When you love, the whole world is within you, and there is no death…

My debut, my dream of becoming a well known actress was finally turning to a reality; when I first got the offer to perform at the front- But at a time of gloom. A time, when life lingered in a still full silence, broken only by depressing news. People were dying in war. Some of them will never be known. But even in this silence you can hear a dry sob of a woman sitting in the end of the room- lost in her thoughts or of children playing on streets, unaware of what is happening. This silence can never be truly expressed; it can only be felt. When people anxiously gather in the main field to listen to the loudspeaker, fearing of what they might hear. So numb; that words simply seemed to have lost their meaning. And it is, at this time of life, I get a chance to show my talents. But still, I can at least bring a little sparkle of joy, to the mighty men who fight for their people.

The parts I play, are inspired by mythological characters. One of whom believes that ‘when you love, the whole world is within you and there is no death’. But I simply can not pretend that it is possible, for I see so many wounded, mentally and emotionally, due to death of their loved one. Did they not love?

What is the point of making such eloquent speeches? When love no longer exists because love is murdered by death, by separation and by anxiety.

My career is not an appreciated one. There is no place for art in such a tensed atmosphere, yet I act, simply because it is like a worship of art. An art that should not be lost.

When I finally reached the front, I was shocked to see the real picture. Men wounded, houses burnt, commotion, tension. It was all so immensely frightening. I felt a sudden urge to shoot our opponents. I simply didn’t understand what we were doing here? I was quite sure that we will be sent away immediately.

But we were not. My group performed at various venues like the hospital, the school, aerodromes and even in the forest.

And it is this journey of mine which brought me acquainted with a most noble man- Major Doronin. He had assisted us in keeping us safe from all the continuous bombarding.

I have seen so many like him, yet no one like him. I loved talking to him. The way he would look sternly at me and ask “will you not mind, if I call you Lisa”, his voice still rings in my ears. I could not believe how the time passed, and how the last day of our visit came. There was so much left to say, yet I could not express anything, so I took his P.O. number.

I came home, both grim and glad. I was shocked to see the conditions in which the army was surviving. But a strange sort of feeling would awaken inside me, every time I looked at Major Dornin’s P.O. number.

This distance made me realise that this feeling was love, and I had to tell him this. I sent him a letter filled with passion and love.

I got his reply, which ripped my heart into two. He said that this love was just an attraction which happened because he was in the army. He said that after the war, I will be a successful actress and he, an ordinary chemist. I will not love him then.

How can he believe that! He was the one, the only one for me; and to love him, I have to give up play acting, then it will be so.

I again sent him a letter telling him that I am ready to give up play acting for him. When I posted this letter, all that I could think of, was my luck. It was the end of play acting for me. A reply for that letter never came….

My letter was returned and I was informed that there is no owner of that P.O. number.

It clearly meant that he died in the war…

I locked myself in the room, closed my eyes, thinking it to be a nightmare, hoping the world will close around me.

But my life took a sudden turn. A letter addressed to me arrived the very next day.

It was by the nurse who had cured Doronin, after he was injured. She addressed me as Major’s fiancé. And she told me that the major wanted to give his watch to me, so she had sent it along with the letter.

After reading this letter from the nurse, I finally understood the meaning of the lines “If you love, the whole world is within you, and there is no death”. He loved me and I will always love him and even though he is physically not in front of me, he is in my heart.

Shambhavi Sharan