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The Letter - Part III sat down on the bed with the letter in my hand. It was completely unexpected... I had always lovedmovies with a twist, the thriller movies which keep you guessing what’s coming up next. The irony isthat we enjoy those moments, as long it happens to someone else, when we too are in the same boat;it’s to thrilling to enjoy the thrill. I never imagined in my wildest dream that my life will be taking a twistlike this. And to top the icing on the cake, this day has to be on my birthday.It was now 9:45. Then my eyes fell on the mobile which lay off. I recalled that I was going to charge ityesterday when I got the damn letter. I switched it on and put it on charge. After the start up tune, thephone came to life. There were a series of beeps, signaling the receiving of messages. Messages frommy friends and well wishers who will be wishing me happiness, joy and a long life... Long life!! 20 reallyseemed to be a long life indeed. Huh!I kept the phone in my bed and went near the window. A cool breeze of air was blowing. It was sosoothing, so serene so as to engulf me in its arms. Only that I didn’t feel like enjoying any of these. I felt Iwould have been happier if I would have cried. Strangely enough I wasn’t crying. Maybe, I have beenalways taught that no matter what happens in your life, no matter how many stones you get, no matterhow bad the life treats you your life is in your hands. There is always something positive, you only haveto keep your eyes open.Since, I had seen Dasvidaniya, a Bollywood movie, in which the movies protagonist gets to know that hewill be dying in 3 months. He makes a list of 10 things which he has always dreamt of doing. Basically, hefulfills his wish list and dies peacefully. Well, in my case I didn’t have that option too. It was more a fasttrack Dasvidaniya in my case. Not 3 months but 24 hours....People say it’s wiser not to reinvent the wheel. I thought of doing what our Dasvidaniya hero had done.Making a list of things which I want to do most. Since, I was the youngest child of my parents 3 children,I was confident that they will be taken care by my elder brothers. Then, I wanted to pursue higherstudies, for which the time I had was not sufficient, so that goes off from the list. Then... The challengehere was that I had everything I wanted.My parents had ensured that I was well taken care in that regard. So what else... I was musing on that,when my Phone went off... "Tujh me rab Dikta hai,...." - the melody song from "Rab ne Bana di Jodi"movie. It had to be her. I had kept that ring tone for her calls. The irony here was the fact that "Rab" hadgiven me a visit few hours back, so the word "Rab itself (meaning God)" brought jitters to me.Anyhow, I picked up the phone and heard the fresh voice of her - "Happy Birthday Arvind. God BlessYou." I was tempted to answer "Well he has", but then thought the better of it and mumbled thanks.She asked me - "Where were you yesterday night. I kept on calling your mobile but it kept saying thereceiver phone is switched off. What happened?I explained that my cell phone charge had died down and the current had gone out. I put the phone oncharge now only."Oh, ok fine. So what’s the plan for today?
I thought "Well, pack up my bags for the trip". But said - I don’t know. Have to be at home, I suppose. Mahas some plans.Oh, ok. I wanted to meet you for some time. Tell me if you can meet me today. [We had anunderstanding about my birthday. I had told her before that on my birthday we usually go to visit mygrandparents, then temple, then orphanage. She respected my plans and didn’t push me much on it]but the last thing I wanted to do was to meet her. I knew that I won’t be my normal self if I meet hertoday. So I wanted to avoid meeting her at all cost... I said - Hey, Ma calling me will call you shortly.OK, wish you a Blessed Day. Sweet hugs, saying so, she kept down the phone.I clutched the phone close to my heart. A tear ran down my face. I knew that the only thing I wanted todo was to meet her. And bless her for a fruitful and a happy life. If I could have any wish fulfilled today, Iwould wish for a happy life for her. If not with me, then with someone who would love her with all hisheart and give the world to her. I called her again.Hey, what’s up, she asked.I said - How about meeting at the coffee shop, at 4pm?Wow, that sounds wonderful. See you soon.I got up from the bed and starting getting refreshed. Then I put my favorite dress and went down. Papahad left early regarding his business. Mama was reading a book. As soon as I came down, she got up andplanted a huge kiss on my cheek. God Bless you my sweetie. Papa said sorry about not being able to beat home today .He has some important meeting with his clients today. He told me to wish you on hisbehalf...Thanks Mom I said bringing up a smile.Come on, have your breakfast now. I have made your favorite dish today.I had few morsels and left for my grandparents place. My grandparents were also ready at the home bythe time we reached there. I took their blessings and grandma gifted me a gold chain, Grandma said itwill make me more handsome.Grandma was always like this. Nowadays she has taken to giving lectures on finding a suitable girl forme. It will be sometime before it actually happens, but I suspect that she was the real reason for makinglove blossom in my heart. Due to her persistence talking had began to get thoughts that maybe it’s notbad to have a girl friend. That’s when I met my dream girl and whatever happened next is known to all.It was 3 pm now. We started to the temple to offer prayers to our family god. Ma and grandparentsprayed for a long life for me. I could only laugh at the irony of it. Then I bid my grandparents and Momadieu and told them to proceed to the orphanage as I had some other work to do.It was close to 4pm when I reached the coffee shop. She was already waiting for me there. Very much
like her. Always on time. She gave me a hug and a short kiss and wished me happy birthday. We tookour usual place in the coffee shop, the corner one with a small pool nearby it.Do you remember our first date, in this coffee shop? I asked her.Yes, how can I forget? You were blushing redder than a carrot -She said.I wasn’t blushing - I said back.No. you were, she said.We spend some time remembering the times, reliving the memories of our being together. Then shegave me a present. It was a triangular glass crystal with a red heart glowing inside.I looked in to her eyes and gave her a smile. We just kept looking at each other. I had read somewherethat the closer people feel to each other, the lesser they need to talk. Emotions have a way ofexpressing and I think we understood each other perfectly well. I think she must have guessed thatsomething was bothering me.What’s the matter, Arvind? she asked.Nothing dear, I replied trying hard not to lose control.No, something is there. You can tell me - she said.Do you love me? I asked.I love you more than I love myself - she replied.Iam very lucky in that regard. But I want you to promise me something. - I said.What you want me to do - she asked.Promise me that you will love yourself more than me. Promise me that you will be happy no matter whathappens. Promise me that you will carry on in your life and take care of yourself. I felt like a fool tellingthe above things. Yet, the only reaction I got from her was a strange stare. Not the stare again. She givesthese kinds of stare when it’s like she knows what Iam up too. Well, Iam sure she wouldn’t have knownthis, know about what had happened to me 24 hrs back.She slowly replied -Arvind, I don’t know what to say. I never imagined that I will meet a person like you, and I considermyself lucky for that. Yet I want you to promise me the same things which you have asked me. Can youpromise me that?I was tempted to tell her about what had happened 24 hrs back, that by tomorrow I won’t be in thisgreen earth. But I didn’t want to scare her off. The last thing which I wanted to see on my last day wassee her crying. I just smiled and shook my head. I found it hard to see that she was saying my dialogues.
That she wanted the best for me. Something was bothering her, but since I wasn’t a good mind readeras her, I was left guessing about her botherations.It was close to 7pm.The waiter came, kept the bill and went back.It’s my treat for you, saying so she paid the money.Well, time to say good bye - I said.Seems so. Wish you a long and a happy life. Saying so, she left.Iam not sure if I saw it, but I think I saw a tear in one of her eyes. Someone had said that if there is onething which is unpredictable in this world, you can be damn sure it will be the girls. I pushed my chairand was about to get up, when I saw she had left her handkerchief in the table. I reached across to takethe kerchief. Something white in color fell down. It was a letter. It opened it and it read:Dear Asha,This is to inform you that your life validity expires in 24 hours...........Epilogue: That’s the way she was. Not only she didn’t show her sorrow to me, but to keep me happy onmy birthday she acted as if nothing had happened. No wonder my instincts had always told me "She wasthe one for me".The End!