THE TIDE OF HOPE
(Continued from “The Undying Fire”)
“Hundred times you have told me why you love me but do you know why I love you? I love you because you do to my life what I myself would have done, had it been under my control.”
His words reverberated in my mind countless times. The statement held its truest form. Of course, I loved her just for the fact that, she brought that control in me, which I had always thought of, but could not implement. She had the push that I needed.
The wood, burning slowly, at its will, preoccupied my mind. I was thinking of Mr Namgay simultaneously of how he had lived all these years through hardships. He had not lived, but survived. Just like the wood in the bone fire, how it fights and crackles in the beginning, but slowly and steadily it endures the heat and finally turns into ash helplessly. Mr Namgay had done everything in his capability to save his well settled life, but the troubles had swallowed him up just like the yellow flame had done the same to the wood. He rested on a small ledge, his chest moving slowly and. harmonically with the breathing. His wet eyes glistened in that faint light. His frail body had given up but not his mind and heart. He survived through his beautiful memories of his deceased wife and his two sons and daughter were his life support.
The red wood burnt slowly. It had surrendered to the fire just as the old man to his life of what was left.
The night was still young. The cold seeped into the bones. Sleep was away for me. I took out the phone, swiped through some pictures. Every pic revealed something new in her. There were times when I used to get lost in those pics. No matter how much anger or hurt I was, I used to fall in love once again. I used to feel the pain and pleasure at the same time. I again wished, for her to be here. She may be miles apart, but she was a phone call away. A part of me wanted to miss her in my own beautiful way. These were the times when I got weak to the core. I had no other option, but to pen down the story of Mr Namgay.
1. A STRANGE DAY
“Sometimes the weather outside is the reflection of an inner build up.”
It had been raining all day. I was in the hospital for almost six hours. I had no idea what had been going on. The stench smell of antiseptics and savlon filled the air inside that small building.
The previous night, my wife had complained of severe pain in the stomach. I thought, it was due to food, but the pain lingered for quite sometime. I waited for the dawn to break in, so that I could get easy transport, but she was getting miserable. The tears in her eyes, made me to reconsider my decision. I could now literally feel the pain she was going through.
We stayed in the small house, just outside the city. The front part of the house was my office. I was the proud owner of a travel company, which I started just after marriage. I had promised my wife to tour her the whole of Bhutan, when we had our own car after marriage, when we were on the nascent stage of our little love life.
I made a call to a hired taxi driver and explained him my situation. He made it after a good one hour. She was a strong woman. She understood me. She knew, she was my strength as well as weakness. She held herself firmly, lest I break up. I left three kids back at home and notified my neighbour to keep an eye on them.
“Are you Mr Namgay?” ..
The sharp voice woke me up. My eyes had caught a little, sitting on a platform leaning against a wall.
“The doctor wants to see you. “
“Is there a problem”
“I don’t know, the doctor has the info.”
“Can I see her?”
“Yes, she is on saline right now.”
She lead the way, and I followed her like an innocent pup.
I crossed the room, where she was sleeping on a corner cot. The dilapidated room had six other patients. I could see every patient was accompanied by a relative or closed one. She was lying alone with a saline needle pierced into her soft and fair skin. I walked upto her. She laid there like a lifeless body, I just could see her breathing. I was equally curious of what could have happened.
I just left her there and quickened my steps to the doctor.
“You must be Mr Namgay.”
“What did Mrs Namgay had for dinner?”
Just the regular food
“Did she ever complain of stomach pain before?”
No, she did not… !! Is she alright? Do I have to worry about anything? I asked swallowing a lump, expecting the most positive answer from the Doc.
My neighbour Mr Dolkar, had brought the children to the hospital. They were tensed and were in tears, the whole morning, when they did not find us. They only got the sense of relief beside their mother. Mr Dolkar was just like a family man. He was there with us, since we moved to that house. He was the first witness of my joy and happiness, every time I became a father. We used to have small parties within our family, every Friday night to celebrate our happiness and joy. People love being happy. The people were bounded by the rules of Monarchy, however they were more free in expressing their thoughts and emotions. He was kind enough to bring lunch for all of us.
I came out of the doctor’s cabin and Mr Dolkar came to me:
“ How is she”..
she is good. I answered feebly.
“So when can you take her home”
Today itself, after she finishes her dosage.
“What had happened? Is she alright?”
Then –and I don’t know why –a sense of loss flapped in my guts. A kind of loss that wouldn’t have allowed my life to be life again: even if I continued to breathe, even if I cared to smile and even if I stubbornly held onto the belief that tomorrow shall be alright, I did not find that confidence.
She always complained of my bad habits. I never paid heed to them. Today, she is the one at the receiving end. May be God wanted me to realise, what loss is! Why do we complain? We complain to improve the situation or the things or the people that matters to us. The day we stop complaining is the day when we realise either the situations have improved or it simply does not matter to us anymore.
There was a light drizzle outside. I was weeping. Tears did not stop, how much I tried to. The weather did cooperate with me. The children watched me helplessly. Mr Dolkar took me in his arms. He was curious.
“Pancreatic Cancer”… I said him in shaky voice..