Love(F)Actually -Tribute to Valentine`s Day-

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

That’s the way Hugh Grant sets the tone for one of the most lovable movies of all times -‘Love Actually’. I love love actually, I loved the way it defined love, I love Hugh Grant (though I am straight) but I do not believe in love. For me, love is the highest form of bullshit.

This may seem cockamamie in the world which celebrates love in every form – marriage, engagement, dating, romance, live in, affair, festivals blah, blah! This may seem off-the-wall for those who know me well. I admit that I have been a hopeless romantic all my life but truth be told – there’s a thin red line between being in love and believing in love. Let me explain – If I love my school, does not mean I love academics though both are inseparable.

Got it?

Alright, let me play the bummer to Saint Valentine`s Day and talk to the so called lovers, who celebrate the saint and his day. Lets talk and see where we go from here.

I have had more than a fair share of love and loss right from my teens whence I found myself as either the casualty or the killer. That goes for all of us, isn’t it? You win some, you lose some – that’s life all about, ain’t it? If you are not at the table, you are on the menu -that says it all.

Anyways, I was getting worked up with this pointless Valentine business of loving and losing when I came across a quote in a newly opened Archies shop, around the corner. ‘If you love someone set him free, if he comes back he is yours – if he doesn’t, he never was’, it read. Well, I had stolen a princely ten bucks from my mother for getting my valentine a gift that 1990s morning and I had a back up plan to steal a greeting card in addition from the same shop, when this quote saved all of us – my mother, the shopkeeper and my guilt. That quote was my first awakening to the idea of love and I applied it in letter and spirit. The consequences were precisely the same as after a show of Ramsay Brothers` movies. The girls never returned and I was left to the painful company of my friends to comfort me over my loss. That’s another story that those girls were going around with the same bunch of rascals, who were consoling me. What the duck!

They say, ‘fall in love’, they never say ‘rise in love’. The moment you understand the difference between falling and rising, you would get the drift of the nature of love. I got it then. I quietly sneaked back all the stolen money and cards to their respective owners and moved on with finding greener pastures; given the hopeless romantic I always was.

In my pursuit of love and other bullshit I took a break on February 14, 1998 to celebrate the golden jubilee wedding celebrations of my granny and grandpa. What a couple – bedded since 50 years. Sorry! I mean, wedded since 50 years and here was I, struggling to find love. As per the Indian customs, every living married couple is married again at their milestones of silver jubilee, golden, platinum and if they survive marriage, sanity and life, then on hitting a century, too. A beautiful tradition which was not making sense to me due to my despair when I took a closer look at my lovely granny and my eyes stayed. She was glowing at sixty eight, having borne five children and raised a joint family with swarm of grandchildren to that lousy man who has been a benchmark of feudalism. I had never seen her crib – from a one bedroom home to a bungalow, from a clerk of a husband to his retirement as a Commissioner, from losing her child to nurturing hordes of them, from a child marriage to being a cardiac. She was the most patient and kind lady I had ever come across, ever smiling and gorgeous especially given the fact that my grandpa and a large chunk of my extended family were only eligible for the company of beasts, to be polite. And did she love my grandpa? Oh, jolly well she did but I still could not decipher how come she has always been in love and happy with her supposedly, Prince Charming!!

How many of us have taken a moment and stopped to think that you have lived your life up until now and completely missed the point? I found my wisdom in the falls of the saree of my grandma, that Valentine`s day.

It suddenly dawned upon me that the secret of her love was in her selflessness. The same secret which defined this word for Radha or Meera – they never expected Lord Krishna to reciprocate their love. In fact, they never expected anything at all. They were just happy loving him. The same goes for all mothers – they just love their children; they don’t expect a payback like the fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, lovers, cousins and all goddamn relationships. Love does not keep records of wrongs and rights. Love just does, gives – it does not ask, expects or take. If you expect your girlfriends to please your Dickie Bird after you have gifted them a Bird and pleased them, that’s business – not love. If your girlfriends expect you to entertain them at the famous Peter Cat of Kolkata after they have entertained your Peter, that’s business – not love.

If you confuse likeness, friendship, compatibility, social status, richie riches, habit, addiction, lust, testosterone, progesterone, obsession, passion, attraction, infatuation and other human characteristics with love – remember, all these and love are different words and different words have different meanings. Every relation is business – its all give and take. Period.

A guy told me once – ‘Love is a car, not a cigar. It is a habit, not an addiction.’ How true was he except the fact that a car stops emitting smoke when you park it – a cigar does not. You can never stop loving those you have ever loved even if they torpedo you. If you still wish to be in denial about my cock and bull story (no puns intended on cock), well remember, this is Love Factually Not Love Actually.

If you love, love – you shall never be short of it. If you wanna personify it then my friend, try Hugh Grant. He shall never disappoint you as you can’t expect anything from him. Tabu does that for me. Happy Valentine`s Day, buggers and lovers!

Disclaimer – I am not a love guru and I don’t charge for your queries, if any.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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