Friday, September 5, 2008

Stranger

I woke up that morning. It was another mind numbing morning. I looked out, nothing special. Season can’t change overnight, I know. But still something in me urges that things will be different a change will come today and at last will end the wait. The heaviness of my heart has grown with each passing day just like a kid who grows up without letting you know. I left my bed no hangovers, no dizziness I didn’t even realize for once that how and when I became insomniac. But they say love eats up your sleep but then love makes life beautiful, fills it up with colors. Where is my part of happiness? This question has become stale just like the untouched fruits on my dining table. I buy them every day in a hope that may be today he will eat it but like last 3kgs of apples these 2kgs of oranges will not get any hunger to satisfy and end up in my trash with 100s of medicinal bottles. I walked till my mirror and gazed deep in my eyes, blank but the dark circles have become more persistent. And I read one thing in my eyes, it is going to be 7am the visiting time I have to get ready. Wait has now become an integral part of my life. I can wait, wait and wait. I moved my gaze from my eyes to the couch where he was lying 3 months ago. I haven’t cleaned the couch as it still smells of him, his blood stains have turned into black spots the spots which have shaken my whole life. I went into the bathroom and turned on the shower the touch of the water gave me a relief as if I am hugging someone very near and dear. Like past 3 months I again went back to that day.
My life was never great, after spending 18 years in orphanage; my orphanage left me to let me be something. Neither had they had money nor I had but hunger is more dangerous than death and to kill it you have to earn money. So I started working as a waitress in a tea shop. Being happy was neither my motto in my life nor I was a sadist. But that day was different than others. A hope aroused that may be even I can be happy. It was a cloudy evening he came by the backdoor and took the last seat. Seeing a customer I went to him with a menu card as big as a visiting card the main purpose for making small menu card was the people who can even lift a menu card. Our eyes met he had the deep blue eyes which turned into amber as soon as light fell on them and I felt a spark. Love at first sight does happen. He ordered a mint tea with extra sugar, so he loves sweet I thought. Without wasting a moment I went and prepared it and presented it in front of him but before he could finish it a call came in his cell phone and he rushed out from the backdoor. From that day onwards he became a regular customer but we never talked except him giving the order and I telling him the bill amount. I kept on staring at him and when sometimes I used to catch him staring back at me it used to make up my day. I was in love and it was blossoming. Now I had a goal to live for and a reason to be happy. Exactly 3 weeks passed it was 10’o clock in the night. It was raining cats and dogs. The rain drops were making a violent sound just like 10 cannons releasing bullets at one go. The asbestos roof was shaking as if it just wants to break and let the rain go in. someone entered from the back door without knocking, I knew it was him. Questions came buzzing in my head just like 1000 bees. Has he come to meet me? Has he come to tell me about his feelings? Or has he just come to fulfill my desires and his lust? But before I could say something to him he said “save me take me to your home” and he fell on the floor. I stood there unconsciously as if the thunder has somehow found a way in and hit me. His blood was flowing all over just like the milk I spilled in the morning but I couldn’t see the source of the blood coming out. I tried to pull him up and with a very little help from his side as well I dragged him till the wooden top floor of the shop where I live. I made him lie down on my milky white couch which turned into red with his blood instantly. I was feeling feeble without any strength of my own. But then I saw him and the fire of love sparked again. I went close to him, his hot breathe touched my cheeks. I was longing for this feeling, it came and I never expected it will come in this way. With lots of courage I went towards his forehead and kissed him he made a small movement like an injured tiger succumbing to death. I leaped back but couldn’t move my eyes from him what if he stops breathing? And suddenly I stood up went down to the shop and dialed the emergency number of the government hospital nearby. They came in less than 10 minutes. They started moving him from my couch and then down the shop and out of the front door. I was also moving with them they asked me “Are you with him?” I said “yes he is my fiancé”. The last sentence gave me a self satisfaction as if I have conquered many war, it gave me a happiness I couldn’t define. I entered into the ambulance with them. The fear, the satisfaction, the shock all suddenly became preoccupied by a single question who is he? And for next five minutes I lost my connection with this world. The ambulance came to a halt outside the hospital. They rushed him in suddenly the white robbed persons came running towards me, out of the blue I realized this is a hospital and I have to act brave so that people believe the lie that he is my fiancé. I started making false stories in my mind stories which they can believe actually. And as I expected a doctor came to me and asked how he got hurt so badly in his head. At that moment I realized that it was actually his head that was hurt. After an uncomfortable pause I said he tripped off from the stairs and without asking anything further they moved towards the operation theatre and told me to fill the form. With heavy steps I proceeded towards the registration desk. Why they didn’t ask me any more questions? How can they be so convinced by a false story? May be because they don’t like to bother the poor too much as they know if they call police their part of hospital fees will be divided into two parts. I took the form and the first question made me aware that he is a stranger whom I love and can’t lose at any cost. Name of the patient- I filled Junaid. It was the name of my best friend from orphanage who never spoke to me as he was deaf and dumb but I knew he fancied me. An upward curve came to my straight lips I realized it was a smile. Like so many lies I filled the form with many more lies. I found a rickety vacant chair outside the operation theatre and tried to make my distressed body a bit comfortable. The clock stroke 12 midnight. I was too tired but the anxiousness didn’t allow me to close my eyes for once. I kept on staring at the glowing red light of the OT. How can it glow so brightly when someone inside is fighting from death? I stared around. There is something different in the ambience of the hospital I felt. A lady was weeping at the far left corner she must have lost someone very dear. It was the night time so most of the cases were emergency cases I realized. Doctors and nurses running here and there continuously like cars in a busy street. I read a poster and tried to absorb and believe the words written out there ‘god cannot be everywhere, so he created doctors’. More than god, now I have to believe the doctors who by now must be tearing the skull of my love apart to fix it up. And then I fixed my gaze on the clock 1, 2, 3 and when it stroke 7 in the morning the red light went dull and the doctors came out. I stood up but had no courage and energy to run towards them. They came and said “operation was successful” but before I could rejoice these words they said “but the next 36 hours are very crucial.” The numbness again filled me up. My love came out on a stretcher with bandages all over the face; his face has swelled up comparatively. He was then taken to the ward number 4 bed no. 10, the last bed in the ward. 36 hours passed by I waited for him to stir and open his eyes to stare at me with those blue eyes. Doctors came and told me “we are sorry Junaid is in coma and we don’t know after how many hours or months he will wake up”. I couldn’t believe but I said “I am ready to wait”.
From that day onwards 98 days have passed by and I am still waiting. I turned off the shower wrapped a towel and came out. I looked at my closet I saw a black dress no I can’t wear it I can feel some change is going to come today but it can’t be a bad one. So I wore the red dress I was wearing the first day I met my love. I picked up the oranges, locked the door and went downstairs opened the shop and moved out. In past 98 days the owner of the shop had died and I know how? I needed money for his treatment and the only way was by owning the shop. I don’t regret because the old man had always tried to take my undue advantage. Old man had no descendent so the shop came directly to me. Lies and lies have filled up my life. But the biggest lie is lying on the bed no. 10. After that day ward number 4 has become like my home I spend most of the time there. I have started believing the saying doctors are god. I stopped at the flower shop and bought white roses for him. I still don’t feel eligible of gifting him red roses. Like every day I entered the ward 4 and moved towards my love. I again kissed him on his forehead and felt his breathe. These 98 days have changed me a lot I have started hating myself and loving him more than ever. My love has now grown up like a monster which can kill anyone who comes in between. I placed the oranges and changed the flowers of the vase and settled myself on the tin chair, which made a nasty sound every time I sat on it. I again fixed up my gaze at him. They have removed the bandages, but the catheter and the glucose bottle are still there. There are few more machines I have heard them saying that these are life supporting systems. Though he is in deep sleep I feel he can hear me and when he will wake up he will give the answer of all the questions I have asked him in last 98 days. His face hasn’t changed much but I can see how weak he has become even though he is sleeping. Don’t worry once you wake up my love will make you healthy once again I thought. I realized how some thoughts never leave our mind but still we don’t get bored by the thoughts. After satisfying myself with his view I tried to take a small nap. I entered my fantasy land I knew I am dreaming but yet I was going deeper into it. Suddenly I felt the touch of familiar fingers on my left arm. I woke up. Yes he is coming to senses he touched me and something unusual happened I called out for the doctors. They rushed in and said “fast he is sinking.” This was a familiar phrase in ward 4 and I perfectly knew what happens after it. I felt like chains growing up in my body and fastening me. I froze with horror. One of the machines showed a straight green line with a beep. The beep terrorized every part of my body. The nurse dragged the white bed sheet and covered his face. The doctor who was quite familiar to me now came and said “he is no more.” “I will wait.”I said. He left. Without giving me answer, without thanking me. My emotions and tears were playing a different game inside me they were fighting to burst out . I sat down in my chair. I heard a siren and few footsteps rushing towards the ward but I didn’t feel like noticing it. A force of police came in and pointed the gun at me blankly I stared. I wanted to react but couldn’t. A tall policeman in ironed uniform came near me and asked me “are you with him?” without thinking much I said “yes he was my fiancé.” The policeman took out his cell phone it was similar to my love’s but he is no more and dialed a 10 digit number he said the words that tore me into pieces “sir we have caught the terrorist A 316 and also his fiancé but the terrorist is dead now.” I don’t know what reply he got but he nodded his head in a yes. He gave some instructions to the lady police. The lady police came in and handcuffed me. The words got struck in my mouth. They boarded me in the police van. I lost him; I never got the answers to my questions, why did he come to me for rescue that day? Why am I getting the punishment of something I never did? But I got one answer my love was a terrorist and he left me a home called jail and a family of prisoners now I will be never alone. And my stranger will remain my fiancé forever in the hospital record book, in the police record book and in my heart.

4 comments:

Attila said...

hmm.. nice one! keep postin..

splendiferous me said...

nice

Nalin Mehra said...

hey, what a unusual story,,,, i dint knew what emotion i felt after reading this, but this is something i will always remember

Anonymous said...

in the name of love....amazing n touching