I was waiting for narayan at bombay restaurant. Its a small hotel just opposite to Hubli railway station and had been our adda for years now. Earlier in the day narayan had called me up and wanted to meet me urgently. He sounded like a confused man. Narayan is one of those guys who is gifted with great thinking mind. He has the ability to analyse the situations and is usually calm. But today his voice suggested he had something that he was not able to cope with.
I was both eager and nervous. I really did not know what to expect. As i continued with my little white stick , i saw narayan crossing the road that divided bombay restaurant and railway station.He still had that expression of frustation on his face. At that moment i was worried. A feeling of concern was in my heart.
As he walked towards my table i said "Hi" but he did not respond. He just sat opposite to me and picked the little white stick from the box. He took a deep fag and left out the smoke. Then looked at me and said "God really is a bastard!". I was shocked.
"He always plays games. I dont know how to react. I dont know weather i should mourn the loss or be happy that this happened even before i got involved. I really dont understand what to do and what to feel" He continued. "What are you talking about. Tell me everything clearly. I am worried and now i dont understand what you are talking." I asked him.
"I did a shradd or whatever you call that today."
"Shradd of whome?"
"someone i never met. someone i never saw. someone i never knew"
"Are you kidding?"
"Do i sound so?" He thundered raising his voice. He was angry. I knew i had asked an inappropriate question but frankly what else could i say. He did shradd of someone he did not know.
"Seel. Tell me clearly. Who asked you to do the sharadd. And by the way who are you to do it. You tell me clearly or i am gone. I cant take it anymore." I too lost my cool. I am very short tempered and when my mind gets heated not many dare to disagree with me.
He suddenly seemed to be cooling down and his face was comming back to normal. "Ok. I want your help. I want to talk this out." He said calmly. My threat had worked.
"Pushpa met me today in college. As soon as she saw me she started crying."
"Whos is this pushpa. you never told me about her"
"she is my classmate. i myself had never spoken to her in last to years"
"Then why she was crying"
Narayan narrowed his eyebrows. "Are you doubting me?" He asked.
"No way. i was just cruious. go ahead"
"She showed me a dairy in which my name was written all over. When i enquired whos diary it was she said it was of her best friends. Her name is latha. I did shradd of latha"
"What. Just because your name was in her dairy you did sharad. Hey is latha no more" I knew my question was height of stupidity but then the situation itself was very much unusual.
"She died in an accident two weeks back while going to chennai. Pushpa informed me that latha loved me. She always used to talk about me. I dont know how to react. Somebody loved me and i didnot know that.To give peace to her soul pushpa wanted me to do sharadd."
"and you did. Dont feel there is something fishy. are you sure pushpa is not playing a cruel joke"
"God has played a cruel joke. not pushpa. i saw latha's photo and also spoke to her parents before i called you up today."
"I cant beleive that. I mean it seems so unrealistic. What next?"
"Even i dont want to beleive. but thats life. I dont know weather i should feel the loss of something that i never possesed."
"I think pushpa shouldnt have told you anything. Atleast it would have saved you from this frustration."
He nodded. He went silent for a while. I could see that expression slowly returning back on his face. I did not know what i had to say. We had finished our white sticks. I lighted another. He was still staring the water glass in his hand.
"Forget it. Atleast you are lucky that someone did love you so much. Maybe if pushpa had not told you , you would have never known that. Be happy that someone wanted to spend her whole life with you. you meant so much for her. Thats the feeling that will stay whole of your life."
I tried to cheer him up.
"And also the feeling of losing something." He said with a sigh.
He was now normal. His usual calmness returned back. I am not sure weather it was my sweet little talk or the releif on his part of sharing his frustration was the reason. But whatever life had to continue.
We sat there talking about usual things for a while and went home together. He was totally normal. As i bid good bye to him at the gate of his house i felt he would never forget latha.
Strange are the ways of god. I did not have anything to think about. I did not have the answer nor the question. As i walked towards my home i remembered "I dont know weather i should feel the loss of something that i never possesed." Most of the times we mourn something we never possesed. We desire for something thats not in our possession. And while doing this we forget what we have.