We humans are different because our strength and weakness lie in the same place, the one who can make us can break us too.
When I say break, it doesn’t have anything to do with heartbreaks, it’s about being vulnerable to situations where you feel helpless and can’t do anything about it.
Situations become clumsy and feelings, weird, and usually, we surrender ourselves to those feelings.
What do you do when you see yourself drowning in the deep waters, and your breathing becomes difficult, you struggle to survive right.
But on some days, the struggle is on the other part, fighting to live while underwater, you find solace.
That was what Nilanjana would do to me.
I was never a person who believed in love at first sight, but then I saw Nilanjana and all my twenty-two years of theories of love and relationship automatically were rejected.
I don’t say I fell in love with her, but yes, she held me a captive with just a smile, that nonchalant smile I would never forget.
She had the kind of charm, a woman rarely has. I don’t mean to belittle others, but that was Nilanjana. She would just walk past you, and you could feel a subtle vibe that will make your day.
But Nilanjana was fifteen years elder to me, but still, my heart skipped a beat for her.
Once during a conversation, she started singing her favorite song ‘Lag Jaa Gale’.
Her singing was not up to the mark, but her eyes shone when she sang like the lyrics were etched in her heart and she wasn’t just singing a song, she was worshiping.
I would sometimes visit her home, and though every time she bit her lips, I wanted to kiss her, but I never crossed my line.
Nilanjana wasn’t searching for love or lust, she just wanted to live, and I didn’t want to let her go.
But then, one day you feel so lonely that you end up doing the only thing you prohibited yourself doing from.
Nilanjana and I were having our favourite Malai tea, while she recited lines from her favourite Rabindra Sangeet.
At a place she misread the word and bit her lips, I couldn’t resist myself and said, ‘Nilanjana, everytime you do this I only desire to kiss you. But I am helpless because once I do that, I am going to lose you forever.’
Her expressions were calm and composed, unlike what I had expected. She smiled, that same smile, put everything aside, brought my hands closer and said,
‘After Ravish died, I never longed for company because I have his memories with me. You know we seldom have our happiness in our hands because we always let others control ourselves. Ravish taught me to be happy from within, even with his presence and absence. I spend time with you because I am comfortable with you and this ambiance and I enjoy myself. But you, my dear, are here because I make you happy. There’s where you go wrong. Don’t make me so close that while my smile could make your day best, at the same time the realization that I can never be yours could make your nights heavier. You have a long life, Aaraav, just remember love is beautiful but you need to find love within first.’
She came closer and kissed the corner of my lips, patted my back, and I knew that’s where the goodbye lied.
But I never stopped loving her.
When you decide to dive, you know what lies beyond, but you do that anyway.
I found my love, maybe in the depth of this devastating love.
Tejaswini is an aspiring writer who wants her readers to delve into her stories and enjoy reading them, because that satisfies her, a little more than Chicken Biriyani.