Her shadow followed him like his own. They were inseparable. Like any other couple, they would also do things together, but there was something unique about this pair. He could sit with her for hours looking at her nimble fingers that wrote dissertations for him, cooked for him, ran softly through his hair, muscular biceps, his wide rough terrains, while his would help her in the kitchen, on the roads, or simply  feel her delicate form dancing, singing, being in the shower, dining; his hands would tell her millions of starry stories gliding through the known meadows; while she would  melt in his hands, he could do anything for her touch. It was as if both the pairs of hands had eyes to see, ears to hear, the foursome knew and played with each other like young playmates.

They were not pressed for time. Both were writers, but their lifestyle was fueled by huge inheritance, or blessings from divine hands, as they would call it! 

– Writing is very fast, isn’t it love?
– Fast? How!
– You can wash your hands of a twenty-five-year-old story in just one paragraph!
– Or finish in a flash as they say!

And they laughed together. At other times, they would argue on why Sanskrit literature didn’t have tragedy and why Greek’s was so full of them. In the middle of nights, they would wake themselves up, have coffee, talk about losing as winning and other subjects in great depth that couples their age wouldn’t even think of; for instance, how unconsciousness drifts people away from the truth, why relationship is more important than material success, how would Shakespeare talk to Tagore had the two met, and so on; their poor daughter would sometimes come in the middle and say to her parents, perpetually engaged and involved with each other as if the two were one, that she didn’t want to feel like an orphan.

They were known in their neighbourhood not only as lovebirds, but also as responsible parents; one loving daughter was their world. Hands-on activists, they helped the less unfortunate wherever they were and whenever they could. However, they were not attached to any NGOs. A warm and close-knit family, they also helped many people fighting loneliness.

– You are getting more likes now.
– What do you mean?
– Nothing. But I like it.
– Good to know that.

Slowly, they stepped into a strange world, a world where their passion was defined and valued by others. They stopped giving each other a hand; didn’t realize that an invisible monster was invading into their lives. Years ago, they waved off the same monster that attacked them in bits and pieces, as family members; strangely, hostility from their respective parents-in-law and the comfort of blaming them brought the writers closer. Later, both pairs of parents made amends and the monster fled, for good. But this time around it had become very personal. Society never played an important role with them. Their bonding was never affected; they were consciously in their green room practising how to face the stage together. But this time around the monster got the better of them, as there was a room for jealousy they hadn’t figured. Words changed, actions weren’t characterizing them anymore, their daughter was unable to recognize them.

They broke off. Now they stay in the same conglomerate, but in three different flats; their daughter, working in an MNC, has also moved out. In all these three apartments there is one common picture, a large one that occupies their living rooms.

It is a picture of a beach with a big sand house that looked almost like a ship, built long ago on one of their usual trips to the Kovalam beach in Kerala, in front of which the daughter is seen swinging in between her parents. Underneath, there were these words written in italic:

Nothing can destroy it

With wedding rings still on their fingers, the hands, full of stories, occasionally meet to say hello. 

© supratik 2023
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