Sunday, 10 May 2020

Shivani Dua, Prose 500 2020, Shortlist

The Diary Note

She was told that it was a fatal disease. What would happen? Will she die? If she lived would she suffer pain? Such questions were piercing her brain like a bullet .

She decided to keep the meeting with the doctor a secret. She thought she would write a diary recording all her memories till her death. The clock ticked five in the evening.

She wrote- I went to the doctor. The disease is fatal. Anything can happen. There was a soft knock. She looked up. It was Raghav, her son, asking her to come for tea.

She quickly hid her diary in one of the drawers and went out.

Sitting with her family, sipping the hot cup of tea, she tried hard to conceal her emotions.

After Raghav went out to play, Rohit, her husband asked her lovingly to accompany him to the park for a walk.

With misty eyes, she refused saying that she just wanted to stay home and listen to music.

“As you wish dear,” Rohit said and rushed out.

She sank down in the chair, kept gazing long at the wall in front of her and suddenly burst into tears.

“My family has to start learning to live without me,” she thought. Refusing to go for the walk was the first step towards this practice.

Several weeks passed by. She kept recording all events in her diary.

**Raghav got the first prize. But I didn’t attend the award ceremony and sent Rohit instead. After all they have to learn to live without me.

**Days replete with depression.

**Frustrated.

She hadn’t stepped out of her house for a month. Her frustration had taken a toll on the plants growing in her garden. The leaves and flowers had withered. The branches were drooping. That day, when she opened the door to her garden, the sorry state of the plants caught her eye. She immediately went out and watered them. A cool breeze blew and the plants swayed as if to thank her. She felt as if the burden on her heart was lifted up a bit. She went inside with a glowing smile on her face that she was herself unaware of but was well noticed by Rohit and Raghav who had observed her being fussy and irritable all through the last month.

They smiled back lest they should lose her lovely smile again. A few weeks passed. There was a sea change in her behaviour. She started being social again which she had stopped all of a sudden. She shared jokes and messages on WhatsApp, called her friends and had a heart to heart talk. She started meditating and her face shone with her inner bliss. She kept writing in diary.

**chit chat with my friends.

**Meditating... Peaceful.

**Started laughing again.

**I adopted a lone puppy wandering in the street. It just wanted a streak of hope just like me. I’m feeling ecstatic--- No grief pangs and you know what? I didn’t die.

She drew a lovely smiley underneath and closed her diary.

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