“I remember the morning. The phone’s alarm went off. The radio had his favourite song playing. I greeted him with smiles. I knew he loved waking up to his preferred music. He smiled and wished me a morning too. There was nothing new about the day” , the father took me through the wee hours of the morning.
It was a happy house. I could see that. A retired dad, a warm and a wonderful homemaker of a mother. It was a house that exemplified the word Warmth.
“Nothing much dude. We hit the coffee shop. Work was hectic and our team decided to hit coffee day for a break. The waiter immediately recognized him. Welcome back sir, he said. Your usual again?, Hazelnut latte?, he had offered. We all smiled. He sure was a popular chap. The room always lit up when he entered. Fun bloke”, the colleague summed it up pretty neat.
Deep down I kinda knew that. Enthusiasm is very infective. It spreads. If there was anyone who could ace at that sport of spreading a little sunshine, it sure was him. I jotted it all down on my little red notebook.
I spoke with a lot of folks and everybody had the same story to say. Fun bloke. Lived life like a celebration. He always managed to lift the spirits up. He was lost in thoughts at times and then again, these days who isn’t. The report was now ready. The next step left me a little jumpy.
I saw myself in a room that was dimly lit. The candles did institute a sense of unsolicited eeriness in the air. Of course I was unnerved by it all. I had been here a few times before. I had gone through this a few times before. The familiarity did take the sting out of creepiness. No matter how many times I’d be here, I always felt a little unsettling when it started.
A séance was strictly off the books deal. It would never be accepted in a court of law or offer plausible explanation to things. I knew it would help folks reach out for the closure that they needed.
All my thoughts were on the man who celebrated life, the man who saw life in others and helped them realize it. All my thoughts were on the man who was no longer medically alive. Jai… or as the records stated, Myrutunjai had my unrivalled attention. I was appalled by the irony at play here. Myrutunjai, the name that meant he who conquered death, and yet I saw no victory that day.
Later that night I sat by my night desk going through my notes. I wondered long and hard about him. I wondered long and hard about myself and the people around me. I couldn’t really call the difference between the course of lives we all lived. He had snapped and rest of us were more of a ticking bombs. Once again, I read the notes. Only this time, I read it out a loud. There was something about the day that gravitated my thoughts towards it. I couldn’t shake myself off it.
Dec 15: Monday
” I woke up today. I heard our song. The same song that I had heard so many times ago in the past. It was our song. We loved it to bits. Dad soon walked in and he reminded me again of the song. Aint that your song, he asked me politely.
I smiled and wished him a wonderful morning. I no longer had the strength to fight anymore. I felt trapped and haunted by my past. Its funny that way. Life is funny that way. When people leave, its just that they alone leave. Our world that surrounded us at some point in the past, the memories that we made, the sights and sounds that we enjoyed, none of that disappears. It’s cruel.
Dejected, I knew I couldn’t stay in bed and keep moaning over things that were. I rushed to work. Work was my only recluse.
As fate would have it, the team decided to hang out. Of all the places they could pick, they had to pick the one we used to frequent. Talk about a lousy day. I felt like a guy who was trapped in a haunted house. The ghosts of the pasts were haunting me plenty that day. I knew every inch of that coffee shop. We had our favourite table. We had our favourite order. We even had our favourite waiter. He would always smile. He made us feel welcome there.
It was his morning shift that day. He was still around when the team got there. He greeted me. Offered me my usual cup. He asked me about why I stopped coming there. He said that the evenings were not the same without us around.
I felt like crying. This stranger, this bloke who knew nothing of us, and somehow we had touched his life in a strange warm way. We made his day and he missed us. While that was there, I was now a lost and forgotten memory to someone to whom I was the most important person in life. I felt extremely torn that the wrong folks missed me the way I wanted to feel missed.
I hated my life. I hated it unconditionally.
Nothing has been the same ever since that day. Every where I go, I am reminded of the past. I’m surrounded by memories. I feel trapped and I see no escape. Each time I fight it and put a brave face by smiling through the worst of the days, there is always someone or something that pulls me back to the life that I once had. I no longer have the strength or the courage or the will to endure. I’m done.”
I read the note once more before I called it a night and hit the bed. I couldn’t help but wonder the way of our lives. Why is it that we are so easily prone to shatter our spirit. Why is it that we get so depressed that we refuse to come out of it. Why is it that folks around us cant sense depression when it sets in. Why do we poke fun and make things light. Why is it that we cant really connect with the demons that are running rampant in the minds of our friends who are caught in a miserable vicious cycle of anger, guilt and remorse!!!!
Is it not a wonder that all of us live in two parallel worlds. One, a world of folks who surround us and another a world of our making, made of thoughts, dreams, desires and wishes. How is it that we live two parallel disconnected lives. Which is real? which is an image? In which world are we our real selves? When did life become so complicated!!!???
As my thoughts wandered off, I fell into a deep sleep. I knew I’d not have pleasant dreams that night. I still had a report to submit to Jai’s parents. It was going to be a rude shock to them. I definitely was going to have a lousy day ahead tomorrow!!!!