The Stranger!!

Disclaimer: This is a true work of fiction and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is just purely coincidental.

It was the counting day and I happened to be at home after a gap of about two months. Now don’t get confused it is not like any of the usual national days. I am talking about the day after the election when votes are counted and the winners are announced. Of late I was not into politics, but after seeing my dad’s excitement even I got a hang of it. Being a strong follower of the leftist party, dad was full of excitement. He had a strong illusion that the left was going to win again.

“It is almost one month since I have seen any of the serials. How could I when your dad is glued to the news channels 24 hours”, Mom complained. There was a month’s gap between the election and the counting day and as usual dad didn’t want to miss out any of the talk shows. Mom even had planned to buy a new TV before the elections. After all it is 27th year since their marriage and every election still bears the same effect.

It was 9’oclock and dad was in front of the TV set with a book and a pen. Based on his evaluations Left will win 14 out of 20 seats. That will happen only if the congress had not participated in the 14 constituency was my Moms reply. The initial election results start flashing in the TV. It said in 19 of the 20 seats the opposite parties where leading. Left just had lead in one constituency. Dad was shocked, he couldn’t believe what was happening, he took a cloth cleaned his glasses, cleaned his ears and started switching channels. All the channels showed the same news. He switched off the TV for some time and switched it on again the news didn’t change. “It is just the initial position. I am sure that things will change when the final results comes”, said dad. “You are way too optimistic “, replied Mom. She had fought lot of battles with him in the name of elections and she didn’t want to let this opportunity go off. My cousin sister who just wrote class 12 exams joined us to watch the news happily.

Muslim league has won the seat at “ Manjerry” and scenes of people celebrating were all over the TV. Seeing this, my sister said: “So the left have won in Manjeery!”.

“ No da. It is the Muslim league, can’t you see the green flag with the partial moon symbol “, I replied.

“Ohh, It is the moon, I thought it is the Sickle of Left symbol”, she said.

The scenes in the TV changed; the next scene was of a smiling Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. They had all the reasons to smile. Except for the sound coming from my TV no one was speaking at my house. Every one knew that my dad is in a bad state, just then my innocent sister started again.

“Is Rahul Gandhi the son of Indira Gandhi?”

No one was in a mood to laugh. In an effort to increase my sisters political knowledge I told, “ No dear, Rajeev Gandhi is the son of Indira Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi is the son of Rajeev Gandhi”.

Then came her next doubt. “So did Sonia Gandhi ever marry?”

Her questions were becoming unbearable. This time I replied in harsh way, “Don’t you feel ashamed to ask such stupid questions? If Sonia didn’t marry, how is Rahul Gandhi her son?”

“First you told Rahul is the son of Rajeev, now you say he is the son of Sonia. If you keep changing your words what should I believe and how will I learn?”, telling this she got up and went away in fury.

I was speechless for a min. By then my dad was tied of the news and for the first time since election gave the remote to my mom so that she can watch her serials.

Just then my phone rang. The number was familiar but I couldn’t recollect it. Anyways I picked the call.

“ Hello”, the girl voice at the other end was familiar. But again I couldn’t recollect it.

“ You don’t remember me ?”. Suddenly I recognized her voice. It was her. How can I forget her? Even though I have not seen her I know her from my college days. I still remember how our friendship started from the first wrong call which I received on the eve of Microprocessor exam. Me being a person who only prepares on the eve of exams, the worst possible thing happened on that day. Yes, I slept off without even starting the preparation. The wrong call woke me up and I considered it a call from heaven. If not for the call I would never have prepared for my Microprocessor exam and I would never have passed and fact that it was the final exam increased the importance. I called her back the next day for a sweet thanks in return and thus started our friendship.

Although it was not very intense, we used to call once in every three to four days. The calls just lasted for 2 to 3 mins. But we called. I used to like her poems and she use to like my songs, which my friends could never tolerate. When I started writing and composing songs she was my biggest motivator. She will put her phone in loudspeaker call all her friends at her hostel and ask me to sing. Although this friendship continued for a few years, I put a full stop to the calls when I heard that her marriage was fixed. She was keen to introduce me to her would be, but some how I didn’t like the idea. I didn’t know how her fiancé would see our relationship. Calls from my side stopped completely, she still called once in 2 to 3 weeks and use to update me about how the marriage arrangements were progressing. She wanted me to go for her marriage which I never did. Slowly the frequency of calls decreased further. After the marriage we never made any calls.

Five months after the marriage I got a call from her, unexpectedly she was crying from the other side. The first time I ever heard her crying. I was shocked when I heard that her marriage was a disaster. She explained to me how on the third day of her married she found that her husband was in relationship with his colleague, how she was beaten in front of her in-laws when she questioned him, how she was locked in a room and was never even allowed to talk to her parents over the phone and how her husband have now left her back at her house when she was carrying his baby. She was weeping over the phone and I ran short of words to console her. I didn’t know what to tell. I just told her to stay calm and things will be all right. That was the last call I had. I wanted to call her again to console her. But I never had courage to do so. I didn’t want my calls to bring out any new problems for her. It is almost 2 months since the last call.

“Hi dear. How are you?” I replied.

Unlike the last time, she was not weeping this time. Instead she was like the old times, full of energy. She laughed at my question.

“Will you sing that old song for me? “, she asked.

“Which one? More over I am not in a mood to sing any songs”, I replied.

“The one you made for small kids, taaraatu paatuu.”, she said.

I was more eager to know how the things went after the last call. She continued her story but only on one condition that I will sing that song for her in the end.

I thought the problems would have been solved by now. But her story stunned me. This time she didn’t weep, she told me how the discussions between the families failed, how she was asked to file for a divorce, how she was forced to kill her baby, how she was asked to lie to the court that she saw her husband making out with his colleague so that the divorce process went easy, how she was accused by her parents for the broken relationship and at last how she got the divorce the previous day.

“ I still remember my kid’s tiny face da, I saw it, one small thing. I don’t know how it would have felt…. I killed him ..da”, telling this she broke off again.

I was numb. I couldn’t respond. Why is this world so cruel?

Suddenly she stopped weeping. “Now your turn, sing me the song”, she told.

How could I?? I had not even recovered from what I have heard. I made a vague effort to console her, “I can’t sing now. I know the things went really bad at your end. You need to stay strong, you are educated you need to find a job as soon as possible. Once you have a job I am sure that you will slowly forget these things. After all there is nothing in this world that time cannot heal. You are young after some time you can start thinking of a second life. You should stay strong and stand on your own .“

Before I finished, she started laughing, that too in a strange way. Stop you speech and sing for me please, for the last time.

For the last time, that is what she said. “What do you mean..? “, I asked.

“I have consumed poison. This is my last few minutes. I might leave this world anytime but before that I need to hear that song once more. I want to forget everything for once. “, She said.

I couldn’t believe what I heard. “No, this can’t be true. Tell me you are kidding. Please tell me once that you are lying to me”, my words scattered.

“Why should I lie to you..? I don’t see any reasons to live any more. Before I die I want to die peacefully. I want to forget the things that ruined my life. Please, this is my last ambition please don’t deny this…”, she said.

I was sweating. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted her to live.

“Please stop this rubbish and try to vomit…”, I screamed at her.

“ Put your hands inside your mouth and vomit... Nothing will happen to you. Please do what I say for god’s grace… and ask someone to take you to the hospital. If you want I can talk to any one you say”

“ No one is here... They just went out and I am alone at the house…”, she replied.

“ Give me your dad’s number. I will talk to him. Or just open the door and go to your neighbor…. You can’t be so stupid. You are not a coward to run away from things like this... be brave da and do what I say “, I said.

“ It is so easy to say things from your end...if only things where as easy as you say. Humm.. I don’t want to live. And I don’t want to argue with you now. I can’t.., I feel tired”, she said.

“I will call police and inform. I am sure you don’t want to create a scene with them “, I said.

“But you don’t have my address….More over if you try to do any such things... I won’t wait for this poison to kill me. There are other ways to kill myself before they reach here. Why do you want to invite trouble? You have always being nice to me… “, she said.

“It won’t take much time for the police to get your address with you phone number. But why go for those, why don’t you try to vomit for once…”, I pleaded.

It was a hopeless situation as she just laughed at me. I tried to act angry with her. I shouted at her: “You know what, I am sure you are not going to die. By doing this might be you will end up in a hospital, your parents will suffer again. And I would never call you again for not listening to me. Please at least open the door and go out side ..”, before I could complete I heard a fading voice, “ Da, I feel giddy. I feel very weak. Bye for ever. Don’t worry, I will try to remove this call from the call register…”, the voice at the other end died.

What should I do? I didn’t have any other number to reach her and number from which she called was switched off. Should I inform the police? What if police couldn’t trace her number? What if they start questioning me? I didn’t want my name to be dragged on to this. What if she dies? My mind was full of questions and I didn’t have answers to any. I didn’t have a clue on what to do next. Even I felt weak, helpless, I felt like a coward who couldn’t act on. I just lay on the bed and prayed to god… only if she lived. At some point I dozed off.

I didn’t know for how long I slept. At some point my mom woke me up.

“How long will you sleep. Why are you like your dad? I didn’t know that you were also a strong left follower. Don’t worry Left got four seats at last. Even our chef minister is not as upset as your dad”, my mom said.

I tried to forget what happened. I was afraid to dial her number. The next morning I was reading the papers, it was full of how UDA have swiped the election. In one corner I saw a photo of a young lady with the caption, found dead.

My heart stopped, I have never seen her before. This is the girl I talked for years. I wanted to see her for once but not like this. Only if I was brave enough to call the police….. Tears filled my eyes... Only if I was not a coward…

Just then my phone rang.

“ Hello..”

I couldn’t believe what I just heard. It was her. Yes, it was her.

Her voice was low, but I could make out the words. “ Yaar, as you said I didn’t die. I am in a hospital here. In ICU, I know you are angry with me. I am not in a condition to talk much; I will give the phone to my mom”.

I have never talked to her mom. I didn’t know what to tell. Even her mom was confused as to who this was. I just asked her how she was and her mom told that she is okay now. I felt relived when I heard this. I cut the call as there was nothing more to talk; after all I am just a stranger to her.

The End. ( Awaiting your comments [:)] as usual)


Also check my new blog : www.shineingindia.com
Web: http://www.undans.blogspot.com/

Comments

Dhanya said…
Not being a feminist here, but the atrocities that continue with women, esp in the hand of husband and in-laws seem to have no end. Its sad that at times women, being so educated and aware, somehow turn victims of such acts. Am certainly happy, that though painful, your friend should rejoice the separation and look towards a better life.

Regarding the post... it's put across really well, but cant say a good read coz such brutal stories only provoke women to be more harsh on men ( i know cant generalise) but...
Rahul said…
Unds... kidu.. I really njyd reading this.. keep going..
Kiran said…
As rightly pointed out by Dhanya, some issues still persist unfortunately...

About the writing:

"Thought provoking"

Regards,
Kiran
Arun Kumar M.G said…
It was a nice reading for me..with some kind of anxiety. I feel that your(whoever) words strengthen her to live for more time than when she was alone in her life... I meant, the right inspiration and support extended her life(they say, when mind dead the body also dead partially). I really felt that the inspiration for living is worthier than the sympathy after death.
Unknown said…
I feel she could have handled the situation wisely. I know its difficult for a girl to forget the past and marry again and continue to lead a new life but life cannot stop, it has to move on.

You could have done more than just getting worried and sleeping after the call.

And your writing Deepak, just amazing. Great going man....
anand said…
About the blog! totally cool! baavi undu:) undaaa!!

But about you! grr orakam thongi.. next time you sleep.. adichu shape aakum!
rajagopalan ak said…
unda.......good.keep going.
rgz said…
I feet here a helpless you..and the mind barrier to REACT..

.. after all that kind of a situation we go through once a while..

and a "feeling blank" condition after that..

i think u wl make me write again..

rest of the story..i am just hoping she is fine now..
Rajesh said…
I have read few blogs that u have written. This one is by far the best.

As a blogger you are maturing and the way you are presenting things looks.

I agree with DHANYA however these are part and parcel when you are writing.

Keep ROCKING!!!

Update me about the next blog.... I am sure you have another one coming very soon.... ALL THE BEST
Unknown said…
A comment to a stranger by a stranger. Interesting post and pathetic too. I feel sorry for your friend. I agree with you and believe that there is nothing in this world that time cant heal. She needs to start life afresh. Hope she has already started. I am sure you must have enquired her well being. If not, call her :)
Raghava Kumar said…
Either for men or for women, attempting suicide is just a silly act that people do to escape troubles.

Death is no challenge for anybody. Living is. Of course, atrocites against women haven't reduced in the towns and villages yet.

Nie one. Touching too. Keep posting regularily. You have a good story telling capability.

Raghav!
Unknown said…
Well written.. keep going !!!
Anoop Raghavan said…
Great Man... cool creation (or exp. itself).. keep goin
suresh kumar said…
Super....touching....is it real??
Anonymous said…
I
STILL STILL STILL
living
Only the defeat of death;
but
Now i realize, we all are chess-man
in the play groud of GOD..
only They
Tried..
Try..
Trying..
to win .

always TC my friend
santhu said…
man excellent one...but wat happened to her,.........is tiz d same gal which u used to call
Anonymous said…
I never beleave this a true story, i have watched these kind of stories in movies. However it sounds to me a a realistic.
But a questiions still arrises in me that the girl being a such a good friends, do u still have contact with her?
I suggest she should get marry to a well known person and start a new life....
Anonymous said…
I never beleave this a true story, i have watched these kind in movies. However it sounds to me a realistic.
But a questions still arises in me that the girl being such a good friend, just curious to know if you still have contact with her?
I suggest she should get marry to a well known person and start a new life....
silence said…
"I cut the call as there was nothing more to talk; after all I am just a stranger to her"

what do u mean by this last line..ahhaan..u was just a stranger for her if u say so..then okay :P:P

wel i totaly agree with Mr/Ms Anonymous that we genraly see these things in TV..but definelty if it is realy story then definetly its was heart touching
and little bit scary too
Deepak Raj said…
First of all this is a true story .. secondly may be because of everyone's prayers she has married again and is living a happy life . Thank you all for the comments :)

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