Of Love

What is love? I do not ever remember pondering on this when I was younger. There were stories, poetry, movies and plays that explained it all. All you did then was wait for you to have the same earth shattering feelings. And before that happened, there was so much I had to get done. I had to finish my education and start my business. There was a time in my life that I had allocated for love and it wasn’t time yet. Or so I thought.

At the time when every girl in a 100 mile radius was getting hit on or proposed to, I was blissfully happy in my role as the tomboy: a great friend, but is not to be treated like a girl unless one is eager for a good punching. I felt the hassle and the anxiety was not worth it. But like everything else in life, it hit me later than it hit others.

I never understood the fascination with looks. Everyone was falling for the cute guy. All I thought about was the gross jokes he cracked and how disgusting his food habits were. Why could I not just see the cute and ignore the rest like everyone else was able to? I even put myself on a pedestal. How superficial were these people around me, I thought pityingly. I will definitely not fall for someone just because I like the way he looks. Or so I thought.

Any time things got difficult in a situation, I bailed. Any time I felt the drama and the fights were not worth it, I left. This was true of all the relationships I had, whether it was friendship or loyalty towards an operating system. I would not be able to fight against the world to be with someone. I remember reading about a girl who wanted to change the position of the stars so she can be with her lover. Not for me, no sir. I would be with the one I was destined for: not write my own destiny with some random guy. Or so I thought.

Opposites attract, right? The guy I would fall in love with would obviously not be hot headed like me. He would be quiet and shy and obedient. Or so I thought.

So, I am amazed at the superlatively difficult marriage I have, an arranged one at that. Isn’t the astrologer supposed to match us on our compatibility? The second time I saw him, I was in love. All I knew by that time was how he looked. Who is superficial now? We are so ridiculously out of sync that people who meet us for the first time think we are on our first date. I turn to hug him and at the same time, he stretches and yawns, his fist punching me square in the jaw. He tries to surprise me with flowers and I start itching with allergies. Every nice gesture gets turned on its head and we sit wondering how we got it so upside down. It is not even funny. Ok, maybe it would be funny if it were on a canvas or a film reel somewhere – a comedy of errors.

But the love, it astounds me. I have always thought of myself as very practical when it comes to matters of the heart. Yet, he makes me feel like I never thought I would. I never thought I would pine for someone, want to run to him at times of elation or grief, enjoy his company even when he is quiet, feel like there is a deep hole in my heart when he leaves for work, get the wind knocked out of me every time he expresses his love and constantly spar with him because we are so maddeningly alike.

And then I remember: I have seen this part of the movie. It is the one before they realize they love each other. They drive each other nuts, only to realize they can’t live without the other. When am I going to get to the boring part with the mellow mature songs?

I am waiting…

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