I am thinking of her today. That girl who was one of the most talkative among all of our batch in the engineering college. That girl who never stopped smiling and cracking the silliest of jokes even during class hours. That girl who gathered a crowd around her in the hostel and made them listen to her elaborately woven ‘true’ stories. That girl who never bothered to respect the exams or the associated nervousness and yet scored a respectable number on the result day. That girl who played with words and minced them to her desire, hurting a few sensitive souls in the process, but was always quick to realize and apologize wholeheartedly. That girl whose father was a manager in a firm and whose mother was the principal of a college and who never tried to hide the pride of a sophisticated upbringing. That girl who wore tight salwars and light makeup, but always adjusted her dupatta to make sure her voluptuous bosoms were covered well. That girl who spoke boldly, laughed loud and invariably had a tease in her eye.
But mostly, I remember her as that girl who narrated episodes of her love story, with a glint of naughty smirk every time. He was her cousin, a close cousin. He lived very close to her place. He was dark and strong. He was the only son. He hated studies and dropped out of school after 10th. He was stubborn, never listened to parents. And, he was in love, with her. Very very much in love ..almost bordering crazy. He thought he owned her. He died a little every time any other guy looked at her, or if she looked at them. He bit his tongue hard every time she spoke ( mostly to play him) about someone she admired. He relentlessly kept at her and professed his undying love, persistently.
She loved him back too, spent a lot of time with him whenever she visited home. They fought, kissed and made up every time. But, she always had her doubts. He is hardly educated. And, there was this other distant cousin who lived abroad and visited once a while. He was well mannered, sophisticated and charming. And, he seemed to like her much.”This rough stubborn guy who refuses to stop loving me or that refined charming guy who promises to sweep me away?” was her unabashed question most times. Any of our replies hardly mattered.
Today, I heard about her from my close friend. She finally responded to a email written 2 years back. She finally wrote why she was not in the scene all these years.
She ended up eloping with the rough stubborn guy, much to her parents dismay. While he did menial jobs, she found a well paid job in a reputed company. She worked hard and things almost looked happy. Then, she got pregnant. Sometime after the delivery she was offered a project overseas and it was too good to be true. However, when the bags were packed and ready, her sky broke loose. The baby was diagnosed with abnormal brain development..she would not talk or walk, ever.
As for now, she is home, quit her job after strenuous efforts to keep at it and guilt pulling her back. She spends all the hours of the day taking care of the child while the husband drives a rented auto rickshaw to make ends meet.”I know I am sailing in a sinking boat and I don’t even know how to swim. It is just the matter of time when I will drown and breathe my last”, she wrote.
I have been numb with pain since I heard this and cannot stop picturing her laugh in the hostel corridor, that laugh until tears flowed down.
Fate can be so atrocious ..??!
The heavy knot in my chest seems to be growing bigger…and all I can do is pray hard. Please God, make her pains go away. Help her smile her luminous smile again. Help her..Please…