“she doesn’t have much time left. you can see her now mr Singhania.”
the doctor said with grief in his tone as naksh nervously entered the room.
the hospital room is a concrete pen with a window the size of a biscuit tin lid. it has a stagnant smell, like it’s cleaned with plain water instead of disinfectant. the bed sits low to the ground, the frame baring the signs of rust and the mattress worryingly thin. naksh bites his lip. leaving isn’t an option and staying promises to be a slowly unfolding nightmare. but he thought about the beautiful three years he got to spend with his wife keerti and slowly walked up to her as she laid on her hospital bed, ghost-like.
her lips which used to be bright baby pink no longer carried any colour in them. her eyes had lost their sparkle. her hair was no longer there….it was gone. as for her skin, it was completely pale now. though many changes happened to her physical appearance, naksh still loved her inside and out. he took small steps and sat on the stool next to her bed, held her hand and said: why are you leaving me so soon jaan? you have to leave me alone already? bolo na, why are you leaving me?
he kisses her hand and then allowed his tears to run free.
keerti kissed his hand and said: darling my time is over. I am sorry….I’m sorry for not being able to give you a child, nor being worthy enough to be with you forever, nor being the perfect wife.
Naksh : so what? you are perfect enough for me and…and I am happy I got to spend three amazing years with the most gorgeous woman ever. I don’t mind if you didn’t give me a child. I just want you.
keerti: you have shown me what love is….and what being loved feels like. every time you k….kissed me and our lips…..touched so softly, I could feel it. every time we kiss, I always get that same magical feeling as our first kiss. I cou….could feel it when our hearts…..get so close they are beating as one. I love you naksh.
naksh: I love you too keerti.
keerti: I don’t know how long I have left but plz fulfil my last wish.
naksh: tell me darling.
keerti: look naksh, I want to say something and I mean this more than I ever did before. you are the love of my life, my knight in shining…armour. maybe I may not be able to be seen…anymore…that does not mean I am not with you. I’ll always be there looking over you…..keeping you safe. and my last…wish is for you to find another girl who will never leave you like….like I did. and when….when you fall in love…I will be watching…with a smile on my face….I don’t want you to be lonely….promise me naksh you will do this?
naksh: keerti…I can do anything but not this….I….I am only madly in love with you…how can I love another girl?
keerti: you really love me?
naksh nodded crying.
keerti: then if you love me…when you fall in love again…marry her….marry that lucky girl then…then I will know how much you love me..
naksh: ok jaan. (he kisses her hand) I will.
keerti smiled lightly, tears forming in her eyes. she took one last breath and said: thank you.
and with those words, she closed her eyes forever and forever.
to see her dead was to die himself. there was no him without her, no life after her love. she had been his all, his raison d’être, and existing when she no longer did cracked his mind in a way that would never heal.
he sobbed into her chest unceasingly, hands clutching at her hospital dress. she just laid there as his tears soaked her chest. a tiny lapse let him pull away, blinking lashes heavy with tears, before he collapsed again, his howls of misery worsening. the pain must have come in waves, minutes of sobbing broken apart by short pauses for recovering breaths, before hurling him back into the outstretched arms of his grief.
the fire dreams in its iron bed, cozy in the metal that glows. her flames transform the wood into the most transient of beauties, hot ribbons of light. there are times it sparks, as if it wanted more than one crazy way to dance, as if it needs to leap, to fly, willing to land where it may.
he watched with tears rolling down his eyes and remember her last wish. she wanted him to remarry. it wasn’t going to be easy. after one woman who betrayed him in the worst possible way, keerti was the only woman who gave him hope in love and now she too had left him to join heaven. in heaven she would bundle in God’s perfect love, happy, joyful. she wouldn’t not recall the pain of dying, God would wash it from her.
after a while, he entered his dark room which he used to share with keerti. he saw keerti’s picture hanging on the wall. slowly he caressed it and said: I wish you were still here. with me. only because I love you jaan, I will try and find a girl who I can remarry but…but I swear on my life that I will never love that girl as much as I love you.
he sat on his bed and took his wedding album out, crying as he flipped the pages.
precap: meet talika and titli
so who is talika and who is titli? only the next chapter will tell. sorry for a boring chapter.