Thursday, 9 February 2012


I  feel dizzy and look a bit run-down as I have been lying on the same bed in a hospital for the past two weeks. There are more than ten beds. It is 11pm. Almost, all the sick are asleep, and some relatives of the patients are still keeping a vigil. I look around. Luckily, my most beloved mother isn't around. There is a preponderance of middle-class patients, some indigent are dressed in rags. Two nurses of my age are busy talking to their boyfriends over their cell phone in their partition. None of the patients approve of them and neither do I. They speak politely to those who are from high-class background. But there is one, who is completely different to others. Each of us is waiting for her who always comes at half past eleven at night.

It is Reena. She is an erudite, caring, talented, frank, pretty, eloquent, courteous girl and if I portray her as anything more, you will think I am crazy about her. In my bed I often do two things in the absence of her. I can either watch TV hung on the wall or read English newspapers and magazines. But if she is with me, I will look into her hazel eyes. I have been seeing them since I was admitted there and still have no idea what lies behind those innocent eyes. I never even had a hint what that pair of eyes was looking for. I didn't think their glances would cut through the heart and leave someone helpless and miserable.

A bouquet lying on the windowsill she gave me on Valentine's Day. I am delighted to see it if she is out of my sight. I know I will be discharged right after a week. A week is long enough to recover, yet it feels short to me. Sickness is not exactly a happy condition, but it's also true that it has given me a chance to feel double, redeem sense of loneliness. My face lit up with joy and I was recovering faster on account of her love and affection. She was angelic and charismatic. Our relationship was blossoming though she was three years my junior. Spending time with her gave me a heavenly bliss. So I don't want to lose her. I was hooked to her as fish to a bait.
I am looking outside through the window. I have never looked outside before. Tall trees, plants and beautiful flowers are hung with snow. Trees are standing bare. The horizons appear as a blur in the frost. I want to bask in the sunlight. But there is no sunlight. 

When I was admitted into the hospital, no one was beside me. A nurse came to me and felt my pulse. I fell in love at first sight. After some whiles she placed a thermometer in my armpit. "Don't get worried. Everything will go okay. Your wife is not taking care of you?" she said. "I am married without a wife "unmarried", I retorted.”If so, miss the coy smile of your girlfriend", she recommended. "Hmmm! Okay, then look into my eyes and feel good."

Now, I am used to looking into her eyes. If she is out of my sight, it pains a lot. I wish Subhash were with me, I would introduce him to her. Subhas, my best friend and colleague always inspires me, would be happy to see her. I dial his no. and press "call". But it is out of reach. Maybe his phone is switched off. Subhas and me shared hobbies for reading literary books, building an online blog, Writers' Diary and visiting different galleries. He is really a multi-talented and red-complexioned young man of around 26. 
"Bruce Lee", Friends say to him. Because he does everything with meticulous care in his profession. Besides, he was creative and decent. We had spent many chill nights teasing girls at the Basantapur square. We played a few football matches when I scored a goal on average in each match. 

One fine morning, I went to his house. It was holiday. There was nobody other than his brother. He told me to surf internet on their computer until Subhas came back. He typed passwords on computer. He carried on what he was doing before I went. I opened Subhas's Face Book account. We were so closed that we had swapped each other's passwords of the Face Book account. Suddenly, a message popped out, it was from a girl, Reenu. "My honey, what's up?" I pretended to be Subhas and answered, Fine n u my sweet heart?" "I really need to meet u at any cost. We r ruined", she sent. Again I typed, "What's the matter? R u okay?" She didn't reply for a few moments. I minimized the chatting box and was visiting other sites. Minutes passed but I was still stuck on Face Book reading comments. Then I shot a glance at a notification at the bottom of the screen. I clicked on to the box. It was a melancholy text message and quite lengthy from Reenu.
. The text read: "My menstruation didn't start; I was scared of pregnancy, so I went to a clinic with my friend for check-up. The doctor phoned me up yesterday. I went to the clinic. The doctor told me I am HIV positive and so are you."

The word "HIV" really struck terror into my heart. On knowing Subhas's relationship with Reenu, my fingers could not press the keyboard. My mind went blank. I was overwhelmed. I forgot where I was, felt little dizzy. Someone knocked on the door. The knock disturbed me. It was Subhas's brother who had brought a packet of biscuits and a cup of hot tea. He went leaving the door ajar. 
No sooner had I taken two sips of tea than an idea struck my mind. I started scanning his room for his diary. I found it and went through it. If found a page with a patch of glue. Perhaps Reenu's photo was unstuck. Below the mark, there was a poem entitled "My Reenu" read:

Nobody loves you,
Nobody likes you,
Because I am Nobody. 

By Subhas

This gave me an insight into their affairs. “Bhai, bhai!..........Where are you?”, I heard Subhas’s coming from the gate. I threw his diary to where it was taken from pretending to be reading a book. Afterwards, I asked him to show his diary. He gave me his diary. I asked him to write articles to be creative. After having a delicious lunch with his family, that unpleasant chat tore me away from his house. There is a blend of shock and terror. I try to sleep but cannot. I can hear the echo of my breathing. I hear a sonorous voice through the dead silence of the city at night. I looked up at the firmament. The moon is looking me in the eyes. Her presence gives a relief to the city as we are living the dark life. I have a general sense of outrage at the power cut. This is the fate of the country, which is known as the second richest country in the water resources and has the very high potentiality in hydroelectricity. Ooh! I need to charge my laptop.

It started to rain, I felt thoroughly chilled. I came into the room. I am living alone. The light of thunder and lightning hits my ears constantly. Needle of the clock is striking one…two…three…. In fact, I am thrown into chaos. Only Subhas springs to my mind. If he is unmarried, how can he be screened HIV positive? How can he do such immoral act, who hates even seeing pornographic movies and pictures? Or Reenu could have addressed someone else, not my Subu (I used to call him by this name). But why did Subhas compose a poem entitled “My Reenu”? 

I am lost in deep thoughts. Suddenly, light comes. I hastily charge my laptop. In a few minutes, I log on to Facebook. My Face Book account is open. I type her name in the “SEARCH “box. Oh! How slow net is. Her photo is being loaded on the left of the screen. The photo is very blurred. I am zooming in her photo. Now, it is larger. To my surprise, it is none other than the NURSE, Reena, who I love more than myself. I fall asleep. I don’t remember anything. It is a reality or a dream? My mother comes with a cup of hot water. It is time for taking medicine. She asks me placing her warm and soft palm on my forehead, “How are you feeling?” Day is just breaking. Feeling bored, I ask my mom to turn on TV. On a Nepali channel, exclusive news is being broadcast live from the bank of a river about the suicide of a couple. “Oh! My God.” I shouted. My heart is palpitating due to shock. How it can happen. They are my dear ones Subu and Reena. 

They committed suicide together by jumping off the bridge one hour ago. It is really repellent. The police are in process of taking the deceased for autospy. A news reporter was reporting. 

I happen to catch sight of the Valentine’s gift, bouquet. I find a red greeting card in it. I unfold it and read a note.

“I love you very much. I am already engaged with someone. The bouquet that I gave you is a keepsake of our relationship which will remind you of our unforgettable time that we spent together. It is a law of Nature. We have to act as our God directs us. I urge God why he didn’t send you earlier to my life. Next life is yours. I miss you a lot. Please forget me as a pleasurable dream. I must love him. Bye, take care. Reena
I wish to rush to the grief-stricken spot but cannot. 

This is a fiction. All the names, settings and events are fictitious. In case it bears some resemblances to someone’s complete or partial life, it will be no other than a coincidence.

Amar Limbu

The Chief Editor of Writers’ Diary

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