She was frowning …
He then asked in his voice sounding hollow. “whaath happen?” (What happened)
She was annoyed by now; she asked him, “Why are you speaking like that?”
His smile dropped and he frowned and looked away… it was then she saw something in his ears. She was now in tears. “What… what is that? In your ear?” she asked pointing to his ear.
He sighed and took that out of his ear. It was a pink coloured shell like structure with a wheel like thing attached to its one end. “Ith a hearin aidh. Aai haafa Hearin phoblam…. I am hearin Impaith…” (It’s a hearing aid. I have a hearing problem. I am hearing impaired. )
She folded her hands. She didn’t understand the flow of emotions she was going through at the moment. She blinked back tears as she looked away. She was feeling cheated.
She looked at him. He was putting the aid back into his ears and looking at her… his face devoid of expression. She said with a strained voice. “Why dint you tell me this before? You discussed the world with me for…two whole months. Didn’t you… didn’t you feel it necessary to tell me about this?” she pointed to his ear.
Amishi was rooted to the floor. Suddenly the whole world around her had stopped. She gathered herself and released her hand from his grasp. He indicated for her to sit. He dragged her chair out for her, like a gentleman and then took his seat opposite to hers. He kept his hands folded on the table and with that smile lodged on his face he asked moving his hands, “Tho… whaat dho yuu wan tho eeth? Thaanwith ith beth hei” (so… what do you want to eat? Sandwich is best here).
He looked stricken. He drove a hand through his hair and said, “aam thsohrry… aai dhon no whath thu thse… I thoth yuu wiil Undhuhthsaan… thsohrry.” (Am sorry…I don’t know what to say…I thought you will understand…sorry)
She stood up pushing back her chair. Sniffling tears she said, “I…I want to go home.”
Then she turned and left without a backward glance.
That night she kept looking at her phone but it didn’t ping… there was no message from him, for the first time in two months. She was surprised she was still waiting for his messages…
It was two days since she had last communicated with him. Last night she had googled about hearing impairment and its effects. She had stayed up long into the night reading about how people cope with the disability arising. She realised Pavan wasn’t stone deaf. She read about the different categories of hearing impairments. She also read about hearing aids. Their benefits for the hearing impaired and limitations. Considering what people face or go through, Pavan seemed to have done well for himself. She realised she wanted to know more about this part of him….this aspect of his life, his struggles and how he overcame them. The information on internet though was enlightening and she felt she understood his situation better. It wasn’t like she didn’t understand his speech at all… but she was upset because he had hidden it from her. Why did he do that?
She wanted to speak with him and clear things. She knew there was more to it than just what met the eye. She wanted to hear him out… his side of the story…? Occasionally she felt guilty as well. The signs were there in front of her all the time… she was the one who didn’t realise it. Somehow it dawned on her that it made no difference to her if he had this impairment. He was still the same guy…whom she had fallen in love with…without hearing him speak…
She was a social worker for crying out aloud. The first thing they were taught was empathy especially when they worked with the differently abled. Her Pavan…. Yes HER Pavan was different…he was special…
She missed him…. Even yesterday when she was busy in the fieldwork she thought about him. She visualised his stricken look when she had left the café. Her heart was breaking. Her eyes welled up every time she thought about him. She wanted to share her day with him. Her project had got cleared because of his tips. She wanted to tell him about that. She had started reading about parallel algorithms and had surprised her techie brother with her knowledge the other day… she wanted to boast about that to him… there was a huge void suddenly in her life.
Somehow the library walls felt like closing in on her…
None of her friends from school or college could match up to him when it came to comfort levels or matching of wavelengths. She had started to depend on him emotionally and intellectually. He had ruined her for anyone else. And the way he addressed her… her heart always fluttered and yearned to hear more from him.
Yesterday she was busy with the emotionally draining field work but today she longed to see him… she wasn’t even able to focus on her lectures.
She had to take action. Where was he?
She took out her phone and typed,
Hey football guy, you didn’t play the match today? SITians missed their defender today…where were you?
There was no reply though he had seen her message. She waited for half an hour with a pounding heart before she dialled his number. The ring tone was heard but he didn’t answer it. She started to worry. Was he alright?
She messaged again,
Hey you ok? I am getting worried…
Immediately there was a reply
Sorry for what transpired
Trust me…though I ache
That wasn’t what I desired
Your heart I didn’t want to break
I fought the world and now am tired
I want to no more stay awake
I miss our moments together
Let’s stop this communication once and forever
Henceforth find no more odes
I will miss you for I love you loads…
That broke the dam and her emotions flowed… She didn’t care that three were people watching her. She covered her face with her palms and sobbed. Her heart fell… she could fell it break into tiny pieces…
How could he alone decide to stop communicating? Why was he punishing her like that? What was her fault? Yes she was shocked…. But who wouldn’t be? She deserved a second chance… would he ever give her one?
She wanted to tell him…She didn’t care he was hearing impaired… She still loved him for who he was. But if only he would hear her out….just once. Her study holidays were commencing in a couple of days. It was not possible to meet him for at least a week. How would she bear the grief? She had to be strong. She had to study for her final exams….
She wanted to desperately mend things between them. As tears trickled down her cheeks she hoped it wasn’t too late for them…..
As she travelled back home later that evening her brother had switched on the car stereo… He was a diehard Kumar Sanu fan. The song playing was from the movie Deewana suited her state of mind aptly:
Teri ummeed tera intezaar karte hai
Eh sanam hum tho sirf tumse pyaar karte hai….
Copyright Disclaimer: All content posted here is a work of fiction and original work based on the author’s imagination. There is no intention to disrespect any person or faith. Any resemblance to any person living or dear is purely coincidental. No part of the content can be copied, reproduced or posted anywhere else either entirely or in parts, without the consent of the author.