This is a story never been told…
But eventually told by my grandpa Nirajit, before he died from stroke.
a story of love and…..
My Grandpa said on his deathbed:
LOVE is a multidimensional phenomenon. It happens in all spaces of matter: gas, solid or liquid or it could even fill the minute spaces of time. It could be either paradox or real. It can dwell in the past or snitch into the future, and above all, it is unexplainable; like the creation of the universe, the nascent of the human life and the passing away of the physical body. Either way, love was conceived neither to be explained nor to be clear but to be experienced by every human soul and let the person, give definition to this universal phenomenon.
The crunchy sound of the twigs frightens the flamboyant Maya birds which are laying eggs inside the low-spirited mountain ridges of St. Matilda. Nirajit inspected his shoes because he felt a piercing sensation. He grabbed his backpack and opened his medication kit. He removed his old shoes from his worn-out and damp feet. He sat on the nearby flat black stone because he experienced an agonizing cramping. It was clear that he needs rest from almost three kilometers of stroll. He breathes deeply to grasp large amount of air to fill his lungs. He could hardly breathe because the altitude thins the oxygen concentration. But because he was a retired member of the army he was used to climb perplexing mountains, swim into bottomless oceans or face the strident bullets of the enemies. His past experience really prepared him for this task of a lifetime. The difference was that, his objective is not for the country’s safety or to protect the welfare of the people but to find his only contentment in life.
He removed his socks and applied some cream to ease the stinging sensation. But this sensation has no much to what he was suffering for almost a year since Nilay left him for no apparent reason. If there is a cream that could remove this feeling he, himself bought it already. He immediately wore his marine shoes but before he placed it on his feet he turned it upside down just to be sure that there was no Robecel Spider inside that when given the chance to bite him, it could paralyze his whole body and eventually put him to sleep and death in an hour. He remembered one of his friend who was killed during the Vietnam war by the venom of the Robecel spider. However, for Nirajit, the venom of the spider is not the most poisonous thing in this world but the disappearance of his beloved wife. It was more paralyzing than the venom because unlike the venom of the spider, the pain of the desertion shut down not only his physical body but also his over-all functioning.
The beautiful flowers of Rexell Blossoms captured the attention of Nirajit who was resting. He was envious because unlike the flower which hugs intimately in the trunk of the huge Mike tree he doesn’t have his beautiful wife who during their early years hugged also on his broad body. It was almost 5 years since, Nirajit and Nilay got married. He met Nilay in the riverside during the annual Riverpool Party. He was captured by the striking and exceptional vivacity coming from Nilay’s face. He has never found any girl who owns the same characteristics as Nilay. It was a love at first sight and as an army he would usually go for the hit. He didn’t waste any time, because he believed that time is gold. Nirajit told the lady that he liked her and during those times Nilay answered by a sugary smile. The courting lasted for almost six months and the long journey concluded in the church. A pool of tears clouded the miserable eyes of Nirajit. A rainbow of emotions congested his thoughts. He wanted to go back to the times were he and Nilay were very happy. He looked up and spoke to the proud tree.
“Hey tree! I will have my flower back soon.” he said.
After the flashbacks that run inside his mind. He opened his wallet and searched for a piece of paper. It was the letter left by Nilay before she vanished. Actually, it was a love letter in structure and in words but the intent was like a parting letter. Who will suspect that Nilay, a happy go lucky and a caring wife will leave a loving and a family oriented husband?
Nirajit upon receiving the letter from his commander was very happy. He received the letter after they seized Bilat, a militarized place in central Turkey. They freed the people from threats and oppression from the government headed by General Kuram. In short, Nirajit and his army men gave freedom and independence but without his knowing he was given the same by Nilay. He wrote also a letter back to Nilay to tell her that he was granted by his chief to have a one month vacation as a reward to his commendable duty. His thrilled mood infected others to be happy and jovial also while they were in the camp. Some were grudging and some were motivated to do the same to gain the grant to see their family back home.
Nirajit found the letter folded inside his timeworn wallet. He saw their wedding picture in the front portion of his army wallet. He could not help but to feel somnolent. He missed the sweet smile of Nilay that could heal his discomforts. He remembered the soft voice and laughs of his angelic wife that wipes away his bad dreams. Nilay was there during the time that Nirajit was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a type of psychiatric disturbance characterized by horrible dreams, hyper alertness and sometime insomnia. The physician explained that this disorder was brought about by Nirajit’s work. And it is very common among soldiers especially that they are exposed to traumatic events. But because of Nilay’s embrace and support, the symptoms improved and the therapy succeed. Her voice and presence were more effective than anti-depressants and anti-anxiety, the medications prescribed and being taken by Nirajit.
Under the shade of the huge Suklam tree, Nirajit for the second time opened and read the letter. He promised himself not to open and read the letter again. The promise was made after he went home after his mission in Turkey. He was very angry when he found out that Nilay was gone. He shouted very loud that reached the neighbors. He opened Nilay’s closet and he was struck by the truth that his wife’s clothes were already gone. Sounds of breaking glass, flying flower vase and plates hit the exquisitely painted walls. The centerpiece, a table made of marble from Romblon Philippines, turned into pieces after Nirajit slammed it to the floor. He felt like he was cheated by someone whom he loved the most. The last sound was from the crash of glass from their wedding portrait punched by Nirajit. The neighbors were puzzled to what really happened because as what they have observed, the marriage of the two was a firm one and was prophesied to be a fairytale- having a happy ending.
The leaves hushed and the tweeting of the birds complimented the wearisome background music of the black forest. Nirajit silently read the letter of his wife. Every living creature inside the dark forest stopped in their daily routine to observe such emotional event. He opened the letter carefully, not to damage its fragile paper which is weaken by time and tears coming from Nirajit’s blameless eyes.
Date: May 1, 2004
What a beautiful day! Hello! My Love, my soldier, my shining armor. How are you today? I hope that you are alright safe and free from any illnesses. I can’t afford to lose a person like you. I know that it is very hard to be an army, defending ones country and restoring people’s freedom. Your life is at stake every day, and that makes me anxious. However, it is my love that makes me strong. I always pray every day, kneeling and kneeling asking God for your safety. You have won many battles, including the battle to win my heart. Did you remember our first encounter?
Nirajit was about to burst into tears. He stopped reading and he gave his attention to the nearby flowing river. It was in the river where he first met Nilay. It was during the 60th celebration of the Riverpool. The Riverpool celebration is done every five years as honor and thanksgiving to the believed natural spirits who gave the place with nonstop abundance in natural resources especially water resources. It is believed that the Kirmaks or the God s of the sea arrives in the land to join the humans.
The memory of Nirajit was still fresh when he first met Nilay. As what I’ve said, the radiance shown by Nilay arrested the drained and tangled heart of Nirajit. Being the only child of his parents, he faced a tough and heavy burden in life. It was like a big cross to carry for the rest of his existence. For instance, her mother wants him to take medicine and follow the legacy of becoming a doctor while his father on the other hand, wants him to venture law and become a lawyer and politician eventually. But he doesn’t like either of the two.
During these puzzling times, Nirajit asked for signs and guidance from above. It was destiny that brought him to Nilay. Despite the fact that they were hundreds of attractive and gorgeous women in the place that time, the modest yet enigmatic lady stood out and stole the searching eyeball of Nirajit.
Clearly, the response of God was Nilay. So that not to waste any chance and the possibility of losing the angel from above, Nirajit took courage to approach and engage into a conversation with Nilay.
“Hi! Enjoying the scene?”, Nirajit asked.
“Hi! Yes, this place is lovely.”, Nilay replied.
“But you are more attractive.”, Nirajit replied silently.
“What? Sorry I didn’t catch it.”, Nilay grinned.
“Oh no! I said that, I agree to you. This place is really beautiful. I’m Nirajit by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Nirajit, I’m Nilay.”
The palms of Nirajit started to appear pale like paper because of anxiety. The trembling sensation spread to his legs as if he was experiencing from epilepsy. Nilay extended her hands for a handshake.
“What is happening to your hands?” Nilay asked.
“Nothing. Nothing… Don’t mind it”, Nirajit replied.
“You are funny but cute Nirajit!”
The fair cheeks of Nirajit started to appear reddened. It was the first conversation with Nilay. They went to a nearby cafeteria and ordered some refreshments under the blazing heat of the sun.
“What’s your drink?” Nirajit asked.
“Lemonade”, Nilay replied.
“Yes. It’s my favorite. It is both sweet and sour like life and love. It is not always sweet like an ice tea, sometimes you need to add some salt to neutralize its sourness or bitterness. Ironic isn’t it. It is our decision that matters most. If that will make you happy and free, go for it.”
Nirajit was silenced. Nilay’s verbalization echoed inside his mind. It was full of meanings and representations.
“Now I have a life coach?”
“Maybe?” Nilay laughed.
The two young hearts exchanged conversations. Nirajit learned that Nilay is staying with her grandma in Tobias countryside a kilometer away from his place in Winnipeg Avenue. The conversation lasted for several hours. The sadness and confusion felt by Nirajit were washed out by the smirking and laughs and above all, the positive attitude shared by Nilay.
The remembrance of Nirajit was disturbed by the movement of the lizards in the nearby bamboo plantation. Even the lizards were affected by the grief felt by Nirajit. He witnessed how these small creatures joined him while reading the letter of Nilay. These reptiles can cry, even their eyes are small, what a fascinating creatures. He was envious of the lizards. Unlike humans, lizards can hide in the bushes, enjoy the offer of the nature and live happily with their love ones. But as human, he needs to suffer and bear life’s pressures.
Nirajit gathered his stuffs and started to continue the journey. He should not be one of the lizards who hides. He should continue and move on to search for the one he truthfully loves. While he was struggling to pass the rocky edges of the slippery mountain ridges, he fell in the ground. He was wet with mud, but in good hands he was able to secure the letter away from the sticky water of the forest soil. He wasn’t able to move. The second paragraph of the letter seized his eyes.
My love, we’ve learned that love is a roller coaster and so much more a circus. Together, these past few years we made a good ride. I can compare our life as a game in the track and field. There were times that we were able to surpass the challenge of every road. Sometimes, we fell in our knees. There were also times were we kissed the ground because of failure and exhaustion. But it is life, without this we are not human. What’s important is that, the lessons we’ve learned from every success and failures we have, right? Thank you so much for being there always. I wished that if I will lose my way and disappear please search for me.
In that instance, he noticed an earthworm struggling to get away from the mud pool. Though it was impossible for the worm to escape the slimy mud of the forest still it wiggled and battled for it. The fighting spirit was in the earthworm. Then, the fire burning inside of Nirajit started to flame. He realized the meaning of the letter of Nilay. She fought for their love. Nilay directed and assisted him when he was in one of the darkest part of his life. When he couldn’t make it alone, when he needed someone to advise him in every decision and when he was also lost in the wilderness of the world. Now that Nilay was obviously and physically missing, the slimy mud of the forest couldn’t stop him to search for his one real love.
He started to move his legs and arm like an earthworm. Finally, with perseverance and patience he was able to stand up and continue the voyage. Though, he was wet with the mud, Nirajit managed to step forward and resume the adventure. Like what did Nilay pointed out in the letter; life must go on.
The sun began to set in the west. The leaves of the tress began to create a sweet melody as the wind blows as if it is a harp that generates music for the ear. Nirajit began to take some rest from almost a kilometer walk from the foot of the St. Matilda. It was almost a day, still the clues from the letter of Nilay does not lead to her but to something else. The dew from the leaves of the big trees began to fall. It was like a rain inside the forest. Nirajit, trying to escape the situation searched for a resting place. While searching, his attention was stolen by a small cave concealed behind the Ilok plant. At first, you would not notice it was a cave because the Ilok plant projects a optimistic and iridescent light as if its leaves and trunk are coated with gold and silver dusts. This plant only shines during every full moon or there is a connection between the plant and a human being. It could be a strong emotion, a need or a desire.
In that moment, sparks of memories flooded Nirajit’s consciousness. The third paragraph of the letter from Nilay reminded him of the cryptic tree.
If the world will appear as dark as our morning breakfast coffee, or as darker as our chocolate cake baked during our anniversary, don’t weep or be afraid. There is always a light that will guide you to the right direction. Love and life is like a metropolitan; you will be confronted with choices, with roads to take and choices to make. Roads and choices may not favor us always; some may distract us while some may help. However, at the end of the day, my love, our everlasting love will guide you through to me. You are my light. You are my life.
Some form of positive force encouraged Nirajit to go inside the cave. The entrance gave him slight goose bumps; however, it did not last for too long because as he moved deeper to the hollow the atmosphere became more thought-provoking and secretive. He felt that he was a bit thirsty because of the sizzling heat of the sun that almost dried up his body. He opened his bottle of water but, he was astonished when he found out that there was no water left in the container. With such uneasy feeling, he searched for possible stream or spring that could gratify his thirst.
With such delight, he discovered a small pond with such clear water. It was the purest water he ever did see in his whole life. In the bottom of the pond were gleaming crystals and gems. There were also fishes in different hues and contours which slid and exhibited their own uniqueness to Nirajit. He remembered the time, when he gave Nilay his favorite ring matched with ruby necklace which symbolizes the exceptional beauty and attitude of his wife.
When Nirajit was about to scoop some water from the pond using his bare hands. He saw his reflection in the water with Nilay. He stopped from drinking the liquid. He stared the reflection without blinking. Thought kept in running inside his head.
“If you love her, jump!”, emotion said.
“No! If you jump you will die”, said his conscience.
“For you what is love?”, said the emotion.
“Love is just an emotion; it is a form of weakness! You should move on!”, his conscience replied.
“No! Nilay is your life right?”
“But your life is more important Nirajit, implore reason!”
Nirajit stood up and shouted.
“The two of you please move out from my head!”
“Nirajit, he is making you a fool. It’s simple if you want Nilay you should jump!”
“No, Nirajit! Your emotion is just controlling you. You are a strong person Nirajit. And Nilay will not permit you to jump. It is not Nilay!”
Nirajit was confused. He saw the reflection of Nilay waving and sending him a message that he should join her in the pond. Then, Nirajit saw that Nilay was carrying a baby with him: a somewhat projection of his desire of having a complete family.
“See Nirajit, You have traveled and suffered from pain, hunger and many more! You are at the end of your journey. What is more powerful than love Nirajit?” emotion said.
“Nirajit I can’t teach you now. You know what to do.”, conscience said.
“Sacrifice”, Nirajit answered.
Nirajit looked down. Tears flowed from his eyes and feel to the ground.
“My mother said to me that night in the hospital, the night before she died that sacrifice is the greatest thing in this world. You need to disregard your own feeling; you can accept pain and suffering if you truly love the person.”
“Even if it will cost you your life Nirajit?” conscience asked.
“You are clouded with emotions Nirajit. “
Nirajit removed his boots and jumped into the pond. The water in the pond turned into black. The intriguing and energetic fishes and flickering gems disappeared from the pond. It was like a dark evening, as if there was no life and love in the world. A strong force dragged Nirajit towards the bottom of the pond.
Nirajit was about to lose his remaining breath when a light came out from a floating paper. It was from the love letter of Nilay.
On the alternate universe, the world described in the literature as the Monays. In which, all living things are called as Monayans. Nilay (Princess Kirhat in their world), was observing the disaster and death of his husband in the pond of sins and temptations.
“Kirhat, the shutoy (term for humans by the Monayans) failed his last test.”, Nilay’s mother, who is the queen of the kingdom said.
“But mother Ariputan, he is my life! Let me save him. I beg you. It is not fair to place him in a test.”, Nilay cried.
“Kirhat, you know the rules. You disobeyed me during those times. This is the price of your defiance. “
“Mother, have mercy!”
“No! You are not allowed to be a wife of a shutoy! You are for this kingdom, soon you will be a queen and a king is intended to you. Can’t you understand? This is your destiny!”
“Destiny! It’s all about destiny! I will make my own destiny!”
Nilay ran away from his mother. Ariputan was very mad of his daughter’s manners and she blamed this to Nirajit who was the reason why Nilay left the kingdom 5 years ago and used the Riverpool as the exit point where he met Nirajit.
Ariputan ordered the guards to seal all the portals of the kingdom so that Nilay will not be able to travel back to the world of the mortals. However, Nilay was so clever enough to use some incantations learned from her teacher in magic and potions. She was able to travel back to the world of Nirajit-to the temptation pond.
“Nirajit! My love!” Nilay shouted.
She jumped into the pond and used all her powers to pull Nirajit from the bottom. He listened into Nirajit’s chest and heart and it was not pounding. Nirajit was dead.
Tears flowed from the divine eyes of Nilay. She has no choice but to use the last resort –the ultimate sacrifice. There is one only way to bring back Nirajit into life. It is the ritual using her boobita, this is a pair of crystals on the chest of every Monayans , believed to be the source of the power of immortality.
“Kirhat no! Do you know what you are doing?”, her conscience said.
“Yes! Don’t argue with me. This is the ultimate form of love, the giving of one’s life to the one you love most. Mother, I know that you are listening, you are weak, and you don’t love me, because if you do, you will give my happiness.”
Ariputan heard Nilay’s thoughts.
“No!!!! “, she shouted.
Nilay cut of her two boobita and placed it in the mouth of Nirajit where it will be absorbed. The crystals were absorbed and Nirajit began to move. His heart pumped and he started to breathe. On his first breath, Nilay took her last breath and fell in the ground.
“Nilay! My love No! Why?”
“Because I love you. I never left you for a second Nirajit. Thank you so much for giving me so much happiness in life. Love is worth dying for.”
Nirajit kissed his beloved wife. Nilay lost her last breath and died in the arms of her husband.
The stars stopped on flashing, the trees folded their leaves, the birds swallowed their tongues, the flowers returned as a bud; as if everyone was mourning. But, the letter on hands of Nilay gave light to Nirajit. The last words from the letter of Nilay.
It was sacrifice, my Love.
I love you so much!
Sacrificing, truly yours, Nilay.