The Diary13 mins 150 13 mins 150
There came a time in my life many years ago, when I waged a monumental and epic battle with my own self. It was a silent but bloody struggle which ended with the brutal killing of a part within me by a part within me. Even today, when I look back on it, the battle cries, the sounds of voices within me and the bloody outcome disturb me. This story is about me, but I would rather prefer to narrate those events in the third person, as if it had happened to some other person.
It’s quite strange how ordinary events affect our lives. The diary hit Nikhil as he was emerging from behind the garbage enclosure on the pavement. He was there on an urgent call of nature, and this location, which otherwise people would avoid, came in handy. The diary was apparently flung into the garbage from a car by someone wanting to get rid of it. Even as the diary hit him squarely on his chest, Nikhil instinctively looked at the speeding car, an Ambassador, and mentally made a note of the registration number.
The diary was an ordinary one, yet quite attractive. It was apparently not very old for the Year 2013 was etched in gold against the black background. The person who threw the diary had pulled it apart apparently to destroy it. Loose pages flew about as Nikhil picked up the diary. He gathered the scattered pages, glanced at them, set them back in the diary and left.
Nikhil was 22, and having completed MBA in marketing, had come to Delhi to take up work with a multi-national company. He lived in a one-room apartment, alone. After a quiet dinner, Nikhil was drawn to the diary. He settled down comfortably and started reading. Soon he was lost in it.
February 12, 2013
Papa and Mummy had a nasty argument today with Vicky. He had come home drunk late last night. Vicky has become a problem child and I simply do not understand why he behaves so rudely with papa and mummy. But he loves me so very much! Papa feels that he is a good for nothing, simply squandering all his hard-earned money on drinks, drugs (perhaps) and women (maybe). Papa wants Vicky to get into some job and become responsible. But knowing Vicky well, he just hates work. Papa’s sermons have absolutely no effect on him. I pray to God to put some good sense into Vicky! Well, its 5am already and time to go out to the balcony. This is my only pastime.
February 14, 2013
It is so very refreshing on the balcony. A chilly wind was blowing, and it was foggy. The kids, I wonder how they wake up so early, were playing cricket. One of them hit the ball into Shammi aunty’s window and broke the glass. I noticed a group of boys walking right under our balcony. One smart guy with curly hair kept looking up at me.
Papa and Mummy are out today. Party time for them. Vicky is not at home either. Life is a never- ending party for him. I sometimes feel all the emptiness coming out and filling the house when I am left all alone. It makes me sick; do not feel like doing anything at all. Sometimes this scares me. All the silence inside me is so threatening.
February 18, 2013
The ‘Fair One’ has even made himself comfortable with the small kids! He behaves so funny that he makes me laugh. I get the idea that all his acts are for me. He now comes here regularly, and his eyes are always at the balcony, looking at me. I am beginning to doubt his intentions. He is not from our colony.
Had a nasty dream last night. I am sleeping atop a towering building, about twenty floors in all, with my parents and Vicky. Suddenly, in the dead of the night, I wake up to find myself all alone! The wind is howling outside as if shrieking and yelling at me wrathfully. Very soon, the nasty wind blows me and my cot over the edge of the terrace and I am falling down all the twenty floors. As I hurtle downwards, I am crying out to Vicky for help. I look up and see my parents and Vicky shouting at me and holding their hands out. I just can’t grab the hand; I am going down too fast. I can see the looks of horror on their faces. Soon enough I hit the ground, headfirst. I can clearly hear the crunching sound of my skull as it hits the road below. My hands and legs are being crushed by the impact and blood spraying all around. I woke up with a start, crying at my untimely death. God, I don’t want to die!
March 5, 2013
Flipping back the pages of my diary, I notice that a lot of attention and space is taken up by the ‘fair one’. I even failed to write about my birthday! Vicky got me a beautiful diamond necklace. When he kissed me tenderly, I squeezed his hands and cried. Why can’t he be good to my parents like he is to me?
My parents were discussing my marriage today. I am twenty-one and I cannot believe it!
March 8, 2013
My heart missed a few beats when the ‘fair one’ threw up something at me. It fell behind me and I could see it was a crumpled piece of paper weighted with a small pebble. I looked at it for a long time and then picked it up. I read the letter and felt absolutely thrilled.
“My Dear Vinita. I can no more suppress my feelings for you. Let me simply say it that I love you. Isn’t it strange! We have neither met nor spoken to each other. You barely know me, and I hardly know you. Is this “love at first sight?” If you wish to be further entertained by me, come to the balcony tomorrow. Or else, stay away. I will get the cue either way. Love, Rajesh.”
After some hesitation, I decided to destroy the letter. What do I do now? I am being wooed by a handsome boy who doesn’t even know anything about me. I am getting attracted to him without even knowing who he is! Will I, or will I not go out to the balcony tomorrow? He has played it very cleverly. He knows it is easier for me to go, as I go anyways, than not to go. I wonder how he knows my name! Must have done some investigative work!!
March 11, 2013
I missed Rajesh today. He was not there. Feeling very unquiet within and surprised with what’s happening to me. How can I let this happen to me? And why am I letting all this happen?
I have read his letter twenty times.
“Dearest Vinita. You have ended my one-day long agony. I just could not keep my mind on anything else except you. I hardly slept as my mind kept agonizing whether you will be there at the balcony or not. Let me say I have no experience with any girl. And I know it’s the same with you. My name is Rajesh Agarwal and I have just completed my Chartered Accountancy course. I intend to have my own practice after working with some reputed CA firm for a couple of years. I am eager to tell you all about myself and know everything about you. Why don’t we meet somewhere and talk? You tell me when and where. Rajesh.”
March 12, 2013
The doctor came today for the routine checkup. Not feeling too good today. The whole of last night I was thinking of Rajesh and his letter. What should I write to him in reply? Should I tell him the truth about me? What if he stops coming after that? Reason tells me to reveal all, but my emotions dictate otherwise. Finally, I gave in to reason and have communicated everything to him. And look what has happened. He did not come yesterday.
March 13, 2013
He came. He came. Oh, lovely life! What a great day today! I think I have found my soul mate! I kiss his letter to me again and again in joy. He understands and loves me. He wants to come home and talk to be about me. He is concerned. Yes, yes, yes, my darling, you may come.
March 16, 2013
Not keeping well all these days. The doctor tells me I should be outdoors a lot, that I was not trying to go out of the house. Breathe fresh air, mix with people, make friends, and be happy. My parents even took me out to Shashi’s place, and I enjoyed the outing. Shashi promised to visit me regularly and even bring over some friends of hers so that we can party at my home. Rajesh must have missed me at the balcony all these days. How I want to be out there as soon as possible. My parents are again discussing my marriage, and maybe now I should tell Rajesh about this.
March 17, 2013
Once again, a nasty dream. I am dead and a lot of people are crying over my body. My body is all laid out at the cremation grounds waiting for it to be set afire. Suddenly everyone seems to disappear and a horde of huge vultures swoop over me. They are pecking and clawing all over me. I can see them gouging my eyes; pulling out my intestines…gosh it was awful. I just don’t understand these dreams.
I threw the letter out to Rajesh. He was cheerful and seemed much relieved to see me out there. He even waved out in joy.
March 21, 2013
He came today. After he left, I felt a lot of unease in me. The way he looked at my legs! I could not bear the sight and expression. Maybe it is my own sense of inferiority that I read too much into this. I am sure he understands. Oh love! What an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired! How drawn I feel towards him.
I told him all about me. I told him what my parents were discussing. I wish he would come to me and kiss me on my forehead or wherever. How I ached for him to hold me in his arms!
March 22, 2013
Shashi and her parents were here today. They stayed over for dinner. I could not go out to the balcony today. I asked Shashi whether she had any male friends. She was going steady with one and told me how they met and what they do. I wondered whether I could share my secret affair with her. Too early days, I felt, and decided against it. Even if I had told her, Shashi would have perhaps not believed it, discounting it as the imagination of a lonely and lame girl.
March 24, 2013
Vicky left the house in a huff today. There was a fight and papa discovered that he is addicted to drugs. Vicky came over to me and kissed me goodbye. I just do not know what is happening, or whom to blame. Papa says he will return. I feel extremely lonely and sad.
April 7, 2013
I am tired of plucking the petals. He loves me. He loves me not…. Rajesh is not coming these days; maybe he has some very good reasons. It however does not make things easy for me. All this waiting is killing me. Rajesh, please come.
April 8, 2013
Rajesh came today with bad news. He is leaving Delhi as his father has been transferred. “But darling, I shall keep in touch with you” he says. He is going away from me forever. I only hope to be proved wrong.
April 21, 2013
Me and my Diary. Two inseparable companions. Why do I share my loneliness with this dumb diary? What is the need to speak to anyone? I am now a barrel full of hopes turned upside down. Its time I marry my loneliness and learn to live with it. My memory needs to be erased; I shall need you no longer. Now I have nothing more to say to you. Or to anyone. Adieu my friend.
Nikhil was deeply disturbed by what he read in the diary. He could feel himself reaching out to Vinita and hugging her. He hated Rajesh for what he had done to the girl. The diary grew inside him like a money plant till he could no more bear it.
Is love only physical? A beautiful face, and a good body? Doesn’t a girl without legs have the right to live and love? Nikhil struggled with thoughts which sprung forth from his moral self. Could he, Nikhil, rise above legs and flesh and love somebody for what he or she was? If he were in Rajesh’s place, what would he have done?
The next day, he rushed to his uncle, a police officer and sought to trace the address of the owner of the Ambassador whose number he had mentally noted. The owner, it transpired, was one Sushil Gupta who stayed in Green Park.
Nikhil was now battling with himself. Why was he so emotionally upset over a lame girl’s diary? Every person has his own karma and what happened to the girl was not Nikhil’s doing or fault. There is so much pain and suffering all around us, why spend so much energy over a girl and her diary? What did he want to do anyway, apart from feeling bad for her? Would he marry her?
Another part of Nikhil was telling him that he must at least meet this girl, now that he had her address. If he still felt strong emotions for her, he could even think of marrying her! Meeting her would resolve his dilemma, whether it was simply his emotions or something else. Maybe there was some karmic connection between him and the girl! Who knows? Why was he chosen to read the diary?
Nikhil was still in a dilemma as he rang the doorbell. The maid told him no one was at home except the girl. Nikhil persisted that it was important that he speak to the girl for five minutes. It was an urgent matter and he had come from the police department.
He was ushered into the drawing room and soon enough Vinita wheeled in. The big black beautiful eyes were a pool of sorrow and misery. His heart went out to her and her eyes seemed to sense his message, though a bit confused. As he sat down, he could not help noticing the stumps which were her legs.
After some formal exchange of words which carried no meaning, he stood up and left her.
The Diary Again
Nikhil could clearly see two distinct entities in him fighting with each other. The twin personalities that represented his dilemma. He was unable to come to grips with himself. Reason was waging a war with his emotional self. His emotions argued that he should not assess a person by their looks alone. It was goading him to prove that he was a cut above the rest of the human beings. Marry Vinita.
The practical self in him was cautioning him, telling him not to be a fool for emotions and noble causes. This is was not a blood donation camp, not a disaster fund where he can just donate and walk away feeling happy. This was his life he was dealing with. There would be no walking away, once he was committed to marrying a legless girl. He cannot marry her just to prove to himself and the world that love was more than a pair of wooden limbs! Marriage and relationships do not work just on sympathetic feeling for each other. He must be realistic.
Drained of emotions, he crossed the road and stepped onto the pavement. His shoulders dropped in defeat. He opened his briefcase, pulled out the diary and had one hard and look at it. Still in thought, he violently threw the diary in the dustbin and quickly walked away.
This incident haunts me even today. It reminds me of the battles we fight silently within ourselves, soundless yet bloody, at every stage of our life. Some we win, others we lose. Whatever happens, win or lose, the scars remain.