Anna Karenina – Up Close and Personal

Recently having finished reading Anna Karenina-undoubtedly an excellent piece of literature by any standard- I was nonetheless, left a little discomforted. A few aspects of how her character was written, especially the part about her being willing to leave her son to pursue romantic love seemed out of place when weighed against the rest of her character. I therefore decided to attempt a journey into her mind (as a writer) and came up with the following.

A diary entry by Anna Karenina the day before she is officially unfaithful.

I invite all of you to read it, request you to leave your comments and entreat you to hit follow and venture with me into this anecdote that deals with the themes of morality, ethics, God’s will, notions of virtue and the concept of living vs. Existing. Again, I look forward to your comments.

But how does one live without true and passionate love?

It is the food to the soul and the last enduring strain on which a person may yet survive even when deprived of the most basic of sustenance and when one is ripped apart from all that is held dear. It is our immortality-the nourishment to the parched starving wasteland that otherwise is life. To live without receiving it is something many, many unfortunates have managed and they are stronger than I-they have my respect and my admiration for a sacrifice of proportions that are near unfathomable to a selfish soul like mine.

Yet, I may still contrive to comprehend it-for even to one like me, the nobility and palpable goodness of the things held worthy of such a forfeit and soul rending surrender is evident. Love for a child perhaps, is one of the most common that one hears of, with good reason as it is-though I cannot yet be utterly certain-a purer brand of the love I speak of. Honour, duty, dharma and virtuousness, among the innumerable other restrictions placed upon our shoulders by society along with the bitter frustration of spinsters who did not dare to reach for their dreams, alas, fail to move me. Yet I understand them.

I can understand (though I could never do it) how and why people can survive without receiving love.

But to live without giving love, to live with a spirit so barren and dead that it is no longer capable of bestowing the one truly unselfish gift that exists in this universe unto others! That is not to live-but to exist! An existence without sensitivity or compassion-dead as a rock in the frozen vastness of the southern desserts, nay, it would be even worse. For even that rock serves a purpose, its existence still retains a meaning-whereas I, without the faculty to give of myself to others, or deprived of the beings I cherish more than life itself to give myself to- I would weaken and waste away into nothingness.

To continue what I am doing and cement it irreversibly and irrevocably tomorrow- it is considered a sin. The bond of matrimony made between Alexei and I is said to be one made by God, only to be broken by a crime against God himself. But how can it be? God cannot, WOULD NOT deny us such happiness-for if he does, he is selfish and no God of mine.

It is fruitless to any longer wish for peace. For him and I, there can be no peace. We may only experience the most devastating loss and constant unending misery apart from one another-or the most liberating and happiness and dizzying dozes of joy.

It must be done. It shall be done.

Author: Shambhavi Sengar


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