“You are my star but the day you will understand this I will be a star” these were the last words of Sitara before they parted never to meet again.
‘But did we part never to meet again or our fate has some different plans.’- standing alone in the balcony Devesh thought to himself. Suddenly almost after eight long years he was thinking about her may be for the second time. But why was he thinking about her? He kept asking himself the same question again and again not to get any answers. And was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn’t notice when Shweta joined him in the balcony.
“Do you want anything, honey” Shweta asked him.
“Yes dear, an Apology. Can I get it, Shweta?”
“ Devesh! I have forgotten it long ago and now you should forget it too.”
“Now tell me anything else apart from this?”
“YOU…always beside me.”
“Oh! Honey! I love you!”
“I love you too sweetheart!”
And they hugged each other.
But again his eyes were fixed on that solitary star in the north of the sky.
“What are you looking at, honey?”
“Woh tara” (“that star”)
“Don’t you worry, dear! SHE IS YOUR STAR!”
Now Devesh was again left alone with that solitary star.
‘She is your STAR…what does that mean?’ his thought process became active once again. God knows what struck his brain that he immediately rushed inside the store room and like a mad started searching for something. At last he found an old MTNL land line number inside some old papers and useless documents.
‘Is the number still working? Do they still live in the same place?’
‘Ok! Let me try at least’
Without wasting any more time in thoughts whether to call or not he rushed back to his room and dialed the phone number.
“Hello! Devesh Chatterjee this side. May I speak to Sitara Das please?”
“No! Not possible.”
“Oh! Has she left the place? Can you please tell me where she is now? Any number to contact her?
“She is no more.”
The telephone-line was disconnected from the other side but Devesh felt as if someone has disconnected her lifeline. He could not believe what he had heard right now.
‘No more! But how come and when?’
He was in a deep shock and was feeling drowsy. Very slowly his shocked mind entered inside a deep tunnel of some lost memories and some half-covered truths. The more he entered inside the tunnel the more he explored. He could hear some one’s voice reciting the stories from the pages of his life through poetry. On concentrating a bit he came to know that the voice was of no one else’s but his own. The poetry that he was reciting was so vividly explained that he actually started to visualize each and every scene of it.
‘Mr. Devesh Chatterjee is one lucky happy man. He has name, fame, money, status and everything that one expects from one’s life. He is a proud father of two beautiful kids and is a lucky husband of a perfect lady. He is one damn lucky and a happy man. Lucky he is for sure but is he actually happy?
Eight years ago Devesh abandoned Sitara and married Shweta. No it’s not like that he didn’t love Sitara. Surely he did. Sitara was the star of his eyes but was too childish and imperfect for a man like Devesh Chatterjee. Even the name Sitara sounded too much old fashioned to him. On the contrary Shweta was a perfect blend of modernity, grace, and talent. She was the epitome of beauty with brains. Even the name Shweta spelled confidence to him. In short Shweta was a perfect match for devesh.
But after eight years of so called happy married life does he still consider Shweta his perfect match? Is he still proud of her? Can he consider himself happy?
“You know what is the problem with you, Shweta? ….you are too much perfect. As much as that you are beyond one’s tolerance.”
“Oh! Is it like that! I am glad to know this. But no, my dear hubby, you are wrong. The truth is something else.”
“Oh! Ya! Why don’t you let me know the truth?”
“Leave it, Devesh. You are not macho enough to handle the truth.”
“What! What! You mean to say that I am not a man enough to handle the truth?”
“I said macho and not man. And anyways I don’t think cowards should consider themselves Man.”
“Oh! Really! And that’s what you think of me, you pompous woman.”
“I told you na that you cannot handle the truth. But as you are so curious to know it so for your curiosity’s sake here the truth comes …”
“Why are you silent? Come on shoot fast.”
“You don’t actually have any problem with my being a perfect lady but the truth is that you can’t accept your own imperfections in every field of life.”
“My biggest mistake in life is you. Oh! How I wish I had married Sitara and not any Shweta.”
“I always knew it, Devesh, that you still love Sitara and today you confirmed the truth.”
“No, it’s not a matter of love but at least she would have tried her best to keep me happy unlike you. I wish she was still my aankhon ka tara( star of my eyes)"
“Devesh, you are sick! How come you can be so selfish! I pity you, Mr. Devesh Chatterjee. For the first time in my life I am ashamed of being your wife.
“If you are so much ashamed of me then why you are here? Why don’t you leave me and my house immediately? What’s stopping you to do so huh?...You are a beauty goddess…a so called perfect woman…so many perfect men are waiting for you outside this house…go to them…be happy... why are you here….”
Devesh kept on shouting like a moron. As if Shweta had hit him hard on his male ego and thus he was shivering in humiliation and anger. Without giving any reply to devesh’s nasty comments, Shweta left the house immediately along with his two kids.
An hour later of drinking too much, Devesh left the house too and set on a journey that had no destination. He was totally out of control and the car he was driving was not listening to him at all.
Suddenly his dangerously reddened eyes fell on someone walking on the pavement. He was too drunk that he couldn’t even make out whether it was a man or a woman, a child or an adult. But still a name came out from deep with in his heart. He shouted “Sitaraaaaaaaaa….” But before he could understand anything (anyways he was in no position to understand anything), his car was totally out of his control.
And the next moment he found himself on a hospital bed. His whole body was smeared in blood and he felt that each drop of his blood was yelling and abusing him. Though he couldn’t see anything right now but he could imagine that his perfect wife was crying for him for the very first time in her life…his two innocent kids were crying for him too though they were still too young to understand what Death means. Devesh was out of danger and right now in deep sleep (at least the doctors thought that he was sleeping). But he could hear Dr. Moitra’s conversation with his wife:
“Do not worry, Mrs. Chatterjee, your husband is now totally out of danger.”
“I know Dr. Moitra that Devesh is out of danger. Now. But what will happen when he comes to know about his loss. He will shatter, doctor. Is there nobody to help us? and god, that police case is also there ? Oh! lord! My whole life has fallen apart within a fraction of second!”
“Not at all, Mrs. Chatterjee. Everything will be fine soon. Just have patience and have faith in god.”
“I have faith in god, doctor. But who can help him now? I am ready to pay anything”
“This is not required, Mrs. Chatterjee. You and your husband are indeed very lucky. Before leaving this world forever the deceased has taken back the police case that her parents have filed against your husband.”
“Not only that. Her last wish was to donate her eyes to your husband.”
“Oh! My god! Doctor, can I meet her parents ?”
“No. They have left the hospital and moreover they don’t want to.”
“But, doctor, I just want to convey my regards to them plus any amount of money or any kind of help they ask for.”
“This is what the problem with you, people. You measure everything with money only. I am sorry to say but you people do not understand the value of emotions.”
“He is my star and I am his aankhon ka tara and I will remain so forever and ever. So what the day he will understand this…I WILL BE A STAR!”
I can’t understand you doctor!”
“These were sitara’s last words”
Shweta couldn’t utter a single word after that as her voice choked with pain.
“Devesh, it’s time for you medicines” with a jerk Shweta’s voice pulled him out from the tunnel of some lost memories and some half-known truths. But two tear drops abandoned his eyes without even asking him, as if they have wanted for long to leave his eyes but were not getting any reasons for that.
Somehow he managed to hide his tears from his loving wife and swallowed all the tablets and syrups without giving any trouble to Shweta unlike other days.
“Wow! You are such a good boy today! What’s the matter my honey-bunny!” there was a sparkle in her eyes as she uttered these words.
Without giving any reply to Shweta, Devesh again came back to the balcony. The sky is still cloudy and moonless. But that small star is still there in the north side of the sky…standing all alone but twinkling with pride.
***wrote this story long back on 28th feb'08. Almost a year now.