Saturday, December 13, 2008

The True Love...

That day she was waiting at the same place she had met him a few months ago.

She still vividly remembered the day she’d actually met him the first time, inspite of being aware of his presence, as she was sure he was of hers, for the better part of more than two years. Waiting there, sitting on those steps, as was a routine habit for her now for some time, the thoughts of these past few months slowly drifted into Aloya’s mind.

The first time they met, she’d been very hesitant. It was not her fault that time too, the past one year had been a torrid one for Aloya. It had taught her that trust was a mere formality that existed with the time bound stipulation of being broken ruthlessly. It had shown her things she had hoped were only meant for nightmares, which should have just been a part of wicked folklore. She had let herself drown in the ocean of love, giving it her all mentally and emotionally. It had all gone well for a few months, and then the effect of the love drug began to wear off. She desperately tried to hold on to the tattering mast as the sail of her love went into rough waters, but her fantasy world just fell apart one day when her love, her supposed true love, just dumped her feelings for a more pretty face. The ordeal left her mentally scarred and emotionally tarnished to the extent that she’d often start crying when loneliness struck her, and what remained in her head was the big question mark about what love actually was. Aloya had forgotten to smile, she’d forgotten to enjoy, and she’s forgotten to speak. It was as though the whole world had left her alone in the middle of nowhere, and there were just empty spaces all around. Love had taught her to be remorseful, to dislike everything, to mistrust everyone. She wondered if this was the love about which legends were made. Life felt like a sugar-coated poison to her. That day she was brooding over her past and was lost in her thoughts, when a sudden prod made her come back into the present, and she turned around to see Suleiman. She didn’t know how long he’d been there watching her cry, nor did she know how to react as he started the conversation. She could just start with a jittery hello, but as though Suleiman knew exactly what she was feeling, he tried to lighten up her mood by joking around. Though hesitant, she sat there and just listened to him that day, speaking rarely herself. In the next few days she surprised her own self by going to those steps at the same time everyday, and though still lost in her own thoughts, she would wait for Suleiman to come and take off her load by talking to her. It was in these few days that Aloya started talking again. She would talk about anything and everything, but still would not say a thing about herself, and Suleiman would not force her to either. As the meetings started growing into a routine habit, Aloya gradually revealed her story, the care and warmth in Suleiman’s eyes acting as the perfect fuel. He listened to everything she had to say very patiently, and made her realize things she was missing out. He made her realize how truthful and sincere she’d been in her relationship, how it was none of her fault that it did not work out. He would find a reason to make her smile all the time, which had been a dormant expression on her face for some time now.

Slowly and surely, life was coming back to Aloya. It was like the oxygen mask being put onto a patient’s face who’s struggling to breathe. Suleiman’s caring and understanding nature had overcome her wariness. It was a friendship she was starting to cherish. She started re-discovering who she actually was through their friendship, and of all hopes she’d ever had, the strongest one was that this friendship would go the distance. It took her a couple of months or maybe even more to come out of her slumber of moroseness to an extent that it hardly bothered her any more, because she’d got a much more beautiful friendship to look forward to.

Life was going on wonderfully for a change, when Aloya saw the glint of sadness in Suleiman’s eyes for the first time. It made her feel guilty, because surprisingly even to herself, she realized that she knew nothing about Suleiman, his past, or, his present, and had yet managed to bare her soul. When she asked about his life, Suleiman would recall all the happy moments in his life but would not give her a reason to believe that he was sad. Aloya thought that maybe he needed some time on his own, and did not pursue the matter for some time to come. In the coming time, the glint did not go, and yet the reasons would not come. This made Aloya more and more restless to uncover the truth behind his sadness. As she continued to ask him about his troubles more and more often, Suleiman started becoming impatient and gradually came to the point of ignoring her altogether.

 Aloya was starting to learn a new lesson in the difficult course called Life. She realized that it was not just necessary to get care to feel happy, it was also equally important to care for that person. She realized that no matter how hard she tried, Suleiman was not going to give her an opportunity to do this. It was as though he had deliberately bound himself within an invisible cloak. He was capable of making her smile from within the cloak, he could bind her with himself within the cloak when he needed to protect her, but when any concern about his own problems propped up, he would just tighten the cloak around himself and would not allow any room for anyone else. As time went on, Aloya would wait for Suleiman on these steps, where he taught her how to smile again, where he cared for her, and where he bound himself into the cloak so tightly that it seemed he’d prefer suffocating himself than letting out his problems. He started meeting her lesser and lesser, as though he were afraid that he would lose his cloak to those tender probing eyes of Aloya.

The turn of events bothered Aloya. It seemed to her that life had come a full circle. She had gone from being helpless, to being happy and joyful, to being helpless all over again.

She wanted to finish Suleiman’s fears like he had finished hers, she wanted to care for him like she had for nobody else, she wanted to show him how beautiful the world was within their friendship. She could just dream of doing these things because she realized that he did not desire any of it, and even if he did, he just could not get the strength to tell her his own troubles and ask for it. Aloya was returning to her days of sadness because she knew she had befriended a person who could give her all the care and happiness in the world, but would still leave her sad because he wouldn’t let her care for him. The glisten of sadness in Suleiman’s eye could well turn into the glimmer of a tear, and yet Aloya would not be able to help him out.

It depressed Aloya to be aware of the fact that she made him bind himself within the cloak by asking him about his troubles as though he thought of her as interfering in his life. Maybe, it was because he didn’t want to burden her and make her sad with his own troubles, but then isn’t friendship all about sharing yourself, happy or sad??

As she was waiting on those steps that fateful day, all these thoughts flooded Aloya’s mind. She hated herself from that moment onwards. She hated herself for turning a caring person into a cloaked statue, for trying to interfere in Suleiman’s life. She hated herself because she could not bring happiness into the life of the person who taught her to smile again, for making him even more miserable by asking him about his troubles again and again. If he was more happy being within the cloak all by himself, she had no right of compelling him to come out of it and hence, make him sadder.

She had no right of getting involved at all in his life, and was guilty of doing so.

She had no right of making him sad and depressed, in return for the care and happiness Suleiman had given to her. She had no right of desiring him so badly. She had no right of…loving him. Aloya realized she’d finally found out what love actually was. It was on those very steps itself, where Aloya had got a new lease of life once, that she now got the death of her most beautiful friendship to endure. Yet, she was sure the love would live on. It was ironical that as she got up to leave, the first drop of rain and her first tear hit her palm at the same instant.

Aloya never returned to those steps ever again.



Tushar said...

Wow amitej!.. Amazin.. Sent a shiver down my spine.. great work buddy..

Amitej Kalra said...

thanks bro, i hope to improve on this... :)

priyanka said...

hmmmmm..a poignant tale....everyone must have guessed who aloya is..wonder who all cud guess th identity of suleiman....