Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
- Jules Renard

16 May, 2010

The Fifth Sense

They told me he had disappeared. I did not believe them. I was so unaware...

Six months ago, I opened my eyes in hospital. For the first time in 22 years of my life. The congenital defect had finally been defeated, and I could, for the first time in my life, enjoy the sheer pleasure of sight. So many new experiences all of a sudden! Blue, black, green, yellow, moving, standing, gliding, square, circular, triangular, irregular, it was all beyond the stuff of my wildest imaginations! It was my birthday — 5 August, 2009 — in the truest sense of the word.
I saw my parents for the first time. The stunningly fair skin of my mom, the uniquely wheatish complexion of my dad. Of course, it took me some time to even begin to comprehend these concepts — first-hand experience is always a redefiner...

The next week passed in dizzying joy. However, there was a thought constantly nagging at me, and as each hour passed, it only got more and more intense. Where was Akshar? He'd be so happy to see me actually looking at him with eyes, rather than just my imagination, helped by my other senses... And of course, I wanted to see him — how he actually looked... Was he as beautiful as in my imaginations or even more?

Each time I asked his whereabouts to my parents, they simply tried to change the topic, giving feeble replies like "He's gone somewhere", or "I don't know". And I'd gotten quite skilled at detecting people's tones for any traces of untruth. Something had to give way. And ultimately, in the last week of September, it did.

"Dad, can I use your mobile phone?" I asked.
"Why?" Dad replied with a question of his own.
"I want to call... somebody." I was a very rare liar, and it clearly showed.
"Akshar?"
I stood silent. I was caught.
"I'll tell you where he is." His voice rose an octave — always a danger sign. "Tell me, when did you last speak to him?"

I rewound. It was ten days before the operation. He was saying, "Will you — once you are able to see, if at all — I hope that day comes soon — once you can see me... Will you still love me?" And we had kissed...

"About ten days before the operation," I replied to my dad's query.
"Since then, he's disappeared. Even his own parents have no clue about his whereabouts. And please, please — stop thinking about him. You've just got a new lease of life, stop thinking about the past."
Past? And what good is this 'new lease of life' when my very oxygen has been snatched away from me? No, I thought. He cannot disappear — not when I can, now, actually see. I'll find him. Even his parents are supposedly unaware — his parents...

The very same day, at half past midnight, I took Dad's cellphone when he was fully asleep, and dialed — lower-right, extreme lower-middle, upper-middle, lower-right...
After almost an entire stanza of Ya Rabba, the phone was picked up.
It was Akshar's mother, but I didn't have much luck with her either.
"There's no sign of him, really... I know you care a lot for him... As soon as there is any news, you'll be the first to know..."
And again, I picked up the tone.

I decided to visit Akshar's place. Although I had no address, I knew the directions... sort of.
'We've reached the mithaiwalla — now we take a left...' The voice from another universe rang in my head. Seeing the sweets seller, I took a left turn.
After several such directions, I reached E/303, Diamond Apartments.

A boy, probably in his early twenties or so, opened the door.
"Ankit?"
"Oh, come in, come in!" Akshar's brother welcomed me in the house. He was arguably the only person who knew my and Akshar's feelings for each other as well as we ourselves did.
"Tell me the truth — I know if anyone will, it's you. Please."
"Don't make me do this."
"Where is Akshar?"
And Ankit started crying, right before my eyes.
"Akshar is... no more..."

I walked out. And I walked. And then I walked some more.I'd have liked to think that my sensitive ears has failed me for once, but deep down, I knew that it was not the case. I did not cry. In fact, I hardly used my eyes — it was my other senses doing the work of guiding me through the crowded Kolkata road.
When I stopped walking, I reached the place which, I now realized, was the one I'd been subconsciously walking to all along — my birthplace.

The query took only a couple of minutes. And then, I had before my fifth sense irrevocable proof. Irrevocable proof that Akshar loved me.

NAME OF DONOR: Akshar Khanna

4 precious feedbacks!:

Anonymous said...

thats a really well written story...
loved the gay-angle.. very subtle, very real.

Sagar said...

I never mentioned the person was a female... That does not necessarily indicate a "gay angle" (or maybe you commented on the wrong story lol)...
Although it's really open to your perception of the story...

Anyways, thanks, keep visiting...

bhavinpatadia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bhavinpatadia said...

Hi Sagar, really u hv gd power of imagination...hw mch tim u r spending on dis wrtng activity?
finally its interesting 2 read...once d started cant lv t befor end

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