Monday, September 04, 2006

I Wish I Too Had

4th May 1984
As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me – Brishti. She was my so-called "best friend". We have known each other from our childhood – in fact from the very first day of our school life. I saw her growing up from a little girl in clumsy clothes to a young lady with grace and exquisiteness. Her beauty unfolded for me – at least that’s what I thought. I stared oblivious of time and place at her long silky hair, petite young arms, and the seemingly fragile fingers those removing the few strands of hairs falling on her face. I did not know what I exactly adore in her. But I only realized that she is my dream, my wish, my thought, my desire, my reverie. I wished she was mine, but she didn't notice me like that. And I knew it. She was truly like the rain drops – crystal clear and pristine.
After class she walked up to me and asked, “Do you have the notes for last class Aditya? I missed the class.”
“Yeah. I do. Here are they.” I handed them over to her.
"Thank You." and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I wanted to tell her. I wanted her to know that I don't want to be just friends.
I love her, but I was just too shy.
And I don't know why.
Days passed by and we remained good friends. We ended up in the same college with the same subject. We talked over the phone for hours despite the disapproval of our parents. We shared our thoughts and views intimately. We took long walks along the shore when she always found me hold her shoes while she had her feet washed by the sea. The twilight made her beauty somewhere above this world – it was magical, enigmatic – something which words cannot describe – just can be felt.
I wanted to tell her. I wanted her to know that I don't want to be just friends.
I love her, but I was just too shy.
And I don't know why.
12th March 1993
But she did tell me. No it was not me. It was Rahul – Brishti’s boyfriend. She was excited about it. And she wanted to share her joy with me.
“Hi Aditya. You know what?” her voice was bubbling with enthusiasm as we were slurping ours fast dripping ice-cream.
“What is it?” was my return question with little curiosity.
“Rahul proposed me.”
“What? Really? You are kidding.” I found myself uttering in disbelief.
“No. It’s true.”“Great! So what are the plans now?” that was all I could say.
“I don’t know.” with a sheepish grin on her face she replied.
That day I still remember. After coming back to home I thought I lost my world. I have been deprived of the most precious part of me perhaps. I felt lost and forlorn. Never felt so much pain and agony in my life. The very moment I knew life will never be the same ever again for me. The change is indelible.
23rd November 1995
The phone rang. I knew it must be Brishti on the other end. She was in tears, sobbing uncontrollably, mumbling on and on about how Rahul had broke her heart.
“Aditya am all alone. Rahul left me.”
“Brishti I am with you. Your best friend.” was all I could say then.
“Can you please come over to my place? I cannot bear it anymore. I need you Aditya.”
“I will be there in few minutes.” I found myself speaking.
As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, a Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, two bottles of soda she decided to go to sleep. She thanked me by planting a soft kiss on my cheek.
I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends.
I love her, but I'm just too shy.
And I don't know why.
A day passed. A week passed. A month passed. A year passed. Before I could blink, it was our graduation day. The end of our college days – fun filled days – finally time to embark in the battle of life to make my presence worth on this world. Life has endowed and enriched us with all we need to survive.
27th July 1998
The Graduation Day has and will always be a special day in life for every person. The day signifies embodiment of strength acquired by talent and skills of self. With the gown and cap at the convocation Brishti appeared to be in her usual grace and charm. Her appeal has always been quintessential and classic yet simple and effortless. I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her degree. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. Before we went home, she came to me in her graduation dress, and she cried as I hugged her. Then, she lifted her head from my shoulder and said, "I want to have a photograph with our graduation sashes and certificate." Could I ever have been able to say no to any of her requests? Never. Neither this time. After that she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “You're my best friend Aditya!”
I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends.
I love her, but I'm just too shy.
And I don't know why.
30th October 2000
Now, I sit in the pews of the church. She is getting married, NOW, with another man – Akash. I am witnessing the marriage as the best-man. Dressed in her snow-white wedding gown Brishti looked as youthful, boisterous and divine she always used to be. Perhaps never before she looked so much enigmatic, such pristine and celestial. The priest chanted the hymns and asked Brishti, “Do you accept Akash as your husband till death part you?” I watched her say, "I do". I wanted her to be mine but she didn't see me like that, and I knew it.
But before she drove away to her new life – away from my life – to be with another man, she came to me and said, "I had the best time of my life with you, thank you my best friend!" and kissed me on the cheek.
I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends.
I love her, but I'm just too shy.
And I don't know why.
17th Spetember 2003
It may be probably a couple of years Brishti got married to Akash. I still know I feel a void in my life. I might sound a loser but can I help it? My dreams, my thoughts, my feelings were all centered on her – Brishti – my muse. Yet “I'm just too shy. And I don't know why.
Suddenly the phone rang and woke me up from my trance. It’s my mother on the other side.“Hello, Aditya?”
“Yes Mom. Go ahead.”
“Aditya as soon as possible come to home.”
“Why? what happened?” panic gripped me.
“Reach home and then I will tell and yes at home both I and your dad are ok.”
“Ok. If you insist so strongly I am coming.”
Wrapping up for the day was not an easy job though. Yet was done.
Back home it was gloomy and dark. Fearing something really ghastly I entered my house. Mom and dad were sitting in the porch. I let a sigh of relief. But what I did not know was that was true to the sense ephemeral. The real shock was yet to hit me.
“What’s the matter? Why did you call me from the office so early?”
“Sit Aditya.” Mom managed to speak in a somewhat cracked voice and continued, “Brishti is no more with us.”
The word did not impale me properly and I just asked, “What are you saying?”
“It’s true.” was all my mom could utter.
I was left there all alone, shell-shocked, speechless, grieving. Really I did not realize at that point what I have lost. I lost “My Best Friend”.
“Tomorrow is her funeral at 9 in the morning.” was the last words I heard that day even not remembering whether it was my dad or mom who told me that.
18th Spectember 2003
I looked down at the coffin of the girl who used to be my best friend." Even death could not take away her mythical beauty, her evergreen exuberance in appearance, her lovely smile which was still there on her lips. Her last wish was to read her diary entry she wrote on her Graduation Day.
This is what it read:
27th July 1998
Today is a very important day of our life. We graduated and now ready for sailing through the ocean of life – let us sail together Aditya. I stare at him in his sashe and gown – wishing he were mine. He has that charm and appeal. He has a charismatic aura about him which I never found myself forgetting. But he doesn't notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him. I want him to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love him, but I'm just too shy. And I don't know why.
I wish he would tell me he loves me. I love you Aditya! You are my best friend. You let me know the fun and frolic of childhood, essence of friendship, soulful nature of womanhood. I am so indebted to you Aditya. You have always been there for me when I needed you. You remained by my side always. Be there. Love me. Take me. Make me yours. Nothing else matters to me. It’s you, whom I see, I dream, I think of. For once say you love me. I wish I do that. But I am shy. And I don’t know why.
It was a shearing pain ripping my heart apart. It was not her death that caused my pain and sorrow. But how have I been so blind not to see the love blossoming in her tender heart for me and just for me. I realized how difficult and excruciating it was for her to accept anyone taking her other than me. I thought to myself, and I cried probably in anguish and frustration and agony.
I did love her – by my heart and soul.
But why was I shy?
And STILL I don’t know why.


Blogger ritesh said...

well written story...

6:15 AM  
Blogger felicity said...

best short story ive read till date....its the best. for years authors as poets have tried to exploit our emotions such as scare,love,anger and pathos. they have been sucessful in one department, the pathos. from S'pear's Romeo & Juliet to modern day Bridget Jones, nothing is more desirable than to read a love sory with lots of pathos in it. this is one of them. for once it is nice to feel a grief thats not my own and to cry tears that are not my own.

7:24 PM  

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