Rubicon: Point of No Return

This short story is written by Sanket Ponia based on his real life incidences that happened on a course of 17 months during his stay in NII. He would like to thank almighty god for providing him such an interesting life with lots of inspiring people

 The day they met she knew this relationship will not sustain. “Relationship, what am I thinking about? I hardly know this guy” she thought with a sad smile.

Let’s get real she muttered and went on talking with this dark, young, articulate man. Both chatted for a while trying their best to impress each other but Sampda was still struggling to convince herself that it might work out. As they departed the only thing she could remember was Prateek’s mobile number and how amused she was on her way of thinking and her elaborate imaginations.

Prateek is in his early twenties and as expected fully prepared to face the challenges and experiences that life throws every moment. His spirits are high as till now he has always managed to mould his life in a way he wanted. Keeping himself updated with the latest news and exhibiting it gracefully always gave him a high and a sense of pride. He dreamt of going to big city, learning the new ways and walks of life. He loved all those engrossing stories from city that his cousin used to tell him. Life was bliss and contentment was the thing that continually showed on his face. And as they say ‘when you really want something badly the whole universe conspires to help you realize your desire’, Prateek got a job offer from a reputed company in Delhi.

Sampda is a good-looking middle class girl with an attractive individuality. She is an intellectual yet a great fantasist. She perfectly believed in the idea that your perception is the biggest reality. Being sensitive, it’s her feelings that incite her in making all the major decisions. She has always been an ideal daughter, caring sister, supportive friend and above all a compassionate human being.

But life is irony and god has his own ways of dealing with mortals.

After few days of conversations and working on the same project with a multinational client both felt a strong sense of attachment between each other. Apart from all the achievement and praise they received from their bosses, it was their heart-to-heart talk about their past, failures and ambitions that brought them closer. It went on for few more days before time begins to change. ‘Time is the only constant that keeps on changing; nonetheless we tend to realize its gravity only when things fall off just as the sand slips from a tight fist’.

Prateek has well acclimatized with the vibrant city culture. He knows everything about this cosmopolitan metropolis, from its medieval monuments to metro stations. He knows where you can get the best authentic continental cuisines in modest rates, what is the best time to visit CP and paranthe-wali gali in chandni chowk, when to avoid going to world trade fair and delhi-haat, how to enjoy Delhi’s night life in the most posh and ‘decent’ cocktail lounges of south Delhi. Now he flaunts his erudition about the city routes and roads to be taken while avoiding rush hours. Fulfilment of this dream has given altogether a new dimension to his personality, he’s full of confidence. He has an opinion about almost everything under the sun, be it what book to read, what ‘first day first show’ flick to watch or where to dine out in the night, especially when you don’t owe a personal conveyance.

Prateek loves sharing his newly discovered joys with Sampda like with everyone else. His Face lit up every time he tells how important he has become in others life, he beams with energy and sometimes gives a haughty laugh while substantiating that being a delhite, her knowledge about everything here is so miserable. “hmmm......maybe he’s right”, this is what she thinks most of the time. Only thing she knows is that she is happy when Prateek is happy. This is what she has learned throughout her life that pursuit of happiness is only possible when the people who matters to you are happy. Never the less, what she doesn’t understand is that until n unless you are happy, you can’t make others happy. Happiness comes when you are following your heart and not when you are simply following the ways that others approve.

Time went flying as it always does. Prateek has just found an amazing group of friends. They are really cool people; they are just like him, always in the front, always having the excellent prospects in life. Stellar salary packages, beautiful gals, branded clothes, levi’s jeans, woodland shoes, apple i-pod, anything less than that cannot be accommodated in their ‘so-called’ legendary lives. They don’t have time to question, to evaluate, to recline, to treasure whatever more or less they have in their lives, but all they have is an infinite capacity to take things for granted. There are so many promises to fulfil, so many milestones to achieve, an impressive CV to make, to compete, to compare, to feel insecure but still to stay like a winner.

Yesterday, something has happened. Sampda don’t really consider it to be that big thing but it has undoubtedly made her think. For the past few days Prateek has suddenly stopped talking to her, its expected since they were already not talking to that level which they used to be. From a colleague she got to know that Prateek is going out with this ultra glamorous chick and as Sampda doesn’t fit in his comfort zone and his criteria of mutual understanding that two friends should have, he has decided to move on. It’s not that she doesn’t believe her ‘well wisher’ work-mate, but it’s just that she still feels whatever Prateek has said and whatever things he’s currently doing, is certainly for some intelligent reasons. And it’s a moral duty of her to let Prateek have total freedom to be himself.  

Below is the diary entry of Sampda that she has just made last night:

27 November 2009

I have always wondered which hurts the most: saying something and wishing I hadn’t, or saying nothing, and wishing I had. I know I have to say this because that’s the only way by which I can get over this. I look around me at the people who are always talking about how successful or cool they or others are, and then I look at you. No one’s praising or gossiping about you. You were not the coolest or the most intellectual person around but somewhere between our laughs, our long talks, our silly little fights, and all our jokes, I fell in love. I understand that meeting you was sheer luck, becoming your friend was a very conscious choice, but falling in love.......I never really had any control.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. God doesn’t give you people you want, he gives you people that are needed to make you the person you were meant to be. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together. It’s not that I don’t have those moments where I think life’s been cruel, difficult and unfair to me just because you did not love me the way I want you to, but does it mean you never loved me with all you have? I read it somewhere, “Missing someone is sitting right beside them and knowing you can’t have them” but then does it mean that I should keep on expecting from Prateek that one day he will reciprocate these feelings? Or shall I hold onto this relationship until it collapses? Do you think that it is a wise idea to reach the Rubicon- limits that when passed or exceeded permits love to become hate? When love becomes lie, only sufferings, loneliness and pain remain. I know what I feel for him goes beyond friendship...beyond’s in a purely platonic’s going to remain forever.

Someone said “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever”. But what if he doesn’t, then shall I assume that we were never destined to be together??? Now the only thought that crosses my mind is the feeling that I had on our first meeting, ‘this relationship will not sustain.......’


The End

 I have just found this very interesting philosophy on internet that can help my readers to better understand the concept of this short story: “Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is. The only problem in your life is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds. Letting go doesn't mean we don't care. It doesn’t mean we shut down. Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible - controlling that which we cannot - and instead, focus on what is possible - which usually means taking care of ourselves. And that we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible. If you're feeling frightened about what comes next, don't be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness, don't waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes; because you'll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart - where your hope lives. You'll find your way again."

The End

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