ऋणानुबंध | (a bond that can never be broken)

23-year-old Aditya shares a heart-wrenching story of a bond that can never be forgotten.

For,
My Sister from Another Mister.

Social Media – such a confusing place. I have been on Facebook for almost a decade now. It has become a part of me, as much as I have been a part of it. Has shaped who I have become.

It is here that I have seen people love one and hate the other. People lose lives and save lives. Some having raised millions of dollars for a good cause, while some have lost a means to their daily bread. Fallen in and out of love. Had affairs and reconciliations.

If heaven and hell were to meet someday, they’d probably find a perfect a cent percent match on the Internet.

But, what is social media anyways?

Is it a Name? A Place? A Person? Or a Thing?

Albeit…

There is peculiar air going about lately. One that I cannot deny, but neither can I fully sink myself in. It stinks of an ever growing anxious insecurity and unreasonable paranoid hatred. Slowly and steadily, it has engulfed us all in its deep clutches. With the rise of cyber bullying, moral policing, government surveillance, data tracking and movements like the #MeToo; the mould that social media shapes us into has been brought up to the high pedestal, now more than ever before.

And, to be frank, I am not completely against it. If aliens were to suddenly land one of these days, it’d be really hard to explain why a dinner table full of humans stick their heads in mindless, rectangular glowing chucks of glass as a means of communication between other members of their own species located far, far away…while they could, you know, just like…talk to each other…?

But then,

Rewind ten years.

Internet in India was, well, let’s just say, a turtle-speed latest tech gimmickery. And social media was one of its top selling point. And today, against all odds, I am trying to sell the same good, old Internet days, when social media platforms were all about likes, comments, and shares.

I was lonely, desperate, and miserable. Just freshly out of school, beginning to try my hand at writing, I was as terrible then as I am here, maybe worse now, save the trouble.

That’s when I stumbled across this…this writer… that swept me off my feet. She had a graceful charm about her… I could feel it within me. We hadn’t even spoken yet, and it was as if I had known her forever.

What is this beautiful creature, I wondered, that has come about in my dark cave like a haunting chandelier.

And it is then, after gathering all my strength and might, chest pumped up, chin high, and with great confidence… I managed to walk up to her….Facebook page….and sent her a friend request.

And then came the wait.

Days…
Weeks…
Months…

No response.
So I decided to drop her a message.
For all intents and purposes, I stalked her, yaa! I did not see no harm. My intentions were pure,
hey! You don’t know me, so don’t judge. Okay?

Priyanka K.

I don’t think I should use her real name. But it doesn’t matter now.
Anyways, it took six months of stalking, nagging and waiting patiently until she finally replied. And you should’ve seen my orgasmic face burst with joy when she finally did (which I am glad you didn’t…so I’ll leave you to your worst imaginations, pervs)

Priyanka and I got to chatting.

social media--texting

Illustrated by Rohan Aland

We texted,
spoke,
conversed.
We opened up,
obsessed.
We grew into each other like creepers grow about old mansions, through creaks and crevices. She filled a void within me I never knew existed.
The Sun failed to rise without a Good Morning 🙂 and it set on Gn.Tc.Sd. text messages (because well, character limits…for those who remember)

I was on a bus, on my way to college when she sent me a story.

It was about a guy, this guy.
This guy she loved.
This guy she would marry….but she didn’t.
She would’ve married, this guy.
This guy, she at first instance hated so, but she grew into loving him. Funny, how love works.
This guy, who loved her back, this guy.
They would’ve married, this guy and this girl…had he not died.
This guy.
Untimely death.
True story.

Just like that! Snap of a finger.
One instant, you think you are reading a story… you turn a page… and it’s suddenly over.

Funny, this life.

Priyanka has her way with words though. She has had a rough past, no kidding! She lost her father when she was really young…then the love of her life…a best friend who was no less than a bitch to her…a drug addiction that didn’t help…

Is that why you are so good with words, Pri?
Do all stars that shine have some scars hidden behind?
I never dared ask. But it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter ‘cause she wrote me poems on moonless nights.
Her words were my bedtime stories. It felt as if I had me my own personal Sylvia Plath.
Am I not the luckiest person alive?
Trick question!

Pri led me to believe, it was very much possible to fall in love with someone you have never met. Someone a million miles apart, maybe even on the far side of the moon. We made it seem possible.

Until, came one day

I flew in a thousand miles, just to meet her. Just for a day. A few hours. I was a nervous wreck – completely inorgasmic; didn’t know what I would say; got no gifts on me; wasn’t even dressed up or anything. And I was sweating inside out. So… what does one say, when one is saying to a writer?

A Pizza a day, saves any day!

Gosh, it was so awkward. We had upon us thousands of hours spent on chatting and texting and calling. We exchanged poems and letters and curses and bruises. And now that she was before me, in person, in flesh and blood and as pretty as dusk… I was speechless. Maybe that is what we were, after all, online friends.

That is also the day she told me that she was diagnosed with lung cancer.

A few days later, she was admitted for her first chemo. We have almost never spoke since then. About an year later, she called me. I was silently crying on the inside, careful not to let her hear. Next week, Priyanka died in her hospital bed.

Just like that. At the flip of a page. At the press of a button.

‘Died’

I make it sound so terrible, don’t I? Or should I say ‘She Passed Away’, like an NH48 milestone?  Or maybe ‘She Moved On to the Next World’… like, you know, packed her bags and took the next flight to the States? People still do that? Better yet – ‘Expired’, like a magazine subscription, or an anti-depressant pill strip?

Well, to be honest, I tried everything. Didn’t help. Turns out, none of it is gonna bring her back, after all. None of it is gonna take her away from me, anyways.

 

Sometimes,
on a moonless night,
when I get sad and lonely, I read her poems by the fire.
She stays with me, as a long lost conversation on my screen.

Pri and I shared an amazing year together.
If she was alive and well right now, she would have written something so beautiful and profound for you guys, I’m sure.

Illustrated by Neela Tayade

Well, I am sorry I am not her. I cannot write. I try, but who am I kidding, eh?

But,
tonight,
the moon is yet again skyless,
I am sad
and lonely.

So, as a tribute,
to someone really special,
That we have all lost in our lives:

I don’t know who we are, but I know for a fact,
that we have all dreamed of sitting by the sea,
with feet lost somewhere to the sand,
and sights bouncing off the moon.
I don’t know who we are, but I know for a fact,
that we all have had a love which smells like fragrant cardamom, when kept close, and makes us cough and suffocate the same.

I don’t know who we are, but I know for a fact,
that on some nights, the insides of our heads look like crumpled cans, and the inner walls of a large bell, with bruises which can’t be seen.
I don’t know who we are, but I know for a fact,
that today evening when the wind went hustling past your ear, it reminded you of someone who forgot inhaling, once and for all.

I don’t know who we are, but I know for a fact,
that sometimes you throw yourselves at people, like a ball of fur, forgetting that thorns exist.
I don’t know who we are, but I know for a fact,
that sometimes we know what we seek,
but somehow, on the way, we forget who we are.

Love,
Pri

About Aditya HegAde

Aditya was born and brought up in Pune. He is is a Motion Media Artist who loves losing himself in intense abstract ideas about life, philosophy and every other thing. He believes in creating impressions by letting out inner expressions into liquid art.

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2 comments

  • Madhukar Hegade December 2, 2018   Reply →

    Speechless ..

    • Apurva Sheel December 9, 2018   Reply →

      We feel you. It is such a beautiful experience. 🙂

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