A love story

It was the warmest campus story those days. He was handsome and always wore a beard, perfectly trimmed and we used to call him ‘the zodiac man”. There was an advertisement of the zodiac apparels, featuring a handsome bearded man, and he looked similar. No wonder so many girls were after him. He belonged to a lower caste, which was the only difference. Annie was the best student in her batch and they had met during their clinical rotations. Soon, it became the sensational romance of the campus. They were often seen together, at the coffee house, at the garden in front of the college, which would be deserted by evenings, and always at the hospital wards. At evenings only the lovers used to go to the darkened corners of the garden. "Lover's corner", we used to say. And the campus was so full of lovers those days.

Her parents were senior professors in Medical College. Because they were working in another college, it took some time for them to gather the news. By the time they knew, the lovers were inseparable. Her father was so unpopular among students because of his tough and arrogant attitude to students. He was equally tough with his children. He tried all his tactics with the girl and everything failed. And one fine morning, the campus was thrilled to hear the news that the lovers got the marriage registered in a court.

Her father simply sent her out of his home. He refused to accept Kumar as his son in law and had no hesitation to say that on his face. He publicly declared that she was no longer his daughter. Annie was my good friend and would confide in me with all her problems. She would tell me, Kumar could not take all problems as he was very sensitive.

Both of them were good at studies and completed their course and got direct admission to the PG classes. The professor tried to harass them at every opportunity, especially during exams, by using his influence among the faculty.

They survived all the ordeals and remained inseparable. Everyone knew Kumar was obsessed with her and would never leave her for a minute. It was as if he had nothing else in his life. She was everything for him. Both joined the teaching faculty after studies. Somewhere along the time, they had a son and then, I lost touch of them. We were working in different parts of the world.

It was after ten years that I got a call from Annie. She got the number from my wife and called me when I was in Dubai.

I guessed something must be wrong, from the time I got her call. Her voice was dull and she was no more the talkative and cheerful Annie. She said she wanted to come to Dubai, and wanted me to find a job for her. I asked about Kumar and she was not very enthusiastic. By the time I got her papers, she already had received an offer of employment from the ministry. It looked as if she was frantically trying to come out.

She would come to visit me when she was not on call and slowly I got her story in bits and pieces. She said she could no longer live with Kumar, even when it came to losing custody of her child. Reasons were simple. He was suffocating her with his love. She couldn’t go out anywhere, or spend time with some friends and was answerable to each and everything. There was no breathing space. It was embarrassing to see him waiting outside if she would be attending some conferences or meetings. He would even take time from work and come out, as if she were a child. She just wanted to breathe free. In her words “to live normal”

I just couldn’t make heads or tails out of it. Too much love and attention! That was the first time I was hearing such a story. I didn’t ask her anything more and just listened to what all she said. I expected some more stories, but nothing came out. I honestly do not know if there was something more to it.

Once when we were sitting at the edge of a pool at Safa Park, she filled the palm of her hand with some water and held it before me. “You see this water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love. As long as you keep your hand gently open and allow it to remain there, it will always be there. If you attempt to close your fingers round it and try to posses it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds”

That was a  statement I would never forget. This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love. They try to posses, own, demand, and expect… and just like the water spilling out of your hand, love will retrieve from you. For love is meant to be free, you cannot change its nature. If there are people you love, allow them to be free beings. Even the greatest of love would become boring, if there is nothing else in the background.

Love is a bumpy road.

I have seen relationships collapse due to a possessiveness overdrive and power struggle. Well, we can never reason out our actions in relationships, but awareness always helps in defining our perspective. Love, like joy and cheer is meant to be shared and isn’t limited, like a piece of cake or candy. Still, we feel as if we own the person and haggle for our share, how strange!



  1. Hav seen friendships break like dis. . Bt never love. . I guess its coz of d feelin of insecurity. .

  2. Very true! I agree wholeheartedly. To control or be possessive is stifling and over a period of time, it kills the very love it stemmed from. Feel very sorry for Annie that she fought the whole world for her love, and this love left her alone, shattered and bereft in the end.

  3. Love is love, its just that i know. I have heard the concept of love being free and suffocating before too, I have also heard a different version of it too. Can love suffocate?
    It is much more than thats visible to the eye. Its the upbringing we have. For one thing is sure, to live a life with just love of the spouse, is not enough. We need a family around. And that makes things complex in nature, when the spouse is not acceptable to the family.
    A womans love is encompassing, reflective and has a wide spread and needs more than the spouse to grow. The spouse garners most of it, but then for it to be sustained, the woman needs the others around her, her parents, his parents, and in the lack of it, the term of suffocation is used.

  4. Doc, The moment I reached a little in reading the post, something told me that I would soon be reading the break up of the relationship. And that"possessiveness" and obsession will be the raison d'être for the fall.

    And when we have the overdose of these traits , it may also eliminate the privacy, the personal space each person will cherish to have .Don't you think so?
    Break up of highly feted relationships , be it man woman or friends begin thereby.

  5. May be because I am in a relation where there is very little to almost no possessiveness I tend to like a relation with some possessiveness. ! I am a possessive person by nature. :) I would certainly love to see him waiting for me outside the shops or anywhere. But possessiveness along with controlling nature and jealousy could definitely kill a relation. It could make life living hell. What a great example, the water inside her palm!

  6. Possessiveness, total appreciation and total attention from a lover while in college, makes a girl fall madly in love too. But when the same thing continues into marriage, it results in suffocation. I guess, like everything else, love too has its stages of growth. There are ladies complaining that their men don't care about them at all! And here Annie complains of too much attention. Here again moderation is required. :)

  7. that is sad indeed.....I just remembered my friend....in her case it was not love that made her husband wait outside the school she was working...but being very suspicious of her cheerful, bubbly, social and friendly attitude with others.....
    yes...one needs the breathing space in a relationship...

  8. once somebody asked me the secret of happy married life; i replied that though your two lives have become one, each should keep a little margin, a little personal space of their own. The other should respect that margin. it is that breathing space of individuality that sustains relationships, whether married or friends or relatives. I would write one day about the incident. Possessiveness is the bane of relationships.

  9. Cant agree more. Even though you two become one; you need to give each other the personal space. Thats when you realize the importance of each other and thereby nurture the relationship further. Possessiveness is the symbol of fear.

  10. Nice post with a very positive ,message...too many restrictions and bondations make relationships suffocating...be it any relationship for that matter..for a relationship to be healthy, one needs space...

  11. none can read woman's mind.
    i am afraid of the time when the same shades of feminine personality start emerging in my behavior...well nice image you selected..you are a physician but has got tremendous aesthetic sense.

  12. What a love story! I sensed some issues as I started reading about the obsessive love. I have learned--by other's and my own experience--that this type of relationship is VERY difficult. The controlling and jealous person can end up being an abuser partner or spouse. My heart reaches out Annie, and I deeply admire her courage. I am sure there was more to the story that she kept to herself. She didn't need to expose more of her suffering.

    The story is well written. I enjoyed reading it. And thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind comment. I do believe the violence in Mexico is as terrifying as it's shown on the news. As I said, it seems to follow the same pattern of drug-related violence we lived in Colombia, by the end of the 80's and beginning of the 90's.

    Have a great day!


  13. Dr Antony,

    You should write a book. Honestly I read from beginning to end without moving eyes to anywhere else on the screen. Very very beautiful written. Need to take some lessons from you.

    Of course I agree with the message in the story too.

  14. I think possessiveness is probably something enjoyed (if that is the word to use) more when you are young (perhaps taken as a sign we are loved) OR is it just we are more prepared to put up with it then?

    Anyway, thanks for a well written post.

  15. this is a common enough story, doc. very sad -- -
    khalil gibran's words - let there be spaces in togetherness so that the winds of heaven can dance between you-(not sure if it's exact quote, but something to this effect) should be drilled into every human being entering wedlock

  16. the bearded man who modelled for zodiac shirt was kabir bedi. i used to be a huge fan of his in my college days:-)

  17. very well explained Dr..Anthony..I really appreciate...ur thinking and way of explaining..each and every words..makes sense!
    I have actually seen this personally wid one of my close relatives...it reminds me of her!
    nice post!

  18. Hm..one unique love story.And I feel love is 'blind' when you fall into it's traps and then shows it's true brightness and colors when you explore it!:)So no chances of reuniting?because 'love' still is prevailing ..so some minor adjustments..?

  19. @Rohan
    As time goes on,you will see how strange the ways are.
    Annie left this place after few years and went back to the UK.
    Honestly,I don't believe in love of this kind.That is why it is called "falling in love".
    Yes,what we call " the private garden",where one nurtures his dreams.
    There is no prefect situation in life!
    Basically,it starts of as an infatuation and later develops in to something we call love.With the same ease you fall in to it, you can fall out of it too.
    This is nothing unusual.I have seen this developing in to an obsession and suspicion.
    There is nothing we can keep for ever, I think, except friendships and memories.
    Yes,a sien of insecurity,fear and then doubt.
    @Heavenly Muse
    Thanks for that encouragement. There are some doctors with imagination too!
    You would know for sure, you must have come across such problems.
    Annie is well settled now.
    I happened to see the movie' Border town' which deals with such an issue.Violence of any form is despicable.

  20. @A
    Wow..that was too much.But who knows! I remember Paulo went on writing for many years,without getting readers !
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    Too much of anything is not good.Love is not an exception.Wont you get bored after some time?
    Yes,I remember now.He was a heart throb those days. I tried to grow one those days and failed !
    This is not an unusual problem.I think it is part of a personality.
    There is possessiveness in all relationships.But too much of anything is not good.Love also can become stale with time.

  21. @ encouragement on writing, I read a quote that was quite inspirational to me last week, and I'd like to share with you:
    "You must often make erasures if you mean to write what is worthy of being read a second time; and don't labor for the admiration of the crowd, but be content with a few choice readers." ~Horace

  22. This is a nice story..! It is not love that is suffocating but the feeling of posseiveness coming out of insecurity!Women often enjoy this but after a time it becomes difficult. Freedom and trust are the basis of any relationship. I can say that from experience :-)

  23. Even I remembered Khalil Gibran after reading you....

    On Marriage
    Kahlil Gibran

    You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
    You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
    Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
    But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
    And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

    Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
    Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
    Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
    Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
    Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
    Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

    Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
    For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
    And stand together yet not too near together:
    For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
    And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

  24. @Doris
    That was truly good.Thanks for sharing.
    Too much of anything is bad,to make it simple.
    Don't we get bored with love too?
    @Happy Kitten
    That was wonderful.Whatever we write can come no way near.And I don't think there is a better way to put it.Extremely thankful to you for sharing this.Age old wisdom...how true!

  25. "If there are people you love, allow them to be free beings"
    Well said.

  26. If you love something set it free,
    If it comes back to you, it is yours...
    else it was never meant to be yours...


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