Role Reversal

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“Why did you behave like that? You insulted my friends for no reason. They were joking. And you are asking me what happened?” slammed Anshuman to his girlfriend Kavya on phone. She came to his room in the afternoon to meet him as usual. His roommates started teasing them. It was a witty banter by friends when girlfriend of a guy shows up. He was taking it sportingly, but she lost her temper. She retorted back and things got out of hands. Her behavior was unacceptable to Anshu as well. He asked her to leave to cool down the situation. He called her after half an hour of her departure. In a meantime, he was trying to calm down his friends.

Anshuman was a 20 years old smart, funny, extrovert guy with a good sense of humor. The humor was his asset for which Kavya fell in love with him. Today, his other side was more dominating this conversation. He was probably a cool minded guy, but lost his cool due to misbehavior of Kavya.

“Calm down, Anshu. Let’s talk about it,” replied Kavya.

Kavya was a 20 years old sincere, intense, and quiet girl. She was also short tempered and always reacted on impulse without thinking about consequences. Her spontaneous nature was the most adorable thing for Anshu. She spent most of the time in books and loved contemplating about every day things.

“No, I won’t calm down. This is happening a lot. Every time you act weird, you tell me you were just kidding or give some stupid explanation. Is that what you are going do again?”

“No, I can explain. But, you need to calm down first.”

“What is there to explain? I’ve had enough of your explanations. You act weird, then give some stupid explanations, and expect me to understand you. I kept cool for so long. I tried to understand you every time. You know that, but I don’t know what your problem is?”

“Let’s do one thing. We will meet tomorrow and talk. Till then, just calm down.”

They were in a relationship for one and a half years. Kavya used to get angry over silly & funny things Anshu did to entertain her. She used to say a lot of things that shouldn’t be said, react on impulse without knowing what she is saying and Anshu used to understand her reactions. He knew it was her nature and she didn’t mean anything wrong. Sometimes, Anshu found her spontaneous reactions childish, but cute. He tried to make her angry on purpose to evoke those reactions. She used to get mad at her and Anshu used to coax. Little moments like, making her laugh by cracking jokes out of nowhere; making fun of her serious talks was making their relationship special. She was a serious kind of girl, but was so cheerful around Anshu. This time, it was Anshu who was getting angry and Kavya was trying to coax. The roles were reversed. That’s why they say it’s complicated in relationship.

They decided to meet at café where they met usually. But later, Anshu asked her to meet at their college ground. His intensions were clear. He wanted to confront her and break up. Her strange behavior, her mood swings were beyond his understanding now. He thought that his understanding kept their relationship going and she was doing same mistakes frequently. So, he decided that he will not listen to any stupid explanation she will give and break things up.

* * *

Anshu was sitting under the tree at the corner of the ground. It was 2’o’clock in the hot summer afternoon. The scorching heat of sun was nullified by shadow of a tree. It helped him to calm down and get ready to confront her. It was the most difficult conversation he was going to have. As she arrived, she gave a cheerful smile to Anshu, while he returned a contemptuous smile.

“Hi, you good?” asked Kavya in a charming tone.

“Wrong question,” said Anshu in a firm voice, looking intensely at her. She laughed.

“I know. And I’m the reason. I always wonder how you can find the humor out of nowhere. Even when you are angry, it doesn’t affect you. You can find it from anywhere.”

Kavya tried to cheer him up a little. She knew he wasn’t trying to be funny.

“We are not here to talk about my sense of humor.”

“Yeah. I apologize for my behavior with your friends and you. I said something to your friends and to you that I shouldn’t have. My mood swings and weird behavior is affecting you. I have let you down. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t need your stupid explanations and apologies again. I’ve had enough of it. I told you yesterday.”

“You’ve had nothing.”

“What are you talking about? You want me to tell you what you have done that proves I’ve had enough.”

“No, I want you to listen to me before you say you’ve had enough. Let me tell you something I have never told you before.”

“I’m listening.”

“My parents used to fight a lot. They still do. The only reason they have not divorced yet, is because of me and my sister. I have been going through this since childhood. Those loud noises, cursing each other, smashing things, enraged faces, and making mountains out of molehill. It was like hell. Their fights were like a tornado meeting a volcano. I just wanted to bury myself deep in the ground. I tried to ignore, but I can’t. They were my parents. My sister was an outgoing person. She used to go out with friends to escape from this and I used to immerse myself in books. Those books were unable to take me away from reality. So, I used to keep everything inside. And it erupts in different ways. Then, I get mood swings, I behave weirdly, and I say things I shouldn’t say. All these suppressed emotions, feelings, and rage are calling me constantly to get them out. And, I get mad over silly things. It doesn’t stop here. My sister is married, you know that. She is gone with her husband. So, my mother finds me to complain about my father. She complains how life is unfair and how my father made her life hell. I again feel weird. How am I supposed to react to it? She is in depression for years. She is on medication for years. I can’t go out. Because, when I try to, she stops me. She gets emotional. She tells me how she will be alone if I go out. If I stay, she starts disdaining father. And, I have to listen to it. Do you have any idea what I have to go through, what I have been going through?”

She was telling her story staring blankly at the ground with teary eyes. They exchanged gazes as she stopped for two seconds.

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” said Anshu.

“Because I forget everything when I am with you. I don’t have to find an escape from reality, because I enjoy the present moment. You are a funny guy. I forget all the problems, laugh on your silly jokes, and feel good. And you have been so great to understand me every time I do all those stupid things. I know I was wrong yesterday and I will apologize to your friends.”

“Okay, I can never imagine what you go through. I understand you; but my friends won’t, because they don’t know this. And I don’t want them to know all this. So, you have to come to my room tomorrow and apologize to my friends.”

She agreed. He asked her to say no more. He wanted to enjoy the solitude and a gentle breeze under the tree in the hot afternoon. He swallowed the thought of break-up. This time, again, he was the one to understand her to keep relationship going. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. That explanation wasn’t stupid. It was bitterly true and beautiful at the same time. His entire attitude toward her had changed. Now, he had more reasons to understand her weird behavior, mood swings, getting angry over silly things, and lot more. Her eyes filled with innocence, her ability to persevere, and her fortitude made him spellbound. He fell in love with her again. This time, more deeply.

The roles are never reversed in a relationship. Even if it reverses, it’s momentary. The crazy fact is, role reversal takes place only to make a relationship stronger.

 

 


 

(Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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When a Beautiful Lie Overshadows a Bitter Truth

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“Don’t do this to yourself! You deserve better. She is gone,” commanded Ritvik to Dushyant, banging door of Dushyant’s room. Danny and Pritam also tried to convince him to open the door.

“Leave me alone! Jussssss go,” replied Dushyant from inside his room.

Dushyant was drunk for entire two days after love of his life, Antara, left him. She left him because she was getting married as per her parents’ wishes.

Dushyant was handsome, intelligent, charming, emotional, and carefree. He was straight-forward, but not arrogant. He enjoyed solitude, but was not a loner. His good looks with well-built body flaunted his well-natured demeanor. An ideal boyfriend every girl wants to have. People had a playboy image when they saw him. But, the reality was different. Besides his good looks, loyalty was the most valuable asset of him. He was madly in love with beautiful, smart, witty, but dominating and arrogant girl, Antara. The love he bestowed upon her made her feel like a princess. She was two years older than him. They were in the same college in Varanasi.

His friends were banging the door continuously. Dushyant did not care. He was burning everything regarding their relationship to on that day with tears in his eyes. It did not make him feel better. The wildfire of pain inside his heart was scorching him than the heat of that fire. He burnt everything, but he stopped at a moment when he saw the only thing remaining to get burnt. The diary.

He looked for a moment at diary, wiped his tears, and opened the door. They abruptly went inside. Danny extinguished fire and other two inspected the room to ensure that he had done nothing wrong. All they could see was more than 10 empty bottles and a half empty bottle of alcohol, things scattered everywhere and Dushyant standing at the door with a diary in hand. They were puzzled when they noticed that he was staring in blank space.

“Just sit down,” commanded Danny.

“I wannaaaa meet her. Right nowwwww!” slammed Dushyant.

“You are out of your mind. Just sit down,” said Pritam.

“No, you are out of your mind! My life is ruined, and it will be devastated if I don’t meet her right now,” retorted Dushyant in clear voice.

“Why do you want to meet her?” asked Ritvik.

“I burnt everything, but couldn’t burn thisssss,” he replied, showing them diary, “And you all know the reason.”

* * *

Dushyant could barely stand straight. It was 10’o’clock in the night. They took him in Danny’s car to travel from Varanasi to Lucknow. Ritvik informed Antara that they were coming to her place. She refused initially, but agreed on one condition. This will be the last time she meets him. Only two days were left for her wedding day. It took them six hours to reach to her place. In those four hours, his friends did everything to make him little stable.

A cold breeze in the garden near her home was ready to witness the last meeting. She left home with her cousin sister. Dushyant and his friends were already there. Dushyant was sitting on a bench. As soon as they arrived, Ritvik gestured Danni and Pritam to leave them alone. They left him and went outside the garden. Antara asked her sister to leave them alone for some time. She agreed and joined boys outside.

Antara stared angrily at Dushyant for a while. He stared back blankly.

“What have you done to yourself?” said Antara in an anguished tone.

“Wow! The sword which gave me scars is asking me how I got these scars,” replied Dushyant.

“Why are you doing this? You know this is not possible. How many times do I have to tell you the same thing?”

“I know. This is not possible. I left all the hope. I left everything, friends, study, and family for some time. I got crazy. I used to talk to a tree about how much I loved you and how you are selfish and left me with nothing but shattered dreams. I burnt everything that reminded me I spent some moments with you. All the gifts and cards which meant nothing. But, I could not burn this.”

He showed her the diary.

“This is a diary you wrote for me. I read what’s inside. I know you expressed your feelings. But this is not enough. You have to understand. When caste, age, and honor are on the line, my parents will not consider this as worthy for allowing me to spend my life with you. Well, forget it; my wedding is in two days. So, just go. If you are trying to get me back, I am not coming with you.”

“I am not here to get you back. I am here to give you this diary. Burn it, because I can’t.”

“Give me! I’ll do it.”

“How easy it is for you to burn this! You know what, I shouldn’t have written it in those exam days. But, the thought of not meeting you again killed me and I wrote it instead of studying.”

“What are you talking about? You wrote it every day.”

“No, I didn’t. I lied to you that I was writing a diary for you. You remember you told me that I don’t get to meet you if I don’t bring this diary. And timing couldn’t be better. You demanded this when my fourth semester exams were going on. So, I went to market, bought a diary, four different pens, and started writing. I put earlier dates, used different pens, and spent four days to make it look real. My friends were telling me to study, but I didn’t. I thought I can give those exams again, but I can’t live if I lose you.”

“I didn’t know you were lying.”

“It wasn’t about lying; it was about the thought of not meeting you again. It was about the thought of losing you. It was about those genuine feelings. The dates were manipulated, but those feelings weren’t. And if you don’t understand that, it’s not worth ruining my life over you.”

He gave diary to her and left.

* * *

Next day.

Dushyant woke up hearing banging on his room’s door. He looked at cellphone for time. It was 4’o’clock in the morning. Why anyone would come to me this early, he thought. He opened the door and choked. It was Antara with diary in hand. She came to Varanasi with her cousin brother and sister without knowledge of her parents.

“What are you doing here?” asked he.

“Can I come in and explain?” replied Antara.

“Yeah, sure!”

“Who is there?” inquired Ritvik.

He woke up instantly and rubbed his eyes to make sure he was not dreaming.

“You came. Yesss! I knew you would come. I told him,” said Ritvik excitedly.

“No, I did not come back for what you are thinking. Would you please give us a moment?”

He left the room.

“I also can’t burn your diary. I know feelings you expressed in this diary are genuine. I read it once and I read it again. For one second, it made me run away from there and hug you. And, you wrote it in only four days despite your exams, because you could not imagine losing me. This was the most romantic thing anyone can do for a girl. It was a beautiful lie. Initially, I thought you were only making up for your lies, but this tells me how much you loved me. And, I loved you for every small thing you did for me. You used to come to Lucknow after i got job here after graduation. You used to meet me, stay in the hotel despite your family lives there, and leave on next day. It made me feel special. The bitter truth is, I was being so selfish. I never gave anything to this relationship. I only demanded from you. You never complained. You don’t deserve me. You deserve someone better,” confessed Antara with teary eyes.

Tears rolled down from eyes of Dushyant. He wasn’t prepared for this confrontation.

“You don’t have to do anything. Just be there with me,” he replied.

“No! It’s too late now. I can’t put their reputation on the line. I can’t be selfish with parents. They gave me everything and never expected anything in return just like you. I made mistake by being selfish with you, I don’t want to make the same mistake again. I hope you understand. I am here to give you this diary. I wrote it in one day for you. I have written how I feel about you, how selfish I was and how you showered love to make my life beautiful. I am keeping your diary with me for the rest of my life and I want you to keep this diary with you.”

Dushyant took that diary.

“Please, don’t leave me.”

“I have to go as soon as possible. If my father will be furious if they find me out I am not in my room on a day before my wedding. I’m so sorry and thank you for all those beautiful moments. You are a great person. You will find someone who loves you. Goodbye!”

She kissed him on chick and left. Dushyant cried bitterly after she left.

He never tried to contact her. He used to read that diary under the same tree he used to talk to. In the end, he won her heart though he lost her love.

The crazy fact is, a beautiful lie overshadows a bitter truth.


 

(Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

She Thanked That Demon

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Yes, she isn’t beautiful,
but, she is driven by a purpose.
External appearance is overshadowed,
When actions are directed toward,
Fulfilling a purpose bigger than oneself.
The glossiness fades, but the legacy of
Her work, her passion, her dedication,
Will remain forever.
And, it makes her more beautiful,
Than those girls, who spent valuable time in
Make-up, looks, and boys.

Now, she has not only fulfilled her purpose
But also helped thousands along the way,
Taught millions along the way,
Inspired billions along the way,
How to stand up for themselves!
Made the difference in lives of people!
The crazy fact, she thanked that demon,
Who threw acid on her face,
For all she could do till now!


 

(Image courtesy of hyena reality at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

When The Time for Resurrection Will Come?

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Living this way has torn me.
No hope, no light is evident,
No ray of opportunity,
Only diving deep into darkness
Of invisible realms,
No energy left, no enthusiasm,
Wishing for easy way out
Only hoping for the time of resurrection.

Finding out how that brave found courage
To live their purpose.
I got no fight left in me,
No trust in me, No optimism in me,
Only a mind, filled with envy
For those who made it.
Only expectation of the time of resurrection.

Finding excuses for not doing anything,
Over thinking, over analyzing,
Imagining worst case scenario.
I only desire to destroy everything
To divert from all the nonsense,
Finding a way to convince myself
How my situation is different,
Why I should not do it,
Why I should not take a small step
To reduce the intensity of my misery.
How they could do it and I couldn’t
But I will do it one day,
After the time of resurrection.

No matter how much I read, or listen
Those inspirational books,
Those motivational speeches,
I lost my mind though,
No reaction to those great thoughts,
No implementation of those good intentions,
Just go for a walk into the unknown,
Imaging what I will do
Once I resurrect!

I tried to forget the important.
Life is too short to worry.
So, just lose it and go berserk,
Because, in the end,
whatever I do,
All will be gone with me.
Nothing is going to matter
When I’m gone!
After some mourning, and sobbing
Everyone else will carry on,
Is the resurrection worth it?

But why I want to resurrect,
Why to make some efforts,
To make something beautiful?
Something bigger than myself?
What am I going to do with it?
Help people who don’t care
What’s happening with me.
Or for people,
Who wants me to bend as per their will.
I don’t want to resurrect!

So, I destroyed myself,
No longer suffering, no misery,
But, everything went wrong,
Nothing finished, it just got more complicated!
And then I realized,
Even though, I thought,
Nothing will matter,
But only ‘being there’ matters,
My inaction was responsible,
For not being able to resurrect!

And the crazy fact is,
The time for resurrection does not come
Until a shovel of ‘massive actions’ is used
To dig the grave of ‘misery’.


 

(Image Courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

When You Wish For a Miracle and Tragedy Happens

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“No, you can’t see my answers. Write your own. Or I’ll tell teacher,” I instructed Kamlesh.

“Hey, please! Show me. I don’t know any answer. Or teacher will punish me,” he replied.

We were in 4th standard. Kamlesh was my bench-mate. We were not good friends. But, we have to sit on the same bench as per seating arrangements made by teacher. He was an average student, thin, scraggly hair, fair, and had scrawl handwriting. He used to speak in Jalgaon Marathi accent, which was so irritating to me. Honestly, I never liked him. He was untidy and used to mutter something to himself often. I never wanted bench-mate like him.

I didn’t show him answers and teacher did not come to our bench. So, he got away this time again. And, I hated the fact that he used to get away every time. The day finished as usual. I used to always hope for a miracle at the end of the day. I always wished that teacher’s mind would have changed because of some miracle or anything. Something should happen on the next day and I get another bench-mate. I could not tolerate him for another day.

* * * *

Next day, my neighbor aunt rushed to our home with a newspaper in hand. She looked horrified. My mother asked her what happened and why was she rushing.

She said pointing to news, “A boy from Camp Education School died yesterday evening in bus accident.”

That was my school.

She continued, “He was in 4th standard. He jerked his hand from mother’s hand, ran across the street, and collided to bus. He died on the spot.”

My mother was shocked and took newspaper from her. She informed that the name of boy was Kamlesh Chaudhary. She asked me whether he was from my class as we had two divisions for each standard.

“Yes, he is my bench-mate,” I replied immediately without knowing the sobriety of news.

“He died yesterday in bus accident,” she informed again.

I had no reaction. I didn’t believe it. Tearful and misty-eyed face of neighbor aunt was telling me that it was a serious news. But, the news was difficult to digest. It was hard to understand the meaning of ‘died’ at that age. I could not believe that he was gone. Dying meant that he was not coming back to class again. My mother was reading the entire news and aunt was silent. I didn’t know how to react. I could not imagine he was not coming to class on that day.

* * * *

The news shattered everyone in school. The tribute was paid in general assembly session. Teachers were grieving. Classmates was looking at me or at my bench in my class. Some of them were advising me to not to keep my hand on his place. There might be his ghost, they warned me. Teachers used to come in class and ask me how I was feeling. I replied ‘bad’ to everyone. I was wondering why every teacher was asking me. He was not my good friend. I replied same to everyone, because I had a belief that people feel bad when someone dies. I was not feeling anything at that moment. I did not know the seriousness of situation.

* * * *

When I think about this incident now, I feel ashamed of myself. I felt nothing. How can I be so cold? The life is too small to hate someone. Everything changes in a blink of an eye. I cannot imaging how his parents felt at that time? Was his mother able to recover from this tragedy? She wouldn’t have slept for countless nights. When her mind rests from daily activities, those miserable moments would have been flashing in her mind. She might still be having imaginary conversations with her son about which dish he would like to have for dinner? She would have been turning pages of his notebook and caressing words on those pages. Screaming out her lungs to remind him of finishing his homework. I never know, she would have been packing his school bag for next few days. His father would have been missing the face that blossoms when he enters home after having a long day at work. He would never have a moment when he sees his sandals fitting perfectly into his son’s feet and realize his son has been grown up. No one could imagine what his parents were going through at that point of time.

Today, I don’t know how they are. Are they able to recover? Parents would suffer and recover from any tragedy. But, no mother would want to see the god calling her son in front of her eyes. And I felt nothing at that time. How heartless, spineless, and cold I was! I feel guilty that I didn’t try to understand him, spent every minute disdaining him. I have always been judgmental. In the end, all I did was, give a robotic response of feeling bad for the loss. I never wanted a miracle to happen in this way.

The crazy fact is, I wished for a miracle, but tragedy happened.


 

(Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)