by Dawood Ibrahim Siddiqui
The sun was shining bright outside as a beautiful girl was sitting on her chair inside her small apartment. She stared blankly at two unopened letters which she had received early that morning. She picked up the first letter, smelled it, put it down and picked up the second one. The letters were pleasantly scented. Both of them bore a distinct odor, signifying their specialness. The forsaken emotion of love was sprinkled on them and the girl was trying to absorb the vibrancy which filled the room. She had an unusual smirk on her face, a smirk that could kill a man.
The girl who seemed happy picked up the first letter, stared at it momentarily and then cut it open. It was from Sahil-a happy go lucky guy who was in his early twenties.
“I love you since the day my eyes first met yours…” The letter began. It went on declaring his unparalleled love for her. He praised her beauty and compared her to beautiful maidens of fictional world - Laila, Shireen and Juliet. He thought of love as immortal and compared his love to that of Majnu, Husrev and Romeo. She laughed at it. Her reaction was inexplicable to even the most ardent stone hearted person. His Love didn’t appeal to her. She felt a need for oxygen and started pacing up and down the room.
Her name was Anna. She was a beautiful girl of eighteen, who was as pleasant as sunflower and as soothing to the eye as greenery.
She drank a full glass of water and then picked up the second letter. It was from one of her other secret admirer who finally had the courage to give ink to his feeling.
“How happy I am that I found the love of my life in you…” The letter began. He described his feelings like Shakespeare was in love and had decided to write a sonnet in prose. She laughed again and this time louder than before. The smile on her face just widened and widened as she read it till the end.
She did not want to be loved. She detested this very emotion. It was an anti-elixir to her. On the other hand, she wanted to love – love someone like flowers love the season of spring. She didn’t care about the spring but her goal was autumn. When leaves are no more, yet it is more beautiful than before. She wanted her love to fail and cry a thousand rivers. She wanted to embrace the pain of rejection because she believed rejection would make her life more fulfilling. The history tells us countless tales about failed lovers who have left their mark in one way or the other. She too wanted to be listed amongst such illustrious company. There was something mysterious about the ways of love. When one gets his love, they live a happily ever
after life. It’s the dejection that brings the best out of a person.
She paced up and down the room contemplating over the two letters and decided to take matters into her own hand. Picking up a pen and a piece of paper, she started a letter of her own.
She began, ”I know, I am a naïve girl but I can’t resist my love for you. Your charisma has swept me off my feet. Ever since I saw you, you are the only thing that occupies my mind… She went on and on and confessed her love….” She didn’t have any such feelings. There were no violins and no summer breeze tickling her ears.
She only wanted to feel the feeling of love, no matter whether the feelings were genuine or not. She put the letter into an envelope and sealed it. She addressed it to Farooq – a man in his mid-forties who was neither good looing nor intelligent. He was a regular run off a mill person, but he lived a perfect life or so it seemed. He had a wife and two children. She knew him very well and also knew beforehand that her advances had as much chance of succeeding as stars have of outshining the sun.
Next day she duly dispatched her letter and waited hopefully for the reply. In some days her heart would be broken and her prayer fulfilled. It finally came when the postman left a letter at her doorstep. She received the letter with a twinkle in her eye. Pouring a cup of coffee, she started reading it. It was a reply from Farooq. ‘I am flattered by your interest in me. It is a strange feeling that I have never felt before. Though you might hate me for I don’t have any such feelings for you. You are a young girl who will surely be seduced by a man much able than me. I hope you forget and forgive me.’
His response was short and objective. Her tender feeling of love had been crushed brutally yet elegantly by Farooq. She always knew his response and had been prepared for it. But the change in the color of her face suggested a hint of disappointment and sadness. She had always wanted to be rejected but when finally her wish had come true, she could not take it. The more she thought over it, the more disappointed she became. Slowly, she fell into an abyss of despair. Her eyes became wet and tears started running down her cheeks. It descended like rain from heavens. The desert had long been devoid of any moisture but when the rain-gods smiled, the desert became more desolate.
She picked up the two letters from her lovers and started reading them again and again. By the end of it, her wish did come true. She cried a thousand and one rivers. ***