(The 3 ingredients used in this story are - Dead Tiger, Wine Bottle, Superhero)
I am called a disbeliever of love; they don’t know I am not. They don’t understand why I prefer to live alone, nevertheless I do. They say it’s ludicrous that I stay away from love; I am not away from love. They say I need a woman, a lover; they don’t know I am in love.
To be honest, I was never loveless in my life. Love came at various times, well of course to me, and not to the other side. After the death of my mother, I was probably never loved back in return. But love would never leave my side. Like a little plant coming out from a planted seed, love would always arise in some corner of my heart and in no time, it would fill my entire heart. But unrequited love is difficult, to say the least, if not homicidal. And all my life, I have craved for love only to be turned down by my fate.
The only love I ever experienced was from my mother.
My father was a good man, socially. I wanted to study and grow up to be like him. But I knew I couldn’t, for I wasn’t half as bright as he was, or as any of my classmates.
“But, you will have a brighter future” my mother would tell me when I used to cry for being dull in studies. It’s needless to say that my father didn’t think so. But my mother, she would always protect me whenever my drunken father would try to raise a hand on me. “Brainsick” he called me when I repeatedly failed to pass my exams for the third standard. Tireless efforts of my sick mother made me pass in the exams of the second standard. And when the results were declared and I returned home to tell my mother that I am eligible to sit in class III now, I found my mother lying dead on her bed. She had finally succumbed to the lung cancer she had been fighting for years.
“Mother, open your eyes, I am finally in class three.” These were the last words I spoke to my loving mother’s cadaver.
Ever since that day, ever since I reached class three, I was never loved again.
The word three holds a deeper meaning for me. For today I divide my heart and the love in it, into three. Yes, I had two concubines in my life. Tonight, I will have my third as I sit on the chair looking at her conveying my love for her and telling about the love we will make tonight.
I will be a man tonight, an adult, eighteen year old and I celebrate my birthday reminiscing my last two loves and I promise to love my third as long as I live.
I was an eight-year old when I fell in love with my first. Like I said before, I am not a disbeliever of love. I believe in all forms of love. I believe in the love of a mother for a child, I believe in the love of a child for a toy, I believe in love at first sight, I believe in love well-thought-of, in manipulated love, in material love, in unconditional love, in bounded love, in well-reasoned love, and in mindless love.
I saw him on the TV. Helping people, loving people, He was the proof that good wins over evil. He was the proof that if you believe in something it will come to you. He was the unsaid promise that if something bad happens to you; he will come to help you. And if for any reason, little children of my age or older take the wrong path, he will, without fail, come to stop them. He would teach lessons of morality. He would teach that we should always love the poor, the needy, and the weaker ones. He would say that treachery, theft etc is bad and you should never choose such a path. He would always say to love animals, for they will never harm you if you don’t harm them. They will always help.
He was the superhero of our country christened “Shaktiman” by the people, meaning a man of power.
It took me four long years to realize that he was just another fictitious character of the Television, a fake, a lesser mortal like all of us. He didn’t come when I had called for him innumerous times to bring my mother back or to come and love me and stay with me. Nor did he come when I had expected him to; to save my second beloved at her moment of dying.
It was love at first sight, my second love which somehow crept into the house of my heart, pushed the images of the Superhero aside and found its place to sit forever. Alas, the love was ephemeral. I didn’t even get an opportunity to know if she loved me back; I just imagine now that may be she did.
I was fifteen then and she was beautiful. The first thing I noticed about her was her pair of divine green eyes. Next her hair, brown hair yet black in some parts. With great serenity she looked at me back and walked towards me. I stood there dumbfounded by her beauty, by her presence. I knew I was in love with her. She walked towards me and I fell in love with each step of hers. She was only a few inches away when I heard the loud sound of a gunshot. It was our guide, Tiwari ji, who had fired the gun to kill the tigress in front of me, the tigress I fell in love with, and probably the only tigress we saw in our whole trip to Corbett National Park.
I had cried that day, I had cried for a month; and I had argued with our guide, with the teacher who was with us as an escort and with father.
“He went to jail for killing that tigress. He went to jail to save you. You are to be blamed. Don’t you get it?” My father had scolded. But I didn’t understand. I thought the tigress loved me. I thought she wanted to be loved in return, for a change, just like me. I thought we were supposed to love animals, like my fraudulent superhero had preached. I thought they don’t harm you if you don’t harm them. Either by my former love or by my father, I was lied to.
It took me a year or two to forget her, my second love. It took me another year to hate my first love. My heart till now was divided into two – the fake superhero whom now I hated, and the tigress for whose death I was to be blamed. It’s pity that I never got to know if she loved me back like I loved her, if she too fell in love at first sight.
Sometimes people fall in the wrong company, sometimes in the wrong love. May be the choices I made were faulty. May be I fell in love with the wrong ones. But God knows that I never could love anyone else. I was made to love them; and I was made not to be loved in return. I was made to live a melancholic life. I was made to beat myself up for somehow killing a poor tiger. I was destined to hate the Superhero I so believed in. And above all, I was destined to hate myself.
But, I am in love again, and I will make love tonight. I have parted my heart into three for her. And she sits tonight in front of me, flaunting proudly herself to me, telling me that I can’t help but fall in love with her. I am now looking at her entire body; I am planning to make love tonight. I am planning to make love with the beauty in front of me. I am planning to make love with the color red that she contains within her. I am planning to be in love with her forever. I am planning to love her - the bottle of wine, red wine, forever.
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