Vantage Points - Part 6

Now finally we get to the heart of the story: the most important point of view.


Ashwin

I don’t want to live. Life is so cruel. Why have I landed up in a situation like this? I have never wanted to hurt anyone ever. But it looks like I have got myself into a situation where I have no go but to hurt someone no matter what. I think best solution is for me to jump off the terrace and commit suicide. Then I won’t be able to hurt anyone.

No. I am thinking too negatively. Suicide can never be the solution to any problem. It will only hurt everyone even more. I need to put aside all such thoughts and try to think clearly. I have created this mess. It is up to me to clear it. Let me think it over logically. Well as things stand there are two girls who love me. I need to choose one to marry one. So how do I do it? You might say the answer is simple. The one I love! But then which of them do I love?

Well, I was madly in love with Jyothi two years back. The decision would have been so easy if I had to decide then. But now I no longer have that old feeling. Of course I still feel protective about her. It was her vulnerability that precipitated my initial fascination for her beauty and grace into love. The charm of her petite figure, that cute little turned up nose and those large innocent eyes have however waned with time. My heart does not skip a beat every time I talk to her. Talking to her once in two to three days has become more of a chore these days. Maybe I never truly loved her. I am beginning to feel it was just a passing infatuation accentuated by the ego boost of having someone so dependent on me. That is what Swati has been taking pains to explain to me.

Swati knows me better than anybody else. She has been my best friend always. But I never realized she loved me. I genuinely thought there was some mistake or misunderstanding when my father mentioned her dad had approached him for our marriage. But later to my surprise she told me she had loved me all along and my rejection had hurt her. That is what I like about her. She does not hold back her thoughts in her head. She openly spells out her thoughts. Makes life so much easier that way! But not in this case though.

Come to think of it, probably I love her too. I have never had any euphoric highs about her. But she is one with whom I have shared all my deepest thoughts. She has always been there for me when I needed her. She has definitely cared for me from the time I have known her. If that is not love, what is? I am sure my life will be happy with her. And both our families will also be so happy. I have caused so much anguish to both our families by my refusal to marry her.

My friends too feel that the right decision would be to marry Swati. They point out to me so many movies on this theme to support their point: where hero realizes his love for his childhood sweetheart only when one of them is set to marry someone else. It all sounds very easy. But can one take precedent for life from movies? Movies tend to over simplify things. The other woman the hero is set to marry just walks away graciously or turns out to be a vamp. Often she is a supporting actress whose fate the audience does not even care about. But is that all Jyothi means to me? A character who exists just to make me realize my true love and be cast aside once she has served her purpose?

Jyothi’s innocent face comes in front on my eyes. Her beseeching eyes stare at me, mournfully as if asking me whether I do not need her anymore. My heart breaks seeing her so sad. I may no longer feel any excitement about her. But she still loves me from the bottom of her heart. How can I just leave her high and dry after pursuing her so ardently and earning her love? It would shatter her completely. Am I so selfish, cruel and heartless? Do I just use people when I need and then step over them and move on when they are no longer needed? Am I really such a horrible person? Even I would hate myself if that is the kind of person I am.

I can’t do it. Hard though it maybe, I have to do the right thing. If something happens to Jyothi due to my actions, I cannot live a life time of guilt. No. I won’t break my promise to her. Swati will be hurt. But she is a strong girl and she will eventually move on. She is so sensible and practical. I am sure she will find someone much better. Krishnan uncle will fret and fume for some time. Losing his best friend will hurt my father a lot. But hopefully time will heal the rift and Krishnan uncle will come around once his daughter is married and happily settled. There is no way I can keep everyone happy. Hard decisions have to be taken. Jyothi is too fragile and delicate to risk hurting. Everyone else can recover from the wounds. But it would be too difficult for someone as sensitive as her. I don’t want to live to regret what my rejection does to her. As far as I am concerned, I may not be marrying the one I truly love, but will at least be marrying one who truly loves me. I have loved her once some time back. Maybe I shall rediscover that old love all over again after marriage. 

First Part of Story         :  Vantage Points: Part 1  
Previous Part of Story   :  Vantage Points: Part 5
Final Part of Story         :  Vantage Points: Part 7

14 comments:

Nabanita said...

I like the way you have carried the story throughout... wonderful!

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Naba.

Rachna said...

Ummm that's terrible! Marrying not for love but because one thinks that someone needs them. But then it happens in real life. And, I agree it is confusing to know when you are in love. It is not as easy as it is in movies :). Nicely written. Let's see what surprises the last installment delivers.

Bhavana Rao said...

Hi Lucifer, was reading all the other parts :-)
My take on this:
1) If you decide on something, then stick to it or if you can't decide take time. It is very cowardly for this character to switch decisions like this.
2) I don't understand this, in our country everybody apart from one who is to decide knows what is best for the person in question. When will people learn to accept the person as he/she is?
Parents should seriously stop interfering into their children life after children are adults. Children should make their own decisions. Parents does not know the best all the time!(This I keep on disagreeing with everyone I meet)! Such lives ruining situations when parents put their emotional blackmails like that!
Does parents wants their child to be happily married or to keep their friendship? and anyway how are those two connected?

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot for reading and detailed comments, Bhavana. Interesting points you have raised. let me try responding.

1. Regarding indecisiveness. Things change a lot over time and it is very difficult to see things in the same light in changed circumstances. Hence the character is caught in a dilemma.
2. The parents as such don't enforce their decisions. As you see, the parents saw the friendship and assumed the friendship between Swati and Ashwin meant something more and they were not far of the mark. Swati wants to marry him and even Ashwin gets confused about it - in all probability he would have agreed if he had not already committed to Jyothi. And in Indian context, we must accept that marriage is not just about two individuals but an integral link of the bigger social fabric. Like it or not, you will not be dealing just with your spouse but the parents and siblings of the spouse at least as well. So things are much easier if one can develop a good rapport with each other's near and dear ones as well so as not to lead a person to make a painful choice between new family and old family.

The Fool said...

Thanks Rachna. Sometime these hard decisions have to be taken. He had to take responsibility for his actions. He could not have pursued her and made her fall in love and walked off after 2 years just because he no longer feels the same and he seems to find someone else a better bet.

Bhavana Rao said...

That may well be the case in our country. But until and unless someone breaks the rules, nobody will understand it or try to understand it. The individual sentiments hurts while trying to impress the societal sentiments. Afterall an individual is the one who makes the society, so if one is living according to what other people wants him/her to live like then, when will the person be confident enough to say ‘OK I have made this decision and if I go wrong I will face the consequences? Where is that kind of spine?’.
Even though we are living in a democracy, our society is still highly authoritarian and that is a sad paradox! This I personally cannot adjust and disgest as well and believe it or not, I had been fighting literally while I was in India, now I am fighting through international calls as me and my mother never agrees most of the time :-)

Rachna said...

Yes, you are right. Matters of heart are dicey matters. Besides, I am glad that he is making a decision pressured by his own conscience not by what others think is right. It is important for him to own the decision whatever it is because marriage requires more than just good intentions.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

Ah! TF! What can I comment on this story now? :)

The Fool said...

Indeed, Suresh.

the little princess said...

as real as it gets..unfortunately that's the whole scene here!

The Fool said...

Thanks Titli. It is real because it is based on real.

asteria's canvass said...

Whoa.....that was unexpected..

The Fool said...

Nice. That was the reaction I wanted from the reader after this episode.

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