Sakshi - My Mirror in Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is a story about a boy deeply troubled by personal demons and a girl trying to quit an abusive relationship.

Submitted: January 17, 2015

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Submitted: January 17, 2015

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SAKSHI – My Mirror in Life

 

The day I met Sakshi, she was the best friend of my girlfriend (Elika). She had a boyfriend of her own at the time. Some of our earliest conversations included she getting a tad bit too excited about the way I could seemingly talk about anything. That excitement, I was told later, was frustration. Needless to say, this was the start of an obvious dysfunctional relationship between two opposites.

 

Sakshi’s thoughts in first person:

“How could this guy (a boy almost) know so much about everything?! This must be a façade. There is a gap in this boy and I will find it. He is a Muslim boy from middle-class after all. How different could he be from the rest?”

 

The animated conversations aside, it was a very ordinary occurrence in my life otherwise riddled with extremes. There were no sparks or glances exchanged. Sakshi did not interest me significantly more than any other person. I was curious about this spark she had in her -- this inexplicable spark of life that I can only explain in half-formed words and sentences (probably because I don’t understand it myself). In a few days, the always escalating problems in my life took center-stage and I did not have the time or energy to think about the small spark that I might have imagined in a girl I met once.

 

My relationship with Elika did not last long. It was expected not to. She was the rebound girl who was aware about her rebound status. She understood that neither of us had any real feelings for the other person. She cared about me just as much as I did. However, “like” would be a rather strong word to be used for the feelings we had for each other. Using the word “love” would be preposterous.

 

After the end of our doomed relationship, Elika was upset for a while. And by a while, I meant 2 weeks. That is usually how long Elika took to “mourn a relationship”. And the end of this time span, she dove headfirst into a relationship with another guy who was probably as self-absorbed as I was at the time. Eventually, I and Elika decided to be friends. To be precise, I suggested being friends many weeks before she decided to agree to it. And I was glad for it. Being friends implied no regrets and I wasn’t waiting to add on to the colossal pile of regrets I carried around with me.

 

However, being friends with Elika presented a complex situation. Elika became friends with my friends and I did with hers. This involved occasionally talking with Sakshi and her boyfriend Purab. I did like spending time with them. But, I wasn’t excited about being around Elika. There were reasons why I had broken up with her - one single reason if I am being honest. The reason was quite simple. She bored the hell out of me. Despite my reservations about Elika, I did not mind the occasional company of an always exuberant group that was Elika, Sakshi, Purab and their friend Radhika.

 

After a few months of hanging out with them, I realized that Sakshi and Purab were having problems. The serious kind.

 

It was quite shocking in fact. I always believed that Sakshi’s fingers fit perfectly into the spaces of Purab’s. Clichéd it might sound, but to my oblivious eyes it seemed like a match made in heaven. They were just incredibly perfect for each other, like a sea that is also part of an ocean. And yet, they were separating.

 

Once I and the rest of the group got over the shock of it, everyone had to pick sides. The girls in their group (Elika, Radhika) were understandably on Sakshi’s side. I was rather neutral about it. Well, I was neutral until Elika told me that Purab hit Sakshi in public and then ran away, like a coward.

 

If there is one thing I hate more than anything or anyone in this world, it is violence against a defenseless soul. I can take a verbal bashing. I can be humiliated in public without any repercussions (verbal or physical) if the situation demands it. But, hit a defenseless person in front of me and I might kill you. In fact, I will kill you………..if I am able to. This is obviously a rather drastic reaction from someone who is otherwise so composed, but I have my reasons. However, this passage is not about me. Not completely anyway. So, let’s talk about our story and not about my disconcerting inclination to violence in the presence of violence.

 

Falling back to our story which is at the point where Sakshi has, unceremoniously, dumped Purab. He has, in turn, become an insecure and violent person. So, he hits Sakshi (enough to bruise) on more than one occasion and in public. He, also, threatens to “tell her parents” about him, her Hindu boyfriend. It seems like a harmless threat. However, to a girl with conservative Muslim parents, this tell-all is the end of life as she knows it. To this unmanageable fear of her parents, add the fact that she has been with this needy guy for 3 years and you get a significant problem. Every moment of her time away from home has been spent in his company. He knows all her delicate secrets, every awkward thought she had, every time she bitched about her friends. He knows it all. To her, he is a grenade of secrets waiting to blast every relationship she has carefully constructed in the last few years.

This cocktail of horror, alarm, panic and terror enveloped her and evolved. She, in a short time, developed a pathological fear of Purab. To her, he was capable of ending her world. He could do anything, be anywhere. He was invincible, not unlike a force of nature.

 

It is rather difficult to explain pathological fear to someone who hasn’t experienced it.  Very few and unfortunate people have ever experienced something so primal for a person, a living breathing human being. To most people, fear is in the darkness around them, in the dangerous animals around them or at the edge of steep heights. To most people, fear is bodily harm or death. So, they cannot comprehend how this entire multitude of negative emotions can be experienced for just a living, breathing person - a person who is just as fragile as I am or perhaps you are. When an average person comes across someone like her (a person who isn’t control of their primal fears), they become uncomfortable or scared depending on their nature. However, they never want to delve into the recesses of this weird anomaly -- something they have never seen before. But, I was quite comfortable in this situation. I could understand “primal fear” then and I can understand it now; for a simple reason –

 

I have felt it…………...……in my bones.

 

I have lived for years under the roof of a person who represented the sum of all my fears to me. I have lived under an invisible whip that keeps waiting for me to stumble so that it can remind me of its existence. The whip has not always been invisible either. But, I have overcome that whip and the fear that it wrought upon me. I might not have moved past it. But I have won many important victories against it. I have had time to understand this fear, attempt to rationalize it and develop coping strategies against it. Perhaps, I sound desperate when I tell you this. And I probably am desperate. But, this is something I have learnt - 

 

You never stop being petrified about your pathological fears. At best, you settle for controlling that desperation to a manageable level.

 

Sakshi, intuitively, understood this. I believe that she could see empathy instead of apprehension in my eyes when she behaved wildly and alarmed everyone else. So, she turned to me. I hope I do not come across as glib when I say that I was probably the only person around her who could understand her fears and the depth of them while remembering that this tunnel has light at the end of it (even if I cannot always see it).

 

So, I helped her the only way I could: I talked and she listened. She occasionally asked questions and I answered them as best as I could. I am not entirely sure if my seemingly impractical advice amounted to anything definite. I would like to believe that it did; that I helped her achieve a minor victory over her fears. But, I was never very confident about my advice. I never am.

 

If you are curious about what my “impractical advice” was, allow me to curb your curiosity with disappointment. It was nothing spectacular. They were just stories about my inherent fears (of an authority figure in my life and myself) and how I overcame them. Most of these loosely related stories would end with a motivational “If I could do it, so can you” speech. The part I always left out was the fractured nature of my declarations of success.  I had never really overcome my fears. I had learnt to control them. So, the spirited battle cries I ended my stories with were as hollow as I have been.

 

Therefore, when Sakshi succumbed to those fears and cowered with Purab staring her down every single time, I didn’t get disappointed in her or angry with her. In fact, I saw myself in her. I saw a person trying to stand tall under the weight of this crushing boulder and failing while blood runs down from his shoulders. It sounds rather clichéd, but I saw Atlas, a Greek hero who is cursed to keep sky’s insurmountable weight on his shoulders; his knees almost giving out under the impossible weight that he cannot hold but has to strain against for all eternity.

 

Dear Lord! Do all writers honestly feel as pretentious as I do after making a Greek hero reference?!

 

My distracting declarations aside, I did feel something akin to companionship with her. And in that moment, I fell for her. Not for her beauty or her expressive nature. I would like to say I fell in love because of her ability to feel the same fears I did. But, I am not very accurate. I have pondered over this question for a few years now. For a while I thought that this was to fulfill my sick need to find some poor girl that I can “save” or perhaps I wanted a mirror to fall in love with. A mirror that reflected my worst fears so clearly, it felt like magic. Perhaps, I needed a ‘mirror’ I could fall in love with like any ordinary narcissist. Or it could be one of the million other reasons swirling in my head. I have, in time, come to accept that I do not know the exact reason (or reasons) and I might never know.

 

What I do know is that, in that moment, I knew what caring for someone is like. I understood what exists beyond infatuation or familial love. I perhaps began to understand what the riddle of love is. And the second I came across this word (love), the questions faded to oblivion…….rather quickly.

 

In time, Sakshi helped me understand myself better. She gave me answers to the most intricate, uncomfortable and complicated questions I had. I hope that I, in turn, was able to help her in some insignificant way. I did try to make her understand people better. While Sakshi saw a few qualities in a person, I gave her a glimpse of the infinite dimensions that exist inside each of them. We both have moved on in life now. At least, we are trying our best to move on. But, I will never forget the only time in my life when I saw a mirror. A mirror that was also a person!

 

Her name was Sakshi…………Sakshi Sharma.

 

 


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