When the heavens fell
I didn't know it was the day the heavens would fall. It was a holiday. Holidays are so rare in our life. I wanted to spend part of it with you, over lunch or even dinner outside. I was delighted within, for you might not make an excuse for not going out which you usually do. Because you were already scheduled to. I conveyed my desire the previous night. You spoke of your preoccupation with a meeting till noon. Well, after that?
I rang you pre-noon on your cell. You were there waiting for the meeting to start. It was noon and I called you again. The meeting was yet to start and you spoke in aversion: it would be better if I didn't come.
A couple of hours later I called again and heard the meeting going on. I kept waiting for your call, as expected, after the meeting.
Hours rolled by. It was four in the afternoon. You didn't call. Or maybe did not care to call. I couldn't help but call you again. No response.
The whole afternoon rolled out and the whole evening. I kept on calling, only to have no response.
Next morning, after ten, I again called. No reply. Again and again I called, hoping against hope that you would pick it up perchance. But that was not to happen! There was nothing. I felt the heavens falling on me. Actually they fell yesterday, cascading and rolling, hitting and pressing, imposing and suffocating.
How on earth could I ever think that of all persons you would turn away from me, me whom you once thought was your most caring brotherly friend? And you I took as a most inspiring friend, a sister, a Godsend.
Must I believe that of all people you suddenly do not want to see me, do not even wish to talk to me?
What wrong have I done, now or earlier, that might have caused this silence in you? Actually none, never! For how can I do it, even a bit of it, to you? Wasn't it you who inspired me, caused my feelings to move out of the gloom of depression, to forget ageing and to live in throbbing form?
It's you who gave me company along the streets, caused my thoughts to feel worthy of you, shared the facts and acts of everyday life, made me a man of measure in your estimation.
I only muttered, "Just can't go away from you, just like that." Whatever the glory and money, you are above all. For you really mean so much to me. Without you around I just can't turn a stone.
In turn you told me then you would take time out to go and see me, not let me down.
But now, treading on the same territory you tend to be so apart. What a paradox! How can I go to an assignment away from you and yet find you close? How can I discharge my responsibilities leaving my inspiration and strength behind in you, you who have turned from me?
You who wished me to be esteemed and revered so much and so sincerely have now turned your face. Why? I don't know, just don't know, and I am in agony within.
How can I reciprocate others' esteem of me in deed when I can't be in excellence of act without your inspiration and moral support? Your silence is just not helping me, my dear. It's rather ruining it. But do you want it that way?
I just can't believe you want it that way because it's you who took me or accompanied me to places of worship, festivities and celebrations, where feeling revolves to exuberance and tranquillity, revelation and renewal as you take it. It's you who stayed beside me or let me stay beside you, weaving the bonding deeper. It's you who gave me the feeling of life renewed in spirit, told me that 'age is a state of mind.' Act young and win over! My mind got the spirit of motion to creativity back after decades. So much I believed in you, so much faith instilled in me, so much I found you as support in heart.
And I still do. I cannot accept your turning away. But you do it, under what tremendous compulsions I don't know. I just can't bear it. Believe me, I simply break into pieces along with the tower of aspirations so passionately built in my heart with your inspiring affinity. I can't help whatever zest for life collected because of your association slide away bit by bit, leaving both my heart and head in worthless vacuum.
I can't believe you want me reduced to such a state of the demeaning. For it's you who painted the colours of life on me, and I reciprocated, which you liked. It's you who shared agony and ecstasy with me and felt reassured. It's you who instilled hope and resilience, strength and determination in me to overcome anything mundane, anything obstructing lively ventures.
I prepared for the immediate future --- to do some work of worth which if and when recognised may please you to an extent as an evaluation I have been deprived of. You are so kind and conscientious, so much caring, I felt. "I can't go anywhere leaving you. I need not go. I can make it happen without taking any given opportunity." I said, "I can do work of worth with you beside me imbibing support within."
I saw a reassuring smile on your lips and in your eyes.
How can I bear that it's you who could withdraw? So suddenly, so drastically, without thinking a bit how devastating a blow it could be for me?
I kept calling the next day, through evening and beyond. No reply. I called your home at night. It was your so amiable spouse, "Hello. How do you do." "Fine, how do you do." And before I could ask about you, he on his own said that you were at your aunt's house, and that yesterday you were out for a meeting and returned in the evening. "Oh!" I said. "If there is anything important I will ask her to call you when she returns." He appeared agreeable.
"No, just to know about the meetings," I responded. I suppressed my anxiety. But it was a mistake. Otherwise I could have heard your voice that night, after an agonising spell of more that thirty hours.
Yes, agony. When a person so beloved and affectionate, so trusted in heart, who was at least within verbal reach till noon yesterday, so suddenly stops receiving even phone calls, just out of nothing, it sparks apprehension, multi-pronged and multi-layered.
Now I could assume you were all right. But that doesn't altogether assuage the agony. This agony is of forced ignorance. I am kept in the dark as to why you have shut the door to information. Only if I could know what or who forced or inspired(!) you to shut it, it could have given me at least a reason to explain your behaviour.
What could be the reason? The depression within continued through the sleepless night. It was not pressure from your family. I was almost sure of that because of the ease with which your spouse talked to me. On the other hand, the question of doubt, not to speak of pressure, from my family side simply doesn't arise. They all hold you in esteem. Then what could have happened for us to come to this pass?
Is it any new acquaintance, who came to your life that afternoon? Veni vidi vici? And asked you to forsake all others, or perhaps only me, and under his spell of charm you obliged? Ah, it's my wild imagination at work. Surely it didn't happen this way?
Or was it any old amorous connection suddenly compelling you to discontinue any relations with me? But, then, are you so compelled, not to talk on the phone even, content in your enormous privacy?
Or should I go by the ordinary assessment: I have come of age, with few attractions left. Why should a young and pretty woman, which you still are, waste time on such a person when young lovers are vying for your favours?
But this ordinary assumption doesn't match our extraordinary relationship. We have come closer, overcoming much distance, the barriers of age and time. It's not exactly amorous, but a sort of revered love and affection. Your place is very deep, in the core of my heart. And it comes with so much of consolation, inspiration, and support. Taking you out from there would only leave a wound equally deeper, never to be healed in the lifetime left to me. It would only hasten the demise. Do you want it to happen that way?
I understand you leaned towards me not under any impulse of love, but rather from a feeling of compassion, gratitude and respect within you that pushed you to provide me with the comfort that comes of support. From my side of course it was a passionate craving, not made apparent, the better to escape prying eyes. You happened to be an embodiment of the angelic and the human; of many dearest ones lost but so cherished in memory; of many so longed for but never reached; of many an imagination not finding a basis in materialisation; of inspiration, support and life.
You may remain indifferent to all that. But I cannot do without you.
I can only wish you all pleasure, all happiness, always to remain youthful and beautiful and hale and hearty.
But can my decline induced by your obstinate absence from my vicinity of sight and sound let you remain undisturbed? Will it not come to your mind even once that there was a friend, a true friend indeed, ready to stand by you in need, any need?
Whatever indifference you try to show, however much rejection of whatever he upheld for you, can you forget him outright? You just cannot, your conscience wouldn't allow you to. Objects around you will remind you of him. Memories of the occasions and times you had with him will haunt you in your solitude.
Or did you behave the way you have to induce in him an aversion towards you?
He is in agony. How relieved can you feel --- at all?