Sumit was enjoying the warmth of a winter morning sitting in an easy chair in his veranda after getting prepared for another day’s work and silently watching the hurried people on the street. It was his daily routine to sit there for some time and watch the crowd in the front street. Everybody is in hurry to pursue their own dream, dream which will lead them to live a happy life. ‘Dream’ and ‘Hope’, these two are the most fascinating words for him from his early days. Dream to swim against the stream and hope that you have the potential to accomplish it, makes one’s life fruitful.
‘Papa it has already crossed 10.00. We are getting late’, a sweet voice awoke him from his dreamy world. Titir, his twelve years old adopted daughter was always conscious about her father’s daily routine. He adopted Titir when she was two years old from an orphan home in the city after getting a job in the University. A decade passed after that, she is grown up now, grown up enough to take care of her lonely father. He also did his best as a father to take care of her. He never tried to hide anything and told everything about her identity. She did not rebel rather she accepted the harsh truth quietly. After that, Sumit never let her realize the scarcity of his affection towards her.
‘Papa what are you thinking? Aren’t you feeling well?’ she put her palm gently on his forehead.
‘I am absolutely fine beta.’ He took her palm inside his hand and kissed it.
‘Beta, I was thinking about my little princess who is growing up. I have to find out a prince who will always make my little princess smiling.’
‘Papa, promise me you will never say like this. I will never leave you, the best Papa in the world?’ she embraced her father with all her strength.
‘OK beta. I don’t. Leave me now, I will find out someone who will stay with us. Is that fine?’
‘OK, I have to think about it. Papa I forgot, our housemaid found out an old reddish diary while she was cleaning some of your old books, accidentally it got wet a little, I have put it on your table in the reading room.’
‘I will take care of that beta.’ He got distracted a little while saying this. A sudden attraction to see the diary made him walk to his reading room. He carefully ran his fingers on the top cover. Side corners which were adorned with thin metallic wrapping got rusted; the red cover wore at several places revealing the hard sheet beneath it. He read the first page which was written- “The Words Left Unsaid”, title of the diary. Some past memories of his early days got brightened and made him separated from the outside world. It was not so easy to forget those days, the days full of endless misery which forced him to experience a dark side of human life.
‘Papa we are already late’. He did not even notice when she came inside and stood beside him with her school bag.
‘I am ready beta.’ He replied being little disconnected with the conversation and closed the diary in haste to hide it from her.
‘Papa what is this diary about?’ She asked in a softened voice comprehending the gravity of the situation. At this small age, she has the compassion to realize some specific scenario about human deed. Might be, god has made her sensible enough to withstand against the odds that life had already put once after her birth.
‘Nothing, it’s about my childhood. Let’s go beta’, it revealed his futile effort to suppress the truth.
‘Ok papa. Sometimes I would like to listen from you’, She replied softly to realize the uneasiness in his quick and brief reply. It lessened the awkward feeling which started to aggrandize in him. After keeping the diary on his table, he started to walk towards the garage while adjusting his shoulder bag.
‘Beta have you checked your notebooks and other essentials properly? I am too late to recheck’; he started the engine of his new Maruti SX4. It already crossed eleven while he entered the class after dropping her to the school on the way to his university. Sumit is having a good reputation not only among his colleagues but students also respect a lot due to his refined behavior and vast knowledge on the subject. In his ten years of teaching life, he received several accolades in research and has established himself as a renowned face in his area of study.
Today is going to be the one of the rough day, he thought while entering to the lecture room. Some memories were haunting him and made him distracted from his concentration. After finishing the day’s work in a hurry, he returned home to get relaxed and forget those memories which frighten him the most.
Two hours left to take her back from school, he checked the time in his old wristwatch which he usually likes to wear even though the wearing of wristwatch was getting obsolete now a days. Some sweet memories were enwrapped behind this old, you can say ancient one as it was more than fifteen years old and he protected it from every possible danger. The hesitation in his mind to go through the diary won the battle. In a hurry, he prepared a cup of coffee filling his big size coffee mug. He turned over the first page and started to read while taking a sip in a leisured posture….
It’s me, your love; nothing seems to attract to make me live for one more day. Darkness is everywhere. My room, my study, and even my favorite novels nothing seems to carry a ray of hope anymore in my wretched life, other than you. I was innocent about love, you were first to teach me about love, to help me to discover a part of life which was the most happiest part a human can live. I wanted to live in that part which got enlightened with your presence, got blessed with your touch, and got fulfilled with your involvement. While sitting in this darkness, I hallucinate the way you would smile, the way you would react to defend your view, the way you would care when I used to get hurt, and your intensified look when you would become concern about my stand. Your enchanting face used to make me smile even in the mid of thousand difficulties, your kind demeanor towards the needy child sometimes would make me surprised and used to fill my heart in joy to become a part of that…….
He doesn’t know why he was reading this but something was forcing him to do that. Many years passed, the invisible scars deep inside his sensitive mind started to heal with time. He wanted to forget that part of life and tried to bury under the burden of his so-called fulfilled and contended life. He flipped through another page by turning several pages in-between.
Doctor has diagnosed me with PSTD (post traumatic stress disorder) with an acute depression. I know, I will be cured if you come back to me, just I have to wait till you come back. You know, doctor advised to admit me in the mental hospital till I get cured. I did not agree, I wanted to go back to home, I can’t think except you. Three months passed after that I have not left my room. My conscious says if my love is pure, you have to come back to me. I know this is an orthodox view of human emotion that can often be seen in movies, novels but very rare in real life and I am not among those lucky one. My madness worsens, I can’t leave my bed, I am afraid of almost about everything and doctor says I am agoraphobic. The days goes on, the hope to get you back diminishing day by day. My friend consoles me to forget you, to wipe out your image from my mind. Is that so easy to demolish a world where I wanted to live forever? A world which I decorated with my own imagination, a world which I painted with the color of eternal love, and a world you are the reason to create.
Sumit can clearly remember her last words when she came with her elder brother sitting on their scooty which usually she used to drive, without any initiation she started saying-
‘You are not worth of my love. I just loved you as a friend, but never thought to spend my life with you. How dare you to tell me as your girlfriend? You, the looser don’t have even any job to survive. And if you truly love me never try to come in my way after this.’ Without any pause in-between, she uttered those words in a flow holding her breadth, like she memorized those lines with a great effort and wanted to deliver it as early as possible. Without waiting to get a reply, she left the place instantly. She didn’t even look back for once to see him.
He got befuddled with the sudden change in her behavior; it took a little time to realize the reality of the incident. It left him shocked and speechless for moments, a fear to lose her paralyzed him.
He skipped another few pages in confusion; it seemed he was in a dilemma to decide which one to read.
Recently I came to know that you were forced to break the relation with me. As a Bramhin family, your parents wanted you to get married with a boy of their own choice, and off course I didn’t have any job at that time. You know, I accepted this cruel truth after a long battle. How a parents can be so heartless. Let it be, I have planned to move on, I am thinking to take admission in a University for my m.sc., I am far better now than before. The days, I have seen, no more impede my present, I am now much more confident than ever; I have to reach a great high in my profession to show your parents what I am capable of. Sometimes I think why people don’t get everything they wish. Once my doctor replied me, ‘people will be bored if they get everything they want, life will lose its charm, and people will forget to become happy. There must be failure and success, and then only people will respect the value of life.’ I will wait for you till my last breadth.
It took a little time to overcome his emotional breakdown. After, near about six months of confinement in a room, he decided to start his life again. He wanted to heal the wound with the pride of achieving an enviable prosperity and dignity and at the same time to take a silent revenge on her parents.
Today I have defended my PhD thesis, everybody praised for my work. But It does not make me happy, how can I cherish my happiness without you, you are the reason I am here today. I told you I can cross any barrier if you are with me. I believe, wherever you are, you are always in my heart. Don’t feel offended; I have forgiven you, I know; they have forced you to do that but if you ever want to come back to me, I am there to embrace you. By the way, I have never seen you after my admission in the University; your parents also left this place permanently to stay with your brother. You know, I have accepted my destiny but the days we spent together, transformed me into a new person.
Whenever I smell any fragrance of perfume in the crowd, it makes me aware of your presence. If I see any woman is scolding with a rickshaw for just few rupees, it reminds me of you. Whenever I see any street child I feel the urge to help them with the best of my ability and when I see them to smile; I feel your existence inside my soul that I have carefully preserved. You told me- ‘never come in my way’, I did, and I never try to find you out. But the truth is – you are the reason I live……..
Sumit took a last big sip of his coffee which already turned into a cold one; he kept the mug on the table with a gentle noise. He checked the time again and immersed into the reminiscence.
I have adopted a daughter recently. I used to tell you, how much I liked to have a daughter. Her eyes as deep as yours, her palms as soft as yours, her face is so cute and enchanting like you are, and when she smiles, I forget everything that makes me suffer. Whenever she holds my hand with her little fragile fingers, my empty heart replete with an eager elation. When I walk holding her one hand, I miss your presence to hold other. When I try to make her sleep reading a story, I regret your sweet voice to sing which you know, I always too bad to do. At the evening when I hear the sacred bells ringing in a nearby temple, as though I believe in atheism, I try to dig out my perpetual belief and offer a prayer that you always used to do whenever you would cross any temple and I used to stare at your serene face full of innocence. In the night when I go to bed and struggle to get some sleep after the daylong hard works, I feel the need to hold your hand inside mine, I feel the need to embrace you and I feel my life would become fulfilled if you would have stayed with me.
Tears rolled down from his eyes, a feeling of emptiness grabbed his heart. After so long, he was crying. He achieved everything whatever he wanted but it was not enough to heal the wound inside his heart.
‘Is he ever tried to find her out? What if she is still now unmarried and leading a miserable life waiting to get him back. What if she is separated from her hubby and living alone. Just because she told not to find her out, he has not even tried to inquire about her. Might be she is afraid of his fame and prosperity to come back to him.’ Thousands of possibilities started occupying in his confused mind.
‘What if she is married and living happily?’
The thought suddenly appeared and tried to dominate over others. Slowly it made him restless and triumphed over all the positive possibilities that were showing a ray of hope a few moments ago.
‘If that happen, he will not go in front of her to create any problems in her life. That is what he also wants to see her happy. He has already learned to live in adversities and emerged as a winner.’ He furiously skipped rest of the pages after that and reached the last page of his diary.
This is my last letter. After this I will never write. I don’t know why I am writing all these? But hope one day you will read. All the letters that I have written so far throughout my recovery from emotional breakdown to a person, who I am today, hope I would have recited it to you. Then only you would have realized the depth of my love. You know, I didn’t try to deliver a single letter. I don’t know where you stay and above all I don’t want to go in front of you.
By the way, I am doing well in my profession and Titir has started to go to school. You know, I have arranged one housemaid to take care for her. I will try my best to give her all happiness. Sometimes I think if I could have done this for those street childs also. In future, when I will earn enough money, I will try to set up an orphan home. Ok, enough, I am tired of writing all these. It hurts a lot when I think about you. Better to stop here.
Sumit closed the diary and put it down on the table, a sigh of despair came out without his concern. He copied all these letters to this diary waking nights after nights. A sudden thought allured him to think about it again. This time he is confident enough to take the final decision. From his phone, he found out the number that one of his friends gave him to contact after taking the decision.
‘Hello Prakash Publisher, this is Sumit Banerjee calling, I got your number from my friend Ashok. I want to publish my ——’
‘Ohh at last, your friend told me everything about it few months ago. Are you free tomorrow? I would like to meet with you to discuss about it.’
Sumit doesn’t know why he is so keen to do it this time. One of his friends first gave the idea to publish it to help emotionally ill people in conquering their battle. Somehow he managed to subside his temptation but not anymore. Is he really wanted to help those people who are struggling with depression or the last hope that someday she will read it? Whatever it maybe he will not look back. A contended feeling rushed through his body. Suddenly everything was appearing to bring a new hope, not necessarily has to be a successful one but the hope itself enough to live rest of his life and he also doesn’t want to die with the regret of not taking his final decision.