Let me begin this story. This is not a story about a handsome prince and Cinderella, nor does it recite the story of a royal princess falling in love with a poor boy, although it is the story of the princess of a particular heart and a boy who’s passionate of his dream with his princess. Let me name him Krishna. (May be because of his belief in love as in Lord Krishna of Hindu mythology) and let me name the girl Radha (no marks for guessing why!)
Krishna was a boy of medium height, dusky complexion, slightly long hair and dark eyes housed below bushy eyebrows. He was in his early twenties and was robustly built. This boy couldn’t be anointed as a handsome fellow but was an absolute charmer. He was equally famous and infamous among his many friends and a few enemies who just loved to hate him.
A military officer’s son, Krishna was born on the banks of the river Ganges. He received his initial education at various places because of his father’s frequently scattered postings. However the military school education couldn’t mould him. This man always believed in the beauty of his dreams.
Let us now look at our princess, rather his princess. Radha was a little over five feet tall, was of a fair complexion, medium thick straight long hair, with big eyes. Radha, the daughter of an official with the state government, was permanently settled in Bangalore. Indeed, permanency was merely a state of mind, for the future is ever a mystery that never reveals itself. Her progenitors were from a neighbouring state and they had migrated a long time ago.
Radha’s primary concern was her studies and she always attained one of the top three places in her class, unlike our prince, whose concern was to spread love in this world, but even he could be fiercely competitive at times.
Now let us see how these people met. Krishna’s time at college was spent preaching love, whether in the canteen, in the playground or in those bland classrooms. He’d discuss, argue and convince people how love was attainable in life. People wouldn’t initially agree but hearing his passionate arguments, they’d generally give in. Ironically, the blessings of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, always eluded him. Solitude was the main course of his life, which he spent reading books on various subjects that were of any interest to him.
Radha would attend classes regularly, spend some quality time with her friends, and go out occasionally with them for a movie or to lunch. Unlike Krishna, she had absolutely no belief in love. For her, love was the figment of some jobless mind. She didn’t smile much, looked unapproachable, whilst Krishna was always smiling, seemed friendly and would easily forge strong bonds of friendship, often at the very first acquaintance. People around him either loved him or loved to hate him, but couldn’t ignore him.
Two completely different people, oh god, how would they meet? They were just like yin and yang, the Chinese sign of good luck – equally opposite, but incomplete without each other. Krishna represented Shiva, and Radha the Shakti. Shakti is the passion for life or anything that attracts attention, and Shiva is the one who’s the absolute goal, but infinite, endless and spiritual. Shakti is the means to reach that absolute but infinite end.
Krishna’s life was a struggle in terms of his prime motive, love. But otherwise it was a sleepwalk. His last term at college had begun. The love of his life was not in sight. He’d attend classes, spend some time in college and return home.
Then the day came when the risk to remain a tied bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. One morning, while rushing to attend a class, he noticed an amazingly attractive girl walking from the opposite side. Their eyes meet. Krishna was stunned. His mind goes blank; he doesn’t know what happened, but something did. Both of them brushed past each other, Krishna with an uninterrupted stare. The girl walked hurriedly. Krishna was late for the class, was reprimanded. Things were forgotten; life went on, until one day when he spotted this girl cheering in a handball match. Krishna is spellbound. “Love at first sight”, which was limited to the fantasy of a few romantic books happened. Krishna was unaware of this love, but each time this girl passed him by, his world was shaken. These occasional sightings became a daily affair. He’d become restless the day he didn’t see her. He’d watch her breathlessly as a painter would watch his painting, a sculptor, the idol of his beloved god. He didn’t know her name or the whereabouts, but he’d stare aimlessly at the road she generally used to tread.
Love can sometimes be a complete waste of time. You do not know your goals or the path towards the destination. Probably some men of science have been able to explain this condition which is successive to this love syndrome, but results still contain some ambiguity.
Krishna was not averse to the challenges he would encounter on his euphoric endeavour. Days started flying past, and the last few days were approaching. One day, whilst sitting with a friend, he saw Radha approaching and walked towards Radha with confidence. He enquired whether she was Radha, to which she replied in the affirmative. He enquired about her musical inclinations and where she was learning music. Krishna procures her telephone number, telling her it was for his sister, when he had none. Yes, Krishna had to lie. Isn’t everything fair in love and war?
Soon, Krishna mustered enough courage one day to give her a phone call. Radha received the call and tried to be very rude, but couldn’t. The conversation changed the course to various subjects, like a hummingbird in the garden buzzing from one flower to another. He told Radha that it was her positive aura that impressed him the most, but the poor man didn’t know that this was love.
These conversations became a regular affair until one day when all this came crashing down. One of Krishna’s friends who knew Radha would tell her unpleasant things about Krishna. What was the truth was not confirmed, but a verdict was passed.
The following day, Radha reprimanded him in the presence of Krishna’s friend. Krishna couldn’t utter anything. Shattered, he turned home and broke down. This was his first love and probably the last.
A couple of days later, he saw Radha in the library, approached her and proclaimed that he didn’t lover her and walked away. The following day, whilst walking towards the playground, Radha apologises for the misunderstanding. A very interesting thing happened.
Krishna told Radha that if he loved her, he’d look into her eyes and tell her that he loved her, and then he did the inevitable. He looked deep into Radha’s eyes and told her that he loved her. Radha was clueless. Probably she didn’t make any sense out of it. She went away. Krishna stood there, for he couldn’t walk.
Soon, the ethnic day followed – a cultural fest when students dressed in ethnic wear of their respective regions. Radha was dressed in a handcrafted scarlet red saree and silver jewellery. Krishna described her sartorial splendour in the words of poet Homer: “Indeed she did not seem to be the daughter of an ordinary man, but rather of a God.”
Radha ignored him but got herself photographed with a person who had wrecked Krishna’s love-yacht. Irony of fate, what else? Days flew past, and the day that Krishna dreaded the most arrived. Krishna made a phone call to Radha, and a conversation followed. Krishna asked Radha why she wasn’t acknowledging him and Radha effortlessly replied it was a matter of interest. Krishna listened. What could he do? He wished her all the best in life and took a promise that if ever she’d fall in love, she’d let him know. Radha wondered why. Because then Krishna’s hope would perish.
Mr. God can at times be really notorious for his drama. He would make humans and as though he wasn’t pleased, he’d put a heart and in the heart he’d inculcate love for someone, and he’d abstain them from confluence. Mr. God wouldn’t quit playing games.
Krishna loved Radha more than Radha loved herself, and indeed more than he loved himself. But he had nothing to offer except a heart that knew only love – love pure and unadulterated.
Now a very important question arose: if Krishna loved Radha, why didn’t he make a formal confession? Krishna knew that possessing a beautiful heart and being a kind human being was no qualification for winning Radha over. Even if she agreed, he couldn’t give her anything but his pure and selfless love. He was a messenger of love, he had no belongings. How could he buy Radha those beautiful ornaments? He as well might not be able to make a beautiful house for her with that heavenly garden.
He had to struggle, but Radha’s love lit like a faint lamp amidst a tempest. The tempest was that of the materialistic world that gobbled up Krishna’s love. Radha was Krishna’s consciousness.
Does history repeat itself? Even in mythology, Krishna and Radha could not spend their lives together. So it happened again?
Krishna spent his life grieving, because in his grief he found himself close to her. On the contrary, Radha might find a prince charming. He’d buy her that beautiful diamond-studded platinum ring and make a dream house for her. Krishna is happy that Radha is content, but only one thing worried him. Would her Prince Charming love her even when his beloved Radha’s silky hair turned grey? When wrinkles begin to appear at the horizon of those big eyes, would she still find her Prince Charming as a pillar of support? Krishna was worried, because he would have.
Krishna didn’t speak the same language as that of Radha. Neither did he have the same skin colour. Then does the nightingale speak the same language as that of the deep blue sky, or does it have the same colour?
This short story turned out to be really long, as long as eternity. It must be concluded. It is already past midnight, and I have to sleep. Tomorrow when I wake up with the first ray of the morning sun, there will be no Krishna. Radha will flourish. But there will be no Krishna waiting for her at the corner of that road, or under the Gulmohur tree. How can he? He’s no more. But before he passed on, he, with a twinkle in his eyes, told me that he would meet his Radha up there when her life on this earth is over. There they would spend their lives in absence of materialism.
Krishna is no more. He has become a piece of the earth; that earth that makes that road, on which treads Radha to meet her Prince Charming. Radha, tread slowly, because you tread on him .
That earth nourishes the Gulmohur tree with those blood red flowers. Through them, Krishna will gaze at Radha. Our world will not disturb him then.

Was Krishna’s life futile? No, it was not. This is a personal belief. Someone somewhere would read this story, listen to it and realise that love is, and will be, the most important phenomenon in this world. Every molecule in this universe vibrates with it. Love of materialistic things will not lead to salvation. You are born with nothing and you will carry nothing along. But love is endless. It’s like an ocean and our lives are like boats sailing in it. Each time, any Radha renounces this mean world for some Krishna, our Krishna will rise like a phoenix in both their hearts. He will live forever. So what if his Radha did not recognise his love?
So always remember, whenever you love that special someone, love them with complete faith, like Krishna did. For, love is a great foundation upon which life is built.

Shrut Kirti Nandan
IIIT Allahabad