LOVE NEVER FAILS – II

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By Chiradeep Patra

Arun looked at everybody’s face and laughed saying, “Hey common guys! I am done with my life story…” “Nothing much to share as I am here with you all and you know the rest of me.” Everybody was filled with emotion and amazed to hear all this, but Arun was still smiling. Today after five years of his stay in this orphanage he poured out his love story to his colleagues. He felt relieved. The very next day his director told him to go to Bangalore for a conference on ‘Community Development.’

The conference started and he was amazed to see somebody on the dais. He looked familiar to him. The announcer called out a name “Rohan Srivastava” the chief speaker of the conference on ‘Community Development.’ He was disturbed. And the eyes were met when Rohan started speaking looking at each one of the participants. During lunch time Rohan came and throw his arms around Arun. They both hugged each other and just discussed few things about themselves as there were much more to talk with Rohan. After the conference before leaving, they fixed a time in the hotel to talk to each other. Rohan scolded Arun for keeping silent for so many years.

He said everybody was hurt for Arun’s behavior. And also said sorry for what has happened to him. Arun was amazed and asked, “How do you know about this…?” He replied, “Nita shared with all of us when we could not find you anymore.” Arun asked, “Did Reena knows about it…that I had heard what she said that day…?” Rohan replied, “Yes…she felt sorry for you… but she was not in love with you at all.” “Where she is now…?” asked Arun. Rohan looked pale and tried to avoid. But Arun asked again. Rohan said, “I don’t know…where she is..?” “What do you mean you don’t know..?” Arun asked looking intensely at Rohan. “You may not tolerate Arun so just leave it…” said Rohan. Arun’s heart was pounding hard. He asked impatiently, “oh just shut up Rohan…now tell me what happened to her…?” Rohan looked down and looked up again and said, “We all departed from each other after you left. I went with Chaya to New Delhi and joined a Community Development NGO. And after two years we got married and still in New Delhi. Binod married Gracy after two months and they moved to Kolkata to work in a Call Centre job. Both are now executives and happily married. And you knew about Nita, she came back to India last year from the US and joined an MNC. She was engaged to a multi-millionaire two months back and will soon marry him. She has totally changed but still the sweetest of all as before.” “And Reena…?” Arun asked again with a sudden fear in his heart. Rohan took a deep breath and replied, “Reena…ah….”He paused again. “Reena fell in love with a rich and handsome guy, Rocky, son of an industrialist after you left. She was very happy. We all went to her engagement ceremony. We all missed you terribly and four of us were somehow blaming Reena for everything. But we were silent. She was looking stunning that day. After dinner, we said goodbye to her and came back. After two days Chaya called me and started weeping. On asking, she told me that Reena was gang raped by Rocky and his friends on the next day of their engagement. He invited her to their farm house for a candlelight dinner but he invited his friends also without her knowledge. And they raped her. I consoled Chaya and came over to her place. Later we informed Binod and Gracy about it in our old meeting place at College canteen.” Rohan paused there and looked at Arun. Arun’s eyes were moistened with tears. Rohan hugged him tightly and both of them started weeping. Arun tried to get back his composure and he looked at Rohan and asked again, “what happened next to Reena…where she is now…?” Rohan replied, “She stayed traumatized for two years and was in the hospital in shock. We went to see her many times in the hospital. She just looked at us blankly. No movements and no expression we could see on her face. Now she is in some rehabilitation center in Dehradun. I don’t think any of us know the address of that center. Her parents are there in Dehradun too. They sold everything including their house and went there. That’s all…”

Rohan looked at his watch, “it’s time boss…I need to go to the airport to catch the flight…” Arun said, “Yes… even I need to pack the things and buy few things for the children of my orphanage and catch my train at night.” They hugged each other and exchanged their addresses and cell numbers and parted.

To Be Continued…

(Know a bit about the author clicking HERE)

LOVE NEVER FAILS – I

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by Chiradeep Patra

Arun, Chaya, Nita, Binod, Reena, Gracy and Rohan. They call themselves ‘7 wings’ in the college campus. Like peas in a pod, they never separate except when they go back to their respective homes for dinner and sleep. Collectively, they were never sad, because when one of them felt sad, the others would cheer him or her up. That was the extent of their friendship.

Rohan, the darling of the group, was the cutest and most soft-spoken of them. Gracy was all-knowing and matured off the lot. Reena was the “queen”, being the most beautiful girl in the group; Binod, the shield because of his well-built body. Nita was the tomboy and next in command to Binod. Chaya was the bubble brain of the group and Arun, the most respected, the encourager, and the morale builder of the team. Being a heart patient from birth, he was a little slow yet most wise.

Binod and Gracy were seeing each other, as were Rohan and Chaya. Nita was not ready for any relationship; Arun loved Reena very much but never confessed it to her or anyone because of his own insecurities.

Today the ‘7 wings’ look sad and tense. They are sitting in the college canteen discussing a very serious matter. ‘What will we do after college?’ ‘How can we be separated from each other?’ ‘Where are we going to stay after today?’ These questions were killing their emotions as today was the farewell day of the graduating batch. The love birds were bit comforted to know that they will be at least with their lovers but other three Nita, Arun, and Reena, especially Arun who has not yet confessed his love for Reena were worried about their tomorrows.

But as usual, Arun broke the silence and cheered up all of them and said, “Guys we are definitely parting from each other; that’s life and we have to face it but why to waste the time given to us together now…” and he cracked a joke. They all smiled knowing he was right, as usual.

In the evening, the juniors gave speeches about their favorite seniors, there were gifts showered upon the seniors. The ‘7 wings’ were together, as usual, sitting together and having fun to play pranks on other batch mates. They had planned earlier that they will gift all their juniors one pen each, with ‘7 wings’ inscribed in each of those pens. Everybody was excited.

During the time, Arun went out with Nita to make an ISD call to Nita’s uncle regarding her further studies. The rest of the friends were talking with other, batchmates and juniors. Gracy, Reena, and Chaya were sitting close to each other and discussing something. Gracy asked, “Reena! We both chose our life partners already but what about you?” “You didn’t find anybody yet…?” Chaya giggled and Reena just smiled at them and said, “No…not yet…” Chaya innocently asked again, ‘Hey, what do you think about Arun, he is so good and close to you too…don’t you think about him…” and even Gracy nodded with Chaya, “yes…Arun is good…” Reena replied immediately, “hey girls…common…you’re too much…he is a heart patient…he himself is not sure of his own life…how I can dream of a life with him…!” “He can just be a sweet and adorable friend…that’s all”. And they were interrupted in the middle of this discussion by Binod and Rohan. They called them to come to the other corner of the room. They immediately got up and went towards Binod and Rohan without noticing Nita and Arun who were standing behind the pillar where the group was sitting and have listened to the conversation.

Arun went out again without giving others a hint. Nita went behind him. There were tears in his eyes. He was devastated. Nita was trying to console him but in vain. Nita was also in tears. She said in anger to tell everybody and ask Reena to ask forgiveness. But Arun caught hold of her hand and told her not to share anything about this matter to anyone ever. After regaining his inner strength he said, “Nita lets join the party…” and dragged her in side the room. Nita was just dumb founded looking at Arun’s will power and inner strength. Immediately the rest of the group members asked why both of them are looking so pale. Arun said, “it’s nothing..we are sad because Nita’s trip to the US is confirmed..” Nita just looked at Arun and amazed of his perseverance.

The party was over. Everybody went their homes. Nobody could really sleep at night because of the pain of departure. But Arun….! He had to suffer many; the pain of departure, a pain of insecurity, a pain of rejection, pain of heartbreak. He stopped calling anybody. He had so many questions in his mind for God to answer. His friends called his cell number. But it was switched off. They visited his house but he was not there. He went to his uncle’s house and told his parents not to inform anybody. The ‘7 wings’ was broken. Only Nita knew the reason but she was unable to repair the loss.

Arun spoke to Nita once before he left for Tuni, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. He changed his cell number. He joined an orphanage as an Accountant and counselor. He engaged himself with the children and work, to forget everything. But when he was alone he wept quietly. He decided in his mind that he will never ever marry. The pain and anger of rejection was heavy on his soft heart. But it never could erase his love for Reena. He was still deeply in love with his Reena. He just could not forget her. Years passed by like this.

To Be Continued…

(Know a bit about the author clicking HERE)

Cupid & Psyche !

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There is a very interesting story in Greek mythology from where the term “Love is blind” originates. It’s the story of Cupid (the god of love) and Psyche.

First Version :

Psyche was the most beautiful woman in her land and men came to catch a glimpse of her from far away lands, this enraged Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty and the mother of Cupid as people used to once come to her temple in such large numbers but now Psyche was getting all the attention. So she asked her son to use one of his arrows to make her fall in love with the ugliest man in the realm. Cupid being an obedient son, went to shoot an arrow at Psyche as he spotted her looking at the ugliest man in the crowd outside her house, but the moment he noticed her face, he dropped the arrow which fell on his foot and made him fall in love with her. But he couldn’t marry her because that would enrage his mother and well, also because he was a god and she was a mortal!

Meanwhile, Psyche’s father was worried because everyone wanted to look at Psyche or meet her but no man wanted to marry her (well because, men!) so he went to Zeus’ temple for advice. Zeus decided to play Cupid’s wingman, so the oracle told Psyche’s father that she was fated to marry a demon and he was supposed to drop her at a mountain peak on a moonless night so that the demon could take her away to his land. He freaked out a little but after a lot of emotional drama he left her at the mountain for her destined husband to pick her up. She obviously couldn’t see who he was because it was dark, he took her to a palace above clouds which was again totally dark.

He explained the rules of their marriage to her that since he’s a demon(self-conscious one), he doesn’t wish for her to see him, so he would only visit her at night when all the lights are out and leave before sunrise. She also couldn’t make any contact with her family (control freak demon) and during the day, invisible servants would take care of all her needs. He also told her that he would leave her if she ever tries to see his face. Win win for Cupid!

So night after night he visited her and she obviously got a feeling that he’s not a demon but hiding something else (because you know, he felt like a person probably with decent enough features) and she also got bored in the lonely palace, so she coaxed him one day to let her talk to her sisters and allow them to visit. So they came, got a little jealous of her palace and her demon husband who was surprisingly very caring. They told her to hold a lamp over his face when he falls asleep that night to see how he looks. So she did exactly that, knowing well that he would leave her if she’s caught because she just had to know what he was hiding. She realized that he was Cupid, the most handsome god and not an ugly demon. Win win for Psyche!

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But cupid woke up and startled her, making the hot oil from the lamp fall into his eyes. He got really angry with her for breaking her promise and spilling oil in his eyes and he left, despite everything she tried.

Psyche tracked cupid down and found that he was living with his mom, who obviously didn’t like her and thus instead of saying no to her, she promised that she would allow her to see Cupid if she completes a bunch of impossible tasks, just to toy with her ! Out of love and desperation, she accomplishes everything and gets to see Cupid and discovers that he is blind because of her oil spill. Long story short, he forgives her, family matters to sort out and they live happily ever after.

Cupid found love himself but he is blind now so he runs around hitting anyone with arrows at any time and sometimes he forgets to hit the other person altogether ! Thus love is blind shouldn’t be translated in the romantic sense that people don’t care about looks but in the sense that love is chaotic madness and the person who once brought soul mates together is running around blind with love arrows !

Second Version :umilnym

A king and queen had three daughters of whom the youngest, Psyche, was so beautiful that the kingdom worshiped her as a deity. The oracle of Apollo instructed her father to sacrifice Psyche on a nearby mountain, as prey to a dragon, for he was told to hope for no human son-in-law. Meanwhile, Venus, the Goddess of Love, grew jealous of Psyche’s beauty and ordered her son Cupid to afflict the girl with a desire for only the most base of men (this gives Cupid’s “arrows” a whole different point!). Cupid left with intent to thus strike the sacrificed virgin, when, upon seeing her, he fell in love with her himself. Cupid had her carried off by the West Wind (Zephyrus) to his secretly prepared palace. There, he visited her by night and they consummated their love, but he forbade her to see his face. When she longed to see her two sisters, he reluctantly allowed them to visit. The sisters, envious of Psyche’s situation, plotted to destroy her happiness by convincing her to take a covered lamp and knife into her bedroom that night. When he sleeps, they instructed her, she was to take the light and look at the monster in her bed – and then stab it to death. The young and gullible Psyche agreed to the plan, but when she beheld her lover in the light, she was so surprised by the sleeping god’s beauty, and so overwhelmed by her love for him, that she refrained from killing him, though a drop of hot oil from her lamp fell on his shoulder and woke him. Startled awake, Cupid spread his shining wings, reproached her, and disappeared.

Heartbroken, Psyche was forced to wander, a wretched slave to several seemingly impossible tasks inflicted on her by Venus, but which she manages to complete with magical help from the natural world (for instance, she sorts seeds with the help of ants – rings a bit of Rumpelstiltskin or feats of Hercules). The final task involves visiting the underworld and bringing back up, intact, the beauty of Persephone, the Queen of the Dead. As with all the tasks, Psyche obeys, but this time at the very last moment she succumbs to curiosity and opens the box (how very Pandora of her). A deep sleep falls over her. Our pity for Psyche reaches its height, as we now know, too, she is truly contrite, utterly wretched, seemingly beyond hope … and pregnant with Cupid’s child.

Just when things are bleakest, Cupid returns to Psyche and forgives her. He has interceded with Jupiter, who agrees for them to marry and renders Psyche a true goddess. She is reconciled to Venus, and they all live happily ever after.