I hate the chilled winds of January. They are nostalgic to me and I am not a person who can enjoy nostalgic moments sitting on an easy chair with closed eyes. It makes me cold like ice, I mean the nostalgia. The winds do the same except that they affect the body alone.
Wearing two sweaters, jeans and a shawl I sit alone sometimes in my lawn looking at the green leaves and absorbing the warm sun rays in my body. I feel calm and often start thinking about the life I left behind far away. The life that was everything to me once.
I ate food made by the hands of a woman for four years. Living in a hostel it was difficult back then to ponder upon the facts of reality. I was involved so much in myself, I couldn’t see the others. She was a kind of woman about whom people use words like sign of bravery. I never saw her crying on her miseries. She had 5 children, two daughters and three sons. The elder one was about the age of 15 and the younger one was only 5. Her husband died four years ago and she was left alone with her kids to face this zoo filled with humans, animals don’t hurt they just bite.
Her relatives snatched everything that her husband had left behind. The house, the money in bank and even their daily use electronics. She wasn’t so rich that she could spend on lawyers and police. In these circumstances, the only option left for her was to leave the place where she sang songs of love and peace, once. I don’t know how but she managed to get a job in our hostel. She had no home by the time. She and her children used to sleep in the kitchen.
After some months she was able to start the vehicle of her life once again. Children were admitted to the schools with low fee.I miss her youngest son the most. I still remember him coming to my room and saying, “You promised to bring me candies”. I never forgot to buy candies for him every time I came home at weekends. He knew many stories about where his father is. Sometimes he’d say he is in the market buying toys for me. I never heard from his mouth that his father’s dead.I don’t know his mother told him those fake stories or he made them up.
And when everything was going smooth, she was diagnosed with cancer. A chilled gust of wind took away their virgin happiness once again. Her daughters were given the responsibility of kitchen and she started visiting the hospitals. She had no money to spend on her treatment. Just when she was losing hope in her eyes, she heard of a hospital in another city. She went there and by the grace of God, she was treated well. In developing countries like our’s, these kind of hospitals which treat the poor free of cost are considered as miracles. She is having her treatment done these days.
I always wondered why don’t she cry at her miseries. How can she bear so much pain without complaining? While listening to her stories I used to weep but I never saw her eyes wet. Sometimes when a big tears comes out, she wipes it with her hand and continues again.
The last time I met her, was a crucial time. We had our four years of education completed and following the rule of life, we had to leave. She was standing in the door. After putting my luggage in the car I came back to say a final goodbye. I couldn’t speak. Tears were stuck in my throat and words disappeared.I saw tears in her eyes. She came towards me and hugged me and I listened to her….she was crying. I was crying too. There was a difference, She cried in front of me for the first time. She kept crying till my car left. She was left behind. I moved forward. But the vision of her crying eyes was saved in my mind. It is still saved. It’ll be saved forever.
Those moments still bring tears in my eyes. She is more than just a memory to me. Memories can fade but true feelings can’t. They come out of your heart every winter season and haunt you. Chilled winds and abandoned feelings don’t make a good match. They never can.