My mother used to tell me stories of my childhood. She told me ‘When I was born I didn’t cry and I was barely breathing. Everyone thought that I won’t survive the first day of my birth. They all had a terrible time. But that day someone was way more upset than anyone in the hospital who created a frightful scene—a four years old crying, “I want her…I want her”; Aadithya. He was my father’s best friend’s son. He was told that as I am born he will be getting a friend forever. When he got to know that he won’t get to see me, he became a massive headache to the whole hospital. But then I was bought to him. My mother told me how he touched my cheeks and smiled. He was holding my little finger and was blabbering all the time about his game plans.
I grew up watching him, knowing him and loving him. He was my best friend and he was a prince to me—the multitalented ass! That’s what his grandfather called him. He used to sing old songs to his grandfather in bed—he was good at making fool and the best at making stories. He was never afraid of anything—not even rats as I was the exact opposite who had nightmares of big rats. I remember once, when I was almost six, my big cousin was at home and he took me in his arms. The next thing I saw was the big guy falling down holding his left wrist and screaming in pain. Aadi could not afford someone else being close to me or loving me. He used to say that ‘You are my lamp and I won’t let anyone take off the glow you bear for me’. His philosophical and dramatically language is something I never understood—I was a kid and too fool to understand. But I thought he would be a fairy tale teller when he grows up; he was just ten then.
We were always together until I was gone to Punjab with my father and mother when both of them got jobs, there in a company. I was in a state of depression and couldn’t even dare to think about that day when I met Aadi for one last time in the railway station. I don’t know why, but he didn’t cry. He did not even speak to me a word of wishes. He was just smiling at me and waving bye. I thought he was not sad of me being away from him but yet I believe he was pretending not being so.
All the days in Punjab, even though I was enjoying my life there, I could not forget him—I was missing him. I never got to talk to him. Whenever I talked with his parents I didn’t ask for him—maybe I was shy or maybe I was feeling inferior to give up and finally tell them that I am desperate to talk to him. He never talked to me and I did the same. Years passed and I thought- I am probably dead to him.
Then one day, Aadi’s father made a call and I got to know that Aadi has finished his Engineering degree. He is a graduate now and I was going to join college that year. His father called my father to have discussion about a decision Aadi took. I was curious to know what it was. I saw my father moving his hands and head in gesture showing something that should not happen. I know Aadi since I was born. He is someone who made impulsive but much matured decisions, which often turned to be a sin for his parents.
My curiosity was killing me. And finally I got up from where I have been sitting and went after my father who was walking in the balcony here and there scratching his semi bald head. I tried to respectfully interrupt and ask what the matter is. But he did not pay a heed and I went total crazy and snatched the phone from him.
“SHIKHA!” he shouted.
“I’m sorry paa. But let me talk.” I said and turned to talk.
“Hello. Hello…” Krishnan uncle, Aadi’s father was on the other side. He sounded quite worried.
“Good Morning Uncle. Shikha here”
“Good morning dear. Where’s Srini?” He asked for paa.
“Uncle, Paa is here. I just want to know what is happening between you two. What did Aadi do that you people are worried about?”
He explained everything. I realized that Aadi, for all these years, was a total stranger to me about whom I know nothing but his childhood that I spend with him. By these years, he has grown up a man and I’m still that child who is dreaming about my Prince.
Aadi joined Engineering College because Krishnan uncle and Lathika Aunty wanted him to have a white collar job after graduation. But he planned something else. He wanted to join Cochin Media School to study Film-making. I was not surprised hearing, that he wanted to become a Filmmaker—I knew he always wanted to became a Filmmaker. But his parents did not allow him to do it. They wanted him to be graduated with an Engineering degree and wanted to see him as a high profiled person in the society—which he clearly hated, I know.
“Don’t be so worried Uncle. He has grown up. Even you and I both know, that he is way more matured than other guys of his age” I started giving Krishnan Uncle some subtle lecture.
He just kept listening to me and I felt really light and happy that I did it. I finally convinced Uncle to accept Aadi’s dream. Actually that never happened.
“Shikha, do me a favour.” He asked.
‘Yes, anything for you uncle” I was happy to help him.
“I’ll give you Aadi’s number and now it’s your responsibility to change Aadi’s mind and help us.”
“What!!!” I thought I shouldn’t have snatched the phone from paa; I shouldn’t have talked and tried to convince uncle at all. Talking to Aadi is going to be like the impossible thing. But somewhere I was happy. I am going to get a chance to talk to him after years— but I was scared too.
When Krishnan uncle cut the call as I consoled him and promised that I’ll talk to Aadi about it, I never thought that the idea is going to be a terrible mistake.