It's Our Fourth Anniversary And This Is What My 'Urban Life' Looks Like

Padmaja Duvvuri Padmaja Duvvuri in Stolen Diaries on 29 August, 2017

My Fourth Anniversary

I could feel a little pressure in the chest. A kind of stamping or a strangulation? I can't define. It was just some sudden discomfort. I woke up from my sleep, exhausted and grasping for breath. I stare at the empty bed for a while, trying to get back to normal breathing. In the darkness of the night, I find my way to the kitchen, pick up a glass of water and sip in slowly... thinking. Ah there I am thinking again and again!

I know I can't go back to normal sleep now. It's been a regular pattern ever since. Okay forget it. I switch on the TV and quickly check out what's being aired. Not interested in anything, I switch it off. I stare at the ceiling, in the darkness and get back to my thoughts. Well, at least that's where I'm comfortable, in my thoughts.

Why did we fall apart this way? Why do I find the love in my life missing? Why are there so many unspoken words. No, not that I'm not cared for. We do have conversations. "Don't forget to deposit that cheque in the account. It's been lying here since forever," I remember telling him. "Well, I'll try to. I'm busy. And you can do that too for yourself. Go get a drive. Go out, drop the cheque, take your friend along, have lunch at the cafe and then come home. You'll feel a bit different and get some fresh air in the process. "Before I could answer, he told me all this in a jiffy and headed for the lift, closing the door behind him.

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I stared at the cheque lying on the table. Daylight was breaking in slowly and I could hear the birds chirping outside. I grab my mobile to check the time. I see the message staring at me on the lock screen - "Sweetheart I'm not coming home for dinner. Work pressure. And I'll have to take the early morning flight to Delhi. So I'll go to the airport directly. See you in four days. Take care."

Instead of the time, I see the date. 27th March 2017. Yes 26th is over. Just like any other normal day. No change. Nothing special.

"Raj, our anniversary is just four days away. We fight so much. I'm sure one day we will not even be together on this special day."

"No. Nothing like that will happen. And it's not 4 days away, it is 5 days away. It's on the 26th of March." Said he. I kept quite. Yes we keep keep quite nowadays. As often as possible. We learnt this new way of agreeing not to disagree. This avoids conflicts. Period.

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I make a cup of tea for myself and try to read the newspaper. None of the news gets my interest. I throw the paper and grab the phone. Check Facebook. Check out some videos. And then realize it's already 11 am. Not breakfast time anymore. "I'll directly cook lunch for myself." I tell myself. And then there is some more time left for me to cook lunch. So there I grab my mobile again and play my favorite games. I start feeling empty. Empty within my house. Within myself and within my stomach. I realize it's 3 pm. I haven't eaten anything. I cook some rice. Grab some curd and gobble it down my throat.

Where did I go wrong. Is it wrong to expect emotions? Where am I heading to in life? What is it that puts a smile back on my face. Am I living? Is it called life? I breakdown and cry out loudly closing my ears.

I wake up with my head down on the table, where I was sitting. My face is all sticky. May be with tears or may be with sweat.

I get back to check my mobile. 120 plus messages from various WhatsApp groups and some personal forwards too. Some motivational, some humorous. I don't check any of them.

I toggle from airplane mode to normal mode. I check if there were any missed calls from him. I get 30 plus notifications for the calls I missed from various unidentified numbers - trying to sell me what I didn't want.

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I get back to my game on the mobile. And then fall asleep into the darkness of the night.

To be continued... Hello Urban Life!

Author's Note:

"Empathy comes to you naturally." I hear many of my friends say this to me. Stories I hear. At times from my friends, at times from the people I meet. All the little pieces of anecdotes I collected, all along, I have woven into small stories of fiction. Some where these stories may touch your heart, may make you smile, may make you think or may make you change. I'll be looking forward to hearing your feedback and your feelings about my stories and all the tiny comments coming from my readers mean a lot lot lot to me.


PS: All stories are pulpy works of fiction.