Love- An Update
For the longest time, we have tested our loved ones. Just how much anger can this relationship sustain? How many times can I push someone away for them to collect themselves again and return to you intact? Fun fact: it’s not infinite.
When someone asks me how’s it been married, I realised it’s never one answer or the same at any point. It will change, quite a lot may I add. The variables are endless. How you woke up today, did your partner express love last night, did you get a hug in the near past, did you collectively decide to quit smoking and was your reaction a direct result of a chemical imbalance in your systems? The understanding of marriage so far has been less about love. It’s about how two people occupy space differently and react to that difference. That’s it.
‘Four more shots’, as cringe-worthy a show as it is, has its moments. Siddhi’s mother and her new date are blessed by Siddhi to get married. Interestingly, they don’t want to. They are done with all that comes with marriage, even a good one. At this stage of life, all they want is space with a serving of sex and companionship on the side. Over and over again, life brings forth the fact that we ALL are mules of the world. No matter what path you choose, there is a set of tracks we all will commonly tread. We will crib while we are on it, the sample size of failures is much larger than success stories, and we add to our baggage at every step, yet we keep doing it generation after generation—marriage, shopping, jobs, smoking. There is ample evidence that goes against these things in life, but we can always “shubh shubh bolo” away from these realities. Anyway, most of this blog is me thinking with you, so don’t presume there is a significant solution at the end.
In a recent interview, Neena Gupta expressed her belief that love is banal. She truly believed that her definition of love was limited to her daughter Masaba, and the rest of the world (including her husband/family) received a permutation/ combination of habit, infatuation and comfort. Irrespective of our personal bias, I find some merit in her argument. The more time you spend with someone, the more you wonder which actions are a factor of sheer love, and which stem from conditioning. In a relationship, where knowingly or unknowingly we are bound to trigger the other, there is a strong possibility of excavating reasons for two people sticking around. Legal paperwork for marriages and live-in partners, return on investment for dating, respect for age, blood ties, avoiding social explanations, money or sex. In these cases, where is the love?
“If Plato understood love (debatable) it wasn’t because he was inherent, at his core, born wiser than any of us, but because he lived before that De Beers ad campaign convinced humanity en masse that love is a diamond ring that costs three months’ salaries (six now, maybe? unsure).” Every day, the internet serves us a listicle of what constitutes love. The more aware a society becomes, the more specific the list grows. From does ‘he care’ to is ‘he your period hero’ we are now expecting from one person what a village used to provide.
Sometimes love for me looks like him letting me live my fantasy of 13 pillows on a neatly arranged bed, day after day. Most times patiently, sometimes irritably, he throws them around for night retirement, but he tolerates them every day. Often love looks like a self-check model of overly judgmental thoughts about a loved one’s intentions or actions. However, most days it is like a fever that can be scary at the moment but isn’t inherently wrong. In reality, it’s an infection-fighting mechanism. It’s only building our immunity against the harsh world outside this cocoon.
When I sat down to write this blog, I began with a very fundamental approach to how love has transitioned. But as I think along with you, I realise it hasn’t. The form that I knew of has stayed. Some days I have the capacity to feel it in full glory, and some days I am too tired to try. Somedays their presence is all that matters, and noise will melt away. Somedays I am radiating because I have the room to myself where I am the steward of its tidiness. But days of clarity will tell us that it is possible to stop and start loving the same person all over again. And the fuzziness in between is just fluff.