When her friend called to ask her about her plans for the evening,she said,”I have to wait for the dark”. She loved the darkness of nights,the dark rooms during the day and the dark cloudy days. Perhaps because darkness means ambiguity and that is what she related to the most.
With “Mera kuchh saaman” in background,she started to put her room in order,the books back in shelves,the rubber bands back in the drawer,the half read novel beneath the pillow and brushed away some memories. As she then sat down to gulp down water from the bottle,she smelt its rim. “Why does the water from your bottle smell fruity,cherry kind?” “No,nothing of that sort,let me see. Oh it’s my lip balm on the rim. Idiot”. Then on he always smelt the rim of her bottle before drinking water. Unconsciously she started doing the same. Few weeks later,she stopped putting on that lip balm though.
On one of their strolls while they were headed to say goodbye before he left for yet another phase, he bared his out to her. “I have lived alone way too much,and I don’t want it that way for long. I had shut myself up emotionally,because I was broken” . Yet,he said certain things she never understood. “How can I say everything,try to feel na”. “What should I feel at least explain that?” . “Nothing”.
Weeks started to pass by and happy memories began to get etched in their hearts. Of roads taken together and stealthy calls and morning texts and baring souls little by little. The long conversations could be easily traced back before falling alseep.
“Why did you not text me good morning? Is it nice,to break customs?”
“We make these customs na. This ain’t a religious practice. I woke up late”
” Break customs only when they stop serving purposes so that I get a hint of something wrong.”
She loved ethnic clothes. She loved the jhumkis and bindis and all that jazz. On days that she wore bindi,he would gaze at her a little longer. “What? Why are you staring? Isn’t it in the middle”. “No.” “Idiot,then fix it”. And he would fix it. At the end of the day when she would look at the mirror,she would find her bindi shifted to the left. “You mean person. It was in the middle. Why did you mess with it? “Nothing”. And they would giggle past the dinner.
Soon as the distance started taking toll on the long morning texts and the pretty conversations about love and necessities, there were fewer words and longer silences. Deeper pains. No more memories could find their way in the heart and no routes were getting them their strolls back.
“I miss you. Why can’t we just admit what’s going in our minds? Why can’t we accept the truth that separation is not meant to be”
“But what is the problem. Everything is alright. I am still the same.”
“No. I don’t see the same person in you now”
“Because you are not the same”
“Itna mehnat kar ke Nothing kyu bolte ho”(Why do put so much effort to say nothing)
The sky grew dark.The song changed to “Lo aa gayi unki yaad”.She could now sit in the balcony and count the number of “Nothings” he gifted her.