There are a hundred things she has tried to chase away the things she won’t remember and that she can’t even let herself think about because that’s when the birds scream and the worms crawl and somewhere in her mind it’s always raining a slow and endless drizzle.
The Orjit heard that she had left the country, that there was a gift she wanted him to have, but it was lost before it reached him. One night the telephone did ring and a voice that might have been hers said something that Orjit could not interpret. Before the connection crackled and broke up.
Here he was several years later, from a taxi he saw someone in a doorway who looked like her but she was gone by the time persuaded the driver to stop. He reckoned he will never see her again.
But whenever it rained he did and would think of her.
Chitra was nice, Chitra was nice and loving, Chitra had loved him, he slowly repeated this to himself with a growing sadness as he also realised that nothing would ever happen between them again. Life sometimes offers you a chance Orjit thought, but he was too cowardly or indecisive to seize it, life took the cards away; there is a moment for doing things, and entering a possible happiness and this moment lasts a few days, a few weeks or even few months, but it only happens and one time only and if you want to return to it later it’s quite impossible. There’s no more place for enthusiasm, belief and faith and there remains just gentle resignation, a sad and reciprocal pity, the useless but correct sensation that something could have happened, that you just simply showed yourself unworthy of this gift that had been offered.
“Saab, shall we go?” asked Ram Bharose the driver.
Orjit looked up, the taxi with the silhouette of Chitra had stopped ahead alighted the vehicle and walked in. Something egged him, maybe it is her and he could just feel maybe just the echo, or ghost of the bond they had had then. He tried to figure out what actually went wrong.
“What can I do for you Sir?” the public relation man asked
“The lady who came in just now”
“We don’t share our guest information sir,” somehow Orjit just wanted a closure, he pulled out his departmental ID, the public relations man, toyed with it, and very reluctantly asked,” Chitra madam Sir?” so it was her thought Orjit.
“Yes, can I meet her?”
“Sir she is in a meeting, if necessary I can send word.”
Orjit wondered what he would tell her. The porter, returned madam has already left she has to attend another meeting in half an hour it’s at udyog bhavan.
“Maybe you can meet her there would you like me to call?”
“No thank you, I’ll sort”” said Orjit as he moved out, another missed chance.
All he could conclude was no one was to blame for what happened, but that did not make it less difficult to accept. It was a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. They were always in the right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at right time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That’s what the story boiled down to; he concluded … a series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.