Monday, January 16, 2017

"Goodbye my friend!"

Karn,” Poorvi said tiredly as Karn sat tiredly in a corner. The scariest part was that Karn was not doing anything. He was just looking ahead in a glazed sight, watching nothing. “Karn, you have not eaten for nearly two days,” Poorvi tried again. “Please eat.” Not that Poorvi really expected Karn to listen. But she wanted to at least try to do something. “You need to let her go.”
How could she plan for everything?”
It took quite some time for Poorvi to even understand what Karn had said and when she understood, the pity which filled her was threatening to burst open. Karn did not deserve this. He was one of the good guys.
And his words kept haunting Poorvi..How could she plan for everything? Despite being a brilliant businessman, Karn was always a little haphazard in everything – sudden and impulsive. Kriya was his stabilizing factor. The one thing which made sure that Karn did not act without thinking. In fact, she was the one who had moved their love story to its logical end. She always had that crazy, lovely gleam as she put down their marriage to her impeccable planning.
A love story which had been brought to a brutal end, by nature.....
There was a part of Poorvi which realized that this was the first sentence that Karn had spoken in the two days that they had come back from the hospital. And in those two days, Poorvi and Sridhar had not seen Karn do anything…other than stare around. Karn’s look was so vacant that it was almost painful to watch him. He was languishing all alone. Karn was not one who made friends easily. He had three friends in his entire life and he had married his best friend.
And right now, his other two friends could not get Karn to open up. All the more pity, because if they could not, no one else could either.
She is gone, Karn,” Poorvi begged the man before her. “Please accept it, Karn.”
Karn said nothing, as he just remained in the same position, not moving.
Karn please,” Poorvi said tiredly.
Denying it to yourself, does not help.”
All the three turned to see a tired old man walk inside the home.
And Karn for the first time in two days, winced. Here was an old man who had it worse than him. Karn had just lost his wife but the old man before him had lost his daughter – a beautiful life which the old man had helped create. And despite that, Vishwas Vardhan was here, in his house.
For the first time in two days, Karn felt the darkness around him dissipate a little as he was trying to shake himself out of his listlessness.
And take it from an old man,” Vishwas said as his lips were trembling a little. The slight tuft of hair in his head looked wrong and his shirt was wrongly buttoned. But no one noticed it. “I have lost one daughter.” Vishwas said in a broken tone as he saw the young man before him. “I cannot lose my son too,” Vishwas said trying to speak in a firm voice as he was studying his daughter’s love. “She wanted me to show you something in case something happened to her. Finish eating and I will give it to you.” Vishwas said.
Karn had no recollection of exactly what he had eaten. In fact Karn did not even remember that he had eaten something, let alone, give a name to it.
Vishwas opened a tiny box in front of him and handed it over to Karn. It had a pen drive. Kriya’s beautiful handwriting was clear as Karn’s hands started trembling again as he was struggling not to moan. Kriya had written this and given it to her father to be given for him. What must she have felt when she gave the pen drive to her father, Karn could not even begin to guess. Kriya was dying and she knew it. And still she had found time to record something for him.
A small piece of paper was lying inside the box as Karn took it first. It was a prescription form. Like the ones which the doctors prescribed for her.
And Kriya had hated hospitals, doctors and prescription forms, in that order. She would forget to take her tablets – Karn would try his best to force her to eat the tablets on time, but she just would not listen to him.
Written on the same hated prescription in Kriya’s neat handwriting were just two sentences.
To be seen only once a day.
And throw it away after six months.
Karn’s heart was beating so hard as he saw Kriya’s handwriting, though admittedly what she wrote made no sense at all.
Karn was all alone in his room as he plugged the pen drive inside the laptop and waited. His heart was beating hard, as he saw that the pen drive had a video.
Kriya was in the hospital bed, but with her killer smile. No one could even guess that the woman was dying and she was dying slowly…painfully. Most people would miss the sunken eyes which showed the lack of sleep. But Karn saw it all and it hurt him badly.
Because despite all that, Kriya looked beautiful in the video – like she always looked – like she had an incredible secret. One which she was going to tell him.
The video on the pen drive started suddenly without any preamble and Karn was broken up even before he finished hearing her first line.
Beat you to it mister,” Kriya said and she gave a throaty laugh.
I know that was not funny,” Kriya continued and she still looked like she was going to laugh again. “Just could not resist it.” Kriya continued. “I hope you had food. Starving yourself is not going to change anything.” Kriya said with utmost seriousness.
Now she was worried about him, Karn was almost feeling savage as he saw Kriya’s dimpled smile. Neither age nor illness could take that away. If she was so worried, why the hell did she go away? When he had married her, he promised her that he would stay with her forever. And she just broke her promise. Just like that.
I am really sorry, Karn. I really did not plan much for this.” Kriya sounded slightly peeved as she continued in a matter-of-fact tone. “Honestly, I did not know much to plan for it. Never been dead before.
Karn swore so viciously that he practically could not hear what Kriya said after that. He shut down the damned video, willing the blood rushing to his ears to calm down or that his hands stopped trembling. He was not watching this crap. He was not watching this. He was never watching this.
Three seconds later, Karn found himself staring at Kriya as she was talking. No matter how much he had resolved not to see it, he just could not stop himself. It was almost beyond him.
I know you are making a weird list in your mind of why this is happening and you must have probably even convinced yourself that all that is happening is your fault.” Kriya looked confused and shrugged. “Though honestly I cannot figure out how you can blame yourself for this one. But you have genuine talent for that – left to yourself, you would probably blame yourself for the sunrise.” Kriya giggled as Karn snarled and nearly punched the computer screen in front of him, stopping himself at the last minute.
Anyway I am rambling,” Kriya continued as Karn was panting. “The most important thing which I had to tell you is that, you Mr. Karn Mathur, are a great guy. You made me feel like a queen,” Kriya said with a proud smile. “And I enjoyed all the time I was with you, even through all your grumpy seriousness,” Kriya said with an impossible smile. “I just hope you enjoyed your time with me, my friend.
Karn was finding it difficult to breathe. The woman was lying. Queens did not die like this. They died after living a full life…happy….
And with all this lying, the woman was still not done.
Wait! I forgot to tell you something important,” Karn almost whipped his head up to the screen as he was appalled to find cold tears in his cheeks. “I forgot to tell you, there is a tiny matter of my will. Got a lot of money, after becoming your wife. More than I even knew what to do with,” Kriya rolled her eyes, sighing as Karn swore again. “I used some of the money for funding those orphanages at the outskirts. You did not need the money. So that is what I want from you. Can you make sure the money reaches the right people? It will give you something to do besides staring grumpily at the wall.
Her dimpled smile was driving Karn nuts.
And please Mr. Mathur, your chapter with me is over. Begin a new book. Try to make some other woman happy. I would be with you, no matter what.” Kriya frowned for a few seconds, “I did not mean for that to come out in a creepy sort of way. Seriously, I am not going to haunt you.” Kriya said with her same killer dimple, “Goodbyes should always be short, my friend. They work best.”
********
Karn removed the pen drive and shook his head.
He had been listening to it for six months now.
Originally watching the video hurt him. A lot. But he could not stop himself.
He ate his food, thinking that he had to watch the video. And every time he saw it, the message felt like she was talking to him. He needed to see her. Her dimpled smile, her mischievous eyes...Just to remind himself that he knew an impossibly crazy woman.
And after watching the video for a month, Karn made a sudden discovery – He realized that his wife loved him and she really meant everything that she had said. Every single word.
That was the day Karn cried. His wife was not coming back.
Karn did not know why but he felt better after that. Things seemed clearer, the pain duller and people more easy to understand after that. Why...Karn did not know. Which was why, between his office work and his charity work, Karn watched the video. Just hoping that she would explain something else to him. Sometimes, Karn just needed to look at her. Just gaze at her and think nothing else.
And now for the first time in six months, Karn felt brave enough to even say goodbye to her.
Six months...Karn smiled to himself as he put the pen drive inside the box which his father-in-law had given him. He was not going to need it. She had told him that he was not see it after that. And Karn trusted her. Implicitly. Karn realized that he was special because he knew a woman who not only had the capacity to laugh at Life, she was even brave enough to laugh at Death and she could plan for it. Plan her death for him.

Goodbye my friend,” He told the pen drive, not knowing that there was a small tear in his eye.

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