‘’Sorry for being contactless,’’ the voice said.
I checked the phone. It was of Akash. I was bewildered on hearing his words.
‘’Where were you all this time?’’, I expressed my disbelief.
‘’You know I am not fond of social media and my SIM card wasn’t working’’, he justified.
It had been almost two years since Akash and I met. We were at the airport, to attend a medical student conference. I was sitting beside him, numb as it was my first time on an international flight. He introduced himself as Akash and we started chitchatting. Sitting in the AC facility throughout the flight, on landing outside the plane I felt the weather was hotter than my country. Since we were from different medical colleges, we had a few moments to see each other except attending lectures, presentations and learning medical skills in the same room. During the group photoshoot, I wanted to click pictures with him but my female stereotype made me take a step back. I wouldn’t prefer rumor being spread about my feelings to him so I chose to stay quiet. However, he was one of the genius students studying MBBS in scholarship and good-looking as well, I was almost sure he would have a girlfriend because why not? He has everything a girl has, more importantly a very humble personality.
On the last day we had a cultural exchange program, I was surrounded by lots of international students. All the time I was either having conversation with boys or taking a memory selfie with them, though it was not intentional. Akash took me to the corner and whispered, ‘’I can’t share you with anyone’’. I was always against such creepy pick-up lines, but when it was said by the person I adore, it was different.
After a week-long conference returned. We had exchanged our phone numbers but I never thought about calling him as we didn't have an official relation tag. Our life was running as before but I really missed him a lot.
One morning I received a call, while heading to the autopsy room.
“Hi Shreesha, how are you?’’
In a rush of my autopsy posting I replied, ‘’Do I know you?’’
‘’It’s me’’, he said.
I was so disgusted with this reply that I disconnected the phone.
Immediately my subconscious mind reminded me that the voice was of Akash. I called him back. Following that day, he was my habit, discussion partner of interesting medical encounters during posting and melting pot of emotions. As people, we were different personalities, our profession and our values being the only points of commonality.
During our fifth year, we began talking less as it was the most difficult phase in a medical student’s life. All day we went to the library, brought food to the hostel room from the canteen, and studied day and night. One day before our board exam, Akash called me. He started with hesitation towards the exam and his ambition to crack 'The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) . I listened. I felt I was successful in motivating him to some extent. He asked me if we could meet. I was anxious about the exam myself so I requested to meet him only after the exam. He texted me, ‘’I love you Shreesha, I need you.’’ I smiled then I switched off mobile, deactivated all social media to focus only on study.
After the exam, I called Akash but it said, ‘Switched Off’ for months.
One day I received a call from him but he sounded different as if his soul wasn’t present. When the exam result got published, I reactivated Facebook to share the pass result but in my ‘People You May Know’ section, the photo of Akash appeared with one girl. Immediately, I clicked his profile and saw some romantic posts of him with his girlfriend. It was unexplainably heart-rending. I sent him a text, ‘’It would have been better if you had been open to me about your girlfriend. I hate myself for loving you, for trusting you.’’ I deactivated my Facebook and threw my SIM in the road. “I don’t love him anymore” was the last thing I was expecting to do but it did happen. I started talking less to people. My parents were showing photos of boys from matrimonial sites everyday as I was approaching twenty-five. I couldn’t say it to my parents but I had no courage to see any other boys other than Akash as my husband.
One day, my friend sent me a post from a Medical students’ confession page, and said it was mournful. It read,
‘’I am a medical student studying at the Institute of Medicine. I had a twin brother, Akash, who was a medical student as well. He committed suicide just before his fifth year exam. He was suffering from depression because his results disappointed our surgeon parents, who constantly pressured him to do more. He mentioned a girl named Shreesha on his suicide note where he poured his love in pages. One day, I saw a life diary of Akash where I came to know about Shreesha. I got her number from his diary. He didn’t want Shreesha to know this news. I decided to reactivate his SIM and started talking to her. But one day she saw a picture of my actual girlfriend and texted me heartbroken. I tried hard to tell her about the demise of my brother but I had no courage to sum up in front of her love for Akash. What shall I do? ....
#Serious constructive suggestions only.
My phone slipped from my hand.
Today I am getting married. I realized not all marriage ends in love and not all love ends in marriage. Dear Akash, I want to relive those memories. I want to forget that departure, two hearts separated, hands left alone and legs walking as if it has a promise to keep for never returning back.
Wishes swirled up in the breeze,
An invincible truth to journey,
Communicating different worlds, will they ever sync?
Darling, you and I are the ‘Glitch in the matrix’’.