The Wait and the Heart

The Wait and the Heart Break
Another story from Mira’s life…

It’s been two years that Arohan moved out of Mumbai because of a challenging career move; He was offered a huge package by an IT company in Delhi, and he couldn’t resist that. He went away to Delhi, and with it began a long saga of wait, thirst and loneliness for Mira.

Mira waited for Arohan’s call every day. But, he seldom cared. Perhaps in two years of relationship, Arohan was sure that Mira was here to stay. She wrote countless SMSs, waiting to hear back. And he replied only at his will. Days passed, weeks rolled by, and their relationship slipped into doldrums.

“But you said you’d come to meet me this week!”, she said breaking into tears.

“Do you think I am jobless? I told you I had planned, and now I am saying that’s cancelled. What am I to do when I am not being given the leaves? Should I resign and come at your service ma’am?” he yelled, not knowing how his harsh and unsympathetic words pierced Mira’s heart with a  sharp pain. This time she yelled, her voice turning hoarse.

“OK, OK…I quit! It was my fault to get into a long-distance relationship. It was my fault that I loved you. What I wished from you was your attention towards me and your love – just love. Now that I realize how unjustified it was to ask for this much from you, I quit. I call it quits!” She sobbed uncontrollably.

Arohan said nothing and disconnected the call. Mira held the phone close to her ears even long after the call was disconnected. She sat speechless, staring at absolute nothingness that lay ahead. Then she dropped the phone, knowing very well what she had done – she had broken up with Arohan, and Arohan’s disconnecting the phone without a word was only an affirmation to what she did.

Next morning, she dragged herself to work, feeling a strange numbness at heart. She felt like losing her cell phone somewhere or crushing it to pieces. The phone reminded her of all the phone calls and SMSs that kept the distance short in their long-distance relationship. But she didn’t. Perhaps she still waited deep down in her heart for the cell phone to ring again, to see Arohan’s name flash on the screen and to hear Arohan say “sorry”.

Yes, it rang. But it wasn’t Arohan’s call. The call was from Anurag, her college classmate, who lived and worked in Mumbai. He had got connected with Mira recently through a common friend. They soon exchanged phone numbers and spoke occasionally.

“Hey, Mira! What’s up? Just wanted to ask you if we can meet today? Hope you are free? Please say: Yes! Anurag sounded very enthusiastic. Mira had this strange feeling of esteem when Anurag asked her out. She felt important after a long time. She felt somewhat better. She thought that was the best chance to get away from Arohan’s memories and the relentless wait that knew no ends.

“Yes, I shall see you. Let’s meet at Cafe’ Aroma, at 6 pm. OK? OK, madam! He sounded more enthusiastic when he said that.

That evening they met. They shared all about themselves. Anurag talked about his girlfriend. He told her how they met and how they fell in love. Now it was Mira’s turn to speak. She was afraid to tell that she had a boyfriend and she had recently broken off, for reasons unknown to herself.

She started talking about herself, about Arohan, and how they managed their long-distance relationship so beautifully. She felt horrible to lie, but she did. While she spoke, she noticed Anurag listening to her very keenly, noticing every move of her eyes, her lips, and how her fingers made motions while she spoke. She felt uncomfortable, as if her lie had been caught. But she went on.

At around 7:30 pm they were ready to leave. Anurag proposed Mira to drop her home. She agreed. She wanted to spend some more moments with Anurag. She was neither in love with him nor did she feel any kind of attraction for him. She just wanted some time to pass, so that she could escape her loneliness. Anurag and Mira left the place.

As Anurag drove, he looked at Mira and said: “It was so nice to meet you. We should meet often.

Mira smiled and said: “What about your girlfriend? Wouldn’t she mind?”

“No, Mira. Not at all. I already told her about you and she is happy that I am seeing an old friend.”

A sword soaked in the poison called jealousy perforated her already broken heart. She thought: What a beautiful relationship they share – so open and clear.

Anurag looked at her once and towards the road while he drove. He said: “What are you thinking? I think something is disturbing you! What’s that? Tell me, come on.”

How he read Mira’s mind (or face), Mira was unsure about. But she was impressed for sure.

“This boy is so sensible! If he can see the pain in my eyes, I am sure, he could do this better with his girlfriend, “I thought.

He fanned his left hand across my face to break my thoughts, and said: What’s wrong? You look lost? She sat silently gazing all the things outside the car window.

“OK, forget it! Let me take you to my favorite restaurant. Let me make you happy tonight.” He looked cheerful.

“Oh, no! Please. Not to a restaurant now. I am late and moreover, I am feeling a bit unwell,” she said gently. She was trying to act as normal as possible. But Anurag could clearly see the sadness in her eyes that day.

“Oh, my God! You are so stubborn! I told you that you will feel happy at heart after you went with me to my favorite restaurant. But still, you are adamant not to go with me,” he said. He looked really offended, as if, Mira was his girlfriend who confessed of not trusting him.

His eagerness to take Mira to a restaurant made her really doubt his intentions. Mira thought: ‘ Should I trust him? He has a girlfriend, then why is he showing so much of interest on me? Hope he didn’t sense from my behavior that I have broken up with Arohan. Delhi boys are so clever and smart. I am sure Anurag must have also grown smart with time.

No, I can’t go with him. What if he tries to get physical? What if he kisses me?’

While Mira was soaked in her thoughts about Anurag, the car came to a sudden stop, and the jerk shook her back to reality.

‘Why have you stopped the car here? Where are we?’, she asked annoyingly.

‘Madam, chill! While you were busy cooking your thoughts, I drove you down to my favorite restaurant! There it is!’

Anurag opened the window glasses and pointed out towards a man standing at the side of the street, with two large steel utensils which let out steam from its sides. Young boys and girls gleefully devoured delicious-looking steaming Momos, smeared in red chili-garlic sauce.

Mira was thrilled! She looked happily at him. For the first time since that evening, she actually smiled from her heart. ‘Remember Mira, how we gobbled up the steaming momos at Debeshwar’s stall near our college in Guwahati?’

Anurag said enthusiastically. Let’s re-live those days. Both jumped out of the car (literally) and within a few minutes, they were devouring delicious momos.

After they finished eating, it was already 8:15 pm. ‘Let me drop you home,’ Anurag proposed. Mira didn’t want to show him where she lived. By now she started fearing his demanding and over-friendly nature.

‘Sure! But not home. Drop me near DDA market. I need to pick some grocery from there,’ Mira said.

‘As you say, Madam,’ Soon they reached the DDA market.

Mira opened the door of the car, looked at Anurag, smiled and said: Thanks, for the lovely evening!

Anurag just smiled. As she was about to step out of the car, Anurag quickly said: Hang on, Mira. I have a quick question for you. Mira looked back at him, startled by his serious looks and intense eyes. ‘Do you really love Arohan?’ Mira was taken aback. ‘What kind of a question it is?’ she thought. ‘Yes, I love him a lot, Anurag. But why did you ask that?’ Mira asked. She was utterly confused.

Anurag smiled and said: ‘Great! You may go now. Go..go..go you are already late! He was giggling now.

Mira was zapped by the dramatic change of Anurag’s expression. A while ago, his eyes reflected the looks of a deperate lover who was craving to be loved by the woman he loves and one who doesn’t love him but someone else. And now, he was the same cheerful friend that she knew in college.

She said a warm friendly ‘bye’ and left. Anurag drove away.

That night Mira couldn’t sleep. The beautiful moments of togetherness with Arohan in Mumbai haunted her. She felt like a lost child in an unknown neighborhood. She was craving to be hugged by Arohan. She was craving to hear his voice. She hated the thought of staying away from him. She kept staring at her cell phone, hoping that it rang. But it didn’t.

It was 1:30 am. Her eyes were tired and sleepy. But she couldn’t close her eyes. The moment she did, she couldn’t see anything else besides Arohan’s face.

Not for a moment she thought of Anurag – the man who tried to make her happy the last evening. He was, for her, an evening well spent. She kept staring at the night sky.

From her bed, the window opened into the dark sky above, with millions of stars which lay strewn like her dreams in a future of absolute darkness. At least, that night, she was not aware what the following days would bring to her. She was not aware of a new beginning that awaited. Soon her eyes closed and she sank into deep sleep, with dreams of Arohan wrapped under her pillow.

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Curves of Destiny

She feels the heat of her burning desires

That flare in the corners of  her heart.

A denial of acceptance, a refusal so sore

That make her long

In the depths of her weary soul.

Years of saline trickling drops

Submerged the edges of her desire

But couldn’t dowse her painful thirst

Rather awakened her sleeping existence 

To mourn the re-birth of a dead curse.

Lonely in some corner of this world

Her happiness lies waiting 

Feverish and dull 

And in the final lap of life

She searches her way to reach those arms

That mystically drown her into the waves of a hateful love.

 

Surviving Cancer? It’s Possible!

>The word ‘Cancer’ sent a chill wave down my spine whenever I heard of it. Reason? I have seen two family members losing their battle fighting Cancer. One was my maternal uncle who died of lung cancer, and the other was my granny who died of blood cancer. This was in the year 2005. A news of someone undergoing a biospy or a bone marrow test, immediately made me feel sad and scared, and feel worried about that “someone”.

From my experience of speaking with people, I sadly admit that ‘cancer’ still remains a fear looming in our society. Reason? The increasing number of deaths from various types of cancer and the lack of awareness about their diagnosis and cure. 

We always hear of people who died of cancer. But how many times do we come across cheerful stories of cancer survival? Couldn’t think of any, if this question was posed to me few years back. But today, I can proudly say that I have personally met three people who survived cancer – one survived lung cancer, one survived breast cancer, and the other survived the last stage of Leukemia (Blood cancer).

Who says Cancer is absolutely the end of life? What I have known from them – the survivors – is that, it is the real test of survival with the strong will to survive. According to them, the positive reports confirming cancer make the patient and his/her family so much panic-stricken, that half the battle is lost then and there. Surviving cancer is not easy, but not impossible too! The patient and the family members should draw strength out of their inner selves and take the battle as a challenge. 

The survivors speak:

– Research and read articles and stories of cancer survival to boost your morale.

– Don’t start believing that life is now short – make yourself believe that the will to survive can really make you survive!

– Pray, eat healthy, take medicines and tests on time

– Visit your doctor regularly

Celebrities like Lisa Ray, Mumtaz, Barbara Mori, Jacklyn Smith, Yuvraj Singh and many more are survivors of cancer!

Spread this message of hope wherever you go, whoever you meet. :), just as I am doing! Let’s be positive! Let’s make others positive.

The Broken Sync – Love & Marriage

Sheetal is a woman – like any other woman, who dreams to marry, have kids, and live in a ‘home sweet home’ with her man and child. Daughter of a failed marriage, she always wanted to marry a man who would shelter her, protect her, love her beyond all limits, listen to her heartaches, and cherish her smiles. She had resolved to be a caring, loving, and understanding wife – in fact, a friend in disguise.

Yes, she found a man, who was exactly like the “man of her dreams” – He was Jiten. He loved poetry, music, and fun. He said: Sheetal, I just love you. I just want to see you happy and smiling always. Every pain and hardship that you went through in your childhood is something that you need to forget! And I am sure that my love will make you forget all that!

Sheetal said to herself: Yes, this is my man! Oh, I am so lucky to have found a man who is so “unlike” my father. He loves me so real! Everything seemed like a dream – but like the one that really came true.

They got married and soon Sheetal’s dream of becoming a mother came true. She delivered a cute and plump baby boy a year later. She thought, as her elders had told her often, that this baby would heighten their bonding. She believed that she was now the mother of his son – so she ought to be the queen of Jiten’s heart. 

Often in the evenings, she waited for Jiten to get back home and take her in her arms, hug her tight to make her feel how much he loved her. She waited…and waited. The hands of the clock moved as slow as the beats of her hearts. Jiten came home, passed a frail smile at Sheetal and went to the bedroom to take the baby in his arms. Sheetal followed him. She watched keenly, how Jiten spent hours playing with their baby, then saw him sit in front of the TV (while she fed the baby), and then eat his dinner, and retire to bed and then soon fall asleep. 

Sheetal sat watching Jiten snoring to glory. She recalled those days when he rode his bike for about 20 kilometers, just to see her. She remembered those nights when he never slept without sending her love-soaked SMSs. Tears came rolling down her cheeks. She thought: Has Jiten changed or the time? Or are we growing old enough to love each other with that intensity and vigour? That night she could not sleep. The baby woke up many times during the night and she kept feeding him. 

Next morning, when she woke up, Jiten had left for office. It was 9:30 am. She felt guilty – for the first time in her marriage Jiten went to office without his lunch box – Because she could not prepare it. She quickly took the cell phone in her hand and started typing him a message:

Sorry, Jeet. I could not wake up in the morning and you missed the lunch box today. Couldn’t sleep whole night because of babu (their son). He kept me awake whole night. 😦

She waited for a quick reply. Before marriage, Jiten was very particular about replying back to Sheetal’s SMSs, however busy he was. That day, no reply came back. Sheetal tried calling his cell phone twice. Every time Jiten disconnected it. Sheetal thought he was busy and kept the phone. She thought: Jiten will call back when he is free. I am sure he is busy.

She started her usual daily chores. A one-time college teacher, Sheetal was now a full time home maker.

Three hours later a message came:

Sheetal,

You are a mother. You will have to stay awake for many nights. All mothers do this! This is no excuse for not waking up. I did not force the child on you. You wanted to become a mother. So you are! Why are you neglecting me??

As Sheetal read this message she could not control her tears. She thought: Was being a mother my decision? Didn’t “we” want to become parents? Moreover, since the time I was pregnant, till yesterday, I have been playing a good wife, taking care of him and myself, and now, taking care of this little baby of ours. Where am I neglecting my duties, or where am I neglecting Jiten?

That night when Jiten came back home, he found a note that Sheetal had left for him, where she said: I have left a great career just because of you, Jiten! To take care of you, to give you the pleasure of being called a father! Where am I neglecting my duties, or you? I have just gone through a pregnancy and I am just out of it. I never tell you what mood swings I go through, just believing that my better-half, that is YOU will understand. Understanding is the least you do to me.

When you had those sores in your feet soon after our marriage, I went to several doctors with you, researched on the web, and made sure that you were comfortable and fine.

Have you ever tried to do that for me? You tell me that I have grown fat, post pregnancy. Have you thought what I must be going through mentally and physically whole day and night? Have you ever visited a gynecologist or a psychologist to find out a “way out” for me to feel better? No you haven’t! Why? Because you feel that since I am a woman, I am destined to go through this mess. And all that I say is just my mental make-up! 

You have forgotten to love me, to care for me, to understand my body and mind. You, think that being a mother and bearing the pain and hardships of being a mother is my sole responsibility and that I am now a mother, I can’t be a girlfriend to you. If you really cared for me – your one-time girlfriend and now the mother of your child, you would have understood why I didn’t wake up this morning. I just expected a warm hug from you in the morning, Jiten. I would surely wake up refreshed and recharged. 

Well, this is what I felt.

I am leaving this house, certainly not forever. But I will not return, untill you write me back stating what YOU feel about it.

In your message to me this morning, you said, “Why are you neglecting me??”  This made me realize that there is some latent expectation in your heart that you are not sharing with me. May be I am going wrong somewhere, from your perspective. Please let me know that. It has been more than a year that we spoke heart to heart. I think it’s high time. 

I am living at a friend’s place. Take your time, to reflect, and write back. 

Let me know if we can become friends and lovers again.

{Note for readers: I want to know from you. What do you think Jiten must have done after reading this letter? What would be his thought? I will tell you what actually happened after this, in the story that will soon follow}

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Flown in Love that knew no Ends

I felt a drop of love, on my eyes…

When you were not with me.

And the darkness was hallucinogenic,

When you were I, and I was ‘we’.

The mild and sweet fragrance of tuberose in the backyard…

Wafted in our oneness in that teensy moment

When you touched my soul in solitude

And you were I, and I was ‘we’.

Love smeared in honest guilt 

Enveloped the murky soul that lives in me.

But it knew no reasons and no validations.

I was flown to the dusky ridge of love, where we met

When you were I, and I was ‘we’

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