Silence is Golden
Silence is Golden
When Sameer woke up that day, he had a weird feeling. First, he wanted to tell his family about it but then he decided against it. Recently, he has been more on the silent side of things. He sat down on his bed. He and Sonali now had different rooms. No, there was no fight. That was just the way they preferred it to be each having their own space.
Sameer felt weak in his knees. He was definitely not well. Yet he decided against calling out for help. This was strange from a person who built his life has public communication. From the day he started out fresh out of management college, everyone knew he was meant to go the distance, he was meant to shine. There was this aura about him which caught the eye.
It was in his job when he met Sonali. When she thanked him for helping her out, he stammered to say “Welcome” and instead said “Thank you too”. This doesn’t happen every day to a guy like him. The connection was immediate, and courtship soon led to traditional marriage. He was the boss at the office and his home. He was happy – this is how he always imagined life.
Now Sameer was in his mid-fifties, and he missed the last few health checkups. They would always strike something off his food chart, much to his annoyance. It was not the only thing that bothered him. These days he is more like an ATM machine for his family. They need him only when they need money. This was a feeling he was not used to. Even at office, he couldn’t say a lot these days. Either his supervisors or his subordinates took it the wrong way. He remembered what his father used to say. If you do not say anything, you will not hurt anybody. He just went around doing his work and kept his new feelings to himself. He was now the boss, yet he did not have a say.
He felt this more at home. Sonali was absorbed in family activities. Teenage kids are difficult. The kids who were always over him, now barely had time to look up from their phones. He was alone. Everyone was there – and yet he was alone. He added Black Label to his diet, which didn’t help it either. The more lonely he felt, the more he withdrew himself, the more he wanted to shout it out, yet the more he was silent.
He was sweating profusely now. It’s was just 4 AM and yet everything seemed bright like noon. He laid down – he could sense it was time for him to go. When he remembered all these, he just smiled.
He always kept early hours. When Sonali saw that he was not up even by 7, she came into his room. Thinking he had a longer session with his new diet, she decided to wake him up. His was cold as ice.
Sonali remained strong throughout the funeral and the ceremonies that followed. Maybe she didn’t even miss him, given their interaction was minimal it made sense. After about three months when they were cleaning his room, Sonali found a scrapbook she had given him for their first anniversary. She didn’t know he kept it even then. It had events of his life and a few photos of family all ordered and tagged. There was nothing out of place and everything that Sonali knew. It was just like a chorology of his life. On the very last page, there was an unfinished poem titled – Silence is Golden. Sonali burst out in tears.