An immortal love story

There is no end to a love story..

I watched a movie today. One that possibly will never die on me and I will watch many times over. It taught me many things. Amongst them one would be the sheer brilliance of ignorance and then the knowledge of a story as spectacular as the one I witnessed, unfolding in front of my eyes. The other and while the movie did not begin its life to teach me this, was the immortality of a love story. I am not very old, I will not submit to know much about the way the mind and the soul works but I do know a couple of things about love. The one thing I know for sure is that no love story is ever over, because while it begins with two people, it doesn’t ever end with them. No love story ever ends until both people, all the emotion in it and everything that was built in the process of that story is ever completely destroyed. Or let’s put it a little more gently, the story is never completely over. If you think back to the many times or the one time you were in love and think of all the circumstances that made it happen, therein, lies your love story.

So think about it. Can you take away the cafe where you had your first date? Can you take away the recipe of that muffin you shared? Can you destroy forever the book or the author over which you bonded? Or could you ever completely ‘un’watch the first movie you watched together? Would they stop making popcorn from tomorrow? Would the roads you walked on or drove on disappear over night? The beaches, the apartments, the petrol bunks, the ice cream carts, the grocery stores, the DJs at the night clubs, the buses you caught, the kisses you kissed, the fights you fought, the dishes you washed together. None of them are gone. Maybe the love has gone but the love story is still very much there. That is the beauty of it and that’s why you may forget the little details or the most important moment, but you cannot possibly forget the entire story.

The movie I watched wasn’t a love story between two people. It was an unconditional belief in the self. A man driven by something very few of us can claim to possess. In this quest of his perfection, I saw what I have been desperately trying to achieve. Both of us (the protagonist and me) have been desperately keeping a story alive. He through his music and me through my writing or it could be my work or even the noisy roads I run on. We are keeping a story alive of something that drives us. Only for us to turn around and return to it some day, stronger and with an obsession that will be undying.

So if you see a friend holding on to something or someone, remember that he is holding on to a story. It could be the most powerful collective of emotions that stitches him together. That every day as he breaks away and ends every element of that story, he is actually beginning a new one. There is no escape from a love story, it is immortal. And maybe in that twisted state lies his purpose in life and that one day he will turn around, dust off the bits and pieces of this story, take a few leafs from it and move on to another.

And maybe that day, you will feel a beginning.

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An immortal love story

Waking up

So I conducted a not so small experiment with myself a while back. I began to run much later in the night. I would usually leave for a run at around 9 PM but I changed that routine to 12 AM. It has been a significant move for me because for some reason a hard run always brings out the deepest, most insane urge to rebel with my body. I get back from these runs invigorated and positively charged to get some work done and writing to reinforce my thoughts.

The first couple of weeks were tough. i would start feeling sleepy around 4. The discomfort and pain that I was feeling was like never before. But I fought through those urges with quick detours to my kitchen where my brand new coffee machine has been a savior. I have worked on a carefully calculated formula of caffeine that is healthy for your body and at the same time is strategic in terms of consumption to ensure that I get the longest kick from it. Then, invariably on most nights, at around that 3:30 – 4 AM mark I would start hearing myself talk. Loudly sometimes. Enough for my room mate to wake up the next morning and ask me what I was up to that late in the night. He was convinced he heard me speak to empty rooms. I promised him he was hallucinating. I knew better.

These sudden bursts of conversation were really thoughts in my head bubbling to the surface. My body was finding it terribly hard to cope with my forced insomnia and was letting go. But I was in control. I was tricking my mind to think it was in control but with my passive aggressive coffee shock therapy I was gently pushing my mind off this cliff. A cliff that would ensure it would fall fully and truly into my control. The other night during one of my runs, it nearly got the better of me. I knew I was being followed but I couldn’t see any one. I continued running and after a while I slowed down to a jog, reduced the sound on my earphones. I could still hear the dull steps behind me. I didn’t need to look behind to know that there was no one. But I began to be filled with fear now. I started to twitch a bit, lost a few steps and finally yanked off my earphones. And then I knew what was happening. I stopped but the steps didn’t. It came and stood right next to me. I slowly looked to my right and I saw myself staring back at me. I stared hard back into my eyes. The steps started to drift away, I was back on the road by myself. I had beaten my mind.

And then I began to read books. Some weeks ago they would have surely have put me to sleep but now two hours of reading was keeping me decently active. The cups of coffee reduced, the conversations reduced. Then as a final blow, my mind went on a crazy spin. I would suddenly hear loud whispers and then nothing. I would hear my room mate calling me in his sleep and I wouldn’t even be sure if he wasn’t. I would see dreams with open eyes as I read a book. The moment the dream would get over I would be so confused that I wouldn’t know if I was asleep or awake. I forgot to add sugar to a cup of coffee one night and spent the whole night looking for a tea spoon. It was finally lying right next to my bed on the table. I knew for sure I had never brought it there. I would have loud and uncontrollable bursts of laughter followed by a very definite sound of biblical thunder outside only to run out of the house to find clear skies and a quiet night. This went on for a week. I could say that I was on the verge of a violent implosion. Every cell in my body was crying for sleep and to be left alone. But through it all, dreary eyed and in pain pulsing through my every vein I knew it was my mind’s last resort. it’s last cry for help. It was fighting a losing battle.

This morning, it was finally done. The voices were gone, the thunder was gone and as I walked out of home to head to work i had clocked 24 entire nights without a wink of sleep and a sum total of only 18 hours of sleep in those 24 days. I had prevailed over my mind and bought myself an additional 7 hours everyday. Every day.

As I walked into the bright sunshine with a smile and my cup of coffee wearing my look of triumph, I heard the footsteps again. They were right next to me this time. They weren’t unsure and they didn’t cease.

And then I turned to my left to see it..

Waking up