A Second Life…

November 1994

Turning back the pages of life, to a memory that brought us back from the demon’s eye and dropped us into God’s lap. I hardly remember an ounce of the incident, as I was just 2 years old. The only image that I can sketch is from my mom and dad’s eyes and their deeply rooted wounds.

Like every other family, mine was equally excited about the upcoming Diwali vacation. It was a trip to a holy destination, a well-known religious place of all Jains “Palitana”. And my sister had been more happy about it because it was my first holiday with everyone. A trip with the little one that gave them a special reason to cherish. But, none of us was aware of the forthcoming darkness that Diwali was about to bring.

Faces glued with delight and sparkles of the festive season, 5 of us: my dearest Nani, mom, dad, sister and tiny me, we started our awaited trip. Oh..I missed out the main person, our driver who supposedly was the lead of our journey, a journey which took a disastrous U-turn after 5 hours.

Till the time we had our lunch the journey had been a smooth one, waves of laughter were being shared and tiny me was being cuddled. Post lunch, everyone was about to doze off, tiny me was already asleep in my daddy’s lap seated on the front seat. And just before our lives revolved my dad placed me back seat, in my mom’s lap.

The clock ticked 3:00 pm, everyone was asleep and the lead person “Our Driver”, who wasn’t supposed to sleep, even he drowsed. Our car which was moving at a speed of 100, hit the tree roadside and the car shredded into 2 parts, the front glass crackled into pieces and damaged my dad’s entire face. My mom and Nani were hit by the front seats and everyone in the car was unconscious except my sister. Her bravery and smartness that day saved every one of us. She started screaming out “Help..! Help..!” as much as she could and by God’s grace, a passing car stopped by, for our help.

The generous person who stopped by was MLA of the district. He picked my sister out of the car and started looking out for everyone else in the car. When he looked at my father, he felt that he was no more and so he just dumped him in the trunk of his car. He hurriedly pulled everyone and rushed to the nearest hospital. Throughout the journey, he was worried about how many would survive the crash, along with my dad he had thought that even my mom or Nani’s life would end. Apart from everyone else in the car, the only lucky person to survive without any bruises was “ME”. The change from front seat to back seat was the fate that God had planned for me.

The days had been tough and the most dreadful ones. While my family member from our hometown reached the hospital which almost took them a day, we had seen Humanity taking a birth in that hospital. My dad, mom and Nani were a victim of major injuries and were under observation for the entire time. They were in a situation where it was hard to recognize them by their face or voice. And all the while when I and my sister were all alone, the natives of that little town took care of us. Not only did they handle us but they made sure my family had enough food and necessities to survive. By the time, my family reached we already had a little family who looked after us. By God’s grace and prayers chanted for my family, all of us survived the disaster and recovered within months.

Today when I hear this story for like nth time, my soul still trembles. What if I had been in the front seat? What if my sister too had been unconscious? What if the MLA would not have cared to stop? What if every one of us had been a victim of devil’s plan? What if God had not been kind to us? What if in the hospital no one had looked after me and my sister? And on and on, thoughts which might not be that meaningful to everyone but that’s what has made my family fall in love with our treasured life. Tear’s bowl down my eyes when I think of how grateful God had been to my family. The scars and wounds still appear fresh on my mom and dad’s face but the storm has made our belief in God and Humanity strong enough to love our life more and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Broken Promises…

Meet Avni and Aarush, the lovebirds who had been together for 5 long years. Madly in love with each other, their morning would start with their video calls and nights would end up again on their video calls. Be it Instagram, whatsapp, facebook, snapchat and what not, they were always connected to each other. The weirdos were so much into each other, that they actually had made their own 7 vows (they were a kind of saat janmo ke Saathi)

The VOWS (Which were strictly followed until one fine day)

  1. We will never abuse each other
  2. We will never hide things
  3. Aarush to stop his smoking
  4. Avni to stop her over thinking and be confident of herself
  5. No matter how hard the fight gets, never should one think of leaving each other
  6. We will forever support each other’s dream
  7. The last being, staying loyal and committed to each other for the entire life

Their life seemed to be pretty easy and following such vows made their relationship much stronger. But a relationship is never as smooth as it appears. Before meeting Avni, Aarush had been a chain smoker and it took a lot for Avni to get him rid off his smoking habit. Whenever in stress, Avni would hold his hand and pamper him like a 2-year-old baby. She knew the right way to get him off from his addiction, was to love him as much as she could. And with passing time, with Avni’s constant support Aarush was able to quit his smoking.

The hollow cracks started appearing when Aarush changed his job, the pressure of a new job dragged him into his old addiction – “The Dirty Smoke”. And the worst thing Aarush chose was to hide it from Avni, but as they say, a lie finds its own way to spill out. One fine day, Avni found a box of cigarettes in his car and she chose to confront him. Aarush with shame in his eyes told her the truth. Instead of getting angry, Avni had tears in her eyes, in a flash, she could sense the old Aarush( “The Chain Smoker”) taking rebirth. Aarush consoled her and once again promised her, that he would never do it again.

Avni’s overthinking power had a great impact, she could somehow sense that the pond was getting dirtier. And Aarush would always cover his broken promise saying everything is fine and that he has stopped smoking(The LIE). Aarush most of the times had been under stress, maybe because he had a chirpy boss and that the new workplace was a dirty one. But Avni would always lend her ears to all the chaos going inside Aarush. Avni at times was hurt since Aarush had started confining him into his own space and not letting Avni enter into it. Despite all the odd’s, she supported him until the second warning bell rang.

On one of their evening meet, Aarush pissed off of his work, started venting out all his anger on Avni and even blamed her for not allowing him to smoke. Avni was shocked to see Arush’s dramatic change. The words that he babbled had thumped her heart. Avni was broken and she realized the disaster had already begun. Heartbroken Avni left the place with tears in her eyes. The very next day Aarush called her up and apologized for his bad behaviour, Avni for one last time gave him a chance and asked him to stop it right away. Ever since his second mistake, Aarush had started hiding things a lot and some of the other way Avni would always discover the truth. As they say, Universe has the power to bring out the truth. Every time when Aarush got caught, he would get angry on Avni for spying him and would block her for like days on social media. Day by day, their relationship was falling apart and Avni could no longer get her Aarush back. With every broken promise, Aarush made Avni go a step away, he never did try to get her back instead gave her the pain which she could barely hold off.

It wasn’t just about the bad addiction but every time he did so, he disrespected Avni, and his rage made him do things which tore her apart. The third bell wasn’t just a warning it was a “Runaway” sign for Avni. Avni caught Aarush in a lounge, getting intimate with a girl. To this, he did not seem to be sorry but instead left the place with the other girl. And this was the time, Avni had to finally get out of the shit that Aarush had brought in. Aarush had started heading on a road that seemed to be a dark one. His sky was covered with smoke and ground was covered with ashes. There was no room for Avni in his life, she was shattered and disheartened.

Aarush and Avni, once madly in love were now miles apart. The tale of their love had ended with every broken promise.

P.S: It takes a moment to bind a relationship with a promise, but it takes lifelong to adhere to it. Think wise, before committing one.

The Awaited Meet

11 am, 1st July

After the long conversation over the phone for the entire night, Rahul and Meera both seemed to be happy. While both were at their respective offices, they kept their eyes glued to the clock. For them, it was one of the longest days of their life. And the anxiety of meeting each other after 1 long year made them leave their offices early.

6:00 PM, Meera’s Home.

While looking at her wardrobe, Meera muttered

“Dam, I don’t have any charming stuff to wear, what shall I wear now? Pink? Blue? Black? ummmmm…. This is one of the toughest choices to make. Let me chuck off everything and just wear the black dress that Rahul had once gifted me.” And for a minute she was taken aback by the memory lane. Been 365 days ever since they broke up, but somehow she was still concerned about Rahul’s likes and dislikes. Within the next 15 minutes, Meera was ready and without any second thought, she chose to leave for her awaited evening.

6:00 PM, Rahul’s Home.

Unlike Meera, Rahul had his mind clear of what he was supposed to wear. Blue being Meera’s favourite, Rahul wore a blue shirt, black pant and left for the coffee-house. On his way, Rahul picked up a bouquet of roses, cake and some gifts. He had made some special plans for Meera’s birthday, there was a lot cooking in his mind and he very well knew how the evening had to be one of the special ones for both of them.

Rahul and Meera down the lane had the vibes of being together, but both were unsure of what the other one wanted. Today’s meet was very special for them as their fate was going to play a major role – Forever or Never Again..!!

7: 00 PM, The Coffee House.

Rahul reached a bit early since he wanted the arrangements to be perfect. He had booked the same table where they had met for the first time before 2 years. Just then Meera entered the cafe and their eyes met. Rahul was awestruck to see Meera in the dress which he had gifted her and he understood that Meera still had a soft corner for him. Meera was surprised to see the arrangements made by Rahul, the table was decorated with cake, flowers and gifts, Rahul hugged Meera and wished her happy birthday. Goosebumps cruised down Meera’s body, as, it had been a year now, that Rahul had been so close to her.

A sense of happiness and a sense of relief spread across their faces. Meera thanked Rahul for all the beautiful surprises and began to cut the cake.

Rahul: Meera, I must say, you are looking extremely gorgeous.

Meera(Blushed): Thanks, Rahul.

—— The silent moments —–

Rahul(breaking the silence): So Meera, been a year now, tell me how it was for you? And even before I hear your answer, let me tell you about myself, Meera it had been the toughest year of my life. I did realize my mistakes and I have since than longed for this day to meet you. Throughout the entire year, I kept on searching Meera in every other girl, I thought I could live without you, but trust me I was totally wrong. I thought love is a myth, but for me, it wasn’t. Every single day I craved for you, I just wanted to hold you tight and never let you fall apart.

While speaking his heart out, a tear rolled down Rahul’s cheek. Meera could not hold herself and she kept her hand on Rahul’s hand.

Meera: You know Rahul, I was so much habituated being around you. The moment we broke up my life paused, had I not just lost you, but I had majorly lost my confidence, my strength. While we were together life seemed to be pretty easy, you always lent me your ears, you were my solution to all the problems. Frankly, Rahul, I wasn’t even sure that we would ever meet again in life. I did try to contact you in between but for some reason, my heart stepped back. Every time I looked upon the sky, I felt (Meera stammered while she spoke) how how far we were, though we shared the same shelter, the sky, the stars and the clouds made me feel you were somewhere there watching me and calling me near you. There were several times when I dialled your number and even before the beep turned into ringer I cancelled the call.

In between, the waiter interrupted and they ordered their favourite Latte

Rahul: Meera it’s not that I did not try forgetting you, I did try my best to forget you and never look back, but that was my ego. My heart was stuck on the paths where we once walked. I realized how badly I needed you, I needed us. Against all the odds my heart still beats for you and only you.

Meera: Rahul even I tried thrashing the memories of the past and starting a new life. But I guess I was immature to understand what my soul wanted. I am sorry Rahul for having doubted your love in past. Maybe that was a test for us, where we did miserably fail but having given one chance I also badly want us to be together.

Rahul (Rahul kissed Meera’s hand): Meera, I am sorry for always misunderstanding you and crashing you down with my anger. I know I had not been supporting towards your life. Trust me, Meera I have changed now. For one last time and for forever I just want you.

Meera: Rahul, so do I want you, but what if we tumble again? Rahul, I can’t ever imagine someone else in your place. Through the entire year, I have been trying to make myself understand that there is a world beyond Rahul. And every time, when I made my mind firm to think so, I crashed. Rahul forgetting the past one year, I badly want our life to be one.

Rahul (with a grin): Meera before meeting you I wasn’t even sure if you wanted us to be together but now I feel I have got my life back, everything seems to be bright and clear. So, let’s just forget the past year, considering it was a test for us. Leaving behind the demons of past, all I want is a beautiful future for us. A future filled with love and understanding. Holding each other’s hand lets walk down the aisle of the journey called life.

Meera(smiled with tears of happiness): Rahul, so do I want us badly to be together forever. Rahul not everyone is as lucky as us, we have been given a chance to be together, so let’s not miss this chord.

Rahul holding a rose in his hand and the other hand on Meera’s hand asked her:

“Ms Meera Sehgal, for one last time can you please accept me? I promise to be your strength through your thick and thin, all I want is you beside me for forever. ”

Meera got up from her chair and embraced Rahul. She sobbed like a child and promised him that no matter what, she will never let them fall apart. I love you, Rahul.

Rahul(kissed her forehead): I love you Meera.

The following night had been a night of happiness, a night where their dreams finally turned to be real. And a knot for forever had been locked in their life.

P.S : Rahul and Meera were enough lucky to get a second chance, but not everyone is. If destiny makes you meet someone then never let that person go away, remember everyone meets for a reason.

Tie the knot of your relationship with love, respect, care and trust.

 

 

 

 

 

The Three Rounds of Trial and Error~Arranged Meetings

11th Feb                                                                                                                                        Sunday Morning 11:00 am

Maahi, a girl in her mid 20’s, her innocent face and her coy eyes itself explained a lot about everything that was running in her mind.  While on her way to a Stranger’s home(Sahil’s home), she kept on murmuring

“Who the hell wakes up so early on pretty Sunday morning? Oh God..What am i gonna ask him? In next few minutes i would be scanned by everyone.I hope this one ends in one round itself”. The road to Sahil’s home was still 30 mins away so she chose to shut down the thoughts and take a nap.

On the other hand, Sahil just like Maahi was not prepared for the arrange setup. In between all the leg pulling was going at his home, he heard his excited brother screaming, “Bhaiya bhabhi has arrived”. Hearing this Sahil shouted at his brother and asked him to keep mum for next few hours.

At the Entrance, Elders started greeting each other and just then Maahi’s eyes met Sahil’s, and they smiled a little and glanced away.

While elders were trying to connect the dots of each other’s family, Sahil’s mom took consent of Maahi’s parents and asked Sahil to show Maahi his room(The common plot for the round 1 meeting).

ROUND 1: Sahil’s room

Sahil (Breaking the ice between them) : Hey Maahi, you know what, only thing I liked about arranged meeting is finally a girl has entered my room.

Maahi(Chuckled) : Her fear had now disappeared, Sahil’s ice breaking attempt succeeded. They both smiled.

Sahil : Maahi, let’s do 1 thing. You might have gone through my bio data and I almost have mugged up your’s so rather than asking the same things. Lets try something new. Let’s have a round of test.

Maahi: Sounds interesting..!! So you mean, we will ask the same set of questions of course has to be the one described in our bio data’s and will see how much we know about each other. Right?

Sahil: Exactly, just an attempt to make this “Arranged Setup” easier for us. Ok, so Ladies first.(Sahil passed a pen and paper to Maahi and took one for him)

Maahi: That was cheezy. ha ha..! Lets have a round of 7 questions and we can note it down and can give the score cards at the end.

They started shooting questions about each other like:

D.O.B, Place of Birth, Native, Siblings, College Certification, Hobbies, Current job and the last one being a blind question for both of them.

They asked each other what were their opinion for a life partner. Maahi had to answer Sahil’s choice of his life partner and vice versa.

The round of questions was now over.

Maahi: So Mr. Sahil, please reveal my score card. I am pretty sure I might have nailed it.

Sahil: Mam, you sound confident, well then you are right. 6 out of 7.

Maahi: Wooho, see I told you. By the way you are no less. 6 out of 7 for you as well.

Sahil: Shall I pinch you? Haha just kidding. We have mugged up our bio data’s pretty well.

And just then, Sahil’s mischievous brother knocked and informed them that snacks had been served.

Sahil and Maahi smiled at each other and joined everyone in the Dinning area.

After this, Maahi’s family left for their home. A common settlement had been decided of “We will let you know our opinion in a day or two.”

13th Feb (Tring Tring)

Maahi and Sahil had made up their mind for a round 2 meeting and the same had been communicated over the phone by each other’s parents. So 14th Feb was the second “DATE”

14th Feb, 4:00 pm, The Iris House

Sahil and Maahi reached the venue right on time, they greeted each other. They seemed to be more comfortable this time.

Maahi (Looking around the cozy couples holding hands in the coffee-house): Sahil  “Why did our parents choose this day. I mean Its Valentines, A day for couples and what are we doing here, trying to be a couple??”

Sahil: Ha Ha..!! Maahi relax relax, forget the day and date. Lets just enjoy each other’s company as we did in the first round.

Maahi(Blushed..!! As she was again impressed by Sahil’s way of handling her): Well ya, you are right.

Just then, waiter arrived, they ordered coffee and started chit chatting about their likes dislikes, the way they want to see their life, how their families are, what would they expect and on and on

Maahi’s phone interrupted the ongoing sweet conversation and it was a call from her home. From the other end, her mother teased her asking: Maahi Would you be returning back home today or not? Shall we finalize the dates? Maahi blushed and hunged up the phone saying “Maa, I am coming home, we will talk about it later”

Sahil: Wow, its been 2 long hours, and we did not realize it. So Maahi What next?

Maahi: Looks like, some one is in hurry to get the answer. You will get your answer in a day or two.

Sahil: Ok Mam, I will be waiting.

And here with, the second round ended well. Smile of sanctification was seen on their faces.

16th Feb

Maahi’s parents conveyed the message to Sahil’s parents, that they were ready to move ahead. They even asked their consent for letting Sahil and Maahi exchange their phone numbers if Sahil wanted to move ahead.

16th Feb, 9:00 pm

Maahi’s phone beeped.

A message from Sahil: So mam, I now know your answer. ha ha..

Maahi: Smart enough Mr.

And later on their phone conversations kept on going for a month.

Round 3 (So called meet, which is set up just to finalize the Dates)

20th March, Maahi’s home

This being just the formal one. The comfort level between both the families was now on next level. Everyone present there knew that it was a YES from both. Sahil and Maahi throughout the third meeting kept on blushing and had already started talking with each other by passing some eye signals or the so called love signals. Everyone present there had their eyes on them and teasing went on for the entire day with sounds of laughter inside the room.

Sahil and Maahi tied the knot a month later and were now a happily married couple.

P.S : Some processes in life are to be accepted the way they are just like one being the Arranged Meetings. Things will definitely turn out to be great sooner or later.

So, just Take it simple silly..!!

The Victim..!!

10:00 PM                                                                                                                        Noida, India
The dark sky swept across the silent streets of the city. Huge buildings across the streets stood like a monster ready to gulp the city. The security guard’s who were responsible for people’s safety were already half asleep securing their dreams. The only visible light being the flickering signal lights gave a hope of safety when Aarohi walked down the street.
Aarohi, 27-year-old, a girl with wheatish skin, sharp features and shinning black hair wore a beautiful floral blue dress covering her head with a pashmina shawl. The street where she rambled was a part of her everyday routine. Aarohi worked in a Well known IT company 2 lanes behind this street.

While she  walked along the lane, a brisk black Audi passed by her side. The shawl covering her head plunged by the wind-blown by the snappy car. She was taken a back by what she had just heard, someone from the car had shouted : “Hey lady, get inside our car..!!” Aarohi was stumped, she paused for a while, looked back and thought was it wise enough to return back. Having traveled almost more than half way there was no point returning back and with this thought she moved ahead. On her way she kept on murmuring “Aarohi this is the same route you have been hiking on since 3 years and it’s totally safe, nothings gonna happen you will reach home in next 15 mins.

As she moved ahead, she saw the same Audi taking a U-turn and coming on her way. Her breath sank and she started running in the opposite direction. Within few seconds the car spotted her and she was horrified, 2 furious young men came out and pulled her inside and one more on the front seat who used abusive words to call her inside. Aarohi tried every bit to save herself but all her efforts went in vain. She kept on shouting “Don’t pull me, someone help help..!!” There was no one to hear her sobbing scream.

And in few minutes all her belongings dropped on the road and she was in the car.

Inside the car, her hands were pulled tightly by the one seating on backseat and the other one holding her legs who was on the front seat. She tried every bit to save herself,  kept on impelling her hands and legs in every direction she could.

Slowly slowly, she had lost all her strength and could no more resist. With every single minute she could feel the pain, her clothes were ripped off one by one. She was in deep shock, hardly could she shout or utter a word. The rage in her eyes had now turned into shame. The only thought that she had

how will she face the world now?

What’s going to happen next?

Will they kill me? And If they don’t kill me, I would kill myself..!!

And in next one hour when the lust of the demon had been satisfied they kicked her out of the car on the footpath. There was no one on the road side and for a change Aarohi felt good about it. She was scared to face the world now. She tried getting up but failed not only once but thrice. She regained some energy, stood up and started figuring out the road. While she walked, her eyes, her mind, her heart still could not accept what had just happened with her. She thought of killing herself on her way back but for every time she thought to do so, the pity eyes which had been waiting for her at home stopped her from doing so. She knew she had to live for her parents and in no chance she could end her life.

Every moment on her way back, she thought if the devils who brought her to this stage Will even be punished? Will she get justice? Will the society accept her? Will her parents be able to face the world? Will she lead a normal life? What if every thing goes wrong? What if tomorrow she would be in the highlights of newspaper with a title “Aarohi Sharma : a middle-class family girl gang RAPED..!!”  Every inch of her body still could feel the pain and the marks given by them, she wanted to rub it off, tear her skin and hide in some corner and never get out of it.

She was now at the doorstep of her home, she ranged the bell and her dad opened the door. Her dad was scared by her condition, she hurriedly got inside and broke down. She kept on howling and shouting.  Even without speaking a word, her parents were clear of what had happened with her. They tried getting every detail of who had done this to her. For the entire night she kept on weeping and her parents who were already speechless tried consoling her.

This was not the end of the story, the actual tragedy happened next morning when Aarohi and her parents decided not to raise voice against what had happened with Aarohi. They all decided to forget the entire trauma as soon as possible. Just like every other middle class family, rather than fighting for justice they were worried more about the society.

And with this, One more chapter was masked and a smile was coated on the sore face. Although it took years for Aarohi to clear off the scars and lead a new life.

This forces me to think : What was her fault? Why was she been asked to keep her mouth shut? Was she doing something wrong on the street? If it was about her clothes then she was actually covered in a complete Indian attire, not even a drench of her body was visible. Why is that the fear of society kills our confidence?

In the country where we reside, every other day a girl like Aarohi is forced to live a dead life.

P. S : Wish Girls on this planet can soon enjoy their life in peace, without any fright of loosing their own self. One must not forget every girl is a daughter, a wife,a mother and a sister for someone, lets protect them and not make them a living dead soul.

 

The Coffee House..!!

The early evening lull had come to the streets, that silence between the frenetic commuters and the vibrant party seekers. The bars and clubs were jammed with loud music and energized mob, the only visible life being the coffee-house that teemed with diners, chatting, relaxing after a busy day.

All the glossy wooden tables were lightened up with conversations, laughter and coffee mugs except the one. There was sheer silence on the table situated in one corner of the coffee-house. Meera 24-year-old innocent and charming girl, Rahul 26-year-old smart and young boy both sat across the table, this was not a regular meeting for them. There was lot that they wanted to speak but there was hush between them which spoke a lot. While both were waiting for each other to initiate, the silence was broken by the café waiter.

 After placing the order, Rahul started recalling some old coffee meets with Meera when they used to do the craziest things. The coffee-house was the place where they had confessed their love on 26th December 2014. Ever since then the journey had been wonderful for them apart from the last 6 months. Things had apparently changed between them since last 6 months, when they were miles apart. Rahul had been transferred to Chennai from his job and Meera was in Mumbai. Within six months, they faced major understanding issues and they had realized that love was not enough for a lifelong relationship. All this months had been tough; trust issues had risen and had ended up into weeks of fights. Ego which never existed had grown between them. And one morning they decided to finally meet and end it for it had created a mess in their life and today was the day when they had decided to meet. Both being in the crucial age of their life, decided for being practical and not moving ahead. They knew the broken heart could not be lashed again.

When Rahul recalled each memory that they shared tear rolled down from his eye, Meera placed her hand over Rahul’s hand. From the day they met they were madly in love. There was respect, care, love, fights, friendship, understanding and everything that an ideal relation needed. They never had thought that distance would be the actual test of their relationship.

While both sipped a sip of coffee Meera uttered: “How Strange it is Rahul, even though we were madly in love and everything was just like a fairytale but still we have to depart”. To this Rahul spoke nothing but held her hand tight enough. He knew this was the last time and he just wanted time to stop for a while. They kept on recalling their memories and talked for hours and hours.

Clock ticked 11:00 pm and the waiter arrived and informed that they were about to close the coffee-house for the day. Rahul and Meera who were lost in their own world, dint even realize what the time was. Rahul paid the bill and they walked out of the Coffee house.

“That’s it we have to depart” Rahul spoke in grief.

Rahul pulled Meera close to him and hugged her for the final time. “The warm and cozy hug will be missed”-Meera murmured.

And Finally, they departed with a smile on face and tear in eyes and with a hope of meeting again in the Journey of LIFE.

P.S : Love touches us in the most significant way and leaves us in the most painful way.