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SPARKLES

Mun received the dreaded text – He is gone. Since then she hasn’t been out of her bed. Her entire being is nothing more than a grieving heart. A nothingness has enveloped her sparkle.
Six years back, one evening, over the dinner he said “Sparkles, I will be moving to Kovallam. I hope to find some inner peace. Don’t want to live a big city life anymore. I am hoping this will give me a fresh direction.” A stunned Mun hiding her displeasure said “You just adopted a new baby…and now a move?” Sai responded “Yes, it’s for the baby too. She will have a better life and hopefully a better set of parents that way”. Mun fumbled and then said “What about your work…also her work?” with added weight on the word ‘her’. She never could get herself to name her. Sai responded “We will work from home. It’s all planned” The word ‘we’ in such situations always made Mun cringe inside. She had emptily looked at Sai, confounded with the knowledge that Sai’s fresh direction was somewhere else and not with her. This awareness clearly said there is nothing she could possibly tell him that would make him change his mind. She kept eerily silent.
Sai moved out of the city. Mun endured the change of course but with time she turned less confident about her place in Sai’s life and became less vocal about her emotional state. Thereafter their conversations reduced and so did Sai’s visits to see her. Her heart started to fill with remorse of having loved him. Whenever they met, there were more costs than gains.
At one of their sporadic meetings, Sai shared with Mun “I have been diagnosed with ALS, Mun”. “What’s that?” Mun asked wearily trying to deduce what his latest announcement meant for her. Sai described with futility flooding his eyes “The disease for which they ran that ice bucket challenge!” Mun’s eyes widened. She just watched Sai thinking to her self – unlike Sai’s earlier decisions, this would not be a change of course. This one looks like a tsunami which would wipe away a lot.
As Sai’s health depreciated, Mun kept a regular check on him. It wasn’t anything close to the passionate, jealous, vying kind of love she had for Sai so far. This was the shade she hadn’t experienced before. She discovered the lover within her who wanted to give all that she had, unconditionally, continually and live each day like a lifetime. The day Sai was put on a wheel-chair, Mun couldn’t bear to stay away and flew to him. She was welcomed by Sai’s family, including his wife. Sai’s wife, who Mun could never share her joys with, had now become her flanking partner of common pain.
Last Mun saw Sai was when he was finally moved to the ICU. The sight of his frail body coiled in a bed, breathing with the help of a ventilator, his head dropped on one side, eyes looking at Mun vacantly told her – he is nearing the end. She walked up to his bed and sat next to him. He looked in her direction and spoke with a smile despite the tubes snaking up on his face “Sparkles, I love you. I always did” Her eyes welled up and Sai managed to blow a kiss at her.
All the joy, beauty and passion couldn’t do to her relationship with him, what the awakening from this despicable disease could. Only if Sai could get better and lived more, the learnings from last months could come handy.
If we lived like we are going to die tomorrow, we would have done so many things differently.
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