Ink and Paper

If you ever comeback,

I’ll be here waiting for you. 

With Those voids and some wounds too.

But this time, I won’t let you

 color my scars again; For,

You are the ink and You are not

 supposed see the paper’s pain.

You’re not supposed to see the paper’s pain.

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Like those disclaimers before the movies, I thought my life bears no resemblance with others, just a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person is a pure coincidence. But the paper proved me wrong. The letters scribbled on it mocked at me when I told them my story. And then I realized you were the ink to my papers. 

You came to me like a summer breeze , hot ,warm and making me restless. Your presence was something I had always feared. But slowly, as the summer turned into rains, and it started to drizzle, you showered me with your attention, love and care. And I started dreaming about your touch. Gone were those hostility and those ignorance. You made me come in terms of my past and made me spoon the threads of a beautiful dream. 

You know, we all are like these white papers. Everything leaves an impression. A dot, a line , a tangled mess of doodles, a tear drop or any stain, everything leaves an impression. Even some deep stretched wound of those who are close to us, leaves a mark. Still the paper remains white. Bearing all those scars on its soul, it craves for the ink which would see beyond the white of its heart. You were like that ink to me, Which poured itself on me and covered all those scars, with the color of its being. 

Sometimes I do wonder, Does a blank paper matters to ink , as much as the ink matters to it?Does the ink feel proud to leave its permanent imprints on the heart of papers? Or its just another notch in its belt!? . Does it craves to touch that used sheet of paper, as much as the paper wants to be kissed again.!? Does the colorful ink ever gets intrigued by the blankness of the sheet!? I often wonder, does it know , how much it matters to the paper to bear it’s marks for the rest of it’s life!

Even the paper feels jealous about the other blank sheets. They have what, she lost. Time! They are still pure. She thinks about the other 100 pages the ink had touched . They have what she is yet to achieve. Experience! She compares herself with all those blank sheets and also with all the written ones. Does the ink find them more beautiful than her?Has it told more stories to them?Has the ink ever told them about her?The page wonders, Is she the only one to fall in love with the ink or are there many! It wonders Which page is the ink’s favorite one!. Does it care about the pages as much as they care about him!? 

 Unfortunately,no one asked the ink about it. Had they asked, a new piece of paper could have refrained itself from falling in love with the ink. That’s the fault with the readers. They never ask. They only trust the ink. Had they known the deceptive nature of the ink, they could have tried to listen those suppressed sobs of the papers. The cries which still echoes in the spaces between two words, the echoes which could be heard in the untouched parts between the lines.They could have seen the unrequited love which remains hidden in the commas and semicolons. And could have felt the torments of heartache which are witnessed by the periods and full stops. Had they known they could have stopped the ink from scribbling more and more poems on papers and in return stealing away bits and pieces of the innocence of the page. But unfortunately, no one ever asked, nor they have ever tried to hear.

You know, That’s why I blamed me, the people around me and you, for what had happened between us. The way you touched me to the core, the way you drenched my heart with your tears and the way you made me fall in love with the protagonists of your stories. The way you kept on writing poems and stories about Us and the way you kept on Scribbling the lessons from the past. And the way you vanished from my life, without any bye, without saying anything ,had  left me craving for more . But no one ever cared. Not even  you! You’re supposed to steal my scars, you were supposed to color me with your kisses. I was supposed to take all the burden away from your heart. I was supposed to soak those tears of your bleeding heart. We both did our job. But in between I fell in love and you didn’t. Or was it like you said that you fell in love and left me waiting for you forever!? Had I known I wasn’t sufficient, I would have saved my self for someone else. For someone who after caressing me, wouldn’t have left me . Now see, I’m everything but blank . You will never come back to me. But someone will. Someone will come back and read me again and again. Someone will take me in hands caress those wounds given by you.He will be intoxicated by the way I smell, but would never know I have drowned myself in the aroma of yours.  Someone will fall in love with me. But he would never know me the way you did. He could never leave an impact on me the way you did. He would fall in love ; But not with me. He will fall in love with the girl you left behind. 

Time would change. The white of the paper would gradually turn into yellow. But the marks on it would still glow in pride. The words signed by the ink wouldn’t fade away. Time could not heal these wounds of the paper, it can only make it grow older with it. After some days, the corners would be tattered , but still those inks would matter. Those words, those wounds now define the paper. The scars she was trying to hide would now become her identity. May be the ink would return to it, after realizing it’s worth, but it wouldn’t be the same old blank sheet, naive and eager. The ink might try to reunite with it again, but that would only deepen the wounds, stealing away all the beauty of those scars. Now the paper knows, they were star crossed lover, for one has to die if they wish to remain together . 
I used to think you to be the journey which  I never fathomed the courage to complete. But those ruffling paper sheets spoke to me  of destiny. Perhaps I wasn’t destined enough to be your destination. Perhaps to you I was the journey you would cherish forever or never. Perhaps the miles that you crossed would be treasured in the space beneath your heart or would never even never cross your mind. Perhaps when you complete that dream story of yours may be , may be some where I would be in the acknowledgement section or would be somewhere in the pile of rejected sheets.Lets just hope that  I at least makes it to the acknowledgement section.But I would be lost in the crowd. That uniqueness of mine wouldn’t matter to you anymore! Would it!?After all ,the story is about achieving the goal and I was not even a mile stone. 
I would not try to make you come back, but I’ll wait for you. Wait for the day when you will come back and see how you had helped me to grow. How those small bits of your heart has now become the Alma matter of my survival. I would like to see that pride in your eyes, in the same time want to see that helplessness of not being able to touch me again. If you ever decide to come back, you will find me the way you left me, but what you couldn’t figure out would be the way I will flaunt my scars. For , I have learnt to believe in the power of being broken . For Now I believe in Scars being beautiful. 

I have crumpled myself. Tried to burn myself. I have leapt in to the ocean and I have flown into The hurricane, but no one had been able to erase those imprints. So I decided to flaunt them. I’m not going to tell them to you, coz you could never notice. Like a paper I haven’t been granted the power to pour my heart out. You are the ink, you are the one to speak. I was the one to get drenched and I’m still getting drenched. I’m yet to make people believe,that it’s not me but you. 

 The first time when I was drenched, it was raining blood from your heart. Now when I make people cry, I rejoice those tears, thinking it to be you. I’m living in these stolen moments, when people believe it’s my story and offer their condolences.

 But you know, I wish someday, they could see it all along. I wish they see the resemblance between the lies told by the ink and see the helplessness of the papers. Some day, I want a fellow to go to that never read  acknowledgement  section and  seek out for me. I believe those colors of the ink would fade in the waves of time. But what about those imprints! I want the fellow to touch those scars and feel how deep the wounds were! I want him to learn the beauty that lies in those scars. I want him to see the voids only love can create. But don’t worry, I would make him understand you. I would tell more about the restlessness ,ink had and how the paper wasn’t enough. I would tell him about your dreams and how I was just another step.

In the mean time I wish for you to see me, smiling and living without you in those stolen moments of yours. I don’t want you to see how much I have suffered. If you wish to come back, come n see how much you had mattered.
If you ever comeback,

I’ll be here waiting for you. 

With Those voids and some wounds too.

But this time, I won’t let you

 color my scars again; For,

You are the ink and You are not

 supposed see the paper’s pain.

You’re not supposed to see the paper’s pain.
But you know! deep down I still crave for your touch. Tell me how am I supposed to forget someone who has made me what I am today!?Does the paper ever forgets the ink which craved it’s story as her identity!? Perhaps it dreams about all those moments and day dreams about the kisses. Perhaps it still wants the ink to see her smiling and fall for her all over again.

I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. To a stop where there would be only you and me. To the time where you belonged to me, Where there would be no memories and there would be no dreams.To a stop where the parchment wouldn’t be needed to change, where the ink would only tale about the present. Where there would be no complain from the paper and the ink would not crave for more. Where the snapshots would be beautifully framed in black and white with no colors to fade and with no journey to be ended. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of Time to a stop. 

And sometimes I just want to move on. To be old , ratteled, withered and to be forgotten. You see, this heart , it never stays at a point. It knows it’s incomplete without you but still it always wants to prove that I’m better off without you. I have been here and I have been there but I have never been at somewhere I belong. This restlessness is not anxiety, neither is love . I can’t define it now. But I know someday it will going to define. Not your imprints on my soul , not the ink on the paper rather the experience we have had and the story we have waven is going to last till eternity and is going to define me.

Yes! The paper has never been blessed enough with the power to express of its own but it will tell stories that will definitely make people to think about the ink. And I might not be a mile stone in your journey but I will be that Cross road which will be the turning point of your journey. A book is nothing without the acknowledgement and you’re nothing without this lost part of yours. So, Here I’m waiting for you to succeed, so that when you come back and look at me I could say, no it’s not you but me. 

From being it’s not me To it has always been me, I have came a far way! In the process of finding you,I have found myself. You’re going to matter me Everytime I breath, every time I die a l’ll but from now on I’m not going to let you define me. It’s my story and I’ll project it the way I want. I’ll not wait for you to come back . I’ll move on and with that the corners of pages will bent and began to fade away and so will the ink . 

DAHAN

I was the moth and you were the fire, our love story was destined to witness the havoc of loss, yet why do I have to face the fire?

“This dushera Burn The Ravan of your life” ,The text read. And my best friend asked me to burn our photographs , of course with a wink. I didn’t say anything, she didn’t pester any further. We watched the Ravan Dahan in silence. She enjoying it, me burning in the flames hidden in the ashes of memories. 

When people talk about the Ramayan name their problems,the society as the Ravan, I often do wonder what you were to me!!? Yes, You had made me a prisoner of your will, a possessive intruder you were to my free spirited life. But I wish I could loath you as much as they loath their Ravan. May be you were the Ravan , May be you were The Ram, I don’t know. Many a times  I have  thought of that too, I have simmered in the agony of the public humiliations when you have failed to take stand for me. I have felt your character spinning towards Ram when you gave more importance to your pride than my virtue. Tell me now, tell me what should I do! Do they even consider burning the Image of Maryada Purusottam for a single time!? 

 In the retrospect of my life, when I think, was it the destiny or the karma which left me in such a state , where the person I thought , I knew everything about, could bear a hundred faces and I would be unable to distinguish the real one. I was the moth and you were the fire, our love story was destined to witness the havoc of loss, yet why do I have to face the fire?

 It was me who chose you over my self respect, over and over. It was me who burnt everytime to prove my innocence Everytime you doubted me. It was me who chose to believe you , to trust you over everything and everyone. It was me who used to seek the solace in tears while you indulged yourself in the royal affairs of yours. It was me who wrote long letters stained with tears, while you read some one else’s stories. Perhaps I was the Sita, now a days, every feminist hates. Perhaps I was the one who deserved to be burnt in the flames , perhaps I was the one who should be buried deep in the earth’s crust. 

But the story doesn’t end here , right. In their times Ram Remained loyal to Sita. But you, You turned into the Ravan again. I wish I were buried , if not in the crust of earth, may be some where deep in the ocean, may be burnt in the lava . I wish I were too dumb to miss those signs. I wish I were too numb to feel the ache of replacement. But I wasn’t. I was a human, a women precisely, I was designed to love more, to care more and to feel more, perhaps in the process to get hurt more often.

 Being in my arms, when you murmured her name, I wish I could stop loving you there. In our anniversary,when you went to visit her, I wish I could stop loving you there. You claimed , you had remain loyal to me, you claimed you had never touched her. Then tell me , honestly ,  Why had you had the necessity to abduct her and bring her to our house? What was she to you!? A ray of hope in the days of despair!? A way to gain the popularity you seek everywhere!? If not anything, tell me , why does she matters to you more than I do!!? 
 In the end I felt like the Mandadori. I was helpless , Even for Sita there was her Savior, in whatever armour he might be. For her at least there was her family, they could rescue her from you. May be like the Ravan, you got the thing you wanted from her. May be in the end you have got your much awaited popularity or whatever it was. But what was I supposed to do. I was  like that helpless lady, who in the end turns a slave to the situations. Who couldn’t un-love the man she had fallen irrecoverably in love with, just like that. She could neither stop him from disrespecting a woman nor she could made her elope. She loved him enough to trust him blindly, but had the good wit of knowing what he is up to. But crushed in between the dilemma of her lacking and her love for him,she burnt inside a thousand times. But no one had ever cared. 

Like that lady from the myth, some part of mine burns inside me every time I watch our old photographs. May be we are not together anymore. May be I am not the one you loved, may be I am now engaged to someone else, but you are still the one I love. The fire in me which burns me every moment, never could burn the memories of our time together. I don’t know who was wrong, you or me, I don’t even know what’s right and what’s wrong. If now someone asks me to burn my Ravan, I would rather burn a hundred times from inside, than letting the only strings of our togetherness turn into the ashes . For someone who has been burning for years, to protect her love from getting burnt, for some one who has been holding on to the fight not to let any one loose , for someone who has been dying every moment to keep her memories alive, this vijayadashmi or any other would never matter enough to celebrate the victory of ram over the Ravan. 

-Nayana🎭

When it rains memories

ସ୍ମୃତି କେବେ ଶୀତ ସକାଳ ର କଅଁଳ ଖରା ର ତାତି, କେବେ ଝଡ ବତାସ ର କଳା କିଟୀମିଟି ରାତି ।…..

I looked at the passing trees. The trees which seemed to be in a hurry to leave me alone. For the first time in a while I decided to peep into the closed window of my heart. Perhaps it was the crowd , the hustle bustle of the station that made me come in terms of my inner demons. As,they say silent nights know our cravings, but the loudest of thunders in the scroching sunrays throws the reality on our face. So, this crowd which I was a part of n of n which in return was a part of me, urged me to turn those pages of my diary. 

As the bus roll down the road, it took me down to the memory lane. Where there were too many of hidden memories. The memories which , when confronted left me in bewilderment. Memories which were like the soft rays of a winter morning, melting all those layers of snow and bracing the skin for a warm start of the day. Memories which sometimes were like the dark nights of the hail storm, one touch of it and everything you knew would be devastated. Some deja Vu and a feeling of nostalgia. That’s what they gave me. All my strength used to vanish at once and I become the old sailor having a broken boat in the name of ship and completely in mercy of the waves of time. I fear this black hole of memories which has the power to make me time travel could leave me in the past too. I have ,there for locked that chamber of my heart and blown the key away in the ocean of work. But I have forgotten ocean never keeps anything thrown at it, it returns it back to the shore. Sometimes with the algal growth of memories and sometimes wiping away the dusts of ignorance. In my case, it was the inorance .

It all had started in a bus jurney. Similar to this. Journey from Balasore to Bhubaneshwar .A journey from past to Future. As usual I had engrossed myself in a book. Distracting my mind from the sadness of leaving my family and trying to suppress the fear of being alone in a new city with unknown people, I was focusing on the wit matching between Marrien and Elnor. I was thankful that my adjoining seat was empty. But then out of no where he appeared. Tall, fair and with an angry formidable look. I read the name on his ticket. Abhigyaan Samantaray. A bulb lit in the back of my head. Abhigyaan Samantaray, Rank 1 of our University Entrance Exam. I gingerly sat looking outside of the window. He came and sat there . The first thing that attracted me towards him was his book choice. He was enjoying the Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy. I had fantasized similar moments good knows how many times. A person with similar taste in literature sitting beside me and we both discussing about the novels and politics. But that day , perhaps it all happened in my head but not a single word came out. 
But we did argue. We argued on the writing styles of contemporary authors and argued over the political issues of the country,but they were not in the way I had imagined. They were heated and he was not the one to lose. We were competitors. He was from Science and me,From Arts.It was not only the Debate stage where we faught . We faught in song competition. We faught in Literary clubs. Two egoistic people fighting for their Postion at the top,we were such an example.  

After one of those debate sessions,I was the only girl left. It was getting dark. And it started to drizzle. In my head I was planning ways to get into the hostel in time. Just when I settled for ruuning in the rain trying to get drenched as little as possible, he offered me his umbrella and left me transfixed. Like a thunder bolt, he disappeared into the rains. 

Was it the umbrella carrying his enigma or the rain making my senses go numb, I don’t know,But That crazy angry guy somehow managed to paved his way into my heart that night. I used to admire his wits and prospective a lot. Now when the admiration got a glimpse of the heart lying beneath that angry young man cover of his, it was hard not to fall for him. 
Again, one day I was going to the library.This time I had his umbrella with me. Suddenly the wether worked as the cupid. He was coming out of his hostel and it started to rain. He took shelter under a tree near by and I made a mad rush to him. He looked at me with something unreadable in his eyes. I opened his umbrella and without looking at him went near him. Our Shoulders were touching and he put a hold on his umbrella.
I didn’t know when my wrecking heart became so brave. I was here standing beside a man , a man after my father whom I have started to admire ,fear and like simultaneously. But unnaturally it felt good. I felt safe under that umbrella in an unusual whether. Perhaps it’s his presence which made me feel safer. But what about the butterflies and the picking up of heartbeats. My heart thumped so fast in my chest that I feared he could Listen my racing heart beats. 

We started our journey towards the Library. Everything seemed to be perfect. Even the heavy downpour , the roaring thunders seemed to play an archestra . But then the fate had to do the last dance. With a strong blow of wind , his umbrella bent down and was broken into halves. I was dumbfounded. I was like,”How am I supposed to go now! N moreover how am I going to return his umbrella. Perhaps I have to buy him a new one”. Deciding upon buying him a new one, I looked at him. He was looking straight at me. Raindrops going down his cheeks and making him look younger than his actual age, made it impossible for me to look at him without blushing. I averted my gaze and fumbled a Sorry. When I got to the point and asked him, not to worry about his umbrella as I would replace it with a new one he brust into laughter. I didn’t know how to react at first. It was the first time I was seeing him laugh. He had a rich voice. And when he laugh, it’s like someone had stroke some cords of my heart. It was contagious. I joined him. And within few seconds we both were laughing hysterically without a care in the world. We were at the middle of the road, stuck in heavy rain without any means of protection still laughing like children. He dragged me along with him and we went to a nearby temple. As we sat on the stairs he started humming a slow Melody. Unlike other times, this time we are in the same team. We cherished those moments as much as possible. In the meanwhile he took my dupatta and dried his wet hair with it. 

It stopped raining . A smooth breez was sending shiver down our spins. He took me to the near by tea stall. We cheered to the new found Friendship of ours. Or may be we feared to name this relationship too early. 

After that incident the final semester came . We were too caught up in our own preparation that we didn’t have any time to meet or let alone to engaged in any kind of debate. Some accidental stolen glances and some stolen gossips that’s what I had of him. 

The finals were over. We returned to our home. I never got a chance to confess my feelings for him, neither I got to confront him. More over it was that time , when it wasn’t lady like to ask a boy’s hand for marriage. And when I didn’t know his exact feelings for me, I decided it was better to lock him within my heart. 

In the graduation day , I went to congratulate him with two packets in my hand. One had a black umbrella with his Initials engraved on it. And another package containg my wedding card. 

I told him to open the card. He read it and silently returned it back to me. Then turned his back and started walking away from me. It felt like twisting knife into the flesh of mine. I called him . He stopped. I went to him and asked, “Mr. Samantray won’t you come to my wedding!?” With a faint curve he declined the invitation stating some emergency at home. 

I took the hint and didn’t contact him afterwards. But he was there in my every poem in my every story. I had left my heart to him and now when my heart bleed into the papers it was only to make him alive. My creations made me feel connected to him. My husband used to say, jokingly, if he ever learns about this hero of mine he would kidnap him and strangle him with his bare hands. I laugh with him but my heart skips a beat and within that skipped beat ,I used to pray a little for his longer life. 

But it seemed life was never fair to me. 25years after my marriage,One fine day my husband asked me to get ready to meet his boss who was in the hospital. When we went there, it seemed the time had stopped and I was living a nightmare. Abhigyaan was there. Lying on his death bed. I had no courage to face him. I needed a support. I clung to my husband’s arm. He opened his eyes and looked at us. At first a faint smile touched his lips when he saw my husband but when his gaze fell upon me, something sadder crossed his face and untamed tears fell. From both of our eyes. He asked Swadin,my husband to bring his umbrella to him. Even after 25years I had no problem in those handwritten engraved initials of his. He took the umbrella and with it’s support he tried to stand up. I could not see him struggle . I went to help him. He held my hand . I helped him to lie down. With my hand in his he closed his eyes. He closed his eyes and never open them again. I cried and cried. I cried for how many hours I don’t know. 

My husband did all the rituals. We came home. I went to my study and burnt all those diaries , poems and stories of mine. With the departure of Abhigyaan Samntray a part of mine also left the earth. 

Life was smooth, without any ups and downs. But something was missing. My passion. Though I knew it was missing, I had no wish to find it. Life was monotonous, so was my muse. I never lifted that pen again. 

It has been 15years to that incident. I have never looked into the memories of Abhigyaan again. But today’s rain!! it brought memories and unfortunately this time I didn’t have his umbrella to protect me from getting drenched.Perhaps this was life’s way of teaching me to dance in the storm. 

🎭Nayana🎭

Solace to the Soul… 

it has crossed my mind a billion times of asking him to let me be a permanent part of his life but the idea of rejection has always pushed away those thoughts, so it did today. Maybe today isn’t the right day.

A/N- Any resemblance to anyone’s personal life is a sheer co-incidence. The aim is not to target anyone’s love life but to hoosh the taboos of our societies.

Happy Reading Folks!

From where I stand I see a silhouette of a tall man, some six feet two-three inches tall, in his forties, looking across the valley amidst the setting sun searching for answers to the questions he has been asking himself for the past few years. And I know all he is being able to find is the reason for self-doubt and remorse. I have been a part of his life for the last three years, I have seen him face some ugly truths of life and some situations beyond the control of human emotions. But his dark clouds were swayed away by bright sunshine, his two little packets of joy Harsh and Avni. He did win the case of their custody, he parted his way from his wife, but there was this guilt of separating his kids from their mother. Little did he know his little angels were indeed his angels, they always stood up for their father. With all these incidents turmoiling their lives they moved to Chicago, that’s when we met, again.

In a short time, I became a part of their life. From helping them settle in the “Heart of America” to guiding him apply for universities, in helping the baby grownups find a school to dining with them on special occasions. With time, these occasional meetings started becoming frequent. And then I was there with them 24 hours, inseparable. Harsh and Avni had started building up a pleasant rapport with me, they were by far the best bunches I had come across.

The Earth kept spinning about its axis and revolving around the Sun and swiftly the days turned to months, we started getting closer. What I thought to be an infatuation started blossoming into love. This wasn’t a thing of mere months, it was a bond I had with him at first sight, when we first met, back in India. His tall figure, his stature, his confidence and humble attitude had intrigued me. The only difference is that he was a happy married man then, now he’s just another man in the pursuit of happiness.
And now, I stand here today looking at him and shifting my gazes between him and the ring in my hand, it has crossed my mind a billion times of asking him to let me be a permanent part of his life but the idea of rejection has always pushed away those thoughts, so did it today. Maybe today isn’t the right day. It’s like gravity when you release something it comes back to the ground that’s how science works. With people, if you set them free and they return to you then it’s yours forever, but if it doesn’t, maybe you are just on the wrong planet or he wasn’t the one, to begin with. Pushing away these thoughts as I walk towards him, slowly closing the spaces between us I suddenly hear him whisper my name. I keep my hand on his shoulder assuringly that I am here, have always been here, will always be here.
He looks back adjusting his glasses, smiling, he points at my messy hair unaware of his own. His stare hardens as if he is trying to say something, my lashes dropped instinctively giving him the permission to speak his heart out.
Sliding his hand into his pant pockets, he shows a ring and slides in my finger, “I have done this before yet I am more than ready to do it again. I have had once given my heart and soul to someone who was dear to me, more than anything else, yet I am here today asking you to mend my broken existence. Will you be the Mandrake to my petrified soul ?”
Tears welled up in our eyes slowly finding their way out, they escaped. It was different, cold surrounding, racing hearts, warm tears. “Yes!” I whispered, “only if you promise to be Professor Sprout and help me grow.” The light sobbings turned into a hearty laughter. I slid the ring I bought him. We stood there for a few minutes, arm in arm. I don’t know about the forever thing, but whatever happened today was meant to happen and it somehow made me feel complete. Hazel Grace’s words seemed to be true, I did live a forever in those numbered minutes.

~SMARANIKA DASH

Unrequited Love- Elixir of her life…

A/N- This thing is pure imagination any relevance of one’s personal life to the story is sheer coincidence and maybe you could thank me for writing it up for the world to read and being passed on to that one person in your life who hasn’t got a hint about your feelings.

Happy Reading folks! 

As the alarm gets snoozed for the umpteenth time,  the red eyes look into the mirror in front, yet another sleepless night. This has been her daily routine since she was 19. She never really cared to sleep, be it the Summer or Winter nights. In the race of leaving her friends behind her, she never realized how far she has come, away from her parents, away from her friends,  away from her one true love.

Ana, a girl of nineteen kept struggling with her own self for she was tired of being the ideal daughter,  tired of being looked at for defining the first born.  To the world she was the best one could wish for but nobody knew the Ana who died every time someone praised her for being someone she wasn’t. From being the darling daughter to the world’s best friend only the nights knew what she hid from the world. Right from the beginning, she was always expected to be bound by a set of rules set by her parents but how dearly she wanted to escape and leap over the boundaries was unknown to all. No one knew that the little girl too had a heart which begged for a little freedom with every beat. No one knew that even that little heart knew how to love,  love someone so deeply to let it go.

Falling in love with Ayan was the best thing that ever happened to her, which gave her the hope that maybe one day I will speak my heart out.  She never realized how much she liked him until she watched him fall for someone else. He never left her mind and she never crossed his.

Busied by her daily chores,  studies, in the race to prove her parents and society of her worthiness that love was buried somewhere deep in her heart. Yet one day when he knocked the door of her house. She saw him standing in front of her house from the window. Her heart skipped a bit with every step she took when finally she started leaping 3 steps at a time, gasping for breath she came to the door and opened it with a hearty smile, one she had lost in a long time. He came forward and hugged her, she pinched herself just to confirm she wasn’t dreaming.

He turned around and handed her a card, checking what’s within, her smile from meeting her long lost love turned to one filled with pain. It was his wedding card. She looked on as he left,  it had been over a decade after which she saw him and was perhaps the last time. Feelings of the past love came to her in a flash and passed by as a whooshing train.

Last night she celebrated her 60th birthday. Friends, colleagues all had gathered but her eyes searched for one man.As a daily routine, she went to the park the next morning for a walk where she met him again and this time with his wife.  He had aged a lot over the past 30 years but her love for him was as fresh as it was when she was 19.

People say problems can be fixed but unrequited love is a tragedy. But only she was able to turn this tragedy into the elixir of her life for the past 41 years and for the years yet to come.

-Smaranika Dash