Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dawn in October

' What a tragedy ! ' , they all said. ' Rather unfortunate for such a young man so full
of spirit and goodness ' . And sad it was indeed . Ankit Roy was a technical entrepreneur who knew where to go and most importantly when to go . Largely successful in most of his ventures , he had made a name for himself in the industry at a fairly young age. And just when everything was going fine and life was all sunshine , his wife died .

I was hired to take care of Mr.Ankit. His was indeed the worst case I had seen in quite some time. I was told that they had been married for just about 4 months , that she was more than perfect for him and that they got along so well . ' Lord Shiva and Parvathi would have been jealous ' , the maid said . I am always very friendly with the household staff . They seem to have most of the information needed to help my patients.

They apparently met at a party hosted by Ankit's father to celebrate his sixtieth birthday . She was the daughter of an acquaintance and was , like most of the vernal populace in such parties , bored . That was when he noticed her , walking about.She stood apart , a lone streak of light on a dark night . They got talking and the rest is history . I saw a full picture of her hanging on the wall . She was definitely not what people would call a traditional beauty . But then , there was this quiet charm and grace which was quite unmistakable, even enchanting . The maid said that she was very kind to them , giving them nice presents on festival days and always treating them
with respect.

The loss hit Ankit very badly . He was totally shattered by this sudden cruel twist in his life. Jolted to an alternate reality by this sudden shock , he rarely spoke and was barely alive himself . He was not eating enough food and most of the times , we had to feed him intravenously to keep up his energy levels. I thought that the phase would pass in a month and that he would return to normalcy , but it seemed as though some part of his body was ripped from him and would never come back . His state remained hopeless . This was when I suggested that he be taken away from this house . His thoughts were torture enough ; he need not be reminded of
her externally .

So we went to this beautiful small house by the shores of a small lake . The house was set at an elevation, near the hills and the weather was close to perfect , maybe a tad too cold . It had two small bedrooms , a spacious hall and a chimney . The view of the hills from the window was breathtaking. The caretaker had maintained the house well and I thought it was just perfect . Ankit looked curious when we first brought him here , I thought I saw a flicker of recognition . But then , it reverted back to his empty gaze . His father told me he had searched long and hard
to find this house in the hills .

A month passed by . Ankit's state improved slightly , but not too much . He did eat more , and he started writing . He would spend hours by the window just gazing blankly , scribbling a few lines on to his pad now and then . This was the worst case I had seen to date . Can the loss of someone close affect a person so much ? Could it drive one to such a state of despair ? Apparently it could. Ankit's case was unique and it raised many questions . How could I help him come back ? A few days passed by , without much happening . Then one day , early in the
morning , I heard a sound and got up with a start . Ankit was very restless , tossing and turning in his bed , the night lamp lay broken on the floor . I happened to gaze out of the window and noticed that the light in the small dock near the lake was on and was flickering. The dock looked beautiful in the mist . It was a small open hut like structure with two benches . I thought it would be really nice to actually go out there , the sun would be up soon anyway . So on an impulse , I woke Ankit up , got him dressed and took him out to the dock .

He came without protest . The light in the hut had now , surprisingly gone off . The air was fresh and the scenery amazing . I took a deep breath , letting the air fill my lungs and freshness , my soul . The dulcet chirping of birds started and slowly, the deep black of the sky transformed to lighter shades of blue. Ankit sat on the bench , silently , looking out into the lake , clutching his handkerchief . I did not attempt to talk to him now . Silence seemed much more meaningful.

As we sat there , me drinking in the beauty, and Ankit staring far away , a beautiful yellow butterfly fluttered by . Ankit , seemed captivated by it . It came back , perched on his shoulder for a second and then fluttered away. Something changed in Ankit. I could see it. He got up , slowly and held the railing . A small tear rolled down his cheek as he gave me his handkerchief . It had a yellow butterfly embroidered on the bottom left corner. As the winter sun , slowly rose
and the mist lifted leaving minute drops of dew on our skins , he did something which he had not done in the two months I had been with him. He smiled.


PS: The above is part of the Creative Writing Assignment submitted by me . My Creative writing teacher rocks. I am so in love with her [:)] .