Journey Of Thousand Lifetimes #10
Episode 10 — In a Battle
Few hours after Ray walks away from dinner
Maaran called me. My phone rang many times. I triedconnecting the call but it was very hard. As soon as it went to my voicemail, I put it on speaker,
HI. THIS IS RAHAMAT! SING YOUR SONG AT THE BEEP
Maaran spoke with an agitated voice, “Buddy! I dunno what’s going on your mind right now. Come on Ray! Give Avi a chance. Once! Atleast tell us where you are, dammit!”
Swiped to connect the call and the reply came from over my shoulders,
“If you know him well, you’d actually be on the way,” and I immediately disconnected the phone.
Smiled while slowly turned towards my right and replied, ‘You’re goddamn right!’
Many Years Before During a Trip
‘Are you really sure I should tell this now?’ I scratched my head.
Avi replied, “Bro! We are here to enjoy our asses out and talk our minds out. Whatever we talk about, let’s make it a point to leave it here and take what we want.”
A few minutes later, we were all sitting near our tents talking random things that came to our mind. The girls completed their college and we had decided to go on a trip. Avanthika supported me on planning the whole Trip. Phew!
We had a very light dinner just because we can make our own barbecue. We were toasting and eating till 12. Avanthika and Pooja secretly wanted to try out Wine on this trip but we had a pact to not to do it when all of us are together.
We were trying to settle down in our tents. We planned for a long night, but sleep deprived talks were turned more intense in truth telling session. With 3 tents, Maaran and I decided to sleep in different tents but the girls decided to talk inside a single tent.
Maaran muffled, “Girls.! Please stop talking. I’m feeling sleepy”
Girls in unison, “Then sleep, idiot!”
A few minutes later, I zipped down my tent and popped my head outside.
Kiran spoke, “My dear brother! Not feeling sleepy?” and I replied — ‘Yes! I felt like I didn’t talk much’
She immediately stepped down and asked, “Yeah, I’m feeling fresh too. Can we take a small walk?”
Pulled my hoodie out of the bag as the settling mist was shaking us to the core. Kiran, despite wearing her coat and a scarf, her teeth spoke a rattle-tale apart from her dialogues.
We took an alternate route to the mountain. Ascended a bit, upto level-1 and sat on the rocks. It was cold but we shivered less due to lack of air.
I asked, ‘Kiran! You wanted to tell something and you stopped halfway through. Now, would you care to tell what it is?’
She raised her left eyebrow — “You should be your brother. You are very sharp in finding out what’s wrong with me. You’re like a second mom, only less strict.”
Laughed and said, ‘Now tell me. It’s just me to hear it and nobody.’
She made a serious face expression, “My parents are convincing me to get married which ofcourse I’m not at all interested.”
Me — ‘What? You just finished your college. Did you atleast say something?’
Kiran — “I would always. But they’re still fixated on it. Can’t blame them though, bro. It’s been happening since last year”
Me — ‘What?’
Kiran — “Yeah! I know. I didn’t wanna make you fierce. I dunno if I’m ready for it now. I just chose not to talk about it.”
Me — ‘You’re still a kid. I am not getting how this will work.’
Kiran exhaled, “Let’s see. So, brother! Why are you still having this long face? It’s been almost an year nah? Wait…. Did you accidentally cross paths?”
Chuckled and replied, ‘No Kiran. But thanks for asking. I am facing a terrible phase in all my years. This feels like a battle.’
Kiran — “What? Are you okay?”
Me — ‘I don’t know if I can say I’m okay. But actually am not. This is the greatest server downtime. I thought it wasn’t serious and felt that this trip will make it go away but it’s not a myth. It’s fucking real.’
Kiran groaned in confusion and replied, “Have you ever considered talking and also making sense while doing so?”
Me — “Ha! I’m in a battle with…. depression…and uh..anxiety.”
Kiran — “Ow! I see. Why didn’t you tell me? Or atleast did you tell this to Maaran?”
Me — ‘I’m not ready enough to tell our people such stuff. But that’s not the case with you. I pretty much tell everything. I don’t think they’re ready to take in such a big thing. Few things if said as a surprise or a…you know…if taken slower, it’ll be better.’
Kiran — “What about your other sister? Does she know?”
Me — ‘Let’s not bring that now, shall we? We talked about this. And to answer your question — NO!’
Kiran — “Did you go to…eh…the doctor, the …the therapy? I’m sorry to ask that? Not sure if I should” and bit her tongue.
Me — ‘Don’t be. It’s good to ask. Better to talk it out. Yeah, I’ve been to multiple sessions but there isn’t any room for improvements coming up.’
Meanwhile we spoke about how long I was battling my depression along with lots of other things, the place was getting colder every minute. I was beginning to feel a loss of breath everytime I finished a sentence. Pulled out my cellphone to look at the time.
Kiran exclaimed, “Whoa! It is almost 3? We should go, brother. Come! Get some sleep.”
Avi called me out since I missed the sunrise. I was pestering everyone to wake up early and except myself, everybody witnessed.
“RAY! Mr. RAHAMAT! Wake up, bhai!”
I tried to pull myself up and the body position got locked. I held Avi’s hand for support and tried getting out of my tent.
Fell right when I stood up straight. Maaran laughed. “Sorry man! That was funny” and helped me stand right up again.
‘I had a disturbed sleep. That’s why.’
Avanthika replied, “It’s okay. We are here...with you… however it is” and smiled broadly.
I looked at Pooja and asked if they had their morning coffee. She replied, “The tea is ready, but coffee will take a couple of minutes” and everybody stood around me.
Looked around and said, ‘What? Are you going to throw me up in the air or something? I’m really heavy you know!’ while saying another awkward sentence, they group-hugged me.
Maaran — “Don’t worry man! We will be with you till you are clear. You are brave to talk it out, you know?” and patted my shoulders.
Looked at them with awestruck face and heldback tears. Slowly turned towards Kiran when she smiled and acknowledged me with a head shake.
Avi replied, “Bhai! You thought if we can ever take up such things or not. Well, don’t have any second thoughts. We will be with you, however you feel or whatever you wanna say or even if you don’t want to.”
Tears rolled down and Kiran wiped my face with her hand. “You’ve always told me to right things at right time. Well, I didn’t want to ignore them. So, I connected a call with Maaran bro and they got to hear everything from you. It’s better if it’s said by you than me. I should’ve asked but I felt it was a right thing for me to do.”
Turned away and looked at the food counter as they brought Coffee from the kitchen. The cook waved at us. I turned back at them and spoke, ‘You saw the sunrise without me?’
A Few Years later from the Trip
‘Hey Avi! You promised you’d tell about a surprise today. But taking us on a drive is a surprise?’
“Ray! That’s the whole point. I’m going to take you all somewhere.”
‘Do you know where we’re going?’ asked to Maaran who was sitting with me in the back seat. I sat in the middle with Kiran to my right.
He started, “Uh! You know what? I even have the same question to her. Hey Avanthika. You never said anything to me too.”
Kiran groaned, “Wow! Great acting Bruh. Why don’t you ask Shankar to recruit you in his next movie? Maybe you’ll win an oscar for it.”
Maaran replied, “Hey! Come on, she’s my sister. How’d she ignore without telling me?”
I looked at Avanthika through the rear-view mirror as she shifted from 3rd to 4th gear and asked, ‘Sentimental?’
“Big time bhaiya! He started talking and I had to tell it so he could actually stop talking,” she exhaled.
Side-eyed at him I asked to everyone, ‘Is it just me or everybody knows what’s going on?’
Kiran replied in her ususal innocent voice, “Hey that’s my question.”
As Pooja forcibly stayed silent and kept looking at the road from the front-seat, Kiran asked her, “How long do you know drama queen?”
Pooja was terrified of Avanthika and whispered, “Consider me deaf and dumb today” and Kiran looked at me with anger.
‘Hey! Don’t look at me like that. I don’t know too’ and the car stopped at a residential area in front of a house.
Avanthika imitated Google Maps voice, “You’ve reached the destination.”
Me and Kiran in unison — WHAT?
Maaran replied, “Well, that…is the surprise!” and pointed towards the other side of the road.
~to be continued~