I should have really seen this coming when FM stations stopped playing Pehla Pyaar songs and moved on to the “Nth love” theme. So, I know that we’ve turned into a generation of commitment-phobes unless we’re still dating our high school boyfriends (and we all know how that romance is going to end). In short, we’re fucked. We have no hope and we’ll all die alone.
But then again, there will come this man who’ll bring you close to tears on your very first date. It’s the kinda chemistry that you’ve been avoiding because it overwhelms you to the point of falling in love again. You’ve always learnt to associate love with pain, so you try your best to fight him, while still not letting him go.
“Maybe I need this,” you tell yourself. You think you might get hurt again, but you’ll FEEL things again, no? Isn’t that a reward in itself?
This is all going to end in a ‘Sunn Raha Hai Na Tu‘ fest, but not yet. So you’ll push and swim against the tide. You’ll excuse the long absences and the phone that does not ring for you. You’ll call him instead, and break your own rules of playing it cool.
Suddenly, ‘playing cool’ becomes a juvenile notion. You ARE allowed to call him, right? Except, you’ll call and call and he will NEVER pick up. Even the “sorry I missed your call!” message will reach you at an odd hour after an obscene amount of time.
By now, you’ve already half dug that grave for yourself. The grooves of your memory go deeper and deeper every time you replay the way his lips brushed against your hand, and the look in his eyes that sang praises about how special you are. You could close your eyes, and your lips will reflexively part a little at the thought of his fingers in your hair.
But wait- are you really that special? On the rare occasions when you meet in some dimly lit corner of the city, even the silences are heavy and bittersweet. Where does all that love go when you’re all alone, clutching your pillow at night like your life depended on it, unable to sleep? You know that feeling, right? When your body suddenly becomes tingly, and you can’t take a breath that’s deep enough- you can’t cry even if you want to, you can’t feel a pulse- suddenly, the place where your heart used to be, has become phantom.
After endless hours of pained silence, calls that go unattended, you begin to feel little post-it stickers popping up on your forehead: “Insecure”. “Lonely”. “Clingy”. “Get a life”. Even though your best friends wouldn’t dream of describing you anything as such. You HATE yourself for wanting someone so bad. You KNEW this shouldn’t happen. WHO THE F**K ASKED YOU TO GET SO ATTACHED? Serves you right! Can’t you learn from your own mistakes? “Loser”.
You’re better than that. You’ll forgo whatever scraps of love you might get in future to save your face. You don’t need anybody’s charity. You won’t go back to the vicious cycle of taking that “I was busy” excuse again. Maybe it’s worth it. But maybe… it’s not.
It’ll finally crash on you when you’re watching Romedy Now and you’ll start crying for NO REASON. Except, you know in your heart that you’re really crying for the love that never happened. One of you is always busy, always a little too scared, always wanting to keep it a bit casual even when every cell in your body is haunted by love and yearning.
The problem is, you’ll never stop being lonely. All the love you deserve is the wrong age, too involved in a startup to have the bandwidth for you, lives in the wrong city, lives in the wrong timezone, or is your mom.
The problem is, you will never find the courage to tell him you want to love him. The problem is, you don’t want to be “demanding”. You have no right to ask him to love you back. It’s like you’re eight years old all over again. You’re the least favourite choice for being somebody’s best friend because you don’t have 64 shades in your crayon box. You have only 12 (4 are already broken). But there’s nothing you can do. You can’t even pronounce ‘mauve’ correctly.
I’ll agree that crayons are not important in the long run. But how is it fair to be the colourless one? How is it fair to be pale and unwanted? How is it fair to be unloved, broken down, again and again, forced to rebuild yourself, lose all your tenderness, become a fortress? Oh, you’ll be strong. You’ll be so dysfunctional, but so strong.
How is that fair?