the muse

Everyone has a story. The starting and the ending may be the same, but the part in between, the part which is unique – it is the part that matters.
We make stories, we build them as we grow up, thinking someday we might get to live them. That some fine evening, we will enter the castle doors and find everything just the way we have dreamt it to be, just how we have always imagined it to be.

Isn’t it interesting, that we keep changing the subjects of the story, or have the story with multiple subjects – we are the protagonists in some, in some we would just wish to lie back and enjoy the essence of it all? Isn’t it fascinating, that while some stories fade out from the memory as soon as they are over, others last for a long time, leaving at their own pace, affecting, in their own way, all the stories which might spawn later?
I too, have a set of stories. Stories which revolve around a Chemical X – there are many names for it, but the superset of, I call that love. As our stories grow, the form of love changes – it is obsessive in the first chapter and as the effect recedes, it grows out to be the adhesive which ties the bonds. It is desire in some, lust in others; platonic in some, consuming in others. All stories have one form of love, and the most interesting ones are the ones in which it is conspicuous by its absence.

You asked me if I could give you a love story. No, I cannot. I am still to understand love, be immersed in love, find the meaning of love. What I can give you is a story of a boy who thinks he cannot fall in love. Because all his attempts have cumulated in ‘mere’ stories. All his stories are chapters in the big book of life. I can give you the chapter of hope, the chapter, he has so fondly titled as “a breath of fresh air”.

As every story begins, he meets the girl. He knows he cannot have her- there might be one of the many reasons for it – but the crux of it- he understands. “Love” tries to blossom, in his heart, but he manifests it as a constructive energy. He learns to be happy with what he gets, even if, in the eyes of the crowd- the society he so religiously hates- he gets nothing. The time he meets her, he is the happiest. That time, no one can take away from. He is elated when she finds her way out of the jostling crowd, just to meet him. He likes it how her eyebrows shrink when she is in deep, pondering on something. He likes the way she dresses, the way she is different from everyone else there is.

And when he is down, and she comes along like a ray of hope, holds his hand to guide him the way and her eyes are fixated at trying to figure him out and he knows that she wants to cure him. She likes him but it just cannot happen. He might not be the same to her as she is to him. But there is a sense of peace about that. There is a warm cold breeze which blows when the two meet. They embrace, whisper inaudible words in others’ ears – till the next time, they say.

He is content with this. For this story doesn’t have an end. The chapters in between are etched with a smile. And that, to him, is more than love has ever tried to deliver.

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