I opened my eyes slowly and it all looked blurred. My head felt heavy and I just could not understand where was I. I wanted to ask something but my tongue did not listen to me and I tried raising my right hand and it just did not obey my command. Where was I, after all?
“Please do not move, please stay calm.” I heard a voice tell me as I lowered my back to the pillow. Someone came closer and I still did not recognize who. I felt immense pain in the lower part of the body and especially my thighs. Someone wrapped me with a bedsheet and caressed my forehead. Must be my Sameer.
It soothed me just by sensing that he was beside me. My mind slowly recollected what actually happened. Slowly the memory of last night flashed in parts in front of my eyes.
I was with Sameer, yes and we had decided to watch a late-night movie. After the movie, we halted at his favorite restaurant for dinner. I loved watching him eat and every time he takes the food in his mouth and savors it with his closed eyes, just like a child, it just makes my heart filled with so much happiness and I somehow feel closer to him every single time he does that. Probably because of this, I have never argued with him to change the restaurant.
Wait, now I remember. It was at the petrol pump … yes the petrol pump when I stepped out as Sameer wanted to click a selfie with me! Those gang of hungry monsters had pounced on me and I had screamed, screamed loudly for help. And I saw him run … run leaving me behind !!
Sameer !! I screamed loudly!!
Someone embraced me and patted my back as the nurse quickly grabbed my hand and the doctor administered an injection. I lost my consciousness again.
“Then, then what happened Grand Maa?” asked Tina.
Then, my dear something happened that changed my life altogether.
I was released from the hospital after almost a month. More than my parents, the one person who nursed me back to my health was your grandfather. I have fallen in love with him every single day. I do not know but even today his wrinkled face reminds me of a young boy who made me understand the meaning of warmth in a relationship. I still crave to hold his hands. Holding his hands makes me feel safe. As if I can win against this cruel world. Had it not been for him, I would not have survived what I went through. It was the most dreadful night where I understood that the devil houses itself in human beings only. And it can be scary … very scary!
That is why I advise you to be careful, my child. Have someone who stands by you when you are at your worst. The world will be with you when you reach the zenith. But at your lowest point, you will understand what matters and what does not.
Tina sat on the floor puzzled leaning her head on her granny’s feet.
“But Grandma, you used to call Grand Pa Sameer earlier? I have never heard you say his name for long. “
I smiled at this innocent question. I was in love with Sameer then and madly so. But he taught me the biggest lesson in life by breaking my heart, my trust, my pride.
Beside my hospital bed was Saswat. Yes, your Grandfather. He was the one who had carried me to the hospital in his arms that night when I had lost my consciousness. He was there with me in the hospital. He was there with my family when I had lost all hope. He was there when everything looked blurry. And I don’t know what he saw in me to stick with me through the greatest turmoil of my life! Unlike Sameer, your Grandfather does not have the perfect masculine body, nor does he qualify to be called the most handsome man, but for me, he is probably the only man who is beautiful inside out! He owns up his emotions and has a spine that many just don’t have or rather can not have.
And Sameer… well, he just ran away that moment. I had called his name so many times when I was in the hospital even when I was unconscious! He was gone … just like that! How do you let that sink in? He just vanished leaving his girl when she was being molested by some monsters!
I look back and still get goosebumps to recall those scary moments. But probably I had to cross that dungeon full of darkness so that I come across the light. Your Grandfather was nothing less than a beam of light in my life! some times you have to deal with devils to meet your angels. And when you fight it out, you understand not just people, but your own self as well.
My dear girl, love is not what you read in storybooks. Love is a constant effort, it is not about everything being perfect but dealing with imperfections and making it the best bundle of perfect moments possible. As you spread your wings today and are ready to go to a different city for a new life, I am sure there might be someone out there who you seek into your life. Do remember this little story of your Grand Ma to understand that what seems perfect might lose its shine in a moment and what seems impossible might just add new possibilities in your life! To have someone to accept you at your worst is probably the warmth that sustains us in phases of frozen patches that life can throw at us.
Tina looked deep into the hazel eyes of her Grand Mom and the big portrait of her Grandfather hung on the wall. After a moment of pause, she hugged her grandmom affectionately. Today, it was not only her Grand Mom but a woman she has always looked up to. Her Grandfather became a true hero in her eyes today.