The living room was filled with dust and the fan screamed of its woe, while jiwe sat sipping our tea and occasionally talking. The breaks weren’t awkward. They weren’t happy either. My head did move back into time, reminiscing the past and remembering the wooden chair that had now grown dull and broken. She used to sit there. A pen in her hand and a notebook whose pages were filled with her soul. The Inkstained Soul. Each word romanced her thoughts and matched it tunes into a beautiful poetry. Somehow I could see through time and feel the amazing energy. Somehow I felt that things too share a part of our identity and even in her absence, the chair did keep reminding me of the wonderful person she was and what great time we had spent.
We were ready to leave. “Bhaiya, can you stay for a day longer? She would come back by evening.”,said Siya. “I wish I could. Convey my regards to her”, I replied with an awkward smile. Siya knew that I wanted to stay, but she couldn’t stop me either. It was too late. Everything seemed to have changed but things that were too familiar were trying to resurface the hidden constant. I was the same, even after all these years. I wished it was the same for her. There wasn’t much left there and there may never had been anything for me in those paths. But still there always was my reckless hope and I kept myself hidden under it’s garb. I had removed the veil after long hard years and I couldn’t agree to go back to a place where every breath reminds you of the breathlessness of your soul. You wander. Keep wandering in the dark. You see light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel knows no end.
I was to leave the very next day. I went to the local library. Books were my escape. The Lost Key by Varya Segal. I sat down and started to read it. I hadn’t read any of her books. My hope fed me her stories. Without hope, it were words that could quell my hunger. The second page read, ‘To the long lost Friend who hasn’t found his peace’. I knew what it meant. She did remember and maybe she did acknowledge the events that led us to set our paths apart. I kept reading. The words spoke of neither of us. It told the tale we wanted to live, but neither of us could. It found the answers, but the questions still remained unanswered in our ignorance. And of all things that she wrote, the end seemed to bring it all together. And then everything changed. It became ugly, just like our lives. I understood what she intended to. If not then, eventually things would have turn bitter. There is nothing wrong in relationships turning sour, it runs it course and with time and people constantly changing, we cannot expect their dimensions to stay put. What is wrong is to forget what those years meant for you. It is clever to stay away from deep waters if you don’t know how to swim, but it is wise to ace the art of swimming for it is in the unexpected that we find ourselves in the troubled waters.
We may have failed. But she was right, like she always was. I had woven dreams that pulled me down. And without efforts, I drowned. She had reached the shores long ago. And it is only after hallucinating for so long that I have realized that all dreams don’t make sense, the ones that do are not under the garb of hope. They show what it is to be brave. They remove our insecurities, polish our skills and make us achieve what we always wanted to be- carefree.
The train was about to leave. I stood in front of the travel desk, still trying to understand the goof up in my tickets. Tired of reasoning with the control officer, I left the room in much anger. And then I saw her. Siya must have told her that I was leaving, I thought. We hugged each other. Asked each other about how we were and what was up in our lives. There was nothing left to reconcile. There was nothing left to reconcile, because the reasons of our differences had faded. And time seemed to take a back seat, as I again moved back in time, this time with her and there was nothing to change because there was nothing to fear.