The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.
Hey… I am here! Can you hear me? What is wrong with you all? I am shouting and crying but no one responds back to me. I think it’s a “Déjà Vu” – when the strange feeling occurs, it seems to spark the memory of a place, person or an act that we have already faced.
My body is aching, my heart is beating 10 times louder and faster. I do not have the energy to move, not even an inch! What is wrong with me? There are people all around me but they all are strangers. I am not able to find anyone known to me.
Someone is talking on the phone, that too, very loudly. Suddenly, I hear my name, but from the person on the other side of that call. I start following this person thinking that he might be on a call with my friend, but I would not tell him that I am the same girl whom he is talking about on the phone.
Being a girl, I ought not to trust the strangers that easily, it’s really unsafe. Isn’t it?
I have followed him for good 2.5 km. I am feeling tired now. I see a bench and I want to sit and relax for 5 minutes. There I see my brother, I am surprised as to how he is here. He is supposed to be at home, isn’t he?
Then I realize where I am. I am at this beautiful hill station. Oh my god… what is wrong with me? I am out for a vacation with my friends. Damn! How can I forget this? Where are they?
I shout my brother’s name, but he doesn’t respond. Maybe, he is angry with me because I did not ask him to join us for the trip. Never mind, he is my brother and I know how to make up for this. But where are my friends?
Something about this place is really strange. What is this feeling? Everyone’s voices echo, the cars’ horns sound like 10 trucks honking at the same time, each and every nerve of my body is making a different sound. Something is definitely wrong with the weather and the people here, or with my body. Each and every limb of my body is in pain, I think I should sleep.
After 2 hours
Oh, I’ve slept for a good time. I am feeling better but my friends… they must be worried. I should go and meet them. My brother is standing at the distance of about 5 meters. He is looking really disturbed and tensed but he is like this only, always anxious.
Hey wait, my friends, they are also there with him. But they all are looking so tensed, I can clearly listen to them talking about me. Why is my roommate shedding out the tears? Is everything alright? Is her hand fractured?
Oh, that night… that accident, that’s why my body is behaving a little differently. But I don’t think that I have got any major injuries. My friends are also looking fine, except for my roommate’s fractured hand. But they all are looking exhausted and so am I.
Thankfully, there is no major tragedy. But otherwise, that accident was really horrible. But who is that, is someone dead? Whose body is this? That must be some fellow passenger. Why is my brother taking that body with him?
Oh wait, bhai! I am also coming with you. Where are you going, airport? But my flight is scheduled for the next day. Please, let me come with you. I am missing mummy and papa terribly.
At the airport
I think he is really furious at me, I am sitting right next to him but he does not speak to me. Wait, who is this? Oh my God, that’s me, that person is me! But I am here! Bhai, tell me Bhai! Where are you going? What are you saying, why are you writing my name in the place of a deceased relative, I am here right in front of you, take me along. I will come with you in the flight. I will hide under this coffin that you are carrying.
7 Hours 30 minutes later
Mummy… papa, I am home. All my relatives are here. I am looking too shabby and dirty. Maybe I should change, mumma! Please listen, talk to me! Papa, why is mumma behaving like this? Bhai, it’s enough now, look at me! What is wrong with you all? I am not in a situation to run after all of you, please… I am feeling too weak!
“She was a very lively girl, always cheerful. That’s alright. Don’t cry, it was bound to happen.”
Now that coffin is gone, and since we Hindus don’t use coffin to cremate a dead person, I have realized that I am the dead person.
My mother is crying, everyone is trying to console my family. I also want to go and talk to them. I want to express my love for them. I am crying and shouting out loud, but my voice doesn’t reach them.
I want to tell them that they mean the world to me. That they should not cry, as I am here with them and will always be! Tired and exhausted, I began to shrink myself in the corner, pressed onto the wall. They don’t even know that I am present here, among everyone.
I run up to look for my friends, they all are upset, and crying. I beg to the functions of life and environment that I don’t want to leave this place.
I want to stay here with my family, with my friends, but I guess it’s time. I have to go!
Now I can recall everything. My entire life flashes in front of me. My home, my brother, school, that rickshaw wale bhaiya, my friends, that mithai shop and pan gillori, my college, studies, first job, shopping sessions, roommates, colleagues… memories!
I am here, the light is dark and the darkness is bright.
I have never had this feeling before. Feeling light like air, no hatred, no agony, no anger. It’s all peaceful. I am able to see my parents, friends, and colleagues. They are talking about me.
Some of them are upset, some are recalling good memories, some are thinking why they were not there with me during my last moments and here I am, smiling and thinking about everything that I have achieved, those sad faces, those tears, and their love for me.
It has been a year. My mother still cries every day, papa weeps silently. Bhai tries to stay strong in front of them but I know he misses me terribly and so do I. My friends, they avoid taking my name, thinking that the others may get sad.
I can feel how my absence has altered their lives. But somehow, everyone is trying to cope up with the situation. I wish they all move on in their lives but a part of me wants them to miss me. It is their love that works as the support system for me, on this other side of the world.
Miss you all. Take Care
Loads of Love.