After a battle full fight between life and death for her life she has finally won some precious moments but till when was my question?.
The life can be hard and dreadful at any time and she could leave me any moment, this thought was empowering me as I peeped through the glass window of her room. Mixed thoughts were still blocking my mind and have kept me awake whole night like ghosts. ‘Shekhar’ a serious voice strike me like a sword. I felt like I almost got awaken from a deep sleep ,I already knew the bad news but I was trying hard to look normal , I gazed at Dr Asthana in despair .
“She has got limited time, she has totally ruined her livers by taking heavy doses of alcohol ; I think she has only been living on alcohol for months ; better call her family” , said Dr Asthana without losing his seriousness .
He stayed there for few minutes saying more about her illness but the very first statement was enough for me to lose my senses , I had almost become deaf .
As I sat helpless on the bench outside her room, I slowly took out my mobile to call Rahul and Shweta to give this inauspicious news. After two calls Rahul finally picked up the call to hear a feeble sad voice of a man who has lost everything in this world.
Rahul was a bright student of IIT Delhi , was in the final year of his course. Already had offers from a big software giant companies. For next ten minutes there was a complete silence which was almost killing me. The silence was broken by a female voice aged 18 yrs; Kritika’s younger sister who was the apple of her eye. She had joined a renowned law school and was in her second year. ‘Shekhar bhaiya , we are on our way to hospital.Please take care of our beloved Kritika didi” she said.
Heart wrenched I dropped the call without saying anything . With tearful eyes I headed towards her room window to see her feeble body waiting for the final call. I closed my eyes and went back to 5 years.I could see my young kritika who joined with me as a young enthusiast software engineer who was always working and never had time to even sip a cup of coffee with our group of 11 students who joined with her from the same college. I think the main reason was she never wanted to shift her focus from her to job to other things like hanging out , having fun , or love . She wanted to work harder and harder so that she could easily cover the probation period and easily get promoted to next level.
No, don’t think that she was boring at all. She was a mischievous pretty studious lady during our college days but during her final year she lost her mother after a long illness. They were financially not that strong and she had been able to complete her studies and got into this engineering college on merit and scholarships. Her mother was running the whole house by giving home tuitions with some of the help coming from father’s pension from past 6 years. After their father’s death Kritika’s mother was totally broken both financially and emotionally. But she kept her will alive because she now had to live for her children .
This happened during our last year in college. Kritika was totally shaken but she kept herself strong as she had to support her family and she did it with full marks. Her mother died a year later leaving her with full responsibilities of her two younger siblings. Her younger brother was preparing for IIT then and younger sister had to appear for boards. Somehow she managed to clear the last year in financial and emotional crisis.
I wanted to help her financially as we were good friends but she kept her pride high by not taking anyone’s help but tried surviving in whatever little her mother had saved over the years. She was able to get Rahul appear in IIT entrance exam and he was through also .Shweta too cleared the board exams with distinction. She almost has cared for the needs of her siblings like a mother would do. She never used to think of her own needs and wish but dedicated all her earnings and time to settle her young brother and sister. For almost 4 years it went like that .
I almost proposed her 6 times during this tenure but every time she sidelined it saying that she isn’t ready for it. I knew why she wasn’t accepting my feelings as she feared she would not be able to take care of her siblings after marriage. The last time I saw her was during our convocation day and since then I had no clue about her and her family or maybe I did not wanted to keep in touch with her as being with her I felt uncontrollable pain.
We got placed in different cities and I shifted with my family over here in Chennai. I got married to a south Indian girl two years ago. She don’t know hindi but she understand my love connection with Kritika and she is ok with it.These memories of Kritika have always haunted me . Now finally after 3 years I got a call from my beloved Kritika. Before I could understand the purpose of the call ; Kritika in a chocking voice gave her last message that she wants to see me .She could not go any longer on the call and the call dropped. I tried calling her back a thousand times but did not get connected. Sniffing a disaster I quickly got her new address from her office . As she was still serving her first company I could easily trace her address and his brother’s number. The next morning I was at her residence but had to rush to hospital as Kritika’s neighbor told me about her admittance to Mumbai city hospital due to last night sudden collapse.
Shekhar has to forcibly opened his eyes to return in future because the nurse hurriedly came out of Kratika’s room as Kritika finally was out of coma but her heart rate was rapidly going low. I rushed into the room she could hardly breathe even with oxygen mask on. She looked at me for a moment and then took out her mask to talk to me .I know it’s the last time that I am meeting her.
“Shekhar”… with an exhausted voice she murmured…. ” today I am going to confess my love to you” Over the years I secretly loved you but did not dare share my feelings to you as I always feared that I would overlook my family responsibilities but now I am a free bird and before I leave this world I must say that I LOVE YOU and will always do. Please forgive me that we could no longer be together”..
I could hardly see her with my full eyes. I took her hand and bowed down to open my heart out. “I LOVE YOU TOO Kritika”, but before she could hear it she has already eloped to another world. “Once again you left me alone Kritika”. With trembling legs I came out of the room. Rahul and Shweta had arrived by this time ,I quickly made my way to the exit gate so that nobody can see those uncontrollable tears in my eyes. I don’t know I was now feeling much better from the time I came out .There was only one thing in my mind that at least in her last moments I could be with her and that Life is still beautiful.