Tuesday, September 16, 2008

20 years later... (A short story)

I haven't been able to devote much time to writing recently, but I'm working on an article which I'll be posting on the blog as soon as I finish with it. In the meantime, I'm updating the blog with this story I wrote long back. Hope you like it..!!

The world had changed a lot in the past 20 years. I wondered what she would be like now and whether she’d really keep up to our commitment. The day had finally arrived; I’d been waiting for it since a long time. My thoughts wandered back to that fateful day 20 years back, when we’d parted. I tried a lot to get in touch with her, but it was as if she’d vanished into thin air. I guess this world isn’t such a small place after all.

I was never able to forget that day, it was the turning point of my life and the past 20 years of my life had been shaped by that incident, when I lost her. Surely, I was a kid then but I always knew that without her, I’d never be complete. She might not have felt the same way because she’d so many people around her. But she was taken away from me when I needed her the most. Life had not been fair to us, but I’d promised her that I’d be back 20 years later and I’d meet her at our usual place. I could still remember her sweet face, her beautiful voice and her warm hands. With her, I always felt safe. Her stories always enchanted me and I had missed them a lot in the past 20 years of my life. The sweet things she used to cook especially for me; I’d never eaten anything more delicious in my life. Why did we ever have to part?
Well, why cry over spilled milk? I’d finally be seeing her.

I’d arrived in Delhi early morning. My parents had warned me never to set foot in India again. But even a hurricane couldn’t have me stopped now. I took a cab to that village where I was born and where I’d spent 10 wonderful years of my life. I arrived there by afternoon. It was a sight to behold. Nothing had changed while I’d been away. It was as if I was back in my childhood; those beautiful trees which I used to climb everyday, those crop-fields where I used to hide everyday and right in the middle of all, that big huge tree under which I used to spend hours listening to stories from her. 20 years later, I was finally home again.

But, where was she? She was nowhere to be seen. When we’d left for the US, she’d also left to live somewhere else. She couldn’t bear to live here alone. But she’d promised me that she’d come to meet me on this day, no matter what. Maybe I’d made some mistake, maybe it wasn’t the day we were supposed to meet. But I’d my diary in my hand, and on it, the date was written clearly in my childish handwriting, Jan 1, 2008; exactly 20 years after we’d parted. So, I sat under that tree and waited and waited but still, there was no sign of her. Finally, at midnight, I decided to leave, upset and disappointed. Just when I was about to get up, I felt something under me, right next to the tree. It was buried under the sand. I saw the side of a box poking out. I dug and took it out. It was the box in which I used to keep my toys when I was small. I still remembered the lock combination. I opened it and saw 2 of my favorite toys in it along with a letter.
I opened the letter and read it-

Jan 1, 2005
My dearest Krishna,
Or should I call you Kris?
If you’re holding your toy box in your hands, then you kept your promise.
And if you’re reading this letter, that means, I didn’t.
But life didn’t keep its promise with me. I’ve been quite sick and if I haven’t come to see you today, that means I’ve probably left this world forever by now for a better place.
I hope you’re well. I’ve missed you a lot and I was waiting for this day to see you. But as always, life’s never fair to anyone.
Remember that I’ve always loved you.
I hope you do well in your life.
Give my love to your parents.

Your grandmother

I couldn’t believe it. How could it be?
I cried and cried. 20 years back, I’d lost her and 20 years later, I lost her again.