Thursday, 4 August 2016

To Seema , care of God ...

Dear Seema,

This is perhaps my first letter to you.  And I know you will not read it.

But Facebook and outlook do not know that and they dutifully reminded me that it is your birthday. I opened your Facebook page again today and looked at the sole picture you have as your profile picture. You were much more beautiful than that damn picture.

Like many other days when I visit your page to go thru your posts again and again , I cursed you not being more active on Facebook .....

It is not fair Seema . 

You should have given me one  more chance.  

One more chance to talk to you, to hear your gurgling laughter, to look at your twinkling eyes , to touch your long silky hair.

I want to hear your incessant chatter and your typical tone of calling my name ... "Ananya .... " 

I have never ever known anyone like you.  As transparent as a mirror, never mincing words,  whether the other person likes it or not. You had to say whatever was in your mind.  I remember so many occasions when I had to retrieve you from sticky situations.  But you were not the one to keep quiet. 

"अरे तो क्या हुआ ? मैंने तो सच ही बोला था न ....."  

I remember you sitting with your sitar in your small and cosy room.. Together we solved  statistics 
problems before our exams , shared our anxiety and joy. The stories about your Vanasthali boarding school never failed to fascinate me and made me crave for boarding experience.

I got married early and so did you. We talked over phone a few times after that and you seemed to be blissfully happy, giving me advise on how to manage my married life !

But then what happened Seema ?  Did you realize that life is not a statistical problem ?  Why did life not treat you well ? The people around you could not understand you .... you were a misfit in their world ... you were way ahead of them as a human being... 

I reconnected with you after almost twenty years in 2006 thru a mutual friend who lives in Patna. We met in New Jersey and you told me the strange story of how you landed up there ! We spent four days together and we talked and talked... I remember our visit to New York , queuing up for the 4th of July celebrations , our first experience on the slot machine in Atlantic city ....

And you were shocked to see me . 

"What happened to you Ananya ? You were so beautiful ! And look at yourself  now ! You have become so fat ! No... you are looking ugly !" You said in your typical manner. Your reprimand forced me to lose weight and become fitter . You taught me to eat right. You showed me ways to control my food cravings. 

But why did life not teach you Seema ? You lost your heart again and again . You trusted people blindly. You loved them madly. 

And you always came back to me.  Broken. 

"Ananya , you know , I find a strange solace when I talk to you ... " we used to chat over yahoo messenger. 

The last time you visited me at Sarojini Nagar, you were so frail . You stayed with me for about 4 days .. recovering... and on the fifth day when I came back from office , you were gone....Just like that .  .
"Didi, I made your friend's favourite vegetable today and she told me the recipe of this new subzi . She  gave me Rs 500 and left ....."  

My maid Anandi handed me a scribbled note from you saying that you will call me ... 

You did call, but after one year. So typical of you. And you started the conversation as if you had met me just yesterday !  You were calling from US , you said and that you will now come back to India and construct a house in Bangalore and stay here for good. 

" I have already purchased a plot ! I will open Zumba dancing classes !" You told me in your usual bubbly,. animated manner. 

After six months , you called again . You asked me for help ... with the Women Commission cell in Delhi,  You wanted permission to meet your son. 

"Ananya, I know he stays in Noida with his father ... I am his mother and I have right to at least meet him na ? " For the first time you sounded distraught , down and crestfallen. 

This somehow coincided with my relocation to Calcutta.  You messaged me on facebook in December 2012,

"My house is almost on the verge of finishing... and with that I will also be finished ... I am too tired. Send me your phone number .... "

Then your last message on 10th April 2013 saying "Please call me ... " 

Seema ... I did not call you. And I will never forgive myself for that. 

I will never know what you wanted to tell me. 

When you were lying on the hospital bed, did you think of me Seema ?  You said that you always found peace when you talked to me ... did you call out my name Seema ?

I will never know. 

Was there anyone around you when you had the oxygen mask on your face ? The people whom you loved so dearly and madly, did they come to meet you Seema ? 

I don't know and maybe I don't want to know.

I know you will not read this. 

But maybe the vibrations of my thought will reach you wherever you are.

And when my thoughts reach  you , understand that there is at least one person who misses you dearly. 

I remember you when I wear the perfume you gave me. I think about you when I brush my lips with the pink lipstick you left for me .  And when I cook the तोरी की सब्जी the way you showed me,  I will always recall your gurgling laughter .....

Rest in peace,  my friend !


1 comment:

  1. Such a touching story enlivened by your writing but do not fail to call a friend again it's also a lesson for us readers.