The Durga Puja was here again.
It always fascinated him how it created whole new atmosphere. The occasion just had an air of joy, cheerfulness and togetherness. The beauty of it was mesmerising.
“I love this time of the year when people would indulge in all kinds of festive shopping, hoping the best for the coming days , enjoying the present moment they have, doing all things with a spirit that’s contagious. I wish everyone remained this way all the time; the faith and hopes that ushers weren’t just restricted to a certain auspicious period and we always had such hefty discounts on all the brands all year round ….!”
Her lovely voice echoed in his ears as he reminisced the bittersweet memories they had. She somehow managed to make the pujas his favourite time of the year too.
He shut his laptop, which wasn’t getting much of his attention anyway, and sipped his coffee.
It’s amazing how a couple of weeks is enough time for people to go from bugging you all the time to leaving you alone at last. At least most people. They get the hint after a while. Only some people though, he smiled bitterly. He looked at the text on his mobile screen.
‘Happy Durga puja. May Maa Durga make all our wishes come true.’
He wished it had been someone else who had greeted him. A certain “someone else” who didn’t care how depressed and broken he felt at the moment.
He knew his friends were worried about him. Everyone was. He wished they would stop. He felt like he was already carrying all the sorrow in the world, and their worries felt like another burden. Didn’t they know he couldn’t take anymore? He was already so tired.
He still couldn’t believe that he hadn’t reacted at all, at that moment. He had just stood there, completely still, like he didn’t feel a thing, like his heart wasn’t broken into a million pieces, like her words hadn’t killed him. He had just stood there, listening to every word she said and he hadn’t moved even when she had stormed off from there. It had been after a few minutes that he finally felt like he could move.
God knows how he had survived the meetings after that. It was all a blur. He didn’t quite remember them. He just remembered getting back home and locking himself in his room. And of course, the sympathetic looks on the faces of people. The concern, which he got used to by now, well almost. Those looks had been a constant companion since a month ago, when everything went to hell; when she told him she was breaking up with him. His parents looked worried, but no one asked a thing, they knew they won’t get any answers.
The sun had set hours ago. He had been sitting on the floor in darkness. He didn’t have the strength to get up. It felt drained, and saturated. It was already edging the limit of pain he could handle and now he just felt numb.
“How many times do I need to tell you? For god’s sake, leave me alone. You’re obsessed. I never thought you could become so desperate!” She had been screaming at him, in front of everyone. He still couldn’t believe it. It was like she wanted him away from her so badly, that she didn’t even care about the other people around them. Her friends had given him different looks, ranging from pity to disgust.
Of course he was taken aback. She had been standing there with her colleagues, smiling and talking. As soon as she heard him, she lost it. She became hysterical, like he was a nightmare.
This was the same girl who had told him sometime back that just a glimpse of him made her day, that how much she loved his voice. It seemed like a cruel dream that they had once been madly in love. It felt terrible that he was still madly in love with her.
He couldn’t try to talk to her again. He wasn’t sure whether at all he wanted to. He did wish her to come back, to get the things back at where they used to be. But that wasn’t what he would ever say. He just wanted to know, why? Just where did they go wrong? So wrong!
He still couldn’t believe it. It was like they had been living in different worlds! It was like things hadn’t been the way they had actually gone. He knew things weren’t perfect between them and that they had problems, but despite everything, they loved each other, or so he thought. Apparently, she didn’t feel the same. She didn’t tell him what made her change her mind. He had no idea why she just didn’t want him anymore. And she refused to talk to him.
She never explained anything. She just left! And left everything behind.
No reasons, no explanation. He wasn’t even worth a gentle goodbye.
Of course he was bitter. How could he not be?
So now, he had to come to terms with thefact that he would never know what went wrong. Because the only person who could give him the answer doesn’t even want to see him ever again
He didn’t know what he hated more, her or the fact that he still loved her.
Coming out of the trance, he saw his phone screen light up and noticed the time. Clearly that had been a long walk down the memory lane. He had many more greetings on his phone, he opened the first one and typed with a wry smile.
‘I wish you the same. And I wish our hopes and faith isn’t restricted to just this auspicious occasion but we take it forward with us throughout the year.’
‘Are you okay now?’ His phone buzzed instantly.
“Am I okay?” He questioned himself for the umpteenth time. “Absolutely not. The girl I loved, or maybe still love, despite everything, hates me so much and I don’t even know why? And I won’t know, because she won’t tell me. It feels like something is killing me inside. And there’s nothing I can do. I’m just sitting here like a lovesick fool, still waiting for her to start acting reasonably.”
He looked at his phone again. For a moment, he thought of throwing his phone to the other side of the room; he just wanted to destroy something. Then he took a deep breath and told himself, “Alright, so I’m supposed to move on. There’s no point regretting something that at one point of time, was a large part of my happiness. I need to stop questioning if she ever loved me. I need to stop thinking about how much I loved her, how much it hurts. I need to let her go. I know it will take time to get over it, but I need to try it anyway, because it’s not like I have a choice. “
And there he had his answer.
He finally picked up his phone again and decided to reply.
‘No. But I will be :)’