Page from a Diary

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Aurindam Banerjee
“It was the day when everything seemed to go wrong, but I believed there was a rainbow lurking there somewhere. And the rainbow finally showed up – he was finally on his end of the roof. He approached me and started with a simple ‘hi’. At first, I didn’t know whether to tell him or not, but then I did tell him. I told him about how bad my day has been, waking up with the headache, having a burnt toast for breakfast, the long boring biology class, the fight I had with one of my classmates, and the worst of all, being scolded for not cleaning my room. He listened to all of it patiently and consoled me in the best manner, saying that no matter how bad my day was, he would be there to make me smile. He also made me promise that I won’t feel bad for such things. I liked his concern and care even more. How beautifully he turned one of my worst days into one of my best day !!

P.S.- Today I fell for him even more. So, now, I’m a step closer to going up to him and saying, “I love you, Aryan.” So, dear diary, let’s hope together.”

The alarm managed to fulfill its duty twelve minutes after its assigned time. She woke up with a mild headache. She almost always has a bad hangover. She stretched her hand to the other side of the bed only to find it empty, and his scent too, receding. She freshened herself up and lazily strolled downstairs to the kitchen looking for breakfast and, well, her husband too. In the kitchen, to her surprise, she didn’t find any breakfast. Not finding her husband, although, was not a surprise at all. Her eyes fell on the Post it note on the refrigerator door, saying, “Had an important pitch. I’ll be late.” All she managed to give away was a sigh. The sigh alone gave window to the reminder of all the emotions that welled up inside her.

She made herself breakfast – toast, tea and some biscuits. The toast wasn’t a perfect one, the edges a bit charred. It didn’t matter, she thought to herself. What stung her heart was taking out only a single dish instead of a pair of them.

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She then switched over to her favorite company, flipping through the selected channels on the 48″ screen. The same boring daily soap was bothering her. She looked for some respite. So with a fair share of optimism she picked up her phone and distant friend. A few minutes into the conversation and it all felt so unanimated and dictated that her inner self cringed. Her heart longed for the lively chats she used to have with her old friends. The person on the other end finally escaped by saying, ” Um, Swati, I’m a bit engaged. I have to be somewhere. I’ll talk to you later, dear. Bye.” Left in the void. Alone. Again.

She wandered aimlessly from one room to another, dusting the rooms to kill time. In one of the rooms, on a shelf, among old magazines was an old abandoned acquaintance who caught her eye. It was her diary. She pulled it out from among the trash. The diary along with it brought a gush of emotions and memories, both sweet and sour. The first page, which she now feels that she over did while decorating, carried the name of its owner – Swati Khorana. But the diary itself carried in it a Swati which now seems alien to the thirty two year old. Swati spent the rest of the day rediscovering the robust, ambitious young woman who was lost, lost in the chaos called life.

One of the tainted pages caught her eye. She started reading.

“…It was the day when everything seemed to go wrong but I believed that there was a rainbow lurking there somewhere…”

A volley of emotions arose in her mind, with each sentence adding a special variant of feelings to it. When her eyes met “I love you, Aryan”, she gave away a smile, and remembered the ache. She sat at the edge of the king sized bed, mining deeper and deeper looking for diamonds. No the ones she was wearing, the ones she had dreamt of wearing. The honking of her husband’s car shook her back into reality. She glanced at the wall clock. It was fifteen minutes past ten. She realized that her old mate had stolen her from the reality for hours.

She hurried to the kitchen and started preparing dinner. Anil, on entering the house, threw his briefcase on the sofa, his jacket on the armrest and loosened his tie. “I’ve already had dinner. Don’t make anything for me”, he said, taking the glasses off his weary eyes. Swati, still partially immersed in her new found memories, managed a simple nod. She then asked him, ” So, how was your day?”, more out of obligation, rather than care. “Nothing special, tiring”, was the reply. A few moments of thought, and Swati uttered, “Today, I found my old diary. The one I wrote when I was sixteen.”

Anil didn’t react as expected. A few moments of quietness and he said, ” Look, I have to work on some presentations, so, good night.”

Swati left him with his presentations in the study, picked up his jacket, and went to her room upstairs. She threw herself on the bed, shed a tear or two. Sadly, Anil was not there to wipe them off. But his jacket was. She then slid her hands into the pocket find restaurant bills. Coffee for two. Fried rice with gravy, two plates. The fact that her husband might be cheating on her now fails to distress her. Not anymore.
With the dairy along her side, and the jacket on another on the bed, she gave way to her tired eyes. She slipped into the perfect world. Sleep helped her escape the battle waging in the mind. The jacket on one side and the diary on the other.

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