Wed, 07 Jun, 2023

0s and 1s of My Life

By Nikita Gautam

It seems amazing how combinations of just two numbers have created a whole new world of magic. Every living or non-living thing which exists till date is a result of these combinations. Is it just me or everyone else agrees to the fact that we have always considered 0 as a sign of failure and 1 as a sign of true success? I doubt it. Like people develop a sense of bigotry to one another, I have developed the similar look towards the 0 of my life. I have never been deeply involved in my life, but yet the attachment that I made to every little detail made a different untold story in itself. I have seen beauty, design, discovery, success, courage, love, relationships, separation, and ultimately LIFE. During these last days, I wonder how should I differentiate these parts that I experienced in life into two broad categories of 0's and 1's. Here I am lying in a wheelchair, imagining how my love would be looking covered inside a plastic bag in a morgue. I am still breathing, but I cannot shed a tear and scream loud in this moment of so called 0 of my life. But I console myself by the fact that I would have broken into pieces if I had seen that 0 moment of separation of my soul from me. But what did I really achieve from the decision I made 40 years ago? It was solely my fault. I could never face her again after what I forced her to choose. I am a terrible person, but I am happy that her life was worth living without me. Someone wise once said, “Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” The real 1(true happiness) never occurred to me during these 75 years of my journey. I had to force my love to make that choice.  Opening the hidden diary of my life, I can see a 6-year-old boy fascinated to visit a new town with wonderful natural scenery. He had new dreams, new hopes and a new home. Being an orphan was never an easy living, but he had not realized its true meaning. He was lucky enough to be under the guidance of a lovely couple, who ultimately became his true parents. Not only lovely parents, he was able to bond a true friendship with a girl named, "Shraddha". They fell in love and got married at a very young age. Despite of the cultural differences, they swore to be with each other at the moments of happiness and sorrow. Unwillingly that immortal love slipped from their hands. I would rather hold the pain by myself than to see her die everyday. Talking about what really happened that transformed our lives seems like a movie scenario to me. It was happening frequently that when I would be off to work, I felt unwell. I kept on ignoring my health but it had become extreme now. I could not share this with Shraddha as she would get really worried. I planned to handle it by myself so I took the appointment of a physician. He analyzed my reports and suggested to visit an oncologist nearby. "What the hell!", I said to myself at that moment. It was finally confirmed that I was diagnosed with a malignant cancer. Doctor said that it was an exceptional case, the tumor was rapidly growing and I could die any day, any moment. Tears rolled down my eyes when I was leaving the hospital. I was not worried about dying, but I could not see my wife dying inside every day watching me move deep into the mouth of death. Moreover, I could not tell her the news. It was raining that day and I walked 2 hours back home, all wet. She opened the door hurriedly with a towel in her hand and scolded me for always being careless. I can never forget those words, "You may not matter much to yourself, but you are my world, my happiness, my soul and my life. I love you so much." Touch of her lips to mine broke me into pieces instead. I couldn’t hold myself, so I ran into my room and locked myself for the night. She kept on begging me to open the door, but I couldn’t face her. I cried my soul out silently that night, hoping that she would not find me in that state. I knew she could not sleep either. Yet she knew I was in trouble, we had this ability to sense each other's feelings. I left home without saying a word to her the following day. I was at work but I couldn’t concentrate. I drove back home but didn’t enter the house. I saw her soft hands mixing the soil planting a new life of nature. I watched her all day long making myself unnoticeable. I didn’t know what I would do next. It was killing me inside but I couldn't see her tears being shed in my grief. I blame god for being so unfair to her. I could die with a picture of her mesmerizing smile but she couldn't see me dying. I still cannot figure out why did I leave her forever that day. What made me make that decision? I let my mind overcome my heart. Life cheated on me instead. I went miles away from her waiting for death. No one had ever wanted to die so desperately, but I did. I couldn’t live with a stone inside my heart. People might call it a miracle that I survived for these many years. Should I be happy for what I received in spite of what I pleaded in front of god everyday? I was holding my breath but the guilt that I had was tearing me into pieces. No physical harm would be so painful as this was for me. How Shraddha stayed without me, one can only imagine. Even though I was far away from her, I kept track of what she was doing with her life. One of her cousins was a really good friend of mine, so he knew everything about me. I made him swear not to tell Shradhha about me and he kept that promise till death. She was miserable for 2 years after I left. Slowly she learned to cope with life. It made me happy that she was learning to live without me now. Every time I asked her cousin about her, I couldn't hold my tears. Years passed by, she met a new man, had children with him and lived happily. Her cousin mentioned that till her last breath she never denied the fact that I was the one and only love of her life. I saw pictures of her growing old, her husband, two beautiful girls they had and a lovely dog. She could not understand till the end why I left her without saying a word. It was entirely my fault. Life would have been much different if I had the courage to face her. We would be taking our last breath together in each other's arms.  I see now what life has given me instead and laugh at myself. Such an intelligent man I am. Yes, my eyes are closing now. Probably this is my last breath. Finally the 1 of my life has arrived to take me with it. Although I made terrible decisions in my life, yet I never stopped loving her. I love her now and forever. Hope that we will be together in a new world. I hope that she slaps me hard for my mistakes and I will hold her in my arms, kiss her,……….