Tuesday, May 21, 2013

One Act

A woman enters the stage and sits on the comfortable couch at the centre of the stage. Another woman enters whose face is not visible and sits on the other couch facing the first woman. Let’s for convenience sake call them ‘I’ and ‘She’.

I: And so I dumped him. After so many years of relationship, I finally decided to dump him. Many asked, “Why now, is it because of that other guy? He was just asking you to wait for a couple of more months, why couldn’t you do it, a couple of more months wouldn’t have killed you?”

She: You don’t need to answer them.

I: Actually, I had no answers for them. They would not understand. I wanted to mourn at peace, I wanted to rebuild my life. Who are these people questioning me? What do they contribute to my life? Who are they to judge me?

She: Thing is, you need to answer yourself darling.

I: You know, I had been a classical mix of being fragile and strong at the same time. Oxymoronic but true. I always needed someone to validate me, my feelings, my emotions. I always wanted something to hang on to. I was young. I was vulnerable. I was rebellious. A very potent combination.

When he walked in, for the first time ever, I felt loved, cared for. And, I decided to do whatever to save this relationship. I have always been headstrong. I wanted to make it through.

It was my fault all through. I dragged on a relationship that was dead long ago. I should have snapped out of it, but I lacked courage do so. Maybe, I was selfish. If I let him go, who would I hang on to? Or, maybe I really cared for him too much to break him? Or, maybe it was my stubbornness that I wanted to show the world that I could face any adversity in life? Whatever, it was, it was all me and no one else.

She: Don’t you think you are being too harsh on yourself. There has to be a fault at the other end too.

I: Ok, let us look at this entire situation from his end then. He was alone and depressed and suddenly one fine day a girl comes into his life filling it with happiness and sunshine. She helps him see a brighter future and helps him find a direction for his life. He goes on to become successful. He was very sure of her, that she would always be there, no matter what. He had responsibilities and she understood. She was the perfect person anyone could have. How did he know that the perfection would crack as well?

After a few years, she started changing. He noticed, but decided to ignore it. She rapped him and told him that she is changing, someone is meddling with her head and heart. He still decided to ignore it, after all, he trusted her too much. She could never go wrong. But then she did go wrong, at least from his perspective. She did break his heart. She did leave him, that too at a time when he would have made it through, at least he was confident of it.

He begged her to come back. He asked her not to leave him. He told her that she was making a mistake. She came back. He was ecstatic. But, she was never the same again. She did not care much now. She just kept working and avoiding any questions on their future together. He knew he has lost her, but like her he needed someone to hold on to. He did not let her go. She tried again and again, for an entire year, they were in turmoil. The constant push and pull, the cries, the pain, the hurt, the excuses. Finally, there was a stage of no return. She had decided for once and all, she would not budge, she would not relent. She became heartless, cold and indifferent. His world came crashing down. He could not believe this could happen to him too. He was totally devastated.

Now, do you see the story from his perspective?

She: Wow! Makes you a monster woman. Why did you do that to him?

I: You are no one to judge me. Actually, you are the only one who has the right to judge me. As I said before, the fault is all mine. I should have told him long ago that things are not working out. I prolonged it too long and caused too much of pain. It is not good to lead someone on, to make a person believe that you would be with him for life and dump him one fine day.

She: Are you guilty of your actions?

I: I have a consciousness too woman. Of course, I was guilty but that guilt was not taking me anywhere. I kept giving in because of this guilt. Even now I am guilty, because I am not helping him get up and walk again, after all, I have been his best friend too. And, friends do not leave each other at the time of crisis.

She: Why don’t you help him then? Isn’t it the easier way out, help him settle down and then move on. Oh! You are so selfish.

I: Go ahead, judge me. I am not giving any explanations here. Would you believe me if I said that I tried, that I tried to help him out, that I have actually left him at a juncture from where he can build his life beautifully. That this is the time for him to reap in all his hard work and reach the sky. He will find much better people in his life than me, if he makes the effort to do so, just a bit of effort.

She: You don’t seem to understand, do you? He loves you and no amount of success would actually help him fill that gap which you have caused in his life. This is just a consolation you are giving yourself to escape going into a guilt trip.

I: Maybe you are right. There can be no reason actually to leave a person. No matter what excuses we give, valid or invalid, nothing can really validate the reason for leaving someone broken and shattered.

He is still trying to figure out why I left. I have given him all sorts of excuses – things not working out, it has been too long, I am out of love, there is someone else now, I need to move on – nothing, absolutely nothing worked out with him. Guess, when you love someone deeply, you refuse to believe that the person has become so heartless. He is in denial now, confused, and being depressed. He constantly talk about killing himself. I get jittery about that. Friends are telling me to cut all contacts, don’t take his calls, don’t reply to his messages, block him. I nod at them, be resilient for some time, but then how do I leave someone so broken, who is asking for my help. Maybe, that is a problem area. I have been resilient for so long, cold as steel, hard-hearted. He says, he is spoiling his life for me, he is fighting with his family for me, he would do whatever to get me back. Makes me wonder, what makes me so heartless, makes me wonder if I am a human being only. The other day, I actually saw my evil face while meditating; it was horrible, pure evil. Am I becoming an evil person?

She: You are losing your head here woman. Stop this right away. Cut loose, cut everything, no phone calls, no messages, nothing woman.

I laughed a dry, sarcastic laugh.

She: Woman, snap out of it, why are you laughing like a maniac.

I: Because, you are saying what others are as well. You are just like them. I don’t think you can judge me too. So, just stop being judgmental woman.

I started laughing again, this time her laughter was echoed by She too.

The curtain fell slowly.