Friday, March 11, 2011

“Oh God!” - A 3in1 Love Story!

When I started writing this story, it was a 1in1 story. The story was an attempt to interestingly communicate using the universal medium of a love story, how - Trust, Attitude and Relationships play a key role towards achieving Results that create and deliver Value. Thoughts are like waves striking the sand of creative ideas within. In the midst of the writing process, several thought waves hit me. Each wave as strong as the earlier! The simplest way forward would have been choosing one, and killing the rest. This seemed in direct conflict with my values – all colours of nature deserve their place within the bigger universal picture. This led to the thought of why not break the usual rule and have multiple endings to a story that begins as one? I stopped at three endings. I could have written more. However, I have left it at that, with the hope that it will inspire a few amongst you, to add more beautiful endings, and create a rainbow of colourful stories of value. Look forward to your enjoying this experience and your contributions as well..
One ‘little’ point. Have intentionally repeated the exclamation “Oh God!”, in each of the paragraphs here-in. It is to reflect the rainbow of colourful value that can exist, in each of our human emotions, waiting to be expressed. All it takes is that one ‘little’ step forward.
The 3in1 love story begins...
Mira came into this world silently, successfully. Her father Rahul was a simple man. His struggle for a good number of his forty two years had only recently provided him some occasions to pause and experience precious joys, a worthy life had to offer. Mira’s birth was one of those joyous pauses. “Oh God!”, Rahul thanked the Almighty, amidst tears of happy respite. Both mother and child were healthy and recovering, unlike on two previous occasions when only one had survived. It was his tryst with this miracle of sorts, hence the name Mira.
Mira grew up fast and quick, mostly amidst merry and joy. Her parents, especially mother Tanu, made sure that she got the choicest of attention and care, continually though her first decade. Tanu’s faith had cemented into a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty. There was not a day when she had missed her prayers. So honest and affectionate was her devotion that even the elderly in the household and neighbourhood had nothing but “Oh God” to exclaim in admiration, when asked about Tanu’s spiritual spirit. Rahul too was experiencing a gradual dilution of his life struggles. His faith, in attributing most of this newly attained prosperity to Mira, was shared equally by Tanu.
Mira excelled through her teens. She achieved glory in her academics as well as her other pursuits of music, dance, art and sports. Mira was her parents “happening” world, besides her own! As a family they were now rich, healthy, harmoniously together and happy. “Oh God”! Tanu exclaimed in absolute delight, hearing Rahul’s excited voice on the other end of the phone. Mira’s graduation was expected to happen in flying colours. However, her name figuring amongst the top five rank holders at the national level was the ultimate icing on the family cake. The recognition kept pouring in for almost a quarter! Everything that Mira touched seemed to turn into Gold.
In the midst of these eventful months, Mira found Amir and that changed everything. Well, almost! Oh, God! Amir was a shy little fellow, about a year younger to Mira. Amir had grown up almost unnoticed within Mira’s neighbourhood. It was only in recent times that he had occasionally made his presence felt...
From here-on, this three-in-one story splits into three endings...
The first ending of this 3-in-1 story begins here... 
..., through the melody of his flute tunes. Amir’s tunes played their way harmoniously into Mira’s soul. They charmed and blinded Mira, who, unlike Amir, was not born blind. Both gradually desired to share more than just the common alphabets in their names. They decided to share their lives together. Most around them felt, this was a mistake. Their parents too felt the same! A storm erupted in their beautiful life, causing a noisy violent interruption into what would have been a harmony of two lives of sorts. "Oh God", Mira sobbed, "Why can the world not see what we both can?" Mira was always successful. And to be successful this time, all she could think of was revolt.
Amir, calm as ever, was more positive, more optimistic. He knew their love was strong enough to revolt. However his deep rooted values made him choose the path of struggle and sacrifice, essential to gather the real strength necessary to win over the hearts of their families. He put values before short term gratification. One day, Amir invited his parents as well as Rahul, Tanu and Mira to a restaurant for dinner. He assured them that both families would get tables as farther away from each other as they could be and that he himself would certainly not join them for dinner, but just host it. “Oh God! What are the children up to?”, the parents thought. Mira had no clue.
Dinner was at “The Grand Jewel”. The restaurant was grand and had a palatial ambience. The invitees came at the scheduled time, separately and occupied their designated places, far apart from each other. The restaurant was filled to capacity and there was a buzz in the air besides the smell of good food. Suddenly, people got up from their chairs and started clapping in applause of the arrival of a grand old man. Mira asked the waiter what the commotion was all about? “Madam, the maestro Pundit SurSen, himself will be dining at our restaurant tonight”, said the smiling waiter. He continued,” but only after he has sung one or two of his evergreen melodies on the performance stage. This restaurant is owned by one of his school friends – a relationship dearly valued by either.” “Oh God!”, Mira exclaimed in sheer delight. Pundit SurSen was an idol for her, as to the many millions.
Mira could not hold back her excitement and ran across the restaurant in hope to find Amir along with his parents. Amir’s parents were surprised but not disappointed on seeing Mira. They too seemed to be a part of the huge SurSen fan followers. Amir’s parents could see the question in Mira’s eyes and before she could talk, Amir’s mother urged her to call Amir and see if he too could join them for dinner. Mira called Amir’s number first eagerly and subsequently a couple of times in hope and despair. “Oh God! Amir is not answering his phone”. Amir’s parents kind of consoled Mira and she went back to her parents to enjoy the moment, with mixed feelings.
As the maestro occupied the centre stage and the audience sat down in rapt attention, almost as if in a momentary, but unintentional, disrespect towards the food served on their table. The maestro began the first of his favourite tunes. It went on for about ten minutes and there was not a glass of water that moved on any table! The end triggered a cacophony of “one more” from the enthusiastic audience. Rahul nudged Tanu as he said to Mira, “I had spent a fortune from my monthly earnings over fifteen years ago to attend one of SurSen’s concerts, in the hope of getting a private moment with your mother. Alas, he sang so well, that I almost forgot your mother was with me!” “Oh, God!” whispered Tanu, trying her best to avoid a shy smile. They all laughed in harmony. Amir was genuinely forgotten.
As SurSen was in the midst of his second and final tune, he suddenly found himself in the midst of some throat distress, to the extent that he had to stop singing midway. Thankfully, the accompanying musicians were seasoned enough and carried the session beautifully forward, only to end in a more resounding applause after the few minutes of a melodious flute tune. As the audience got up, the maestro, in all his humility, apologized to his dear friend and also the audience at large. He also praised his three accompanying musicians for rising to the occasion and carrying forward the mood of the moment, with a special mention made about the blind young flutist – one Amir. “Oh, God!”, thought Amir, his noble yet veiled intentions now standing exposed to Mira and the accompanying families.
As everyone else started to dine actively, Amir and Mira’s parents were yet to recover from their sense of shock and awe. It was one of those moments when you cherish your failures, because you learn and grow so much more from them, in an instant. What happened subsequently was spontaneous, heartfelt and inspiring. Mira’s parents walked across to Amir’s parents and congratulated them on having raised a boy who wins hearts based on astonishing strengths of his values and attitude, far more important than his talents with the flute. Amir’s parents reciprocated this gesture instantly and sought Mira’s hand for Amir. “Oh God!” they all laughed.
The first ending of the 3-in-1 story, concludes here.
The second ending of this 3-in-1 story begins here... recent times, when circumstances had led him to fall astray into the world of drugs and crime Amir had been brought up by his elder uncle who expired a year ago. It was Uncle Om who had been his guardian, after his parents went through a violent divorce and split in his childhood, with none wanting to own or care about Amir. Oh God! What a pity. It was only then that the neighbourhood had started noticing him, with discomfort. He had recently been to jail as well, only to be free and out on bail, without any charges. He had few friends or well-wishers in the neighbourhood, except until now, when he met Mira.
Their meeting was an incidence, an accident of sorts. In one of the ceremonies that Mira was being felicitated, a local politician had mentioned how worthy and valuable Mira was to the community at large. Unlike outlaws like Amir who were “sacks of stinking waste” in the society who should be picked up and thrown into garbage dumps and burned into extinction. Strong words! Someone amidst the audience did not find this palatable, raised a hue and cry only to be roughed up by the organizers and thrown out. However, what echoed amidst the audience from his outcry were the words, “Oh God!, you are lying. Amir was the one who protected our community garden from being exploited by the builder and his goons”. Mira, the good soul she was, was eager to know the truth. And the best way to hear it, she thought, was from the horse’s mouth!
Their first meeting was brief and curt. Amir was not too happy about some girl landing at his doorstep with questions. Mira too was not happy to be at the doorstep of someone who few seemed to have kind words for. There were no pleasantries. She asked and he confirmed the truth, the reason being that this particular garden was one dear childhood companion that he used frequent in his childhood, when his parents fought at home. Mira was shaken! “Oh God!”, she thought, feeling a bit guilty of herself having had such a beautiful set of parents and childhood. It was certainly not going to be their last meeting.
Mira was determined to do something to turnaround a good soul, wearing an evil skin. Her indifference towards Amir transitioned, first into sympathy and worry, then gradually into love and a sense of belonging. Amir however, continued to be thick skinned and aloof, although feeling the seasonal occasional shift in circumstances. The feeling that someone cares for you can sometimes be more soothing, than real care itself. It was only days when this news spread like wild fire within the community and reach the ears of Mira’s mother Tanu. Oh God!
Mature as they were, Mira’s parents had a tough time reconciling themselves to this disturbing turn of events in their daughter’s life. There were several attempts made to change Mira’s mind, most of them on emotive grounds. Mira’s resolve only grew stronger with each of those attempts. In the meanwhile, Amir got entangled in a brawl with the builder’s goons, leading to a serious assault on one of the goons and landing Amir in jail, now with the charge of attempted murder. Mira’s parents saw in this a ray of hope considering the serious charges that Mira would find difficult to ignore. Mira however did not take this news on face value. She herself met Amir in jail to understand the truth. Amir looked into her eyes and unhesitatingly expressed his innocence about the entire episode being stage managed and the person who Amir had presumably hurt badly, being brought to the scene of the brawl in that condition by the goons themselves.  Amir asserted his reservations to Mira, about her getting involved with Amir as akin to chasing a mirage of a dream. Mira remained determined and defiant. “Oh, God! What will it take to convince this girl?”, thought Amir.
With no bail, Amir remained in prison gradually losing his already faded will to live a good life. A week passed by and nothing happened. Amir had mixed thoughts about finally having got the girl off his back and yet thinking if he had hurt her feelings in the process. He was woken up noisily one morning and taken out along with all his belongings. The jailor informed him about his bail having got approved and arranged by a young girl named Mira. Amir walked out, only to find Mira accompanied by her parents and a couple of friends. Mira walked up to him and hugged him. “Oh God! It would have been a tragedy had we been successful in changing our daughters mind,” Mira’s parents blurted almost sheepishly to Amir. Amir was truly shaken and taken aback with this abrupt change in his fortunes. He wondered about what would have happened in that one silent week of utter despair.
In that week, Mira found herself driven to the wall. It was a blessing in disguise. She discovered her strength grow manifold amidst adversity, a rarity for her in life! She attempted something different. She went around from house to house, shop to shop with small sacks, full of stinking waste. She pleaded with people to hear her out and act, lest she might leave the sack of stinking waste at their doorstep. Most doors gave her a peaceful hearing, reluctantly or otherwise. Whoever heard her, saw the honest anguish and pain in her diminutive eyes besides the raw truth unfolded threadbare in front of them about their casual ignorance and inaction to what was happening around them in society and would most certainly hurt them eventually. That little interaction, proved enough for most to feel their own guilt of inaction, as well as feel inspiring enough and support her cause. Soon enough, the door to door, shop to shop campaign spread like wild fire within the community simply by word of mouth. “Oh God!”, thought the same local politician who had mentioned Amir as a “sack of stinking waste”. “This movement needs to be halted, before it reaches my doorstep!” The rest of the developments happened swiftly but silently. Mira got a phone call early morning, just as the campaign was about a week old, that the builder had dropped all charges and Amir would be released that same day. “Well”, Mira thought, “even a sack of stinking garbage has intrinsic value good enough to ignite a mini-revolution of sorts.” In one stroke, Mira had managed to turn around and win over the society, her parents and most dearly to her, Amir!
The second ending of the 3-in-1 story concludes here.
The third ending of this 3-in-1 story begins here...
...from within Mira’s own body and soul! Mira existence was in a state of severe shock, as she gradually discovered that her existence as a girl seemed to be a facade and the real Mira was actually Amir – a boy living within Mira’s body. “Oh God!”, Mira screamed as she woke up from her bed, sweating and scared. Her parents rushed to her room, very concerned. How on earth could Mira explain anything to her parents? She herself was in a state of disbelief on what was the real Mira about!
As days passed by, Amir started bothering Mira with increasing frequency. Mira’s confidence and self-belief was completely shattered. She started losing whatever she had earned over two decades. Her health suffered, her relationships suffered, her attitude changed and her trust lay shattered. Her parents tried taking her to several doctors and faith-healers strongly recommended by friends and well-wishers. Mira’s story became a topic of speculation and discussion within society. The pain within and the pain outside became unbearable gradually, to the extent that Mira unsuccessfully attempted suicide one day. “Oh God! Why are you doing this to us”, Tanu screamed, weeping inconsolably on Rahul’s sagging shoulders, outside the emergency ward of a local hospital.
Mira was discharged from the hospital after about two weeks, most of which was just usual medical care to bring her physical health back to shape. In parallel, a multitude of diagnostic tests too were performed to determine the cause of her distressing dreams. None of the tests could detect the cause or existing of Amir within Mira. In these two weeks, Amir, it seemed, had not been able to enter the hospital premises to be able get into Mira’s dreams! So was Amir a mere hallucination? “Oh God! Hope things get better”, Rahul thought, as he drove a seemingly healthy Mira back home.
In the first week at the hospital, Mira was asleep for a majority of her stay, partly due to the effect of medicines and partly due to the newer environment and surroundings of the hospital. In the second week though, when Mira was close to being to her normal health, but under observation and tests; she could reflect and share her thoughts with her conscience as well as her parents. What occurred to her is that she had been inadvertently been seeing a lot of television soaps. Somewhere in her subconscious mind, an imaginary character from one of the soaps seemed to have camouflaged and moulded itself into the devilish form of Amir. She also realized that, during her escape from these soaps, albeit caused by her unsuccessful attempt at self-destruction, Amir did not seem to exist within her. She remembered distinctly that in order to escape from her distress, she had in fact been increasingly viewing several soaps, thus fluttering around more frequently into her imaginary world. The self-realization struck like a thunderbolt. For the first time in two weeks, Mira smiled from her heart, as she entered the doorsteps of her house. She was welcomed home by several of her friends and a smiling and sobbing Tanu. As Mira caringly hugged Tanu and caringly brushed her hands on Tanu’s forehead, trying to reassure her, a voice exclaimed from within her, “Oh God! I have thanked you many times for all my successes. For once, I wish to thank you from my heart for my big failure – in my suicide attempt. This one failure taught me more than all my successes put together.” This time, the voice that spoke from within was resoundingly Mira’s voice. Mira was now truly in love with herself and the real life around her. Amir was buried deep into her history.
The third ending of this 3-in-1 story concludes here.
Thank you for reading. You are very welcome to add more endings yourself. Consider this an invitation to your creativity!

1 comment:

  1. Nice one

    vijay panad