We had gone to University together, then drifted apart as mere acquaintances often do. A decade later, we found each other on Facebook, and spent a few days discovering what the other had become. I really don’t know what he made of the person I am, but to me, he was one half of a perfect couple. Two good-looking, much in love people, each doing very well professionally. The photographs he posted on Facebook were almost idyllic– a tall, dark, even if not quite handsome man and his pretty, chirpy, well-dressed wife enjoying each other’s company in the most idyllic holiday spots.
They brought in the New Year in Bali. Went to Italy a few weeks later Spring. Summer was spent in the chill of an Australian winter. Hong Kong was where they celebrated five years of married life. To someone who hasn’t been to the movie theater in nearly six years, their life was something almost out of the world.
“Tanu and I spent the weekend working out ‘What If’ scenarios”, he once wrote as his status message a few months back, “and in the best scenario, we still got together. Pretty good going that.” I used to be addicted to constructing ‘What If’ scenarios, but every time I indulged myself, I emerged as someone quite different. Oh that someone be so satisfied with life as to land up just where they are!
“Tanu has left me and gone to live with God”, he wrote on Facebook on Monday. I read it, but the implication didn’t register till an hour later. It was not a sudden whim that had carted his wife off to the feet of a Guru, she had really and truly left the world. There are hundreds of messages of condolence on his Facebook page, his wife continues to grin impishly from her profile picture. But the Golden Couple is no more.
I left my condolences with the rest of the wreathes. But really all I wanted to do was scream ‘why?’
Had she been suffering for long? Did both of them know her end was near? Did all that love come because they knew they had to live a lifetime in a few years?
Or was her death sudden? A Love Story brought abruptly to an end Eric Segal could have scripted?
“Counting the minutes till Tanu lands back in Bangkok”, he’d written about a month back. “Too many minutes!” At that time, it seemed almost impossibly romantic that someone think that after five years of marriage- had I encountered the line in a book, I would probably have sniggered. Now I wonder if that was just his anguish at having a few precious moments snatched away from him.