Falling is almost always painful, be it in love or in the tumult of a whirlpool. Even when the fall is spontaneously reciprocated by the other side, love’s sad satiety imbues the union with a sour taste of emptiness. How mundanely blessed our lives would be, had falling been all there is to love. But hell no, it is not even the beginning of love, let alone the end. Then, what is love – surely neither the possession of a pretty face or the right of petting, nor the means of convenience to run in the rats’ scuttle. Zeus had no love for Hera, nor did Aphrodite for limping Hephaestus. Rather, true love is nothing but a complete and absolute annihilation of one’s ego, desires and prejudice. That is why I have always been in love with the goddess of the hunt, my dear Artemis!


Yesterday, a friend asked me, how many times I have been in love. What could I have said in return? Usually one expects to hear a number after asking a question like that. Once upon a time I too tallied but since 2012 I have lost the count. After betting on the wrong side and earning bankruptcy at the gambling deck of life in that year, I have been living on love. Life became covertly simple. Each day began with a fervent hope that at night I would not come back to my bed, alive. Disappointingly, every day I did. Then at nights, before losing consciousness I prayed to make this night my last one, being too tired to witness another rising sun and shoulder the shackles that dogged life’s territorial woes. That pining too was done in vain.


However, in between the end and beginning of those daily doses of unconsciousness, love kept digging pits for me at every twist and turn. I too responded gaily, falling in each of them without any second thoughts, that too at the first sight. In most of the cases despite the fall I survived with just a few cuts and bruises. In more than a few though, I bled to death before crawling up to the ground with my teeth and nails. I had to. Afterwards, only a few words, perhaps a complete line or two if luck happened to be with me that day, remained. A few of such fall culminated in a poem. Honestly, each of those sagas felt like a marriage to me where I, the wife, after conceiving, had been forced to live on my own with a child, the poem, growing inside my heart and soul.


Five years later, now, the pages of my life are teeming with more than a thousand such children, sired by love and borne by me. Yet I shall boldly claim that there is and has always been only one Krishna in my dreams. It is I whose perceptions, like Radha, have evolved and changed with time. So, human beings truly can fall in love once and once only, no matter how many faces might push them over the edge in life!


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