Archive for July, 2011


July 31, 2011 9 comments

His feet pounded the pavement. And thoughts pounded away at his head.

Age and stress had caught up with him, and exercise had been advised. So, he had started running. After all, he had a long way to go – many responsibilities to fulfil. Keeping fit was the reasonable thing to do.

Reasonable. It was a word that defined him. It was the word that had defined his life.

In school, he found he had a way with words. He dreamt of being a writer. But a writer’s life was not predictable. It did not guarantee a well-paying, respectable job, said the parents. He had to be reasonable about this, they told him. He enrolled to become an engineer. It was the reasonable thing to do.

There he found that buildings fascinated him. He decided he would open his own design firm when he graduated. But it was risky, everyone said. Surely, any reasonable person would not undertake a risky venture like that? And he was a reasonable person. So, he applied for that government job instead.

He fell in love. Parents were not convinced. He wanted to try and convince them. Then he wanted to run away with her and start a new life – just the two of them. Don’t be foolish, she said. Life doesn’t work that way. He must let this go – he’ll get over the heartbreak, she told him. It had to end. They must not talk anymore – it was not the right thing to do, she said. And so he let it go – let her go. After all, she was being reasonable.

He didn’t want to marry any more. It wouldn’t be fair to his partner, he thought. Parents told him that was stupid. He couldn’t possibly spend all his life alone, they said. He’d learn to love the girl he married. He should not wait too long – because he’d be too old then. Be reasonable, they said. And so, he married a girl they chose.

And now, forty reasonable years later, he had a reasonably successful marriage, a comfortable life, and a decent social standing. His friends thought he was a wonderful person. He was the model son of his proud parents. To any reasonable person, he was successful. He had no reason to be anything but happy.

And there he was. Running. And he wanted to keep running. He wanted to run away from it all. But he was reasonable. And tired. He turned the corner, on the road towards home.

Categories: disappointment, life, story


July 3, 2011 2 comments

“I love you.”

She said what she always did, before she hung up.

Today, he paused, and cast his mind back to the last time he asked her the question that was now poised on the tip of his tongue. “Why?”

He thought about it. How, there was nothing to suggest he was anything but ordinary. There never had been. He had been the shy, reticent, socially awkward person for as long as he could remember. He was never hugely popular. He had an average education, an average career, average looks, and average success in life.

On the other hand, he *had* disappointed her. Consistently. He chose to work in the field she didnt care much for. He chose to stay away from her for his career. He chose paths different from the ones she advocated, only because she advocated them.

And yet, she had always loved him.

He ran his hands over the empty space on his bed. He smiled as he recalled a fragment of a different memory, a different time…

“Why do you love me?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m short. I’m not good looking… I am…”
“…Yes, and neither are you smart, or rich, or particularly bright…”

And he knew then why the answer to the question he was about to ask, would be the exact, same one-word answer that he had given to end that conversation, then.

There is no reason to love. There is no reason why you feel the way you do. There doesn’t need to be. There are no explanations. You can fight, you can cry, you can disagree. But you still love. You accept. There is no need for validation. No reason to pretend. No quid-pro-quo. You just love, because loving someone makes you happy. It is a blind, selfish emotion. You just love…


… And he knew, he would love her, forever, and always. No matter what.

… And that is why, he also knew, he would not ask the question that he was about to ask now.

“I love you too, mom.”, he smiled, before he hung up.

Categories: life, love