It is 3 AM and I cannot sleep. It has been four months. Your number is still on speed dial.
// kuch rishton ka namak hi doori hota hai
Na milna bhi bahut zaroori hota hai //
I backspace the long message I typed out for you. Another one to tell you about your absence. It was always easier falling asleep to your stories. I am beginning to forget your voice. I go back to the recordings on my phone at times. Guilty pleasure? Perhaps.
// Par ye mat kehna arey o pagle
Mujhe dekh na tu Mera naam na le //
You were packing your bag in anger. I tried to stop you. Crying and the other usuals failed to work. Exhausted, I fell to the ground and watched you gather your things. You were gone when I opened my eyes again. A text from an hour ago remained. "Take care. Don't contact."
// Baithi rehti hai ummedien, tere ghar ki dehlizon pe,
Jiski na parwaz khatam ho //
My phone glows up and I hope it is you.
"Data 90% used." I am binge-watching HIMYM. I still don't know why you liked it so much. A key to the house still lies under the doormat. I debated picking it up. Instead, I watch another episode.
// Tu baat kare ya na mujhse,
Mere jeene mei andaaz tera //
I continue to sleep on the left side of the bed. Several new rings of teacups are formed. I now know how liberating not using a coaster is. I often forget to put the other earphone into my ear. Sometimes on purpose. I started writing in your diary instead of my phone. Your poetry in it. Read but untouched.
// Shayad meri jaan ka sadqa
Maange teri juadai //
I boxed your leftovers. Dried up roses, letters, and A t-shirt. I smell it for the last time. A tear rolled over and soaked the fabric. With a shaking hand, I put it back. Taped the box and put it on your side of the cupboard.
// Kuch Rishton ka namak hi doori hota hai
Na milna bhi bahut zaroori hota hai//
I slept well tonight.