|Ugly Toad & Ana, the Lady Frog - I|
When Lady Frog says "No".
"I don't love you", she said.
When she said that I thought I would look non affected. Or say it was cool. But tears rolled over my face. It hurt deep. It pained like I had never known. All these years I wanted to put up a brave face in front of her. I wanted to be strong in front of her.
She had been the love of my life. I was only 15 years old when I met Ana. She was a joy to watch. My life was never the same after she gave me one of those bright and refreshingly haunting smiles. My actions and thoughts always revolved around one thought: Ana. Now it had been about 10 years. We had been friends. But I had always loved her though I never told her. Till today.
Tears contorted the face of the majestic beauty, blurred by the sadness and pain. I wanted to disappear from the face of the earth. Her beauty which inspired every muscles in my body, every moment of my life seemed lost between my tears.
She held my hands. "Please don't cry. Just that it does not happen."
My mind crashed. My heart felt a pang. I did not want to say anything to her. It was not her fault. For a moment I wanted to believe in God. To curse Him. To ask Him why he had given me so much love for her, if it was meant not to be fulfilled. I thought my life had reached a vacuum. All the sense of direction and purpose seemed to drift away. I wanted to disappear into the thin air .But I knew one thing, I could not stop loving her. It was a fact I had live with. I should learn to live with my unrequited love.
After that evening, I never saw Ana again.
I ran away. From the city where I was born in. Hoping her thoughts would be lost too, with the old city. She was always with me. It had been 5 years. But she was deep inside. Perhaps she had become part of my sub conscious psyche. Someone once told me, if you want something with clear soul, it becomes a part of you, somehow. No one could take that away from you.
My life, however, moved on. From the chaotic moment of beauty to the hopelessness of my love to a balanced and motivational talker, it had indeed been a walk. Big corporates call me to give motivational talk. They consult me for direction to framing their employee policy. In fact, at 30, I was a living irony. My life filled with such pining love which maybe never fulfilled. On the other hand, I give talks to hundreds of people on motivating towards excellence in life. Sometimes, I wandered what excellence in life really meant.
Then one day, in a busy airport, I felt that dread running down my skin. There she was. Like as she were in my dream. Looking cozy with another person. She was laughing. Those laughter that had once been the light of my life but it caused me deep pain. I ducked before she could spot me. Perhaps some other time, I thought.
"Please leave the baggage of the past behind", I used to tell in my talks.
Perhaps, later I would be able to meet Ana again. When the past is behind. Perhaps.
Story - The Beginning.
When Ugly Toad saw the Lady Frog,
I was young when it happened. So was she. It was a school love story. It happened in Delhi.
I was a new bee then. I had just joined a school in Delhi. Everything was new. The city and the people. The first day in the new school, I was pretty nervous. Some class mates tried to rag me. The word 'ragging' was dreaded. I had heard much about it. I had been warned. I was a lost soul. My Hindi was absolutely awful. During one of the ragging session, I was told to sing. I earnestly tried to tell them that I was anything but a singer. I ended up singing a Manipuri song. My seniors loved it.
In the class, I was this unusual eccentric bibliophile with a large spectacle squatting over my nose. I was sure everyone in the class found me critically amusing almost to the point of intense interest.
I noticed a meek girl at the backbench. She was a joy to watch. She was so quite and had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. Her face was so bright with no anticipation nor inconsistencies. She was like my bright star in a dark night. I immediately fell in love with her.
My mind became a house of deep obsession and uncanny fantasy. Ana, the angel lady became a ministry of love to me. She fuelled my dreams like a demon possessed with venomed rage. I wandered at the silliness of it. Of all of it. I thought God was crazy to make such delicate beauty. I wandered if this was a test from Him.
During class times, I was mostly thinking about her. And during the break time, I would most shamelessly stare at her amidst hordes of students in chaotic hurry. Those were my real moments. Moments in total harmony with nature. All my life was in my eyes, drinking in her beauty. It was my most joyful time. Days passed by but my love lived just in my eyes.
Like a fool, I kept on hoping she would like me. With great effort, we became friends. But the hope that she would like me and tell me so, as in my Hindi movies that I had seen, kept me sleepless many nights. It never materialized.
However, it gave me a new meaning to my life. Every day was something new. I looked forward to every day with hope. When we talked, if she happened to say something near to my hope, I would remember the very words she spoke, the very feature of her face. I would spend days working on the various plausible implications of her words.
One day, she turned me into a poet. It was a beautiful April morning. The morning sun mellowed smoothly through the class windows while the dove cooed cheerfully. The Math teacher was absent, much to the delight of all the students. She stood there face to face with me; our eyes locked in eternal bliss exchanging those sacred salvos of love; the air was filled with spring meadows and romance.
But at that moment, I saw nothing but stark unwarranted beauty- painted so clearly between her lips as she smiled, glowing in the morning sun with joy and love. And I got drowned in it - a moment of eternity, so drunk with her beauty. So inspired was I by those moments, that words flowed down my pen like clear streams.
On a Young Lady
Many arts O' beauty 've seen.
On the Teacher's Day, she came wearing a dark sari silhouette with orange border. She struck me like a thunderbolt. Even as I turned round the corner, to my surprise, found myself face to face with her. Amazement shook my frame. Her loveliness struck me like a bolt from the blue. The ethereal face on which nature had so lavishly and mercilessly blessed beauty upon. She stood in front of me. And I stood there like an idiot.
Then she broke into the most beautiful smile I had ever seen and said , "Hi".
I mumbled, "Hi". I could hardly hear myself. My heart was pounding like a drum.
A kind of gloom spread over my head. No word of praise from my lips.
A rebellious rage shook me.
"Tell her. Right now. It's the best chance". A voice raised inside me.
After the party, I went home like a broken man.
One fine morning I resolved, as I had done many times before, that I should put my love resolutely in front of her. My love should not live in my eyes, like a solemn coward; that it should no longer lie buried deep in my heart. And that I should not tremble to hold her hands. Yet when I encounter those lovely dark eyes, so much love raised in me like a rage and my lips trembled; words dropped from my mouth like a confused child. So I decided that I should write to her to bare my heart.
Well ..... I don't know how to start, where to start .I think it's important to make you aware of the things that run deep. It must have almost a year that we know each other. Yet we hardly talk to each other, except for the occasional reception and acknowledgement of each other's presence.
Diffidence is one thing I cannot get rid off. The deep reverence I have for you itself makes thing harder for me. The secret admiration I have for you remains ignored as I could not boost enough courage to say that I admire you. You have really fascinated me and my life.
Along with the letter, I implanted a red rose.
So I went the next morning, fresh with a new resolve and armed with a letter. Today was the day, I thought to myself. "It's a do or die situation", I told myself. I was charged up like an old fool madly in love. She came walking towards the class crowd in an elegant way but a slight shyness robbed over her face as she passed our group. I looked straight into her eyes and then suddenly turned the other way just to hide my stare. Neither did I remember my letters nor my resolutions.
I walked back to the hostel with a heavy heart. I thought I had no chance. It was as if the world had crashed down.
The evening, even as I was recovering from the deep disappointment with myself, a brilliant idea struck me. I thought I would send to her an anonymous letter which would atleast serve the purpose of lifting this oppressive love. So I started framing another letter. It didn't matter much to me that this letter might never ever be read by her. I just needed an outlet.
So I wrote to Ana again.
I don't know why I should write to you, when I will remain as mysterious as the darkness like the night. But I have to tell you that you really really fascinate me.
Well..it all began the day when my eyes met those lovely dark eyes of yours , brightening every moment of my life from then on. I have fallen for you from that moment on and that mere blink of your eyes brought in me a strange feeling which slowly consumes my world. I wander if those very moments were not eternity or love. The long hair that flowed down your nape, the very smell of your skin, the redness of your lips - aren't they made for me?
I have thought over and over about this strange step I am venturing today and found this the only sensible one. Someday, somewhere I will be able to muster all my energies and courage to stand in front of you and look into your eyes and say - 'I Love You'. But until then, I can only express through these words, which I doubt will ever come under your eyes. Though lonely I am, circumstances won't be favorable for the sudden excitement for a mere stranger, I, to enter your life with a red rose, which I know, the feeling and excitement will die altogether with time into oblivion. And for that matter, I will remain anonymous.
So, for today, I apologize for this sudden intrusion into the less trodden path of intimacy, to bring in your mind and heart a sudden anticipation. Nevertheless, I love you.
Until I come up to you one day in a busy street.
- A Stranger.
I was satisfied with my letter. But it proved what a coward I was. Because, as I had suspected, I never dropped that letter. Then came the school exams and other external exams which would decide my future. That was end of the school story. It was my little secret. I have never told anyone about her. But I thought a lot about her even after school.
To be continued.... the Story of Ugly Toad.
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This article was webcasted on February 14th, 2005.
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