“I was walking beside this river, not making an effort to match with the speed of the gushing water. I had been walking since I don’t know when! I’d lost count over years. I certainly saw no point in keeping track of time because what I was looking for was improbable to exist or even if it did, I had no idea when I’d find it. There was hope but despair prevailed over it. Every now and then, I’d put my hand in my pocket to find the same old key that had been breathing the same air I breathed, which used to shimmer when my tears fell on it but not anymore. It had turned red, as its nature suggested, it had rusted. Just like how we humans rust. The key rusts due to the abundance of moisture and air. We rust due to the lack of love and care! On a larger scale, there is no dichotomy at all. I didn’t know who put it in my pocket. In fact if my memory is concerned, I had not seen a human other than myself at all in the past few years of my life. I didn’t know how I had the key or what purpose it served. But my mind simply disagreed to throw it away into the river. For a moment, I realized that all I had been doing all those years was just walking along the stretch of water, conflicting with myself whether to throw it away or not! I would every now and then take it out to chuck it, then stuck in turmoil, I’d cry for a while and put it back into the pocket. During this relentless combat, I had walked thousands of miles. Sometimes I’d try inserting it into the wooden boxes that I’d find on my way but it would just be a futile effort. Nevertheless, these boxes were the ones that had kept me going. Filling in, an unusual hope in me that, I’d find what I was looking for, in oblivion.”
She had been striding beside a river. She couldn’t run. She was trying hard to overtake the speed of the river, even though she was not in the state to do so. She’d sometimes fall but she wouldn’t give up. Each time she fell, she didn’t bite the dust, she came out strongly. She had been on this unpleasant journey since she didn’t know when! But she knew what she was on for. She knew that she could still make room for hopes. Sometimes in life, we’re just running in the darkness because our mind tries to convince and make itself believe that there is a beacon somewhere projecting light for us. She wanted to reach the place where the river culminated. She wanted to find the beacon light, find the freedom she had been craving for. In the past few years of her journey, the only human she had seen was herself. She had wept a lot. Sometimes her mind would tempt her to jump into the river and end this torment all at once. But she kept herself from jumping, for some mystical force wouldn’t let her do so; Those who choose to succumb to death get buried in history with no signs of them having existed. The ones who appear in ballads are the ones who make it till the end, courageously; Years passed by but she still remained in her predicament.
“After so many long gone years, this day, I had seen something that had astonished me. I was taken by surprise to see a quaint curve in the river’s course what seemed to me like a point of confluence of rivers; Our life takes curves and turns so spontaneously, that all our joys may just drain in seconds or perhaps, all our sorrows may just wash out and leave us, for once and for all. Prophesying life is just as nonsensical as itself.”
This day, even she saw a curve in the course of the stream. She was frightened. She was not sure whether to proceed or not. While her brain was busy making decisions, her feet wouldn’t stop. They had sensed the coming of the improbable.
“As I approached the confluence, on the other bank of the river, I perceived some kind of movement. I couldn’t believe my own eyes for it was strange! I wasn’t sure what it was but a fount of hopes sprinkled out of me; The river of life outflows sometimes and sometimes inflows; I now, started speeding my life out like never before. That ‘something’ which I had seen, as I got into its proximity, took a human form. Meanwhile, even she had seen me. Both of us were bolts from the blue for each other. I saw the condition in which she was, which ground my emotions. Fettered by shackles and handcuffs, she, I can’t estimate since when had been trying and crying to reach out for help. I had now realized the purpose of my life. We, who had been scissored apart, thrown in different parts of the unknown world we were now in, were running all these years only to find each other like this!”
Both of them felt the unconditional love that they possessed for each other which was still as persistent as it was, sustaining in each other’s hearts. Neither of them knew how to swim. But they couldn’t even continue their journey on their respective banks because they knew that they had reached their destinations. He jumped into water to embrace his beautiful princess that she always had been. He was not to be stopped because their destinies longed for it. In fact, their destiny was no plural but one; For when you jump into the river of miseries, it’s not the end but beginning of real life. Miracle is merely the word but life magically teaches us how to swim for the love of itself.
“I swam until we could see ourselves in the eyes of each other. I hugged her and kissed her on the forehead with all my love while she closed her eyes and felt her intense affection she carried for me. Remembering something, I put on a crooked smile. She looked at me with a clueless frown.
I took out the key I had in my pocket. I was grinning at the crazy puzzle that life let me solve. It undoubtedly fit into the locks of shackles and handcuffs perfectly. Freedom! I gave her back what she had long lost and was imploring for.”
There lay a boat moored on this side of the river basin finding which both of them, laughed irresistibly. Then, they got into the boat, pulled the anchor and set sail. This time, their hope is to find the beacon light, together, following the course of the converged river which might take them to the ocean after which, they might cross the horizon and reach the world they desire where they can live happily ever after!
He sat by her side and asked “Do you still love me?”
The cold romantic wind blew flipping her hair.
She simply whispered “I love you for now and for eternity, my dear!”
The boat kept sailing towards the sun as they hugged each other.