Thursday, May 15, 2008

Repository of Regrets

Akanksha was on deathbed, fighting against the slimmest of odds. Ritwick was crying, expecting that the worst would be over soon enough. While they waited for time to pass them by Shlok fidgeted. He had never faced such a situation before and it opened up a whole new side of him. One he would like to keep under the covers; or if possible, somehow get rid of. He doesn’t want anything to do with it.

There was silence and five people in the room. None knew what to do. And hence, everyone assumed a look of concern. Not a soul knew her as well as Ritwick. Yet fate had thrown them together to mourn a sorrow only one of them had a clue about. The air seemed heavy with morbid anticipation and a plethora of nightmares raped Shlok's mind. “Did they feel the same way? What were they thinking about?” He could not help thinking and each and every one of his thoughts shrieked at him. It’s strange how death can make one realize the fleeting nature of almost everything. He wondered about writing it down and almost immediately, felt so selfish that he was disgusted with himself. He felt like hating himself for it. “How could I even be so? Is that all I am about?”


Got the news that Akanksha had passed away. Ever since, Shlok has been walking around. Clueless. Again. The repercussions have failed to notice him in the crowd. The only way in which he is affected by the incident is when he imagines the trauma in context with his own life. There is no other way. “Is that selfish or is that just how we are supposed to be? Sit there with my arms folded and look solemn? Appear sad when I don’t know what I should be feeling like?” Blank.

Even the skies are overcast today. Weird co-incidence. Maybe. Some people are likely to think otherwise. It’s strange how this kind of thing passes on to others. The paltan has been immersed in an eerie silence since last evening. Nobody has been cracking the trademark lewd jokes. All sounds seem to be coming from somewhere cold and distant. They all pretend to understand. But each of them knows better.

It’s difficult to forget things. Every time Ritwick will look at her photograph, a smile will come flooding back and the heart will ache in an inexplicable fashion, almost willing itself to explode. But then the pain will subside. New lovers will be loved. Different photographs will be cherished. And the memory of the dead will be relegated to some unspoken corner, not meant to be disturbed. But as of now, the ache will be fresh and the reminiscences vivid. The mind will question often and the pain hurt more so.

“I think I am too selfish”, decides Shlok. He imagines his life going out of control in the same fashion and is appalled at the ramifications. This is the only way he feels anything. Putting himself in Ritwick's place and fearing the aftermath. His thoughts are spattered with regret and more than once he thinks of breaking the cocoon and saying things before it’s too late. After all, it’s all ephemeral.

Even the smallest mundane tasks seem like blasphemy. One is supposed to wear a mask of misery and wait for time to pass you by. Telling someone about the same seems utterly selfish. Fruits brought from Subhiksha become the portrait of ignorance. There's a tear strained handkerchief too, still wet when he touches it. His mind goes into an overdrive and he notes down everything, as if he had already decided to come back and relive his regrets.

It’s all going to end. They all know that. But the embers will continue smoldering for several months, maybe years. Shlok doesn’t know what to say. Not what to do. He sits there and finds a teardrop finding its way through years of barricades. But it dries up as quickly. Just as the handkerchief on the bed had begun to. Is that symbolic of something? Or was he a fool to think like that?


  1. Its well written, yes...but somehow I get the feeling that the piece has been picked up from a book and put here...the context is unclear, and so are the characters, if you get what I you ?

  2. Hmm..That's an interesting observation. But I thought the context was very clear. The passing away of someone known and yet a stranger. The inability to react to such a situation and then the subtle realization that the incident has somehow affected you too. That's what it's about.

  3. Observation1:
    You still retain the power to paint everything red with beauty and switch back to shades of black and white.

    Choice of names(Ritwick, Ahalya) quite eye-catching.

    You've grown old thinking. Get back to iamgonnarock sid.At least for the summers.

  4. Pinks

    Observation1: Thanks. If the observation was a complement that is.

    Observation2: Thanks again. I'll try to live upto the expectations. This I am sure was a complement.

    Observation3: Thinking can only make one depressed and neurotic. Or psychic maybe. So I guess I'll stick with my sleeping tablets for the time being. Thanks.