Heartbeats          

 

Mausumi Phukan Baruah

  

Copyright 2018 by Mausumi Phukan Baruah

   

Photo of the author.


The little girl is running here and there, playing with other children. Her hairs flowing, eyes shining and cheeks glowing. She has a naughty smile in her face just like her father. That smile is infectious. It creates happiness all around. The guy is looking at her with content. “She has grown up so fast!, My Princess”. He murmured and smiled silently. Her mother is sitting next to him, a beautiful lady, calm, quiet, just opposite to the father and daughter. The guy looked at his wife and felt love for her for being so supportive, so caring, so simple and so loving. He likes her that way she is, not complicated, bossy and too inquisitive. She has given him everything that he desires in life. He is happy at last. This is his world. He has created his own world of happiness and peace. He said to himself, “I have got everything in my life!, as if assuring himself. He closed his eyes took a deep breath and felt his surrounding in silence. Suddenly, this silence became unbearable. He turned to look at his wife” You have not spoken a word since last two hours.” He is surprised. “ What should I say?” Her reply made him thoughtful. He wondered how could two people so close to each other sit for two hours without speaking!! But it is normal for them. They share moments of silence more than words. “But still we are happy! We never quarrel!” He spoke to himself. Looking at his wife lovingly, she smiled back. Don’t you have any complain against me?” He wanted to know.

Of course not. You have given me everything. Why should I complain?” She said normally.

Have I given you everything?” The man whispered but she did not hear his words. He doubted her words, he is not confident. Again silence prevailed between them except the voices of people, giggles of children and the sound of roaring sea waves. He was feeling so happy, then why now his mind is disturbed! Suddenly he is feeling the solitude that haunts him often though he is surrounded by lots of people. How much he hates this feeling!! He wants to forget everything that disturbs his mind. He just wants to get emerged in tranquilising happiness of his surroundings.

Papa, papa”, the guy opened his eyes and saw his daughter standing in front of him. She looked at him with mischievous eyes. Sweating hands touched his chin said “Papa, I am so thirsty. Let us go to that restaurant and have some cold drinks.” His heart melted. This girl is so enthusiastic. He can never say no to her. “Papa, there, see a juice corner, ice creams also.” She did not wait for them and ran towards the shop. The guy and the lady followed her.

The girl shouted, looking back “Papa, here is black grapes, let me have it”.

The guy felt a finch of needle pain in his heart. It has reminded him of something which he prefers to forget. It’s better to burry some memories inside the heart forever. “Mou, let us have some pomegranate juice, okay. It is healthy”. He had started hating everything that reminds him of his that phrase of life. “Why papa? I like black grapes more!” How can be let his daughter get deprived just because of his past incidents. The lady did not utter a ward. The guy appreciates his wife’s qualities. She is go polite and so honest unlike other ladies. He thought bitterly. She takes care of him, makes him feel so comfortable without even making him feel her presence. And above all she does not have her own world. She is always there for him without giving him stress. He is her world and she is content in this world.

They went inside the restaurant. Sitting in a corner, he looked around. Suddenly something happened. He could not lake his eyes off. She is sitting in front of him! How is it possible? He wiped his eyes and looked again! The colour of his face changed. He felt as if he is unable to breathe. ‘It is really her’. The woman was busy with her phone. She looked up and saw him! The surrounding chaos could not break the silence that prevailed in the hearts. She looked straight into his eyes as if trying to delve deeper and deeper. She looks so fragile, old. Still those piercing gaze!!

They guy got up, almost sprang up from his chair. He has felt cold, shivering cold as if he is in a deep jungle. He got his sense back. He did not wait for another moment. He pulled his daughter up from her seat. Not giving her any chance to protest. “Papa” she looked at her father and froze to see his face. His wife followed him meekly. He rushed out of the restaurant. He heard her voice, feeble, calling his name. He preferred to be deaf. While moving out hurriedly he heard people shouting “The lady in the corner fainted. Ambulance, call the ambulance!”

The guy moved faster. But the daughter turned back and she saw people gathering around that table.

She was surprised that her father has not even turned back once to glance.

Papa, that lady is sick!”

No, she is fake. She is acting!”

The guy muttered in anger. His wife looked at him in surprise. She could feel his anger. As usual she did not ask any question. But the girl is curious. Her eyes were moving here and there. She wants to know what has happened to the lady. “Papa, have you seen her eyes?

No, why?” The guy tried to control his emotions. He was shivering inside.

Papa, her eyes were full of water! So strange! Why she started crying?” such a grown up lady! Without any reason she cried, but no sound!”

The guy could not control himself anymore! “What if she was not acting! She fainted!! She recognized me!!” He felt as if his heart would stop beating! She seemed so weak.

The guy became restless. It has been ages but still she can create anger in his mind. All these years he has been living his life in peace. Again she is here to make his life restless.

Now she is old, ill, still her presence is the reason of my unhappiness.”

The guy tried to keep his mind away from her thoughts. He calculated time. So many years passed so many changes in life. But why she is looking so fragile! He felt pain. He never thought of meeting her again in this life. But, he could not forget what was between them. Their bonding, attachment, feelings, doubts, everything. All came to his mind as a flash back. He felt his heart beating faster. She is here and he has turned back his face away!!

He remembered his parting words, “I will never go to you, But if you can come, we will meet.”

He knew her limitations. Her eyes reflected pain that pierced his heart then. But still he decided to go away from her life. He could not tolerate the pain. Her limitations made him fierce. She kept her silence. He started hating her for her pain, for her desires, for her covering up of things and above all for her never ending love which tried to cage his mind.

But today, after all these years, she is here. And how can he avoid her. The guy sprang up his chair. He said to his daughter “Sit here Mou, I am coming.” To his wife he did not say anything. He ran to the restaurant where she was sitting. One hour ago his mindset was different. He never expected her here. Now he is composed. He wants to talk to her. He feels his growing excitement. “How can I even think of being away from her! She is here!” He smiled. He knows she will take time to become normal. He has made her angry leaving here in the restaurant alone. But he knows her. She cannot be angry with him for long. His smile makes her forget her anger. He will hold her hands and bring back her smile to her eyes.!

God!! He has started smiling thinking of her. He reached the restaurant. It was vacant. ‘ What happened! His heart sank. He almost rushed to the counter “What happened to that lady? Where is she now?

The counter boy was puzzled !

Sir, which one?”

The one who fainted” The guy shouted. He heard his own heart beats.

Oh! That one! Sir, she is no more. She has got heart attack. She collapsed even before the ambulance came. They have taken the lady away! Poor lady!”

The guy could not move. He lost his balance and sat down. He closed his eyes and clasped his own hands the way once they used to hold each other. She was not acting. She came here for him. The drops of tears appeared in his eyes.

He murmured in silence, “Sundhu, Sundhu”

He knows for sure that in spite of all these years of separation she still loves him. Hearing his calling she will wipe away her tears and smile at him, no matter where she is and her eyes will reflect lots of love for him. She will love him forever and tell him’ “Melt my heart and call me again Sundhu, Sundhu”.

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