with her directly. Wipe away her tears with my own hands. Bring a smile on her face with any of my stupid jokes. See intermingling of her emotions and feel them in her presence. Console her. Not just with my words but also my actions. Assure her that I am there. It doesn’t matter whether near or far. Sleep came early to my eyes owing to the heavy emotions it had withhold the whole day. 
I woke up and readied myself. Wore the striped blue colored shirt. I knew she would like it. Once she had mentioned few days back I looked good in it.The color blue had a special flavor in our life. Half way towards her flat I received continuous calls. Irritated I stopped the bike to check who it could be from. It was from my HOD who asked me to be present in the department immediately as a surprise inspection team was to arrive in few hours and everybody’s leave was cancelled.I pleaded him saying it was really important for me as I had an ever pending errand that I needed to take care of. Surprisingly my usually cool head of the department got angry and asked me in turn which was more important, the work for which I was going for or my final year pg that would be over in few months. I was startled.everybody knows no medico in the world would dare to take that risk. Blabbering to myself I turned my bike the other way and headed towards the medical college. Cursing my luck all over again. This is something I am not born with I guess. Some people, some people you know are simply born to strive. Strive for every bloody thing in this world. Nothing can ever work out in their favor. Why ? I looked up and asked him. The one sitting above. I thought of giving a call to Smitha the moment I reached the department. But the scene was very different there. absolutely unexpected. Everybody was in a hurry. Running hither and thither. With files, documents, case sheets, reports. the squeaky clean corridor were filled with staff and attendants, senior doctors, junior doctors, permanents, contractuals. Everybody was asked to be ready to face any consequences. In such hype and hoopla I didn’t get a single free second even to call Smitha. 
It was late in the evening by the time every thing was over. I was thankful to my HOD as he had saved my day. Few of our fellow medicos had to lose their jobs. Unbelievable it was. But they did. Nothing works in front of the inspection team. No amount of excuses or convincing. This is a very typical nature of human kind. When they are granted powers, they feel they are Gods. May be more than that.  
I finally got the chance to come out of the department and dialled Smitha’s number. It wasn’t getting connected at first. My heart skipped a beat. I dialled again. No response. Again. Still the same. It wasn’t getting connected at all. When at last the services took pity on me and replied it was switched off. I felt my head was spiraling around. Some how I managed and speeded towards her home. I asked the watchman to call her who replied she wasn’t there. Wasn’t there. First I didn’t get it.
 "Wasn’t there means what ?". 
"Sir, mam has left."
" Left where ?"
" Her home" 
"Why?" 
"They had come to take her"
 " who?"
" Her family. they just took her away with them"
 Se had handed over a piece of paper to  him, asking him to give it to me if I come searching for her. In a life less manner I took the small paper from his hands. Unfolded it . I could see smitha’s handwriting on it though in a scribbled format. She wouldn’t have gotten enough time for it. 
She had written “If ever possible just come once” with her address below it. 
I patted my self to start my new voyage, clinging on to her words.