Truth of Love

Written by İskender Pala

Known as “the man who popularized Divan poetry”, writer of the novels as ‘Death in Babel Love in Istanbul’, ‘Grief Drop’ and ‘Shah and Sultan’, Iskender Pala wrote for .’tr’ magazine.

I had a smart student, he was popular and a center of attention with his success in classes. He suddenly disappeared in the middle of term. I made people look for him to find out whether he had been sick, had a problem, or had been in an accident. None of his friends found a trace. Two months later someone knocked on my door in a morning. He was standing there; he had lost weight, gone pale, was almost beside himself. He said nothing and quietly sneaked in.

I was surprised and sad. I inquisitively asked:

“Where have you been, we have been really worried!”

He explained trembling. It turned out that he had come across a girl in the metro-bus after school one day. Eye told the heart, Heart caught fire, its smoke went up in the sky. For two months school was her school, lesson was her lesson, desires were her desires. Finally two days ago they got into a fight.

“I acted like a fool, Sir, I tried to take advantage of her! And she got rid of me!”

“You deserved it. But it is good at the same time, here is your chance to get back to your studies!”

“No Sir, this is not why I am here!”

“So what are you doing here?”

“As I was walking out of the door, she yelled ‘Do not return before you find out what love is!

“What is love, Sir?”
“Love is the opposite of what you did, Son!”
“What do you mean?”

I was angry with my student. He had to pay for thinking that the other person was an easy mark. Talking about love without making sacrifices illustrated that he was false in his love. One had to show him the truth of love. I cited Fuzuli’s words:

“You wished to carry a lover with you, for your life; however love is not carrying your lover for your life but carrying your life for your lover.”

“Okay, but Sir how can I express her my remorse and what you just told me?”

Like this:
“Once upon a time a young boy fell in love with a beautiful girl. When love took over his existence, he lost everything, he gave up on himself, sacrificed himself for his lover and then one day, he began to feel that dying for the loved one is so much better. People’s warnings, helps did not work, he got disconnected from his friends, lost his job and livelihood. Then a loyal friend went to the girl to tell her about the situation.”

“There is a young man across that square, he sits at that corner everyday, stares at thesame point. His words are poetry, there are treasures in his heart. Who knows, maybe you would like to get to know him!”

The girl was perceptive and wise. She immediately sensed that this trouble storm broke out around her, and she made her way there the next morning. When the young boy saw her coming, he began to cry. In the meantime, he kept repeating:

“She had killed me, now she is coming to me. Obviously she felt sorry for her victim.” She came upon him and greeting him sweetly, she asked:

“Would you grant me your name?”
“Who are you?”
“Where are you from?”

In vain. Young boy did not, could not answer any of her questions, he was only hanging his head as if he wanted to hide the tears coming down from his cheeks. It was apparent that he was drowning in the sea of love.

“Why aren’t you talking to me?”

He scarcely mumbled upon hearing that:

“When you talk I must keep silent, when you exist I must be sacrificed!”

And sighing a long sigh, he passed away! My student looked startled as I finished the story. I was expecting him to say, “You are right, Sir. I must go to her and tell her I am ready to die at her doorstep!”. But that was not what he said. The student I felt pity for when he came through my door was gone, and replaced by a boor. He rudely raised his voice with an utter tactlessness:

“Youu don’t saaay!… So I must die to express her what love is?”

I got angry. I realized he had no capacity in his soul for love and so I raised my voice: “Yes, in love one must die at their lover’s doorstep, not go back. You being here now means you never deserved that girl, my stupid boy. Best is if you go back to your studies and leave this fine business behind!”

About the author

İskender Pala

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