Updated: Nov 24, 2022
What is love? How does one define love? What makes it powerful? What makes it great? Is it time that makes it powerful? Is it people in the relationship that make it great?
“Eternal Love” by Rajiv R Nair deals with these questions through the tale of Arjun and Aditya. Showcasing how the couple often struggles but works things out due to their love for each other, this story reveals why love is powerful and significant.
Arjun moved out from the AC cabin on the train and stood near the door. Fog formed on his aviator-framed eyeglasses due to the sudden change in temperature of the surroundings. He was smiling deeply engrossed in his thoughts that he didn’t even notice the physical transition happening right in front of his very eyes.
The train was gushing at the rate of knots. The plastic covers that were thrown out from the trains, that passed by for decades, were trying to catch up with the train. On the journey, trees were left behind, people looked like ants and Arjun felt like he was impersonating Flash.
Just then a familiar face standing beside him winked. He responded with a smile and nothing else. She was the girl who sat in the opposite berth to his.
Three years back, he would have at least tried to impress her but now his mind was just confined to occasional glances and smiles.
The girl started, “Hi... Hii... I’m Diya. Who are you smiling at?”
“It’s nothing. You won’t understand it unless you experience love.”
She retorted, “Oh! Come on... I’ve been there thrice!”
Arjun smiled again and exclaimed, “I can understand the way you were in love and, to be frank, it isn’t what you call love.”
She furiously asked, “Okay Mr, how long has it been since you’ve been in love?”
Arjun answered, “Three years to be precise.”
“Oh, God! That’s like decades! How did you manage? My guy, the second one couldn’t breathe for three days and broke up with me as I wasn’t available to him during my college trip.”
Arjun sarcastically retorted, “Wow! To be frank, it is not tough to figure out how you’ve failed with the other two boys.”
As he spoke, his thoughts time travelled back to the day he met Her.
Her as in…
“What’s your name?”, asked Arjun to a cute-looking girl in a blue dress fitting her in the best possible way.
“It’s Aditya sir”, the girl replied in fear.
“What? Aditya? Interesting... Which branch are you in?”
“Me sir… and I’m in the same branch as you are in. I’ve seen you many times within the campus.”
“Aha... so can I conclude that you’ve been following me keenly?” Arjun asked.
“No girl would be foolish enough to accept that sir.”
“So... Should I take it as a yes or no?”
“I leave it up to you sir. By the way sir, I’m running late to class. Can we do this later?” requested Aditya.
“Sure, Adi. That would be fine. Don’t forget to send me a friend request,” said Arjun.
“So, how many women have you been sleeping with? Ever since you left your girl in your hometown?” asked Diya. “What? Oh! Come on. I love her. Why would I prefer pleasure from anyone else? We promised to each other that we stay united for eternity,” explained Arjun. “Ahaa. Is it? What if your beloved girlfriend cheats on you?”, asked Diya sarcastically. “It’s not just a promise. It’s trust in your partner. You stay connected to them no matter what happens and you always stay faithful to the girl even if she cheats on you, which usually doesn’t happen.” “Can I know your name- the enlightening one? Wouldn’t be good if I don’t know your name considering the wisdom you are offering on romance and relationships.”
“Sir, your name, please? It’s the fifth meeting and you still haven’t given me a chance to interact with you more”, pleading Aditya was behind Arjun again.
“Don’t you think interacting with you in person is enough? What else do you want?”, Arjun was still persistent to make her wait for him.
“I only want to send you a friend request, as you asked sir. We are gonna chat for hours just like everybody out there”, Aditya assured.
“It’s Arjun. I work in Pune and I am physically and mentally committed to Aditya who is not a guy as the name suggests”, puts his hand forward to symbolise the start of a new friendship.
“Seriously, your girl is so lucky to have someone who’s so cute, handsome, witty and intelligent” praised Diya.
“Oh! Come on. You’re flattering me. It’s just that I respect the feeling and I don’t want to spoil the goodwill it has acquired over the years from what life has taught me.”
“That’s so sweet of you. Okay then, it’s time I leave... My dad’s gonna search for me and if he doesn’t find me in the berth below his...”, she giggles.
The emptiness of the whole situation creeps back into Arjun’s mind.
“Are you sure you want to do this Arjun?”, questioned Aditya.
“Of course, I’m sure. I know you love me too. It’s just a matter of commitment that we would stay together no matter what happens.”
“But I am not so good-looking. I may or may not meet you as frequently as we do now. It’s all gonna become a burden to you. Why do you want to waste your time with someone like me?”, asked Aditya.
“Look, Adi, external beauty is not my concern and frankly you have a beautiful mind and generous heart. You are more than what I deserve and other issues don’t matter as long as you are with me. Is it written anywhere that a relationship only will last when two people are together in the same city and meet every day? The onus is upon us to keep our relationship strong wherever we are. I hope you understand.”
“What if one of your previous crushes returns to you? What happens to me then? As a girl, I only want your commitment to be with me till the end. Other than this, I don’t really find a reason to turn down your proposal.”, Aditya finally expressed her concern.
“I wouldn’t have come to you if I was still gloating with the thoughts of my previous crushes. Anything I say now would become an exaggerated promise about the future which is never certain. All I can say is that I am damn serious about you and will never ever think of leaving or hurting you”, Arjun assured her.
Value of Commitment
The cool breeze paved its way through his hair as the train gushed. His man bun was shattered and his hair was all over his face. The joy of one’s hair dancing to the wind’s tune around your face is never understood by the typical Indian parents who force their children to get their heads almost tonsured every time they see a strand of hair falling onto the forehead. It does really pain high when you have to get a haircut once every two fortnights.
He recalled the times when Adi used to play with his hair when it was way shorter and trimmed. The smile was back on his face as he was finally going to meet his love after two long years.
He moved back to his seat where Diya was sitting along with her dad. She shot a smile at him. He smiled back and received a stern angry look from her dad.