Part I: Crux of Love
Arjun moved out from the AC cabin in the train and stood near the door. Fog formed on his aviator framed eye glasses due to the sudden change in temperature of the surroundings. He was smiling deeply engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't even notice the physical transition happening right in front of his very eyes.
The train was rushing at the rate of knots. The plastic covers thrown out from the trains, that passed by for decades, were trying to catch up with the train. Trees were left behind… People looked like ants and Arjun felt like, he was impersonating Flash.
Just then a familiar face standing beside winked at him. He responded with a smile and nothing else. She was the girl who sat in the opposite berth to his. Three years back, he would have at least tried to impress her but now his mind was just confined to occasional glances and smiles.
The girl started, "Hi... Hii.. I'm Diya. Who are you smiling at?”
“It's nothing. You won't understand it unless you experience love.”
“Oh! Come on... I've been there thrice...” She retorted.
Arjun smiled again and exclaimed, “I can understand the way you were in love and, to be frank, it isn't what you call love.”
She furiously asked, “Okay Mr, how long has it been since you've been in love?”
“Three years to be precise,” Arjun answered.
“OMG! That's like decades! How did you manage? My guy, the second one couldn't breathe for three days and broke up with me as I wasn't available to him during my college trip.”
“Wow! To be frank it is not tough to figure out how you've failed with the other two boys” Arjun retorted sarcastically.
His thoughts time travelled back to the day he met Her.
Her as in....
“What's your name?”, asked Arjun to a cute looking girl in blue dress fitting her in the best possible way.
“It's Aditya sir”, the girl replied in fear.
“What? Aditya? Interesting... Which branch are you in?”
“M.E. sir… and I'm in the same branch as you are in. I've seen you many times within the campus roaming.”
“Aha... so you've been following me keenly... Is that true?” Arjun asked.
“No girl would be foolish enough to accept that sir.”
“So.. Should I take it as a yes or.... ?”
“I leave it up to you sir... By the way sir, I'm running late to class. Can we do this later?” requested Aditya.
“Sure, Adi. That would be fine. Don't forget to send me a friend request.” Said Arjun.
“So, how many women have you been sleeping with? Ever since you left your girl in your hometown?” asked Diya.
“What? Oh! Come on... This thing called love isn't something for fun like a pleasure that people are currently enjoying. It's a promise and once promised we stay united for eternity.” Explained Arjun.
“Ahaa. Is it? What if your beloved girlfriend cheats on you?”, asked Diya sarcastically.
“It's not just a promise. It's trust upon your partner. You stay connected to them no matter what happens and you always stay faithful to the girl even if she cheats on you, which usually doesn't happen”
“Hey, What's your name? You're enlightening me with all your knowledge on romance and relationships.”
“Sir, your name please? It's the fifth meeting and you still haven't given me a chance to interact with you more”, a pleading Aditya was behind Arjun again.
“Don’t you think I am interacting with you in person? What else do you want?”, Arjun was still persistent to make her wait for him.
“I'll be sending you the friend request as you asked sir and we are gonna chat for hours just like everybody out there” Aditya assured.
“It's Arjun, I work in Pune and I am physically and mentally committed to Aditya who is not a guy as the name suggests”, puts his hand forward to symbolise the start of a new friendship.
“Seriously, your girl is soo lucky to have someone who's so cute, handsome, witty and intelligent.”, praised Diya.
“Oh! Come on. You're flattering me. It's just that I respect the feeling and I don't want to spoil the goodwill it has acquired over the years from what life has taught me.”
“That's so sweet of you. Okay then, it's time I leave... My dad's gonna search for me and if he doesn't find me in the berth below his...”, she giggles.
The emptiness of the whole situation creeps back to Arjun’s mind.
“Are you sure you want to do this Arjun?”, questioned Aditya.
“Of course, I'm sure. I know you love me too. It's just a matter of commitment that we would stay together no matter what happens.”
“But I am not so good looking. I may or may not meet you as frequently as we do now. It's all gonna become a burden to you. Why do you want to waste your time with someone like me?”, asked Aditya.
“Look, Adi, external beauty is not my concern and frankly you have a beautiful mind and generous heart. You are more than what I deserve and other issues doesn't matter as long as you are with me. Is it written anywhere that a relationship only will last when two people are together in the same city and meet every day? The onus is upon us to keep our relation strong and running wherever we are. I hope you understand.”
“What if one of your previous crushes returns to you? What happens to me then? As a girl, I only want your commitment to be with me till the end. Other than this, I don't really find a reason to turn down your proposal.”, Aditya finally expressed her concern.
“I wouldn't have come to you if I was still gloating with the thoughts of my previous crushes. Anything I say now would become an exaggerated promise about the future which is never promised, all I can say is that I am damn serious about you and will never ever think of leaving or hurting you”, Arjun assured her.
Part II: Value of Commitment
The cool breeze paved its way through his hairs as the train rushed. His man bun was shattered and his hair was all over his face. The joy you get when your hair's dancing to the wind's tune around your face is never understood by the typical Indian parents who force their children to get their heads almost tonsured every time they see a strand of hair falling onto the forehead. It does really pain high when you have to get a haircut once in every two fortnights.
He recalled to the times when Adi used to play with his hair which was way shorter and trimmed back then, and the smile was back on his face as he was finally going to meet his love after two long years.
He moved back to his seat where Diya was sitting along with her dad. She shot a smile at him. He smiled back and received a stern angry look from her dad.
“Please speak in English only so that my dad won’t get to know what we are speaking and he can also feel proud of his daughter for speaking in English even with strangers.”
“Hahaha... definitely we'll talk in English then… So I want to tell you something. I don't know if I'm close enough to say all this but make sure you select the right person whom you feel you're worthy of and mesmerise him to such an extent that he must lose himself when he's with you. There's no point in you jumping into relations, just hang in there and wait for the magic to happen”, advised Arjun.
“Yes, sir. That's so nice of you and personally I envy your girl. I love you. Not as someone to share the rest of your life but as someone whom I can look up and turn towards when I am in need. Arjun, you made my trip worth. Thank you and my station arrived so goodbye. My number is Nine two zero nine zero nine zero nine two zero. Wish you happiness and success in your life and stay in touch with me.”
“Thank you... I'll be in touch with you for sure. If at all there's anything that bothers you in your life... You can always count on me”, Arjun bid her goodbye and smiled at her dad.
The send off again blasted his thoughts back to....
“I don't want you to leave me here. Why can't you just stay back, Arjun?”, pleaded Aditya.
“How is that possible honey? It's not just the two of us. There are two families with whom we are associated to. Spare a thought about them too. And moreover, no father would want to give his daughter's hand to someone who's unemployed. It's just a matter of two years and I'll be relocating to my own city.”
“I'll miss you, baby. Take care of yourself. Don't forget me, I won't give you a chance to either. Love you loads baby”, hugs him and starts crying.
Arjun wipes her tears and says “Miss you too and I love you more than anyone. I won't forget you. Goodbye... honey”
The feeling of missing her for three years has now overcome with the bliss of meeting her. Two years of loneliness even though he was among many all the time, his heart was nowhere in the vicinity. People loved his company, many girls had a shot at him but he politely refused them. He became a good friend to many colleagues and his decision was often respected and adhered to. Arjun was slowly getting his senses back. The train came to a halt.
He stood on the platform and enjoyed the fresh air. He waited for some more time to see whether there's someone who's gonna receive him at the station.
His phone beeped and the screen blinked with the notification “1 Message from Adi <3”
Arjun immediately unlocked his phone and read the message
All Set ... With Enigma.... Hav A Very Elaborate ...Attributes of Love Respect Experiences Affection Discipline Yearning. ... Don't Engage in Code It's Dead End.. Don't ... Over Note ... What's Here Entails Reason & Execution... We're Ending up to Meet Elephant Eagle Tiger When Horse Egg Nursed.... You Open Up to Return Exile Tragic Untold Rather Not Heroic Opus of My Exuberance. Give your brain some work. I love you... as hell.... please help me baby....”
Arjun was shell-shocked upon seeing the message. He did not even understand a single sentence. He thought “Is she in some kind of problem?”
Arjun was losing control over himself. He was here for her after two long years and here there's something new for him to unravel to reach her. Was it something with the words? Is she trying to say something through the message?
His mind was running out of thoughts. His heart was pounding faster than ever. He did not understand what to do. He was a hell of a confusion and couldn't figure out the meaning of the message. It was like... being asked to write a test after you get your results.
Arjun was in a pretty bad shape and was getting vexed up. He bought a drink and gulped it till the bottle was transparent all over. He had no one else who could understand his problem. All his friends were out of town working.
He picked up the phone, gave her a call and was responded with the message “The subscriber number you're trying to call is currently switched off” and so he pinged her on WhatsApp, nudged her on Hike, messaged her on Hangouts but nothing helped...
Was this some kind of a prank or an intelligence test to him. He was perplexed. He thought maybe he should read the message over again. Not even a bit went into his head. He went through it again, but couldn't find success.
He was pretty good at solving puzzles. He thought of deducing something out from the message. He tried everything with the words and their meanings. Just then it struck him that there were capital letters for every word in the message. So he thought writing them on a piece of paper and then he was smiling finally after struggling for 45 mins.
AS … WE HAVE... ALREADY DECIDED.... ON ....WHERE… WE … MEET .... WHEN … YOU RETURN.... HOME.
was what it meant.
He hired a cab and reached the destination within no time. He was no alien to the serene atmosphere, it was their combined favourite meet up spot. It was a café, that provides customizable customer friendly space for every visiting member to the café, which was run by a group of fat and pompous, crazy about love guys, who are the only heirs to their also fat politician daddy's’ immense wealth.
The wonderful ambience and the services offered by the café were exquisite and are second to none. Both Arjun and Aditya have had some very good times and some bitter times too at the same place, so they have decided to meet up there.
The moment Arjun entered into their own private space in the café. He dashed Aditya who was on the way for a hug.
There were tears in her eyes but that doesn't mean that she was sad. Arjun patted her, rubbed her back, took her face in his hands looked into her deep eyes, removed his glasses while still looking into her eyes, got closer to her face. Aditya closed her eyes waiting for something to happen, clutched the hem of her top in anticipation… she sighed a relief and released the pressure of her hands on the hem of the top when Arjun planted a soft kiss on her forehead.
"Every sunshine either is the beginning of a new life or ending of one. Whether it is good or bad, the day starts." I wake as the dew drop tickles, as it rolls over me and I feel the mild heat generated in the early hours . I am a leaf watching the whole world run against time and look at us only when there is a huge gathering for an environmental cause. Like every day, I am always looking for some fresh air, and there is a different scenario around me today.
"How can someone just make an impression on one's life at just the first look ?", he asked.
"Don’t be surprised! It is just like it happened to you", a soft voice replied in a quick succession.
I do not know what exactly they are referring to, but I was curious by their words and so I was listening to their conversation keenly.
"If there is anything that I am waiting for, every second of my life it is..."
She interrupted, "Oh! come on Raghu, do not get back to the same issue, I told you I need time."
"I am just saying"
"No! Raghu there is something that is taunting you daily, which is making you ask me the same question every now and then. Why do you do this?", she said, which echoed in the quiet park quite enough to let the world know what they are up to.
"Okay! Riya now let's just stop arguing about this for now.", Raghu replied with a soft tone.
"Stop pretending now. I am getting irritated and I will leave now. Bye!" she said furiously.
I do not know what is happening here but one thing is for sure, I am definitely loving their conversation. Half hour elapsed and a small boy walks along with his mother and sits diagonal to me on a bench.
"Mama! Mama!" he screamed.
"What happened son? Anything wrong?", mother questioned.
"That dog… that dog is staring at me. I am so afraid."
"It’s ok! It just likes you and you need not get worried about the dog." mother told her son.
On a pleasant fine morning like this they hear a person sobbing just behind a tree. They walk to see what happened and they see a girl sobbing.
"Can I help you my dear", mother asked.
She is Riya, I thought she left but....
"Hey what happened to you? Can I help you?"
"No I am okay. Thank you." Riya replied.
"Ok, do you need some water?"
"I need time madam. Can you...." Riya shouted.
In the meantime Raghu is talking to his friend about what happened....
"Dude! it’s done... she... left me… she ditched me" he shouted in low disheartened voice and continued "Yes! just now I asked for the commitment and she feels like I am pushing over her."
"I cannot take it anymore!" Raghu cried concluding.
I wonder what will happen to them. In this world everything is linked with a bond unseen, untold but only felt between two people.
"He is always wanting me to promise on what I am unsure of aunty!" Riya said.
"Is he wanting you to promise him you will not leave him?", mother questioned.
"No. He wants me to give him a commitment for marriage 4 years from now." Riya said and continued,
"I cannot ask my father to believe in his future which myself am pretty unsure of." Riya exclaimed.
"Hmm, that is a very big decision to make… let me think about it" said the mother.
"We actually met this morning and argued on this. I don’t want to leave him, but this is very confusing." Riya spoke out of her agony.
"See dear commitment only comes out of trust, trust comes out of belief , belief comes out understanding, understanding comes out of affection. Here affection is nothing but Love. Speak out to him and let him hear what it is." she said.
"Do you think now is the right time to talk to him?", Riya asked.
"Oh yeah! It is. If you don't mind get him here and speak in front of me so that I will try to help " mother assured. She stood up and immediately brought Raghu to the mother. Raghu just fell down to his knees in astonishment. I could not understand what happened to him and Riya immediately went to help him but before she reached the mother first reached him.
Raghu exclaimed "Mom! You?... Riya… She… aa..."
While Raghu shivered, Riya asked "Mom? What? What are you talking?"
"Mom, what are you doing here? I wanted to tell you but I was afraid. Mom… " Raghu finally spoke.
"Aunty? your mother! Oh crap.", Riya exclaimed.
Mother just walked away saying nothing from them right towards me and was staring at me. I literally could not figure out what she was feeling. However my life has come to an end and I can see no more sunrise and sunset. I take the last breath deeply to stay alive and to see what happens.
"Raghu take this rose and offer her a commitment and make sure you believe in yourself before you ask her to" Raghu's mom said.
Raghu took the rose, went to Riya and said "If there is anything in this world which I must take care of more than anything, it is just you. Believe me, I will never let that smile fade away. I love you!"
"Love you too" Riya replied. Seeking his mother’s permission she hugged him.
At first I wished I could help them and sort out their problems in anyway possible. You might be thinking if I was the rose I could have helped but, I was just a leaf an adding element to eternal beauty and so yes I have helped.
In this world along with the beauty of the nature lies an unknown bond which makes things look more beautiful just like the rose looks even more beautiful with a leaf alongside it. In the same way trust along with love gives you happiness and it is what most relations lack.
Love everyone and you will love this world. No matter what happens, you will always be happy because you will always be trusted for your love.
In the valley of the Nilgiri hills, two sisters lived together. They were named Riya and Diya. They lived in the pastures of Ooty and alike nature’s beauty around them, each of them was distinctive had a unique beauty within them.
Diya was ten years younger to Riya and was considered to be her sister’s precious one. She always had something to learn from people around her. Riya, on the other hand, was old enough to understand how the world works.
A few years ago both the sisters lost their parents and elder brother in a road accident. Everything was blissful in that trip Alleppey until the Gods took away their elders and left them with nothing more than memories.
Eighteen-year-old Riya was calm and patient but her sister was naughty and stubborn. Riya did her best to present a life filled with all the best things to her sister.
As Diya grew older, she became arrogant and rude towards her sister. She didn’t like her and shouted at her for no reason by finding faults in everything. For once, she never even tried to understand her elder sister.
Riya was never fed up of the way Diya behaved with her. She still loved her, at times she burst out and cried for not knowing the reason behind her sister’s behavior but only when she was all by herself.
Riya neither let anyone else know about the pain she experienced nor did she let anyone know the price she was paying for gifting her sister a sophisticated life. She dreamed of becoming a violinist but she could not due to her work and other engagements.
So she decided to let her sister fulfill her dream. In her first class itself, Diya’s master asked her, “Tell me, child. Do you like to play the violin?”
To which Diya replied, “I’m only here because my sister insisted.”
With a smile, Diya’s master started the class and as the weeks passed by, Diya’s hatred towards learning violin grew and so did her anger towards her sister. She would silently murmur in anger, “It’s all because of my sister.”
As the weeks passed by, the master felt hopeless. He comprehended that Diya had no skill and was not even ready to dedicate time to acquire it.
Riya always dropped and picked up her sister from the music class. She always thought Diya had a wonderful session and after the first few weeks, she stopped speaking to the master often too.
After six months and twenty-four sessions, Diya stopped coming to classes all of a sudden. The organization dropped a mail but never heard back from her.
Three months later, Diya stepped into her old violin class to surprise her master. Asking her to sit, her master asked, “Is everything alright?”
Diya didn’t answer. Comprehending that she didn’t want to talk about it, he asked, “Would you like to participate at the Recital?”
Even though the master aware of the fact that Recital was only for the students who were attending classes regularly. He intended to offer Diya a chance. In a broken tone, Diya confessed, “Apologies master. I never liked to play the instrument and it was my elder sister who forced me into this.”
While her master liked her honesty, Diya continued, “If I will take part in the recital, I promise, I will only do so out of my own will.”
Taking a deep breath, the master inquired, “Tell me what made you change?”
Diya looked at the old man in his sixties for a moment before stating, “My sister has been hospitalized two months ago and her suffering with cancer along with her words for my future moved me.”
With tears pouring out, Diya continued, “She desired that I take part in the Recital. I’m delighted you’re offering me a chance. I was wondering how could I earn my position.”
The master didn’t say another word. He just nodded.
Four weeks later, it was finally the Recital evening. The entire music school was decorated and lights enhanced the school’s beauty. The night was dark and the sky was lighted by the twinkling stars and the school was packed with friends, parents, teachers & students.
Diya was the last one to perform, as her master had his suspicions concerning her limited practice. He believed that she wasn’t a trained violinist to perform the Recital and if anything went wrong, he decided to manage it with a curtain closer.
All the events happened as expected by the master. When it was Diya’s turn, she stepped onto the stage. She didn’t look anything like the other students. Her face was pale, her eyes were swollen and her clothes were wrinkled.
Her master wondered why did she decide to dress up like that for the Recital. Everyone was eager to listen to her as they anticipated the last performance to be the best one.
Diya picked her violin and started playing notes which her master has taught. Her fingers were on the strings while she continued playing more than anyone before her. Her master could notice that as she played, she lost her nervousness and it seemed like she was enjoying her craft but she wasn’t nearly good. Considering her predecessors she was terrible. Adding to it, she brought new variations in the way she played.
After ten minutes, Diya concluded her performance. Only a few members in the crowd applauded. After they stopped, Diya requested, “Could I thank before the curtains are dropped?”
With her master’s permission, she said, “Thank you, everyone, for your patience. I would like to take this moment to thank my master for not giving up on my request and my sister to whom I will always be grateful since she introduced me to music hoping I will express my feelings. She might no longer be with me mortally but I think she will live with me through the bond we built with music.”
As Diya got down the stairs from the stage, Diya couldn’t help but recall her sister. She heard her saying, “You should take care of yourself while finding a way to accomplish something for yourself in this life.”
After a few formal handshakes from her friends, her master reached out to her to say, “I’m glad your sister’s faith amounted to something but you shall have to do a lot more to truly understand the essence of music.”