Like fools we believe that love is the end of all our troubles; that if we find the other half that split from us sometime in the past, we will be spared the morbid melancholies that being solo, brings. Instead of one voice we will hear choruses, glorious choruses ringing from the heavens. Maybe even a petal or two will fall, caressing our faces gently, much like our lover’s finger tracing the contours of our faces.
Part of this belief maybe true – the bit about there being another half (the jury has been out for centuries on this one. Some say they marooned themselves on an island and banned messages in bottles. The rest are of the opinion that they live among us and have, of late, disguised themselves as the entire Yashraj camp. A few say all of them mutated into Justin Bieber), the choruses (metaphorical/ in your head) and the occasional petal or two (especially if it’s windy). This piece is a pin. It may burst your bubble in case you haven’t grown out of Yashraj circa forever. If you fall in love, (See? See? Fall. Not rise. Not reborn. Fall!) your troubles don’t end. The glass is not half full. Someone just gulped half of the drink and did a good job of convincing you that half is better than nothing. Here are 5 unpleasant things about being in love because something’s gotta give, if you get some. It doesn’t matter if you agree or not. This is how it is, not how you would like it to be.
You get out of bed with swollen eyes, a stupid grin (that will not leave your face till your hurricane a.k.a. freshman days of this relationship reaches its shelf life – It was seven years in the 50’s. Now it’s anything between a week and 6 months), your head full of cotton candy, two left feet and hands complete with ten thumbs. You haven’t slept a wink last night but that’s not why you act with the dexterousness of a zombie. You are in love. You face the mirror. You confess it. That’s one more thing you realize you have to get used to. You have to confess love like you got caught shoplifting. (You confess that to everyone from your grocer to your boss, but that comes later). You leave the tap running, the cap is left off the toothpaste, your towel is in the fridge and your food is in the washing machine, your step out for work with the keys to your dish cabinet and close the door behind you; the house keys are safe and cozy on the table. You smack your head once you’ve reached halfway across town in the metro. If you’re a guy, then the chances are bright that you now realize that 5 burly housewives have long given up shouting at you and are now staring scythes at you. You are on the ladies seat.
Congratulations! You have managed to knock off “Complaints about Delayed Raises and Life in General” from the “Hottest Topics Discussed at Work” List. There are two on that list now and your life is number one. You have told a handful about Love and followed it up with “don’t tell anyone” for each of them. Most people have heard your story and the rest have heard “don’t tell anyone”. So speculations are rife that – you have discovered the ultimate answer about the meaning of life, the Universe and everything but are charging a cruel premium to divulge it, you brought the swine flu back, you are the only one who has been given a surprise raise, you are in love with your boss, Disneyland is coming to India, you have tried drugs, you are back on drugs, you are doing drugs in office, you are peddling drugs in office, the love story was cooked up and that any or all of the previous rumours might be true; whatever the rumour, you have to deal with the consequences of the reactions each of them bring. Apart from the rumours of course, you have driven people up the wall. You are exceptionally kind today. You are seeing the world in pink. Your smile is scaring folks away to their desks and actually making them work! They loathe work! Your boss is nervous. He thinks you are his replacement. Your SMSes have copious amounts of “less than 3”s and smiley faces. Some even claim to have received the forbidden unholiness – the angel smiley! You have forgotten a basic tenet of life – too much adoration evokes disgust. Today, the colleagues stay calm. Before the storm.
3. EVENING – Work always begins in the evening because it’s the owls who are wise. You are nowhere to be found. Love called. You bounded leaving the phone dangling off the hook. The storm which was brewing has been summoned earlier, tomorrow morning. You don’t know yet. You are with love.
The 3 moronic words – If you have already said those 3 moronic words “I love you!” then the conversation’s done and dusted. You might as well say “The sky is blue” or “You know what, I have a wart on the back of my neck!” You fumble for words. You try to sound intelligent. Of course you don’t know it yet but Love knows you are trying. The 3 moronic words are like a key. They open up souls to the other half. You have never bared your insides to anyone since you were born. And now the doors are thrown open without a warning. You didn’t even have time to rearrange things, put the skeletons back where they belong. Love takes a stroll inside. And you have no idea what Love will find.
Of course you have no clue. You are extremely up close to Love. You find new things to fall in love with – her nose, his arms, her hair, his chest, her cleft, his cleft, her shaved legs, his shaved legs, her tales of revenge after her last boyfriend made the mistake of leaving (WHAT??!), his fetish for thongs (for himself!) the way she says “Bangawlee”, the way he says “ruko ruko, main karti hoon!” (Your mind goes – Sheesh! But hey… we can work around it… here’s a word. Cute! Yeah! It’s cute!)
4. NIGHT – You had to wake up your landlord for the spare keys to get into your home. Your grin makes him wear his patience thin.
It’s 4 a.m. when you get off the phone with Love. You still wear your stupid grin. Your face still hurts. You discover insomnia. There is no way you can go to sleep. I would say it would take someone to hit you on the head with a hammer to get you to sleep but it’s happened already and that’s why you’re awake. You think it’ll help if you think of Love and go to sleep. You smile a cocky smile that says “Huh!” You start thinking you are next to Love. You slip your arms around Love. You sigh the deepest sigh. You feel good. Maybe it means sleep is coming.
3 hours later you are still awake. Your eyes are red. The first time is an accident. The second time is a coincidence. If this happens a third night it’ll be a pattern. You are full of dread!
You must sleep! You need sleep otherwise you may lose your job along with sleep! You search the internet for cures for insomnia. You come across Rumi (lately you have begun to collect quotes by Rumi!).
“When I am with you we stay up all night
When you’re not here, I cannot go to sleep
Thank God for these two insomnias
and the difference between them.”
Your initial squeal of joy at having discovered that you are not alone in the wonderful mess is followed by utter dismay – that even the wisest men haven’t managed to wrap their heads around this one. You are left in the lurch, you surmise.
5. NEXT MORNING – You can’t wipe the stupid grin off your face. Your right foot is still your left. You still have thumbs for fingers. Now you also know that there is no cure. They say time heals all wounds. Does time ease the creases of love? You weep with the grin on your face. You have never laughed and cried at the same time. You ask yourself an unfamiliar question – “Have I gone mad?” Your answer is a shiver up your spine which strangely feels good. You laugh-cry some more.
You head out for work. The home keys are back on the table after you shut the door.
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