A VIRTUAL BLESSING IN DISGUISE

Isha returned back home after a tiring day at work. Day long client meetings have kept her busy all day. After a long time, she logged into Facebook. There was a message “Hi Isha, I have come across your website today, glad to have crossed by your site. Pretty impressed by your ideology” – Kartik

Isha sent a reply thanking him. Kartik and Isha soon became friends, they kept in touch over instant messaging app. They used to message each other whenever they get time during their work hours, and once they are back from work, Kartik used to ensure that he dedicates some time for Isha almost everyday. 

Isha who is a girl who doesn’t share much about herself to anyone, opened her book of life to him. She had no hesitation because she could trust him. Kartik also respects her for what she is. He has put maximum efforts to understand Isha, her interests, her likes, hobbies, part time activities. 

Isha started to feel happier with every day that passed by, her once dull and boring life has now become interesting. She used to eagerly wait for Kartik’s messages. Kartik never gave Isha a single chance to be disappointed, starting with a good morning wish everyday, he took care of her feelings, her worries in her personal life, stress at work. Isha couldn’t believe how life has changed with arrival of Kartik into her life. She now has a person to talk, she knows the value of having one such acquaintance. 

Kartik became parent of a dog. Isha had the chance to name the dog, she spent hours searching for a nice name. She named the dog Buddy. Kartik used to share many pictures of Buddy with Isha, she used to feel delighted. Her happiness could not be expressed in words. Kartik came in as an angel for her, she respected Kartik all the more… Kartik filled her otherwise lonely life with joyful moments.

It has been more than an year they were chatting, she doesn’t know how Kartik even looks. This hasn’t bothered Isha but she preferred associating Kartik to a face, an identity. She wanted to meet him. Kartik was reluctant to meet her so soon. He even expressed the same to her, Isha was definitely surprised by this.

They continued to talk the same way as earlier, Isha never brought up the topic of meeting him thereafter. After a few months, one day Kartik asked Isha if they could meet. Isha agreed as she was eager to meet him. They made a plan for weekend to meet at a cafe. As in movies, Isha told him what color dress she would wear, Kartik replied “ROFL” . She innocently asked him, “How will I recognise you?“, “Now that I know what you would wear, I will search for you at the cafe …” was his reply. 

Isha reached the cafe well before time, seated at a table, curiously looking at every person entering the cafe. She noticed that her cousin Nandan came to the same cafe. She greeted him, Nandan took the seat opposite her. They talked for sometime, Isha is now concerned that it’s time for Kartik to come, she should tell Nandan that she has to meet a friend. Nandan was continuously talking, Isha couldn’t break the conversation in-between. Nandan asked Isha, “Are you ok? You look tensed”. Isha told him she came to meet a friend…

Nandan has put his hand forward as if he wanted a handshake, when they were shaking hands, he said in an introductory fashion “Kartik…”. Isha was surprised to listen to the name, then she realised his name is Kartik Nandan. “Was it you who chatted with me everyday ?”, he nodded in acceptance. She was confused, couldn’t find words to talk … 

I am sorry Isha. It was me. You may be thinking why I did all this ? Let me explain“, after a pause he continued, “It is one thing to be there for you when in need and all together different thing to make you feel that you are cared. I am sure there would have been many people who would have told you to reach out to them if you needed help, it is courtesy to offer help when one is in need, they care, they really do. But, I know it is very unlikely for you to reach out to them…

If I would have told you that you can talk to me whenever you feel like talking, would you have opened up the way you did with ‘Kartik’? May be not. After Rajiv (Isha’s husband) passed away, you became very lonely. I can understand how it feels when you lose someone who was everything till yesterday and today you don’t have anyone to look up to. There are family and friends but the emptiness cannot be filled so easily. On the back of your mind, you may also feel that they are sympathising even if they haven’t intended to be so, not your fault just the time is so…

Isha felt very emotional, she couldn’t help but cry. After a few minutes, she composed herself, “You are right Nandan. Every word you uttered is true, but not everyone understands the feelings of another. Who would care for a lonely person? Actually loneliness goes totally unnoticed at times. People would force me to be happy. I have work, hobbies, many other things that keep me occupied all day long, but at the end of the day and early morning I feel very lonely. It used to frustrate me so much to not have anyone who I can talk to, but could not express this concern to anyone. 

How would I ask anyone that I want someone to talk to. Nothing important, but a casual conversation also has become rarest of rare. Communication, which is basic need of human being is so tough to have, I have never known this. It is very tough to manage everyday. I find myself ‘odd man out’ when my colleagues converse at lunch table. Once one of my colleague asked me why is that I don’t have any complaints / concerns  about anyone, when all others share so much about their families. There is nothing to share, so I am just a passive listener… It hurts so much…

I am very happy to know that you understand those feelings which are unexpressed, can read the innate need of another with ease. God bless you Nandan. Thank you !!”

“Isha, saying this you cannot escape from me, I would continue to be Kartik for you, I would continue to talk the same way as earlier. Now, we can even talk not only chat.. I will look forward to meet you soon…” said Kartik. Isha felt very relieved and happy to know how blessed she is. 

They continued for many years happily sharing their feelings, fighting like kids, being each other’s support.