Lose it to find it !

Anjali Gupta

She always thought of herself as a strong person untill love hit her. Hopeless romantic as she was this had been her dream since always. Our girl was one, people thought of as an extrovert but only people who weren't her friends and her really close friends knew she wasn't. Sara was a combination of sweet, kind, fun loving and carefree. She was confident and daring. She was an Arts student and college life was where she found love and herself.
Their group in college was that of seven friends. It had to be fun everytime they met.
Sara loved going to college as this was the place she forgot about her family matters. There was a lot of love in the family it was just that the affection shown was unsatiating. The eldest sister would often feel jealous of her younger brothers.
Sara, though it was never evident from her personality had been bullied in her primary classes for her dusky skin. She used to live in Delhi back then and read in a well known school. A few punjabi kids would join and say mean things to her like she should have been a boy, her skin is not of a girl, etc. Although, those days only made her strong, it was indeed a draining episode for a six year old. Alternatively, there were always other kids who came forward and became her friends, liked her, loved her and many a times girls engaged in stupid fights to compete and be her bestie. All of that early childhood bitterness could never touch her soft and warm heart.
Presently Sara read in a renowned college in Lucknow, there was another guy besides her who loved to attend college. The shy tall guy with small eyes, who she never thought would be interesting enough to talk to untill that day.
It was transition period from first to second semester and exam results hadn't been announced, all other friends weren't coming till then. Jay was a friend from the group but they had never hanged out alone together. Earlier she used to think of him as arrogant but turned out it was her secret self-consciousness and his shyness. His best friend Avi had gone to flirt with a girl way out of his league(he later ended up with her best friend) and when bell rang she saw him standing behind the door of her class. She waved at him, he said, "Come! ". She followed him through the corridor, the staircases to the small lawn built above girl's parking where he finally stopped and sat. His face clearly stating his shyness. He asked her to sit when she did he shifted away a little. It was their first meeting alone but not really their first meet ,earlier Jay had told her he was a fan of her singing. So the first thing he said today was " Sing! " , Sara thought what a weirdo he was and said to herself "Wow! I will not! ".There started the ritual of talking about songs, movies, actors, etc Jay had a lot of knowledge in these thing, this continued till all the friends started coming to college again after 10-15 days. Jay was also a senior and topper so he helped her in studies too. After everyone came back she was secretly missing the alone time they spent.
She knew she was feeling something weird for this weirdo but she was unable to put it into perspective what exactly it was, plus she bad already bro-zoned him before all this had started. So she wanted to know if she really loved him or not and if it was worth getting him out of the bro zone. It didn't take long. A month later, day before one week holi break, Jay was absent and Avi joked around with her that Jay had went to his hometown and won't come untill next month till semester exams commenced and he did it every year. At that time ,Sara said, "So? ", she really didn't feel anything ,but also she knew how much of a jokester was Avi. Three days later, on Holi she had a good time with her friends came home and washed colours off her body and laid down on bed to sleep. A sudden thought crossed her mind "What if Avi wasn't joking around?". If she wouldn't see Jay that month, she won't be able to see him during exams the following month and then will be two months of summer break. What if he forgot her in four months? Her heart sank for the first time ever.
When college reopened she was excited to see him she wanted it to be a joke She went to college and there was no sign of him. The poor girl was quiet the whole time. Friends wondered what had happened. She did not utter a word that day. Next day he came and she was the happiest person on earth which she concealed in her chest.
Jay was a shy person but Sara was only less shy than him. Jay's behaviour showed how much how much he adored every aspect of her but she never confronted him even after eight months when they were finally in a relationship. It was tuff but with the classic 'get him jealous' technique she got him to propose.
Jay was vocally very inexpressive but Sara was gutsy and liked to be vocal about her feelings for him because she understood communication was key in relationships. They started of well, it was Jay's first relationship and they were like cute bunnies. There was love all around them.They hit it off and first two months went smooth as butter. But in the beginning of their relationship her friends had told her that seniors kept relationships only till they are in college and her insecurities and his inexpressiveness did not make a good couple. Small complains from Sara kept cropping up and Jay got upset about it not making things any better.
It was his farewell (in their college seniors organized their own farewell outside college as it wasn't a part of college programmes) all her senior friends were talking to her supposing she ,had to be there, they were discussing how she must come and what fun it would be. But Jay hadn't asked her to come. When she confronted him, he replied angrily, "What should I do if they are inviting you? ". It felt like an insult to the love she had showered upon him. The bell rang and he went for his class. She left for home. In the beginning he had promised her to not let her be upset with him, for more than a day. So she waited by the phone all day nothing happened. Tired she DM'd him at night " Do you even love me anymore? " , to which he replied " It's not that! I just think I don't deserve you ". Why did he say this ? Only Jay knew, was it his insecurity?Or was he trying to breakup? Sara felt the second one happening. She immediately started a chat with Avi and asked him if he knew anything. Then assuming Jay wanted to break up she sent, " Let's breakup", few seconds later she changed it to "Do you want to break up? ". The reply that came was " What? Do you want to break up? " . She replied, "No, I thought you wanted to." They both agreed to talk later in person about it. Next day was his farewell, two days later, they met. She was hoping he did not want to breakup and might explain or apologize for not asking her out for his farewell as many juniors had attended the farewell. But he said "I know how much it hurts you when I fail to talk to you, I will not change, you will not change after I pass out it will be difficult for us to talk I think we should breakup now than later fighting over it . But it's upto you ,only what you say will happen. " Sara was processing the information. She had a choice to make. He thought they should breakup, how could she make him stay if he didn't want to! She loved him but how could she tie him up with her? She said ,"How can I keep you tied with me you have all the right to experience life in your terms. Okay let's do this. " A lot of things happened later that hurt her futher, one of their friends not knowing what conversation they were having came in and showed them pictures of farewell, Sara asked Jay to stay with her for a while and bunk a class, he did, but instead other friends came in and he spent time with them, a heck of hurtful things kept happening to her. Many of their friends weren't able to believe this news and told her he might come back. But although she was immensely sad for losing her true love she was satisfied that she couldn't do anything more than what she did .
She started with having sleepless nights and vivid dreams of him soon started to rule her sleeps. A few days later when a guy showed interest in her, she new that any such gesture that didn't come from Jay just didn't mean anything to her. She gathered up the courage just to speak to him one last time and ask if he would like to be back. Jay had already moved on. Anything she said to him was like saying things to the dead.
Later she heard about a gossip Avi had told to their mutual friend Piya about how Sara was an irritating person and that's why 'he broke her and Jay off'. Sara was devastated, her heart broke into a thousand pieces. She had thought of him as a friend since the last two years, she used to tell herself so what if Jay couldn't love her atleast he respected her love for him. But now her world had turned upside down. She felt betrayed and could never be the same person again.
She decided to ask Jay if he had said this to Avi. When she did it turned into a huge fight. A lot things were said that shouldn't have been from both sides.
Later she felt sorry about that incident and on the last day of semester exams they met after a whole month. A lot of emotions resurfaced and she was not ablle to control herself from falling in love with him again.
She tried to get her love back but all was long lost.
Moving on was the hardest thing she had to do.She finally made her peace with it by telling herself she did anything and everything that she could. Although while talking to Jay, he kept mentioning how insecure she was. She didn't know what he meant. But later she gave it a thought and decided to take a step back to revisit her life for unhealed wounds.
And thus began, the darkest days of her life. As she remembered the things that had happened to her, the same emotions resufaced as vivid as when they actually happened. For a really long time she hated Jay for that.
Beginning from how she was treated in school in her primary classes, to how her father ignored her presence after her fair-skinned brothers were born. Once he joked about how ashamed he would be to take her to her uncle's wedding with him because of her skin colour although he was himself darker than her.
But one day he became proud of her again when he found out she was brilliant at academics during her teenage, that's when she became evident to bis eyes once again.
From there she moved onto the time when her mother mistreated her as she was jealous of Sara receiving freedom and affection from her father which she didn't get. She was always jealous of how much freedom and care her father gave to his sisters while treated he treated his wife as an outsider to the family for a really long time. All these years her best friend Tia had been a support to Sara. But Sara could eventually make her mother realize how wrong her behaviour was and made her drop it.
But another blow to her was when Tia left her side.
Sara wanted to take up Arts in her (10+2) but her parents made her opt for science with Maths as she had good grades in her board exams. They payed for IIT coaching classes. But the reasons they gave her to study were bizarre like, "You are so dark you won't get a good husband so study", " If your future husband tortures you you shouldn't be a burden on us and your brothers" ,"Give everyone a reason to love you by becoming something" and because, "We have spent so much money on you, many people kill girls even before they are born, so be grateful".
These were actually reasons why Sara underwent depression. She saw a doomed future in front of her. She used to believe all this and thought her identity was that she was a topper. When she realized she was loosing the will to live she took matters under control by becoming rebellious and stopping to study.
She did not want to earn her parent's love she wished for selfless love. It didn't work for a long time, later when she started loosing self esteem she made boyfriend just so that he would compliment her. Later she had to breakup with him as he was a bad person. She didn't make it to IIT of course, her parents convinced her to go to Kota somehow. She failed to get an IIT again.Although, while she was in Kota her father got transferred to Kullu. The distance made the family realize the importance of healthy relationships.
Although showing selfless love to each other had become a part of their lives comments about her doomed future in love stopped only a year later after her cousin's marriage.
That was the beginning of a healthy atmosphere at her home and that is the time when Jay broke up with her, maybe that is the reason it was so hard for her to forgive him at first.
She had not yet processed that her life had changes for the best and the worst had happened.
Undergoing all of that Sara realized how she had never acknowledged how strong she was.
When Jay pointed out that she was insecure she thought he was talking about some loophole in her life where maybe she didn't forgive someone or maybe herself while the only thing she had failed to do was to give herself enough credit for bringing her parent's selfless love back to her life and eventually making them realize how important it was for parents to have a healthy relationship with each other.
The realization that her story was not what she was, the strength with which she flew with it was her self ...ultimately did set her free. As the Bible reads "Truth is what shall set you free".
Talking about love ,she still loved Jay but she has moved on from the urge to have him in her life.
She found her identity after loosing it.

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