A Love Tale To Tell
A Love Tale To Tell8 mins 1.1K 8 mins 1.1K
No love-laden shaft from Cupid's amorous bow did it for Anuradha; rather she played her own muse to fall in love with Ranbir. He was not a chivalrous kind whose muscular body would ensnare the opposite sex in a labyrinth. What really entangled him in Anuradha's cardinal strings was his down-to-earth disposition and never-bent-down aspiration to be a published author. Anuradha's first encounter with Ranbir was in Xavier’s College canteen, while the latter was meeting a surging demand for a song about Che Guevara, the prolific revolutionary figure from Cuba. His guitar tuned the air and so her heart leaped to get a look at the singer.
Initially, Anuradha resisted hard against exposing her feelings. Their unintentional encounters were repeated in different quarters of the college, seldom outside, and Anuradha gradually felt a pull toward him. It was Anuradha’s first love but not for Ranbir, for he had already drunk from that well with Bipasa. When their cardiogram monitor tuned to a straight line, it demonstrated the expiration of their sick relationship, which paved an unobstructed route for Anuradha to balm his wound—and she grabbed it. “What makes you dream to be a writer?” Posing like an interviewer, Anuradha had asked this of Ranbir as their acquaintance grew because of an introduction of a common friend, Saonli. “Because I can't do anything better than writing”, Ranbir said, shrugging. Anuradha raised her brow and could sense his determination because of such an indifferent declaration.
After her disastrous performance in JEE entrance, her undaunted father, Mr. Niyogi, a bank manager and adept at stimulating funds for his bank, was an utter failure to nurture his last hope for his daughter's bright future in Microbiology. The whole credit went to Ranbir's charms that had captivated her heart and took her away from the books. Anuradha had marginally survived all the bouts of semesters. Ranbir had earned his likely that my future is uncertain, and your parents will never accept one like me, so...” “So what?” “You should agree to the marriage proposal you’ve received. Why do you choose to spoil your future for me?” When Ranbir had proposed the easiest solution, it extracted howls of crying in Anuradha. Heart broken she left the place.
Anuradha's father was really persistent. Anuradha had to think of a way out for she was stubborn too. Her degree in Microbiology, at last, came to be her salvation. She got a job at a small farm, and now her independent soul could raise a voice against her father's autocratic demands. As soon as she got the appointment letter, with a feeling of euphoria, she knocked on Ranbir’s door. When he opened the door, she embraced him. “Hey, what’s happened? You look so elated!” wonder-struck Ranbir asked. Anuradha closed her lips on Ranbir's. Her lips fluttered like the excited wings of a butterfly—soft and tender upon his manly lips. She felt her heart throbbing on his lips. Sensational shivers filled the lovely half- minute they spent kissing.
During their three-year relationship, it was their first intimate moment, and it left both of them barren of any words. A minute or so later Anuradha, wearing that mirthful disposition again, screamed out, “I have got a job. Here's the letter.” She displayed the letter as if she had won Oscar. Ranbir took the letter, went through the content and applauded her fortune. “Now, Anuradha, you really deserve a better life partner.” Anuradha couldn't believe his words and said, “You are always on the wrong side of facts. Ranbir, I managed the job so that we can live together. I can be a support while you pursue your ambition.” Ranbir drilled her with his critical eyes before saying, “Why did you think so! I know I am struggling, but to take your help will wreck my self-respect.” “Why the hell do you think so? Why do you always think about yourself—your career, your attitude, everything yours? Who am I, Ranbir?” “You are still Mr. Niyogi's daughter.” “Fine. You are bent to ditch me, and you are just looking for a chance.”
“Anuradha, please...” Ranbir tried to hold her hand. “Please don't touch me. Now I know why your previous girlfriend left you, and it’s very strange that you have no feeling remaining for her.” “Anuradha, don't be crazy. What are you talking of?” “I am wholly sane. You had that plan earlier...” Before she could complete her words, came a loud noise like thunder. Both were silent for some moments as if they had become petrified. Anuradha didn't cry but continued to keep her stony stare on Ranbir. Then she rushed out of the house, promising she would never return.
Four months later...
“Hello, Anuradha speaking.” “Do you know Ranbir Shaw?” a male voice asked urgently. Her heart skipped a beat, for she had not heard anything of him since her departure from his home in that wild and angry mood. “Hello, ma'am, are you there?” “Yes, very well”, Anuradha said. “I’m speaking from Apollo Hospital, Kolkata. Mr. Ranbir been in a vehicle accident and has been admitted in serious condition. Please come quickly.” Anurada’s insides felt blank because she hadn't expected anything like this. She knew Ranbir was a sturdy man and wouldn't do anything rash. Ranbir had tried to contact with her several times during this intervening period, but she didn't respond, hoping he would kneel down and accept her offer. She was disappointed.
Now, she changed from her nightgown to a salwar and dashed out of her apartment onto the road. The ICU door had a transparent glass that made for an easy view of the patient. Ranbir was lying unconscious, receiving oxygen and blood support. His eyes were thickly bandaged, which puzzled her. When she asked the doctor, he told her that Ranbir's eyes were dangerously damaged in the accident, and probably he would lose his sight. Tears rolled down her cheeks. It was a forty-eight-hour warning for the chance of Ranbir's survival. Anuradha counted every hour, and finally, in the thirtieth hour, Ranbir responded with mild movements and doctors affirmed that he was out of danger.
It took almost a month for Ranbir to get well, but the disaster he had to go through was that he lost his eyesight in the accident. When he first realised his blindness, he screamed out, “No, it can't be. Please remove that black curtain before my eyes. I want to see.” He clutched at his hair, bedsheet, and every object that his frantic fingers could grip and throw away. Anuradha tried to sooth his excitement. “Don’t worry, Ranbir, everything will be alright.” It sounded farcical to his ears. He cried hard and said, “My dream of writing is over. I don't want to live anymore.” She embraced him tightly like a mother does to a frightened child, but nothing could appease his bereavement.
“Time is the ultimate healer”—the proverb proved true. After one and a half month, Ranbir yielded to the changed situation by accepting his dark world. Anuradha was his constant companion and the only ray of hope. She started to instigate him to write again so that he could find a track to his dream. “A blind person can't write. Don't you know that?” Ranbir would say in utmost disgust with his own incapability. “You talk, I write”, Anuradha offered. “What?” “You tell your story and I will write it for you, that’s simple.” “It’s impossible.” “Try, at least.” “I have no story to tell.” “Everyone has an untold story. Tell a love story for me.”
Anuradha had made up her mind to make him write a story. It took almost fifteen days for her to coax him. He remained headstrong against it, but her repeated appeal diluted his rigid stand. “But I never wrote a love story in my life, and I have no idea”, Ranbir excused. “Don’t be unromantic. Tell our story.” “Then you can write it yourself because you are in the story too.” “Okay let it be our story. You tell I write. Isn't that a fair contribution from both of us?” At last the story began. Ranbir started to pour out his heartfelt words that were caught coming out of his mouth and put on the paper by Anuradha.
Ranbir's story lacked the passion of love, and she would add those words herself. What Ranbir was shy to express, Anuradha would shower onto the paper in abundance. The fusion of passion and mastery brought an unbeatable result after six months of unflagging labour. An eminent publisher, who had many times earlier rejected Ranbir's manuscripts rating them trash, grabbed it on the first chance and transformed it into a book. The book sold miraculously among young readers and hit the best seller's list. Royalties offered were hard to believe and soon film producers came with offers of turning the book into a movie. All this happened within a short span of seven months. Ranbir couldn't believe the fame that was bucketed down on him—but he didn't acknowledge the accolades were not his alone. Enough money brought the obvious opportunity to arrange eye donors for Ranbir. After a year's wait and continuous search, the fortunate day came, and the operation was successful.
“Let me know, who do you want to see first, Ranbir?” the doctor asked. “I have only one whom my eyes always search to see, and she knows it well.” “Alright, open your eyes, yes very slowly. The right one first, then the left.” The cotton balls were removed, and Ranbir grew impatient, but doctor’s repeated warning reined his excitement. Anuradha standing close, had her finger crossed, lips muttering in prayer. He opened those big dark eyes. The eyelids fluttered, closed at the strike of the light, paused and then slowly opened to a new world full of brightness. His eyes fell straight on Anuradha hugging his book to her breast.
She was fighting tears. Slowly she went by his bed, caressed his ruffled hair, felt his eyes and kept the book with the title “A Love Tale to Tell” in dazzling crimson, in his lap. “Your child”, Anuradha said with a beaming face. “No, our child. Thank you for giving me new birth.” “Don’t say that. You have earned it.” “No, we have earned it, and now I have two awards: you and my published book.” Ranbir embraced her tightly. They deeply felt the bliss of love and the pleasure of togetherness.