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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

In the end it doesn’t even matter!

As Gautam, was waiting anxiously at the Mandap to get hitched, Amaya left him at the altar! She absolutely lived up to the expectations of her closed ones; they, who have been well accustomed to her off-beat actions, so far. Rather, this time she has just outdone herself.

Amaya, a smart, strong and independent woman as Gautam describes her, was beautiful in her own way. She was one of those “ready to become extinct” rare species to whom emotional security topped the priority list. There was no dearth of love and emotions in her heart. She was a pure soul. She never did things to prove anything to the world neither she sailed in the mainstream world. Philosophical discussions used to drive her forward in life. It was one of those sessions over coffee at Connaught Place, Delhi, that he met Gautam, the ‘cute but silent movie type” guy. But the silence couldn’t hide his asset – he was full of the milk of human kindness!

Gautam, an academician by profession but a passionate philosopher. He was a true emotional being and that used to get highly reflected in his writing, rather “scribbling” as he often mentioned them as. He was a horse of different colour at his work too. His approach to any problem, technical or non-technical, was what set him apart from everyone around. He was indeed an old head on young shoulders.

It was not love at first sight for them. It was not Gautam’s extraordinary intelligence or Amaya’s outstanding ethnic dressing sense or beauty that brought them close! It was the abstract, unexplainable yet very strong emotional connect they felt for each other, that laid the foundation; the foundation for a great relationship in the making. Yes, the other tangible factors were just “icing on the cake” for them, which went unnoticed! They were not kids and thus they were not “head over heels in love” with each other immediately. It grew with time. It grew even stronger when Amaya’s asthma attacks were as painful to Gautam as they were to her; when he used to ignore his perennial gastric problems due to late meals just to have lunch together with her; or when Amaya used to erase the expressions of the painful migraine from her soothing face to roam around with him on sultry sunny days. Even her rejection of her “the dream job” at Germany came very easily to her and she surprised herself big time. But nothing was mentioned to him as a piece of sacrifice for the emotionally rich relationship. Neither Gautam uttered a single word when he didn’t take up the challenging project that would have surely paved the way to his promotion; being partners in crime with Amaya on her dream trip to Europe was what paved the way to his content heart! The very presence of Amaya was making him witness the external manifestations of his emotional being. She was unknowingly medicating his commitment phobia.

It was after the Caferati session that they managed to get two seats in the overwhelmingly crowded CCD that the most awaited conversation started.

Amaya asked him: “How would you define me in a sentence?”

Gautam was silent. He was looking deep into her beautiful eyes and was hoping she gets the answer from the interpreter of his soul, his eyes.

She said: “I know! I understand things about you that you yourself cannot explain so far!

As she finished her line and sipped her coffee, he knew he was ready. On the way to her home, he finally decided to bare his heart to her and not to keep a stiff upper lip anymore.

Gautam spoke: “Will you keep on understanding those unexplainable things about me all your life? Will you take care of my emotional requirements lifelong?”

Her “wishful and hearty yes” was written all over her face but she was finding it very difficult to utter any word. The beauty of the moment reduced to Amaya’s horrifying asthma attack. She was rushed to hospital in his arms. That was a black night for them. It was even worse for her as she couldn’t get the chance of telling it to him - “Yes. I will.” She thought after her emergency treatment and a short nap she will open her eyes in a new world. A world of new dreams, a new beginning with Gautam. Yes she did open her eyes to be in a new world, completely unknown to her. The world of Cancer. While she woke up after four days, she was diagnosed with Lung cancer in that duration. The regular as well as severe asthma attacks have led tochronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) long back which remained undiagnosed due to sheer negligence; lack of diagnosis and thus ignorance let cancer peep in her body. It seemed to wipe out all the emotions, dreams and the new beginning for Amaya. She was shattered as she got this news from Gautam. The ever so talkative Amaya was running short of words for the first time. But Gautam couldn’t remain silent anymore. He couldn’t see her groaning inwardly. He said, “We are walking down the aisle together in two weeks and I am sorry Amaya, you don’t have a choice! I know you are dying to be called Mrs. Amaya Roychowdhuri.” As he winked and bent down to kiss her, she couldn’t help but reduced to tears. She said, “Look at the brighter side Gautam, you don’t have to bear my tantrums for long!” and a faint smile brightened up her saddened face. They shared their first kiss that day. This was not how Amaya dreamt of her first kiss with Gautam! But it seemed perfect to her.

As there was a sudden buzz at the wedding and the happiness vanished at the blink of an eye, Gautam didn’t look moved; He was not as shocked as expected. Somewhere down the line he knew Amaya would lose the boldness that Gautam fell in love with. It was evident from her sad and worried eyes at Tanishq during their wedding jewelry hunt, when she asked him “Right after marriage, I would be going for my chemo instead of our honeymoon; I would go bald very soon. I would look miserable na? How will you handle all these Gautam? Why do you want this at all?” He understood that the “cancer feeling” was infusing into her as fast as it can get. She was losing her all confidence as negativity engulfed her from all sides. Her unconventional philosophies of life, emotional being and love filled heart, all were fighting hard with the baggage of cancer but were getting defeated badly. He just said “certain things are to be answered by time. The beauty of those replies are manifold!” But deep down he knew, without her, he was nothing any more. He felt hollow, incomplete and useless without her. Her depletion from his life had the power of making him go crazy; her disease was nothing compared to it. Changes in her appearance could never damage her inner beauty which he has always longed for. He believed in quality not quantity. Even if he knew Amaya would hardly live for a year or two, he also knew that would be the best time of his life. The memories that he would gather would be enough to drive him forward and keep him going after her demise. He was courageous!

But Amaya couldn’t second his thought. She couldn’t live up to her set courage standards. She failed. As she waited at the airport for her flight, she thought she freed Gautam from all the pain. She was in immense pain herself though. “He doesn’t deserve this lifelong misery? He deserves a very good life. Although our journey ends here, no one can snatch away my feelings for him. He has to move on. I am sorry that I love you too much to hurt you all your life.” She misinterpreted his silence for the first time. She thought he was sacrificing for her. First time she followed her brain but not heart and she was highly wrong.

As she sat there with a heavy heart, her mobile rang. It was Gautam. Tears rolled down her cheeks. Her fingers trembled to touch the phone. She accepted the call.

Gautam: “Amaya, you forgot your medicines back home. I am waiting outside the airport. Come and take them. And how dare you leave without saying goodbye to me?

I am waiting.” His voice didn’t reflect an iota of anger or hatred for her. It was all love, care and concern. He managed to put her in a state of awe once again. He managed to reduce her in tears all over again.

She knew she did a big mistake. As she was gliding to the airport exit, lost in her mixed feelings, a song reached her ears, “In the end it doesn’t even matter”. It reached her heart.

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