"'Truth is strange," you know, "stranger than fiction' - besides being more to the point" - Edgar Allan Poe

July 28, 2005

Che Faro Senza Te?

(Right, so I know I posted this on OWM and LJ, but whatever. This one's for Citrus.)

Meera came home that night later than usual.

It was way beyond a decent hour before Meera actually reached the door of her double bedroom apartment, now badly in need of a new coat of paint. But that was later. Right now she was driving down the road at a comfortable pace, despite how late it was. She took the left bypass and noticed how empty the roads were. The dashboard clock showed 11:45 pm, and made her realize how late she actually was.

Idly she thought to herself, if I lived in a different time zone, life would be much better. Life sure had changed in the past for Meera and Krish. Krish had one of those ‘creative’ jobs in the marketing department of a cosmetics major, which basically meant he was being paid peanuts for sitting and designing ads for cheap shampoo and bad cologne. Meera advanced in the executive ranks through the textile industry though, and was getting to be quite the breadwinner for the home. Of course, this meant that she wasn’t home most of the days, and some of the nights. A case of want versus need.

Red light.
“I’m sorry, but the customer’s phone you’ve called has been switched off.”
Dammit. Krish never puts his phone off. I wonder what’s wrong.
Green light.

They used to be the favorite young couple in their social circle, but that was a long time ago. There is nothing to be said of their friends, plainly because there weren’t any. They hadn’t even gone out to dinner for a long time, now just living off delivery and ready-to-cook food. It wasn’t too difficult making the house up with pretty figurines and yuppie artifacts. Krish used to while away most of the night surfing the net, bored out of his skull. Once a week he would lovingly wash and polish his bike, then ride around for a half hour before coming back home and hitting the sack. He’d indulge in a book now and then, but of what use reading one, when there’d be no one to talk to about it? In short, not only had the romance in their life died, but they had also become total strangers to each other.

She even forgot his birthday that year.

Krish looked at his watch for the umpteenth time. That’s it, he thought. That’s as long as I’m going to wait for her. She hasn’t turned up, and that’s fine by me. But tonight he’d give her one last chance. Till midnight. He poured himself another shot of whisky and gulped it down. And waited.

The radio was playing one of those mundane Bollywood themes, but that didn’t bother Meera too much. She was thinking about the past, and not many things can distract a person from doing that. She remembered the long drives, the dinners, the marathon phone conversations… life had seemed quite perfect then. They’d been very much in love, and everyday had been a futile exercise in keeping their hands off each other. They didn’t realize that life was getting repetitive and the spark that had brought them together in the first place was long gone. By then it was too late; the full mouthed kisses soon became informal pecks on the cheek, and now they just gave each other an informal pat on the back every morning.

The clock beeped at midnight. She found herself feeling sorry for the sordid state of affairs. An involuntary tear rolled down her cheek which she absent-mindedly wiped away with her left hand. Maybe she could give some more time to her husband. He had been generous, kind and caring; she was obligated to atleast try and salvage the marriage. It might even happen that some buried love would come out of this attempt. Ironic, she thought, that such a boring end would have come of this relationship. None of the pomp and glamour associated with a Hindi movie breakup. She immediately shut the radio up and cursed it for trying to put sublime thoughts into her head. She missed him too much already. Tonight she’d talk to him, and try to get back to a life of a married couple, living the life of a husband and wife as they should. It seemed to be the right thing to do, and she spent the rest of the drive planning the conversation she would have with him, and the words she would use in it.
Soon the car passed through the gates of the residential complex, with little interference from security. The guard couldn’t help but notice the look of anxiety on Madam’s face, like she was nervous of confrontation. He looked up at their flat and observed that the lights were out, which probably meant that Krish Sahib was asleep. Back to work, he thought, and settled into his chair. Meera locked the door of the car, and walked hurriedly to the lift. The ‘out of order’ sign turned her towards the stairs, and in a few hops and jumps she was standing outside her apartment door.

The nameplate ‘Krishnan and Meera Iyer’ stared back at her, making her want to burst into tears that very moment. But no, she had to remain calm and composed. She wanted to talk to Krish in a proper manner, and not project herself as an emotional fool. Her key opened the door easily enough and she stepped inside, only to be disappointed to see that the lights were out. He’s asleep, she reasoned, so I guess this’ll have to wait till tomorrow. Almost relieved of a burden, she walked into the dimly-lit kitchen, looking around for leftovers. She found some curry and rice in the fridge, and decided on a bottle of fruit juice as well. She placed the meal on the table and noticed a clean white envelope on it. The words ‘I Love You’ were written in the center, and for a moment, Meera didn’t know what to do. She took the envelope and walked to the bedroom, meaning to ask Krish about it. After reaching the room, the sight of him sleeping quietly in the darkness changed her mind. She walked back to the dinner table and opened the envelope as she sat down. Inside were his wedding ring and a single sheet of paper. Hesitatingly, the paper came out and she saw a letter in his handwriting.

Dear Meera,
I love you. Ché faro senza té?
For many a lonely night, my heart has become sadder and heavier. The queen of my life has lost her love for me, and nothing I can do can get it back. Where have you been?
I miss you so much that it hurts. I ache inside when I remember the life we used to have, and the love that swept through it, consuming our every waking moment. Why did it go away? Was I mistaken when you said ‘forever’? How could someone I knew so intimately become a stranger in my own world?
I don’t want to hurt so much anymore, honey. You were the center of my life but now you’ve turned away. I apologize for the times I couldn’t make you happy, and for all the misguided attempts at doing so. I understand the life you live and the commitments you make; yet I cannot bear to be around in an empty house waiting every time for you. I know I can’t hope at us getting back together, and that thought saddens me even more. What more can I say?


The shock of the letter burned through her soul in an instant. He was going to walk out on her. After all the silence, he was leaving her. Ché faro senza té… where had she heard that before? She stood up and walked to the bedroom door, now determined to wake Krish up. She would beg and plead, try to get things worked out. Maybe it wasn’t too, late after all. Atleast now she knew that he still loved her. And she truly believed that she loved him too. She flicked on the switch and walked up to the bed, and casually looked at the bedside table. On it was a glass, a half-empty bottle of whisky, and strips of tablets. Sleeping tablets. Slowly, she turned Krish over and placed a hand on his chest, hoping to find a heartbeat. And that’s when she realized where she had heard the phrase. When Krish used to write poetry to her, this Italian piece was a recurrent line. The motionless chest seemed to scream out those very words to her now.

Ché faro senza té?
What would I do without you?


samuraijack said...

Have read this in ganja's year book thingy...same reaction then. same reaction now..

samuraijack said...

It was not the year book thingy..it was his comp...anyways your blog is a great read man!!

Saturday Night Takeout said...

Fuck, thanks dude. And you've changed my life with all the comics. In a good way, of course :)

Gutterflower said...

This kinda made me cry!
Actually I am super-emo right now and everything is making me cry but oo this is good. =)

Saturday Night Takeout said...

Yeah, you're being emo :) Thanks.

Aastha said...

This made me cry!