Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First Love!

This profession is not easy. Not easy at all especially when you are a surgeon. It tests you in more ways than one. After 25 long years of experience, over 100 awards and recognitions and more than 1000 surgeries, today I still find myself nervous and hesitant. Not that this has been the case on all days but today. Today I am to operate upon her.

The only time I saw her in the last 25 years was last week, unconscious, weak and emaciated by the disease, but still looking as beautiful as she did 25 years ago. Her face bore the same serenity that used to render my heart with bliss. Those hands still seemed to bear the softness of a baby and those long hairs had still looked like a flowing river. Amongst them her eyes refused me their glance. Perhaps they were still a mirror of her heart which had not forgiven me yet. She lay there, silent and still, perhaps sleeping or may be thinking of someone. May be me.

She was brought to me as a patient, a 50 year old woman suffering from cancer. Accompanying her unconscious body were her Husband, a rich businessman of perhaps exactly my own age looking worried and tensed as any husband who loves his wife would look, and her only son, a 21 year old boy who kept holding on to her hand, perhaps safeguarding her body from any separating entity. Ever since the first glance I had of hers last week, I have been trying to see her merely as another patient, but it’s not for nothing that people say,” First love is never forgotten”.


It fell on my hand. A single drop. Enough to inundate my heart. I did not wipe it. May be because I wanted to preserve it for as long as possible. I knew this was her last gift to me.

I waited for the next one. But she had turned her head away. And when it turned back, instead of tears those eyes bore questions. They bore anger. They bore love.

I tried to avert her gaze but her eyes were fixed on mine in abject defiance. She wanted the answers while I had none.

“I thought you love me!” she finally spoke.

“Of course I do. But I love them too. After all they are my parents. And don’t we say that love is sacrifice? We’ll have to sacrifice our love Priya. We’ll have to end it here!” my words came with a trembling firmness.

“So you can live without me, huh? Oh God, how mendacious you boys turn out to be! When you needed someone to call a girlfriend, you came to me with promises of perennial companionship, but today…today when…..when its time for the realization of those promises you ask me to forget you? How easily you said it, without ever realizing that what you moot as the unavoidable is the unthinkable for me.” her words were punctuated by her sobs.

“No! I can’t live without you. In fact I won’t. I’ll bear you in my heart. And no, that’s no filmi dialogue, that’s the truth. It’s not a question of our love for each other, it’s about what we can or rather we should do for our parents. You very well know that your family would kill you even if they get a hint of our relationship. My family too won’t be a pleased lot. Have we become so selfish, that for our own happiness we are prepared to disappoint so many people? That too our very own parents who at every juncture of our lives have gone through so many sacrifices for us? No Priya, I can’t be so selfish. I know you’ll never forgive me for this, but I have no other option. I shall never call you, nor write to you. Neither will I speak of you after today. But I will always love you!”

This time I was looking directly at her and so was she.

Her gaze was more of surprise than anger. Her eyes themselves looked like questions staring at me. Asking me why I had not seen this before. Why I had not been able to find another way. Why did I love her? Why I wasn’t able to understand her? Why we had to part?Why did I give it a beginning? Why did I bring the end?

“I don’t want to stay here anymore. I am leaving. Leaving you forever. You’ll never have me back again”

That was the last time I heard her voice.


All eyes were fixed on her. Mine included. She emitted a radiance that filled the hearts of all who were present there with a simultaneous feeling of pain and love. To me, in a room full of people she looked alone. As alone as I was.

I would never have given her away, not even if God had desired so. But unfortunately the desire came from her father. That too in a way that ‘No’ was no option for me. He asked me to return his daughter back to him. He asked me not snatch his life’s treasure from him. The world wouldn’t have accepted our alliance and her father could not have refuted the world. He asked me my life. And I, I loved her. For her, I gave my life away.

I lived on but like a dead but death had never been so cruel to me as life today became. My life failed me.People say that Failure makes a man stronger. That one didn’t. I had never felt weaker in life. I could not fulfill my promises. Neither to her, nor to her son. I could not save his mother. Last time she left her words, this time only silence. And memories that spoke of her charm and her pulchritude. A pain in my heart of never being able to own her. I could not get her back. She had left. For the world, may be that day, for me 25 years ago.


  1. waah, tum kab se yeh bhasha bolne lage beta?
    senti hai, par short hai. feelings are present but as saplings, express them more eloquently, let them grow on the story.

  2. A very well executed peice. There were portions that I absolutely loved. For example, the part about the tear falling on his hand. Very poetic. But of course, you've always been the poetic kind. You have a very strong command over language. The story moves smoothly, without any jerks. I like it.

    Sometimes, you vocabulary backfires. For example, "Oh God, how mendacious you boys turn out to be!" No one uses words like mendacious in real life. At least not when one is experiencing strong emotion.

    As far as the plot is concerned, I have a few problems. The story is too dichotomous. It tells you that they could not marry because of their parents. But it does not tell you about the reasons that parents might have for that. It does not tell you if the characters tried to oppose those decisions. It might not always be the case of one love over another. That is too black and white, there are no shades of gray.

    Ideologically, the story is retrograde. One tends to assume that the marriage could not take place due to traditional reasons -- caste or religion or social pressure. The plot advocates silent acceptance of it all which is distasteful to me. No resistance is shown to this narrow minded thinking.

    I like the way the plot contrasts the relationship between the doctor and his parents and the woman and her son. You could have taken the analogy further. There are times when you can do something for your parents and there are times you cannot. And you parents leave you when you are relatively young, what happens to you wishes and desires once they are gone and their wishes and desires matter no more.

  3. That was a touching story(really!) and very poetic too. I guess you would do well to take Vinod's directions on extending the son's role further. I would love to read a story with that analogy. But then the story was amazing as it is. In fact, I found the dichotomy rather appealing.

  4. Besides, any inspiration behind this story of yours?

  5. No inspiration really............just aise hi a theme came to mind and i framed a story around it.... :)

  6. A satisfactory peice of work. but i think probably u r too young to deal with a mature subject like this.. I personally appreciate Vinod's commments n genuinly feel tht u need to grow up on this topic.. Anyways English part is ok.. except for a few grammar mistakes.. but again they can b ignored to maintain the continuity.

    Here full marks to Vinod..Yippyy:)