"Life is the price we pay for running away from death "
































































B was not the usual academician. He loved to teach, not to lecture. In the class, he was a king, who demanded attention of his students and nothing more - attention not towards the board, which frequently got them bored, but towards the unified mind that he was trying to build inside the room. He did not care so much about asserting his authority over the subjects he taught as much as interacting with the shine in the eyes of the subjects that populated his classroom. It was the light in the eyes of the students, he would say, that lit up the path ahead of him.
 
B was happily married to K. K was a simpleton, and B loved that about her. She wasn't well educated and, hence, was bereft of any sophistications. She was like the fresh fruit that had just been plucked from the backyard. She devoted herself to taking care of the house, and in that way, he said, devoted herself to him. The house meant a lot to him. It was his resting place, after miles of intellectual journey he would do at the college. It was where he cooled his heels, in the cool waters of K's innocent love. K's innocence was like a piece of raw carbon in dusty water - it absorbed all the negativity from B's tired body and rendered him fresh for the next day - the journey ahead.
 
K was not just his wife, she was B's best friend. B would tell her all his thought experiments and she would unfailingly smile back.
 
Then one day B met M, a colleague at his college. They struck a chord immediately. M shared the exact same intensity at teaching as B did. They organized a couple of seminars together and developed a great camaraderie in a short time. They even began co-writing all their research papers.
 
When B spoke to M about his thought experiments, he would find a gleam in her eye and she would respond back with complementary ideas. And together they took their thoughts higher and higher.
 
Camaraderie grew stronger as they spent all their time together. M knew about B's marriage, yet she could not stop her admiration for him change into love. Intimacy developed, and before he knew it, B was gripped into the passionate whirlpool of love that is churned when heart and mind play hide-n-seek with each other.
 
Both B and M succumbed to the bright light. B's mind fell to the glare of their intellectual pursuits and his soul never realized the path he was walking into. M's passions stirred such a dazzling blaze that it blinded her eyes to the reality of K's existence. B and M fell hopelessly in love and became inseparable.
 
In time, news reached K and she confronted B. He, guided by his heart, was unapologetic. He said he wasn't sorry for what he did - fate had brought him to it - but he was ready for any punishment K would deem upon him, except for separating from her. That was not tolerable for him. M had come into his life but not to replace K. There was silence for several days, and they slept in different rooms until one day K told B that she would never want to have a physical relation with him again. As B left the room, he noticed the blankness in K's eyes and it pierced his heart.
 
Over the next several days, as B interacted with M in the college, his melancholy was apparent. He wasn't treading the light as he used to. His gait wobbled like a blind man walking on slippery ground. M knew this was coming, that K would not take it lightly. But just like K, she did not have a choice too. Just like K, she could not let him go. B was the best man she had met after a long time. He was her God. And we don't stop longing a God just because others lay claim to him, do we?
 
Silence began to fill the gap that grew in the relationships on both sides of B. He felt guilty, but he did not know why it had to be. He wondered why love had to be so painful, and why were human beings given to love though they know it will pain one day. He wondered if humans were designed to love pain itself? Are we all cast in a masochistic mould? Are we the manifestations of pain in the mind of God?
 
Slowly and surely, B felt like he was losing his head...
 
One morning, when B drove to college, he saw an advertising billboard of a real-estate agency. It showed a photo of a beautiful home with a large happy family standing in front of it. Incidentally, the family had one grown up man and two women beside him, other than several young and old members. The tagline said, "we help you find all the happiness that money can buy!" That was it. B knew the answer to all his problems. He had to earn money, lots of it. He had to work hard - take extra lectures, organize more conferences, write more books, and also do some part-time tuitions. He had to earn lots of money and, hence, buy his happiness.
 
The traffic light was red, but he could not wait. His money was waiting for him and he had no time to waste. He stepped on the gas and surged ahead. A truck was crossing the road but he did not notice. B was seeing pictures of his happy family already. He lunged ahead right in the path of the truck... Boom!
 
Finally, B did lose his head.
 
 
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