tring tring tr…………….
“How can y… you do this to me?” it was a girl voice, soft like an angel but trembling on every word.
“At least, leave them to me.”
There was a long silence. The sobbing stops. I was half conscious; probably the last night vodka was still banging in my head.
“Isn’t you Farhan?” She asked.
“No, who the hell is Farhan?”
It was 7 in the morning. I can`t remember the last time I wake up this early. Damn! That phone call ruined my sleep. The girl looks troubled but it was none of my concern, I had to go to the studio and before that I need to get vodka out of my head.
On my way to studio, I think about the conversation again. that voice was sweet, timid but the trembling in her voice indicated toward her morose like a tragedy befallen on her, unable to handle my thoughts I called her:
“I already apologized.”
“No, that`s not why I called. You sound morose. Can I help you?”
“No, you can`t and don’t try to hit on me”.
“No, this is not what I meant.”
“This is what you meant; ask yourself would you call a man like this?”
So I sis what she said and the answer was no. I decided to remain silent.
“Asshole.” She hung up
I was trying to sleep but that voice didn’t let me. She had an angelic voice mix with sorrow and tragedy. But why was thinking about a girl who brutally dishonored me? Yes, she was in trouble I suppose but that doesn’t give any right to her to talk so disdainfully to me. I regretted the moment when I called her. These thoughts filled me with anger and my heart feels the urge to slap her. I said to myself to not to do anything like this ever again even if a person on the other side of phone is dying.
It was a message
“I think I was being a bit rude on you.”
The anger fades away, I calmed myself, read the text, Oh! god I wished the text can speak in her voice.
“Yes you were a bit, but I don’t mind.”
“Anyway I apologies”
“Apology accepted. By the way what was the matter?”
“Since you are a stranger and cannot do any harm to me and can`t judge me or if you judge me I don’t care. I feel a bit comfortable to give my heart a little comfort.”
“Yeah, sure but can I call you.”
So I called her, excited to hear that voice again but what could be the matter, or how I gonna react to it? What if she asked me for an advice? These thoughts filled my brain with anxiety, the very usual symptom of over thinking which happen to me a lot.
“Let`s get to the point.”
“I and he, Farhan was married for past 10 years we have two kids both are boys. We had love marriage and everything was going swiftly. We do dinner together, go to shopping together make love thrice a week. But one day, as there is some days of sunshine and someday of darkness. The darkness fell on me, I failed in one test and he left with our children. Few days before, he married to another woman and now I am dying alone every day.”
I heard everything and had no idea on how to react. I remain silent for few second, She accompanied me and after a while I finally dared to speak.
“Why he left.”
“You will find out in future, I believe,”
So this wasn’t the last time we will be talking at least that’s a good sign, I assumed.
“So, did your husband cheated on you.”
“He did actually, when I needed him the most.”
“Don’t hurt yourself, alright?”
“I won`t unless something else hurt me. I feel much lighter now, thanks for listening me, gotta go, bye.”
“At least tell your name.”
“Nooriya Has…..Ansari , Nooriya Ansari.”
I searched her on Facebook found no one, there were a lot Noor but no one named Nooriya. I tried on Instagram there were few but no one with last name Ansari or Hashmi. I left disappointed and went to sleep.
Few days passed. She didn’t call me and I didn’t have the courage to text her. I missed her voice and wondered how beautiful her face will be. I wrote few songs about her. The fact that she was the mother of two kids and belongs to other religion bothered me. But I wanted to talk to her; my voice was dying to hear her voice.
I called her:
“Hey, I am a bit stressed.”
“Ok. Then light you heart,”
“I don’t know why I am in on and off relationship with girls and forever on relationship with alcohol.”
“Who are you?”
“The one whom you told your problem, remember?”
“No, not that stupid I mean what your profession is?”
“I am the lead singer of band named cabron.”
“Dumbass, it means in Spanish.”
She laughed. “So basically you are a musician who is quite popular even though I don’t know about you but I assume. There is nothing unusual in going on and off in relationship for a person like you, they want money you want sex, everything is going fine.”
“No, nothing is fine I need someone to stand by me, I want to be loved, I want to feel, touch, sense the pure love that comes with the package of lifetime not just one night.”
“The life you live is very fast, love is not like that it needs time, it likes to slow things down and make you feel every moment. It needed to be caressed, needed to flow freely. If you try to control it based on your circumstances, your needs and your time then it starts to degrade, the other person began to feel minor, now he is not free, he is suppressed and may be if you get close to each other but the distance between you and other person will always increase.”
She continued. “I am not saying you won`t be able to find someone you can really love or maybe you have already found that person but aren`t aware, so make sure you find her before anyone else find her. Because it`s not true that a specific person is made for a specific person the only thing that matters is who touch your soul first.
“What`s about my alcohol problem?”
“Let me tell you a story.” she paused for a while
“My friend, Zoya married to a truck driver. He was an excessive drinker. Though she was lucky that most of the time her husband remains on the long journey of some distant places of India, transporting many stuff. But when he stays at home her life turns into a living hell. He tortures her like black slaves were tortured by white men. A small mistake can lead to many scars and a loud voice can lead to extreme suffering.”
She continued. “His friend was also like him, excessive drinkers. One day when he ran out of money his friend advised him to sell his daughter. The drunkard father that was unconscious of himself, to his senses of nobility, his duty. He agreed.”
“What! How can someone do this?”
“He was not in control of himself, let me finish the story.”
“My friend, Zoya resisted with all her might. She was contended to not let her child become the victim that she was. In the end both were burnt down by the fire that shows no mercy on anyone only leaving their ashes behind.”
I was shocked. What I just heard was hard to believe. I couldn’t even dare to move my lip a bit, not even an inch of it.
“Drinking is more injurious to the health of your loved one than to your health.” She said and hung up.
We started texting each other, although I preferred her voice over the black letters flashing on my phone screen but it was an easy and can be used more often for communication and also I have the time to think twice to make sure I don’t say something absurd to her.
She told me many things about her, how she grew up running on the streets of Kanpur. How she misses those old games like titi, chor police, barf pani. She was worried that how today`s kids will never know the pleasure of playing the real games that actually requires blood and sweat. She miss those times when we used to meet real friends and show our love by our gestures not by the status that show less quantity of love but more hunger for likes.
She told me lots of thing about her religion good and bad. She told me how much she hated to wear burka and how much she liked the biryani. She told me that when she was young she even used to lick the whole plate of biryani and make it so clean that you even don’t need to wash it again.
I was sitting on a brown wooden chair, looking at Ahmad and Mansoor without blinking. They were playing cricket in the lawn. They looked happy, so happy that they probably didn’t even notice mama sadness. I know everything was tormented, my soul was sobbing quietly. But how can I show my tears to my boys. ammi was strong at least that I pretended all my life in front of my kids. Farhaan stormed towards our room furiously. He packed all my things in two large suitcases smashed them on the floor and asked me leave or should I say ordered me to leave.
“This is not what you are thinking.” I pleaded
“oh! Then how you get it bitch!” he said
“It can happen to anyone.”
“No, it can`t.” He said. “Now take your stuff and leave my house now.”
“Believe me, I didn’t cheat,” I said crumbling inside.
He was burning with anger. Ahmad and Mansoor began to cry. They ran towards me but Farhan stopped them.
“Your ammi is a sinner, don’t touch her.” He said.
He took my luggage moved them out of the door and then pushed me too. He left me no choice all I can do was to scream. So I did, wishing it will heal my pain a little. It didn’t actually. I moved back to my ammi`s house and then I tried to call him but I failed. My life is a life of complete failure and misery.
She paused. She was probably wiping her tears; I can hear little squeaks in her voice and wondered how many times did she wish to die? So I asked
“Have you ever wished to die?”
“Everyone is dying some fast, some slow, some in gloom, some in bloom, everyday.” She said. “You don’t wish to die you chose how you want to die. So do you want to wish for death and die or do you want to wish for life and die?”
She continued. “I would say I will choose the latter one. Who wants to die in trauma?”
“So, why you keep on blaming yourself?”
“Because I can`t blame someone else or god for a deficiency of mine, except in farting by the way.”
“Yeah, I love to fart and then blame it on others.”
“What`s your name by the way?” she asked.
“Kinda weird but goes with your personality.”
Few weeks passed. We started talking more frequently. I asked her to meet me but she denied. But there was no way that I would give up that easy. So I asked again and again and again but she denied every time.
“Why you denied all the time.”
“Because the thing you want, I can never give to you.”
“I want your heart only.”
You are younger than me and belong to a different religion. It is not possible.”
“But don’t we have the same heart?”
“I want to know your story first.”
“I had my first guitar at the age of seven, since then I fell in love with music. I and my friends made a band at age of 12 and we gave our all for this dream that we are living now. I belong to a high class religious family but I left them when they forced me to leave the band and to focus on some realistic things at the age of 20. After 1 year of struggle we got our first viral song on youtube and earned some fame and name after that I fell with drugs, alcohol and all other slow poison that can kill me. I went to rehab after 3 years of excessive consumption of drugs. After rehab I fell in with alcohol again, this time not with drugs. Now I feel empty looking for fulfillment and purpose.”
“I can`t fill you up. I am hollow.”
“You fill me a little and I fill you a little and together we will make a whole.”
“It`s too late for this.”
“At least meet me once.”
There was a long silence. My nerves went up and down with speed of light. She agreed.
I put my favorite white blazer on and matched it with black shirt, black trouser and black shoes. It was 9:30 in the morning we had to meet at 10. It would take 20 minutes to reach there, so I rushed to my car. “I should have washed it earlier. What would she think when see this messy car?” I thought. I bought a bouquet of red and white roses, red for the love white for the peace because that’s the only thing that I have to make with myself if she rejected me.
There she was sitting in the dim light, a brown chair supporting her long and smooth back, in front a table was placed covered white fabric in which her hand were rested like a pilgrim after reaching his pilgrimage, like sun rest to admire the beauty of moon. She was a moon indeed. She had big eyes that hold a glacier and thin lips from which she pours nectar.
I reached to her
“Yes.” She looked at me and smiled.”
“Roses for rose” I said and gave her the bouquet.
“Actually, it`s roses for thorns.”
“Nothing, never mind,” she said and looked away
“So, what would you like to have?”
“A truth.” She said and fixed her eyes on mine.
“Truth?” I said, startled at her response.
She covered my hand with her hands, looked around the room then fixed her eyes on mine. She struggled to speak and for a few seconds and kept her gaze fixed on me. I noticed her anxiety and touched her shoulder with my other hand.
“I have Aids.”
Everything went blur. My lifeless body was supported by the chair. She put her hands on his face and cried and I became numb, I lost my senses. Did she say anything to me after that? Didn’t she ask me anything when I was leaving? Did I say something when I was leaving? I don’t remember. I even struggle to remember how I came back to my house.
Next day, I woke up on the same old bed, in the same old house wearing the same clothes but everything was different. My heart was heavy so heavy that I couldn’t lift myself up from the bed. I was staring at the ceiling and it feels like an eternity but I didn’t want to move, everything related to her was coming back again and again. I thought of looking at my phone but ceased the idea because the pattern on my lockscreen was her initial. I slept again.
A week passed. We made no contact. I couldn’t recover, everything was just passing and I was not feeling anything. I wondered who is dying faster, she or me. I can no longer pay attention to anything not on my wok, not on my life. She didn’t have a lot of time left and with all my wretchedness I called her.
“It`s me Rem.”
“Hmm.” I could feel the anguish in her voice.
“I want to say two things to you.”
My real name isn’t Rem. It`s Ram Prasad.”
“Second thing, will you marry me?”
“I neither have time nor the answer.”
“I guess I know the answer.”
We married in the Christian way and for next one and a half year she was completely mine. We tried our best to delay her death. She went through all the medication she probably can but it was inevitable. She left me with her soothing memories those one and a half year were the best of my life. I still remember the last word she whispered in my ear.
It was a proper goodbye. It felt like she was leaving her body and handing her soul to me. She is still with me, smiling, probably looking at me saying her early prayers, licking her fingers mixed with Biryani or whispering her last words in my ears.
“Good bye, Nooria.”