I saw him for the first time after he was diagnosed with cancer. His health had deteriorated quite alarmingly. Everything about him now reminded me of what he never was; he was a strong man, robust and well-built and even his words had power of their own. But now, now, he struggled to complete a sentence. His skin was so pale you could see the blood vessels getting entangled amongst each other and his muscles so weak he’d moan in pain while lifting a water kettle. His headache and chest pain had become permanent and his eyesight became so weak, he couldn’t place who I was. His knees would make a snapping sound every time he got up and the mere getting up only was an exercise in itself. For the one month he stayed with us, I saw him die from the inside. I remember him saying once, ‘Eat good healthy food. There’s no alternative to health. None.’ If what happened to him, a man full of energy and cheerfulness, is any sign, I have a good lot reasons to worry. I have blatantly refused all the advices on health, I have refused to wake myself up early for some exercise and I have always given the silliest obsessions more importance than health. I always argued with my Maa over this, ‘he was our role model wasn’t he, he never touched cigarette or tobacco or ghutka and see what happened? What is then the point? We all are going to die, no matter what we do.’ She had no counter to it, perhaps because she knew half my focus was always on my phone. I wondered how she managed to love me still, a mystery of sorts, oh wait, she is my mom.
Saturday, May 4
Saturday, April 13
It’s been two years, almost. College seems like yesterday. I didn’t think I'd survive when I joined my classes on the first day but look at me now, never been happier. The sad equation is- if it’s two years for me, it’s three years for you people. Your journey is ending-full of bliss and blues, but it’s ending now in these very moments.
I will try to write it as honestly and ardently as possible, but it’s difficult, right? I never was any good a writer, no matter how much you all lied to convince me.
It scares me now; to think there'd be no one to help when I need, no one to get me credits, no one to tell me which of their batch mates to ogle, no one to advise me how to pass without studying. There have been many instances when I had difficulties but I overcame, without your help; I knew if I needed help, you’d be there. This is essential, isn’t it? To have faith in someone, to have the confidence that you have people to help you, whenever you’re stuck, I suppose.
It’s funny how I sometimes felt more comfortable with you guys than my own batch mates. It wasn’t always like this. I remember when I came to college; I thought my immediate senior batch was a bunch of wannabes. They lived in such a grand fantasy world, walked as if they had conquered Rome, talked as if whatever they spoke was a favor to the humanity. Now, I realize, I was the one living in such a grand fantasy world.
Saturday, March 30
This one month or two I haven’t posted much on hTe osLt. I have been writing though with same dedication; whenever I get time, I start scribbling the things that come to my head, they mostly contain hatred for her, but let’s keep it for a different day. I tried writing full-fledged stories as well, but I could not complete most of them. I have no idea why, maybe, lack of motivation, lack of insights. Anyway, so I have decided, I would let them remain incomplete. How cool it’d be when I become a famous writer one day and die and then people would discover the unpublished gems? Imagination can take you to such delightful conclusions.
I think those stories deserved to remain unfinished. When I read them now, I don’t understand why I wrote them, they are freakishly weird and mature for my taste. One’s about an old man who lost his son in a war and what his son’s sacrifice for the country really meant for him- a life lost because the politicians on both sides couldn’t arrange a talk properly. It remained incomplete. I couldn’t find an end. One’s about a Diwali and its unseen inherent darkness for the less blessed souls. I was thinking once when this one line really stuck me, ‘tum ameer jitna glass me rahisi dikhaane kai liye drink chor dete ho, utna hume peene mil jaye tab bhi chala lenge hum!’ I had to write a story centering on this line. I couldn’t find an end. But when I read them now, they really surprise me and I wonder why I thought like that at that particular juncture of my life. I am happy they are incomplete, for now I can end them in any way I want if I want that is. It is amazing to think that I have the control. Why don’t we have more control in our own story then?
Saturday, March 23
Sunday, March 3
I looked at the phone which was vibrating endlessly, the screen said her name. Why was she calling? We just had a talk in the class. Was she in trouble? She wouldn’t call me otherwise. I picked up the call as fast as it was humanely possible and uttered a ‘hello, what happened? All okay?’ ‘Dudeee, where are you?’ Why was she asking me all this? Should I use the elevator? She was in class I knew, fourth floor. She had stayed for a friend. Elevator or stairs- tell me my brain, which way could I reach her faster? ‘Jayesh, you there?’ the voice brought me back. She was in trouble, I was sure. Her voice was low and different, almost as if she was hiding the call from someone. There was something wrong with everything. I had to rush. I looked at the massive pool of people waiting for the elevator, that’d at least take few minutes; I had to use the stairs. I ran for them. ‘I’m just coming, what’s up?’ I had already reached the second floor when she spoke again slowly but magically, ‘Nothing, I need a coffee, could you get it on your way up, please?’ A coffee? I could get her the whole world if it was up to me. I ran down to the canteen and asked for a coffee. ‘Bhaiya, one coffee, garam dena ekdum!’ I rushed to collect the cup which was filled till the brim, ‘have your garma-garam coffee, hold it properly, you might burn your hand.’ I turned around with the cup carefully shielded with my arms. The warning bell rang. In the rush to get to classes, a fat lady unintentionally pushed me, and the whole cup spilled over my shirt. When the liquid made contact with my skin, I must tell you it was the worst pain ever and I had tears in my eyes immediately. The lady could only utter, ‘I am so sorry, I didn’t see the coffee, I am so sorry!’ How would she, I had the coffee well shielded. I told her its okay when she smiled at me apologetically and left. After cleaning myself, I ordered another coffee. The crowd had dispersed in two minutes. I held the fresh coffee in my hand and started climbing the stairs. I was already late; she was waiting for me probably with a headache or something worse.
If one loves someone, they should at least care about them. Was my love even true? Why didn’t I know she had a headache? Why didn’t I ask her, like every day, whether she was all right? Why was I such a lousy person? This is why she wouldn’t go out with me. I had to make myself a better person-more responsible, more caring, less annoying- only then I’d tell her how much I love her. She deserves the best.