An orphaned boy, who survived the Bhuj earthquake and a girl from a village near Jamnagar. That’s Kishore and me chasing our dreams with a scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering at a reputed government college in Mumbai.
To say that we were friends in college who turned lovers is definitely a cliché. But the thing about love is that once you have taken the plunge, the question about how you fell in love doesn’t matter.
Our time in college went by like a dream. We were two excited kids, running around the city of dreams, making plans for life in future while coping with the pressures of our courses. Our relationship was cherished by everyone who knew us. By some play of luck we had everyone’s blessings. I was happy. No, happy would be an understatement. I was on cloud nine. With time we were blooming in each other’s company. Every time I saw Kishore wink at me meaningfully amidst the practical lab from across the table, I felt my heart melt with the warmth of his love that gushed out of his dark brown eyes.
It was like we had our ‘happily ever after’ planned. Until that fateful day…
I heard the news of the serial blasts in Mumbai’s local trains from my classmates in hostel. But the news that Kishore was on one of those trains was brought by one of his kin from the orphanage. I didn’t know what to do. Everyone was worried about me, as I failed to shed a single tear. Even on his pyre, I kept staring with hope that he would emerge from it and engulf me in a hug.
Are you wondering, what transpired of me after Kishore passed away? Hmmm! I gave up on life. No, I wasn’t brave enough to commit suicide. Instead I drowned myself in work at the job I had obtained through campus. I performed so well there, that I had this young celebrity like status in my office. But happiness and contentment eluded me. My sister pointed out that despite performing well and all, I am living in denial. That’s when she introduced me to Samar. It seemed to be a good decision then, because after our very first meeting at the meditation centre, I returned smiling. I was to meet Samar again in week’s time. I couldn’t wait for the week to get over. And then week after week I continued to see him.
Other than our weekly meetings at the meditation centre I also agreed to accompany Samar to his social responsibility endeavors at the nearby orphanage. I was once again poised to be happy in life by helping others and spread love. Samar’s kind words reflected deep understanding of life and were a balm to my wounded soul. In his beaming face, I found a silent assurance that it was possible for me to be happy again.
But last month when I told my sister about my decision, she went numb. “You can’t be serious about this. It’s too early for you to know, if it is all worth it!”, Her words were echoed by our parents.
I told them, that when Kishore left me, I didn’t think I would ever fall in love again. But… I was 22 then and life is long. And I’m feeling things right now that I haven’t in a long, long time.’
Today I sit at my parental house. Swara, my sister tells me biting her lips, ‘You need not follow your muse to the path where he leads you. You could simply live with the joy he has given you. Going after him will mean that you will have to sever ties with all of us. You won’t be allowed to even meet us.’ There was alarm and urgency in my little sister’s voice.
My family realizes that they are only talking in vain. They know that I have made up my mind, and they have just today with me.
The next day my family accompanies me tearfully to the monastery where Monk Vidyanand will give me Diksha to become a monk. They see me walk towards the palanquin with Samar leading the line with 6 other people in tow to adorn monkhood for life. Swara calls out frantically that I should change my mind. But then, they do not know. Only I know. I know that it is the only way that I will find respite from the pain I have lived in ever since Kishore went away. I was breathing because I did not believe in suicide. But in Samar’s thoughts and beliefs, in his understanding of life I found the route to emancipation from the endless torture of living. In the future lay a possibility to breathe without feeling any guilt of outliving Kishore. I could even come to understand the joy of living without him.
This post is a part of the #WriteBravely Write Tribe Festival of Words.
The prompt for the day is –
“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” – Cinderella