You are reading the third chapter of the ten story-series of heartache which never saw the light of the day. Life is not a bed of roses literally, we store so many stories of our past in some forgotten corners of our heart, I am just trying to re-visit them as a tribute to all my friends and strangers whose tale are never known or perhaps long forgotten. The ten-chapter series is a work of fiction. There resemblance with any person living or dead might not be coincidence, anything can happen- this if life!
No one forgets the memories of adolescence, the emotions attached to it are so strong. It’s so powerful that perhaps all the nostalgia that people suffer are generally from this phase. Since, they are never forgotten, it also acts as a foundation of the many lessons that life may offer to teach us. At times they are windows of opportunity to lead a person to become cognizant, and further find a purpose of her/his life. However, it is not necessary that the realization is presented in an altar of roses. Quite often it is the other round, people bleed, they burn, they suffer and die, and at times rise from the ashes like a phoenix to come alive again. No matter how much one tries to protect herself, no matter how protective shield has been built around the offspring they have to go through this pain, and suffer wounds. Remember, during its first flight, a bird has to jump out of his nest against all its doubts and all reservations.
Adolescence is a tender form in one’s lifetime, however, just like an untoughened clay has to go through fire to hardened itself to be able to store water in it, a tender soul too has to go through the ‘fire of life’ to become ready for whatever challenges life throws at her. Mridula was a confident girl of 17, she was tall, dusky with a distinct jaw line. Her features were distinct from the regular ‘beautiful’ girls who hanker for attention, rather Mridula commanded respect and carried an elegant poise that came naturally to her. Her eyes always sparkled with conviction. But her journey was rough till now, inside her there were myriad of emotions that she encountered and fought the inner monster of doubt surfacing every now and then. Few of her classmates would ridicule her for being dark-skinned, and at times would invent names to depict her lanky feature. Earlier, she used to fight with those bullies, trying to shut every mouth when they fathom to tease her or to pull her down. But she became indifferent towards the bullying and became more confident about herself when she took up to modelling, and she also learnt early that ignoring few people in your life can lead one to inner peace.
Mridula was one of the brightest student in her class, and due to her helpful nature she naturally attracted many friends. Despite of all these she was often the target of her classmates and even her teachers. At times your honesty can be brutal to others, so people become naturally scared and devise ways to shun these gifted souls. She took up modelling a year back, the constant walk on the ramp had given her much confidence, now guys were getting attracted towards her gradually developing changes in her body, and it was known to her. However, her biggest motive to flirt around guys was to get a packet of chocolate in return. Her desirous feature was a disguise of her innocence. But she was still in doubt within, at times the self-emanating doubts would devour her. This August she turned 18, and as a true lioness her body and her free-spirited nature blossomed into womanhood. Soon she met her love interest- Raag, the first person to whom she would lose herself to.
Raag was the only son of their parents, after his father’s death Raag’s mother brought him up, she never allowed any vagaries of life to come near him, he always got what he demanded. With utter perseverance she built a successful business from a scratch. Although his mother’s love remained intact, Raag suffered from bipolar disorder when his mother remarried again, he couldn’t take it that his mother’s love for him would now be shared by another man. He took salvage in alcohol and often sleep around with girls. Alcohol and womanizing became a way of life for him. However, underneath he was lonely, amidst surrounded by all the people and money he was left alone within himself.
Mridula and Raag met in the tuition classes, although coming from different backgrounds something attracted them towards each other, perhaps their imperfections became the common ground, they knew they were hurt and they knew that they needed someone to heal their wounds. One day Raag expressed his love to her to which Mridula said “yes” and opened the doors of her heart for him. She already knew about Raag’s erratic lifestyle but true to her nature she decided to tame him into a responsible person. Love can indeed change a person for all the right reasons, Raag who didn’t give much heed to studies started paying attention to his career. Mridula would spend hours in explaining the topics which Raag didn’t understand. When the results of higher secondary exams were announced they each came out with wonderful results. Mridula passed with first division distinction and missed the first rank with few decimal points. Raag, except for Mridula surprised everyone by securing first division marks, but Mridula always knew about his potential.
Mridula always wanted to take admission in the country’s top-notched college, and with her scores she could have easily got into the likes of SRC, Kirolimal, or Hansraj in Delhi. Moreover, she never stepped out of her hometown, she wanted to explore the places and in turn explore her identity. At times your willingness to reach for the sky can be pulled by shackles on the ground by your loved ones and your circumstances momentarily. Citing their inability to finance her studies in a metropolitan city by her parents, she had to take admission in St Edmunds which was situated in a nearby hill station. Later, she realized how pivotal this chance occurrence was as this institution would shape the foundation of her bold and no-nonsense personality. Raag took admission in one of the premier colleges in the city itself.
Both good and evil reside in the hearts of men, there can be different degrees of possessiveness but if that becomes an obsession then one is certainly looking for trouble. Making friends was natural for Mridula and she was genuine about this nature of hers. Raag, initially was alright with it, however, as the time passed by doubts crept in his mind, making it corrupt with the suspicion. Now, since Mridula was studying in a different place, he wanted to keep a tag on her all the time. He would ask her whereabouts every now and then, as it was hardly 3 hours of drive Raag would often surprise her by presenting himself in front of her hostel, it was more of doubt than love. He started to have issues when she would talk to her guy friends which would always end up in an ugly fight over the phone. Mridula was gradually becoming suffocated. Raag gradually shifted to alcohol and womanizing again, perhaps few things remain in your DNA, and he started cheating on her.
She eventually discovered about the illicit affairs Raag was having behind her back, but when she confronted him he didn’t seem to be apologetic about it, rather he displayed true arrogance of a chauvinist. Needless to say that she was hurt, she was pained to the core, and it was her first heartbreak. She did not imagine that it would inflict her so much. That day she drank to her heart, she tried to wash away her scars and drown her tears in it. She faintly recollected how exactly an year back she was lying next to Raag, how he touched her tender bosom, and it’s ecstatic feeling when he entered her and opened the floodgate of emotions for the first time. She sobbed like mad that day, but in her heart she knew she still loved him.
Mridula wanted to de-clutter and wanted to escape for some time, so she tagged along with her friends for a trekking expedition for three days. She wanted to fall in love with herself again, devoid of all doubts she wanted to discover her true self. Amidst nature, she felt that she was much stronger than she thought, she had wings that needed to taste the fear of first flight and overcome it, and amidst nature she connected to her ‘self’ again. She was not afraid anymore, afraid of her own self.
When she returned, Raag was waiting for her, he became anxious as he couldn’t get through her phone. Seeing her happy and rejuvenated he became agitated, he felt how she could be calm when he was not in peace. At times our inner turmoil spans from seeing others happy. In a sudden rage he slapped her. That very moment his fate was sealed, and was to be thrown in the deep dark well of obscurity. She was hurt but the hurt couldn’t touch the inner walls of new found ‘self’, Mridula slapped him back. Raag couldn’t understand what just happened. Mridula kept glaring at him, burning the very existence of him. He was startled from within, and couldn’t withstand the aura of hers. After that day, she never heard back from him, neither did she wanted to. She learned that it was never enough to love someone unconditionally, the way one deserves to love oneself.
Years later when she flipped through the pages of her yesteryears she realized that had it not been for those scars she would not have become the person she is now. “Madam, it’s time for your flight”, her assistant woke her from her daydreaming. She was waiting for her maiden flight to London to attend a conference of UN. Perhaps she finally flapped her wings to fly high in unknown spheres of her sky.