As I started my work today..I recalled I was supposed to call up one of my friends.
She'd been on leave for the last three days and none of our common friends knew why. Usual Bangalore Viral.. I assumed.
She answered the phone, a very meek voice replied. That was her usual, being the polite yet giggly girl that she is. But this time, it sounded unusually low..it rather sounded choked. I tried to pull a joke asking if she ate any ice creams to make her throat go haywire.
There was no answer.
Something had happened...my heart suddenly sunk imagining all possibilities.
When I asked again, she said she'd lost her brother-in-law...the father of her 17 year old nephew.. her elder sister's husband.
I don't know how long I was speechless, I guess my brain just did not know what to ask, say or suggest. I ended up asking, "What are you doing in office then!?" She said she was short of leave and that she couldn't afford to take any more off-s.
She really needed to talk. Rather, I needed to talk to her and tell her that I was there and that things will lighten up. In fact, while I walked to her, I did not know what to say..what CAN possibly make things look better.
I was greeted by a pair of swollen eyes. She'd clearly been up for many days.
But, with my first sentence of condolence she replied saying, "Its fine. I have gotten used to this."
I was gaping at her.
She went on, "I had lost my father 10 years ago, then my first sister's husband 5 years later and now my second sister facing the same thing...Deepti, I know its part of life..but doesn't this sound a little too unfair?"
I kept looking at her face not knowing where to start. I had no idea she'd faced all this in the past. I could feel a lump in my throat.
She just forced a smile saying, "Its fine. Please don't feel bad. I myself don't know what to feel. Its scary that I don't feel anything anymore. Its kind of an overdose."
These words of hers froze me into my chair. I did not know what to say or how to react.
If I am right, she is few years younger to me and she has faced so much misery. I know, we all know, life and death is all a cycle. But, at such a time, no belief can comfort you.
She said, she had faith in God and that things always did light up gradually. But I could see that these unfortunate incidences had now formed a paranoia, that all men left the family in a mishap. It was daunting.
I spoke to her for a while and could see that nothing helped. She needed time. I told her I was right by her whenever she wanted to talk.
As I walked back to my seat, I prayed for her. But I will always remember her eyes, swollen with fear, grief and the worst... the loss of faith.