I don't know whether it was love or
friendship, but I was missing her too much that day. I sent her
few messages but no reply came. I tried to call her but nobody
received the call. This had never happened before and one more
thing which had never happened before was that I had never missed
her so much but then I could do nothing but sit back and miss her
I decided to go out to the betel
shop located at the end of our locality. Every evening it turns
into a gossip centre become a good place for time pass,
especially when you are sad, it's good listen the tales of
others. I went out and was on my way. Suddenly it started
raining. Once I thought to return back but since the rain wasn't
too heavy I decided to check out the betel shop first. The rain
reminded me of her even more. I never knew why but tears came out
of my eyes. Then I thanked the rain as it washed away my tears,
at least for that moment.
When I reached the betel shop, I
found it empty, except the shopkeeper, sitting idle in candle
light and mosquitoes having candle light dinner on him. Even he
was sad that day but he had a different reason for his sadness.
'THE MEN IN BLUE', the Indian cricket team lost a match that day.
I never care much about this game where eleven bastards run after
a ball played by another bastard. But I never said these words in
front of the shopkeeper; else he would have eaten the raw flesh
out of me. Breaking the silence, I asked him for a cigarette. He
asked me in a gloomy manner, "which one, menthol?"."Ha! You know
it better than me.", I replied. He handed the cigarette with a
false smile on his face. As I gave him the five rupee coin, I
noticed his hands searching for the lighter. Anyway I didn't need
that thing this time as I had already lit up the piece using the
flames of the candle lighting up the small place.
As I blew off the first strand of
smoke through my nose, I felt satisfied, satisfied for cheating
my parents, cheating all those who care about me and cheating
her. None of those people could ever imagine that I could do this
but this is the real thing in being away from home. After all no
one of the working class becomes a man staying at home. The good
boy at home has become a devil away.
Smoking that burning piece I
started towards my den, the devil's den. My room was just two
doors away when I threw the cigarette and checked my breaths of
the smell. I lived in a house rented to me by a family of Pandits
and there these things were not allowed and I knew this very well
that the day I would be caught smoking or with a beer can, I
would be surely kicked out of he place. As I unlocked my room and
went in, I heard squeaking of rats. Though I am a nature lover
but they have made me to hate them as he had already destroyed
three of my pillows and seven bed sheets, and for a supervisor
living away from his family, this loss is too much. Anyway, now
let's return back, I went in, switched on my television and laid
flat on my bed. A television is quiet uncommon for a man living
away from his family for work. But I had to show my jealous
neighbors, especially Rao aunty, back in my hometown that I left
that place because I am getting a healthy salary and am in a
better condition than her son Bablu, selling eggs all day.
I toggled through the news channels
in search of something interesting but all of them showing the
same thing, big headlines on India's defeat. I laid flat on my
bed. After ten minutes a kid came in with few chapattis and a
little curry on the plate. He was the younger son of the Pandit,
the future Pandit. I tore off the first piece of the chapatti and
was just about to put it into my mouth, news flashed in. It was
about a fire in a shopping mall. I paused my eating as it was
news about her city. The very moment the camera was switched on
too. I can never understand how these reporters come to know
where, what is going to happen and be at the exact place. The
camera was focused on the building. It was burning like hell.
Even 9 vehicles of the fire department were unable to stop it.
Still some of the brave firemen went in to check in for
The news correspondent was trying
to explain he reasons of the fire to the viewers. The camera was
focused on few firemen coming out with a stretcher. It a burnt
body, a brunt body of a girl, a girl who resembled to be likes
her. Seeing this I was frozen, frozen exactly for twenty seconds.
The piece of chapatti fell off my hand and tears rolled down my
eyes. I could not believe what I had seen so I quickly took out
her photo out of my wallet and to make sure it was not her that
was of no use. I sadly switched off the TV and the lights and
took the plate to return it.
I went in and handed the plate to
the Pandit's wife. Seeing the plate she asked, "Son! You haven't
eaten anything today?"
"Not willing to eat."
"Why? What happened?"
"Nothing aunty, just not feeling
She read the sadness on my face and
knew that I was trying to hide something. She again asked, "You
looked depressed, any thing happened at home?"
"No, nothing, everyone fine
"Then you didn't eat any thing. The
food wasn't good today?"
I might have answered that
affirmatively as it is never good but why to cut the branch you
are sitting on. After all they give me three time meal.
I just gave her a false smile and
went into my room, switched off the lights and laid down on my
bed. My eyes still open, searching for something in the darkness.
Suddenly I heard a voice of a girl, "hello friend! Why were you
missing me so much today?" I turned to see if some one was there,
but I saw nothing except darkness. I thought it to be an
illusion. But then I again heard a voice saying, "don't worry,
it's me only, your friend. I had told you that I want you to meet
again but the fate didn't allow us to do so, so I had to come
Time passed on, her voice became a
part of my life, helping me in every steps. She was there
whenever I needed help, whenever I was happy, whenever I was
Yesterday was some thing special
for me. I was to be promoted to the post of assistant manager, so
I woke up early, bowed down before the pictures of my parents as
they were my only gods as I am an atheist. I heard her voice as
usual, "good luck friend." "Thanks friend, I really need to be on
time today." I replied. "Then hurry up!" she said.
But last night something unusual
happened. I woke up suddenly. It was about one at night. I was
surprised to see her in full body, standing by my bed. She came
closer to me and said, "You are finally there where I wanted you
to see. Today is my last visit. I have to return now, return to
the world of spirits." I wanted to speak up but I could not. I
silently saw her going away. I wanted to hold her by her hands
and say, "please stop, don't go, I still need you, and I don't
want to lose a friend like you." I tried a lot to move but all my
efforts went in vain.
Today morning when I woke up, I
found myself lying on the floor. Today is one of the saddest days
of my life. Five years passed of her death. Today time has
changed a lot. I am getting a much higher salary, a salary high
enough to burn Rao aunty to ash, a higher post, and I had said a
good bye to all my bad habits but I still miss her the way I
missed her that day. And I still don't know whether it was love
-Sushant Kumar Das