Colons, hyphens and close brackets were seen everywhere!
When our eyes twinkled and sparkled, we got a let’s-uncork-champagne news: “All our colleagues are coming to see you next week!”
‘Not if it’s troublesome,’ I wanted to say but no words came out. ‘Oh no! I cannot be dumb. This is cannot be happening!’ I furiously wanted to rewind.
The next thing I recollect is 8-9 young and pretty faces gathered around my bed. I could glimpse into normalcy hearing their (my colleagues’) gleeful laughter.
November 2014 | Bangalore
“It’s Propaganda’s fifth birthday! Drinks on the house and let’s party tonight!” our boss cheerfully announced. We screamed ‘hurray’ following which I instantly turned to my neighbouring colleague.
“You in?” I nervously asked.
“Of course! Free drinks! Some dancing. What’s to lose?” she declared.
Her words motivated me to just let it all go. Guys bought alcohol and we commenced.
“Let’s click pictures!” I eagerly urged everyone.
“Yeah. Let’s model for photo booth on my Mac,” a charming, love-at-first-sight chick joined my frenzy.
Just then, my mother’s words brought me from that mad party to this glum hospital. “Your aunt is coming from US.” Those words brought ecstasy to this godawful place. Nobody in the world had ever done that for me. Next morning, dad made a gallant request to which I promptly agreed. He had set away his pressures for a while but I could understand his worry about finances. “Let’s go home next week?” I was aware of the risks involved but he’s a doctor and a parent so I blindly trusted him to know what he’s doing. Later, we were at the ‘get set’ stage. That fine morning, I distinctly recall my wretched darling’s face. The ambulance was about to depart but all he could manage was a tough goodbye. Honestly, I felt this was a solace for him. Office plus hospital plus his own demons, I was utterly impressed. I knew I’d never be able to do this which made me feel even worse. I wanted to say millions of things but I merely returned his goodbye. I never thought there might be a day when it could be a final one. Lying in that ambulance made me idly wonder how I came to Bangalore.
July 2014 | Mumbai
“Packing is pretty much done. It’s my farewell time with friends. You spoke to dad?” I gingerly quizzed mom.
“Never got a chance but looks like he will come,” she gloomily responded.
We had planned a road trip. We hired a driver to save other drivers from a grave headache! We desperately needed dad to sit in our first-ever car which he had not even seen. My father suffers from acute bipolar depression.
Mom twittered that morning, “Dad’s in the car!”
I didn’t want to give him a chance to think twice. We hurriedly dumped the luggage and were off. My parents knew this is ten times more pleasurable for me than the job, as my sweetheart was there too (blush blush). After trying to catch sleep and sing (unmelodious) songs, we could finally see billboards in Kannada.
“Would you like to have something ma’am?” air hostess stirred me to the present.
May 2015 | Mumbai
My mother had gone home two days prior in order to set things up. I had left this house and I was back to square (minus) one.
“You lie down,” my aunt patted my back.
The pink and gold sky ignited fire within me. I am certain it will ignite within you as well.
The sun will rise and we will try again. Don’t accept twilight yet, shooting star is on its way.
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