Today being the start of the series “21st Century: Love & Sex”, I decided to start this series simply because when I look around, I realise that this generation is messing up big time when it comes to these two things. To kick off the series, I will start with this really creative and symbolic short story because it explains what love truly is in a way that you are able to connect to it and figure out what is missing or should be added in your relationship. It was written by an amazing talented teenage blogger called ‘Kaushik Prasad’, he wrote this story based on love and he manages the blog THE THOUGHT MACHINE.
When I first read, it seemed out of place but on my second reading I noticed the complexity of love and its art, its suddenness, meaning of love and how to truly love. Not too much talk, enjoy it yourself:
The morning was cold and silent; the sunrise spread across the vast skies, announcing a new day. We were puppets for the gelid wind that blew, we leaned and swayed in its direction; the daisies bloomed, and the canaries sang their sweet symphony that made the forest regain its youth; the rays of the sun accentuated the sparkle of the silvery river that gently flowed.
Allow me to introduce myself, I am an old and a lifeless tree confined to the muddy grounds of these woods. I must admit that I often feel like a ghost amid this thick, lush green forest, for nobody notices me during daylight, and fear my horrendous form at nightfall. Time alone favours my lonesome presence. The wind often carries birds that are destined to the boundless skies; they flew past me swiftly like I never existed and perched on the branches of Oak, Deodar and Pine, which flaunt their green leafy form with great pride, and mock my leafless body.
The day was just born, when she emerged from a gust of heavy wind; the harsh wind showed rage, but she refused to sink and glided agilely against the ruthless wind like a missile, and perched upon the lateral surface of my branch without a hitch. I must admit I was aghast and at the same time overjoyed by the fact that I was evidently visible to her eyes. There she was standing tall and holding on to my branch firmly with her strong barbed talons, which were like the serrated blade of a bread knife; providing her with a tremendous grip. She was unshakeable; she remained still like a statue on a pedestal anchored to my branch. She left the heavy gale astounded; it bowed in respect and at once, yielded to her might. Before I could catch a proper glimpse of her, like a flash of lightening, she let go off my branch and took off into the far-flung skies. I felt immense joy in those very few moments, for no life-form had ever felt my lonely presence in ages.
Days passed; seasons changed, it rained, it snowed, there was hail and there was warmth; monsoon had passed, and so did the winter which was accompanied by the frosty mistrals. There was still no sight of her again until one warm crispy summer, the skies were bright and clear, the sun couldn’t have shone any brighter. From a great distance, a small but familiar object was in motion. As I pondered over it, seconds had passed and it drew nearer, it was headed towards my direction. It couldn’t be, astonished it was her again! She glided against the wind like an accurately shot arrow, and once again perched upon my branch, in the very spot she had earlier. She revealed her long, magnificent wings like a blossoming rose, and fluttered them to shake off the dust that had accompanied her in her long tiresome journey. She then placed her head towards the sun inhaling the pleasant air. The vibrant rays of the sun subsided and dissolved into the widening darkness of twilight.
Her streamlined body was decorated with feathers like a tiara fitted patiently with fancy rocks that glitter; her burnished breasts blinded the starry skies, and outshone the dull glitter of the moon. She fell fast asleep on the surface of my branch, her sleep was that of a meditating monk composed and serene like the gentle river. The morning had commenced; to my surprise she was still there. She peered from my branch and leaned stealthily downwards taking a wary look over the trees situated nearby and like a bullet she shot herself in the desired direction. She was once again gone but this time my instincts told me that she would surely return, which as a matter of fact was what she did.
However, this time, she returned with a piece of twig which she carefully carried between her long pointed beak, and as she landed, she placed it gently on my branch, she was pleased by the way she had placed it and she once again disappeared in the air. After a while, she returned with more twigs, dry leaves and small blades of grass. With tremendous amount of care, she would arrange them patiently in a hemispherical manner. This ritual was repeated for several days, I remained puzzled and failed to understand the reason for the need to build this miniature hemispherical structure but I couldn’t help watching, as there was grace and lithe in her movement. She was determined to finish building this monument before the cold, however time consumed her actions and slowed her pace. She was like a gladiator; obdurate and decisive. She refused to give in and fought fiercely against time, and swimmingly managed to accomplish her task before the cold. With ample amount of pride, she marched towards it like a soldier returning triumphantly from war. She then slowly settled in this hemispherical vessel and rested her eyes.
At nightfall, she would sing a drowsy lullaby that put the entire forest to sleep; her voice was like the vast deep blue sea, it spread widely across the entire wood, drowning the whole forest within it and her sweet melody was like the gentle breeze; soft and soothing. It was dawn, when I felt a tingly sensation at the tip of my branch I felt something growing out of it. It was green in colour and had a bud like structure, in the pace of a snail it grew longer and longer developing into a small leaf. I admit I refused to believe what I had just witnessed. I felt immense pride, and was blinded by happiness for it was nothing less than a miracle. After a while, I felt a prick on the surface of my bark; it was them again! They were the devil’s most adored pets, which invaded the surface of my bark leaving behind painful scars. They were parasites that bred, fed and took refuge on the surface of my branch, building castles of mud and silt. Even the harsh winds failed to shake them off, and I felt like an injured and a helpless fawn in the captive of a predator. Suddenly out of nowhere, she made her appearance and swooped through the mud castle. This resulted in a huge explosion of mud and dirt, which caused the spiteful creatures to escape in large numbers.
She was a fierce predator, for she fed on them until there were no more of them in sight, and within a while the pain came to an end. I was in raptures over the way she fed on my worst fear. Hope had descended on me, and I felt like a treasure chest guarded by a fierce beast. The days seemed longer, and the nights merrier. A dead silence broke when she sang, we were unable to understand what it meant but there was a depth in her voice, which made it almost impossible to restrain.
A new day was in the making, the sun slowly began to ascend in the skies, the flowers danced to the sounds of the chirping birds. She too joined them, it was like an orchestra set in motion. As she sang, more leaves began to grow on my branch. They were everywhere, I was in a state of complete elation and bliss. I felt like a king dressed in his best robes and ornaments, flaunting them with a great show of pride. Forgive my pride, for I had felt no greater joy in the past. I must mention that she was gifted with a sharp sight, keen senses and good speed. She could smell danger from within a mile. Her eyes were a pair of highly powered magnifying glasses; she could spot a wild squirrel gnawing on an Akon on a distant tree, from the very spot she’s perched upon.
One dry summer, the travelling winds carried a flock of migratory cranes in the direction of these woods and to my surprise, they flew towards me and landed on my branch. I should have felt a great deal of happiness and joy; however, for an unknown reason I felt neither. They led out an unpleasant cry which was rather cacophonous and disturbing. They flocked around me, and moved hastily back and forth with their delicate stem like legs. She was nowhere to be seen at that moment, for she had gone hunting for wild mice, chipmunks and ferrets that dwelt in the nearby lands across the mighty river. Out of nowhere, she appeared like a cannonball in their direction leaving a raspy screech, frightening their petty souls, and causing them to immediately flee. Thereafter, she allowed no soul to breathe near my bark for I was her possession alone. The darkness soon dawned on us; the moon did shine and the stars did flicker. The night was pleasant, when it began to drizzle accompanied by strong winds. They destroyed any mere object in their path; the miniature hemispherical structure situated on my bark was no match for them, for they blew it away with much less effort. As she restrained the force of nature; the winds grew bigger in strength, which she could no longer bare. There was sadness in her eyes but she refused to lose hope. Her attention drew towards a hole on the upper part of my bark; which was pecked by a woodpecker ages ago. Like a rebel, she fought against the violent wind and made her way inside and resided in it. It provided her with space enough to support a family of racoons. It protected her from the harsh weather and furnished her with warmth during the cold. I was her safe haven as she was mine. She would take off during daybreak and return before sunset, with enough food for the whole winter. The weather remained to be harsh and unkind for a long period of time.
The night was gloomy and the stars were concealed behind a thick sheet of grey nimbus clouds. The fiends swarmed the forest, the wolves howled and the frogs croaked. A peculiar silence broke, and there was stillness in the foggy air. More clouds began to engage signalling a heavy rainstorm. The nimbus clouds were pregnant with rain, which had soon ceased to commence. The skies roared and grunted loudly, which caused the paws and feathers to scurry. It was a spine-chilling sight! It began to pour heavily and the roaring of the skies had summoned deadly storms, which sabotaged the entire forest. Trees fell, animals were crushed beneath heavy rocks, and cries of excruciating pain followed. To my horror, she still remained perched upon my branch, I failed to understand the cause behind this foolish and suicidal act. The raging tempest hit her like a giant boulder, she refused to fall and clung to my branch with her strong talons and extreme effort. With each blow, her rigid grip grew weaker and weaker in strength. She was petrified by the cruel act of nature. She could have fled to live another day instead she stood there feeling helpless, it was as if she had surrendered to the wrath of nature and accepted her doom. She led out a melancholy strain; this was the last time she ever sang. Before she could finish her sweet symphony, the merciless wind cut my branch like a cleaver and she went crashing down and landed on the wet marshy soil like a broken aircraft which was shot during flight. With great effort, she pushed her wounded body towards my long roots, that were tightly attached to the earth. She held on to me with her hurt wings until she could hold no more. Within seconds she let go, and her eyes closed forever. The following morning was dull and grey. There she was lying quiescent and motionless beneath my left branch, she looked like an art on a piece of folded canvas. The sun’s vibrant rays kissed her lifeless body, my leaves began to shed and descended on her like a blanket, concealing her remains. The roots and vines of the neighbouring plants gently coiled on it forming a protective barrier; the winds carried her in their arms and made their way gently into the heavens. It couldn’t have been a better funeral.
The forest had lost its youth for the canaries never sang again; the wind did blow but we no longer swayed in its direction and neither did the stars’ flicker. Joy had faded but hope remained. I was once again a leafless tree, which least bothered my thoughts. She may be gone but memories of her dwell in my thoughts, her presence is still felt on my branch for I had felt sweet joy, pride and a different kind of sadness, I felt love, an emotion stronger than the hardest of rocks, sweeter than any nectar and more painful than fire. Time neither slows nor increases its pace; time may destroy, time may create memories for they stay open or concealed within the depths of our thoughts, it is upon us to unveil them.