A story that wasn’t meant to be


Amidst rains and blackouts where the most precious commodity was the charge on the phone, the battery conserve mode enabled phone suddenly sprang to life.


Hey! floods in madras. Are you fine?
I smiled. 
********************************
Intuition is a funny business. I still remember the Nokia symbian days. 3315, limited chat window. A simpler time when mobile internet was still rampant in the most expensive offering of Hollywood, nokia had a feature of a SMS chat. Thank god for bundled packages and CUGs, sms was affordable at a mere 100 bucks. Simpler times indeed. It was during this simple time when intuition was felt to be a funny business. HI, would read the screen. I’d in a way sense the state of mind. I’d gear up for laughs and giggles or brace myself and prepare my ears to hear a heart’s woe out. Hi, is all it took. 

Like many tales from the land where magic and miracles are limited to the television, this too starts with a once upon a time. 

So once upon a time, in a land where magic and miracles were limited to the television, there lived a sweet princess in blue. One sunny day, she looked at her knight charming and said, We’ll have three names ok!

The knight smiled. Three? Why do we need three?

One for school, one for calling at home, and one, just like that. 

Hmm,, ok….

Yeah, so they should not be connected da. they should be random. Like how my name is chintu, it makes no bloody sense right. Like that. 

Seri da. Sure. No problem. We’ll think of something.

No no no no.. Let me do the thinking. Karthik, people are being nice to you da. Trust me. You are not a funny guy. Dont bother thinking of ‘Cool’ names. I’ll name our kid. And yes, Katz sucks.

And I thought I was the funny one, I replied. 

*************************************
Hey! floods in madras. Are you fine? , the phone read. With no electricity around, I was curious about the phone buzzing. I read the message. 
I smiled.

*************************************

So the land where magic and miracles, you know the drill right.. well that land had one teeny tiny problem. There were no dragons left to slay. The land lacked proper villains. Every tale deserves a proper villain. Villains add the much needed drama to a tale. Life intervened, life decided to even the odds. Time played its part. The test of time, the test failed. Roads separated.

Intuition still remained to be a funny business only now it joined hands with hope. Hope was a funnier deal in comparison. Hoping against hope was in fashion and quite frankly, demented delusional phrase if you ask me. Wil-e-coyote accelerating towards a brick wall, BHAMMMMMMMMMMMMMM and splat was the only inevitable conclusion left. Hoping against hope, hoped to alter that very inevitable outcome!

Fortunately, Time played its part once again. Open wounds sealed. Scars remained for a while and then scars healed. Hope lingered on for a while. Like a candle light fluttering in a stormy night. Soon, it faded too. 

************************************

Hey! floods in madras. Are you fine? I smiled.
************************************

For the longest time i wished i could turn back time. Ask a few questions. Find a few answers. Say my goodbyes. Smile. Hand shake and bid a farewell. Hug. See, at least from a very far very safe distance. I dint have the luxury to afford any of these back then. I wished to turn back time. I wanted to do it the proper way. I know, I’m being a liar here. The proper way would have led for the tale to end with the wonderful last line of ‘and so they lived happily ever after ‘ . The honest truth, wish i could meet her one last time. 

I had a million things to convey, I thought i had the right words. It wouldn’t matter. That image might last a lifetime. All i wanted was that one last audience. That dint come. And in course of time, after spiraling down that hell hole of resentment and guilt, i rose stronger. I rose a new man. A whole new life of possibilities and new dreams and new memories waiting to be made. One chapter closed with a nice neat little full stop, the title’s number incremented by another number. I had braced and braved myself to open a lot many more chapters in the book of life.

Hey!, floods in madras, Are you fine? read the message.

It was her. I knew the number. Through the floods, through the turmoil, somewhere between driving over water bodies and soaking in the rain, I had made a conscious effort to remember the 10 digits of the person I once knew. I once was madly in love with. I had remembered the number. Her birthday now past us, Thanks to the rains, the mind was occupied and I had one less battle to fight. THANK GOD. enjoy this moment dear lady, I usually dont thank you enough girl. I should.. but I dont. I wont either..I aint changing. 🙂


Memory is a funny business. It remembers the things we try to forget. I havent used that very sequence of 10 digits in years , and I still managed to recollect it with a little effort. I reach out to my smart phone for my account number to settle the bills every month. My mind has lousy priorities. It picked the wrong set of 10 digits to recollect!

I saw the number. I knew the moment had arrived. My mind spaced out for a moment. I was overwhlemed with emotions. I dint know where to start. How are you, where are you? what are you doing? Are you married? kids yet? Did you name them Karthik!!!!(i know , I’m pushing my luck here!!!! Like hell she’s ever gonna do that!!!)

So many questions, so many thoughts. Only two thumbs and one brain to decide what would be the apt response. 

I felt a sudden chill in my room. It could have been the fever. I knew it wasn’t that. 

Hey! floods in madras. Are you fine?
I smiled.
 

Intuition is a funny business. I read the message. It did sound like a mass forward message of sorts. No hi, no howz you. World’s most coldest disjoint disconnected yet heart wrenching words of concern.

I smiled. Gone was that knight. Gone was that pretty princess in blue. Gone was that simpler time. Gone was everything that mattered the most to me. gone, was that world. All that remained now was the obligatory decency and courtesy at play. The most i could, i chose to appreciate was the gesture.

Safe, sound and dry. Hope your family is fine too. Thanks for checking up, I replied. 

Instinctively, I deleted the thread. The phone buzzed again. Familiar number. I deleted it without reading.

What I miss is my interpretation of us, my memory of us and her. Reality does not cope up. Reality can not compete. I let reality have its word. I smiled and switched off my phone. I had a fever to deal with. 

It is true what they say. And so there are stories, that are not meant to be.

Katz

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