Monday, February 14, 2022

To Love or Not to Love


To Love or Not to Love


This post today is not because it’s a Valentine’s Day Special, however, it is the upshot of 3 casual conversations I happened to have yesterday and today. Ironically it happened to be Valentine’s Day - the Day of Love, to discuss on what love meant to these people.

I have this close friend of mine, R.R and the camaraderie we share is our mutual love for Rumi poetry and the zest for life. Her WhatsApp Status messages often exalt on Lost Love or the Other side of Love, Heartbreaks and even Higher order Love, which often makes me nudge the die-hard Romantic soul she is. Last night while wasting my time on trying to understand the Philosophy or Life and Love (never the twain shall meet, as Rudyard Kipling says), I notice her status message on how to be careful in love, not to get your heart broken etc. I know that she has her own share of troubles in her marriage, a drinking husband, lovely children, struggling to find a job etc., so we always ensure to be a sounding board whenever the other needs. The transcript below with a few changes:

Me: Hey Babes, be it the heart or the soul, that gets hurt, ultimately kills the LOVE in you.

S.R: I suppose it’s the ones around you that does the due

Me: To love or to not love... That is the question... Courtesy Shakespeare 😂 to be or not to be.

S.R: To Love, love and only love💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 of the best things you could probably do in life and to yourself.

Me: As someone said... It’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved forever.

S.R: Couldn't agree more 😊

Me: guess Rumi love is only in books, it’s that eternal Utopian place where u will never reach.

S.R: That's true, I think that's how all or most of us are conditioned... either of the genders blame each other for not sticking onto each other in love. The thing is most of us confuse infatuation for love and end up hating the whole idea of love once the "partner" moves on.

Me: Guess ignorance is bliss!

S.R: Indeed...the more these surreal things start haunting us, the more we are inclined to feel a sense of loss.

Me: Why do we get our hearts broken when we are the ones who believe in that love. And the one who breaks it still flaunts about love.

S.R: Must be the game plan of that emotion itself... it plays with you in ways you don't understand and you sheepishly fall for all those subtle nuances, that you fail to acknowledge the fact that no what the other person has for you is not necessarily love, but just plain humane consideration or let's say attachment. But somehow, we turn deaf ears and blind eyes to it all... We no longer want to believe that what we "share" is anything short of love. I still strongly believe that what I tasted earlier on was love and nothing else. I still cherish every memory I have of him. And those are probably the only thoughts that keep me going besides my children. At the end of the day, he is a “paawam” ( In Malayalam , while the literal word translation means “someone who is poor “, its often used as an adjective for a simpleton or someone who doesn’t understand the impact of his actions etc. )

Me: I guess 90% of people follow the same thoughts... They enjoy an initial period of love or whatever emotions we call it.... Carry it on till the end of our lives on the memories of those good times unless something drastic happens to change those good memories.

S.R: Hmm true... it's just that the sands of time wait for no one to finally be able to understand what went wrong and why or where... you have just got to move on in life in the dark, not knowing why you are, where you are.

Me: Rumi, I reiterate “Ignorance is bliss “. I rest my case.  Goodnight for now.

S.R: Yes, My Rumi, I agree. Ignorance is bliss, but that bliss is my comfort in my belief of love! Wishing you a better day in love tomorrow.

I went to sleep with these thoughts.

Today began with social media and WhatsApp messages with Valentine’s Day messages, Valentine’s Day Dinner options and of course the memes. I have a college group on Whatsapp wherein today, 99% of us feel good that we are all in the same boat and that none of us can look forward to the legendary Valentine’s Day ceremonies as exalted in movies or advertisements.  And honestly, none of us actually care for the Valentine’s Day – we are much above that 😊 (the fox say the grapes are sour).  We have one or two friends in this group, who actually do get the privilege of celebrating this day with their husbands and initially they used to post nice pictures of their gifts over which we all congratulate her and honestly feel happy for her as well.  But soon, she realized that she is the odd one out in the group and all eyes were on her on this day. Call it the peer pressure or the fear of the evil eye; she soon stopped posting these pics for her. I hope today is a good day for her though with all my heart. It sometimes feels good to see people actually in love.

Coming to my second episode, our domestic help M.K came in today rushing as always to finish her marathon in 1 hour. Hadn’t seen her for over a week since she had some visa issues, so today when she came I was eagerly waiting for her like Jaya Bachchan with the Aarti waiting for her son’s homecoming. She is quite a talkative person and while cutting onions , she said she had to go to another house to help additionally today since it was their wedding anniversary and they had a party to arrange, so needed her help. And then all of a sudden the statement:

M.K: Wonder why people get married! And people like me never learn, I did the mistake twice. And it hurts when people knowingly hurt you.

Now I do know that she had got married at the age of 18 and since the husband was an alcoholic and wife beater, she had left him after 3 years and had 2 kids. She had got married again sometime back and always used to talk about how caring her husband was, how he used to care for her kids as his own etc., however never stuck on to a proper job. So I discounted her statement for maybe a weekend domestic tiff and said:

Me: That’s what we all say. Sometimes, when we are angry, we just say things we don’t mean.

M.K: No Chechi (which means elder sister in Malayalam), I got married to him after I told him everything about me, my life etc. I had told him that I won’t be able to have kids again (due to some medical issue). And now daily, we are fighting over that.

Me: It’s just that maybe he is trying to irritate you over something or maybe he is just upset over his job etc. that he is finding these silly reasons to pick a fight with you. I am not saying it’s correct, but then maybe that’s all there is to it.

M.K: No chechi, he is serious, he calls me all these names, that I am really hurt.

Me: Do one thing, if it hurts you that bad, tell him it hurts you. If he doesn’t understand, then do one thing, you also speak to him in a manner that hurts him (tit for tat), and that time he will know.

Then she surprised me.

M.K: If I talk back or say anything he doesn’t like, he will beat me black and blue.

Me: What??!! How dare he do that? Next time, he raises his hands tell him that you will complain to the police.

M.K: Chechi, if I were to have complained to the police on this, by now they would have issued a permanent residence inside the jail for him. But he is a nice guy Chechi. He takes care of my kids well.

I was appalled. Does taking care of her kids give him this right?

Me: M.K, listen to me, next time he raises his hand on you, say you will call the police.

M.K: Chechi, see this mark on my face; this was done last week because I told him the same. I told him I shouldn’t have got married at all and that he doesn’t love me. He hit me saying you don’t care for the love I show you. (How ironic)

Me: (now I am raging) M.K, no one has the right to hit you, whether be it with love, without love, whatever. You need to draw the line if you don’t wish to get hurt.

M.K: Chechi, he is a paawam (again the same kind of paawam as mentioned earlier), I know he doesn’t mean harm. He does care for me, I know, maybe he doesn’t know how to show it. He loves my kids and takes care of them. I actually love him a lot, he is a paawam.

Once again, I rest my case.

As I am still reeling in the effect of the LOVE on this day, I get a call from my cousin S.M. Now she is on the verge of divorce since she found out that her husband has an obsessive disorder and is constantly stalking her, doubting her etc.

Me: How are you doing? What’s happening there?

S.M: Nothing much. Just so bugged with everything that’s happening. Just now received a message from my hubby saying with which one of your Valentine’s will you be celebrating today? Should I still be in queue etc.?  

Me: What the hell! Just ignore him! Why do you need to even reply to him?

S.M: I know, but I can’t help it. I loved him so much. I really feel sorry for him. He is alone and depressed, can’t seem to handle this alone.

Me: Oh! Well, can you handle it alone?  Does that give him the right to call you names or insult you? Can’t you see it? He is just emotionally blackmailing you.

S.M: I know, but then he used to care so much for me, I was his world! His life revolved around me alone. The few months I have been with him, was bliss!

Me: (with a sigh!) Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it? You have to get out that world of yours babe… He may have loved you, but his actions are not normal. Can you live with it your entire life? This is more what I would call Fatal Attraction!

S.M: You are right, I won’t be able to live with it, and hence we are parting ways. But I don’t know, the love I had for him, I never had for anyone else. It will never go off from me. Inspite of all that he has done, I am still thankful for that LOVE. I felt happy and I want to remember that as LOVE itself. He is after all a paawam yaar. ( paawam once again ….)

Though, I was at peace that she had decided to break free from that, I didn’t want to disillusion her from what she called Love and take away whatever little joy she earned from that Love. I let it be .

         That’s enough of love for me for today. Love at the end of the day, is what we define it to be.  For some love is comfort, for some its sacrifice, some its Trust and respect, for some its companionship.... I am not taking any stands here, neither wish to do lest I become disillusioned and  I would love to believe that what I have is Love and live in that bliss !  The romantic I am at heart, would still have a tear for an unrequited love story or an ear for the romantic melody. Yes, it’s a Utopian world out there, but aren’t we all in our own worlds? Is it better to have a broken heart than not to realise whether you had one or not!

Their credo is, “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!