Love and out of it
other day, a dear friend of mine called up and complained,
"Why don't you ever write about Love."
that?" came my impromptu query. You can't blame me
for my ignorance. The only Love I have vaguely heard of
is Courtney Love, and I don't know enough about her to write
you get me wrong. Not any person Love, but love, LOVE, don't
you get it?" her words had a strange mix of bewilderment
and annoyance. The cyclone-hit jazzing phone lines added
music to the symphony, aggravating the effect.
L-o-v-e. That love. What is there to write on it?"
enough be said on it?"
enough already been written on it? Cliched as it may sound,
but while fools fall in love, only the ones with suicidal
tendencies remain in love."
seen people in love. And I have known them before they fell
in love. By no stretch of imagination could the two have
been the same. The devil that possesses them transforms
them overnight into self-centred whining misanthropic recluses,
with no desire to have their private, insular reveries ruffled.
I have seen more than one hitherto carefree soul being devoured
by the Love Monster and turning into overcautious, over
protective, Eric Segal reading, "Casablanca" watching
weepy heads. And they seem to enjoy it, even revel in it.
this young friend of mine in Dhaka (a friend in love is
a fiend indeed, as you shall see), who has recently declared
her undying love to someone I've not met yet. Like most
people in love, she's behaving as if the universe consists
of her beau and her. Add the telephone to that, and that
makes it three of them. That's a large universe for them,
considering that three is a crowd. But the telephone is
an unavoidable necessity they have learnt to make good use
of. They are yet to receive their phone bills for this month.
know what made me do it, but last week I waited in her room
for her to finish chatting while she was on the phone with
the only person that matters. Tired of waiting, and cross
for a gross unconcern, I finally walked out of the room
after forty-five minutes. It had been a painful wait, because
a) I didn't have the pleasure of eavesdropping, so hushed
was their conversation; b) for a while I thought she was
singing to him on the phone, and this friend of mine is
only partially better than The Hubby where singing is concerned-
we still haven't figured who croaks better; and c) I'm not
sure if she noticed my leaving because you cannot have your
face buried deep into the receiver, and still be looking
around you. (I wonder if this is how they converse even
then she called up an hour later to find out why I left
so early! The tone said she knows why, and yet was unapologetically
and shamelessly silent on the sorry word. People in love
are next only to God, or so they think, which makes them
above all worldly wrongs. Isn't this how people in love
behave? Show me one person who's himself and in love at
the same time. I have not known a more paradoxical heightened
state of mind. All at once you laugh, you cry; you accept,
you reject; you give, you take; you look so secure in the
knowledge of each other's assurances, yet teeter tentatively
on the edge of insecurity.
week The Hubby was out of town on work when, just for a
lark, I brought out all our lettered exchanges when we'd
just met, and when we started our lives together. Studies
and work saw us intermittently separated at frequent intervals
during which these letters were the primary source of sustenance
for lonely hearts longing to be together. These letters
bound us together in a way none of those brief telephonic
conversations could. (I am sure it is a lot easier in today's
world with e-mails and instant SMS's.)
envelopes looked familiar as I sifted through them trying
to recall the millions of words that were penned within
these papered cases; the plethora of emotions that flooded
these pages, and the many more left unsaid, but each heaving
pause in a sentence enough to convey the bitter-sweet turbulence
in the minds. The days just got replayed as I moved from
one letter to the next, all methodically numbered and dated,
often two or three having been written in one day.
silly sweet nothings, I read heart aches, I read yearnings
and commitments; dreams and resentments; I read compromises
and even ballistic threats; words that pricked, hurt, or
words that tickled and warmed our souls…myriad compositions,
but always cloaked in innocence, never with malice. Not
even midway through and I knew what it was. If this is not
love, what else is?
if that were love, have we now strayed off the path of charged
emotions, into a loveless existence of daily routines? Somewhere
down the years, our relationship, like any others, slipped
into an easy habitual companionship, driven (and dictated)
more by our day-to-day immediate needs than by the abstractions
of love. Blame it on familiarity, on familial responsibilities
and commitments, or on the veritable end to the exercise
of exploring and discovering the new person, we often do
end up taking our spouse for granted.
as The Hubby believes, nothing kills romance faster than
(R) thedailystar.net 2004