• Rukmini Ravishankar

Can't Help Falling in Love

Heavy headed and sleepy, I sit here today listening to a song for the first time. You set your cameras and lenses in aesthetically pleasing ways, scribble something down in a notebook hurriedly, and the music just sings along and ties the situation perfectly together.

The passion in your face is unbeaten, like there’s nothing you’d rather be doing this second, than standing there, using flashlights from smart-phones and shadows from water bottles to fix your pictures.

I watch you brush your hair out of your face as you examine your work for the day. I watch you place your palm on your forehead as you figure out what went wrong. I watch you turn some knobs here and some screws there to freeze time perfectly. And I write about it.

I listen to you proclaim your love proudly. I listen to you match your peers with rhythmic beats off of your drum. I listen to you ask me if I know what’s worth fighting for. And I write about it.

I wonder as you bend and place your head down on the table. What is it that is going through your mind, as you simply observe people getting busy? What is it that you’re scared of when they ask you your name, and you seem like you’re racing against time to finish saying it? I smile when you smile, and I laugh when I watch you jump. And I write about it.

We all have that strong drive to keep going. To keep making a move even when things seem to be falling apart. We have it in us to keep inhaling and exhaling, even when tears stream down our face and make it seem impossible. We have it in us to wake up in the morning, wash off all the troubles of yesterday and get to work. And that energy, we direct towards what we love doing. For you, it’s music, for him, it’s photography, for her, it’s tennis. For me, they’re words.

I still remember the day I felt like I was never going to regain that thrust. It was 15 hours before my Political Science board exam. I sat on my study chair, and stared at the floor – its white tiles and its black crosses. I observed as the legs of my bunk bed made imperfect angles with the skirting. And I cried. I felt myself bawling, but I couldn’t make out why. I knew I needed to kick off, but I couldn’t get myself to move. I heard my parents calling out to me, but my mouth wouldn’t let me respond.

Looking back, I will never know how I wrote the exam the next day. That force will remain forever mysterious.

It’s 55 people that changed my life. After 8 months of desperately and pointlessly contemplating the floor for hours together, I saw your smiling faces for the first time. Introducing yourself and shaking my hand, probably assuming I was a boy before you heard my voice, raising your hands when asked if you wanted me to represent you, this was love at first sight.

And I owe it to the same mysterious force, that in the morning of April 22nd, I woke up, got dressed, packed up, and set off on a bus ride to what I now call home.

Title Credits: ELVIS PRESLEY


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