4th July 2018
Plopping hurriedly myself on the driving seat, I thought of making a call to Sudha. As soon as I put my hand in the pocket, I realised my classy iPhone X was missing. I had left it at the Coffee shop. The Mumbai traffic and rain can play havoc with your plans. I swiped my card and bought another reasonable Smartphone for the emergency. I didn’t have much time to discuss over the features.
In the waiting lounge of the airport, I dialled 673212024 to call Sudha.
Before I could hear a “hello”, giddiness overpowered me. Everything around me started spinning at the speed of a rocket. Within a few seconds, everything stabilized. I was in the living room. Sudha appeared oblivious of me as if I was non-existent.
“Sudha, how come I am back?”
A little girl, almost six years old came running towards Sudha. She approached near me and passed straight through me in her arms.
I felt as if I existed in the form of thin air. I looked around. The home appeared the same. My eyes fell on the diary kept on the coffee table. The cover read the Year 2024. Last four digits of Sudha’s number.
“Did I time travel?”
“Mommy, will you help me with the elocution? I am nervous.”
“Yes, Pihu. I am always there for you.” With moist eyes, she looked at the wall behind me.
I turned around.
There, my picture hung, with a garland around it.
The handset started ringing in my pocket. With the trembling hand, I picked up the call. There was a blackout. Within seconds I found myself back in the chair of waiting lounge. I was sweating profusely. Was that a dream? The handset was still in my palm’s grip.
I dropped everything at that instant and rushed towards home.
“Rajat…How come you are back? Did you miss the flight?” Sudha was surprised.
“No. I thought we should go for a small vacation instead. Work can wait a while.”
She hugged me tightly.
She showed me those two pink lines.
“We are pregnant Rajat.” She was blushing.
We were in a warm embrace. The coffee in the rains, a long drive, and her chirpy chatter. I felt a peace inside me. There were no phone calls to disturb us as it was the day I lost my phone and found back my life again.
At night, while tucking Sudha in bed, I planted a kiss on her forehead.
“Sudha promise me, you are going to take care of yourself and our child…always.”
“Of course baby!”
“Even if I am not there…like forever…”
As she slept like a baby I turned on the TV to watch the news.
“Flight bound for Amsterdam from Mumbai crashed in Air. No survivors.” The breaking news flashed.
My face turned white. I looked around for the new handset. It was nowhere to be found. I lost my phone once again or was that more than a phone…an extended lifeline?