The Last Goodbye | Nupur Beyond the Panorama March 19, 2021

The Last Goodbye | Nupur

Does love have its own season or is love itself a season?

I don’t remember exactly when my heart became a battleground for survival and love became its only enemy. I don’t remember the last time I was happy with life striding in its own way. I don’t remember when someone actually recognized me for who I used to be. I don’t remember the time when I used to wait for the weekends to arrive; it’s probably the same day every day. I don’t remember the last time I expected the seasons to arrive with some exuberant reasons to remember about life and the last seasons.

These thoughts keep knocking on the door of my mind just like those uninvited guests and I can’t help but I listen to them and bid them goodbye only after a short period of their arrival. I don’t give my thoughts much energy. It is because they aren’t in my control just like my dearest husband. I should better start saying my dead husband. After all, it has been 10 years since I bid him my last goodbye. I talk to him at times, the conversations are much easier and comprehensible now and no one blames one another for not listening. It is like we are still in a long distance relationship where the distance is between the earth and the sky and the only meeting that takes place for us is in our dreams. But there also he does not talk much. He just smiles and asks me to “step-out” and I don’t understand where I should step-out exactly from.

Hours, days, months and seasons change but what about a despaired life?

I firmly believe that life listens to whatever we say. That is why I have stopped labeling anything as my favourite. I don’t keep favorites anymore. I’m afraid life can listen to me and can separate me again to what I refer to as ‘favorite’. I just admire what is left in the debris of my personal belongings. My salon is one such admiration that I own heartedly and that is probably the only thing that wakes me up these days. It is because when everything is sliding up and down in life; my salon is the only place which makes me forget all that runs inside my head for quite some time. Through the glass door of its entrance I’ve watched my life as a play beginning from happy, sad, and cold terms and finally to some of the loneliest days. But somehow I have managed to spray all of the changes which came towards my way and through them I managed to cut short the lengths which hold me back somehow. Slowly, I am learning to breathe what intends to make me happy ahead.

There are some days where you can feel certain specialness about each thing that you do. I never imagined the month ‘June’ to bring this certain specialness for me. There is a will to live in the air. There is a will to smile at the customers I meet. There is newness about the haircuts that my scissors and comb align so perfectly in my each customer’s hair. I search for answers whether it is the arrival of a new summer season or a new me.

The HAPPY season always arrives no matter which season and time of the year it is.

Summer used to be a sad month; breeding white flowers out of the garden and leading straight to white walls. But a little life that was buried somewhere in my past is back again somehow and the raw season is finally growing yellow flowers, ripe mangoes, new hopes and possible reasons which can make me smile again. Through the same glass door I see children playing, cars honking, neighbors screaming, street vendors sprinkling water on their fresh watermelons and a customer on the door. But wait, why is he not entering—

I open the door to adjust the door mat in order to confirm if he wishes to enter or not but he neither moves nor he enters. I can’t bear this sight so I call out- is there anything I can help you with? There is no response and no movement from the door. The man looks confused. He has a shabby appearance. There is a DFTBA written on his t-shirt and I can’t decipher from the distance its intended full form. His hair appears like a bush and he definitely needs a haircut. But the moment, I step towards his direction he stops a taxi and leaves.

The next day, while I was about to leave after attending my last customer I saw the same man from yesterday sitting and waiting for his turn to come. I look at him and without saying anything he owns the chair and does not even wait for my instructions to follow. I speak to him in my higher pitch- we are closing. He replies – at what time do you open? As soon as I adjust the curtains to reply at 8:00 pm I hear the rain dripping so I just ask him to wait.

He looks into the mirror and the moment I catch him looking at himself he starts looking down. I ask him about his requirements, if he wants a fade or taper or an undercut. To which he replies – just make them very short and very different from what they are now. So, I gave him a nice haircut which I normally give to all the confused customers but unlike them this confused customer was sitting with zero excitement and zero expectations at all. The moment I am done chopping his hair I ask him to look in the mirror. As he lifts his head up he looks at me, then in the mirror. Passing fingers through his hair he looks down and then again stares into the mirror. I ask him- do you like it? He looks at me and while looking again into the mirror he starts crying abruptly. Honestly, this situation never happened in my salon before and I was really scared after a really long period of time in my life.

I ask him the problem but he does not stop crying. Nor was he leaving so I offered him a glass of water to which he finally replies- thank you. I told him again-look I asked you before the cut but you didn’t mention anything so there is no way I can help you out now. I was about to give him a long list of suggestions about how he can overlook what I did to his hair but it was at that moment when he said- “she loved my previous hair”. I did not know what to reply so I chose not to speak anything.

The rain stopped and the crying of the man too. As he was leaving I asked him- “if she loved your hair why did you cut them?” To this he replied, “I don’t want my pain to last forever in order to keep a promise of forever”. He smiles and says thank you again while leaving. And that night, I “step-out” looking at the sky and smiling towards everything that I see. I don’t believe in coincidences but I do believe life conspires beautiful short meetings for us in order to make us listen to what we ourselves can never dare to speak.

There is a reason for each and every single change that takes place on this earth. Be it a small change centered to oneself or a seasonal change. As seasons change due to the tilt of the earth. Weather changes due to the wind and the storms. Days change due to the rotation of the Earth. And life— life changes the moment – WE LET GO and start trying to live for ourselves also. Perhaps that is why change is the only biggest constant and different seasons are the beautiful settings essential in order to embrace these changes of life.

The next morning, while waiting for a bus to arrive I look by my side and find a man besides me wearing the same t-shirt as that of the man I met in my salon. This time I read below DFTBA, it says- “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome”.

I whisper to myself that today is the day that I decide to “step-out” my heart. And I can’t help but smile while I wait to step inside the bus which has finally arrived.  

Written by Nupur

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