#Love Hurts


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Ria grew up believing what she saw in movies about Love! The hero would be a tender, star-struck lover who took care of every mood of his beloved. The heroine would have a bed of roses kind of life with no sadness, no discomfort and no pain.

After all she only had movies to turn to, in order to understand love. Her parents, though very loving and caring, were the regular Indian parents who shied away from such subjects. She grew up believing in fairy tales, princes, Shahrukh style romance and belonged to the DDLJ generation.

No one ever told her that this was love. No one ever told her that love was heart wrenching, could wring her heart out, could make her completely vulnerable to being hurt. No one ever told her that she would still feel that it was worth it.

Ria met Sameer five years back in a typical Bollywood style. She was travelling back to Mumbai after her annual vacation to her hometown, Delhi. They got into a conversation in the train and both didn’t realise how the journey ended. They decided to keep in touch even in Mumbai,

They meet regularly over coffee, movies and dinners. Soon, love blossomed between them. However, they didn’t take the conventional route of friendship, love and marriage. Ria, being the hopeless romantic, did want to get married to him, but was willing to wait and was in no special hurry. After all, they were together and that was all that mattered.

They decided to move in with each other. There was opposition from both sides of the family. But they couldn’t stop them, after all they were independent individuals. Ria saw her fairytale life coming true. Sameer was the perfect man of her dreams that she had seen in Bollywood movies. He loved her, pampered her like a princess, yet she never felt like she was being dominated or treated like a fragile doll. They had a relationship of equality. Sometimes, he would surprise her with breakfast in bed and she would surprise him with a candlelight dinner when he came back from work.

It was not that they never had fights. But they would calm down very soon and sort things out rationally. Life continued like this and they had now been living together for two years. Ria expected him to pop the question anytime now. Maybe, he was planning a surprise proposal for her on her birthday which was two weeks away.

Ria couldn’t hide her excitement. He had been hinting at formalizing their relationship since a few weeks and what could be a better day than her birthday. On her birthday, he kissed and wished her and both left for work as usual. There are no hints or any let-ons about a surprise birthday party for her. She is tingling with excitement all day long. He doesn’t call her or message her the entire day.

Ria starts to feel a little disappointed, but then consoles herself that he must have an exceptional surprise planned for her. He had a meeting in town today. Maybe, he got busy and was not able to speak to her. She left for home at 6 p.m. She had had a busy day too with constant client meetings on call. Internet access was limited to only office mail at her workplace. No Facebook, no personal e-mails.

Her client was from Chennai. She was busy in talks with them the entire day. Hence, she didn’t have a chance to speak to any of her colleagues and friends at work. She wrapped up her work and left office in a hurry, all excited for the evening. She was surprised at no calls from Sameer. She tried his number and it was unreachable.

She didn’t think much of it. Maybe he had switched off his phone if he was still in the meeting. She tried to recollect where his meeting was. She reached home, ordered for a special dinner and got dressed for this special evening. It was already nine p.m with no news of Sameer.

To while away time, she switched on the TV and then her whole world collapsed around her. It was 26th November 2008.

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What Makes You Think We Are Rich?

What makes you think we are rich? She asked him while looking around their humble hut with straw for beds, a hole with wood in it to cook their food in, she looked at their children wearing old hand-me-downs, she looked at her simple saree. She saw his shirt and the pants that looked so old. She looked at the simple food of rotis and onions that they ate. Once again she asked”, What makes you think we are rich?”

      He thought about this for a long time. He knew that this was not a frivolously asked question. He turned to her. When I see that we have a roof over our head which covers a home full of love and laughter, I feel we are rich. When I look at you and see the light shining in your eyes, I know that I have not failed as a husband and I feel we are rich. When I see our children getting a good education and growing up into talented people with values to be proud of, I feel rich. When I see that simple though our meals are, we never go to sleep hungry, I feel rich. Old though our clothes are, we have dignity and protection for our bodies and I feel rich. When I see rich people’s houses filled with all the comforts and family members at war with each other, our love filled home makes me feel rich.

       When I see my strong and healthy self who is capable of earning for his family, when I see you who nurtures me and our children with her love and care, I feel rich. We are rich in the things that truly matter and that makes me feel rich.

     When she looked at her world through his eyes, her humble hut suddenly became a palace in her eyes and she felt truly rich too.

Another Sleepless Night

 

It was another sleepless night for Amita. This happened so frequently that she was trying to remember when she had slept well last. It had been almost two years since she had thrown Ravi out of her life. Why did he still her haunt her mind and dreams then? Hadn’t she resolved to put it all behind her and move ahead to a definitely better future?

       She went back to the day when she had to take this decision. She could have done anything to change it but could not. They had loved each other so much that spending the rest of their lives together was an unsaid promise to each other. And one day he said it to her – he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.  She was on Cloud Nine would be a very tame description of her happiness. But, she also knew there was a very thorny path ahead for them.

     Both of them were very attached to their parents and wanted this union to happen with the smiling faces of both parents’ on the day of the wedding. Unfortunately, they lived in a society with very fixed views on marriage, eligibility of a girl or a boy, caste, gotra and the list goes on. Love was of little or no importance. Their hurdle – the age difference between them with her being older than him. But she had confidence in his love for her. He couldn’t live without her and he had himself said his parents would agree eventually.

    But all beautiful dreams come to an end, so did this one. His parents couldn’t be convinced – come what may. He couldn’t separate from her too. She saw their relationship becoming a nightmare with him being pulled in two directions. She now knew the relationship was on its way to death. Before the nightmare intensified, she had to strengthen herself and take the tough step. She did it. She severed all ties with him – changed her phone number, blocked him everywhere and said goodbye to him in her heart. She let him think she was callous and selfish, whatever it may take to make him forget her.

    While she was remembering all this, the sun’s rays touched her face. She got up from her bed and readied herself for work. She prepared herself, yet dreaded the prospect of one more sleepless night spent in fighting the demons called memories……….

Separation

No matter how much you love someone,
If they don’t want to be or can’t be in your life anymore,
You have two options,
Let them go and wait for their return
Or accept the fact that you were destined to be together no more.

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Just Another Day!

It was just like any other day. Amol set off for work. But today, he was in a very bad mood. All the things that were going wrong in his life were crowding his mind. He wanted to run away from all of it to a place where he could have a peaceful and happy existence. Nothing in his life was going right. He had been struggling for years to rise up the corporate ladder with no success. It was not lack of talent or dedication that caused his downfall. Amol was a very shy and unassuming person who did not know how to put himself forward and demand what he felt was his right.

       His personal life was also in shambles. The woman Amol had loved for two years had broken up with him two months back. His only fault – he was from a different religion and an orphan with no knowledge of his family background. He tried his best to win Jenny’s parents over. When that failed, he tried to convince her to not leave him. But she was adamant on not going against her parents. He felt that he had reached a dead end in his personal and professional life.

     In this mood, Amol was on the way to work. He reached office and had no enthusiasm to work. He went about his mundane tasks of the day and left for home at about 5:45 p.m. He took his normal 6 p.m train and greeted his fellow commuters who travelled in the same train with him and settled down in the first class compartment. His gaze was outside, looking at the tracks, wondering where his life was going. He saw no way to get himself out of the rut that he had fallen into.

     The train was reaching Bandra and he went and stood at the door. He was lost in thoughts. Suddenly, he heard a loud sound and felt himself being thrown out of the train. He landed on the ground with just minor injuries. But he was shocked to see the situation around him. There were bodies strewn around him everywhere. He got to his feet with great difficulty and helped carry the bodies and injured people to the ambulances. After that, he was roaming around in shock. He felt a soft hand grasp his out of nowhere and a voice said,” Relax, it is ok.” The hand guided him to the nearest ambulance and then vanished. He was taken to a hospital for treating the injuries.

     While in the hospital bed, his whole life flashed in front of him. He realized how precious life is and how it can be snatched from you in a moment’s time. He decided to cherish every moment of his life and not spend even one moment cursing his fate or being depressed. He remembered his childhood days when he dreamt of a completely different life from what he was leading now. He remembered the paintings that he used to create and his dream of being a painter. Where had he forgotten his childhood passion? Was it in his hurry to make money that he forgot the true meaning of life? He wept tears of joy and sadness at the same time. Exhausted and tired with the trauma and emotion, he fell into a deep asleep.

       The moment he was out of the hospital, he resigned from his job and went back to his childhood dream of being a painter. His first painting that he created – a hand holding another hand and guiding it. Needless to say, he didn’t sell it. However, his first painting gained a lot of recognition and soon Amol became a famous painter. He never looked back, spent every day bringing happiness to other people and cherishing every moment of life to the fullest.

     What he got, he gave back to life by opening a home for orphans, teaching them, giving them a secure, happy and a love-filled environment and a secure future!

A Love Like No OTher

They met through a common friend, though not in person for the first time. Most appropriately in the world of Internet, they met on Facebook through the common friend. They started chatting regularly and became friends. The day that they first met in person, they felt like they had known each other forever, they understood each other so well.

Though it was not love at first sight, they did feel something blossoming between them. In two or three meetings, they realized they were in love with each other. Did they know that this was the beginning of a love so strong, so beautiful – the kind that people experience once in a lifetime? Probably not. Their names – Anu and Manu.

Anu was sweet, mature, patient and totally in love with him. Manu was passionate, volatile, moody but loved her to pieces. Two people who were as different as chalk from cheese, yet shared a lot of common interests and passions. She loved photography and so did he. Visiting new places, trying new cuisines were things that they both loved to do. He was a sailor who travelled for months at a stretch and she was firmly grounded in one place, though she did stretch her wings and fly to see new places. But she always came back to the city she called home. She gave him roots in a life which was mostly drifting. Where she was based is the place that became his home which he came to from his days spent sailing to different countries.

Though their love for each other was strong and unyielding, they did have their share of fights. When Manu was away, Anu would miss him, want him with her and wait for him impatiently. They had misunderstandings, insecurities and fights when they were away from each other for long periods of time. Yet, when they would be together again, it would be like they had never been apart and all the difficult times would be forgotten. They were the perfect friends and soulmates. He never went out of his way to bring her flowers, chocolates or gifts. But whenever she was with him, she felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. He made her life special with the small little gestures which were touching and full of love. His months of staying isolated on ship had turned him into a serious and sometimes withdrawn person who took life too seriously at times. She always made him laugh and taught him the important lesson of not taking life too seriously and living life to the fullest. Though she was fun-loving and lived life one day at a time, she was not shallow. Still, his presence added depth to her personality and added meaning to her life. He taught her to recognize the vast reserves of potential and talent inside her. He was the first person to recognize the writer inside her and kept pestering her to write. They completed and complimented each other.

You would think nothing could keep this beautiful couple apart who were meant to be together forever. But, they faced a seemingly insurmountable mindset. She was ten years older than he was. In today’s progressive’s times, there are instances of marriages where the woman is older than the man. Still, they knew they faced a tough time ahead.

He loved her, saw his soulmate in her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. She couldn’t imagine life with anyone else. She stood strong, slowly and surely brought her folks around to agree to their love. But, try hard though he did, he could not convince his parents to agree to the woman he loved. His parents were not bad people. In fact, she had met his mother once and found her a very kind and a caring lady. However, here she was a mother fighting for what she thought was right for her son. It was impossible for them to give up on age old thinking and the conventional ideas of marriage. He loved his parents and wanted this union to happen with their consent.

He was in hometown, trying to convince his parents. She worried, fretted, discussed the situation with her close friends. They told her to wait and give him time. She was nervous, a little insecure because she was scared of losing him. Yet, she decided to stop worrying and be confident in the love of her man. She was sure his parents would eventually agree and he would come back to her. After all, hadn’t he promised her that when he returned, it would be with an engagement ring.

He did come back to her only to tell her that they had no choice but to separate as his parents were not accepting the relationship and he couldn’t go against them. She didn’t know how to react. This couldn’t be happening to her. She waited for him to turn around and tell her that this was a joke and he had come back to her and they would be together forever. That didn’t happen.

Was she hurt? That’s an understatement. Did she feel betrayed? Definitely. Did she feel bitterness and anger towards him? Yes, she did.

She tried to make him understand how badly he was letting her and parents down. He had assured her parents that he would convince his parents. He was a changed man. Maybe, his parents’ utter opposition to the relationship had unnerved him. He became cold as ice with her and told her harshly they had no choice. She wanted to kick him, scream at him, shake him till he came to his senses. But, one look into his cold eyes that had once held so much warmth for her and she knew it was of no use.

Anu was facing the toughest challenge of her life.  Though his eyes were cold, Manu’s mind was fighting a losing battle with his heart. In weak moments, she would find him melting. She loved him more than life and nothing was worse than seeing the man she loved turning weak, not able to stand by his love but not able to leave her too. She decided to harden herself and sever all ties with him. She had to break his heart to do that.  It took a lot of time to do that because he also trusted her completely. She broke his trust and hurt him in a way that she knew he would never forgive. Why did she do that? Because she believes love should be your strength, not your weakness.

Did he start hating her? Probably, yes. Anu knows that Manu and she can never be together again – too much water under the bridge. Anu just hopes that he will understand someday.