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Just Saying

Just Saying

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Even Smiles Odd Tear, by HAC

“Can we meet again?” I stammered. I was about to cry but I foiled all those tears in me by crumbling my soul and making an uneven ball of it, just like aluminium foil. There were people standing around us and I didn’t want them to notice me with wet eyes. Did I care about people? No, I guess. Perhaps, the woman standing next to me did care about them. She would think that I was creating scene in public and she would get more irritated. 

She had seen and heard me crying several times on phone.  At initial times, she used to be very much concerned about my tears but as the days passed and I kept whining about my insecurities, and the way I felt just made her more and more irritated. They say there are moments when, whatever is the attitude of the body; the soul is always on its knees. This was my moment. My body was standing still, announcements were there, door was opening and closing, people were in hurry to stuff them in metro, and my soul? It was on its knees.
 
“I don’t think so,” She was pissed off still she managed to smile. At least she wanted to make the ending beautiful. She checked the time on her Sony Xperia C and put in back in her neatly fitted denim. Her train was leaving in 18 minutes and then it was never coming back. It was the last goodbye. I could try my luck by going to see off her at Old Delhi Railway Station, you know DDLJ types, but I couldn’t, I can never see her going away from me. Though, she had already went away from me emotionally, but physical departure of her would force me to accept that she was emotionally away from me.

Next Station is Old Delhi, change here for Old Delhi Railway Station. Doors will open on the right…

We heard the announcement and she turned her face to the door. I looked down at the grey floor to notice the tear that just fell down from my eye. Shhhh, my cheek did not get to know about it. The disaster happened somewhere between the eyelashes and the floor. The door opened. People walked out. People walked in. The door closed.

I didn’t saw her going. I didn’t even check that whether she turned to have my last glimpse or not. She was just gone. I had so much in me to share with her. I wanted this metro to disappear and this site to turn into a place, maybe a coffee shop, or my flat. I wanted a place where I could sit beside her, hold her hand and empty myself. I wanted a place where she could, once, just once actually listen to what I feel.

Nothing happened.

That was the moment I felt scared. I felt scared because I was losing her and maybe I could have done something to stop her. I felt scared because somewhere my soul didn’t want to give up on her. Finally, I was losing her and all my preparations for this moment were flushed. All my tears that I consumed in making myself believe that we are separating were drying up, leaving the scar dry and unhealed.

I hastily pulled out my cellphone and started typing text. This was my only chance.

‘I am Sorry,I Love You… Don’t go.’

*Erased*

“Will you marry me?”

*Erased*

“Don’t Leave me please…”

*Erased*

“Hold on, I want to give you something special. Wait for me, two minutes. Coming back.”

*Text sent*

The door opened and I ran to board the metro waiting for passengers on the other side. I boarded it somehow and came back to the place where I could not see her leaving me for the last time. She was still on the platform. Her train was leaving in 13 minutes and she was still on the platform. Didn’t she want to go?

What was the something special I wanted to give to her? I asked myself. There was nothing that I could give to her. She was standing there, facing me, expecting me to give her something. I put my hand in my pockets and found the metro token.

“This is for you…” I gave her the token.

“A Metro token? What’s special about it?” She asked and removed her shades.

“It is a special token. The special thing about it is…” I stammered. “This is special because there are thousands of people travelling in metro every day, how many people actually own metro token even after leaving the station. It is special because it is getting out of this metro chain. It is special because I am giving it to you. It will remind you of me. There are numerous similarities between this token and me. We both will become useless the moment you will exit the station. We both will always belong to you. And…”

*****

“And…” My daughter asked. She was interestingly listening to the story I was narrating her.

“And… She left.” We both stood up, as we had to de-board the metro at the next station.  The story time was over. It was our routine that I narrated her story every day on our way back home after her school. I made her sit on my shoulders and we came out of the metro station. She loved to see the world sitting on her dad’s shoulder. She passed me the water bottle and I hung it in my neck. I was holding her school bag in one hand and her tiny hand with my other hand.

“Daddy, do you still love her?” My little sweetheart asked. We were walking in parking lot to find the car I parked this morning.

“Yes.” I rolled my eyes to find it.

“What was her name?”

“Shalini.”

“Mommy?” She looked amazed. Her tiny choti, danced as she shake her head in amusement.

“Yup.”

“But,  you said she left,” She chirped in my ear. She passed me a candy to unwrap it for her.

“It’s a long story,” I smiled and unwrapped the candy for her. She took it.

“Did you pay fine while exiting that day?” She asked.

I put her on the seat of the car and walked to the other door. Sitting on the driving seat, I put the key in the hole and ignited the engine. She was waiting for an answer. I smiled and answered, “I had the metro card.”
She giggled. Her mother giggled the same way when she came to know about it. I am not a math person but the even smiles of my daughter and her mother made my single tear odd.

This is the day I learnt that it takes two to smile and one to cry. Smiles are meant to be shared and tears are meant to be collected in palms and forgotten. When they are happy, they are Us. When they aren’t, they are I’s. Even smiles odd tear.


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