One Day Just Like Movies
One Day Just Like Movies
It’s a strange feeling. Watching someone die right in front of you. When you know that you won’t be able to do anything for the person. The feeling of helplessness creeps under your skin and it stays with your whole life. There must a way how God chooses the time that he thinks that’s it. You are out. Its time for you to come back and starts the whole karma cycle all over again. I m not saying I believe in the whole karma cycle and reincarnation. But without some pseudo mythology. Dying seems point less to me. Wouldn’t it be easy if everyone knew when they are going to die.
Maybe not. I am sure it would be more horrific than easy. Few people might live happily doing whatever that pleases them knowing that they got time left. Some would just give up when they know time is up for them.
And what will happen to the stories of the people. If no one got to tell their stories. Because they were too busy carrying about living and dying. Art of writing will just fade away too.
My weird chain of thought ended with the hard break of a rickshaw. In front of the old apartment building on Pune road. The break was so sudden that I almost flipped through half on my baggage and half on the driver.
Even though I was laughing at my ridiculous situation. But, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t pissed. Still, I was not in the mood for fighting it out with an argument with the Rickshaw driver. Because It was my first day moving to a new place. Partly because the Rickshaw driver looked a bit scary to me.
When I went into the old apartment building. An old man was waiting in front of the apartment. He had keys in hand and a warm welcoming smile. He welcomed me to the building and showed me the apartment. I was going to be living in from now on. It was a cozy little apartment. But, the time has not been good to it. Repainting the wall might help it look good again. I thanked the old man. And, started dusting the place before. The truck with my furniture arrives.
In about half-hour I was done with dusting. The old man I am assuming was the building manager. Sent tea for me. I took the cup and sat sipping the tea looking at the kids playing in the neighborhood. It was a calm feeling that I hardly felt anywhere before.
Then I looked at the room. It looked very authentic and old. A view out of some painting. When I was looking at the room. My eyes caught something under the bed. A white paper was there. I was covered with dust. When I picked it up. It looked like a diary page from the same bank I was working in. I flipped it over and blow away the dust on it. Something was written on it. A date 28 Nov. 1996
It was hard to read with the lightly faded ink. So I turned on the line and sat down. It really was a page out of a diary. It was readable now. So I started reading what was written on it.
28 no. 1996
When I came from the office today. I saw through the balcony. Nandani’s son Ganesh was arguing with Kartik. Nandani was looking helpless with teary eyes. This is now getting out of hands. I am afraid. If this fight kept progressing. The whole building will know about it. Which I am pretty sure. Everyone does know about it.
I am more worried about Ganesh’s tamper. He is of a very young age. He might do something stupid.
I could understand Ganesh’s feelings. But, I was sure that Kartik’s love for Nandani was pure. I hope Ganesh’s vocation ends by then. If he goes back to the boarding school. Everything might go back to being normal again.
A weird piece of information. I felt like I was part of one of those mystery novels. When people found diary pages like this and a whole story unfolds. I was laughing to myself. When the truck with my furniture arrived. The men start to bring my furniture in the room. There was an old bed in my room by the looks of it. It was about to collapse any moment. I asked the moving men. If they could bring the old wooden bed outside.
When they were moving the bed. I heard the noise of something falling. When the moving men took the bed out. I found the thing which made the sound. It was an old tattered diary. Probably the same diary. To be sure I try to match the pages. It was the same. I was thinking to myself. Is it for real. Its happening just like the stories. I suddenly got excited. Opened up the diary there were some earlier entries in there. From the day before the date mentioned in the page. That I have found, it was the first time something like that happened to me.
In excitement, I started to read another entry. When I saw a page folded. When I unfolded the page. The name was mentioned there. The diary belonged to Satya Raj. Then I moved on to the entries.
15 Aug 1996
It’s the independence day. I just moved into new flat that bank provide for me. This bank diary is the first thing from my job. I will write all the things that matter to me in this and I hope for the good future and good memories to come.
That was the first entry in the diary.
I guess, the person worked at the same bank as me. I should keep reading all the entries.
20 Aug 1996
I met kartik(kartik harshwardhan) today. He is building manager’s son. He is my first friend in this place. He helped me find a good laundry man.
I still feel bit home sick. When I told kartik I missed mom’s food. He invited me over for dinner at his place. I am feeling glad that things are going good.
9 Sep 1996
I met Nandani today. She lives in the apartment next to mine. She was so beautiful. Kartik introduced us. Apparently she runs a” Home Tiffin Service” and her food was delicious. She even left me one sample meal for last night’s dinner. She was really very good at cooking.
While eating last night. Kartik told me about Nandani. That she was a widow and was living alone. Working day and night. Because she had a 14 years old son in the boarding school. She was working day and night for her son’s sake.
16 Oct 1996
Kartik was having a hard time in matters of love. Kartik told me he was in love with Nandani. But his father was against it. Turns out Kartik and Nandani were college friends. But, she got married. Before, she can finish college. And, Kartik never got to tell her. How he felt about her. The way Kartik mentioned his story to me. My heartfelt pity for both of them.
20 Oct 1996
Nandani brought his son Ganesh to introduce to me. A nice a jolly young boy. We talked in a while. When Kartik came and joined us. The expression on Ganesh’s face changed. He was rude towards Kartik for some reason. I could tell he knew about Kartik's feeling for Nandani.
22 Oct 1996
My suspicion was right. Apparently Ganesh use to play with neighborhood kids. Who had teased him about his mother and Kartik’s relationship. He looked really upset and angry. I tried talking to him. He was polite towards me. But, avoided me while I tried to make him understand. He just wouldn’t listen.
After this, there were no entries in the diary. I thought may be nothing good happened after that. It was already night by now.
I went to bed thinking about all the people that Satya mentioned in the diary. Nextday was my first day at the new branch of the bank.
When I went in. I talked with the manager. Who asked me to come to the office. I sat in the big office of the bank manager. Then my eyes went to the nameplate placed on the table. It said Branch Manager S. Raj.
Name sound familiar. Then I remembered about the diary. No, no it must be coincident. My Branch Manager can’t be the same guy from the diary. No, it can’t be.
Then the manager walked in. he introduced himself.
Hi!! I am Branch manager Satya…Satya Raj. When I heard the name. my jaw dropped.
Is everything okay?? You look surprised.
No, no it's nothing s…sir!! ….. I stuttered while trying to hide my amazement. I was wondering. What is happening? I really felt like I was in a movie or something. But, I was not about to ask my manager and confirm that the diary I found was his. It was a long first day.
When I was on my way back home. I remembered something. Kartik was building the manager’s son. May be I should go and ask him. I knocked at the door. Building manager greeted me and welcomed me. In his flat. His flat was more comfortable. He was on the phone. And, I was looking around. I found a big picture hanging on the wall. I stood up and went near the picture. A women was standing near the building manager. At the corner in a very small digits date was mentioned. 22 June 2015.
Then, building manager tapped me on the shoulder. That’s my family my wife Sharda and my son Shann. I smiled and sat with him on the couch. The servant of building manager brought us tea. While building manager was telling me that his wife and son live in abroad. And, he is staying there to take care of his father’s legacy.
I just remembered the reason for my visit. I asked him. If he knew who Kartik Harshwardan was??
His answered shocked me. He said it was him. The building manager’s name was Kartik Harshwardan.
Then a lot of information went through my mind. If the building manager is him. Then why his wife’s name is Sharda. I already found the Satya too. Then where are Nandani and Ganesh??
My thought cames on my lips and I blurted out. Where are Nandani and Ganesh.
I saw Kartik's expression change while hearing those names. Then he asked me what I was talking about??
I myself am an impatient man. I was not going to hide the diary from the building manager and make suspense out of it. Because I was dying to know myself what happened.
I showed him the pages of the diary. Kartik read the diary pages. There were tears in his eyes. I was feeling awkward. Watching him cry. Even though, I knew it was an emotional moment for Kartik. I wanted to know what happened to Nandani and Ganesh.
Kartik then stood up and dialed a number and said
Satya, I have found something that belongs to you. Come and get it.
My branch manager was coming. Now I was a little scared. How will he react? If he knew that I found the page and know a few personal details about his life.
In a few minutes door knock on the door. We knew who it was. But, to my surprise. A beautiful old lady walked in. She came in and gave Kartik a hug and sat down. My branch manager came in and gave the same warm hug to Kartik too.
He was surprised to see me there. When Kartik explains everything. He smiled a little. For them it was a warm reunion. But there was no answer to my question.
Where were Nandani and Ganesh?? I wanted to say it loud again but my branch manager’s presences restrained me.
Then Kartik looked at me and said.
You wanted to know who Nandani is right??
There she is. He pointed at the lady sitting next to him.
This Nandani and Satya’s wife.
I was confused. Didn’t Kartik loved Nandani. Then why is she Satya’s wife. This time my frustration got better of me. I asked right away
Didn’t Kartik loved Nandani. Then why is she married to Satya??
I soon regretted it. Nandani started to blush even in her old age. Kartik was looking at me in surprise too.
I was just too scared to look at the branch manager. After what I have said.
Then I heard laughter. It was my branch manager. And said,
So this young man knows everything….haan!!
Did you tell him Kartik??
Then Kartik gave Satya the Diary pages. With this like everything clears to Satya. He realizes I was staying in his old place and have found his diary.
Then they filled in the blanks for me.
Turns out, after Ganesh and Kartik’s argument. It was known to everybody. That Kartik was in love with Nandani. When Kartik’s father found out he was furious and had forced Kartik to marry Sharda.
But, after everyone knew about Kartik and Nandani’s incident. Everyone in the society stopped ordering from the Nandani’s tiffin services. When, Nandani was in tight place financially. It does sound really weird to me. But, it was late 90’s people were weird that way then.
Due to hard time on Nandani. Kartik asked help from Satya. It was actually Kartik who suggested Satya to get married with Nandani.
When, Satya had married Nandani. Even Ganesh didn’t show any resentment this time.
Ganesh was working as a lawyer in Mumbai these days. And Satya , Nandani and Kartik were still friends.
After hearing whole story. I felt a strange contentment. It was my first movie like experience. Even though it was awkward and with less suspense. It was short-lived too. In only two days the whole story unfolded in front of me.