Tag Archives: Short Stories

Violent Tides, inside and out!

It started with a feeble whisper somewhere in the heavens. With every passing moment, hearts started thumping like a deck sailing on a violent ocean. Emotions endured as it approached further. The gushing breeze served as messengers. Breeze gushed into every nook and corner making every soul aware of the approaching thunder. Moonlight shivered through reflections leaving the eyes awed.

She sat on the shore, with her bare foot. As if the clouds seduced the ocean, it rose with excited tides. None of this mattered. She just sat there singing to herself. Not a soul wandered in that beach today. She was all alone. She whistled and sang with an enormous joy. The ocean and clouds climaxed their romance with a thunderous rain. Sand on the beach soaked as much water as it could, almost as if it was trying to save her from the ruthless pour. She still sat there drenched thinking about absolutely nothing but just singing to herself. She rejoiced in her heart. She had had one hell of a day. It started pouring more and the sand beneath her gave up. The rain finally washed away her sorrows with her very breath. Her last breath was filled with fresh breeze oozing out of the shores. Ocean had taken her life into itself.

Not many hours ago her life was as joyous as a kid with buckets of ice cream! She had it all. A successful career, a loving family, enough money to lead a luxurious life, health as perfect as a hare in the wild! If only she knew that none of this would matter just a few hours from then!!

That fateful day, as her eyelashes made way to the spectacular new rays of sun piercing through the drapes, she saw her most favorite person lying next to her on the bed. She kissed him on the forehead whispering ‘a very good morning’ as he still lay there, sound asleep. She got up to finish her morning chores; got ready for work and left. Later that day she would dread this very moment, but for now it was just a goodbye kiss. As she walked, she felt a ray of bright new hope hitting her on every step and she absorbed every bit of it. She was sure it would be just like any of her beautiful days.

Even though she had everything in life, she gravely missed one little member in her family. But today, her wish would be granted. Her little family would now be complete. She had taken the test herself many times before getting tested at the clinic. She was sure she would have a baby now. She walked into the clinic, waited for her turn and went inside the doctor’s cabin. Her tests had all come out. Doctor told her that everything was perfect and the baby would be perfectly healthy and pink like a fresh bloom. Her joy knew no bounds that very moment. She thanked the doctor and left for work.

Her day at work went as usual with great perfection. She wanted to wrap up work that day as early as possible to go back home. She wanted to break the news to her love, her ever-loving husband. The whole day she practiced how to tell him this phenomenally good news. She wanted to see his expression which would forever change their lives, in a great way. It was evening now and time to leave.

As she walked out she got a great idea to practice more on how to tell him this. As her home wasn’t too far from office, she decided to take a walk. That, she was sure would be a great chance to rehearse. All the way, she spoke to herself, rehearsing her dialogues. That got her quite a few stares throughout the way on the streets, but she didn’t give a damn. She wasn’t sure if she was ready. Even though she had known for a couple of days, she was not able to digest it all herself. So she took a little detour to relax herself at the beach.

The dense clouds had started gathering. It was pretty obvious that it would rain heavily, but it was still bright enough for her to not notice the clouds. She took off her slippers and held it in her hands as she felt every grain of sand sending orgasmic waves through her body all the way to her head. She had fallen in love with this day and it was evident on her face that this day would be her most memorable day in her entire life. She had no idea that this memory would last just a few more moments. As she reached the approaching waves, the dark dense clouds had rigorously covered the sky. Yet her eyes stared at the endless ocean which gave her the feeling of endless joy that she had been relishing all day. By now, the beach was deserted and it had gradually turned dark as well. She reached into the water to have her legs immersed till her ankles. She carried an effervescent smile. That was the last time she would ever smile.

Clouds were now at their mightiest and it started getting violent. Lightening and thunders followed. Clouds were about to burst vehemently to pour endlessly. It was as if the gods knew this would be her last rain. May be that’s why clouds were about to pour like she had never seen before.

She sat there in the shallow water suppressed in her thoughts. As she tried to gather words on how to tell him the news, her memories of last night started gathering as well. She had prepared his favorite dinner. Dinner table was set. She didn’t want to break him the news as yet since she wanted to get the confirmation from doctor the next day. But she wanted to make a perfect mood set for her tomorrow’s revelation. She had been seeing her husband getting stressed out a lot from last few weeks. He looked tied up with his own thoughts. Tonight, she would set it all straight at the dinner table and she had planned to serve the dessert not at the dinner table but in their bedroom! She knew how she could get through to his heart. Just the tummy wouldn’t help her, and she knew it. Dinner was ready and so was the bed.

Doorbell rang and she ran towards the door, dressed in her best. As was the trend from past few weeks, he seemed stressed and disconnected. He didn’t even care to notice how stunning she looked. He went to freshen up and change to his night clothes.

“I have your prepared your favorite dinner!” she said gladly.

“Thanks jaan. I am not very hungry though. I will just have some milk”

“Oh come on!!! Just give a li’l visit to this table here! You wouldn’t leave it for all the money in the world!”

“Please jaan. Don’t force me now!”

“Are you okay dear? I wanted to ask you since a few days now, but we never got time. Is everything alright? You seem a bit too stressed off late”

“I am perfectly fine. If milk isn’t there I will go to bed. I don’t really need it that bad” he said without much interest in this conversation.

“Don’t do this now. I took off from office early to do all this. Please! I wanted to speak to you, but lets wait till tomorrow. I have a news for you! You will love me more.”

“Oh good! Finally there’s some reason!” he murmured staring at the roof as he laid back on the couch! She ignored that, thinking he was just kidding. She was just glad he had found his sense of humor back after a long time! But then he continued “Even I wanted to speak to you from several days hon. Seeing you like this, I don’t know if I can suppress my words any longer. Lets talk”. These words caught her attention but she was still wondering if this was one of his jokes.

“Hahaa… very funny. What do you want to talk? How about starting with compliments on how I look?” she quipped.

“You look great! As always. But I’m serious. I was hoping to talk to you for a long time”

“Well. Ok…. But if this is the tone of you being funny, let me tell you, I don’t like it… at all!”

“I have never been this serious.” he replied with a deep tone.

“Go on” she said as she took out a glass of milk to warm it. She was concerned now.

“We went against everyone and got married. We both knew that we were madly in love with each other. We have had a wonderful time all these years. I wished this would last forever. But…” he was about to complete but went for a quick pause. That tiny second made her shiver. She passed on that shiver to the glass of milk she held. The feeble waves on the surface of milk were just a glimpse of huge tides hitting the walls of her heart. She didn’t like the use of past tense in every instance of his words. She leaned a little to get a clearer sound of what he was saying. She wanted to make sense of it. But her heart thumped louder than his words. But still, she tried hard to listen, gathering herself for this conversation. He continued after a brief pause.

“But…. Dear, we have grown apart since over a year. We don’t have each other when we need the most. Our dreams have changed. Priorities have all mixed up. I have always loved you, but the feeling of that love has started to disappear.” He wasn’t even looking at her. He just stared at the roof and kept talking. She didn’t know if she was listening to him or was this a nightmare. It was all real. This whole time he was giving meaningless explanations about why he thinks this relationship was going down the drain. But, she was in her own trauma. Her perfect life had started to wither down. The love that she believed they had, was starting to look like a demeaning emotion. Milk had started boiling. So was her heart; and so was her suppressed rage. This very moment had changed the immense love into excruciating hate. But she kept it all to herself, still pretending that this was just a nightmare in her perfect life, a perfect husband, a perfect home. With all the rage suppressed under layers of pretension, she spoke with her usual poise “But dear, didn’t you know that this would happen eventually. We have gone past the days of just being in love. We have responsibilities now. We definitely have more responsibilities coming our way. You will know for sure by tomorr…” she was about to complete but then he said the words she never thought she would ever hear from him.

“I know all that. But there’s someone else. I have fallen in love. This time, I know for sure that we would be perfect. She is just like the life-partner I had only dreamed of… She is” and he went on about a woman. The other woman. Her perfect family had a new member. Not the child she was carrying, but another woman he loved. She had lost the sense of reasoning. She reached out and took milk off the stove. She poured it back into a glass. Suddenly she didn’t want any of this to be real. She wanted to erase every little bit of this last few minutes which felt like a lifetime. She shivered more as she saw the sight of her perfect home being shattered into bits and pieces. Her home seemed like a giant pile of dust. She had a strange violent tide raising within her. She didn’t know what she was doing, or why she was doing it. She walked towards a wooden cabinet near the storage area of the kitchen. In the shelf, at the very bottom, she saw her relief. At that moment, she didn’t care what it was, but she was just sure that this would make her nightmares go away. She took the box which had a giant red skull on the box and it had “Poison” marked in giant font. It was as if she wasn’t herself anymore. She took it back to the stove. Mixed it with the milk. Added 3 spoons of sugar, she knew exactly how much he liked. She ignored every single word he had spoken after he mentioned about the other woman. She walked towards him like a zombie, without any feelings for him. She had drained out every bit of love she had for him. He was still talking, she went to him, sat next to him on the couch. She looked him in his eyes, she could see her own reflection in his eyes. That would be the last time she would every see herself in his eyes. She spoke “It’s ok jaan. I understand. You take rest now. We can speak tomorrow and here’s your milk…” she gave him that glass of milk.

She could see his surprised eyes. He was exhausted, but he was equally shocked to see how strangely well she had taken this. For a second, he felt a giant boulder of guilt rolling down his spine. But then, he just had that glass of milk and went to bed. She sat on the couch suppressed in her own emotions and rage. He had just destroyed every bit of soul in her perfect life. She now heard him coughing heavily. His suffering had started. She didn’t want to miss this spectacle. She walked into the room. He was lying on the bed shivering vigorously. She could see the immense shock in his eyes as he saw her. She knew that he had repented his deeds in that very last moment of his life. She could see it. She walked slowly towards him. In a couple of minutes, he gave away his last breath. For her, she chose to see her loving husband in him than the corpse of her betrayer. She took off his slippers. She tucked him well in a blanket. She didn’t want him to get cold. She slipped into her nightdress. She went to bed with her loving husband. She kissed him good night, hugged him and went to sleep. That night, she had the best sleep ever. Before going to sleep, she had made sure to throw away every bit of memory of her dead betrayer. She chose to live with her loving, perfect husband.

Now, sitting in the shallow waters on the beach, witnessing the rage of lightening and thunder, she regained her consciousness. Her violent streaks from yesterday started to haunt her. It all came back to her. She had killed her love like a cold killer. She had poisoned her husband from her own hands. Her smile was washed away in the thunderous rain. She hated what she had turned into. She wasn’t aware of what was happening around her. None of that mattered.

Violent tides inside her had made her take away her husband’s life yesterday; she wanted to give away hers to the violent tides of ocean. She did exactly that. Her very last thought was of this morning.This morning, on the bed, she had kissed her husband on the forehead to wish him good morning like she always did. But today, it was his corpse. Tides took over. She was part of the ocean now.

Tagged , , ,

Sprouting Envy

KishoreOnShore - Sprouting Envy

The smell of early morning dew lingered on a pair of fresh sprouts in a glorious garden ! One of the sprouts glittered with the tiny drop of dew on its tip. The feeble sunlight harrowed its way through the dense greenery and striked the dew drop to give a stunning glow to that sprout with a tiny dew drop!

The other sprout watched in envy at its glittering twin ! Both the sprouts have the same freshness of dew and are equally gorgeous but the twin seems to be blessed with a beautiful ornamental glory which the other one had wished. Even though it had the strength of a new born to remain stiff and grow strong, it bowed down with desperation to have what its twin had.

As if the nature heard this little sprout’s distress, a couple of drops of luminous dew floating on a leaf above made their way down and drop on this sad sprout. But the sprout was already down with envy and sadness, it failed to hold that wish it was granted. The dew slips from the surface of this sprout and falls on the ground, wasted. The sprout was so indulged in its own emotions that it failed to even find out that its wish was granted but it just went unnoticed.

Not so far away in the garden, a tiny rodent was approaching. From where it stood now, it saw a fresh sprout illuminating in the midst of this dense greenery. The glow of the proudly shining sprout invited the rodent to serve itself for the breakfast. Rodent hurried and within no time it gobbled its shiny breakfast. The rodent wasn’t even able to see the other sprout which lay there beside, sad. The rodent finished its breakfast and carried on with its business of straying in the garden.

The distressed sprout now suddenly was so happy that she was back with her pride of being the new sprout in the vicinity. It was just a day of pride, because the next day, new sprouts bloomed with more glory than hers. It was the older one now. This is when it missed its twin which would have kept her company. A day of pride, but now back to being lonely and distressed. It now repented its envy after being punished with loneliness.

It now knew that luck can favor anyone, but wish is granted to really lucky ones. Its envy doomed the wish that was granted.

Tagged , , , ,

Slice of an eye!

After weeks of thunderous rains, the day shone like a rich bride heaving herself with gold. The wet roads, or whatever was left of the roads, the fallen trees and destroyed bamboos everywhere made it look like the bed after the first night. Rain gods knew how to romance the rustic earth. Not that earth would be complaining, she knew it all would climax with something this beautiful like this very day.

In the midst of this romance, in the luscious green Manipur, staring out of the window from her bamboo hut, Maria knew her day wouldn’t be any different from the previous 4 years. She was sure that it would just end in an endless wait. Those tiny slices of eyes that adored her beautiful innocent face, had every possible trace of that endless wait. Little did she know that her wait would finally end today!

“Yoimayai Khongsai…?” yelled a stranger as he knocked on the door. The last time she heard her full name from someone was around three years ago when she was sent a letter from her husband, Lalboi Khongsai. The letter just had enough information to let her know that he was now at Kashmir as a Border Security Force personnel. She didn’t even have an idea if the letter was actually written by Lalboi. It just had those precise details, without anything addressed to her personally. She wondered if the person who wrote that letter had any time to write. It was like a hand-written telegram just before someone died. It was this thought that killed her everyday. The couple just had each other. Although they had their relatives who lived far away in different tribes, there was no communication between any of them since their marriage 6 years ago. She was alone, on top a hill, in a bamboo hut, living on herbal soups and an occasional chicken sautéed rice, to ease her craving for a delicacy. Her every day was a routine which just had around three events in the same order! But today, a stranger’s voice calling out her full name was something new since three years.

Around 5 steps from the window and she had walked all the way to the opposite side of the hut to the door. Taking a quick peek through the gaps of the bamboo door, she saw a man in uniform. She was sure it wasn’t Lalboi. But she wasn’t sure who he was. She shivered as she opened the door. The man outside immediately saluted her and said something in Hindi. She didn’t understand a word. She could just see the grief in his eyes. She was glad she didn’t understand anything. She did not want to understand anything that might end her wait filled with hope all these years. But the grief in that man’s eyes definitely stirred her thoughts to churn out some depressingly devastating assumptions.

Days passed and gave way to numerous months ahead. Years passed. She had now accepted the fact that she was alone now. She had her own hut and the whole hill as well. Trees around her hut probably knew her loneliness and they definitely tried their best to keep her company. They housed some beautiful birds. Gave away juicy fruits. Showered dew drops on her as she plucked flowers underneath. The creepers around the trees sometimes swept their tender stems around her to give her a sense what she missed from her long-lost husband. In the midst of all this natural gestures from the nature itself, she stopped missing Lalboi. She started to cherish those moments because she had not one but many of her husband’s sensations all around her hut.

That day, she cut across the misty fresh air, danced her way on the grass through to the door. She had forgotten how a human’s presence around her would feel. She had not seen another human in years. But she somehow felt that lost sensation in her this time. She knew there was definitely someone inside. She waited outside the door for a few minutes before getting in. She was scared. She was angry. She was curious. She was restless. At some level, she was even happy for having realized that she was indeed alive in the same human world. She peeped in and took miniature steps to see who it was.

Months had passed and she had fallen in love with a small boy who had strayed into the jungles and had smelt the chicken. He was slurping the soup while he enjoyed the fresh peppers garnished on it. She had first felt a shock but then after seeing his hungry innocent eyes, she had managed to accommodate another living person in her world. She had nothing to lose. For Maria, the little boy was like a child she never had. She knew a small kid like this boy couldn’t leave her deserted like Lalboi. She taught him to cultivate vegetables, to sow seeds, to pluck flowers, to fix their bamboo hut when the storms left it messy. She taught the boy everything that Lalboi knew. She taught him to take care of her. She taught him to live, her way.

A gun was something she had just heard about. She had never seen one. Finding it within the bamboos hid somewhere in the roof was that last thing she could have expected. There have been no person in this hut since she built it years ago except the little boy who had been living with her since months. She had never cared to ask him about his life before. She was just content with what she had got from him, in the present. But now, she had to know. She pulled out the gun and headed out to ask him. He was lying on the misty grass bed staring at the cloudy sky. He was probably counting clouds and trying to make sense out of the shapes it formed.

The innocence of this very sight of the little boy staring at the clouds with a mesmerized look, changed her mind. She threw away the gun in the bushes and headed back to routine life. Over the next few days, she noticed the kid was pretty disturbed and didn’t enjoy his days like he used to. Hardly a couple of weeks had passed and the boy disappeared into thin air. She got up one day to find him missing from everywhere she thought would find him. She searched him for many days around the little hill she lived. She was scared to go beyond the farthest boundaries she had ever been.

The thought of sudden disappearance made her restless for many nights. But yet again, Maria made peace with her loneliness. Her life was a little different from what it used to be till a few months earlier. The vacuum that the little boy left in her life was imminent but that didn’t stop her from getting back to her previous life. She was back being a part of the nature in its true sense.

As she plucked those juice ripened button peppers, she felt a shiver down her spine when a rustic hand rubbed across her naked shoulders. Before she could grasp any sense of what was happening, she was stranded on the floor of her hut. 3 men in uniforms yelled in excitement and laughed their way into her soul. One of the men held the gun that she had thrown away in the bushes a few months back. One of the men held a bunch of shrubs in a sack. As she moaned for help, she realized that those shrubs were the same that had mysteriously grown somewhere down the hill around the same time when the little boy had strayed into her hut. It had gotten wild and had gone uncontrolled after the boy disappeared. She had only heard of those mysterious herbs which were not to be grown anywhere, and was pretty much abandoned by everyone. Yoimayai knew she was going through the most horrific moment of her life right now as she was bitten and eaten by these monsters. She laughed at herself thinking of the pieces of chicken she used to quarrel with Lalboi. She always wanted the best cooked chicken. That light moment flashed in her subconscious as she equated herself to that piece of seasoned chicken being the source of heavenly pleasure. But this time, she was only giving it but not indulging in one herself. She was left torn.

After years of being estranged by the humankind, she found haven in the innocence of a boy who she later realized was just using her to grow weed. Probably he felt insecure after his gun went missing. Within a few months she met another three men. Probably she wouldn’t even recognize their faces if she ever meets them again. She was too much at awe and petrified to even realize that she was gang raped by three men in her own hut in the midst of her very own nature. She felt helpless as the breeze, trees, creepers, flowers and peppers just watched her being used like a toy for carnal pleasures.

Again, months had passed. It was almost a year since that disgraceful day on the tiny hill of Manipur. A dreadful wilderness had grown on the hill with a dense silence. The grass had grown taller than the herbs. Some trees had fallen without anyone to care for them. There was no clue of color from the flowers which were once visible from down the hill, once upon a time. The whole hill now looked deserted. There was no sign of a living soul anywhere around the broken hut. Amidst all this, a familiar but estranged voice was heard. “Yoi….” yelled a man with distressed voice. The last time this voice had echoed this land was almost a decade ago when Lalboi bid adieu to his beloved Yoimayai. He had returned. He ran across the wild hill to reach the hut at the very top. He stepped into the hut with a little hope to see his sweet innocent Yoi breathing. His hope came real. She was alive, but the very state of her life made him choke his heart. It pained him to see her naked, dry bruises. Slandered hair, dry scaly lips were the least of his worries, but her very existence in such a state wished he had not been able to see her alive, not in this life at least.

He took care of her without uttering a word. He dressed her fussy wounds which were unattended for months. He bathed her, hoping to cleanse not just her bruises but her pain. He fed her with fresh food. He cleaned the hut. He trimmed the bushes and huge bamboo grass that had grown all around their hut on the hill. He made everything intact just the way it was before he left. But every single thing he did was just to make her feel at home again. He wanted her to know that her Lalboi was back. He never intended to ask her about what she went through. He could possibly do it much later. He didn’t say a word about his abduction and him being held hostage for over 7 years. He didn’t want to ask her about the messenger in uniform that he had sent to convey her that he was alive but as a hostage. He didn’t know if she had understood his friend’s words, because she could hardly speak any other language other than her native tongue. Every single thing that had gone past in the past decade had torn them apart. All he wanted now was to see her just the way she used to be. But, he didn’t speak a word to her.

“I am sure you are wondering what the hell happened to me. Well, I’m glad you asked! You were dead to me” she murmured one fine day after a few weeks. “I didn’t really hope that you would come back. A man in uniform came a few years ago to tell something and I assumed it was about your death. A lot has happened these years since you left. I was alone. I had somehow found happiness in my life, but then I got raped by three men. I got betrayed by a kid. I got stranded in my own garden. I kept living these past few months just because I lacked the strength and courage to kill myself. I wish I had died. I did not want to see you. I wish I had died when I was of the impression that my Lalboi had died years ago. Now I feel more sad that you were alive and you let all of this happen to me. At some point I was fine being a widow to a soldier. But if being a soldier can do this to their loved ones, I wish they stop making new soldiers. I am very sure there are women and families who just stick to their pain and sorrows just because their support is striving hard for their beloved country. But don’t you think they deserve a minimal attention from that same nation? I do. I didn’t know that I did before, but ask me and I would say… yes!” Silence is the best answer Lalboi could come up with.

Several days passed and Yoimayai had somehow recovered. Lalboi had groomed the vegetation around their hut to be just as pleasant as it used to be before. On a sunny morning, a man in uniform knocked on the door and called Lalboi’s name. She saw him go to the door and speak to that man. She knew it would be another summon for him to get back. But Lalboi closed the door and came back to her. What he spoke next made her comfortable but at some corner she wished to see the patriotism she had seen in him 10 years back. His words “After what this nation has done to you, I would leave it, but will never leave you alone, ever again Yoi”

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Lascivious Clouds !

Lascivious Clouds

On a dark night, the moon strayed into a starry space, as she made her way through the lascivious clouds. Those clouds kept throwing themselves on her, but she kept going. She knew her only way out would be daylight. She wished for the sun to rise early today so that she could rest a while before her next night’s venture. She knew she had lost a part of her existence today and tomorrow she would get smaller. But, it would all get over in a few nights and she would just disappear into the starry night. A new moon would appear after her and she would meet the same fate as hers.

“Am I like that moon, dear?” she asked him as she kept staring at the bright moon on that starry night. She wondered what the moon would be going through with so many clouds, all of them pounding on it. She had a strange sense of identifying herself with that helpless moon.

“Of course darling, you are more gorgeous than that moon” he whispered in her ears as he caressed his hands on her hair to brush it aside. He could now see her wide eyes and an image of himself in them. The corners of her eyes also had an image of the moon and those ruthless clouds hovering on the brilliantly luminous moon.

“You’re just saying that to finish and get out of here early. And moreover, I don’t want to be as gorgeous as the moon. Something that beautiful can be of any use only at nights, like me” she blurted out, but mildly as she turned away from him on the bed.

“What are you saying..?”

“I think I am like that moon”

“Yes you are, my dear” he said without knowing what she was going at.

“You don’t understand. I am trapped. I am used only at nights. Is it because I am that beautiful? I want to have a life with you in broad daylight, just the way your wife does”

“You’re going mad” he yelled and got out of the bed to get dressed, ready to leave.

As he walked out of the door, she continued staring at the gangs of lascivious clouds which ravaged on the moon, but that helpless moon kept moving.

Days passed and she kept asking every person she met if they can treat her like the “sun” in their lives and not as a “moon”. Not surprisingly, she got nothing more than violent slaps, doors being shut on her face, strangled hands and slimy spits on her helpless eyes. Until, him.

He heard every word what she had to say. He made promises. He made her smile. He made her start liking her life again. He made her like the moon again. He made her like the clouds again. He convinced her that those clouds were not hurting the moon, but romancing the moon in those starry nights.

It was a night of new moon. Clouds kept wandering, searching for their luminous dear moon. Not many stars were gleaming that night. He entered the room to find it deserted. Drapes from the windows flew vehemently. He longed for that luminous smile behind those flowing darkness.

On that fateful new moon night, the moon  from this room also had somehow disappeared, forever.

Tagged , ,

Moon Bites

Moon bites... on shore !

Moon bites... on shore !

They loved. They lost. They got married but not with each other. They spent 35 years of their family life with content. They were now back being alone. He sat on a bench facing the lake and stared at the moon which seemed like a quick stroke of light. It reminded him of his remaining life. At least the moon will re-gain its glory as the time passes. But he had lost his glorious days and now was alone. She stood thousands of kilometers away staring at the same moon. She knew she had achieved enough by making everyone around her comfortable to lead their own lives. It was now her life; and only her life. There was no one left for her to take care. She could finally have her own life now. The same moon reminded him of his remaining pitiful few days while she felt an uplifting spirit to lead a life of her own.

They had never stopped loving each other. They had somehow just forgotten about their love as their responsibilities had overshadowed that tiny flame in their hearts. But now, that spark was in the verge of setting those responsibilities on fire. They both longed for love at the end of their days.

“Are you kidding me?” she blurted out.

“No, I am serious. No one would care. It’s a market. They’re all busy bargaining. Just give me a quick peck; at least on my cheek. Come on. It’ll be so exciting” he pleaded with a wicked smile.

“I know it’ll get you excited. That’s what is worrying me, you idiot”

“Ok. Let me do it at least”

“Grab these bags and let’s leave. Aren’t you ashamed of making your girlfriend carry so much of baggage”

“Nah… I am trying to carry your stupid ego! It’s heavier”

“You’re already tired of my ego? You have to carry it for the rest of your life! Beware!!!” she teased.

“Are you expecting us to get married? Nah… I am not as stupid as you” he shot back with the same wicked smile.

“Who spoke of marriage? I am just telling you will have to carry my ego for the rest of your life. If we get married you’ll repent forever. If you don’t you might repent not just excruciatingly more but also carry the guilt of giving up on me! Now shut up and carry these bags. My hands might fall off”

Although 35 years had passed ever since, both of them remembered every bit of that conversation. It played like a nostalgic movie in black and white in their mind as both of them stared at the same moon on the same night.

She wondered if she can call up some old contacts and try to reach him. It wouldn’t have been that difficult to find about someone like him. She had voluntarily severed all sort of social ties of their lives. She loved him too much to manage to let him walk away again.

At this side of the moon, he was wondering how it would have felt to have her right beside him at this very moment. His senses still lingered every bit of her. He remembered how she smelt. He could remember how her touch felt. The way she breathed. He remembered the way her hair romanced her eyes, and sometimes his eyes. He remembered her favorite dress. He knew she wouldn’t have changed. He knew that no amount of wrinkles can hide those sparkling eyes. He knew the color of the hair wouldn’t weaken their urge to romance those eyes. He knew her age wouldn’t have managed to take away her natural aroma. He knew she might not fit into her old favorite dress anymore but she would have a new favorite dress.

“You’ve gone fat. Stop eating” he teased her as she took an insanely huge bite of a burger.

“Do you hear yourself and can you at least see yourself?” she said casually without taking her eyes off the burger.

“I have always been this way, although I keep fluctuating. But look at your flab. Don’t ask me to buy you new cloths” he quipped.

“Yeah right!!! As if you have bought me any. I am just trying to match your size. What if guys start flirting and I get tempted? I might as well put on more weight to ward off those horny eyes!!!” she mumbled as she munched the French fries.

“Ha haa… You’re so funny. I will dump you when you get fat!” he said sarcastically.

“Great!!! I have had enough of you in these 6 years. Now I am surely going to order more of these burgers with extra cheese!!!” she said with subtle laughter.

Clouds gathered around the moon and it was now hardly visible. She just stood there sipping on a cup of coffee. He had always made fun of her habit of drinking coffee before going to bed. He never missed a chance to tease her to ask if that cup of coffee was to energize her in the bed. With a grin she went inside and shut the drapes. She dimmed the lights and wondered what she could possibly do to lead a life she always wished for. Either she had forgotten that she was nearing 60 or she didn’t really give a damn. Her cell phone started vibrating. It was an unknown number. She wanted it to be him but for a quick moment which felt like hours, she thought what she could possibly speak to him after so many years!

“Hello..?” she said curiously.

After an elaborate pause came a voice “Hi… Hey… This is…”

“I was just thinking about you”

“Oh is it? How come? How did you know I would call?” he asked with a little sarcasm and mostly surprised.

“No I didn’t expect your call. I was just thinking about you. I just finished my coffee and was on my way to crawl into my bed” she said bluntly expecting him to make that coffee joke!

“Oh your husband needs your energized version is it?”

“Aren’t you too old to make a stupid joke like that?”

“Aren’t we both too old to repeat this conversation for a millionth time?”

“It’s been more than 35 years. Why did you call now?” she choked as her voice came out.

“At least I cared to call”

“Of course you would care. After all, caring for someone else actually starts at around the age of 60 for men!” she shot back.

“That’s all they’ll be left with to do. Nothing else would be as firm as caring”

“Stop being vulgar with a lady at this odd hour”

“You’re a lady now?”

“I was always one”

“Ladies don’t kiss guys in a market in front of hundreds of people” he said with a wicked tone to tease her.

“I didn’t kiss ‘any’ guys. I kissed you”

“Of course you would. I was quite hot then..!”

“I know you were. Your stink wasn’t really hiding your heat”

“Oh you’re still a pig”

“Aren’t we both?”

“You didn’t answer me when I asked if your husband needs your energized version. Hope I am not draining out your energy”

“I can make another cup of coffee for myself” she said with a sharp voice.

“You didn’t answer me”

“You are trying to hit on me?”

“Nah, I am just trying to hit you” he giggled.

“It’s too late for this you know”

“Oh, you are sleepy?”

“I am not. But you slept for 35 years.”

“It was a mutual decision. Wasn’t it?”

“Was it? For me it was more like one’s decision and another’s agreement to that decision”

“We have matured way too much to argue on that now” he shrugged.

“We are speaking like the same couple who fought as to who would carry the baggage in the market. It doesn’t feel like we haven’t spoken for decades.”

“Haha… I know” he giggled but she quickly added in a serious tone.

“We would have been great if we had spent our lives together. Instead we just spent it”

“That’s why I called. I had tracked you down months ago. It took me all this while to gather myself to call you”

“That’s probably because it’s your birthday today and you’re too drunk”

“In my medical condition, even spelling a-l-c-o-h-o-l is deadly”

“So you called to say sorry?” she groaned as her pitch peaked to its highest but settled down in an instant.

“Why should I say sorry? If anyone needs to be sorry then it’s got to be both of us or none” he shot back with his most serious tone.

“I was sorry back then itself. I was waiting for you to be sorry but as it turns out, it’s my turn again. Sorry but I have to get back to bed. I have a flight early tomorrow”

“I am sorry.”

“I wasn’t lying about the flight. I really have one”

“… and I wasn’t lying when I said I am sorry” he swallowed a nervous gulp to ease his choked throat.

“I know.”

“I might not be able to call you again. It took me a lot of courage to do this now. I will probably succumb to the nervousness next time” he confessed.

“I know.”

“Stop doing that. You’re just as annoying as before”

“And you’re just as late as before”

“Am I really that late?” he asked with the last hope.

“Probably not, but I have responsibilities now. My grand kids need me. It’s their first day at school tomorrow and I need to be there”

“Do you ‘want’ to be there or you just ‘need’ to be there?”

“Did you want to keep up your responsibilities back then or did you just NEED to keep up those?”

“Don’t be rude”

“Wound is fresh you know”

“We both needed it back then”

“But I changed my decision immediately after that, you were stubborn. You didn’t even try”

“We tried for two years. It was too late to change our decisions”

“Its 35 years more now… what makes you think it’s not late now?”

“Probably because it’s way too late for the time to matter”

“Your theories still doesn’t make any sense”

“Can we at least meet?”

“What do you mean ‘at least’? You haven’t yet asked for anything more. Why did you say ‘at least’?”

“Do I have to ask?”

“Yes. I have forgotten to read your mind with years. I can hardly read. Reading minds is out of question” she said, again with blunt sarcasm.

“Can I hope for this conversation to go anywhere?”

“Why do you leave everything to hope?”

“My god. You know how to hurt don’t you?”

“I haven’t loved anyone enough in a while to hurt this much. Probably this is more like a volcanic eruption”

“You haven’t..?” he asked with a tiny ray of hope again.

“No. I was drained even before I was required to Love after marriage. Sometimes responsibilities and honor can replace Love. Arguably even more effectively”

“What about now?”

“Age for my ‘wants’ have long gone. I am here for my grand kids now” she said. While she spoke those words she burst out with tears for being dishonest to herself. It was one of those rare moments when it was all about her but she just tried and pushed it away as someone else’s. In that dark room, her tears somehow managed to gloom. Her hands trembled as she wanted to ask him to come and meet her right this moment. She just wanted him, just him and an embrace she longed for years now. A hug would have compensated for 35 years of life spent for the sake of responsibilities but not love.

“But we have finally crossed that age when we are needed by someone else. Your grand kids have their parents. Don’t they? We have just each other. Let’s elope”

“And go where? To an old-age home?”

“I am rich! That’s all I am!!!”

“Of course you are!” she said with a tired expression.

“Brushing off your sarcasm again, we can have the life we dreamed of. Can’t you at least think about it for a while? You can have my number. Call me whenever you feel it’s the right time. All I am left with to do is wait” he said. He decided it would be his last try and gave his number. He didn’t check if she was noting down his number, but he didn’t try too hard. He understood what she meant when she said it was too late. But he had to try. Thirty-five years ago when they decided to break-up, the conversation ended with a sad smile. This last try was to keep up his last promise. He still remembered that last conversation.

“So we are now not going to meet ever again is it?” she asked as she grabbed that last tissue on the table.

“Let’s make a pact. When I am 60, I will contact you. We can just elope then and have a life somewhere in the world away from everyone we know.”

“Good way of telling that you give a damn what happens to me for the next 35 years”

“Don’t make this more difficult”

“I will” she said as she pulled out her hand from his.

“Expect a call on my 60th birthday”

“I hope you die before that” she was back to her brutal sarcasm.

“… and I hope your family would have succumbed to your brutality before my 60th birthday so that you can elope with me without any hurdles” he added with a quick smile which obviously looked like a failed attempt to make her smile.

Her heavy breathing brought him back to the present moment. There he was, keeping up his silly promise to try for one last time on his 60th birthday. She didn’t answer. After a pause that probably felt longer than those 35 years, she gathered herself and spoke.

“I really need to get my cup of coffee now. Good night”

Tagged , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: