Divya was there lying in the bed. Eyes closed, brows crooked and with deliberate breathing, she was willing herself. To live.
Not that she feared death. Just that she didn’t feel complete. She wryly smiled as she remembered Bhishma who had the boon of choosing his time of death.
Divya was 42 and diagnosed with hell a lot of complications that we won’t go into their names. Suffice to say that the doctors had given up all hope and advised that it would be best that she spend her last days in home. She lived alone in her father’s house. She was being taken care of by a nurse. Last two weeks she had some of her relatives frequenting her place – some offering solace and some who felt that they have to atleast once show their head there.
Till she became indisposed, which was about two months back, she was working in a software company. 20 years back Divya got a job here. And she held on to it with all the sincerity and faithfulness. She respected the company for what it made of her. And the company recognized her too. More than anything, it helped her occupy her mind with something.
For her mind was in turmoil ever since……
Ravi came like a whiff of fresh air into her life. Divya was there sitting along with her father. It was the day of joining at the college. She had chosen Civil Engineering. Not out of any love for the subject. More out of circumstances. She was cursing herself and her fate that landed her in this god forsaken college which looked more like a breeding ground for thugs and rustics than the cradle of knowledge which it boasted itself to be. She saw him there at a distance, happily chirping away with a group of guys. He had a file in his hand. Probably he too was a new joinee. She wondered how he could interact so openly with strangers. She smiled to herself. Good for him, don’t dream of things you cant do.
There was a knock at the door. Divya groaned, for she could do little else. Her nurse woke up and opened the door. It was 3 in the afternoon. That time of the day when no one visited her. He came in. His stride was uncertain. His face looked aged. Hesitantly he sat beside her.
‘So you have come?’ asked Divya.
He kept silent.
She could sense a lump in his throat and his eyes had a glistening look. She didn’t ask any further. She could feel the heat well up in her stomach and her air passage. All those years of torture and she couldn’t release her frustrations to anybody. And now he was here. If she hated anybody, it was him.
It started out with stolen glances. Then those giddy moments spent sitting next to each other in library. Soon they were talking with each other. Ravi came from Alwarpet in Chennai. She was from Avadi. Being Chennaiites was the common denominator. He liked her, she liked him. They were chalk and cheese combination. He was a chatter box. She preferred being quite. He was irrational and she had a mature and straight head. But when they were together, they shared a rapport which couldn’t be found anywhere. As they reached their final year, they started talking about their life ahead. Everything seemed picture perfect. Post college, they remained in touch over phone. She had landed a job in Chennai and himself in Trichy. They were earning good name in their companies. They met each other once a month. They got introduced to each other’s parents. If she loved anybody with all her heart, it was him.
‘You still believe in torturing. Don’t you?’ she mocked through her pain.
He hung his head down.
‘How did you get to know of me?’
‘News passes around’
‘So I am news now eh?’
He kept quiet.
‘You know….I have often prayed to God that I shouldn’t see you again. My life would definitely have been a lot better if I hadn’t seen you’
Her voice was becoming choked. Her breathing spoke of struggle.
‘Everyone who knew me, who loved me tried their best to make me forget you. But I couldn’t. I loved you. But more than that, my hatred towards you consumed so much of me and my efforts.’
‘Divya, I know whatever I say cannot undo all the wrongs I have done to you’
He was stung by the viciousness in her voice. But kept quiet coz he knew that he was in the wrong.
‘Come here’, she said as she gestured him to draw closer. She tenderly laid her withering hand on his cheeks. ‘I forgive you’
Ravi clutched her hands and broke down. He cried unashamedly. No words could encapsulate what he felt. She didn’t tell anything further. When he calmed down, all she said was – “Get Lost”
He could see a triumphant smirk in her face. He accepted that, not wanting to snatch the one final moment of control she held over him. He went away. She died. With a burden removed from their hearts.