Still Holding Time??
Still Holding Time??7 mins 17.1K 7 mins 17.1K
“How many days do I have? Please be honest I have so many things to do” , he asked.
“I can’t say. I think you should inform them. This is an advanced stage, you are lucky that symptoms have not shown up so far, All the best”, the doctor said.
“Thank you for your wishes, but you know I cannot; they will not be able to accept this,” he said and left the hospital.
He went home where his wife was busy making dinner. He was not sure, which is right which is wrong, he did not know sharing this news is a good idea or hiding this is a better idea.
Hey, you came early, nice!”, she said.
“Please arrange your cupboard. It is a mess! I need to make dinner, otherwise, I would have helped you in making the same, Sorry honey you need to do it alone,” she said while chopping veggies.
Messy hair bun, wrinkled forehead, smiling lips, white t-shirt with a brown skirt and above all – tipping sweat from the forehead was making her even more beautiful.
He still remembers his first interaction with her. This story started 25 years back. Radhika was a year junior to Raghav, A terrified young girl, new to the college and new to the city as well. Radhika was a terrified small-town girl, young and innocent whereas Raghav was a city brat, charming and confident. Raghav was the happiest person when he got to know that Radhika is his mentee for thesis report. Detailed discussions on the name of project report were a routine to them… how their project discussion transformed into a life decision nobody knows… they evolved into a habit for each other. He was on cloud nine when she said yes, to his proposal. He was the Mr Popular of college, and she was the unexplored gem of the same college. Everyone warned her of him, but she was sure about their bonding. After few dramatic commas and semi-colons with a courtship of 8 years, Radhika and Raghav tied the knot and exchanged vows.
“Dinner is ready honey, are you??”, Radhika asked Raghav.
She was wearing a red gown with a nicely tied bun and a pearl necklace. Giving surprises to Raghav was Radhika’s routine. She had arranged a date for themselves.
Dim light, beautiful candles, a round table with two wooden chairs, a bottle of wine, two glasses, lavender fragrance and sea view… Everything in the room was so beautiful that he got fell in love with her all again…Raghav knew that now it would be even more difficult for him to bid goodbye, but could not control himself and fell for her once again with even more intense emotions.
“I want to say something” , he tried.
“I know”, she said and gave him an envelope to unwrap.
He opened the packet and tears started flowing down his cheek.
Raghav wanted to become a writer, but strings of responsibility had always pulled him away from his writings…it was a beautiful hand-made diary. Every page had a message for him. She wanted him to pin down his emotions.
He was wondering, how she manages to fulfil all his wishes without him even sharing it. He wanted to freeze the moment. He wanted to hold the waves. He wanted to hold the time, somewhere he knew he cannot. By then, he convinced himself of not sharing any unwelcomed news with her. He wanted to cherish and nurture all the moments of togetherness, he made that diary a witness of their beautiful moments…
Time got still for some time, everything looked to be sorted… Radhika and Raghav did not know that destiny had something else for them…
This amazing journey is called life, the moment we feel things are under control, things and roles get changed.
“I want her to be the most beautiful bride ever… Dress her up in the world’s best possible manner,” Raghav said while giving her necklace to Ishita.
“She will,” said Ishita.
(It was a monsoon season when Radhika was going to her office, she found a girl crying in a dustbin, she took her to home and since then she was taking care of Ishita. Radhika was everything to Ishita – a mom, a guide, a mentor, a sister, a friend, and an alter ego. Ishita had found her world in Radhika)
Ishita was searching for a saree. Red saree with a golden border, Radhika got it from Banaras and used to ask Ishita to dress her up in her favourite saree for this day.
Ishita was arranging all the required items at one place. She learned this skill from Radhika to organize the cupboard. It saves time while searching items. She did not know it could be so helpful someday. It was very easy to find anything in Radhika’s almirah. Everything was so aligned – One side sarees, one side formal suits, one stack of night suits, one stack of skirts.
Ishita inherited the habit of having a checklist from Radhika. Ishita was busy marking the items from the checklist – Red Sari with a golden top, Necklace, Armlet, Bangles, Toering, Earrings, Rings, Kajal, Mehndi, Comb, Aalta, Hair clips, and Sindoor – A complete Indian Bride.
“Here are the items you asked for”, Ishita came outside the room and said while showing the bag.
There were around 100 people waiting for Radhika. Everyone seems to be searching her to get a glimpse of her beautiful smile. There was so much chaos everywhere – phones were ringing, babies were crying, people were talking on the phone… Giving directions to people who were coming there…everyone was as busy as they could be… still a silence could be felt and a distant sound could be heard… Radhika’s favourite devotional song was playing on a distant loudspeaker… As if it was planned by this universe that this divine song has to be played on this day.
“Can I start dressing her up,” Ishita asked everyone.
“No, you cannot do this. Our tradition does not allow you to do this,” They said firmly.
“I know that, but I have taken the permission from Raghav, and he is fine with this, now can I?:, she said and started unfolding the saree. Ishita was always a rebel.
Saree was beautiful… Wide golden embroidery border with a pattern of small leaves all over the red chiffon saree. It was created by a special order to artisans. Ishita and Radhika used to fight over this sari, as in who will finally own this sari. Radhika won the fight.
Radhika always had a sleek body structure, but that day it seems she had put on some weight… It was difficult draping saree to her swollen yet well-shaped body.
Few people around the corner were busy decorating her carriage.
“Make sure it is tied properly. Get more adhesives, in case you want”, Raghav said while instructing them. He wanted everything to be perfect, exactly the way Radhika discussed about this day with him a few days back.
“It is very important to have a strong carriage. I want this to be perfect”, he said with teary eyes.
He knew she was going… He will not be able to have a morning coffee with her… There would not be any more evening strolls… no more fights on AC temperatures, no more fight on window opened or closed… No more late-night discussions… No more future planning… No more unplanned car drives… No more fights… No more wins… No more loses…
“They are calling you, she is ready “. He was busy revisiting his moments with her on his phone when Ishita interrupted.
“I am coming,” Raghav said, while holding his tears.
Ishita had never seen him devastated like this… She knew he wanted to cry… She knew he wanted to hug Radhika tightly. But he did not. He went to Radhika, kissed her forehead and said, “Do not worry, I will be alright… You have made me strong enough to handle myself… You go and leave all the worries to me… I will handle everything… Catch you later.”
She left him for her heavenly abode. Raghav is still fighting brain tumour, and he is happy about the fact that he did not share this news with her. He is still cherishing every moment of togetherness, and that diary is still a witness of their eternal love for each other. Ishita is still the same, a rebel yet a loving daughter. She is building a new world with herself, Raghav and Radhika’s memories.
You never know, What's next??
Raghav was afraid of himself, he was afraid of Radhika being alone, but roles got changed. We all know that life is full of twists and turns, we agree that it is unpredictable still tend to control things, still try to hold time… Why?? Can we really hold anything?? I doubt.
Not sure, how right it would be for others, but I feel let us not try to hold time, we will never be able to do that, so no point ruining present for the worries of future… The present is precious… Cherish it… Nurture it… Live it… Love it…