It had been almost half an hour besides the philosophical beggar,yet it seemed like a few minutes,and it didn’t feel like those boring lectures that I used to experience at college daily.This was something interesting..something that I didn’t expect a beggar to speak up.
“Well,we can’t do anything about the past regrets,but learn from it and move on..so..eventually I had to move on too..to this new miserable life of mine.”
I kept silent, signalling him to continue.
“Do you remember the question I asked you some moments before?”he asked.
I understood what he is up to.
“Ya..something related to ‘true’ love right?”
“Yes! Good you remember.”
I smiled and hoped my memory power works like this at the time of exams when it is required the most,instead of such quirky situations.
“Ask me any question regarding this”, he said after some moments of painful thought process.
I was confused.What should I ask him about ‘true’ love?
Instead,I would have been happy if he had offered me a hand in completing out those assignments I have aplenty.
“Umm..Ohk..Did you ‘truly’ love your wife?” ,I ask all of a sudden and then pause,analysing whether it was correct on my side to ask him a personal question,that too at this level.
But he still seemed to be composed,instead of being astonished..as if he was expecting this question from me.
“Yes..but I don’t think you can understand this…actually the point is that the context of ‘true’ love differs from person to person my boy..”
“Can you elaborate?” I ask out of curiosity.
“It’s a very simple feeling my boy..it’s just that we humans tend to complicate it with our qualities like ego,rudeness and lack of giving respect that creates turmoil in any relationship..Isn’t it?”
“I still vividly remember those days when I had a doubt over my wife having an illicit affair with that bloody Secretary..
That bloody idiot ruined my life..forever!..But as I said before, I’m the one to be blamed actually..”,his tone started slowly filling with regret again.
“You don’t know how much I regret not giving my time to HER! Her interests,her life,her stories..I never gave time for these things. To be true,after getting my job,I never had time even to compliment her beauty which was definitely cruel from my side..i know..but..” he stops again.
“But what?” I enquire.
“Don’t you think she too was on the wrong side?”
“Ya….if she had loved you truly then she shouldn’t have left you,that too for someone else!”
“Yes you’re right.But a successful relationship is a two way process,not one way process..right?”
“Yes” I answer.
“Its not that she never loved me.At the initial phase when we dated each other,(yes in that zamaana) ,we were madly in love,like..we can’t be separated even for a second!
I still remember those moments I shared with her,the smile on her beautiful face when I used to gift her some surprise now and then, how we stood by each other when we were in distress..how I managed to convince my parents that I wanted to marry my love instead of Dad’s plan to send me off with his friend Mr.Mehta’s daughter,in turn resulting in the merger of Mehta Industries with my Dad’s company..which would have resulted in humongous profits for him..but never happened,thanks to my heart that had been stolen by my love..”
“This guy is getting out of hand now..”my mind conversed with myself, but I let him talk instead of interrupting him.
Interrupting heartbroken lovers or drunkards from talking their hearts out can be very dangerous according to some Bollywood movies.
“But slowly like most relationships this one became dull too.At first,I had a fear if I’ll lose her for someone else or not,but after getting hitched, that fear got away.Also,my gifts and surprises for her went down drastically. Something was changing.Did I still love her?
But did I still love her the way I used to before?
No was the answer.
At first,I used to ignore these thoughts,but later I got to know that my mind was correct.
That love has vanished.Slowly but steadily.Soon,I stopped talking to her anything,except my work related stress and how it was consuming me.Still she listened me with me with patience.I never returned the favour..Clearly,I was on the wrong side,but what she eventually did was too much for me to bear.”
“I know you are feeling bad..but past is past..” I tried consoling him somehow,but he cut me short.
“What is more disheartening is that I see the same things happening with the present generation yaar.Children from 7th or even 5th standard are getting into relationships..In an age of playing outdoors and having fun,they too are hooked to smartphones and cry over their stupid breakups.I never understand how this generation is moving so fast!
Most relations end within one or two years.That’s it.Then they spend some days of ultimate upheaval and sobbing day and night.. And they move on.Simple.They soon realise that loving someone and being in a committed relationship is a serious thing and not an easy stuff….
On the other hand there are a bunch of people who are called “cons”.Those people who use other people for their own benefits- and then leave them all of a sudden.
“Kaam hogaya tumse
Ab agla bakra”
They won’t understand the pain a heartbroken person undergoes till the day they truly fally in love and then they get dumped the same way..after they get a taste of their own medicine.”
And he stops.
He was correct and I agreed with his points.
I admired the philosophical yet simple words which he uttered.
“Actually I had a question Mr..”
I stop,since I didn’t know his name.
“Call me Mr.Beggar” he smiled.
“Nah..that wouldn’t be appropriate for a wise man like you.” I retort.
“OK then.. Call me Mr.Wise then!” he laughed.
“Ohk then Mr.Wise! Tell me:
DOES TRUE LOVE EXISTS?”
He was looking far away.Staring at something.Deep in thoughts.
“Ask your heart my boy.. only he can answer that” he smiles.