“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” ― Anais Nin

There used to be a beautiful paradise where stayed Nafisa and Iqbal. They had never met before but met through an alliance and got married. They were not childhood sweethearts, but love blossomed and they literally painted town in red with their love.

They had to face a couple of challenges, but they stood together and fought all the odds. Their love and faith were their biggest strength, people used to give examples and quote them when talking about the couple’s goals.

They were together, united with an unbreakable bond of love. Years passed; seasons changed but their love remained unchanged. More than love, their relationship was about sacrifices, adjustments and deeply rooted care for each other.

Until one day, when everything suddenly changed for this “perfect couple”. They were unable to understand distance which had grown between them, was It because of their busy work schedules? Ego was the culprit? Unnecessary arguments and endless heated discussions, a home that was once “paradise of love” got converted into “boxing ring”. At least fight in boxing ring ends, but here the war had just begun and did not seem to end anytime soon.

The couple who were inseparable then, could not stand each other now. Nafisa who was a non-stop chatterbox and had to vomit her day-long activities as soon as Iqbal used to return from work, had become quiet and kept crying. They continued to stay physically in the house, they did not leave each other but love had surely left them.

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Each day which used to be a blessing for them had now turned into a curse. Both started finding issues to how to pull each other down, while Iqbal used to boast about his high profile job and money, Nafisa also started giving back, deep inside she knew and could feel Iqbal’s love, but her brain started dominating and there was a continuous conflict between her mind and heart.

Nafisa who used to remember Iqbal in her every breath, now used to feel choked with his presence in his life. She spoke to a few of her close friends, surprisingly in the majority of the cases she found her friends too struggling similarly. Some were ready for separation or had already separated and some accepted bitterness of the life and chose to remain unchanged.

This seemed extremely difficult as in spite of staying in the same house, distances in thoughts and prayers were miles apart. Difficult to measure, the distance kept growing as much as their arguments, conflicts, and dissatisfaction.

Nafisa was born different, she could not accept what was happening to her and in her life. A woman full of life, energy, and contentment suddenly started hating her life, she knew her blessings and wanted to be happy all over again. She wanted to change her sad, painful and gloomy state back to being happy and cheerful. She wanted to find herself again, she wanted to feel loved and get back the lost love.

She then took steering of her life in her hand, she realized that with her sadness no one is affected but her own self, her body, mind, and soul. Nafisa started enjoying her solitude, she stopped feeling lonely.

She accepted what life was offering her. Like before, she had no complaints. Deep inside she was pained. But acceptance and distraction were the keys. She could not change Iqbal or his temperament. But accepted and stayed quiet. She was her friend herself, she started enjoying her own company. and whenever she used to feel Iqbal’s emotional absence, she either used to start praying, meditate or start doing her hobbies like painting/singing.

It was a very tough choice for her, but life is not about choices, it’s about doing the best in what life offers and even if it is waste, one should learn the art to make the best out of waste.

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
― Elie Wiesel

(Written by Abhrekha Jain Sahlot)

The Story appeared in Storizen Magazine February 2020 Issue

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