By sagun basnet

Sakschi checked the cell phone to see if it worked well. It was working. Today Nikhil was arriving from abroad. He didn’t tell her the exact date of his arrival to Sakschi, the day they met online. Still she found it out by inquiring at the international terminal. As expected, he did not call her when he arrived. What was she to him anyway?
She talked to herself, Nikhil is not that thoughtless, but why isn’t calling? Suddenly a thought crossed her mind, what if the plane had a crash? What if he is injured or even worse? If that ever happened also she would be the last to know. She wanted to call, but was scared. What if his family members answered the call? She sat by the place and did not move.
*                                              *                                         *                                      *
It was ten in the evening. She looked at the mobile phone for missed callls or messages. She unlocked the screen and there surfaced their photo that they shot at Nagarkot, when they spent their weekend together. This time she gathered her courage and called him but  disconnected the line in the second ring. She could hear the beatings of her heart in her ears. She thought now he will call and say that they are meeting soon.
Nikhil certainly responsed. He sent a message. “Please understand I am back after such a long time and I need to be with family now. Don’t give me such calls. “. She went and stood by the window. “This is so unfair”, she thought.” He also calls me in the evenings when I am with my family, but I never say those words to him. Infact it feels good to be missed. ”
She had a very disturbing night. Her eyes were closed but she kept on thinking about how she can tell Nikhil how much she missed him. Morning came very late but atlast it came. She wanted to call now, because it was time for his office and he would answer. Just as she started, she stopped the next moment. She thought, he should call now.
For the whole day she kept on looking at the mobile and emails alternatively. Finally, the phone rang and she snatched it up without looking at the number.
“Happy Birthday”
“So you recognized my voice…Look, we all friends are here. Come out will you. We need a treat.”
“I am sorry friends, we will make it some other day, please”
“We knew you will say this,” they hanged the phone. She was so infamous with friends. But she couldnot help it. Sometimes with Nikhil she felt that all the passion, all the need was only from her side. His attitude was condescending, like he was granting her a favour. On his birthday, she had taken leave from office and bought gifts for him a month back.
She called Nikhil now, this time full ring. She closed her eyes, with every going ring, she prayed ” please pick up”. The ring stopped and a voice came from inside the cell phone, “The number you dialled is unanswered”. She took a deep breath. and asked herself, is she becoming fiercely possesive about him? She knew she was cloyingly making her presence in his life as his wife and he is trying to get rid of her.
Now she couldn’t hold it. It was already two months since they did not see each other. Her life revolved around him. She wanted to tell him that. She wanted Nikhil to love her, for her to love herself. A moment came she stopped thinking and she took up a taxi and stopped right in front of his office. She called him from outside, from a coldstore because she knew he will not answer the call from her phone.
She was right, he answered. “Hello !” as this voice came, she realized how much importance he holds in her life. A tear rolled through her cheeks which she had locked inside. “Nikhil,” she choked. “Can you please come outside for a while, I need to talk to you.” This was not new to Nikhil. Whenever something went wrong between them, Sakschi had made it to the outside of his office.
” I will not come now please go back”. Nikhil was rude. Sakschi, said ” I knew you will not see me, still I came, my course of things have become astray, please give me five minutes”. The bargaining went on and at last Nikhil agreed to see her for a while. Sakschi went to the restaurant Nikhil told her to go and wait. She hurriedly combed her hair and puffed her face with compact powder. Afterall Nikhil was seeing her after so long, she had to do some makeup…
Nikhil came and her eyes kissed his face. She wanted to hug him but knew he will not do that in public place and that too after the tussle over the phone. “I always thought you are mature enough to understand that I have bigger responsibilities now”, he started,” You think you can make people do whatever you want? ”
“I wanted to tell you…that I was missing you so much… know calling you out of office like this is wrong but give me an option to it…when you dont call me, when you dont answer my call..what do i do?” Sakschi sobbed.
” If you want me in your life you should behave accordingly and present yourself in a mannered way. First correct yourself and then talk to me. And you talk about love…is this what people who love do? You know love is sacrifice, it is prayer, it is to cope up and understand”.

*                                     *                                         *                                           *

Sakschi came back…heavy and frustrated, she sat on her sofa and thought,” The bottom line is if you wanted to call, you’d call, no matter how busy you were. We always find time for the people who are foremost in our heart. And me, I am not the foremost in your heart. For you other things are important and for me only you”.She felt hurt, humiliated and so small. “A half-hearted love affair is a gilded cage, half pleasure and half prison. It holds us back from the world.”

So now I decide for my good and for yours too, that we should part and this time forever.” She had made a decision. She had set out on a tough journey to discover herself. She got up, refreshed herself, made herself a cup of coffee and sat down with a book. A firm determination in her mind that she will never ever think about him or even call him.

Next moment the cell phone rang, she did not remember what she was thinking a moment before and she looked at the phone again thinking that it must be Nikhil’s. It was not. Again the same silence…the phone kept on ringing and she didn’t answer.

She started questioning the commitments she made to herself and the unattainable efforts she made to forget him, were the commitments real, can it  be done that she forget him? Again the tears answered her.. “no”.

Five minutes of crying and again she told herself, tomorrow i will go to his office and talk to him…………

April 2007


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