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Falling in Love

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The leaf was in awe of her. Last spring, he met the wind for the first time and since then all he could think about, was her. His fellas were weary of listening about her stories. He had asked all his peers, his relatives and his neighbours about their memories of her. Every time he heard about her, he felt alive. All had their own experiences and memories. He listened intently to each one of them. He never got tired of asking. A parrot, a crow and a sparrow told him how they loved flying with her! how she made their wings fluffy and caressed their crown! “It feels lovely, but mostly it tingles” giggled the sparrow. It evoked his memories of her for the umpteenth time. How he loved her grace and her magnificence, her might and her gentleness! Every story he heard, told him something new about her.

Most of his peers were afraid of the mighty eagle, and honestly, he was afraid too. But his smit for the wind often overcame all his fears. He knew that the eagle was the only one who would fly to the greatest heights and the farthest distances so he would know about her more than anyone else. So, after summoning all his courage, he asked The Mighty eagle about his experiences, “Who?? Ohhh the wind? Ahhh! She does just fine. Quite often, I fly above her, so I never really thought about her much” filled with pride, said the mighty eagle in his grumpy voice. From that day the leaf detested him. When the monsoon arrived, the leaf never missed a chance to ask every raindrop about her. Some told him how they danced with her while others narrated how they played with her on the way down from the heavens. The leaf would often brush them off after listening to this. One day as a raindrop was narrating how loving and caring she was and how he loved her gentle touch on him, the leaf shook vigorously. “Heyyy! Wait! What happened?” asked the droplet. “Nothing, I need to sleep now, so, I need you to drop-off of me now”. “Nooo! you are not sleepy. Wait a minute. You are jealous!” exclaimed the droplet. “No! I am not. Get off me!” he shook in irritation. “Holy moly, you are in love!” the droplet whispered. The leaf blushed and turned greener. He stopped shaking. To his own surprise he liked hearing that. “This guy is in love with the wind”, shouted the raindrop loud enough for the leaves on the adjacent branches to hear. The raindrop let itself slide off the leaf falling into the darkness below as he echoed, “This fella is in looove with the wind!”. All the leaves on the giant tree heard it. The leaf was visibly embarrassed and blushing at the same time. That night he fell asleep smiling to himself.

In places unknown to the leaf the wind blew happily. She blew above the oceans and amidst the desserts. She raced through the snow clapped mountains and hissed through the forests. She had been doing this long before she remembered. At times, she rested in the forests quietly to adore the green lush, to observe the birds and the trees, the lions and the reindeers. Nobody noticed her when she was quiet and sneaked in the forests or in the valleys. On other occasions she sported with the waves of the oceans and raced alongside the birds. In some places she carried the cold of the glaciers with her at other places the sands of the desserts. She blew quietly over the lakes and whistled wildly through the woods. Every element of nature knew her, may it be the leaves in the forest or the flora on the mountains. The penguins on the ice knew her so did the camels in the dessert. The clouds in the sky drifted with her and the grass on the ground danced with her. She was one of the few who had friendship with fire. She did not lack acquaintances no matter where she went.

She was running across the wonders of nature in different parts of the world since time unknown. It was her job and she liked doing it. But lately, as she sat quietly in the woods observing the deer feeding her fawn or the birds nesting on the trees, she felt an unexplainable emptiness. A longing for a family or more so, longing to be loved. She knew no matter where she’d go in the world, everyone would recognise her, ‘But does anyone know me? They do enjoy my presence, but do they love me?’ She knew how they disliked her as soon as it turned against their advantage. The lush green woods who often whistled with her suddenly hated her if she was angry and blew hard, only cause it uprooted their trees. The clouds would detest her once she flew fast enough to break it clusters cause then they couldn’t hold their beloved water. The forests hated her friendships with the fire cause the fire would destroy them. She realised everyone loved her for their own gains. If she lost her temper, it would lead to their destruction and they would hate her. The wind had lived for times unknown and known almost all the beings in the nature, but she could not recall one instance when someone loved her unless for their benefit. She wondered if this vast world holds one being, which would love her unconditionally. The one being that would love her beyond give and take, someone who wanted her more than anything in the world. As she sat quietly in the woods, contemplating her existence, she noticed a certain commotion in the woods. 

Meanwhile, the leaf was weak. It was brown and light. His time was near; autumn had arrived. One by one his peers were falling to the ground; the tree had started shedding. The leaf had called out the wind every time she blew through their woods, but his voice was drowned in the ruffling and whistling of the woods. Did he feel unhappy that she did not listen to him? – not at all, he loved her no matter what. By now, everyone in the woods knew, all the trees and the bushes, the birds and the squirrels everyone knew about the crazy love of the leaf. They all were blessed to be under the care of the giant old tree. The tree was the oldest, largest and the wisest in the woods. Its thick foliage sheltered several birds, animals and insects. The tree was the most revered creature in the forest. Every year, autumn was the most difficult time for the tree, for it lost its beloved leaves. Time had taught it well. In centuries of its existence it had experienced enough to learn that not everyone we love is meant to stay with us. No matter how much we love them they are not meant stay forever. 

It was not often that the great tree spoke, so, today when it did, all the creatures of the wood gathered around it. The revered tree spoke to the leaf in its elderly rugged voice, “My son, in my centuries of existence I have seen the love and wrath of Mother Nature. I have seen its greatest wonders and witnessed some of its worst disasters. In my humble opinion love is the supreme marvel that exists in all the beings of nature. Yet, as disappointing as it may sound some love are never meant to be. You are a dry leaf and she is the wind; you cannot give her anything and you cannot take anything from her.” 

The leaf replied to the tree, “Oh great tree! I love the wind, not because she nourishes me. I love her for what she is, for her presence makes me happy, her absence brings her memories. I do not love her, to say that she is mine. I do not possess her, I do not have a right on her, she is magnificent in her own self in all respects. I love her because her stories bring joy to my life, they show me how magnanimous a being could be. Her stories fill me with hope, they fill my short life with excitement. And when she gushes through our woods, I feel all her marvel brushing against me. Oh mighty tree! I love her beyond the laws of give and take. She gives me everything I wish for, just by her presence.” 

After a brief pause, the mighty tree finally said, “In my lifetime, I have not witnessed such an act of selfless love. I truly honour your feelings my son. But your co-existence with the wind is not plausible. A dry leaf isn’t meant to love the wind”

The leaf replied, “I am aware of my inevitable fate if she blows through the woods, but I shall be content to die in the arms of my love tonight, than to wake up in vain to live another day devoid of her”

The wind who sat quietly in the woods until now, raced to kiss that one being on the planet who loved her unconditionally. As she kissed him, the leaf filled with joy and content for the last time in his life. He slowly let go off of the branch he was attached to, to surrender himself in the arms of the love of his life. The wind blew harder and carried the leaf high up in the clouds and as the leaf breathed its last he could see the beauty of the woods in a way no other leaf had seen – from high up in the sky and in the arms of his love. Content, he let go of his life. The wind unable to fathom the loss of the love she had received, grew silent and let go of him The wind who lived since time unknown would never forget this moment in her life, as she saw him content, touching the ground – ‘falling in love’.

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