Monday 15 February 2016

S13: "Time Changes Everything"

Her flight was 30 minutes late. She just attended her son’s funeral in Delhi and was going to her friend’s place in Mumbai.
In the airport, she walked to the Starbucks cafe and ordered a coffee. She placed her handbag and the remaining things on the table and had a seat.
She took her phone, opened the gallery and started reminiscing with her memories. The first photo she saw was a happy selfie with her husband before 6 years when they were immensely in love.
Her husband was her classmate when she was doing her masters in Delhi. He was an energetic hunk who was a charmer and a heartthrob for many girls.
Her lips smiled forcibly but her eyes were worn and dried out.
The next photo she swiped was when they both eloped as their parents did not agree to their decision of marriage. She and her husband were on his bike with packed suitcases and with a board in her hand saying ‘Just married’.
That’s when she got separated from her parents. Since then, they never called her and never answered her calls.
She smiled again even more forcibly.
Her eyes were saying that she was deprived of sleep since many days. They were dark red and bulged out.
She kept seeing the photos. The next one was when she was pregnant. Happiness was filled immensely in the photo.
 Her husband was holding a beer in his hand and she was hugging him with a widened smile. Her eyes were filled with joy and excitement in the photo.
She swiped with a speed for the next one. It was in the hospital. She was holding her baby boy and her husband was kissing on her forehead. Every corner of the photo was filled with love and joy.
She dropped her phone and closed her eyes. Tears were hardly coming from her eyes. She sat there without any movement.
The waitress brought the coffee. After a moment, she picked her phone and swiped again.
Another photo was when her baby boy first learned to walk. She was holding his hands and her husband holding a beer in his hand.
Her hands shivered when she swiped on to the next one.
She took a lungful of air and swiped again.
The next photo was her husband being unconscious on the floor. He was no more a charmer. He put on much more weight. He looked so different. He not only looked like an alcohol addict but also became one.
There were no more tears left for her to cry and was nothing left in her life to cry on.
The next one was the photo of her dairy in which she wrote everything about her life.
She was not very fond of writing but maybe she didn’t find any other way to share her feelings with. The dairy was the only shoulder for her to cry on.
The next photo was a soul-stirring one. It was her son’s photo who got admitted in the hospital as he was suffering with cancer. They discovered it at its last stage.
She spent many nights with tears. They became her best friend. She left her job after having a baby. Now she was in need of money and emotional support.
She called her parents. But her parents didn’t respond her. She felt lost.
The one for which she left her parents were not there with her at that moment. She didn’t know where her drunkard husband was. She didn’t know what to do.
She went to her best friend, the only hope she had. She was her childhood friend who was there with her throughout her life. She shared her laughs, giggles, tears, breakdowns and everything. Now she was a very successful woman who also runs a publishing house.
She went to her friend and collapsed on the floor, ‘please help me, He is dying’. Her friend immediately gave her the cash. ‘Don’t worry, I am there for u’.
She took the required cash and ran to the hospital. For her surprise, she saw her husband standing outside the hospital and looked so nervous.
As soon as he saw her, he came running to her and hugged her.
‘I am sorry’, he said.
She regained all the hope with that one hug and that one sorry.
‘I didn’t know that our son was..’, he began to cry.
At that moment, she felt that the whole world was with her. Her eyes were sparkling with hope. She hugged him back and said’ I got the money, we can save him’.
He looked at her, consoled himself and said ‘give me, I’ll pay there. You go and get these medicines,’ he gave a receipt of medicines to her.
She gave the money to him and ran to the medical shop to get the medicines. She had the feeling that her family will be complete one more time and happiness will visit her home one more time.
She took the medicines and headed towards her son’s ward. The nurse came running towards her. ‘Mam I am horrified to see this negligence. If you can’t afford a son, then don’t give birth to one. Your son is dying there and you are walking leisurely here.’
 She had no clue what the nurse was talking about. ‘But..But my husband came and paid the bill before an hour.’
‘Mam no one paid the bill. This is not the time to play with miscommunication. We have no time at all. Mam, do you understand? Please pay it immediately’, said the nurse.
 It was legit to become angry, after all he is a 5yrs boy. He has a life to live and he can’t be killed by negligence or lack of money.
She dropped down the medicines. I can’t say she is heartbroken. Heartbroken is a petty word at that time. It was intense. Her heart was frozen. She was numb.
She had no idea what was going on. Nothing was audible. Nothing was visible. She came out and sat on the steps of the hospital. The hope which was patting her back 5 minutes before was no more seen around her. She felt like her heart and brain stopped working.
As she was sitting there, the nurse came running to her, she kept her hand on her shoulder and said’ Mam you are here, I was searching for you in the whole hospital.’ She seemed so depressed. ‘Mam I am so sorry we lost him’.
The words were barely reaching her ears. It was like someone was whispering from a far distance. She can’t even see her clearly. Everything was dark and gloomy.
‘Mam’, the nurse shook her arms vigorously.’ Are you listening?’
She now heard the words clearly. She went inside the hospital.
She felt the whole weight of her heart in her legs. She was unable to walk. She forced herself to her son’s room. She saw him lying on the bed. Everything stood still. She was just breathing but she felt like she is also dead along with her son.
 She cleared the formalities and took her son back home. She stood there in front of her son’s dead body benumbed.
Her friend came and started crying by seeing the dead body. ‘What happened’, her friend shouted.
She turned to her friend. Now she felt that her senses were back, her heart started thumping again. She collapsed. She cried her heart out. Her friend hugged her and tried to console her. She was nowhere in control. She was sobbing terrifically. She was crying as if her sound would reach her son who was on his way to heaven and make him to come back.
She cried the entire night. They both did all the rituals.
Neither her husband was with her nor her parents. The only one who was with her was her friend.  Her friend asked her to come and stay with her in Mumbai.
She placed her phone on the table, besides her phone there was a book, she picked up the book and read ‘TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING BY SAHAJA GUPTA’.
Her smile rejoiced and now not her lips were smiling but her eyes were smiling.
The dairy in which she wrote everything came to life. Her friend took that dairy and get it published. Her friend not only gave her story a life but also gave Sahaja a new life.

She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. She held the book in her hand. It was her debut not only in the writing career but also in her new rejuvenated life.

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