I think to myself, if I'm a magnet for melancholy then the problem would be two fold. I can't stay with anyone. No one can stay with me. Simple logic. The worries begin when the hopes of human heart are pitted against the foibles of mind. While heart wants to love and be loved, mind conjures these tricks to sway you. In the end it's always the heart, only the heart that takes a beating. Bleeding and limp. I'm thinking of my friends Amar and Evelyn.
Amar loves Evelyn. He professes that he belongs to Evelyn, in his spirit and in mortal form. Sadly, the distance between them is overwhelming, often the point to his unexpected outbursts. Amar lives in an Indian town and Evelyn dwells amidst subdued suns and overwhelming cold, with her parents in Switzerland. A typical day in their love story begins with longing, moves into long distance communication, then basks under uninhibited professing of love, and often ends with terrible fights. It's amazing how they endure the stark transformation of circumstances unfolding in matter of hours. Amar likes to believe that it's Evelyn's strength and her trusting resolve that keeps their bond afloat, her will to take this story forward that keeps them together. Only the other day Amar was telling me how he'd let out a surge of his rage upon Evelyn over some ignorable disagreement. He loathed himself for being rude with her. Alas ! he could not take back all the words he had already uttered, the wound that had already been inflicted, the precious tears that had already flown down, the ones he always promises to protect. It wasn't easy to comfort Evelyn, he told me. She was sobbing unstoppably. Distraught and hurt by Amar's insensitivities, Evelyn fought hard to suppress her tears, conceal them from others. I feel sorry for Amar. The poor fellow has no clue how to go on. He can't handle the only thing in him that seems to push away all who mean nothing but love and care for him. I even despise him for a moment. What good is a human mind if it brings and causes nothing but misery to oneself and others alike. I ask him if Evelyn has ever been rude to him. An instant 'No' came in reply. But Amar felt quiet after saying that, as if he wanted to qualify his hasty reply, but stayed quiet anyway. I feel sorry for both of them. Their love story had begun with such promise, such resolve and clarity, despite them being million miles away from each other. I see Amar reduced to one fringing on borderline insanity. He keeps looking at things for hours at a stretch. He's always afraid to speak freely to Evelyn, worrying his innocent curiosities might trigger an instant misunderstanding. He can' stay quiet and his words spell disaster. I see his predicament, an excruciating one. He tells me that Evelyn wasn't like that when they were starting to know each other. She was receptive. A wry smile claims Amar's face, as he says ' I'm doomed to love her and yet treat her like a colleague, with whom, there's only a small distance which one can walk, only a permitted list of expressions which one can make and a even smaller category of thoughts and expectations which one is allowed to discuss and anything beyond that holds the risk of ignited fury and immeasurable hurt for both. I'm not blaming her. Maybe I'm the one who is responsible for her state.'
I hold my thoughts and delve deeper into his.
It's not before long that I see moistness well up in Amar's eyes. I hug him and try to comfort him. He breaks down in my hug. I don't know what to say. I let him cry. It takes a while but he stops. We watch the distant tall storied buildings teeming in the heart of the city waiting to welcome the first rays of the arriving sun before they descended to the ground upon objects at their feet. Its almost 4 AM, I'm feeling horribly sleepy yet I cannot abandon my friend. I was in two minds whether to let him calm down under the impending quietude of dawn or ask him to go to bed. Before I could decide he began..
'You know I love her like I have never loved anyone.' Yet I've no clue why I always end up hurting her. Its like devil takes over. And the next moments are blinding to all her requests, pleadings. By the time I recover, I've almost ruined everything. Knowing that she's everything to me.'
I was full of advices but knew it wasn't exactly advice that Amar was seeking. I let him continue.
I carefully grill him. 'What makes you think you love her ?'
He shoots back his typical hurried glance at me. There are faint signs of a sudden surge behind his eyes. That impugned temper again. But he's too drained to summon it. I imagine what Amar must look like when he's fuming. I persist. 'I think its a fallacy that you guys are living in. Ask yourself'
Amar turned his head towards the distant boulevard. He spoke without looking back.
'When I hear her speak, I almost instantaneously conclude that I am born to belong to her. That I could devote my whole existence to her in an eye blink. She speaks with such absolute certainty that it right away catches me wordless, cages me to her will. The consequence she wields on my will is astounding. I know I give her a hard time with my fickleness yet something about her inspires stability in me. She brings out a form of me which even I didn't know existed till she walked into my life. That form of me is content, in peace, believes in forgiving, and has an enthusiasm for life. If only I were different than I am, if only I could submit completely, bind myself to her in entirety, follow her like the springs seek the seas. If only I could surrender to that elusive composure.'
I remain mute. Don't want to interrupt his catharsis. He closes his eyes and resumes.
'You know Anupam, she's my reflection, I'm her shadow. I see her catching my movements, my motives, my expressions and I'm inseparable from her, even if she wants it or not. Its nature. Its inevitable. I drown myself completely in her essence. If only somehow, I could find a way to be with her. Its harrowing to be loved by her, embraced by her, only in my imagining. It is beyond what I am capable of holding down. I am thinking about her all the time. Not a moment passes by without me imagining in what ways I would hold her close to my body. She'll always feel my love but perhaps never know of my longing.'
'Don't you think you should handle this with maturity. I mean obviously you two are worlds apart in time and distance. When the sun sets here, she's probably having her brunch and her evening begins when the world here has long slipped onto bed. So why not handle the situation with that consciousness within.' I retort, unable to hold back.
'I know. But have you ever waited for something so long before realizing that nothing, no force, no formula, no logic, no sermon of right and wrong can restrain you from seeking to attain it with finality and with certainty. Every drop of your blood coursing in your veins implores you to unite with it. And until you do it, you keep getting torn bit by bit. 'As a famous writer once put it 'to not be able to love the one you love is to have your life wrenched away'. I mean, you're amiable now and irritable the next moment. The ache leaves you momentarily only to return with renewed force. As your soul searches for her, its her and only her words of reassurance which can calm your rage.
I notice that an ostensible somberness has engulfed Amar's tone. He speaks with absoluteness of a saint and with conclusiveness of a preacher, exhibiting an aspiring gleam in his eyes. He's unable to wander off from the places he's set his feet on. That's a good thing. For in the end love always finds a way. Amar's and Evelyn's story will also carve a course for itself. Or perhaps it will wilt as per popular prediction. I send a prayer to the ascending dawn. I leave Amar in peace with himself. I recede from his proximity. Before I leave, I glance at Amar once more. I see him couched on the terrace on the foreground of the rising sun, which arrives breaking the anxieties of the by gone night. Amar's eyes are fixed on the sun as if it carries a message of love from the other side of the world.