The left side of the bed never feels empty even today. I can still feel the weight of his right leg on my right leg. At around 3 a.m. every night, he would gently tap my hand and demand water. “Bottle is on your side,” I’d say. “You pass,” he’d say in a timid voice. His timid voice sounded so affectionate that sometimes I’d pass. Other times I’d pretend to sleep.
That night, too, I pretended to sleep.
He kept on tapping. I kept on ignoring.
Rishu, withdrew his leg and turned his back to me. He never liked being called Rishu. ‘I’m Rishabh,’ he’d say and stamp his feet in irritation. But I couldn’t stop calling him Rishu. Pradeep and I had decided this nick name in the intimate years of our teenage relationship in a college at Delhi.
Rishu, everytime I’d call his name, Pradeep’s face flashed before my eyes. That tight facial skin. The strong jawline. Those broad imperfect lips, lips those were pink like that of a girl. Those dense eyebrows and long eye lashes. His tiny eyes and that broad freckled forehead.
Pradeep had said Goodbye to Rishu and me long back. Rishu doesn’t remember his face except that he is fairly able to identify Pradeep’s pictures resembling the one that hung near the pooja room. He stopped inquiring about his father long back. He knew that the only way his mother could answer was through tears. Sometimes I think how quickly Continue reading