Thirty-five days. A presence. A house that so quickly turned into home. Nights that were no longer lonely. Mornings that were filled with conversations. Days that were blissful. Memories galore. Happiness that knew no bounds. And then they left.
An agonizing night followed. A painful week awaits. The room smells of them, the kitchen smells of her excessive use of 'panch foron', the bathroom smells of his body-oil and my eyes swell with tears.
Jena is never going to be the same anymore. I hear voices when I get up in the morning, expect a cup of coffee beside my bed-side table, that oh-so-familiar-female-voice asking what I would like to have for breakfast, to switch onto a Bengali channel on YouTube, or that I should start eating properly; that oh-so-familiar-male-voice asking me to work harder and waste less time, to help connect the long-distance calls or the borrowed TV. Every thing reminds me of them. The air-bed, the utensils, the refrigerator which still has left-overs from yesterday, the towels in the bathroom, the balcony, the perfectly-cleaned wardrobe, the stack of medicines, the ear-buds, the TV, the supermarkets, the ticket machine in the bus, city-center, the narrow lanes, the innumerable shops that were browsed through, cafes and what not. I search for familiar faces in the crowd at the market-place when I take the bus. I almost ring the bell at home and await a smiling face on the other side. I turn on one side in bed and try to cuddle her. I put on the ear-buds to get respite from his loud snoring. But there's nothing, only emptiness. That's how I feel too.
Being left behind hurts, it hurts big time. I thought I was familiar with the feeling. But I realized that it is impossible to be familiarized with loneliness. I complained to anyone who would listen that I was being pampered like hell, even spoiled for that matter. I now wish I was spoiled for one more day, just one more day. I wish I could see them, touch them, smell them, be angry at them and bask in their happiness for one more day. Pangs! Pangs that refuse to leave me alone.
The only solace, is that I have been able to plan and more importantly execute a vacation for them. Nothing has given me more satisfation than to have shown them around, bits and pieces of Europe, suggesting the local cuisines and drinks, taking long walks and river-cruise rides, explaining extensive details about each place, and, living a dream with them. What more can one ask for.
I desperately try to get back to old routines, ignore the occassional lumps in the throat and do justice to the innumerable attempts made to cheer me up. I tell myself that it's just a matter of half a year until I see them again. Half a year, it seems like ages. I wait.