Nov 30, 2023
Nov 30, 2023
It is early June and it is 9:30 in the night. I sit in the dark room hoping against hope that Purush would walk in and switch the light on. It is three months since Purush walked out of my life, in fact out of this world. And living has just become a habit since then. Three months back when Purush kissed me on my forehead and promised to bring me a pair of clogs back from Amsterdam I was thrilled, but even before the words got into my head Purush died in an accident. A huge container truck lost control and hit the car in which Purush was traveling and even before help could arrive Purush had left this world for good.
As I was sitting there staring into the garden and thinking about the past, I saw the little kid next door leave its mothers hand run across the lawn. The kid fell down and started to cry. But never the less it got up and started to walk again. I remembered one such night Purush and myself were sitting in the same place talking, when Purush said, "Life is like that sweet heart, as kids we fall down but that doesn't stop us from learning to walk, the same story with cycling, swimming and so many other things. I hope you understand that it is the same when some one leaves us, we will have to gather ourselves and move on. It is just one small wound in life, and if one small wound doesn't stop you from standing up and walking again it should not stop you from living a normal life either. I am sure we will get used to the loss and who knows we might even find some one to fill that empty spot."
I met Purush at one of the Desi get-togethers five years back. I had just landed in this country and that was my first time out of the country. It was just a few days since I had arrived and was still put up in company accommodation. I was looking for a place to stay and I was also looking for friends of my taste. As luck would have it, the guy who lived in Purush's house as a paying guest had just moved out and he was looking for someone to occupy that place. The idea of staying alone with a guy did not appeal to me but I was in a great hurry to find a place to stay and so I decided to move in with Purush at least for the time being. It was supposedly a big house and I could have my privacy and if I had any problems I could always move out.
The next day, as promised, Purush brought his car and helped me move into his house. If I had not known that Purush was single my first reaction when I entered his house would have been to ask for his wife. The house was picture perfect. It was a surprise for me to see a clean and well-decorated house. I always thought that bachelors never maintained their house. At least that is the impression that all the bachelors that I had met so far had given me. By the time I neatly arranged my room and came down dinner was ready. And surprisingly again Purush was a good cook.
As time went by I realized that Purush was a cleanliness freak like me. We had quite a bit in common but we were very different too. Purush was very organized while I was totally disorganized and would live in my own world and forget things. Before each trip of his he would leave me a written list of work to do, just in case I forgot. I did everything in a pace so fast that everyone around me felt that the world was going to end the next minute and Purush on the contrary was relaxed and enjoyed doing everything slowly. Purush would always say "Life is short, so we should enjoy every minute of it". I guess he was right and I am sure he enjoyed every minute of the life that he lived.
We lived in the same house for full five years. We laughed and cried, fought with each other and had good times too. There were so many things I started to like just because he liked them and vice versa. In fact I had graduated from reading comics to serious books because of him. He would give me a book, wait for me to finish and then we would have great discussions on what impressed us most in the book and why. We got along very well with each other. Both of us loved books, music and chatting. Night after night we would sit in the living room facing the garden and discuss everything under the sun. We talked about caste and religion, economy and poverty, literature and poetry, science and fiction and anything that we read about or heard about during the day.
He always had surprises for me. He would leave notes inside my lunch box, flowers in the bedroom, chocolates hidden inside envelopes dropped through the letter-slot and many more. Purush's job involved travel and each time he went out he always came back with gifts for me. Over a period of time our relationship got promoted from housemates to friends. As good friends we never hesitated to correct each other, criticize each other and the same time praise each other when required. We were there always at each other's side when required. Time flew, and after five years of living together we were still trying to find out where our relationship was heading. It was after one such serious discussion regarding our relationship that he decided that he would leave the matter for a while, at least till he came back from Amsterdam to decide what we were going to do about our future. The next day he kissed me good bye and never came back again.
I got up from the couch and walked towards the bedroom. Yes, tomorrow will be another day, another dawn. I have a purpose in life and I have to live. And sure Purush would not want me to spend my life like this. I open my wardrobe and pick out the best sari and set everything ready for the next day. Yes Purush, I fell and hurt myself till I got used to walking. I got suffocated and held on to the Dad till I learnt swimming. The first time I left home I felt lonely till I got used to my new home and new friends, now I will not worry, as I will get used to living the remaining life without you. As I turn off the light I can see Purush smile and say, "Yes dear Prakriti, life goes on"
More by : Shyamala Sathiaseelan