Tuesday, June 07, 2011

6. New and Old

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. 
-Thoreau

The next morning, Pratham woke up with a similar thought of committing suicide. The optimism had diminished somewhere again. Optimism came to him in miligrams. And this time too whatever had come to him, had vanished. He looked at his watch. It was not even 5 in the morning, and he could anticipate the time when the sun would be out.

He stood near the window and looked out. He could hear the birds chirp but couldn't see a single one. It was like his own desires. They chirped from within, but they never came true, visible.

He recollected what he had done the previous day. He remebered how he retrieved his yahoo password and got the account activated.

He immediately took out his laptop and logged onto yahoo. Before he could see the page load, he thought of making a coffee for himself. As he went into the kitchen, he saw Akanksha busy, that early in the morning.

He asked her ,"You up so early?"

"Yes. coffee?", she replied and then asked him.

"Ya. Any plans?", Pratham asked.

"Going to Mumma's place. I have to go shopping with her.", Akanksha replied.

"Ok. I'll stay at home. I am not going anywhere", Pratham said.

"Alright", Akanksha answered as she poured coffee into the mug.

Like always, the discussion between them was cold. Very cold. Akanksha had become numb to almost everything. There were times when she, like Pratham, felt that she did not love her children at all. The search for the answers to the innumerable questions haunted her time and again.

But this day was a new day and she had decided to do something she had never done in her life.

***

Pratham braced himself on the bean bag and held the coffee of mug. Something made him smile, as he took a look at his laptop, his yahoo account.

The inbox had one mail. He eagerly clicked on "Inbox" and saw a mail from some "Aisha" totally against his expectations.
He clicked on the name and opened it to see its contents.

It read,

Hi Pratham,
I am Aisha. I stay in Mumbai.
Care to be my friend? I found you on one of the chat rooms and thought of sending you a mail. You possibly went offline soon last night.

If you are interested. Please reply.
-Aisha.

He found something very strange. About the mail, and the content. He slipped into a conversation that he had with Jenny.

"What time would you come on chat, Jen? I cannot wait to talk to you", said Pratham impatiently.

"Dad will go to sleep at 11. I shall come after that, ok? Now put down the phone.", Jenny whispered as she spoke from her home, in presence of her dad.

"Meanwhile I will chat with a few other girls then", Pratham teased her.

"Dare you do that. This id is just for chatting with me. And no one else. Get that?", Jenny scolded him, still whispering.

"So I can't use this email id for any other purpose?", Pratham asked candidly.

"No. I own this id as much as I own you. No sharing business. Clear?", Jenny sounded demanding, and low at the same time.

"Chill baby. This id's just for you. Now come on the chat, quickly", Pratham sounded mushy.

"20 minutes. I'll be there. Hang around.", Jenny whispered.

Pratham thought about it again. He tried to recollect whether he had shared this id with anyone else. He realised he had never been to a chat room either. Only Jenny knew this email id and they used it to chat after everyone at Jenny's went to sleep. The account stood dead for more than 4 years, easily. He hadn't accessed it since last 6 years. He doubted who could Aisha be.

He thought that probably Jenny mailed him. She must have been mailing him everyday since the last time they spoke, and he got this one mail, this day because
his account got working last night.


He looked elated and then confused. He immediately signed into the chat application of Yahoo. There was a friend request from "Aisha_Mumbai". He accepted it immediately, but that username was offline.

He wondered, why would have Jenny used a misnomer to communicate with him. He thought, she must have been scared to use her real name, considering that Pratham was married.

Pratham thought that Jenny is probably still in love with him and since all these years she had been trying persistently to get in touch with him.

While he sketched the entire picture, he recollected Jenny's face. For a moment, something struck him, and he tried hard to convince himself that he wasn't in love with her. But that one strong feeling, just wouldn't fade away. After 7 years of inactivity, his heart, suddenly felt a thud. And this time, it was love - long forgotten.

...to be contd..

Onto Chapter 7 : Mystery Girl

Back to Chapter 5: One more chance