Bala Who ??
I’ve known Bala since she was an all-grin teenager – thirteen or fourteen may be. No, no, to be honest, I’ve been acquainted with Bala for some one and half years or more but I’ve known Bala longer. That is because Bala is me. Exactly the way I’ve been when I was a teenager. So, those who know me, will obviously know Bala. But for those who don’t:
* Bala loves everything that begins with the letter M : Mom, Madurai, Magic, Muggles…and perhaps anything that begins with M.
* Bala hates everything that is practical and do-able. If it can be done easily, it ain’t Balaish. Normal, ordinary, practical spells B-O-R-I-N-G to her!
* So it is but natural that her story includes the word ‘magic’; but is aptly called ‘Broken Magic.
Broken Magic = Sheer Magic
‘Broken Magic’ is one of the many short stories of Bala that I’ve read. But among all the stories that she has written, this one definitely stands apart. There are two reasons to it – one among which is personal. But what makes this story shine bright is that, inspite of being a love story, this one is a practical love story. It talks of roses; but does not camouflage the thorns that come along. Love is a ‘snowfall feeling’ – you get excited, mesmerised and awestruck when you first discover the snowflakes floating around you. And then, when the snow falls incessantly over days – forcing you to visualize miles of white nothingness, when you actually cannot move around much – you somehow don’t feel excited anymore. ‘Broken Magic’ deftly handles this delicate side of love.
It is the story of Adhi and Nayani – but you, I, Anuj, Anju, Priya, Prem….anyone can be Adhi and Nayani. It is their love story – it is our love story as well. It is actually love, punctuated with the uncertainities that come along. That feeling, that nagging question that we all go through but rarely speak about – will the magic of love survive the test of time ?
The best part of the story is the very practical tone, a sort of earthy style – the characters think as we would normally do; they speak the way we are used to. And yet manages to deliver some of the brightest lines I’ve read in a short story in a long, long time.
‘She was a strange girl who said strange things. He was strange guy who did strange things. Only, their individual definition of strangeness varied greatly.’
The entire story is built on the premises of two differently thinking people falling in love with each other. They say ‘opposities attract’ but not everyone talks about the challenges that come along. ‘Broken Magic’ does exactly that – talks about those little moments of fear that creep into our minds, those strange feelings of lonliness in a relationship.
‘My biggest fear isn’t that you’ll lie to me or cheat on me. No. It’s not the usual threats to a relationship that come to mind when I think of us. It’s the fact that someday, all the magic will be gone and what’ll be left of us is the painfully boring ordinariness I was filled with before I met you. I’m afraid – no –scared to death that your currently deceiving eyes will lose the filters and look at my bare mediocre self, and I’m afraid you won’t be enchanted by me anymore.’
Those lines. I stared at those lines for seconds and then minutes. I couldn’t believe that someone just wrote what I have thought an umpteen number of times! And THIS is the magic of ‘Broken Magic. It leads you through those strange alleys of love that you know exists but are scared to travel through. And like Nayani, you just wish there was someone to understand your insecurities. You actually experience a roller-coaster ride with Adhi and Nayani as they struggle to make a decision about their love and life.
Can love withstand the test of time? Does love succumb to the challenges of differences in individual perspective of life and love ? Do read the story of Adhi and Nayani to find out for yourselves. Who knows, you may actually end up finding answers to some of your own questions as well!
Take a travel with Adhi and Nayani at http://goo.gl/fnqdpW