Crossing the Mirage:Passing Through Youth (Chapter 5, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 5

That mid-summer noon, cramped up in a general bogie of that Deccan-bound train, Chandra developed a cold sweat.

‘Oh God, what if Rashid’s lightning call didn’t come through?’ he thought anxiously. Well, what else could’ve I done, as there was hardly any time left to catch the train. How I wanted to talk to her myself though Rashid felt it made sense for me to leave without losing time. Didn’t he swear that he would alert my parents to avert the disaster? How am I to know now what came of it later?’

As though to have a clue to the vexatious issue, he pulled out his sister’s letter from his shirt pocket, and began to read again.

Oh, my Chand,

I’m sorry, for my decision will upset all of you. But I think I can’t help it. I can’t carry on any longer, even for the sake of our mother.

Now it’s all so clear. It’s going to be a solitary confinement for me in the voidness of life, for the rest of my life. I know that it is partly of my own making for I failed to take advantage of my chances and thus missed out on life. Oh, why did I fail to appreciate my own limitations to mess up my life? No denying, though our father wishes me well (and you well) his prejudices played no small part in my downfall. Whatever it is, my life itself had become unrealistic for me.

Let me tell you, I’m just dissipated. I’ve even lost my ability to hope. Without a past fulfillment for a memory and with no hope to nurse now, I’ve no appetite for life, which has become torturous to say the least. Moreover, I've even lost patience with myself, well; I’m not old enough to imbibe the philosophy of resignation to be able to carry on in this vein. So I’ve resolved to put an end to it all, to be merciful to myself even at the risk of causing pain to others. I know time heals; won’t it dry your welling eyes and balm your emotional wounds in its own way? And that gives me heart to hurt you all.

I’m glad you’ve ventured into life to help yourself. It’s a great satisfaction that I could contribute to make some difference to your life. As I’m going to become the past, I wish you a fulfilling future. I know there is nothing in my life to inspire you, but there’s a lot that can caution you. If you can benefit from that, I shall rejoice from up above in spite of everything.

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