Ever tried deciphering the spell that weaves syllables to words and words to fragments of fiction? Imaginations pinned against or with each other to form stories. Stories that could have been true or wait in earnest to be true─ somewhere along the narrow path where reason halts and hope soars. Our friend Punam Relwani shares a short story about love, longing and that resounding laughter of reunions.
“True love isn’t something you find when you’re looking for it. It’s something that finds you when you need it the most.”
Riya was very young when her parents left her in a boarding school. She resented this action, and bred anger inside her heart for the parents who, according to her, ‘left her all alone in a school full of crazy kids’. She was a loner by nature. She liked her little nook at home, a small square high mattress arranged cozily beside her pet cat Licky’s little bed. Licky was discovered by Riya when she was 6 years old, and she decided to name it Licky, because the moment she took the cat in her lap, it started licking her palm. Riya and Licky became good friends, until Riya turned 10, when she was packed into a boarding school.
More than the separation of her parents, Riya was riled about being kept away from Licky. She tried and tried to convince her parents to let Licky stay with her, but they said the school did not allow it. So they pulled her away and put her into a car, and drove her to a boarding school. Riya’s days passed by, thinking and reminiscing about Licky. The way it licked her palm for the first time, the way it ran into her lap the moment she entered the main door after she was back from school, the way it drank its milk while Riya drank hers, the way it rested it’s head on Riya’s thigh, the way it cozied up in between Riya’s legs on the sofa, to find a comfortable custom bed, the way it mewed to her when it was sick, she remembered every little detail.
Riya missed Licky so much she almost went into depression. While otherwise a topper, Riya’s grades now slipped down a mere 50%. She refused to talk to anyone and hardly ate her food.
Vacation time, she was taken home, a skeleton. A skinny version of what she was. At home, she called out to Licky and ran to her, hugged and kissed her like the world’s gonna end. She now became happier, and played with Licky every minute of the day. When the vacations were over, she was taken back to hostel again. This time, it hurt her even more and she cried and wept every day, pining for Licky. Her teachers had to summon her parents and the issue was discussed.
Finally, her parents decided to lie to Riya, that Licky had died. They took Licky to another city and left it in a pet adoption home. Riya was told that Licky had died naturally. Riya refused to believe it, and she became very desolate. Slowly, she grew into a beautiful girl, albeit with the pain and memories of Licky in her heart.
When Riya was eighteen, she met her love. Rohan and Riya got engaged to get married. After the wedding, Rohan took Riya to his hometown, a small village in Haryana. As soon as Rohan opened the door to his farm house, a cat came running to him.
Surprisingly, it went straight to Riya, and licked her hand.
Yes, it was Licky.
Sometimes, one has to live with memories. But only the Almighty has the power to make those memories real again.