The Time Trap
The Time Trap
The winters are pretty harsh over this part of the globe. Usually, we see massive snowfall and a complete hibernation of people for atleast 3 months. You guessed it right. I have been staying in Chicago for five years now. Life had been buttery for the first two years. I had vibrant wings of happiness and they fluttered boundlessly throughout the mazzarine sky.
Five years behind the lens, I could still see a life that had dreams; dreams to conquer the mundane extremities ranging from the highest mountain peaks to the deepest ocean floors.
I hailed from a serene town in the stems of the Himalayas. Shimla is still my favourite town on earth but despite being so close to my heart, I had to leave my cradle to fly into the dense crowd of human civilisation. Perhaps, time had already planned this life for me.
I had completed an engineering degree in medical devices and after working for few years, they expected me to serve in their US office. I could have rejected; to stay back with my parents within the arms of the pristine mountain range. But even before my mind could figure out the thin lining tween the right and wrong, my wings started fluttering to pull me up into the unknown folds of the sky.
It was a Friday. I had my flight from New Delhi Airport at five in the evening. My parents came to see me off along with Neha. Neha was my childhood love. The brocaded days I had lived with her; came floating by my moist eyes. Dip, utho. School nai jana?( Dip, get up. Won't you go to school?), her rhythmic voice still rings in my ears. Beads of moments joined together on the thread of time to create a garland of beautiful memories. She stood there beside my mother. Her pale face was wearing the garland of memories and I could see it lucid on her face.
"Passengers waiting for SE 956 Jet Airways flight to Chicago, please assemble near gate number 2A", the announcement made me get over the boozing dose of memories silently flowing down my arteries and veins. I smiled at them one last time and left for my destination. Perhaps, I wanted to ignore the tears that washed silently through the red cheecks of Neha. My parents also were too upset to even speak another word.
The flight was destined to reach Chicago by 7 AM, the next day. I slept the night floating with the clouds. The only difference being a destiny. The clouds had no predefined destiny except to float and create raindrops to fall back into their cradle. But I had a destiny.
The next morning, I was a part of one of the busiest cities in the world. "Good morning dear passengers, I hope you all had a sound sleep. We have reached Chicago and we are about to land in a while. Skies are clear and the temperature is 12 degrees in Celsius. Please keep your windows open and fasten your seatbelts. Thank you for travelling with Jet Airways. We hope to serve you again."
The announcement was made by our pilot in charge of the flight. I realized I was about to walk over a new land, breathe in a new air and see through new shades of people around.
In few more minutes, I was on my way to Hotel Raddison Blue in 65th Street beside the grand park. Time had adorned my little human life with petals of happiness and hues of success till now. But it's rightly said, we are puppets of the almighty, performing each day with the gestures of time. Hardly we get to know what awaits the very next moment of our life.
The next morning, I woke up at 6.30. I was hunting through the room for my specs and my toothbrush; half way immersed in the tranquil waves of fantasy which cradled out form my sleep. In couple of hours I was all set to leave for my new office. I also had to look for an accommodation in the evening. Company books only for 15 days and I need to find an economical residence before that. My office was in the 42nd street in the folds of Willis Tower, perhaps the tallest skyscraper in town.
I loved the place more than anything else beacuse somewhere they portrayed my fantasy.
Welcome Mr Deep! Welcome to Chicago! A heavy voice spoke to me. I looked behind while walking through the lobby to the elevator. Hello Sir! Now now Mr Deep, we are not used to the Sir Coulture in here. Call me Mr David. This is David Cameron, the delivery manager. Hello Mr David. So how do you like my citiee?
It is amazing Mr David, I landed last evening. But will be needing some help regarding my accommodation. Ow far shure!!! I'll get you hawld of some of the brokers in my taawn.
Oh thank you so much Mr David. Cowm Mr Deep, let us get into our office and let me get you introduced to our fellow callegues.
The first day had sessions of introduction and learning new faces. It was an amazing day. Within the crowd of unfamiliar faces, I found one face which created ripples of amorous waves in the brook of fantasy inside my brain.
Her name is Sara. Sara McAllister. She is the routine councillor for the employees of Omega Meditech Pvt Ltd.
Few more days brought me new experiences and a ton of new acquaintances. Sara and I became great friends. She hailed from New York and belonged to a Catholic family. We started meeting after office hours sometimes over coffee sometimes for dinner. Gradually, the garland of memories that once adorned Neha's face was now embellishing Sara McAllister. The frame that had a portrait of me and Neha hugging each other started inviting dust from the wheels of time.
In couple of years the entire heart of mine had only one name and it was Sara. I couldn't find Neha anywhere in that bag. We started living together in my apartment in the 34th street as a happy couple. One evening after office we decided for dinner in the Rockers Avenue. While driving I saw Sara a bit upset with something. I asked her, Hey love, what is it that's bothering you? Deep, I am okay. Everything's fine. You sure love? Yes baby, it's completely fine.
After dinner, she told me, Deep, you leave for home, I have some work. I'll be back by 12. I wanted to ask her what was it but refrained myself from asking.
This bacame a regular practice for Sara. One day, I decided to play spy on her. I waved her off and hid around a dark corner. In about fifteen minutes, I saw a black BMW taking a halt. A man in mid 30s walked down the car. He pulled Sara in his arms and they kissed passionately. The duo got in the black machine and within a blink faded away into the thin night air. All of a sudden a familiar face hanged in front of my guilt flooded eyes. Neha's naive smile made me quiver in guilt and I realized the conspiracy of time.
The next morning, I checked my personal mail box for the first time in 5 years. It had a hundred pleading mails from Neha. But I never even read one. The final mail which was addressed to me was 2 weeks old. It read,
I really have no clue what had happened to you. Your silence ate me bit by bit and I have never dreamt a life without you. I suppose you have never read a mail of mine and you are certainly not aware of my grave disease. My blood cancer has matured and perhaps I will live for another couple of days. I have a little request Deep. Since you couldn't arrange for a treatment for me may be due to work load, I want you to come back to India and marry a beautiful girl right in front of my eyes. I have already selected the girl. I have shared details with uncle and aunty. So even if I am no longer on earth by the time you are reading this, do come back and keep my word.
With loads of Love,
My shaking hands picked up the phone and the number that flashed on my screen was Love.
In few rings a voice said, Hello. I tried to recognise but in a while I understood it wasn't Neha but her mom. Hello Aunty, this is Deep. A silence manisfested itself as a deadly wave of anguish. Beta, Neha is no more. And she bursted out into tears, her trembling voice could be felt by me sharp enough to stab me from behind and a whisper played itself into my cold ears, Are you happy now?
The next morning flight took me to New Delhi Airport. A letter for Sara and a resignation letter for my boss was all I left behind.
The trap and conspiracy of time had devoured me to the last morsel. And I lived like a stone adorning the great Himalayas with my cold human body forever.