Sanya and her childhood boyfriend, Vikrant, had finally moved into their own home in Green Park, New Delhi. Everything was going well for them as they had to no more worry about monthly rent or showering from ice cold water in winters. Vikrant was about to get his promotion, while Sanya had already been appointed as the manager of the design firm she worked in. Sanya had met Vikrant when she was 15. At 20, she was living alone with love of her life, happier than ever before, not because she had settled down, but because she was with Vikrant. 

On 14th May, it was just another day in Sanya’s picture-perfect life. She woke up, and Vikrant, as usual, served her warm ‘elaichi tea’ with her favourite butter cookies. A little later, Vikrant took his regular metro to work, while Sanya drove to Gurgaon in her car.  However, this ride changed her fate. A car accident took Sanya’s life, leaving Vikrant so shattered that he didn’t shed a single tear. He took her corpse to the hospital, begging the doctors to do something. He even performed her funeral services, but he couldn’t accept her death. He was shocked to the core.

Days passed by, but Vikrant did not react and stayed numb. It was only on the fourteenth day after Sanya’s death that Vikrant pushed a stool under the ceiling fan he had been staring at, stood on the stool, put his neck into the rope loop, and pushed away the stool without a single tremble. Suicide was his way out to handle the loss of his eternal love, perhaps join her in heaven.

At his funeral service, different people had different reactions, but the most intense was of his neighbour, psychologist Mr Faiz Ansari, who had firm ideals and principles. He called his death “a mistake” in the most decent way possible. However, Vikrant’s brother, Viraj spoke in contrast. He justified his brother’s death by saying that love is the most powerful emotion in the whole wide world, and in love, there is no right or wrong. He even said, “Love is so powerful that even if one kills himself for it, he is not a killer, but a true lover.” Viraj spoke of love like a priest would speak of Christianity. 

Mr Ansari listened to Viraj patiently, but when Viraj said that he would have done the same, the psychologist couldn’t resist to ask him, “But Viraj, what about self-love? Can you not learn to be complete in and of yourself, without needing another person?”

This question struck Viraj. It shook him to the core, but he stayed quiet.

“If love is important,” added Mr Ansari, “self-love is just as important, perhaps more important.”

“In a world where Romeo and Juliet’s eternal love exists, one forgets to acknowledge the greatest love story ever, the story in which one loves themselves more than anything else and recognises their true worth. The story where one values their own life enough to hold on to it, despite losing loved ones or encountering failures.”

Viraj was in tears. These weren’t the tears of regret, but of realisation. His brother’s death taught him what nothing else could. It marked a period of personal growth in his life; while his brother’s life had ended, his started on a fresh note. He was now a man learning to be in love, not with another man or woman, but with himself.

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