* * *
“How did she die?” Shekhar asked, his damp hands reflected the discomfort in his words more clearly.
“A road accident,” Ramya replied softly.
And with these words another blanket of silence enveloped them together. Outside they could hear the soft pitter patter of the rains. It seemed like the apt emotion of sadness over her death was reflected only by the seasons. Because the two people now aware about her demise were marred by confusion. In that moment it looked like the perfect act of balance by nature, somebody needed to cry then.
“I will see you tomorrow then,” Ramya suddenly rose from the chair and left.
* * *
“Patil, Vinay Patil. House number 34” Ramya could still hear her frantic voice on the phone.
“And your name is?” Ramya had asked her politely over the cold cup of coffee.
“Mallika,” the way she had replied, it had seemed to Ramya like she really meant the meaning behind it. Mallika the queen.
She had died in a road accident two days back. They had no idea there was a will until someone from her family came. The family member too had no idea what was written, he only was aware about its existence and the name of the lawyer who drew it.
Most of her things were to be given to the people residing in her colony. All like her selling their body to earn money each day and most often each night. It had been her parting debt to them, as she had written in the letter attached with the will. And scribbled under all these instructions were a hurried set of lines. “The brown envelope of letters to Ramya” and along side was the incorrigibly written an address.
* * *
She had been sitting for the last half an hour at the wooden desk. She had brought it from the shop under the building in exchange of an old lamp. She thought perhaps now with the letters to be read this should be an expected accessory. But what she forgot was that to embark upon this journey, a table could have been avoided but the willpower to attempt was all important.
She sipped her third cup of tea and continued to stare at the half sealed brown envelope.
“What might just happen if she reads. Perhaps it could be some sense of entertainment in her otherwise boring life,” Ramya thought out loud.
She pulled the stack towards herself and slowly extracted the letters.
They were dated and arranged in order. She had read the first one. It had been dated five years back. Below it were the rest of them.
12th December, 2008.
I read the above two lines again. I can hardly imagine calling anyone that presently. I don’t know what my future might hold but I do believe right now I am living my worst. I hope to survive one day and live to tell this tale to someone in person. These letters that I am intending to write are in the case that I don’t live to tell.
If you are reading this letter then it means that I have died, without narrating the story of my life.
I am Mallika. And for as long as I can remember I have been treated anything but this. So when people ask me as to what exactly is that I hope to achieve, my only reply is that ‘I hope to live up to my name.’
I want to live the life of a queen. I want to conquer this world which has never treated me fairly. It never gave my parents a chance to exist. In their short span of life they hardly ever spent a minute for themselves. Mother took up two jobs to support dad’s meagre income. And my dad worked double shifts to allow mother respite. The loved each other a lot. Which was for them the only saving grace of their lives.
They died in a road accident. I often wonder if the same would happen to me. I get scared. People who die in road accidents have a violent death. I don’t want to die like this. I hope I die a peaceful death, I hope I find peace in death.
Ramya could not proceed any further.
to be contd. at How I wish I could read your mind right now-Part 9