Oh, that look! Not that look. Please don’t give me that look. I know you will say that love is a myth, it is just an act of hormones doing rounds here and there. All a creation of the mind. I know, I know. I am an engineer too. I have studied math too, but let me tell what I have to and then you are free to judge.
I wonder nowadays: what is love? Here I am, saying that you should fall in love and I have no idea what it is. I cannot define it, I cannot explain it. I will leave that up to you. I will share my experiences along with my opinions. You are free to come to your own conclusions.
I am a heavy sleeper and my parents have failed miserably at trying to wake me up. I have missed several important things in my life because I just had to sleep! Only she could change it. Every night, I would talk talk to her till the late hours and in the morning I had to wake up and go to the classes, otherwise I would miss those extra 5 minutes with her. And what would we do in those extra few minutes? Nothing. Sit. Talk about food, weather, what not. Nothing important.Yet, I dare not miss it. Now, this was when I was preparing for JEE. Haha! I can feel you thinking: What the hell was I doing? Well, honestly, I think she was a big reason behind why I cleared JEE. I woke up because of her and we studied the entire day and it was bliss. To sit with her and work together on problems of maths and physics. What more could you ask for? Who knows, I might have slept my way out of JEE and ended up in a not so happening place, had it not been for her. People always say that love and work don’t go together. Well, sometimes they do.
Now, we were in separate cities, the dreaded long distance relationship. This meant, a lot of our times went away texting. Back then, there was no WhatsApp, or there was but we did not have smartphones. What is astonishing is how she could judge my mood by how I wrote Hmm or Okay. Was there one dot or two or three? What smiley did I use? And as time passed, she got really good at it. You could not lie. She would just know. From just texts, not even calls! Forget facial expressions.
Sooner or later, an important occasion would come. And she would shower you with her affection, sweet nothings, cards and poems and you are left wondering, Why? She is the most beautiful girl in the world and she spends all this time for such a worthless boy such as me? It makes you happy, leaves you speechless and you start returning the love, exposing a side of yours that even you did not know existed. It is scary, because now she knows all of you. And you are vulnerable and being vulnerable is scary.
After every few months, you get to meet her. And as you would expect, you are elated. She is walking down the stairs with a huge smile on her face and she looks like she has found the world in you. You go out, eat out and have fun and time flies. Time to leave, her face is sad and there is nothing you can do. Back home, you are left to wonder: What did I do to deserve this girl?
Work! Ah, that thing called career. You are flooded with mind boggling opportunities and sure enough you take them, devour yourself completely. Naturally, this means that you have less time for her. She understands, she is patient, but it shows through now and again. What you do is up to you, but I chose work every single time, taking her for granted, weakening what I had. I have reaped the benefits of working hard, but then everything comes at a cost.
At one point, we used to have video calls. During one such call, she slept. And how clearly I remember that moment. I watched her for half an hour, not moving or saying a thing. Nothing in the world could have given me a better feeling. She woke up and in her sleepy voice said: Utha dete na. And you have no words. This is the moment.
Don’t mistake her to be fragile or without ambitions. She was tough, tougher than me at least. She had moderate financial means and the way she enjoyed it was way more than what I did. For her, things did not matter, experiences did. She would save money so she had enough when we met, even if it meant doing part-time jobs or traveling via uncomfortable transport means. She taught me that you don’t money to enjoy life.
A little side note: You don’t see girls driving bikes. Get this. She not only did herself ride one, in fact she was the one who taught me how to ride one! And she felt so joyous on doing so. For her, I was everything.
There was a time when I had to travel from Roorkee to Surat and I had to changes buses and trains, in extreme cold conditions, alone in a new place at midnight, with a laptop, when everyone around looked like a robber. I was shit scared! I would have turned back, but how could I? I had not met her in months. I had to take the risk. No matter what. I did not know I could do this for meeting someone. I was pleasantly surprised.
There are countless other things that I could tell, but I think this is getting long. I will conclude. So, why should you fall in love? Because, her smile, her eyes and her touch mean a lot more than any medals or honours ever will. Because, you expose yourself, you become vulnerable. Because, you are scared. Because, you see that you can love too. Because, you see your strong sides. All this makes you feel alive. You feel life. You are not just a working machine or a zombie. You are not dead, you feel human and alive and feel the blood pumping in your heart!
Those 3 years were some of the best times of my life. I learnt several things from her. Before, I had a boring life. I was mechanical in nature. I did not dance. I did not take photos. I did not enjoy food. I hated driving or walking. My actions were affected by what other people thought of me. I thought that work was everything. I thought that every favour had to be returned. I thought that no one could be selfless. I was wrong. She showed me that and she was able to change parts and bits of all of that, leaving me a much better human being.
However, what followed was even more interesting. What followed changed the way I looked at life. I learnt a lot from her. I probably learnt more after that. Next post: Why You Should Have Your Heart Ripped Apart?
P.S.: All this time, my favourite song was and is – Hey There Delilah. Specially the line – “Our friends would all make fun of us and we will just laugh along because, we know that none of them have felt this way.”