You know, as Sandhya spoke of all that conspired in her life, I was constantly trying to shield the scream that I wanted to release. The anger which was evident by little grunts out of my mouth was almost unbelievable. If you’ll ask me why so angry, I’ll counter-question, was I supposed to be happy? I’ve never understood this abusive father theme. And to imagine the pain that Sandhya went through, it’s not something worth even mentioning in few broken words.
That particular day, for the first time in a long while it seemed that I’ll have a good day. It was a nice morning, the sun was shining just enough to not make it a hot day. The wind was blowing steadily, the birds were chirping and best of all, no traffic jam in reaching the office.
Am I digressing? Don’t worry, I didn’t forgot about my Sandhya, how could I? I’m just trying to muster up my courage to tell you the next part of the story. Life not easy, as it is, and add few daunting circumstances and it just becomes impossible. But that’s where we talk about human spirit, the will to rise against every odd. On that particular morning, I never felt more ashamed by the fact that I am a man.
I didn’t had the strength to hear anymore words that could have come out of her mouth. One simple line and I ended up putting my hands on her mouth. I told you that I’ve always felt frustrated that I cannot cry. I cried with her. There wasn’t any alternative.
“The day he tore away my clothes,” seven words, seven words that struggled to escape her mouth, seven words that made her tears more acrid that I possibly could have fathomed. Seven words that made both of us cry. There is a bond that forms between two individuals when they cry together, I don’t know how it works, but it happens nonetheless.
“You know how they say, yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery. Well I’m alive but there’s not much left of me,” Sandhya said, her breaths ragged, her voice supressed.
What was I supposed to say after that? What sort of wisdom could I’ve shown her? As I said before, in that moment, I felt so insignificant that even my words shied.
Often an expression’s worth a thousand words. The fact that I cried, my head on her shoulder, hers on mine, maybe made her understand that. She understood I felt her pain, my sympathy was evident by every tear that soaked her shirt.
All things yield to time and pressure and I wasn’t any different. Memories after relentless memories kept sending me one step more towards an abyss. The sound of sliding doors, ringing and the voice of a female announcer suddenly brought me out of my reverie and I ran out of metro before the gates could close.
If it rained in the morning, you would expect the weather to be very pleasant at quarter past five in the evening, right? Well, welcome to Delhi. Pleasant weather in Delhi is a myth. Even though it had rained in the morning, the evening was unbelievably humid, well if it rain in Delhi that was to be expected. I was out of the metro walking towards the Auto rickshaw stand, it wasn’t an amble, running would be more accurate. I wanted to be home as soon as I could.
Soaked shirt, itchy arms and irritating eyes, the epitome of humid evenings in Delhi. I would not mind sweat when it is pouring from the hand of a guitarist creeping on the handle of guitar, swirling in the air. Now that’s a metal moment. But when it soaked every little portion of my body, creeping from every pore you can think of, on a day when it rained so heavy in the morning, it ends up becoming unbearable.
On a side note, I experienced something very nice that evening. One single moment which soothed an otherwise horrible day. Travelling back and forth between my office and my home, that’s the worst part of my day and the only one I hate. Anyways, half the way I travel by sharing autos. If you do not know what I mean by that, then these are the autorickshaws in which instead of three passengers, there are seven people cramped, sweating profusely. So, that day was the same and then the phone of the Auto driver rang. Now, like most of them, he didn’t picked up the phone and carried on driving, he drove the autorickshaw to the side of the road, stopped it and then picked up his call, talked for twenty seconds saying I’ll call you back, I’m currently driving.
I know it doesn’t sound much to a lot of you but then again you haven’t travelled using sharing auto. The day you do, you’ll understand. I know it sounds pathetic but little moments like that, on certain days, restore my faith in humanity. Talk about anti-climax.
There is a quote by Paul Betty, “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here but it can never forget what we did here.” The only thought in my mind at that moment when I was cramped up with six other people and sweating profusely was this, “I’ve loved Radhika my whole life, we’ve dreamed our lives together, and we have vowed our existence to each other. But would she remember all that when I tell her about Sandhya? Would my words become immaterial by my actions?”
We doubt so we can believe. I believed that the fact I’d known Radhika for eleven years would far outweigh the affection of four months I had for Sandhya. Only if we never worked on that one article together. Only if Kabir hadn’t forced me into it. I had tried with all my might but all in vain. I ended up knowing Sandhya either way.
We all do same things for different reasons. Life is nothing but a curse disguised as a blessing. Are personalities inherent or are they malleable, influenced by everything from books to parents to friends to films to music. This is something I still struggle with, am I product of my upbringing or my conscience. Could two of them be equally important? I’ve no idea.
Was I forced, maybe driven towards Sandhya? Or maybe it was all meant to be either way? I’m not a cheat. I’m not even a good friend I guess. For only once I tried to be something and I ended up feeling like a cheat and a backstabbing friend. I read it once, “Life is a struggle to find yourself, so don’t ever let anyone judge you. They’re doing the same thing. Inside of ourselves, we are all lost.”
Maybe I realized it a little late. Only if I knew that before I first talked to Sandhya.