I was standing in the balcony and was sceptical about going into the room. My phobia with the closed spaces and crowd was growing in alarming rate. I couldn’t even stand 20 people in a room. I become increasingly restless and if it was a meeting or gathering, I would be exhausted after 5 minutes in the room. I was trying hard to come out of the habit because my team had 40 people and it was difficult to conduct a team meeting with my phobia.

“So happy to sleep huh?” Sinduja had wrapped herself in a shawl and was standing in the balcony.

“No. I just didn’t get sleep”

“Tell me, how did it feel?”

“What?”

“You have not talked to her for nearly 10 months now. How did you feel when you hear her voice?”

“It was as though, we never stopped talking. I don’t know why I felt that way. I think a lot about what we talked and how we talked and all. May be her voice was running in back of my mind all the time. Her voice didn’t change at all.”

“Aha”

“She challenged me to find her”

“That is nice. You always liked challenges.”

“I am not sure Sinduja. Let’s say I trace her out. What do I talk to her? What is new in my life and how would I convince her that she is very important person?. For all we know, she might have been engaged with him by this time. She wouldn’t tell and I was not able to find if she was single or not. I will try to see if my friends work in her company in Hyderabad and try to get her phone number if possible. Or I will let the matter rest.”

“Are you giving up Prasanna?”

I turned away from her. I was not able to answer the question.

“Now turn around. Look at my eyes and answer me. Are you giving up?” she asked again.

“After her father died, she never addressed me with nicknames. Today she did. It looks like she didn’t forget me after all. But you know what, I am not worth it. I made her suffer. And even if she wants to get married, I don’t know what can be done”

“You guys are still young Prasanna. What is the hurry?”

“Well. She is four years elder to me?”

“What the fuck?”

“I know. It’s wrong in my part that I didn’t tell you. But I don’t want you also to discourage me. We have never discussed our ages. Now she is almost 30 and if she wants to settle down and get married, him or any other person would be a right choice. I am not ready yet”

“But you were ready to lose your heart and fall in love. If only falling in love is like falling in empty swimming pool. Only if people broke their bones a couple of times, they won’t fall in love as easily as you do”

“See sis! I love that girl. That is true. Even if she was 12 years younger to me or elder to me, this feeling cannot be changed. But life is a totally a different thing. We live in India. We give more importance to people around us than we give ourselves. I don’t want to be a pain for her. Not any more.”

“Ok! It is your wish.” She started walking away. She suddenly stopped and turned around.

“You like to suffer in this love. Don’t you? You are afraid that if you talk to her again, this feeling will be lost. Aren’t you?”

“Sinduja!”

“Don’t try to refute me mister! I know how miserable you are. You want to hold on those thoughts till it kills you right?”

“It won’t kill me. I assure.”

“If you are in love with her, tell her. Or leave her alone. I don’t care if she is 4 years or 40 years elder to you.” She said and walked away.

This is a part of a chapter in the novel I am writing as part of National Novel Writing Month. I have completed the challenge, but the novel is yet to be finished. Your feedbacks will help me a lot. 

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