Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Salt story

I read a nice, little story today. A simple boy saw a beautiful girl at a party. The girl was very attractive and also the cynosure of all eyes. The boy just couldn’t take his eyes off her charming face. He was totally besotted by the girl. So he asked her out for coffee. The girl agreed and they met the following day at a coffee-shop.
They ordered for coffee and then, waited for each one to begin a conversation. The boy didn’t know what to say, he was so nervous. The girl, though not nervous, was waiting for him to say something. Suddenly, the boy asked the waiter to get him some salt with his coffee. He then added the salt to his coffee and started sipping it. The girl found this very strange and asked the boy why he had salt in his coffee. To this, the boy replied that as a little boy, he had grown up by the sea-side. As a result, they had access to a lot of salt. Whenever, he did anything to upset his mom, he would add salt to his coffee. Likewise, when he did something to make his parents proud, he would add salt to his coffee. “So”, he said to her,” in short, I have a lot of memories, good and bad, associated with coffee and I add salt to always relive those.” This broke the ice between them and they got talking. The girl really liked the boy and his simple ways. Soon, they got married and lived happily, till the boy died after celebrating 45 years of wedded bliss.
One day, the girl came across an old journal. It belonged to the boy and in it, she found a letter addressed to her. He had written, ‘My love, in all my life, I have spoken but one lie to you. And that is, I never grew up by the sea-side. But that day, at the coffee shop, I lied to you. And then, to make up for that lie, I had salt in my coffee for the rest of my life. Thank you for coming into my life.’

There can be different interpretations to this story. The article of which this story was a part of, was actually about the age-old debate on whether a harmless lie or a painful truth.

But I read a totally different meaning into the story. To me it was about love. Pure and committed. The boy did an out of the ordinary action to get the girl’s attention and to break the ice between them. He made up a story and lived that false story for the rest of his life so that he could keep his love’s faith intact. How pure he must have been in his heart and how committed to his love! I mean, why was there the need for him to have salt in his coffee when he could have so very easily given up his coffee altogether. That way, he would not have had to have something he never had any taste for. In any case, he had got his love. And surely, the girl too, loved him equally deeply. So had he come clean with his lie, she wouldn’t have held that one against him? But, he chose to turn that lie into a commitment. For his love. For the trust of that love, he chose to live his lie.

This story really touched me. I totally lost the focus of the original article. To me, it became a depiction of love and the trust associated with it.

And to this love, I salute!!

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