“Don’t try to be over smart with me and by the way, I don’t want to talk to you. Goodbye forever. ”
Beep beep beep…..and she cut the call. Not ready to believe all that was going at the moment I called her back. Her phone went ringing tring tring…..tring tring…..tring tring. She didn’t pick up. Feeling a sense of devastation and helplessness and I tried again. It said her phone had been switched off. Her last words were still echoing in my ears, “Goodbye Forever”. I was numb. Within minutes all contacts from WhatsApp, Facebook and every available means that connected us were blocked. A cherishing relationship of 2 years simply shattered in a few minutes of misunderstanding and ego. Finding no hope to contact her again I switched off my phone and put it inside my jacket. I started to walk down the lane thrusting both of my hands in the pockets of my jacket remorsefully, didn’t know exactly where to go. It was quite cold outside some 4 degrees that night. On the highway, it was better safe walking on the footpath to avoid cars, trucks, and bikes passing by. The fog was thick and dense. I looked and stared up at the neon street lamps. They glowed like large fireballs illuminating the vapours surrounding it. Then my sight went down when I realized how lonely I was. At that moment the only thing that accompanied me was my bloody shadow, one which became dark and another which fade away when I crossed through the street lights one after the other. I was missing her very badly, her company, her warmth, those never-ending conversations; those flirtings and evening walks holding each other close. I felt more cold than usual. It was an agonizing feeling of losing someone so close. In frustration, I kicked the air thinking what went wrong between us. Walking in the loneliness I passed by a Beer shop. I thought a drink might suffice the painful heartbreak giving some relief. While approaching near a few memories flashed in my mind. I promised her something meant to be a commitment forever. But now what? It was all over, no one to love, no one to care and no one to say, ‘Good night sweet dreams’. I almost reached the staircase of the shop but felt something deep in my heart, something for her which made me turn back I don’t know why. It was a mixed feeling which on one hand said how much we loved and longed for each other, but the agonizing feeling to accept the harsh reality that she is no more for me. I realized a stream of tears ran down my cheeks. I went away from that place and never came back.
Walking for a while I reached a small hotel (Dhaba) beside the road about to shut down. It was very cold and the grief made me more shiver. There I ordered a cup of coffee. As soon as I gave the order and looked around to find a place to sit a beggar young girl probably 16 or 17 years of age came and started her buzzing. It felt an annoying nuisance to me and I rebuked, “Get lost!! I don’t have anything for you bitch. So just fuck off.” Indian beggars have changed with time. From childhood, we are fed with moral values to be kind and helpful to beggars or needy. But it is an injustice that we sweat all day and night to earn a certain amount of money and what do they do? Simply take our hard-earned money blackmailing in the name of kindness and helpfulness. They are the only non-working class of the society who don’t do anything constructive. Are they needy and helpless or simply pretend to be is a Question mark. But the infiltration of middlemen created difficulties to differentiate and the needy might get neglected. That girl felt pissed off and gave a grief-stricken look with beads of tears in her eyes. It was similar to that of my girlfriend when we used to have arguments regarding our future life and I shout at her losing my patience. Still, I didn’t give a damn about that girl. After some time with my coffee in my hand, I was missing my beloved girlfriend more whose absence was made me feel lonely. The pain in the heart was driving me insane. I thought we fought like kids and finally ended up in a silly way. It was so good and now it’s gone. In the meantime lost in my thoughts I felt a hand on my shoulders; small, little rough probably a young boy. I turned around and saw that boy probably 16 or 17 years of age. It was now when I noticed his pathetic condition. In that cold weather of 4 degrees, he wore only 1 half sleeve sweater over a T-shirt and a torn three-quarter pant. To my astonishment that was all his clothing to beat this chilling cold. Still, I knew beggars wore something so that their appearance earn them sympathy hence I didn’t react. He said in a low voice,” My sister has not eaten anything for 3 days Can you help me get her something to eat? ” I took out a 5 Rupee coin from my wallet,” Here take this. ”The boy seemed puzzled,” Sir what will I do with this, my sister has been hungry for days and being her brother I can’t bear that anymore. This is useless for me.”Why don’t you buy her something?” I asked. Scratching his head he replied,” Most of the shops have closed at this hour of the night.” ”Ok Let me see”, saying so I searched my bag to find some eatables but found none. The boy stood there with his appealing eyes without making a move reflecting the love for his sister. Breaking the silence he spoke up,” It’s ok sir, finish with your coffee. I might be disturbing you. I will be there beside that banyan tree waiting for you ok.” Then he gave a hopeful smile and disappeared in the fog. Being a normal human being I felt empathy for him and his sister but didn’t know what to do. I felt a little sad as I had no food to offer him. He was in need but I was helpless.
After my coffee, I walked on my way back home pretending to have got relief from the shivering cold but I didn’t know what to feel. Her thoughts ran in my mind all over again. I took out my phone and was scrolling those pictures, selfies and sweet moments we spent together. Various memories of how we met accidentally, love at first sight and how I proposed her made me feel to burst out in tears. Lost in her thoughts I didn’t notice that I passed by a shop which was about to close. Oh God! That boy. He said he will be waiting for me. Her sister had not eaten anything for 2 days. Did he believe we will meet again? Did he believe in me? I felt numbness in my feet unable to move them forward anymore Oh shit I have come quite a distance. Will I be able to find them both? I shouted to myself,” Why didn’t I help those who were needy rather thinking about that person madly who left my life forever?? Idiot I have been so selfish and inhuman to that boy.” I bought some eatables from that shop after slight arguments as he had closed his shop and rushed to where he mentioned, the banyan tree. I came near that hotel and gasped,” Yes somewhere here I met that boy. We were talking and he asked me to help him. I was sitting on this bench and he came from my back.” Trying to trace where the boy went I spun around the place in desperation. Then I stood at one point raising my hand pointing toward an object at a distance. My eyes noticed some movement of leaves of a huge tree. Is it that tree which he mentioned? Will he still be there waiting for me? Ruling out anything which came in my mind I ran till I reached the other end. But there was no one except me and that huge banyan tree. I screamed, “Hello, can anybody hear me. Hello” After some time, I heard a sound of chattering of teeth nearby. Quickly penetrating through the dense fog I noticed a girl shivering at a distant.
To my amazement, she was the same girl whom I rebuked tonight. She was a bit terrified when I approached as her teeth chattered aloud. I felt like saying her sorry but she moved back. I asked,” Dear, Where is your brother?” In an expressionless voice, she said,” My brother has gone to look for some food for us.” I fell on my knees, “Dear see I have brought you biscuits.” “But my brother has told me not to accept anything from strangers so I am sorry,” she replied sternly. I tried to explain to her,” I know but your brother told me to give you some food. You have been hungry for 2 days. Come, you should have something now.” She didn’t say a word but took it from my hand and placed it on the ground gently. She had worn a shabby salwar suit and a full sweater, a bit better condition than her brother. Her teeth were still chattering. In quick response, I took off my jacket and pulled it over her shoulder. She lowered her eyes feeling shy. She blushed with a slight smile on her face. Maybe she wanted to say me thanks but her voice was too low to say it. We stayed there for a while without saying a word further. I don’t know why it felt an enchanting feeling being with her and I loved that. The fog had become dense where we could see only each other. She lifts her head and stared at me right into my eyes parting her lips a bit. “Do you want to say anything dear?” I broke the silence. She blushed and stammered,” No I mean it’s okay I mean thank you. No I mean to say thank you to stay with me. I was feeling alone.” I placed my fingers on her parted lips,” It’s ok now I think you should have something. I too have to return home.” She gazed at me with her compelling eyes. She helped me get up by holding my hands. “Savitri”, a girl called from a distance. Savitri so that was her name. She too screamed out,” Here I come.” She turned to me and said in urgency with a smile,” Hey please don’t mind. My friend is calling me Byee.” Though I wanted to meet her brother at least once I was getting late for home. I took a deep breathe taking in fresh air which became warm when it reached the bottom of my lungs. It was for the first time I smiled from my heart wiping off my tears. That cold night had been the wonderful night of my life. I learned a lesson which changed my approach to life forever