There was a time when I believed in soul mates, but there was also a time when I believed that WWE was real. So I don’t think the ‘I believed’ argument really counts as far as stating the truth is concerned. Perspective changes for teenagers happen, not gradually as you may have been led to believe but overnight - these are one of those very rare ‘become-wiser-in-a-day’ shocks. It’s like a huge intellectual sledgehammer blow to your head (Triple- H, fond memories from WWE days). Life in college gave me a short glimpse of how wrong, my perceptions about life were. I saw love taking many forms and types - nailing down every argument in favour of the ‘Rab ne bana di jodi’ theory and its related cousins.
Fortunately, I believe I am a person who not only learns from his own set of mistakes (which are aplenty) but also from the amazingly varied set of ones that I got to watch as a large number of cupid-struck men and women went haphazardly about life. The following scientific-cum-religious observations are credited to all those martyrs of ‘true love’: -
The Star of ‘Love’lehem
The holy beginning. Commonly mistaken for the ‘love at first sight’ phenomenon that is witnessed in movies. A cursory glance, a shy smile, a flick of the hair - these are the subtle signs that many pick up as a foreboding to love. If the signs repeat after its initial appearance, it’s mandatory that you should man up and go for it, like the Three Wise Men did to Jerusalem when the star shined upon them.
These are the pious wise men who help you in your quest of love. They are open to risk the wrath of professors, of being branded stalkers and quite often, of the distinct possibility of getting beaten up. However, they believe in the greater good and will gladly carry out favours for their love-struck friend. The credible and more logical reasoning behind these acts is probably their ‘wisdom’- awareness that tomorrow they will be in the soup and might require helping hands themselves. All for one and one for all.
Holy Birth – of love
The most mysterious part of the entire process - when the two involved actually get into a relationship. Every account I have heard is unique and equally unbelievable, and it is therefore unfeasible to explain and has to be experienced personally. The actual phenomenon involved is hence classified as a miracle - that owes no one any explanation, much like Jesus being born to Virgin Mary. Amen.
The Ascent of the Saviour
The annoying ‘(wo) man- in- love’ syndrome. Evolution of the uninitiated to the Messiah. The newly committed guy/girl starts offering relationship advice to everyone around - irrespective of their levels of interest. The sermons are often tinted with a few sentences of how lovely it is to be in love, and how incredible and understanding his/her significant other is. World peace, sustainable energy resources, global cooling, Rahul Gandhi for PM – nothing seems impossible to them at this point.
The most heterogeneous yet omnipresent part of all college love stories - the one that burns to ground the “wonderful, beautiful, fulfilling… relationship”. In most cases it’s a minor piece of info that someone fails to hide. Common examples that I’ve witnessed – cases of discovering a smoking habit (a carton of cigarettes daily- it was more of a problem than a habit), an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend turning up to create a confusing love triangle, pre-drinking fight and post-drinking shouting match, someone making out with someone that they were not supposed to make out with… err you get the point? The general devilish temptations that one is not supposed to indulge in.
The Last supper
The Judas step is long and windy and the whole thing is not worthy of discussion. It inevitably ends up in the mature ‘break-up’ and the dreaded ‘last supper’ talk. Reasons for bringing everything to a close and behaving like ‘adults’ are ‘discussed’. Inspired lines from a lot of American TV shows come up. The all-time classic “It’s not you, it’s me”, the cringe worthy “What we had was beautiful (*sniff)”, and the customary “we will both find someone better”. However, contrary to the biblical supper, a few of these ‘talks’ do not pass over peacefully - loss of dignity, respect, and limb usability are not to be ruled out.
The post break up descent of the champion lover. Involves a lot of bawling, intoxicants and breaking of things. A hitherto soft-spoken amiable oaf turns into a constantly shouting, overgrown toddler. Keeps blaming his friends for letting him fall into the trap and keeps repeating that life is pointless. Rumour goes that a lot of famous Nihilists started their philosophical journeys this way. There is a general atmosphere of sadness all around and every person is dismal (owing mainly to the broken things). But all is not lost-
Time, the great doctor as it is rightly hailed, heals them all. After a while in the cave (the span ranges from three hours to three months, depending on the emotional range of the personnel) they emerge fresh and whole to seek out future endeavours. Normally, another possible romantic interest initiates the process, but a wiser person is a sure outcome of the whole exercise. Another possibility is when one of the earlier mentioned wise men fall in ‘love’ and swear to God that ‘this time it’s different, I can feel it’ - and the entire cycle unerringly repeats.
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realise just how much you love them.” - Agatha Christie.
Sketch By: Kislaya Sinha