“The Fault in Our Stars”

I am emotional. There – I said it out loud and clear. I am kind of proud of it. It makes me a compassionate and accommodating human being. Sure – a few times, I keep my interests aside for others, but hopefully I’ll have my turn soon.

Watching movies, TV series and reading books is one of my favorite hobbies. I remember, how back in 9th grade, I used to read and re-read my textbook of Julius Caesar, even before my teacher had reached the half-way mark. The first time around, I teared up at the part where Caesar falls after he realizes the betrayal by his good friend Brutus.

Not long back, I wept like a child in the theatre while watching “Highway”. Alia Bhatt played the female protagonist. In one of the scenes, she confronts and lashes out at a family member for sexually abusing her at the tender age of 9. Her acting gave me goose bumps and her pain was tangible.

Quite recently, tears flowed freely while watching “The Fault in our Stars”. It was such a moving and tender portrayal of two young people in love. Their attempt at a normal life in the face of impending death was commendable. It made me believe more in love.

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Deep Beneath – A Love Story

This is my parent’s story. The first time I heard it, I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. Even now, when I recount this tale of love to friends, I am filled with wonder about the enormity of the gesture.

Theirs is an arranged marriage. The girl was just a little over 18 and the boy was 3 years her elder. Grandparents from both sides pronounced the judgement that they wanted the bride/groom to be a part of their families. The boy and girl didn’t get a chance to see each other. The wedding was a lavish and much talked about affair.

The newly – weds first saw each other properly in the many family games that traditionally follow a Hindu wedding. It acts an ice breaker, between the bride and groom’s family. There, surrounded by the cheering family and relatives, taken by the each other, they fell in love.

A few weeks passed. The girl returned to her parent’s house to continue her studies and the boy turned back to his books. With no phone or internet to connect them back in 1982 in India, they kept in touch through the more time taking way – letters. They wrote long letters of their well-being, life and love, enquiring after the others life. They met once every few months.

In a few years, quite a lot of letters had been written, back and forth to each other. When it was time for the girl to leave her parent’s house, she didn’t forget to carry along the bundle. They settled into their new life together. They also had a new-born baby girl to take care of.

Not far from their dwelling, there was a temple that the boy frequented. Lord Hanuman is his special deity. Right in front of the temple, workers were digging the road. They were making way for a new footpath. In the days to come, the street will be one of the busiest in the city – never sleeping, never resting.

The guy had a plan. He went home, collected all the letters the couple had. Along with one of their spare wedding invitation cards, he packed the bundle into some waterproof material, finally packing it in a box. He carried it away, like a treasure.

He got his wish, after a round of requesting the construction workers around. He might even have had to bribe a few to get his way. He carefully placed the box in the hollowed pits, right in front of the temple. He stood there and saw it getting covered with fresh granite.

The way my Dad puts it, while my mom lovingly watches – After many years, when the road is re-laid or dug up, they will find that two young people, so much in love, survived so many odds to tell their story. They will believe in the instituion of marriage. God will always be watching over us – quite literally.

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