How’ve you been? I know you are fine otherwise, I speak to you almost every day and I know that you’re doing fine. Physically fine. But we never really ask each other how we’re really feeling, on the inside, do we? Are you a little scared? Do you ever feel like asking me to leave everything and come back to be with you? I know I do.
When we got married, all those years back, choosing to live away from you… at the time, seemed impossible. I knew we may have to, owing to your profession, but choosing to do it for any other reason, never seemed plausible to me. I remember the flight away from my then ‘home’ to where we were going to live thereafter. I remember thinking that the wedding, the honeymoon and all the exciting things are over but the real excitement is going to begin now. When we start our life together. How much fun is it going to be, to share mine with you!
There is just something about building your own home together. Buying things that were now going to belong to both of us. Fighting about where to put what. Getting exhausted but oh-so-satisfied by the end of the day. I can never forget how you went around Croma, looking for a refrigerator with only one question for any salesperson, “How long will it take to make ice?”, making me roll my eyes, while they would do their best to suppress their laughter. Well, at least you agreed for the white one with baby pink flowers, even if they looked too girly!
Just a few months were enough to make us feel like we had been doing this forever. I remember how when we were separating for a month the first time, it felt as if the days would drag on, that we may not be able to take it. I remember putting up a brave front as you left, not being able to hold on to the tears soon as I turned around, only to receive your message within a minute saying, “I cried”. I would get similar messages from you as and when you would find the little notes I had hidden for you in different places in your stuff. I told you I wanted you to ‘feel’ me around. Back home when my friends would be getting dressed to go out, I remember thinking, “but he’s not even here, who do I even dress for”. Ah, those blissfully painful times… how I miss them! Do you miss them too?
We would also be the reason for couples fighting, then. “Look he gives her bed tea before leaving for office”, “see how they make each other laugh”, “awww.. aren’t they the best dance partners, why don’t you even try?” were the few comments that we would overhear regularly. How much fun we would have telling each other what we both heard at different points, and laugh like silly school kids.
Of course, there were the tough ones too, like when you had your surgery. How worried I would be about you needing something, and not having anyone to ask from. I would spend hours sitting in the car, right outside your ward, for the visiting hours to start. I can never forget how small you looked when you were rolled out after your rather prolonged surgery, and the only thing you kept asking for was “can I see my wife?" We were alone, you and me, but we were together, and that made every hurdle easy.
But now, you are there, while I am here. The ‘hurdle' seems to be engulfing the entire world. I try and stay positive most times, but there are those few times, a few minutes in the middle of the day or the night that I can’t help feeling utterly helpless at the reality of being so away from you at this time. What if I am never able to see you again? Is there even half a chance that may happen? And then I spend the next few minutes trying to talk myself out of these morbid thoughts while wiping my tears repeatedly.
I long to be able to look at you from across the room, at a party and think “how handsome he looks” to myself. I so long to be able to feel the warmth of your presence even in the coldest of nights. I want to be able to say all the things that I really want to, but stop myself, because I know that they would only make you sad right now.
These times are tough. There is so much uncertainty. I hope and pray that all gets better. That we all are able to power through and wake up that one morning, to the news of it all getting better. Oh! what a beautiful morning that would be.
Until then, hang in there. Think of the good times, the funny times and make plans to relive all of them all over again… because it sure as hell is the time to press on that long, forgotten restart button.
For, the life that we get to live after now, would be a gift- ever thine, ever mine, ever ours!
Your one and only,
aankhon ka tara.