Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Remembering Nisha

Bahrain
21st May 2002

Dear Mr and Mrs. D’Souza,

This letter may come as a surprise to you and I hope you are not going to wonder who is writing this letter to you.

I used to be in school with your daughter, Nisha, and we were in the same class from Second Grade onwards to Twelfth Grade. Remember that pigtailed girl with big glasses who used to follow your daughter everywhere? That’s me but, thankfully, today I’ve given up on pigtails and huge glasses!

I lost touch with Nisha after my Second Year B.Sc, and was extremely delighted when I got hold of your address from Mrs. Rodriques, our former class teacher in VIIIth Grade. She had no other information to give except the address, and I was hoping that by contacting you I would be able to get in touch with Nisha and re-connect with her.

I am planning to visit India next month for some work and would love to meet Nisha while I am in the country. Could you please send me her address as soon as possible so I can plan my trip?

Thank you very much.

Regards,
Sunita Chacko

PS. My email address is sunita65@yahow.com or twochackos@yahow.com

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Bahrain
3rd June 2002

Dear Mr and Mrs. D’Souza,

I haven’t heard from you and was wondering if you received my mail.

I’ll be flying down to India on 21st June and will be mostly in Bangalore and Hyderabad before flying back to Bahrain on 5th July. I should be able to find time to meet her around 1st July and could possibly take the flight back home from whichever city she is in.

I am already so excited to be able to meet Nisha again.

Regards,
Sunita

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Bahrain
15th June 2002

Dear Mr and Mrs. D’Souza,

I’ll be flying in six days time and I haven’t received any letter from you. I am concerned. I hope I am not placing you in any inconvenience or have upset you in anyway. My husband Suresh suggested that I stay at the Panjim YWCA during the days I am visiting you and so a tentative booking has been made for my stay at the Y from 1st to 4th July. I’ll be flying back to Bahrain from Goa itself unless I get to know that Nisha stays in some other city. In that case, I’ll have to change my plans accordingly.

My husband seems to be a little excited about Goan Sausages and Vindaloo, and said that he’ll be very cross with me if I don’t bring some with me. Do tell Nisha that she has to come with me when I go shopping for those sausages.

Regards,
Sunita

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Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko"
Subject: Missing you
To: "Sunita"

You are gone for almost a week now and it already feels like forever. Come back soon. I am missing you. It’s pretty boring out here. Anyway, how is your work going on? Were you able to get those certificates and your thesis from the Uni? Better kick some ass with those lazy babus or nothing will happen. But try and be soft on them or they’ll suffer a breakdown. J

By the way, the Mehras have invited me for dinner and I am not sure if I want to join them. Not keen on hearing another story about their Switzerland trip or their nephew working in the World Bank.

No letter from the D’Souzas yet… looks like you may have to go to Goa after all.

Talk soon.
Suresh

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Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2002
From: "Sunita"
Subject: Re: Missing you
To: "Suresh Chacko"

You finally wrote to me!!!

At the rate you were making those phone calls I was worried that we’ll be completely broke by the time I return. But now that you’ve confessed that you are missing me so badly and cant live without me… all is forgiven, my love, and you’ve just made a lonely woman very happy.

And please, please, please go to the Mehra’s house because at least, you’ll have something to laugh about and something to tell me later… in gory details, hopefully.

By the way, I forgot to tell you… when we were little girls, Nisha and I made a pledge that when we grew up and met the man of our lives we were going to meet at a beach and drink some coconut juice and shout “I love my coconut juicewala’ at the waves.

Just thought I should tell you that. :))

yours
Sun

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Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko"
Subject: Re: Re: Missing you
To: "Sunita"

I am impressed… but, hey, I’m so glad I wont be there on the beach when you two girls shout at the waves.

Still missing you.

Your coconut juice wala :-)

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Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2002
From: "Sunita"
Subject: Flying to Vasco
To: "Suresh Chacko"

I called up the Panjim YWCA and they confirmed my booking and said that I’ll be staying in Room 12-A. I managed to get my return ticket confirmed as well and write this down somewhere: Gulf Air GF 052. Departing India on 05 July and arriving in Bahrain same day (of course) at 1652… that’s ten minutes to 5 pm, ok.

So be there to give me a peck at 5 o’clock.

See you soon, my love

Yours
Sun

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Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko"
Subject: Re: Flying to Vasco
To: "Sunita"

No news from you. Where ARE you? I tried calling you but you weren’t answering.

Are you alright? I am very, very, worried… write soon.

Yours
Suresh

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Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Flying to Vasco
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

Please write soon or even give me a call… I am worried something must have happened to you. Planning to call the police or whoever.

Yours
Suresh

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Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Flying to Vasco
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Suresh, it was so good to hear your voice yesterday. I needed that. You don’t know how much it helped to cheer me up and lift my spirits. I know I didn’t make any sense when we talked but that’s because I was simply delirious to hear your voice and… totally and completely devastated by what’s happened over here. I feel shattered. How can I explain myself?

Love
Sun

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Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Flying to Vasco
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

I am only glad to know that you are safe. I was so worried about you and so relieved to finally hear your voice. But tell me, what is going on over there? If you find it difficult to speak about it on the phone, at least, write to me and tell me, please.

By the way, I’ll see if I can change your booking to 20th July. Is that ok?

Yours
Suresh

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Date: Sat, 03 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flying to Vasco
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Suresh, you don’t know how much I love you… you just lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. You are my man. You really are. My knight in shining armour.

I don’t know if 20th July is feasible but I’ll keep you informed. Possible for you to come down and meet me? Sorry if I sound so unreasonable because I know you have very few leave days left but I need you here. Keep calling me, ok. I need that, at least.

What’s going on over here? Uncle Francis is in coma and Aunty Phyllis is in wheel chair after a recent accident. And Nisha…? Oh Suresh, you won’t believe what has happened to her? She has been locked in an asylum for the past four years. She is completely… gone!!! She doesn’t recognize anybody but just walks about in a daze. And then, at other times, she stands on chairs or tables and starts talking gibberish. She was involved with someone and the bastard didn’t even tell her he was married.

The D’Souzas have nobody to help them. All their relatives have abandoned them and the only ones that do come have nothing to offer but sympathy. Aunty Phyllis is torn between Nisha and Uncle Francis… I feel so sorry for her because she wants to be at both places and yet she cannot.

Oh Suresh, Suresh… I just don’t know what to do.

Love
Sun

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Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flying to Vasco
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

I really don’t know what to say… or do. I know you need to be there but you can’t stay there forever… is there any other solution? Do you have to be there? Is there really no one else to help them out?

I am sorry if I sound very selfish but I’d like to see you back home soon.

Suresh

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Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Hello
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Oh Suresh, please don’t talk like that… you know I want to be with you, too. I really do. I need the assurance of your support more than anything else… especially now.

I don’t know if you’ll ever understand but I hope you do… for some reason, I really want to be here with these people. I feel it will be wrong if I just pack my bags and leave them to fend for themselves.

Nisha was the only real friend I had in school. If it wasn’t for her I would have suffered a nervous breakdown because I used to be bullied by everyone those days. My pigtails and glasses made me stand out like a complete cartoon and everyone used to tease me about it. Nisha stood by me, protected me and watched out for me… all that I am is because of her and for the support she gave me during those traumatic years.

If she wasn’t there at the time to instill in me some degree of self-confidence, then, I don’t know what I would have done or what would have become of my life. I really don’t know.

Now she is helpless and alone, and tell me, how can I abandon her? I owe her this much. The least I can do is to be there for her during her time of need the way she was to me. Suresh, she has no one, absolutely no one… at least, you and I, we have each other plus our family and friends… but she has no one.

Now I can return the debt I owe her… I can be the friend and sister to her the way she was to me. I hope you understand. Will you understand, please?

Love,
Sun

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Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Hello
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Suresh, I haven’t heard from you and you haven’t even called… I am really worried about us. I love you very much and I hope you know that. Please write to me soon or, at least, call me. Please.

Sun

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Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Hello
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

It was good to hear from you yesterday. I wish I could, somehow, change the situation and turn it into our favour but do realize the position I am in. At least, it’s good to know that we still have each other and that we love each other.

Sun

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Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Hello
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

I am beginning to learn how vulnerable human lives really are… I was with Nisha yesterday and it pained me to see how a once-vibrant girl was now an empty shell. I spoke with her about the things we used to do as children and she looked back at me as if she was staring into a void. I wanted to cry but I decided to control myself … and then, all of a sudden I told her, “I love my coconut juice-wala’ and she just stared back, didn’t even react. I had to leave the room immediately because I started crying uncontrollably and I haven’t stopped crying even now.

Sun

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Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Hello
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

You are a strong girl and I am sure you’ll be ok. I’ll call you soon.

Suresh

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Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Hello
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

I was waiting for your call on Thursday. Why didn’t you phone me? You know I needed to hear from you. Please speak to me soon. I can’t handle this silence. I can’t bear not to hear from you.

Love,
Sun

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Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Hello
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Darling, it was so good to hear from you the other day. I am so, so, so, so, so glad we had our talk.

It’s soooooo good that we were able to cry together on the phone and basically talk things out. It pained me so much to hear you cry. It really did, but, darling sweetheart, please REMEMBER one thing: I am not leaving you because I cannot imagine my life without you. You are my life. I told you that on the phone and I want to say that again and again over here. So please, darling, don’t ever allow such horrible thoughts to enter your head.

I feel very helpless at the moment… I want to come back to you and just forget about everything that’s going on over here. But if I do that, then… how will I ever live with my own conscience? I’d feel like that priest and levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan… I wont be able to respect myself if I just drop everything and go.

Love,
Sun

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Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hello
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

I wish I could say that I understand how you feel but I cannot… however, I know that you feel very strongly about this and – hard as it may be for me to accept – I trust your judgment. If this is important for you and something you need to do, then, I am with you in this and you can count on my support always.

The truth is… I really love you, Sunita, and even I cannot imagine my life without you.

Yours
Suresh

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Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Hi
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

It’s so good to hear from you and what a triple treat: phone call, email and now this good news about your promotion. Wish I was there to see Mrs. Mehra’s face when you tell them that you are now a VP. I am so proud of you and I know you should have got this a long time ago.

Some good news from Goa. I was with Nisha today and though she didn’t say a single word but I could sense she understood everything I was telling her. She just kept quiet and looked back and her eyes seemed to, you know, talk. I told her about you and your funny eating habits, how we met and how scared you were to meet my parents, told her about the Mehras, the Agarwals, the Menons, the Murphys, the Haleys and all our other dysfunctional family friends. And then I sang “I have a dream” because we were both crazy about Abba and… I thought I heard her hum back at me. I am not sure but I think I actually heard her make a humming sound. The doctors and nurses didn’t take me seriously but I swear I heard her hum.

By the way, can the new VP now make a trip to see his lonely little wife?

Love
Sun

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Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Hi
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

The VP would be able to meet his lonely little wife much more often now than when he was a manager… and he won’t stay in the Y with her :-)

You actually sang ‘I have a dream’? Are you sure Nisha wasn’t asking you to keep quiet?

Peace.

Yours
Suresh

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Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Re: Hi
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Suresh, you are a lucky man… you are so far away. J

Sun

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Date: Thu, 01 Aug 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Bad news
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

Aunty Phyllis had a heart attack this morning. Am afraid she didn’t survive. I don’t know what to do… am totally shattered and completely helpless. Visited Nisha to tell her the news but she looked back at me as if nothing happened. Have been crying a lot this past two-three hours.

Love
Sun

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Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: Re: Bad news
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

It was so good to hear from you yesterday… felt strong just by hearing your voice. You said you were coming down to see me. Are you sure you can do that? Will there be any problem at your work? Please don’t do anything impulsive, ok. You are the rational one.

Love
Sun

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Date: Sun, 04 Aug 2002
From: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com
Subject: News
To: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com

I have taken a decision and thought I should share it with you. I thought of sharing it with you over the phone but felt that I may not be able to articulate it properly and you’d most likely convince me to change my mind.

I have decided to resign and have already signed my papers. I’ll be here for another two months and then I’ll be able to join you in Goa. I just feel we need to be together at this point of time and for whatever it’s worth… we two can be parents to your friend Nisha.

The company has given me a good settlement and has also given me the option of joining the Goa branch if I so desire. I need to study that option and give them my answer in two weeks time.

I know you will tell me that I should not sacrifice my career and make emotional decisions but… I cannot bear to see you all by yourself carrying a load when I should be there to support you. You have meant so much to me and now in your hour of need I want to be there for you.

Please don’t even try and convince me to change my mind because I am not going to. Remember, you are not alone in this situation because I am there with you and will always be… till the day I die.

Love
Suresh

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Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002
From: "Sunita" sunita65@yahow.com
Subject: News
To: "Suresh Chacko" twochackos@yahow.com

I wont try and change your mind but I am speechless. I really don’t know what to say because all I can think of is… I am so glad I married a man like you. I really am.

I will be waiting for you here… and Nisha will be waiting to finally meet my coconut juicewala.

Love
Sun

1 comment:

monu said...

nice one :)

story presented in differnt way ... :)