February the 14th, a date which is very unique. This is the day when the singles wish to become a couple and the couples wish to remain the same forever. Overall no one wishes to say alone on this day. But for me the memory of 14th Feb. is different. Exactly a year ago on 14.02.14 I was walking into a life full of loneliness. That’s my job. There was nothing much I could do to make it happen otherwise. But that day marked the beginning of pain and sorrows which I had to live with alone for the rest of the 2014. Even today when I think of those dark days, a fog of fear grows around me. I have never lived through any war. But in those days there was a war going on within me which could possible end in only one conclusion.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. One year has passed for that event and the worst is in the past. Now I have a chance to make things better, to not repeat the same mistakes. But things don’t get better just like that. I will have to work hard. Even then there is no guarantee of the change if the odds aren’t in my favor. In my entire life I can’t think of anything significant achievement I have other than what is needed to complete education and get a job to earn living. Right now I have successfully completed my education and have a good earning job. Still I am not happy where I am right now. For my entire teenage life I had no ambition. There were many opportunities in front of me but none inspired me. If back then you would ask me 10 things about me, my hobbies, my positive or negative qualities, I couldn’t tell even one. I didn’t know who I was.
I was not in cage or in chains but my personality had become like that animal who got so much comfortable living in a cage that years later even after an opportunity of freedom was in front of him yet he choose to stay in the cage. For years, every day I looked into the mirror but never understood me. Off course, the polished reflective surface we call mirrors just shows our physical appearance, it’s the people we interact with are the ones who reflect our soul, the true self. It was many years later that I saw and understood my reflection. But the person I saw in my reflection, didn’t resemble me and definitely didn’t like what I had become. But it was too late by then, I had chosen a path which had made my future definite and rigid. Any deviation at this point would come with consequences. But I didn’t stop the struggle for change. This hollow life was still okay until the year 2014. This was the year when situation went critical, times when I was suffocating, wanted a quick way out and yet death wasn’t an option. And I had to live through this all by myself. I had friends, cousins, relatives but none who could help me with my problem. There was just one moto that kept me going,
‘When parents, relatives, friends aren’t near,
Still I don’t have to fear.
Cause this loneliness end hear,
Allz be well by next year.’
Sorry! Whenever I think about my past, I get lost in it. But I don’t want to talk about my past.
February 14th, 2015 a new day with a fresh start. I get up early in the morning, six-ish. Wearing my track suit I leave for jogging. Still there are residual chills of winter in the air. Within 10 minutes I am on the track of a nearby garden. I like to jog because the mixed sensation of cool breeze and heat from burning calories make me feel alive. I see cheerful people walking who pass by me. At some distance there is a group doing yogic exercise. It feels refreshing especially for the reason that the people around don’t know me and my past so for that moment I can forget who or what I am. For today there is festival going on here, which means food, singing, dancing and many other events. I have plans to go out with a friend of mine for this festival. So after this warm-up session I take a bath and get dressed to leave for the fest. My friend is supposed to join me later so I leave for the fest alone.
At the fest, the roads are decorated beautifully. Trees painted full of colours, design object hanging on the branches. Art work of school children posted at many places. Lanes of stalls where different food items are available. Some are here to promote their shop of clothes, books, etc. I am not hungry so I pick up a cola to walk through the stalls. It’s Saturday, so I see many couples happily scanning though all the shops. Though I am an odd man there, it doesn’t disappoint me because today is all about a fresh start. There are beautiful songs being played on the loud speaker, some of my favorites from the 90’s. As I walk by I see a drawing competition going on nearby. There’s a tattoo parlor making temporary prints for children. Outside there is one boy crying who wants a tattoo but his mother refuses him from having one. I am in a good mood and can feel the change in my life ahead of me. Couple of hours pass by and the sun is on the top. I am hungry now so I stop at a stall to eat. My friend hasn’t arrived yet, so I call him,
“Chicken or Egg?”, I ask him.
“Sorry! What are you talking about?”, he asks.
“What will you have with Roti. I am placing an order. And why are you not here already?”, I ask him.
He laughs saying, “What, I was not going to come. I thought you were joking. Seriously dude, why would I spent Valentine’s Day with you.”
I had no words to answer him. I kept quiet while listening to him.
“I am sorry if you thought I would be coming. Don’t worry; I will give you a call in the evening. Got to go, bye.” He said and ended the call.
It was disappointing that my friend isn’t going to come. I also don’t have any backup plan. So l will have to spend the rest of the day alone. I got up and went to nearby stall to get a roll. Just to fill my stomach. I am not angry but sad, guess I expected too much from a friend. It is my fault. I choose to take a last walk before I return home. I finished my roll and started walking. As I walked past the stalls the people were same but something had changed, the way I looked at them. Every time I saw a couple especially those of my age, it felt as if a needle had pierced through my heart. Whenever the people around looked at me, it appeared as if they were making fun of my loneliness. And all of a sudden all my past memories flooded my mind. Within a short period I re-lived the nightmare of 2014.
By the time I was at the end of the lane the sun was about to set and it was getting dark outside. As my footsteps turned towards my home I saw a poster on a building. There was a show on the roof of the building and there are still tickets available. I didn’t want to go but involuntarily I bought the ticket and went up the roof. It was dark outside but the roof was lit brightly for the occasion. All got seated and the show began. At first there was a dance performance by kids. This was followed by a skit based on a love story. Story about two strangers and how they were destined to meet on a Valentine ’s Day. At the end, when the strangers got united I had tears in my eyes. Not for what happened on the stage but what I had realized that moment. I learned that in no possible way I could be the guy in the story. The skit was followed by another loud dance number.
I stood up and went behind at the edge of the roof where there was no one else present. I looked down at the well lit lane. By that time my tears were dried up. Till today I believed, that even when a person has given up in his life, nature in a strange way shows them the light of hope just enough to hint them to get over all problems and continue live their life. I also wished for the same as I walked for the last time through the lane. A stranger, someone who would give me their hand, someone who would get me out of this quick sand. But no such thing happened. Guess I am neither destined nor deserving for this light of hope. I didn’t care if anyone was looking or not, I stood up on the ledge and took a leap while closing my eyes.
Well, this life ends here. For those who are reading this might want to convince me out of it. But it would be too late by then as the irreversible deed would be done. Hope you and the others would be there to support me in the next life. Thank you who were there for me in my life till now. And sorry for those who had high hopes from me. I was not strong enough to fulfill them. …The End, finally!