I walked in to the tea room in a green tee and a torn pair of jeans, a guy dressed in a business suit got up and greeted me.
He had a book in his hand, Roots by Alex Haley.
Surprised and happy, I blurted out loudly – You read Haley?!
He lowered his eyes and neatly placed the book on the table, looked up at me and said – I don’t read at all, sadly.
I was just trying to find out why you like and talk about this book so blatantly
I didn’t really know what to say because no one dared or even cared to ask me to reason, up until that point in life.
Perplexed, settled in!
We sat down and he ordered tea
Not one or two but 10 cups of different teas
I thought he’s mad but he had heard from his mother that I was a blue blood tea addict
Keeping up with my pace and fondness for tea
Max drank 7 cups hesitantly
I was a bit shocked at his tea drinking spell
I knew he would feel very unwell
But I guess what I didn’t understand then
Was that he drank to just be with me; this saga continued ever since!
As it was time to go home, he got up and hugged me
And as I was about to leave
He asked if he could come along!
I said he could but he was too formally dressed
He looked at himself and then me and said
I don’t have torn jeans, I could tear them if you want
I laughed and said yeah why not, if you are that desperate to be with me
That’s how we go ahead, cutting jeans irrespective of your desires
I was going to meet my friend Emma and I took Max along
I got them introduced and left
When I got back the next day, I realised he was seduced
I couldn’t stop laughing because I knew he was insane
All I wanted to know if he had any plans in his heart and mind to be vain
His seductions stories, well, let’s not go there, but just for the record, I know them all
Hang on! Let me confess, they weren’t happy at all.
Max’s seduction was high on emotions that ran deep in another human’s mind
He worked with empathy and left very little onto the divine
He knew that if he left Emma, she would commit suicide
Probably it would have been alright then because that’s exactly how their life unfolded in time.
From a business suit to a torn jeans,
I even got him into eating greens
His mother and my friend, Meera, would always thank me
For turning her son into a human that she had failed at miserably
Max taught me how to drive a limousine
And when I had my first accident he paid my hospital bills smilingly
Everyone has a best man at their wedding
For him, I had to dress up in a suit and speak at his
He even taught me how to play football
He was the one, let me confess, who broke my knee because he kicked me hard
It might sound disgusting if I say
Max used to wet my tees every other day
I wish his tears never dried away
I wish I understood at that time his inherent need to hug me and cry at random sways
Life moved on and so did we
We ended up having 6 individuals between us, you see
Not because he was unfaithful or disrespecting towards my friend, Emma
But because he was loving and caring beyond earthly means
Kiya and Buno are amazing souls, I am sure you all can see
They have been Max’s lifeline through his darkest days, I am sure all of you would agree
Our little rendezvous still occurred at regular intervals and at odd hours
At times people have seen me sleeping me in his office while he was stuck being self sour
Rumours have done the rounds that me and him were having a thing!
Of course we were right from the day we exchanged rings
Max and I bought out first diamond together
The truth is, he bought his and I paid for mine, irrespective of the hour
We have never helped each other financially and neither have we paid each other’s bills
We have rather held each other close, tightly beyond gods will
Did I know that Max was unwell and did he know that I was too?
Yes. We did.
I have been with Max to his doctors and he has been with me to mine.
We did hide the facts through time.
Not because we didn’t want anyone to know but because
Max didn’t want anyone to stress out of their mind
We have carefully piled each of our books, one on top of other
Because only we know how attachment works in this world
Beyond time, space, relations and hour
Now that Max is gone, I am all on my own
I have no friend and no longer do I know what it feels like to be owned.
If Max is listening, which I hope he is from somewhere up in the clouds,
He should smile rather than cry at my skills to keep our life story lyrical and just about intact.
To the rest of you who have seen us and been with us through years
I would like to reassure you that I am around
Like I have always been to cover up for Max’s long lost skills.
But tomorrow, when I leave this very ground
I want you to remember us, if you at all care, as friends who never breathed a word of mistrust.
This is, perhaps the only thing that made us so unique than everyone else we ever knew
We learnt trust and practiced it on each other as days grew.
As I step out of this room today, I want you to know in your hearts
Max and I loved each of you more than we have ever ever expressed
And of course, trust, that’s what I leave you with, as a part of Max’s human legacy
Your trust in him was as important to him as much as his own breath through his weak spleen.
As I come to the end of my allotted time to bore you,
I am going to leave you with one line that Max said to me from his death bed ..
‘I have lived my life, I didn’t just exist. I owe it to you and to everyone else’