The Half Written Poem
The Half Written Poem13 mins 174 13 mins 174
Walking past the small grassy way in my little garden, I noticed the small dew drops ornamenting the garden roses, in the early dawn of that morning. I took a small rose with my fingers and touched it softly with my lips. The dewdrops disappeared. I felt a tiny, cool touch on my lips and felt as if Sid’s touched them…
It is December’s near end, the 28th. Nine months passed by, with no one near me, except my maid, Rina and my puppy, Flower, whom I bought just a few months ago. I felt as if I am surviving just to see Sid once again. This time I would hold him in my arms and I would persuade him not to go again. I would say that I want to be with him forever, even if it might be the end of life. I would say that I will follow him if he doesn’t stay and I will go with him to Singapore!
I was in my deepest thoughts, dreaming about Sid and thinking what I would discuss with him, when suddenly I felt something touching my legs. I looked down to see it was Flower, who had waked up and came running to me. I took the little thing and cuddled him in my arms. Rina also came out and called me in for a cup of tea. I told her to take Flower inside and asked her to keep my tea in the table on the veranda.
After she went, I stood silently for some minutes, with bare feet, a thin sweater upon a trouser and open hair, in that chill winter morning. I shut my eyes and Sid’s face appeared. And two silent, hot tears flowed down my cheeks. I covered my face with my hands, wiped my tears and whispered to myself, “I love you. Please come back!”
I am in my early thirties and Sid came just a few months before me in this world. Today is his birthday and he promised me to come this time, whatever it might be. He was posted to Singapore for his job in a multinational company two years back. And that was just after one and a half years after our marriage. While I was left in India, to wait endlessly for him, to strive to see a glimpse of him and to do my favourite work, teaching, which is no longer my favourite. For this I did not accompany him, even after he requested me to go with him endlessly, even after the tickets and visas were done. I remembered how he wept while moving towards the terminal and how I comforted him by saying that it was just three years and that time would pass very soon once he starts working there.
Time rolled on and it was not even three months after he went that I began to suffer and feel his absence. “Saanu”, my name Sanjana for short, by which he called me, echoed in every wall of my home. His memories encircled me throughout the house, the sofa, the study, the empty bench in my garden, the bed and the grass where we walked barefoot every morning…
With Sid in my mind, I walked back to the veranda and took my tea, sitting in the cosy sofa, where once Sid sat beside me, holding me by his shoulder…
It is half past five; still the fog did not seem to go away. I finished my tea and came back to my bedroom. I took out a page from the notebook that was lying upon the bed and began to write a poem entitling “I NAMED YOU `LIFE`”. After some thoughts, I started,
“I named you `life`
No matter how I strife….
I am not sent to overcome and revive
As time left me, kept you survive.
Life, it sounded like itself
Heaven fell, the heart broke herself
But never did I speak anything harsh
While life made its `soul` to sparse…”
I could not go on. My mind was all set with the thoughts of Sid. I went to the corner of the wall wardrobe and took out a file from the cabinet. I dusted it and put it on my bed. Slowly, I began to open the strings and there lay an old letter, about two years back, after about a month after Sid went to Singapore. I had taken a printout of this letter which Sid sent through an email. Slowly, I opened the letter and with moist eyes, I read it once again, maybe a few hundredth times…
“My sweetheart and my ‘Love’
Just a few minutes ago, I talked with you over the phone. And now, while I was opening my mailbox, I couldn’t resist the temptation to write a letter to you. You might laugh, but really Saanu, I have to express my thoughts to you. And I know that even if I talk with you for a hundred hours, you would understand only the language of writing. Yes, Saanu, I know from the last ten years of our love…
Here, being far from you, I am learning to love you, once again. I am correcting all those mistakes which I did in order to earn your love. I was immature then, only a young boy of seventeen years! Without a single thought, I fell in love with you, not thinking anything about the future, the society, the doctrines and our parents. You always told me that as because we are in India, we cannot marry, without our parent’s consent and that they will never consider a son or a daughter-in-law from a different religion.
But I always fought for this. I never understood why they wouldn’t and end up upsetting you. Do you remember, in the last days of our college when you were about to go for higher studies, I asked you not to leave me in the midway, at last that day you accepted my love and said, “ I love you Raasid, but I can’t marry you.” That was your straight answer but I was left dump stuck and then I thought, “No problem, the girl who wanted to be a nun had accepted my love, I don’t want anything more.”
That very day, I went to my mom and told her that I love a Hindu Brahmin girl, Sanjana Sharma and I won’t marry anybody if I can’t marry her. My mom looked at me with big eyes and said, “Do you even hope that she will be able to accept Islam and follow our religion, forget what your father says, will her father accept this relationship?” I replied her in a calm voice,” I love her for what she is, not for what others want her to be. She doesn’t have to change anything to be with me. And moreover, mom, India is a secular country anyways!”
Saanu, today, I also remember the day when I went to your home after you refused me for the first time and your dad met me and talked with me. He might have thought what to say to a teenage boy of eighteen years, who was the same age as his daughter. My eyes moistened when I told that his daughter is nice girl who would really progress in life and asked him to look after you well (as if he won’t!!). I knew that he knew that I was madly in love with you and to comfort me, I suppose, he said, “We and your parents are there to look after your future. Keep it upon us to take care of you and think of you. Now it is your time to study, make your career and progress in your life.” I looked straight in his eyes and told him, “Sanjana is my life, uncle!”
I didn’t even think what he would think of me when I was saying that line.
Today, I also have to confess something to you. I never dared to talk with you. The way you remained in the college, the way you dressed, the way you talked, all made me mad for you. I never thought that a girl, as pretty and as smart as you, would say that she would become a nun!! I asked all of your friends if it is true or not and everybody said that it is very much true and that all knew that you are not interested in love nor in any such relationships. I wondered what you are really up to. I followed wherever you went, remember the quiz competitions, the singing competitions and that marriage party where you went with your parents. I never dared to propose you. I collected photos of you from your friends’ houses, enlarged it and set it to the wall of my room. I collected every poem of yours that was published in the newspapers and magazines. I wrote your name in my notebooks and my possessions—cassette covers, books and such others. Even I made three lockets in silver inscribing your name in it ‘Saanu’ and wore it in my neck.
My mom, who was watching my moves, became alert and talked with me regarding you. I said that I love you and that I do not care if you accept my love or not. She became frightened and asked me to invite you to home one day. The day you first came to our home on my birthday, she felt so satisfied after seeing you and liked you. I was so happy about that.
As I was growing up, my love towards you was also getting matured and I thought that now it is time to make you mine or somebody else would steal you away from me. I was surprised when you said that you always thought me as your best friend and would never want to lose that friendship and that you would only stop talking and end relationship with anybody who approaches you with this motive. My mind struggled to understand you and what you meant. And then I decided to wait for your response and the day when you would understand what you are to me!
Then one day, when I saw your published poem in the newspaper ‘If Not On Earth’, the last lines that you wrote - 'if not on earth, in heaven we would meet’– touched me so deeply that I made up my mind not to trouble you ever by approaching you for marriage.
Saanu, I longed to see you when you went to the university and then to Delhi. There were days when I opened the messages you sent to me in my mobile phone and read them again and again. At night, I slept by looking at your photos. When sometimes you didn’t receive my call, I felt a storm inside me and this resulted in all the fights and anger. You would never imagine how worried I was for you. In real, I was possessive about you, but I did not show.
One day, after you went to the University, my mom, after observing my worries and suffering for you, approached me saying that why was I waiting for a girl as you and that there is no surety that she would ever come back for me after going to the university. To this, I replied that whatever happens you will have to come, as your home and your family in that town itself.
Though there were mere fights between us, I was always focused on settling abroad, as you said that your and my parents won’t give consent for our marriage as we are resided in India. I always hoped that one day you would accept me as your life-partner. I made preparations to get a job in Delhi after you went there for your Ph.D. your lines from one of your poems inspired me all this way—‘Time moves along with me, along my way’. And really I turned time to move in my way. And time changed.
By the time I prepared to move to Delhi, all my family members, my friends and everybody I knew, knew that I was going there only for you, leaving my well-settled business in town. In one hand, there was hope and prayers to win you and wed you someday. On the other hand, there was a fear of your refusal. Still I was focussed on my goal, as you were and still are my life.
Though it took some time for me to know you, Saanu, I really was mesmerised by the kind of life you were leading and the kind of a girl you are. Yes, I saw you had changed a lot but only in your attire and outlook. But inside, you were the same girl that I had known from years. I saw you lead a lifestyle of modernity, a career conscious, ambitious girl with beauty and brains but very much self-controlled. You had friends who are models, airhostess and actors and also who were writers, journalists, teachers, entrepreneurs and housewives. I saw you mingle so generously with everybody but still you remained distinct from them. I observed you read the Bible, go to the Church, the Dargah and also offer ‘pujas’ in the Temples, but forever behaved as if you are an atheist. You only knew what you were!
At the time when your dad rang me and asked me about you and our relationship, all I could say was, “Whatever you say uncle. If you don’t accept me as your son-in-law, I won’t ever marry your daughter.” And see, the next month itself, he called me and approved our marriage. From that day onwards, till today, your family had been very dear to me and I found a friend in your dad.
Today, as I am writing this letter to you, it is evening here, the red sky is glittering with the rims of gold and saffron and this view from my window is taking me back to our home and making me think of you again and again. I feel your voice within the cool breeze of the weather here, the cascade of the waterfall by the river gives me a glimpse of you and the smell of the flowers in the lawn hovers your presence near me, with a sense of smell very familiar with our garden roses.
You always have been my passion, my truth, my longing for love and my poetry of emotions. From you alone I learnt what it is to be loved and cared, how to bestow this wonderful feeling of profound purity amongst this mortal world. It is you who I live for and for whom I long to live again and again. I began to love this world, every being in it and every abstract objects of wonder—like you said that you believe in only abstract things. You are the only one who taught me how to behold this world and enjoy life inspite of all the doom and destructions the earth implies.
I am looking forward to meet you and hold you in my arms– ‘to be born and be yours again.’
With all my love,
I will always remain,
I kissed my Sid’s name and wrapping the letter, kept it back to the file.
Today I could no longer hold my emotions and pretend to be practical, as I always did with Sid before. I looked at the watch and saw that the time is for him to be in the office, so he won’t be able to receive my call.
Instantly I opened my laptop, put the dongle for internet connectivity and opened my mailbox. There I started writing in the ‘compose mail’ section.
“My dear Sid,
A very Happy Birthday to you! May all joys and blessings on this earth surround you! May my years also add to you!!
I need you here. Please come back or let me go to you. Otherwise you would surely find me in a mental asylum. I have resigned from my job and from today onward, my job will be to take care of you and love you. I want to have children, whom you can play with, who will annoy you and also love you. I want to have a complete family. It is too much now. I have done enough for a professional life. Now please let me spare some time for you and my home, without you which is incomplete. Sid, I too want to grow old with you— till the end of this world!
Please come back. I am nobody without you.
With love, as always
I came back to my bed and saw the half composed poem. I wrote two lines but stopped. I made up a mind that I would finish this poem only after Sid arrives. And until then, I would never write any poem.
At the evening, suddenly my phone rang. I woke up with a jerk from the late afternoon nap and saw Sid’s number flashed on the screen. As soon as I put the phone in my ear, he said, “Where will we have our dinner tonight?”
“Sid, you are home…!!”, I shouted with a joy that knew no bounds.