LIFE UNDER THE SHADOWS
By Neel Anil Panicker
A shadow of his earlier self. That’s what Satwik had become.
That’s what Ashi had reduced him too.
That’s what everyone who knew him thought so___his parents, friends, office colleagues, even the college canteen guy, the one whose eponymously named Dhabha Papey’s was the place to go for, the port of call for for Xavarians whenever they were overcome with an urge for hot piping dosas stuffed with beef choppings.
Everyone except Satwik.
For he was in love, madly in love, even when it was a good six months since she had dumped him, left him high and dry, without even a backward glance.
“She is history’ advised one.
You deserve much better, affirmed another. It’s time to move, pleaded one more.
Moved on, they.
His friends, the ones he had known for almost all his two score years. Disappinted, dejected, even plain angry___they left him to his fate, unable to drill through the thick impenetrable stony walls that he had built around himself.
And so there he is___ A sad caricature of his earlier, bubbly bright self, a young man with great vigour and promise and blessed with a vision to chisel for himself a sterling life now reduced to tatters, a life so full of life and pulsating with the power and effervescence of youth now a mere skeletal apology, a sad truly regrettable existence if ever there was one.
Watching the sorry spectacle that their only child had been reduced to, the deeply saddened parents could only confide and comfort one another with the words, ‘Time is the best healer. Let’s have faith and believe in it’s recuperative powers.’