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The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by Aunali Bhujwala

July 17, 2014

The Man Who Can’t Be Moved

By Aunali Bhujwala

 001

Love is one of the emotions without which no man can move throughout his life. In a flurry of emotions and being there for someone who needs you, you feel yourself being sucked into a mind-boggling labyrinth of laughter, tears, mostly tears, that can bring you close to staring into the abyss; but then it just pulls you back to hang onto another false pedestal of hope. Rabindranath Tagore, in his short story, ‘The Postmaster’, had rightly said that, ‘The human heart is a wonderful thing. It clings onto false hopes and once it is hurt under the dust of the crumbling hope, it immediately seeks another belief to cling onto.’ Harsh words to describe what people like to call the most amazing feeling felt with someone else in your life. Harsh, but True.

I recall an interesting incident that occurred with a distant friend, pen-pal, if you may, which left him in more fragments than a China vase crashing to the floor. This short write-up goes out to the people as tribute, who’ve had the luxury of love in their life, which failed, and left them questioning the worth of life.

Jake Forester, eligible bachelor, working for a pharmaceutical company down in New York, had just bumped into the love of his life. She worked in the same company as him, and had risen through the ranks with the speed of light, and was now sitting in the next cabin, calling the shots the way he had been doing for three years now. A daily cup of coffee in the morning with her and a lunch shared every alternate day, and the heart helplessly fell slave to the beauty that Jake craved. Her name? Elizabeth, Elizabeth Dare.

A big deal went through under Jake, and he took Elizabeth out to celebrate. All the while she went on rambling about how beneficial this deal would be for the company, he kept staring blankly at her. The beautiful auburn hair, the deep blue eyes, the perfect face cut, she looked like Hera herself. Over dinner they talked, enjoyed a nice meal together, and finally Jake drove her home. At her doorstep, she fumbled around with her keys, waiting for him to say something. He tried to pull himself together and ask her to spend some time with him that coming Sunday. All he could get out was ‘Umm…Sunday…me…you….’ She looked at him and said, ‘I’ll be waiting here for you at 6:30. Don’t be late.’ The perfect connection, or that’s what Jake thought.

Many such Sundays came, and went. They got to know each other better as time went on, and Jake began to picture a healthy relationship with Elizabeth, if nothing else. One year, one and a half year, two years passed in a flash as they spent more and more time in each other’s company. Then one night Jake learned something while sitting in the park, that shattered his cool and calm life. Elizabeth got married.

How this happened, Jake never knew. Elizabeth never cared to explain, and Jake knew there was nothing he could do. The last words he heard from her were, ‘I didn’t tell you because I never wanted to hurt you.’ Leaving him dumb-founded and mind-boggled like that, her statement contradicted itself, as the damage had already been done. Jake was left, left with nothing to cling onto for support. His mind wasn’t in his work anymore; he went home early each day, or spent time strolling clueless of what life would give him next, just trying to lose himself in the great crowds of New York.

Every relationship, no matter how short it may be, always has a place, or a certain thing that marks the love between two people. It might be a place as huge as the Grand Canyon or something as small as an ink pen. Jake and Elizabeth also had their own special place, a park, not twenty minutes away from Elizabeth’s house. They would spend hours on end in the nights, sitting with each other, hand in hand, talking about their day and what plans they would make for the next day, or simply just sit there staring into each other’s eyes, searching for the love they had for each other.

Jake was all for quitting his job and moving to a remote city, away from the place that gave him such a hard ride. On his way out of the country, he passed the same park where he had spent every hour, thinking about a better future with Elizabeth. Since she had left, he tried to analyse what he could have done so as not to have lost her──but nothing came to head. When he thought of it, she did seem distant during the last few months, but he had tried, he had tried oh so hard to keep the status quo, but the balance was too far tilted to be pulled back.

Before leaving the city of New York forever, Jake decided to spend one more day in the park that made, and then broke his life. He sat on the same bench that Elizabeth and he sat on during each of their visits to their place of love, and closed his eyes. He sat thinking of all the times he had spent there with her. How happy she had been the first time they had entered the park, the night sky with burning balls of fire giving out those twinkling lights in the sky. How she had fallen asleep on his shoulder and how they had taken cover under the huge pine tree when it rained. He fell asleep, not for an hour or two──but forever.

Even after the autopsy the doctors could not figure out the reason for his death. He was a perfectly healthy man, with no blood pressure problems or stress issues, but he moved on without a cause. His will was read, that stated, ‘Bury me at the place of my death, because that was where I died once before.’ It’s almost as if Jake knew. So, he was ultimately buried under the same bench──in the same park──in the same city. The city he wanted to run away from, the park that haunted him, the bench that he wanted to leave behind. Nobody could fathom what he wanted, and he remains there, unable to escape, destined to rot in the place that killed him twice, figuratively and literally.

Just like Jake, how many of us have stared into the abyss and returned. Found the person who was so similar to us, so much so, we began to believe that we were made for us, but in the end, all we ended up with was the disbelief of losing someone who was so special to us. Every time we decide to turn the chapters of our life and think about all the happy and wonderful moments we spent with people, we always stumble onto the point where we were stopped and shot dead. We relive those moments and try to learn and better our future life, but continue to slip and fall in the same places as before. It’s true when they say, ‘Love’, is just a word.

Copyright 2014 Aunali Bhujwala

Image courtesy (representative purpose only)

http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/890114

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