Tapasya was standing in her balcony and sipping her green tea, she stared at the opposite house. It was abandoned except for two parrots in the cage. Tears dribbled down her cheeks and she brushed them off before they could reach her lips. She stared at her Fastrack watch, the two hands of the watch pointed in opposite directions to denote it was 6:00 AM. She remembered what Raj uncle told her about the hands of the watch long time ago. It was 10 years back and she was just 13 at that time; she cried and went inside Raj & Hema’s house. Raj and Hema are one of the sweet neighbors of Tapasya. They were Christians and the fact that Tapasya’s family was staunch Brahmins didn’t stop her from being close to them. They were the only Non-Hindu; in fact the only Non-Brahmin family in the colony but none of the colony members treated them with a difference. Since Raj and Hema had no children, they invited most of the colony children to their house and served them delicious cakes, tea, and played with them. It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon when Tapasya entered their house with tearful eyes. Hema asked, “What is it Tapu? Why are you crying?” Raj promptly replied, “Why else will the princess cry? She would have fought with the prince. Ain’t it?” Tapasya said in an angry tone, “No uncle. Don’t call that stupid Krishna as Prince. He is my worst enemy. I hate him, he is a demon.” Hema hugged her and made her sit in the couch that was put in the balcony and said, “Isn’t he your best friend? All the children in the colony envy you both.” Tapasya said, “Ya, he is a best friend but he is not like me. He is so opposite. He doesn’t think like me.”
Raj asked her, “See at this watch, what it is showing?” Tapasya said in a still rude voice, “12:30 – the time”. Raj said, “Look deeply, and how are the hands of the clock aligned?” “Opposite to each other”, she said as a matter of fact. He asked her, “So, will those hands always stay opposite or do they meet?” She immediately said, “They do meet at times like at 12:00, 6:30, etc.” Raj patted on her back and said, “Brilliant so that’s how two people are, they will be similar to you in some instances and totally opposite and contradicting in other instances. One more thing the two hands were together at 12:00 noon at 12:30 just within half an hour they are away from one another.” Tapasya understood a little but still she was confused and she gave an oblivious stare. Hema put her hand on Tapasya’s shoulder and said, “Same way with any relationships; be it friendship, love, sibling relation, or anything the major thing is to appreciate the differences and enjoy the similarities. That way you can always be happy.”
“Tapasya, aren’t you bathing? Your driver called five times”, said the shrieking voice of her sister. Tapasya came back to current day and she went inside the house and got ready. The happy moments she spent with Raj and Hema was dancing in her head all the way when she dressed up, when she munched her corn flakes and also when she got into her car. Ishika, her sister said, “Come back by 4. The funeral starts by 4:30”. Tapasya nodded and shut the door of her car to hide her tears from Ishika. She never believed in true love or men after her break up with Aman but after Hema Aunt’s death 2 years back her coffee-talks with Raj made her realize that still love exists and Prince Charming is indeed real. She always empathized with Raj but he said her he was perfectly alright and he believes still Hema lives with him. She spoke to him even the day before but as soon as she woke up she heard the fateful news that Raj uncle died in his sleep and his corpse is taken to one of their relatives’ house.
Epilogue: After the funeral, Tapasya was called when the will was read. She was wondering why she had been called but she understood immediately when the attorney read, “To Tapasya Shankar, I leave my only vintage watch so that it will remind her about my advice. I also leave her the pair of parrots I own so that she will believe in unconditional love.” She couldn’t control crying and she choked more when she learnt that he left rest of the property to orphanage which they three visited often. She went to take the parrots from the house and saw a note pinned to the cage; it read,
Aunt needs me now. I think I stayed back this long without her only to help you handle through your break up. Now you are a strong girl you should be able to live all by yourself. Whenever you feel sad or down, remember “Life is just a bowl of cherries”.
Your Prince Charming Raj.
P.S: Your Aunt is going to hit me if she sees this because I never wrote her a note but no worries I will go to her and write notes daily.
Tapasya was shocked. She never believed the fact that people will feel that they are going to die when death was nearing. Her mom always told her about that but this was the first time she witnessed something like this. She read the note a hundred times before she fell asleep. The next morning, Tapasya got ready soon and wore Raj’s watch instead of her Fastrack. She felt a positive vibe all over her body.
RIP Raj Uncle – This Post is dedicated to you and Hema Aunty – You both always will live in my heart!
Love & Cheers,