Long 4 years, and we had not spoken a single word to each other. In fact 4 years and 2 months. Ah!! I was counting, incredible. Is he not that abominable darn thing whom I detested the most…..as if we were the worst foes in this earth? Yes we were….. and it needs no evidence to evince the extremity of abhorrence, because it was evident from the fact that we had not shared a single word since that day. ‘That day’ was 24th of May. A day which gave me one of the worst blows which I ever had, revealed the ghoulish visage that he nurtured beneath that robe of amiability and gentleness and gave me a lesson to carry on along my life. Well this is not a hyperbole. This is the impression that I have tamed since that day!!! Three months did I take to slither out of the impact of those grotesque words…those rebuff… and those loathsome stares as if I were some repugnant creature. So clean and pronounced in my mind!
This bitterness in the complexion of this relationship was not hostility….neither was it a revolt. It was just the speechless Wrath. Perhaps this was the only explanation!! We sat two desks apart, dined at the same table, came by the same office cab and not a single soul amongst the others, knew that we could have pictured each other so well, better than anyone else!! Those memories though tarnished by the rust of time, do sometimes rise up to the surface and fill the eyes with a drop or so of those briny tears…..but nay…..no tear for the worst foe!!!
This ‘He’ was not just a mere acquaintance. He was the best friend, the guide, the brother, an idol of reverence and affection and…… an obnoxious wretch in disguise. Those sultry summer evenings of the eternal long summer vacations…not a single day passed when those thin hairy legs pushed in through that heavy Iron Gate, walked on that ruddy pavement, came up on the verandah and rested himself on those broad mosaic window sills. That was the usual place of the regular rendezvous. Sometimes the venue shifted to the room adjacent to the verandah…it was the living room!The minutes went by and the hours slithered away, maybe an hour or more, in a snap…..with a pair of tea cups, no he preferred coffee more...and incessant discussions. These were debates on topics of relevance…..and irrelevance, from the terrestrial frame to the extraterrestrial one, from sensible deliberations to utter baloney. Those peals of laughter of innocent mirth….and swinging the legs as the hands of the clocked ticked away!! And this was a resurrecting event of every day of every vacation. This playful amity of two kids…. but all of a sudden it was gone, declined in a wink…. but why? The cause??
I had made incessant efforts to play the ‘Sherlock’ but all in futility!! Why the sudden upheaval?? Why the uncanny evasion???? And it injured me… a million times. The 'why' had seeped down into the crevice of past…and what remained now was…..nothing. No anger, no grudge, not even the reason of that brawl…just a handful of debris…then why the silence?? We often passed glances of awkwardness and discomfort….but it was time we shuddered this of ourselves.
We seated ourselves as we usually did. Worked as if we did not take notice of each other and it was true!!Was it really so? No it was not…….I had been lying all this while. I had just been enduring….and patiently to keep myself away from the beast. But was he not the best friend…who pulled me out through every bitterness….chided me as if he were my father…...and had held me with a promising firmness in the darkest hours.
…but with a consciousness. It was the determination to break that ‘spell of silence’. I tilted my head a little to take an account of him..but he was gone! I stood up with a jerk…and scurried out of the office…..and he stood still waiting for the cab. Measuring him and pondering over my impatience…..I gradually made my way towards him with steady nimbleness….positioned myself beside his short statured frame....a couple of minutes passed away and then ten….. and then fifteen. No I will not! I should not!! And I stepped back. The cab came blowing its horn…and we departed. Was it the trepidation? Was it the wrath again? Or was it mere reluctance that prevented me?It was just the egotism, which He and I had nurtured for the last four years. How could have we let it disappear in a flicker of the moment? Would it not have been sheer obstinacy? Ah!! God I am saved.