“I wish to sing
The song of the stars,
I wish the sky weren’t so
I wish to fly like a bird
At the magical sounds,
It is so sad that my sky
Had to be the ground…”
I looked up from my diary as the phone rang. I leaned with some difficulty to pick it out of its stand, wishing I had listened to Varsha and kept it on the bed itself.
“Hello” I said, clearing my throat a bit, my voice a little hoarse from being so unused.
“Hey honey, I’ll be a teensy bit late coming back. There is still so much of work to complete and you know there would be such a rush after six. And also I have to shop a bit and bring those medicines for you…” she said in one breath, her voice a bit squeaky.
“Varsha…” I tried to get in her monologue.
“Oh! And see I nearly forgot! I have to get that shirt of yours from the tailor as well. He called me last week and I completely forgot to go there and…”
“Varsha!” I said louder so that she went silent “It’s OK. I don’t mind. Don’t break your neck with worry over it. Ok? I’ll be alright”
“Are you sure?” she asked quietly, sounding more like herself.
“Yes. Stop worrying about me. Get your work done and come back. I’ll be waiting for you.”
“Ok. If you need anything, just call me. Keep drinking water ok? Bye. See ya in a while” she said and ended the call.
I shifted my pillows into a more comfortable position, wishing for the millionth time I weren’t so helpless and dependent.
But then fate twists your life in a cruel, unwanted way, and there is nothing left but the frustration and resentment. It was on one such day that my fate decided to screw me up and bring me face to face with the cruel reality of my life.
It was like any other day; I had come out of my apartment to go to the grocery store across the road when a flash of white came skidding towards me and then a sharp, intolerable pain was all that my life was left with.
For a month I had lain senseless, rotting on the hospital bed. When I woke up, her tear streaked face was the only thing I could see; it didn’t take me long to realize that this was the woman who had rendered me a cripple for the rest of my life.
I couldn’t walk anymore; all that was left of my legs were two ugly stumps.
Hatred burned inside me as I looked at her. I could see nothing but my anguish in her repenting eyes.
I had no relatives or parents to claim me, though I doubt they would have done anything even if they did exist. So I prepared myself to rot in that smelly general ward till they threw me out of the hospital altogether.
And then came the boomerang. She came inside my ward after a few weeks, something she hadn’t dared to do till then, and said timidly, “The… doctor says you can be released tomorrow… I wanted to ask… if you don’t mind… you could… come stay… with us…”
Blood boiled in my veins as I saw her pretty face, her shy, soft eyes that beseeched me and I could feel the bitter hatred on my tongue before I could even speak.
“Get released to where? To the hell you have prepared for me? And please, keep your pity to yourself. What a god damn polite way of saying ‘Since you have nowhere to go and since your life is officially fucked up, you have no choice but to come with me!” I spit on her face and took pleasure in seeing her flinch at my words, seeing the tears escape her eyes.
But I had no option than to go with her. Something I wouldn’t have ever dreamt of doing in my life given the choice. But I had no crossroads to decide from and I had no motive to live either so going with her was almost a blessing, at least then I could draw strength from my hatred and find the incentive to live.
She lived in a 2-bedroom flat with her husband - a tall, brooding guy who worked as a security analyst with some software company while she herself was an architect. It was evident that her husband didn’t like having an invalid creep in the house with them and I could hear them having rows over it time and again.
Instead of feeling guilty, I took a sadistic pleasure from it. I didn’t leave any chance in making her life more difficult than it already was - calling her at unsuitable times, making nerve racking demands, and taking out all my frustration on her when I felt too wretched.
But she took it all in silence.
I waited, stretching her to her breaking point, waited for her to release her frustration so that I could unleash my hatred some more. But the day never came.
And her silent endurance made me madder than ever…
Then came the day that changed both our lives. The day when her husband gave her the final choice - I or he – for both obviously couldn’t stay under the same roof together.
Rage and bitterness hit me like waves as I knew the obvious path she would choose, just as her husband knew it too.
And then…before I could even grasp was happening, she divorced her husband and we shifted to a new apartment whose rent she paid.
I was too numb with shock to realize the gravity of her decision, too numb even to react.
Silence. Silence was all that stretched between us for days.
Every night I could hear her muffled crying… those were the nights I couldn’t sleep either.
And then the pain became too worse for me to bear. I could see what I had done to her- became a burden she couldn’t shake off for that one mistake she committed, became her own personal devil from hell to suck away her life, became a truth she could neither face, nor run away from.
I saw what I had done to myself in the process of tormenting her for my own satisfaction- I had become a monster, a monster of the worst kind. I was of no use to anyone, unwanted and unloved. And I could see no purpose of my life…
I had searched blindly for anything that could end that misery; my eyes were blind with tears as my hands founded the blessed sharpness of the eating fork.
But it was wrenched from my hands before I could do anything and a voice burned in my ears “Don’t you dare even THINK of doing this”
“Let me go!” I screamed, struggling with her with all the strength I had, hitting her with my fists, but she didn’t let go.
And finally when I couldn’t take the pain anymore, I resolved into tears in her arms, the entire vent up frustration, anger, bitterness, hatred pouring out.
I don’t remember how long we both cried that night… the only thing I remember was the comfort of her arms, of her warm, soft body as she hugged me and I succumbed to sleep.
And in the morning, when I had woken up, I found a new motive to live… it was no longer hatred. It had shifted forms to something more powerful, something more painful… it had changed to love…
It has been two years since that night we both learnt to accept our lives the way it was. I wasn’t of any use to her but she still loved me in a way I was never loved before. I had wondered if it was the pity that made her do that but then I looked into her eyes and found the truth- it wasn’t pity or guilt that had brought us together… it was the realizations of bigger things in life… I was loved simply because of me… she loved me because of what I was.
And that made me respect her more than ever.
No love story is perfect, neither is ours - we both have that resentment of casting an eclipse on each other’s lives that would probably never go. And yet, our love was strong enough to overcome that all.
We both lost our lives to each other - I, because of her, and she, for me. But in the path of losing it all, we found our life amidst it- a life we chose to live together…
I wiped off my tears as the front door clicked open and she entered the room after a while.
“Oh this traffic will get...What happened dear!” she exclaimed as she came near me
I shrugged nonchalantly and wiped the last tears off my cheek. She looked at my open diary and asked quietly, “Been writing and crying again?”
I didn’t reply, casting my eyes down as she read the verse. At once her arms were around me, tears pouring down her own cheeks as she choked, “Your sky isn’t the ground Nidhi, your sky isn’t the ground!”
I hugged her back, clinging on to the only hope of my life- the woman who had destroyed and yet built my world in unforgettable ways… my savior... my love… my warm rain in the cold haunting nights… my Varsha…
She took my face in her hands and wiped off my tears, whispering the words she had said time and again, “I love you Nidhi”
I looked into her eyes and saw the face of a mother I never had, a sister I had craved for, a lover I never got a chance to make and voiced out the words I had never said but realized ages ago… “I love you too… I love you… too…”
* * *
This is written for a challenge set by an Indiblogger (Rahul Miglani) on the thread "Challenge for blog" All i can say is... thankyou for making me write this one...