Nani, I feel like buying a mobile phone. It’s tough to talk to Neetu these days, I said to Nani.
Phone! From where you’re going to get that much money right now. It will cost per call Rs. 3 per minute, for the phone it is Rs. 5000, the sim is Rs. 250, monthly activation, and you also charged for incoming calls. From where all this money are you going to get? Why don’t you use your phone at the office? Nani suggested.
No. There will be a brother in the office. And I can’t speak to Neetu, I said to him.
No matter what, I didn’t like the idea of spending so much money on a mobile phone right now. Guys, why are you silent? He looked at Vijju and Sameer.
Right, we even feel the same Karthik, they replied.
Oh, I know. You guys feel jealous that I’m buying a mobile phone, I said it on their face.
We’re saying that for your benefit, and you’re pointing to us. Sure, do whatever you want to do. We’re not going to interfere. Nani replied.
Okay, we will go in the afternoon and buy the phone, I said.
No, we’re not coming. Now all you said was that we feel jealous. You can even complain that we’ve got an evil eye on your phone after that. We don’t want to have a chance. Sorry, they said.
Okay, It’s your wish. I’ll show the mobile to you guys once I buy it. So what else. What’s going on? How’s your love story going? With a smile, I asked Nani.
What to say? Macha, because of these tests, I can’t meet her. I miss her a lot, he responded sadly.
Why don’t you have to meet her during the exams? You can talk to her for a while in the morning and then start your preparation right. I answered him thinking he’s feeling like a topper of the batch.
Ya. Yet I feel that way. I ought to reach her somewhere. It’s been a lot of days I’ve met. I want to meet her and kiss her. He said, blushing all over.
Ha Ha, please stop blushing brother. You and your blushing......, we can’t see it, I said with a sarcastic smile.
So, just leave this. How’s the game going on? Sameer asked
I don’t know that. Don’t ask, please. Anji Brother has come to know that I’m bunking work and playing cricket. He went to Madhu sir and complained about it. I got it back at the institute from Madhu, Sir. From that day on, I was a little cautious and reduced, I said with relief.
It’s nice that it happened. You deserve it. What the hell’s wrong with you? Why don’t you focus on working and improving your career? Don’t allow all of these disruptions, Nani said.
Please, Bro. You’re giving Gyaan is like the devils thinking about meditation and harmony. Stop that, I responded. Immediately, they all started laughing at Nani.
Recently, one guy came to the office with a cricket kit. He was trying to meet me. I was so worried about Anji Bro if he sees that I’m gone. I scolded him, and somehow I managed to send him back. My heart was pounding fast.
Idiot. You’re bunking office, and you’re playing cricket. On top, why did you give your office address to him? Sameer asked.
I just met them in the workplace. How could they not know my address, I told Sameer.
True, replied Sameer.
Whatever you escaped very nakedly. Okay, leave it, said Nani.
I’m back in my normal life, doing my job correctly with concentration. Anji brother and Madhu’s sir were both satisfied.
Even my mom was so relieved that I changed. Even after my friend said not to buy it, I bought one mobile. So I used to talk to my sweetheart every day. We used to meet twice a day.
Half of my pay-check used for my recharge. In life, when we’re in trouble, even minutes will be like hours and hours like days. But I’m happy right now. Days are running very fast.
I have completed my DTP course and even topped in it. Rahul Sir was very pleased and appreciated me.
Karthik, I always remember the first day you took part in the course. You were so afraid. But now you’re experts in the handling of anything in the computer, he praised
He said that if you’re determined to learn anything, you’ll undoubtedly master it without a doubt. That’s real. Without their encouragement, I wouldn’t have been so successful today. I just feel thankful to them for that.
I was walking on the road that day. It’s all destiny. If I hadn’t met my old friend and didn’t know about this, I wouldn’t have done anything.
Because of him, I had two mentors in my life, Rahul Sir and Madhu Sir. I got my job because of them, and today I can make a living and see the joy in my mom’s eyes.
I thought I needed to improve myself every day, to develop in my personal and professional life. With that motivation, I used to spend all my time working at the office. Days have passed.
Eighteen months have passed in this joy. Vijju, Nani, finished 12th and went to Hyderabad for the Hotel Management course. Sameer entered Degree and stayed at my place with me.
We used to sit on the same wall in front of my house every day. Neetu used to come and talk to me daily. As her friend’s parents realised she was in touch with me, they told her not to park her cycle in their house.
After a few days, she used to come on the school bus. I asked her the reason, and she said that since she wasn’t able to cycle, her parents made her come to school on a bus every day. I also felt it is a lot safer.
I was waiting for Neetu one day in the morning, but she didn’t come. I figured her parents might have stopped her because of some kind of work or function. I headed to my office.
I called her house in the evening. But no one has answered my call. I’ve tried 15 to 20 times in a row, but there’s no response. Somewhere in my head, I thought that something was fishy.
I didn’t feel hungry at all. I’ve been thinking about Neetu always. But somehow, I consoled myself and slept.
She didn’t come to school the next day, either. I tried to reach her over the phone again, but there’s no response. I went to the office, but I couldn’t work. In the lunch hour, I went to Sameer’s house to meet him.
Buddy, Neetu hasn’t come from the past two days to the school. I even phoned her, but there was no response. I’m nervous. Shall we go to meet her once in her house? I requested Sameer. My entire body sweated.
Karthik, First, you calm down. Why are you worried about every little thing? Perhaps they might have gone to some other place. Okay, we’re going to go, but first, you sit down and have some water, he said, giving a bottle of water.
I quickly finished drinking water and asked him if we could start.
We both began to Neetu’s house and reached in some time. The house is locked up. We don’t know what to do.
See, you’ve been so stressed. I told you, well, Neetu and family might have gone to their family home for a vacation. Sameer said.
So they’ve been out for a holiday. So nothing happened for sure, huh? I confirmed with Sameer.
It’s right in front of you. Be positive, Karthik said Sameer.
Won’t they get Neetu married by any chance? I asked
Karthik. Stop it. I’m going to kill you if you ask one more question. Shouted Sameer.
Thinking about all this, we left for home. It’s been ten days, 15 days. Yet Neetu did not come here. The doors closed. I was just waiting like that.
Vijju and Nani have come from Hyderabad. Thinking about Neetu, I haven’t been to the office regularly. After Anji complained of me about my absence, Madhu Bro scolded me, too. Yet I didn’t bother.
I have lost my job.
I was utterly depressed gradually. I just stopped going outside. Even my mom was so shocked to see me. She couldn’t understand why I was behaving like this. She can’t go to the office after seeing me in this condition, and she can’t sit at home looking at me crying.
She’s gone through a lot of pain.
Three months have passed in all of these. But there’s no news about the Neetu.
One day, I was sitting outside my house. Suddenly, I saw Vijju walking to my house with an envelope in his hand. I was happy in my heart that Neetu had written a letter to me. So I jumped.
He just held me tightly. I thought he was happy that Neetu had sent me a letter. Then he began to cry. I didn’t understand why he is crying. Too many questions in my head, why is he crying? Is there something wrong? What’s this letter? And all of it.
Vijju, what happened? Why are you crying? I asked him.
God has done wrong to us. I can’t tell you what happened, he said, weeping a lot without stopping.
Tell me what happened first? Is there something wrong with someone? I asked him curiously.
I can’t imagine what your reaction is going to be after I say that. I can’t say that, Vijju replied.
For God’s sake, will you stop crying and express what happened, I shouted at him angrily.
For whom you have been waiting until now, that Neetu is not going to come back. She left us three months back, he said, and he hugged me tightly.
What? Left means what Vijju? Please tell me. I didn’t understand, I screamed at him in frustration.
Karthik, she passed away three months ago, and now, if you wait, she’s not going to come back for you in your lifetime, he said and collapsed.
I was shocked. I couldn’t speak a word either. I wanted to shout, but I couldn’t yell for unknown reasons. I fell on the ground and began to cry.
Karthik. Karthik. Get up, Karthik. Please, he said, wiping my tears and consoling me.
I recalled all the stuff we were thinking about in our life. She made a lot of promises to me. Yet she left me all of a sudden. How could she do that and leave me alone?
After knowing this, my life’s hope has gone. Well, I’m lost. It’s going to kill me from inside.
A friend of Neetu asked me to give you this letter. Open it, read it. You’re going to know what’s happened. He gave me a letter.
I rubbed my eyes and opened the letter. These are the letters that Neetu was trying to convey to me for the last time. I don’t know how much she cried when writing the letter, the words in the message entirely spoiled with her tears.
I love you, Karthik.
I would have left this world by the time you read this letter.
It might be my last ‘I love you.’
I love you so much, Karthik.How vital my breath is to my life, you too precious to me. I imagined my life with you very beautifully. I even said our love to my parents. They were happy for us, also. When you proposed I spoke to my parents about you first then I met you after that.
That evening, I was so excited so eager to share the good news with you. Sadly, however, I fainted in my school. I didn’t understand why I fainted. I thought everything was going to be okay, and I took meds. Then I met you, and I expressed my feelings to you.
I felt so happy when you hit me that day. Throughout childhood, my parents have taken the best care of me. Yet I got to know the meaning of the pain for the first time. Compared to the pain you missed me for two days, my pain is nothing. And I was touched by your love towards me.
Karthik, If some unique and happiest moments in my life are the moments I’ve spent with you. I felt my entire life was going to be with you. We’re going to have cute kids, and I’m going to spend the rest of my life taking care of you, our children and our parents.
But it’s not all going to happen as per our wish. I have fewer days left before I die. I want to be with you even these days. But my health is deteriorating, and it is not supporting. I’m so sorry, Karthik.
My parents arranged a grand marriage of ours once we were well educated and settled in our professions. Marriage itself is a term that fills our hearts with positiveness. And getting married to the person we love with the consent of our parents is a blessing and a dream has come true.
My parents have already given me the go-ahead. So I was thinking about focusing on my studies and both of us getting settled in our jobs.
In my life, this is the best birthday celebration ever since I was born. So this is my last birthday. Being with you on that day, so getting closer to you is the best thing I could do for you in this life.
I haven’t been able to control my tears. How could Neetu have covered all these things from me? Why didn’t she share her issues with me? I was so upset with her. I cried a lot, and I began rereading the letter.
Karthik, I know. You’re going to be so angry at me while reading this letter. And I did it intentionally. Okay, regardless. I know it’s impossible to survive. I’m going through a lot of mental and physical pain. I didn’t want you to have to go through that pain. I fainted at school first. After a couple of days, I fainted at my house again. And my parents took me to the doctor’s office. He did a scan and told us the shattering news that I had a tumour. Most of the brain it has spread, and even if I’m going through surgery also I won’t be able to survive.
My parents started to feel so guilty for me. They haven’t been able to take it. They were so worried about me. I am not able to see their condition, which made me feel very sad. I was afraid that after a few days, I would be completely depressed.
It’s you and your smile that gave me a strong motivation to live. I think that I’m going to die. Why have I been upset by worrying about it and wasting my few precious days left for me? And I started spending a lot of time with you.
Yet I didn’t know that I was going to leave you so quickly and move on. I’ve been good all these days. But that’s what I missed in my last days. I don’t want to get away from you and go. I had severe vomiting and vomited blood three days ago. My mom took me to the hospital, but the doctor said he couldn’t do anything. They asked my parents to take me back home.
Then I got to know that these are the last two to three days of my life. So I was trying to share my feelings with you. I wrote this letter to you.
I love your smile Karthik. I know you’re going to cry a lot after reading this letter, but remember one thing, Karthik. Even if I’m not physically present with you, I’m still going to be alive within your smile.
You’ve got to make my dreams come true. You’re supposed to study well and settle in your future.
I am missing you so much, Karthik. During this time, I wanted you to be with me. Yet I know that’s not possible. God has done wrong to us. He’s taking me too far away from you. He even going to feel bad that he made a mistake.
I want to see you once before I die, Karthik. But I don’t want you to see me in this position. And, even after my parents said they were going to call you, I said no to them.
It’s all over Karthik. Nothing left. Wherever you are, you need to be happy. I will be watching you. All right?
Now, I want to say something, Karthik. I love you more than myself. Please take care of yourself, Karthik. Yeah, Miss you. Say goodbye to our mates, too.
Immediately, I collapsed after I had heard that Neetu had abandoned me and that she was no longer there. I’ve lost everything. I started crying so hard, and I couldn’t control it. Vijju tried to console me, but he could not control his emotions either, and he could not stop crying.
Vijju, What have I done to God? Why did he get my Neetu out of me?? I asked him, crying.
Karthik. Please control yourself. No one can cover this loss. Even though I don’t have any words to say, Please be strong. He tried to console me.
I stopped going outside after that day. I haven’t been able to come out of Neetu’s thoughts. I used to avoid everybody, and I stopped talking. And my mom felt it was terrible to see me in this situation. But she could not understand what had happened. She took off from work multiple times and tried to spend time with me to comfort me and try to get me out of that misery.
Lost job back a long time. Anji Brother sent a person to call me back to the office. I didn’t respond, so he hired someone else to do the job. Even Madhu Sir was trying to reach me, but I didn’t respond.
I tried to be normal, but I couldn’t come out of the thoughts of my angel, and I couldn’t forget her.
My mom sent me to my grandma’s place, hoping that I’m going to change and become normal, at least if the area changes. That’s where I’m going to help my grandma in her agricultural work. Every day, I used to go to work with her.
But I used to think about Neetu even there. Six months have passed in this process. After that, I returned home.
Karthik, what happened? Why are you behaving like that? All my hopes are with you. What am I supposed to be if you’re like this? Mom asked me with a lot of pain.
When I saw my mother crying, I recalled the words of Neetu. She said she’s always going to be in my smile.
If I cry, mom will also cry, and even Neetu will feel the pain. So I thought that I should become Normal. I should not make my mom cry. I should make Neetu’s wish come true.
Okay, ma, Allow me a little time. I’m going to be normal and look for a job, I said.
It’s been a long time, you called me, mom. I don’t want you to earn a living, just talk to me usually and be happy as always. Please, she hugged me and cried out.
After a long time, I got up early and got ready. I’ve been to my institute, and It’s all changed. I haven’t found Rahul and Madhu, sir. I’ve seen all the new people.
I asked one of the tutors to tell me about Madhu Sir and Rahul, Sir. He said they started a sales and service centre and operating from there. They’re coming here once in a while. I picked up the address and went there.
Good morning Madhu sir, I greeted.
Hey Rahul! See our hero is back, said Madhu sir to Rahul sir, sarcastically
Hey Karthik. Where have you been all these days? Suddenly you disappeared. Asked Rahul, sir.
I had a personal problem, sir. I was out of the station to the place of my grandma, I replied.
If you’d told us the issue and left, we’d never lose our respect and trust in front of Anji right. Madhu sir, growled.
I didn’t know what to say. I was sad from the inside, but outside, I’m behaving with a smile on my face.
But whatever I am today, it’s because of Rahul Sir and Madhu Sir. But because of my actions, I made them bend their heads in front of someone else. I can’t do anything to regain their confidence.
I can only say sorry and ask them to accept my apologies.
Sorry, Madhu, sir. I didn’t do anything deliberately. It’s the situation that forced me to do it all. Excuse me. I apologised in a soft voice.
Karthik. Now you’re not going to understand what mistakes you made. Later, you’ll regret it for sure. Both of us have treated you like our brother, and we referred an excellent job to you. But you absolved all of a sudden, and we lost our respect in front of him. We didn’t expect this from you, said Madhu, sir, with a lot of disappointment.
I have made a mistake. But I can’t explain Madhu and Rahul Sir under what circumstances I did that. I can’t tell that my life Neetu is no more with me how to explain to them that I am like a corpse now. I thought for myself.
It’s okay, leave it. Even though he’s a human being and there’s going to be some mistakes that we shouldn’t drag. We don’t know what his condition had driven him to do all this. Excuse him for this time, Madhu, Rahul, sir said.
Okay.And why you came back to us all of a sudden? Madhu sir asked
Sir, I don’t know whether I should ask or not. But I had no choice but to approach you. I need some help from you, sir, I told them.
What help? Without even looking at me in an irritating voice, Madhu sir Asked
Sir, I need a job to do. Any kind of work, even if it’s too hard for me to handle, also I will manage and work hard, I replied.
Immediately Madhu Sir stopped typing and turned angrily to me.
How dare you ask us again a job? You made us fools once and for all, do you think we’re going to take a chance and help you? There’s nothing work. Now get the fuck out of my sight and don’t come back again. Yeah, Madhu, sir shouted.
Sir, I have made a mistake that I know. But trust me one last time and give me another chance. This time, if I make any mistakes, I’m ready to take any kind of punishment you want to give me. Please, sir, I begged him with hands folded.
Fine, This is the last time I trust you. Every time, I’m not going to get you the work, you’ve got to get it for yourself. I’m going to give you the company address. Go and take part in the interview. If you crack the interview, it’s your job. Madhu Bro said so and gave the company card.
The next day before I headed to my Graduation entrance exam, I went to the company to attend the interview suggested by Madhu Sir.
I gave the interview, and I started for my exam. I got a call from the organisation when I was on my way to the exam centre. From the very next day, they asked me to join.
I was so happy, and I gave the entrance exam well. I entered the job the next day and went to tell Madhu Sir and Rahul Sir of this good news. They were happy even and told me to focus on my career and get settled. They wished all the best for me.
I decided to focus on my job and take good care of my family.
I was very regular for the workplace. I was very focused, and I used to complete all the work very fast than at the usual time. I’ve promoted in a short time. The entrance exam cleared, and I joined in Graduation. I used to study at home and go to my office daily.
Since I was in the office regularly, as I promised Madhu Sir and Rahul Sir, I became closer to them. And, I started to call them Brother instead of Sir.
Even my mom was pleased to see me as usual and focused. I’m a lot more focused on my life now. House, college, and work; that’s my life. Whenever I was on holiday, I used to go to my Grandmother’s house. I used to enjoy and come back there.
It took me a year to be back to normal for all this.