Thursday, March 5, 2015


This story is of my friend Gaurav, who used to race.

‘Give me a reason to live,’ he said.
‘I can’t give you’s something you must find out on your own,’ she said knowing it would never have work for him if she tried to help.
‘This is not fair. Nobody knows me better than you do and at this critical juncture, you can’t leave me alone. Please.’
‘I’m doing it for you, baby. This time, you have to fight it alone,’ she said. He heard receding footsteps disappear into nothingness, followed by the sound of the door shutting.

One month ago, he had lost his vision in a car crash. He had suffered from injuries to his head that sent him to a coma for two weeks. With the crash, his promising career as an F1 racer ended and all his ambitions tied to the sport were crushed head-on. He was one of the youngest racers to have made it to the F1 circuit and his skills were unmatched by any other racer in his country, they said. Five days ago, when he came out of the coma and realized what had happened, he couldn’t accept his fate. When the doctor informed him that his retina was ruptured and he wouldn’t be able to see again, he refused to believe it and strained to disprove it. He whimpered for several hours. The darkness taunted him. The thought of never being able to escape this darkness pressed down on him until he dropped into the chasm of depression.

All throughout the past seventeen days, she remained by his side. She loved him like no-one did and he loved her like no-one could. When he cried in fear, she hugged him tight and cried along with him; when he cursed his fate, she tried to reinforce his faith; when the darkness irked him, she told him stories he could visualize, that could help him see the world as it was before, through his mind’s eye. Or was it her eyes? But despite her love, she couldn’t stop him from falling into that abyss. At first, she tried to conquer his negative thoughts by countering them positively but that didn’t help. She followed it up with motivational stories of people who made it big even after being afflicted with disability, but even that didn’t induce any change. 

He had lost hope. He had lost his determination. And in his last conversation with her, she was dismayed to find that he had even lost interest to live. Upon hearing his words, she realised that it was her persistent care and presence that had made him so negative. It was only when he knew she was around that he would curse his fate – to seek her sympathy. He swore at God to make her stop him from doing that. He ridiculed the stories she read out to him so that she would come up with a new one. Though most of his injuries had healed by then, he didn’t try to walk on his own even once, he didn’t figure out things on his own – he was too used to her help. Although it demanded immense self-control on her part, she saw that the time had come to withdraw herself from him. Come night-time, she would leave him all alone to fight his fears by himself for the first time.

Without her by his side, he lay on his bed still, thinking. He couldn’t believe that she had left him all alone in such a situation. The silence frightened him. He started talking to himself. All alone, cursing his fate didn’t seem like a very entertaining option. He started reciting his favorite poem – Darkness by Lord Byron, which left him awed, for his favourite poem was actually an omen. After reciting it , he exclaimed loudly to himself, ‘I love Darkness like nothing else, thank you Byron,’ and laughed hysterically. It was the first time after the accident that laughter paid a visit by his bed-side. It tickled his bladder and he got up from his bed on his own, and placed his feet on the cold marble floor. He imagined the white of the marble. Carefully, he took guarded steps and grabbed the wall next to him. After knocking against the almirah, hitting his feet against the table’s leg on the way, he finally located the loo and let himself loose. When he came out, his sense of direction got skewed and he failed to locate the bed. Fear captured him once again and he panicked. He started running frantically, hit against furniture and toppled on the ground.

Before he could cry for help, someone pulled him up, with utmost care and took him to bed. He recognized the smell. It was her. She didn’t speak a word. He moved his palms near her face. It was wet.

‘You didn’t leave, did you? You were right here, weren’t you?’ he asked.

‘How could I leave you? I’m so glad to find that in just one hour, my son has started to love darkness,’ she whispered, followed by two tearful smiles.

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1 comment:

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