“Even Shahid lost
Kareena. Sallu bhiya lost Aish. Amisha’s dad eyed her wealth. Celebrities too face such hard times, Nik! But don’t they move on?”, said Mitali who seemed to have mugged up a break-up survival guide.
“Everybody is different Mitsu. Some people are more sensitive than others and may take more time to move on. You know I’m an extremist. If I love, I love to the extremes. If I hate, I hate to the extreme levels. Can’t help it- that’s my temperament, my disposition. That’s the way I am!”
“ Extremist! That means if you ever cook for us after
marriage, you’ll either add too much of salt or won’t add it at all. See both : extra-salty and saltless food spoil the meal. Similar is with life. You have to follow mediocrity at times. Accept fate and move on. Don’t yield to the seductive pull of self-pity. Acting like a victim threatens your future.”
“ I have moved on Mitsu. I don’t think about her much now- just once a day or so. And you know I don’t love her anymore.I just hate her.”
“ Mr. Niket Mukherjee, let me make it very clear to you. Not loving someone anymore is a condition neither necessary nor sufficient to move on. You hate her ;you hate your dad. Do you even realize where this hatred will lead you?”
“Where?”, I answered back or rather questioned.
“ You are not able to concentrate in your studies, office, anywhere. You solve a question from CPA notes and even a Muslim surname or name (viz Khan and Sulemaan are partners sharing profits in ratio 2:1…) distracts you. You study Clubbing provisions in taxation and the moment you come across the word Father in the definition of a relative, you throw
away your books! Heights of insanity!”
“ You think I am doing this deliberately! Kuch andaaza bhi hai mujh pe kya beet rahi hai ? ”, my voice choked. “ Mitsu, I wake up every morning with a hope- a hope that this day would be different from others. I would not think of what dad did to us; what Varshaan did to me; that I would relieve myself of the fetters of hatred but..”
“I can understand Niket. Am doing this because …because I love you. And it hurts me when I look into your eyes. I look into your eyes to find the same love for me that I have in mine for you. But instead what I see are clouds of hatred…for Varshaan..for Uncle..”
We both were crying now.
“We think of the person we hate even more than the person we love. It’s a fact- you simply cannot deny it, Niket. And soon this hatred becomes an obsession – a haunting obsession that besets the mind all the time. Whatever you do, one thing will always accompany you – Hatred.. How can you excel in anything you do, given the ocean of hatred drowning you?”
Mitali was right. My condition had improved ( thanks to Mitsu’s efforts ) but still the hatred-o-mania persisted. I wonder what this possessive girl saw in me. Why she accepted me even after knowing about the rivers of tears I’d shed for Varshaan? No wonder they say love is blind. Had I been at her place, I would have never accepted somebody with a past. We men are like that.
Mitsu was, and infact is, damn possessive. She didn’t talk to me for a whole week once when I’d given a lift to one of her hostel-friends Kajal from CPA to hostel. People say there’s some kind of madness in possessiveness. But I feel once you are in a committed relationship, you realize there’s some kind of cuteness in possessiveness. You become somebody’s world, somebody becomes your universe. The feeling is great and it’s impossible to put it in words.
Ours was a very different love-story, very uncommon. We were not the kind of couple you would find holding hands in a secluded garden or watching movies together
(we always went for movies with our entire group, the BANG) or chatting overnight or hanging out at restaurants (the only exception is the proposal day. Afterall Mitsu couldn’t have proposed me in front of everyone!! ) or exchanging non-veg jokes (Mitsu rightly says no relationship should ever cross its decency limits). Mitsu would prefer taking an auto to sitting behind me on my LML bike. Not because she doesn’t like the bike but because she doesn’t want to do anything that would make her feel guilty; make her feel that she’s doing something wrong; that she’s taking advantage of her parents’ trust on her. To be in love is no crime but crossing the limits definitely is! And whenever it was my turn to pay, she would make sure that everyone orders the least expensive and thriftiest dishes. Some cute habits of very cute girls!
What matters is the quality-time you spend with your loved-one and not the magnitude of time. What matters is how much you care and not how often you meet.
Rightly said by James M. Barrie:
If you have it [love], you don’t need to have anything else, and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter much what else you have.
Mitsu was perturbed over my condition. So she read 5 break-up survival guides, attended 3 seminars on how to move on in life and took tips from 2 psychologists & 1 counsellor. Then she squeezed the crux of all these into a list that she handed over to me.
“ Thanks Mitsu, you are doing so much for me.”
“ Stupid, am not doing this for you. But for myself, for my own happiness coz my happiness lies in yours.”
“But Mitsu, this list like many others is meant for the people struck by love-the people who still love their ex-beloved. But my case is different. I am badly struck by hatred. Such lists or tips won’t work!”
“ Tose naina laage piya saawre…(from ANWAR)”, Mitsu’s cell rang.
“Hello.. Pranaam Maasi….whaaaaat? Am coming…”
“ Niket. Be quick, we gotta rush to the Bombay Hospital. Vineet has popped 8
sleeping pills. His condition is critical.”
Vineet Goyal, Mitali’s cousin, was a CA aspirant too. He had failed in CPT for the third time. It’s hysteric to see somebody who was laughing with you just 4 days back now struggling between life and death.
We reached the hospital in a few minutes. Mitali hugged her Maasi
and consoled her that everything would be fine. After about 45 mins doctor announced that Vineet was out of danger & we could visit him.
Vineet’s eyes were still filled with tears. Maasi had gone outside to complete the hospital formalities while Mitsu and I stood beside his bed.
“ Di, I’m sorry. Your brother is a coward”, said Vineet in a rather low voice.
“ What did you say, Vineet? Look into my eyes & say it again.” , bellowed Mitali.
But Vineet just won’t look up. Only 3 things in life refrain a person from making eye-contact: unexpressed love, timidity or guilt-conscience. And Vineet’s guilt-conscience was at its peak that day.
“ Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You didn’t even think once about Maasi, Maasa Ji, about us.”-Mitali.
“ I did..and I’d even mentioned on my suicide-note that the farm-house which dadu left in my name be transferred to mamma.”-Vineet
Damn!I know I shouldn’t have laughed
that loudly in a hospital but I just couldn’t control.
“ Talk sensibly Vineet. We all love you so much. Defeat is a detour & not a dead end. Jindgi mein ek thokar…ek jhatka chahiye hota hai..to realize our true inner potential.”- Mitsu
“ Hey, that’s Bips’ dialogue from Bachna ae haseeno.” I teased her to make the moments lighter.
“ Di is right bhayya…”- Vineet
“ Aye Vineet either you stop calling me di or stop addressing Nik as Bhayya. That makes both of us brother and sister”- Mitsu.
Yes. Vineet knew everything about us. From that day onwards, he started calling me Jiju or Jijs.
“Niks, get the move on tips’ list photocopied. Vineet too needs it.” I went to the nearby photocopier & got the list xeroxed.
“ Take this Vineet. Except a few points, all apply to you as well”. Mitali handed over the list to Vineet.
“ Me as well? I mean whom else does it apply to, besides me?, Vineet questioned.
“ Oh nobody, just a friend at hostel.”-Mitsu. We had no intentions to repeat the entire flashback to Vineet.
By the time, Maasi had come. We bought some fruits and medicines for Vineet. Then Maasi convinced us that she would manage and we (Mitali & I i.e.) should rather go and study.
Mitsu took an
auto & I unparked my bike though the destination was same.(CPA basement)
Upon reaching our destination, Mitsu again started with the ‘move on’ topic from where we had left it.
“ So what were you saying Niket? The list won’t work for you..right?”
“ Mitsu,don’t take…”
She cut me in between & said-“You know what exactly your problem is?”
“What?”, I interrogated.
“ Either you yourself don’t want to move on. This hatred has become a part and parcel of your life; it has got deeply embedded inside you and you don’t want to get out of its comfort zone. You have become a status-quoer. Or else you have already developed a conviction that the feat of overcoming hatred is an impossible one. It’s like being a soldier laying down his weapons even before the battle begins. To do anything, we must first believe it can be done.”
“ Mitsu, even I don’t know what exactly my problem is.”
“ Fine, then I am here to guide you. Take this list home, ponder over it and from today itself try to inculcate it in your life. But it will work only if you inculcate it with a ray of hope in mind, with an impeccable determination & faith that things will improve.”-Mitali.
She added, “I’ll make sure Vineet does the same too. See, you said this list is not for the ones struck by hatred. But I tell you, this list is not meant for any particular category. This list is for anybody who wants to move on in life- after break-up, after divorce , after failure in exams, after leading a life full of frustration …for anyone who wants to make his/her life better than before. Even I follow some of its tips in pursuit of self-development.”
I love the undaunted obstinacy of this girl. I mused over the list and followed it too. I’d been a bathroom singer since childhood. I joined a nearby singing class. I also learnt to play guitar.
I finally cleared my Finals. By that time, Mitsu had already joined a Co. at Mumbai. Gopu and I joined a firm at Indore as partners.
Did I move on?- Maybe yes, maybe no. I was at a stage of convalescence. Even though it was different now, but the hatred was still there somehow. My heart just won’t let it go. But my condition was much better than what it used to be.