I was leaning on the usual grill having my tea at Bablu’s. After office hours I paid two visits to Bablu’s, one for my evening tea and the other for the delicious parathas. I was watching all the daily faces, tired badged professionals like me, who came to pick parcels and have their tea like I did. They excessively cursed their managers and smoked heavily to let that out of them. They felt lighter, like I felt released and free, in a way Bablu’s catered to these needs and was a special place for us.
That day, as I was leaning, feeling every drop of tea, the wind began to blow faster. Trees swayed and everyone was looking around to see what was happening. It was a usual breeze but a little harder this time, harder enough as a cold shiver ran all over me. I thought of Nandini and the time I spent with her here, sitting for hours, chatting, after all it was Nandini who took me to Bablu’s first and eventually that became my daily spot. Nandini’s thought made me look at the table where we sat, I missed those days. I missed Nandini. She was always with me till I took to work and it was that evening that she left me, like a phase of life changes with a decision, not having Nandini around drastically changed my life. After all it was my derailment that had us apart. I did not value the kind of relationship that I shared with Nandini. I was a completely changed person when I got the job, I behaved weirdly with her. She remained patient, still loving me in the tougher phase of life but she finally left me. She promised me that she will come back if at all I realized what wrong have I done. The only condition that she put fourth was I would never know where she was. I didn’t realize anything when she was gone, but eventually my life was taken over my emptiness. I started living a quiet and lonely life, with no answers for the questions that life asked and no takers for the answers that I had in mind. I remembered how I dumped all my problems in front of her and how she would cuddle them with ease to make me feel better. She would Koi Nahi a problem and effortlessly come up with a smiling solution. With her I felt refreshing and alive. She had the knack of unfolding me and opening me up to face the best part of life, a life that I always desired to live. Nandini was beginning to become that life for me till she left me that evening. After that, I lost all that I had when I was with her and started living a masked life, given by others, for others, which hardly had a place for me in it.
The wind was still blowing harder. As I took
another sip, my tea was no longer hot, so I asked for another with extra sugar
and ginger. Nandini always liked ginger tea, I thought. As I was standing for
quite a longer time now, my recently diagnosed illness alarmed me with a sudden
sense of weakness and made me hunt for stool.
I sat on the same table where I used to sit with Nandini, the stool
where she sat was still empty, for a moment I thought, I was waiting for her
and she could be right in front of me in any moment, but I smiled wryly at the
idea and closed my eyes. I wish I could have got to spend the coming brief part
of my life with Nandini, I wished for her to be with me. But it was a dream
that may not come true, I had no idea where Nandini was, where that part of my life was gone. I was
looking up at the sky feeling the cold breeze that was blowing harder and
harder. My heart beat faster with every blow if it.
‘Bhaiyya, Aur ek Chai bana doon adrak wali?’ I was surprised as I looked at Bablu and wondered why he wanted to make the third tea with ginger. As I looked at him he was smiling at me. I was not getting him. Then he looked at the chair opposite me and smiled back at me. In an instance I looked in front of me, there stood Nandini, like she did few years ago. I was stunned to see her. I had wished for her to be with me and the wish was granted in no less time. She was smiling at me, she had her hair open, and she wore that green Salwaar kameez and had put Kajal. She was looking very beautiful. She was still smiling as I was left agape. In all these years I had desired for her, I wanted her to be with me. I dreamed of her at night and suddenly she was in front of me. She waved her hand and nodded to Bablu for making her special tea as she settled. For her it was still the same as it was few years ago. She was just being usual; there was no awkwardness no discomfort. My eyes were filled as I was watching her. Then she stretched her hand like she always did and held mine into hers. When I was finally back to my senses, and put my hand on hers, she immediately pulled her one hand away and bit her lower lip and laughed harder like she always did. She was unchanged in all these years. She was just energizing.
‘Rajneesh, what happened to you? Speak up.’
She said with simplicity. She asked me to speak but for me it was going to be
difficult. I had not spoken about things for all these years, I had grown as a
completely different individual, my life had completely changed after Nandini
left and I was metamorphosed completely. Still I wanted to speak, tell her how
much I missed her and longed for her to be with me when I needed her the most.
But I did not feel like talking about what I had lost in all these years, I
wanted to look forward, look up to the remaining life that I might get to spend
with Nandini. I wanted her to be with me. Nandini was my dream that I saw for
these years with closed eyes, but the reality had offered her to me again and I
was watching her with my eyes open and I was feeling her touch that was
soothing my restlessness.
As we finished our tea, we started walking
towards the beach, like we did in those days. I was living that life again,
just the difference was Nandini did most of the talking and I was listening to
her. She was telling me how she wanted
me to continue writing in life. She often told people about me, how much she
loved me and the writer in me. In these years, she did not forget about me for
a single moment, she had me in her mind every day, every moment, ‘I always
loved you Rajneesh’, as she said. As we walked, there was hardly any light on
the beach road barring the passing vehicles. This was the thing I loved about
this street. When Nandini was not around for all these years I had walked alone
on the streets to think of Nandini, to relive all those walks that we had when
we went to the beach every other day. Probably Nandini too was thinking about
that, I was walking with both my hands in my pockets like I did and Nandini put
her right hand around my arm and leaned on my shoulders. This was the best part
of our walks that was missing for all these years. I was experiencing it again.
I was enjoying it. For some time we walked silently, perhaps it was the silence
that was speaking; we had missed each other for all these years. We wanted to
live a life together. That life I thought was here again. I thought of my
illness and I lost the hope for a moment. That’s when Nandini spoke,
‘I’ll always love you my and only my Rajneesh.
I am not going anywhere now.’
I smiled at her, the thought of my illness
just vanished. Then I held her hand a little tighter and put my right hand
around her waist and pulled her closer to me. She smiled at me again. We walked
this way for some time. As we were nearing the beach, Nandini freed herself
went two steps away from me and dropping her neck to the either side and
twisting her lips mischievously like she always did she asked me,
‘Rajneesh would you like to listen to
something?’ she would often ask and sing songs for me. She enjoyed it and I
loved it when she enjoyed. She stopped at the beach, somewhere near the same
place where we had sat the last time when we had come to the beach. I walked
slowly as I could not run like I did once. I was disappointed with my illness.
In fact, I wanted to run after her, pull her towards me, hold her closer to me
and tell how much I missed her singing songs and the smile that appeared on her
face when she sang this. I wanted to kiss her deeply, closing my eyes, feeling
every bit of it, and tell her how much I missed her, every time I closed my
eyes it was her face that appeared in front of me and with her lies my
happiness. The song brought back all the memories as I was walking slowly
towards her. She was watching me from a distance smiling at me. I remembered how
we did the stupidest things in the world together and loved them living every
moment of it. As I was spending more and more time with Nandini, everything
began to come back to me. I loved the nostalgia. Every moment she was coming up
with something that we did in those days to make me smile to make me relive
The beach was little wet with yesterday’s
rain, so there was hardly anybody except the vendors at a distance and a few
couples. It was quiet. Sometimes that quietness would go away for some minutes
when we laughed. Suddenly there was a silence, a silence of seriousness on Nandini’s
face, which would often show up when she thought about something seriously. I
knew she would say something that she felt in all these years. She broke the
ice as I expected,
‘You know something Rajneesh; there were
times when I could have changed as an individual, that may have hurt you
if we had met, but I never let myself
change. I always thought of you, I knew you loved me this way, and for you I
wanted to be the same like I always was. You were always my priority Rajneesh.’
‘I know Nandini, but I changed, with you I
was happy, I was living a life I always wanted to, I was becoming you for that
matter, but after you left I was shattered. My life changed, I had nobody to
speak to and nobody to look up to. I always wondered if you would come to me at
‘Hey Rajneesh, I am here with you now, don’t
you see? She said leaning towards me and putting her head on my shoulders. She
put the index finger of her right hand and tied it with my respective finger
and played with it looking at me. She was looking attractive. I looked into her
eye, as she saw me looking into her eye; she raised one of her eye brows and looked
at me, biting her lower lip harder to stop her laughter. She often teased me
this way. Teasing me was her passion in those days and it appeared to me that
she still enjoyed it. With Nandini time would just fly away like that hence,
every second was precious for us in those days, ‘crucial times’ as Nandini
pointed out sometimes. But for now the longing for the crucial times was gone,
as they were here, in the form of Nandini. She herself was the face of my life
which I was beginning to get back.
We spent most of the time on the beach
speaking about where and how our lives went when we were apart. Nandini applied
for an NGO, which worked for Old people, they had an old age home, where Nandini
worked. She taught many things like English, she worked for them, entertained
them, spoke to them for hours and understood them very well. She had become a
part of their life and I could see that she too missed them. They considered
her to be a granddaughter. She wrote many poems about us, about her life at the
old age home. In all these years she had read thoroughly about many things in
the world and that reflected in the way she spoke. She always was a girl who
knew about things, she was well versed with disciplines like history, sociology
and politics. I remember to have agreed upon many issues with her. We hardly
had any disagreements. Now she had become even more intellectual, a person who
was even more lovable and respectable. I felt a sudden sense of pride for her
growing within me. I realised that she was in certain senses a changed person,
but that particular trait of her
personality was untouched. She had kept it just like that for me. I felt happy
On our way back to Bablu’s we just held each other’s hands and walked quietly. We were hungry. We wanted to go back and have the share of parathas. We always ordered two different parathas and we shared them. When we reached, our table was occupied, Nandini was disappointed. I asked her we could sit on some other table, but she insisted for the same, somehow I felt, I wanted that table too. For both of us, these smaller things always made difference.
We settled after ten minutes and ordered our regular parathas. Nandini got up and went there to order it. She always made it a point to go in and instruct Bablu accordingly. She was particular about what we ate. For me she always insisted that things have a certain quality in them, here it was about food so she wanted me to eat a complete delicious meal. She was good at interacting with people and winning them over with the way she spoke. She was not bothered about any hierarchies, she spoke with equal respect be it Bablu or his servants. After ordering and a having a long conversation with Bablu Nandini came back. She was about to sit when she asked me, ‘you’ll have tea, won’t you?’ And my answer obviously was yes. She loved having the food with hot tea. ‘Bhaiyya, Aur Do Adrak wali Chai please’ she said as she settled.
‘So Rajneesh, you have become so thin, you
need to eat more you know that? Being a girl I eat a lot more than you. I might
put on weight, I am worried. I am already-‘she said as she looked up at me
‘I was looking at her, you need to put on,
look at what has happened to you. I am stronger enough to do lot many things
you know!’ I said mischievously and we both burst out laughing.
‘You are mad, nothing can get you out of your
madness, you are completely mad.’ She said furthering with her laughter. She often called me mad. Apart from these
there were some other words that she used. Whenever she had no answers or she
would have nothing to say, she would call me mad. And yes, I was mad, mad for Nandini.
That madness was gone for all these years and it was back again. Nandini had
brought it all back with her.
Nandini and I were so very intense in certain senses and we always believed in taking pleasure out of the smallest things in life. We sang songs for each other, the songs that we both loved. I did not have any great voice but she still loved it whenever I sang. As I would say, we made the most of things that we came across. In the years when Nandini was not around, my life had lost the pleasure and the song and I could make nothing out of anything. Now just after having her back with me for a few hours and reliving some of the things we did then were charging me up to live the life again. As our parathas came, Nandini said, putting her hand on mine with seriousness on her face.
‘There are some very important things that we
need to do Rajneesh!’
For a moment a cold shiver ran all over my
body. I thought of my illness, somehow Nandini must have gotten to know about
it. I did not want her to know that I was going to live a brief life, a life
that was going to end sooner or later. I looked at her stunned, my eyes wide
‘Chill, these are very important things; we
always wanted to do them. We have done them once in fact!’
As she said, we have done them once, I was
relaxed. It was something we together wished to do. I was sure but there were
many things that we did and desired to do. What she was talking about was
something I had to make out. But before I could come up with something, Nandini
‘Would you dance? If I asked you to dance,
Would you run, never to look back?’
She sang and held my hand closer and kissed
it. We had done all these things together, truly madly and deeply. She brought
a smile back on my face. All the memories were back in their place as it were.
I was feeling happy and relaxed. I did not think whether I had office tomorrow.
I had gotten my life back and I was going to live it no matter what happens.
‘Thanks a lot Nandini for coming back and
bringing back the taste into my
life!’ I said blinking my eyes.
‘Shut up and finish your parathas first!’ She said with strictness and mimicked my dialogue with her naughty tone and pulled her tongue out from the other side to show me. We laughed some more and enjoyed our parathas quietly often looking at each other. It was always me who kept looking at her, into her eye, if she noticed; she would ask me, ‘what’s happening?’ If I told her I was looking at her, looking at how beautiful she looked, she would either say “oh really? I didn’t know it!” or simply Koi Nahi was enough for her. But that day, I saw her eyes were filled as I was watching her. She was trying to hide her face from me but when I insisted, pushed her little to tell me. She began,
‘Rajneesh, I always missed you, not a single
day went that I did not think of you. I wanted you to be with me all my life!’
She said wiping her tears with a tissue paper.
I smiled, tapping her shoulders. ‘Same here.
You can see how messed up I am with my life. It was all not working out for me.
I was clueless of what was happening. But let’s not think about what we lost.
We have each other now.’ I said finishing the last bite of parathas and heading
for my tea which was no longer hot. Nandini preferred tea while she ate, and I
had my tea after I finished my meal. As we went to pay the bills, Bablu came up
to us, smiling and said,
Nahi Bhaiyya, meri taraf se. Aaj ka
din ispesal hain!’ I was surprised with the generosity that he
showed. We often kept change if he did not have, but this was quite a welcome
gesture as it were, a complimentary round of tea and parathas from Bablu. We
both thanked him and started walking towards the road. Whenever we met, I would
drop Nandini to her place at night and then head towards mine. It was our
ritual. And most importantly none of us wanted to go. Our journeys back home
would usually be quiet as we found no words to come up with. I was expecting
this day to be different, but it was not. I had Nandini with me, and a new
beginning was awaiting but I had no time. I got her back at the wrong time, I
thought. As we got into an auto, she put her hand around my arm and her head on
my shoulder and kept playing with my finger. The wind was still blowing and her
flossy hair was flying restlessly. It was all over my face. I was feeling the
fragrance not bothering to push her hair back. Every strand of her hair seemed
like a quilt to me that was covering my wounds and soothing my nerves. I loved
As we reached her door, before she knocked,
she turned to me and hugged me tightly. She stayed in an apartment which was at
the corner, so there was nobody around. She tightly held me, close to her. I
always wanted to hold her close to me, close enough to never let her go off me.
I put my hands around her and caressed her hair. I felt she was crying, so I
held her face with both my hands, she was looking concerned, her eyes were
completely filled. I wiped her tears with one hand and caressed her face and
slightly kissed her on her forehead. I wanted to tell her I was going to be
there for her all my life but I was not aware of what life was going to offer
in coming days. I just smiled at her, and told her that we will meet again
tomorrow. I asked her not to cry I was going to be around. How long was
something I had left to God to answer. As I began to leave, she held my hand
tightly and said looking right into my eyes,
‘Rajneesh, I can’t afford lose you again, in
any case, I want you to take care of yourself, you know that?’
When I heard her say this, I could not speak
any further and left her place. I was scared, I did not want her to know about
my illness but the way she looked at me for those few seconds somehow made me
feel she knew about it. What if she knows it, what if she doesn’t? If she comes
to know in coming days, how would she react to it? Would she be able to take
it? What about me, would I be able to see her cry? All the questions had one
common answer, NO. She does not have to know about it, she does not deserve any
of this. She should be happy. My thoughts were just out of place. For a moment,
I thought she should never have come back to me, because I had nothing to
offer. I was not certain about my life. And watching me in a condition like
this was only going to break her further. I was becoming restless; I decided
not to think about what was to come. I went home and relaxed for some time,
took my pills and forced myself to sleep. Still, sleep would not come easily.
When I woke up the next day, I was not
feeling well. My head was pretty heavy and I had feverish feeling. I thought of
calling Nandini but didn’t. I was not willing to tell her that I was unwell. So
I let her think that I went to office and did not call or texted her. Instead I
called up my doctor, discussed the symptoms with him and asked him if I need to
come there. He suggested some more pills and asked me rest at home today, ‘a
sound sleep for some more hours and you would be alright Rajneesh.’ He said. So
I ordered those pills and had my breakfast before I took them. Nandini always
insisted that I have my breakfast on time; she hated it when I would skip my
meals. During the day she texted me every now and then I replied to them. In
one of the messages, she asked me if we are meeting this evening, I said no and
to tease her further I told her that due to a meeting I won’t be able to have
my lunch and if the meeting continues, I may not come to meet her. I had to lie
because I did not know if I would be okay till the evening. But I told her that
I was missing her badly. She replied back insisting me to have something.
I did not feel hungry but for her I felt I need to eat something. I ordered my food from a nearby hotel and waited for it to come. I slept thinking about Nandini. I was woken up by a hard knock on the door. It was the parcel. I picked it up and went back again to sleep. I wanted to be well, so that I can go and meet her in the evening, have our tea and regular chit chat. After I had my meal I slept again for some more time and woke up sometime before sunset. I was feeling better. ‘Thanks to my doctor, I thought and most importantly Nandini. I got ready wearing my office clothes and called her telling her that I was coming to pick her up. That day we met like we always did, walked up to the beach and came back home having our parathas. Somehow Nandini sensed that I was not well, but I convinced her that it’s just casual, and I’ll be alright in no time.
The next few days with Nandini went with pace. After office hours we met, she too had her NGO work lined up, so we finished our jobs and met at Bablu’s and from there we would go to different places. We mostly went to the beach. We both loved going there. We watched many movies together, went to shopping malls, temples, churches and almost any and every place. During all our visits, there was always one thing that continued to be there, fun and laughter. There were no tears, no fights and no misunderstandings. With Nandini life seemed just livable and lovable. I was enjoying every bit of what we did together. During the whole thing, our walks, talks, songs and teasing continued, which added at the end of the day to the whole day of life that we lived. Our every evening ended with a wish, that time shall stop here, it should not move back or forth, it should just stall then and there. But it continued. With every ticktock of the clock and with every breath I took it continued and was nearing me to the end of it all. I was beginning to grow anxious.
On a weekend sometime in the evening when we
were walking towards the beach, I realised I suddenly lost all my energy, I was
holding Nandini’s hand, when I suddenly collapsed on the road. I was fainting,
I did not want it to happen when I was with her but I could not help. I was
losing my conscious but I could still see Nandini, restless, her eyes filled,
she put my head on her lap and was trying to wake me up, crying. We were on
beach road, it was dark and there was nobody around. She was asking for help,
calling for an auto. I was trying to speak but I was too weak to get words out
of me. The last glimpses of Nandini that I caught was when she was caressing my
face, shouting my name, asking me to open my eyes, but I could not, I had lost
all the energy and my conscious.
Nandini somehow managed to stop a car that
was going towards the main street; she put Rajneesh in the car with the help of
another passerby and took him straight to the hospital. She knew Rajneesh kept
most of the things he needed in his wallet so she checked it to look for any
doctor’s card. She found one. She dialled the number and Dr. Rajan answered the
phone. She told him about Rajneesh, as he sensed it; Dr. Rajan knew about Nandini,
Rajneesh had told him about her. After all Rajneesh was his good friend. This
broke Nandini further as she was thinking about Rajneesh, he had never told her
about his illness. She was not able to accept it. She requested the man and
asked to take him Dr. Rajan’s hospital where Rajneesh was being treated. She
was crying all the way till she reached the hospital, she had Rajneesh’s head
on her lap and she was caressing it, kissing it several times to wake him up
but he was not responsive. He was breathing, his heart was beating but except
that, there was no life inside.
When she reached hospital, Dr. Rajan was
waiting at the door himself standing with a stature and few assistants. He
directly took Rajneesh to the Examination room to perform some basic tests and
asked Nandini to wait in his room where he would see her in few minutes. Nandini
sat there counting each and every second, she had no clue what was happening.
She thought of the whole day that went happily, till they went to the beach
road for the walk and Rajneesh collapsed. The memory of this made her cry even
more, she was sobbing that’s when Dr. Rajan coughed and came in the room.
‘What’s the matter with Rajneesh doctor?’
Tell me right away please.’ She asked holding back her tears.
‘Look Nandini, relax, Rajneesh has
Obstructive Lung Disease that was not diagnosed on a proper time when it should
have been. It is caused due to a delay in his treatment. When he came to me, he
was weak and thinner. He coughed whenever he spoke a word, but after that, we
have been able to control his cough to a certain extent. He needs strict medication.
I had asked him to quit working and hospitalize himself long time ago, but he
does not listen to me. Just pray that he gains his conscious back, then only we
can further with his treatment.’
Nandini was speechless, she had nothing to
say. Rajneesh had coughed a few times when he was with her, he would convince
her that it was nothing serious. She was not convinced but he never let her
think about it. Nandini was fierce and was irritated with Rajneesh. She was
there for him and he could not share this with her, they could have done
something together, precaution is always better than cure, she thought. But
there was no point; Rajneesh was lying there on the bed, struggling to breathe
having no clue of what was happening around him. Nandini was looking somewhere
down at her toes, trying to gather it, trying to digest the fact that Rajneesh
may not survive.
‘Is there anything we can do now?’ She asked
‘Yes. I agree that there is a delay, but
respiratory diseases can be cured to a certain extent. Let’s think of the
positives, Rajneesh never smoked, so that gives us a fair chance. I have called
for some of the experts who should be here any moment. We will examine him and
wait for him to open his eyes again. Just remember, pray that he gets his
conscious back, because if he does it, I assure you that he will be all yours,
in one piece!’ Dr. Rajan said blinking his eyes with a smile and a guarantee on
his face that Nandini wanted the most.
She leaned back on the chair, thinking about Rajneesh.
She wanted to go and see him, but she could not. She did not have the courage
to see him struggle with his life in such a way. In a way, Nandini felt that
she too was hurt somewhere and was probably sailing in the same boat. Her life
was no different from Rajneesh’s, he was her love and she was his life. It was
a very complicated equation that had no solution. Nandini folded her hands and
prayed, ‘God, I want Rajneesh back in my life, he is my life, I can’t even
think of losing him. Please do something, wake him up for the one last time and
I promise I’ll never leave him again.’
God was there always, somewhere around but
prayers were hardly answered. Every second somebody prayed for somebody’s life
to be saved, how many lives shall God save? Still many lives are saved and many
sacrificed. This was the way how it was going to be. Rajneesh was standing on a
place where there are two ways, one that leads to Nandini, his life and the
other lead to the afterlife as it were. He could not make the choices. The
choices were already made, neither Nandini nor Rajneesh could have a say here. Time
was the unique solution on this issue. Nandini understood this very well but it
was very difficult to think of time that was spent. Every second she spent
seemed like an hour, the ticktock of the clock was just scaring her, reminding
her that every second, Rajneesh needs to breathe, his heart needs to beat.
Sometimes these seconds consoled her mind telling her that, the moment when Rajneesh
opens his eyes could be here any second. But it was all a game of ifs. Reality,
the truth was very bitter.
Nandini got up and went to the room where Rajneesh
was put. She was looking at him, he was laying there, his eyes closed, he was
breathing with an oxygen mask and saline was given to make sure he doesn’t
become further weak. Looking at him, she thought of all the wonderful times
they spent together, the laughter they shared and many other things. She was
missing how he recited poems to her and sang songs for her whenever she asked
him. She was thinking of every discussion they had together, she remembered how
they held each other whenever they needed. Her eyes were filled with all these
memories. Watching Rajneesh from a distance did not make difference, she wanted
to go closer to him, hold his hand, kiss him on his forehead and tell him that
it’s time we go together, run away, escape to a place where nobody would know
us, where there would be an ocean, a mountain and lots of trees. A smile of
hope appeared on her face when she thought of all these things. Her chain of
thoughts was broken when Dr. Rajan intervened; he introduced her to another
senior doctor and asked her to wait on the bench. She did accordingly.
The doctors got out of the room after fifteen
minutes which seemed longer than anything for her. She was waiting patiently as
Dr. Rajan came up to her.
‘We have given him an injection. He should
gain his consciousness. That’s very crucial.’ The word crucial reminded her of
their crucial times together, she smiled at herself as Dr. Rajan continued.
‘Now we have come to a point where we have a
hope and we don’t. If he does open his eyes, then you can take him home with
you when he is well, and he will never have any issues all his life. If he does not then he will never be able to
open them again. Saving him would be next to impossible. Let’s wait and
watch.’ And Dr. Rajan left.
Nandini stood there still watching Rajneesh.
As she was allowed to meet him, she opened the door of his room and went
straight inside. She sat on a chair next to his bed. A closer look at him made
her even more anxious. She was shivering with a chill than ran all over her
body. She put her hand on his and kept looking at him. She had not slept since
last night and was very tired. She slept there holding his hand and sitting
next to him on the chair. She was waiting desperately for him to open up.
My head was pretty heavier and my throat was
completely dry. I felt a hand on mine. I knew it would be Nandini. I was
finding it difficult to open my eyes. But when I finally opened them with a lot
of effort, I saw Nandini; she was sleeping, wearing her red sweater that she
had worn last night. She was looking tensed, her eyes swollen and her face
tired. But I could still make out a hope on her face. Looking at her made my
breaths a little faster, which she probably heard and woke up. As she saw I was
moving my hand and my body, she opened her mouth with excitement probably to
call the doctor. As she was about to free my hand and rush to the doctor, I
held it with all the energy I had within me. I smiled at her with oxygen mask
on my mouth and tears trickling from my eyes. She was nodding at me I could see
the happiness and tears of joy on her face, I tried to open my mouth, to say
something as she encouraged me, I started singing in a whisper,
‘Would you dance if I asked you to dance? Would
you run never to look back?’
As I began singing I realized my eyes were even more filled but I still continued singing.
‘Now would you die for the one…?’ I stopped
as she pressed my hand harder and shook her head. She was looking at me with
teary eyes. She wiped her tears and continued singing,
‘Hold me in your arms tonight…’
As we both sang, she held me closer to her,
she put her head on my chest holding me very tightly, I could see she was
crying, she was crying the tears of happiness that were trickling from my eyes
too. I was saved; Nandini’s love had pulled me back. I felt happy and relieved
as God had given back the life that I was longing to live. A life that had
Nandini in every bit of it, a life that she had turned melodious with her Song
of Love, that I’d pray shall continue forever.