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Love is a façade. An illusion, which takes time to lift! Like a small, thrown-away photograph, the colours peel off, the sides get tattered and perhaps, your picture, your own picture, looks like someone else’s. It’s not you anymore. It’s a ghost from the past, perhaps someone else’s story. But why does it stop your heart-beat and causes pain? Why?
It was just a year, or say a two, when you had that rosy dream, of being insanely in love with your partner, perhaps still beaming from the photograph. You could have done anything for him. But now, you sit alone, unable to accept or even understand what happened.
Where did the love go? Or perhaps, the question, which is very difficult to ask is, was there love even to begin with?
Why do women need love?
Psychologically, every human being is a social animal, unable to survive alone. There’s so much of anxiety, depression, melancholy and uncertainty involved with staying alone. It’s too difficult to face your inner demons, alone. And who does not want a soft caress, a warm embrace, a gentle touch and loving eyes? Everyone is designed for it. Women, for years, have been considered the ‘nurturing’ side. Right from our childhood, they have been programmed to be ‘feminine’, ‘soft’ and ‘patient.’ After all, the agony ends for Cinderella when she finds her Prince Charming. And that’s where the ‘happy endings’ start getting over-rated.
And then comes marriage, the utopian concept of union of two bodies, one soul, destined already in heaven. At every stage, a woman is told to act in a certain way, so that she is ‘desired’. She can be dumb, but she needs to be ‘beautiful’, ‘loving’ and ‘caring’. A woman is taught that ‘love’ is perhaps what makes her complete, not her career, salary or recognition. And that creates a vacuum. If women are not loved, deep inside, they know that somewhere they lack, it’s their mistake. A woman’s self-worth is felt in how many men she could attract, how many desires she could invoke, how many eye-balls she could get rolled. Rest all, is unnecessary. ‘Ultimately, you need a man’ to complete you, they say. And sadly, they keep saying it.
Survival without Love
Marriages break-down. Live-in relations do fail. Partners cheat. Long-distance love slowly fades away. Some loved ones die. Others remain alive, perhaps only to haunt. The number of young divorcees is constantly increasing. More and more women are now turning to metro cities in India, living silent, secret lives, away from their families, who more often than not, have abandoned her.
Survival without love is difficult. Yes it is!
But how many times, can one woman pick up her shattered pieces and start afresh. There would be times when he would have touched her body, grown intimate with her, and later, just dusted her off as a doormat. And who says that it cannot happen to the most intelligent, enterprising and successful women?
And who cares if she is bitter to her bones, unable to even love herself now? Who cares that even today, she has pangs of pain in her chest, every time she suddenly sees someone who reminds her of him? Who cares that deep inside, she feels so lonely, so miserable that no amount of professional success can fill this void that keeps haunting her. It’s time, being stripped naked, on and on. And even now she remembers the taste of her name of his lips, wondering whether he even thinks of her!
Do men need love just as women do?
The answer is complete no.How often have we come across a man who puts ‘love’ as his soul-searching quest? Perhaps, the answer is none. This is because men have been ‘trained’ to see love as an emotional weakness, which only handicaps them. There are bigger and better things in life, right? Like, name, fame and affluence. As girls are told to play with little Barbie dolls, boys are gifted gadgets, cars and toy-guns. The layers of masculinity start building from there. Getting a job, more money, better promotion, higher perks, more power: all this is far more important than ‘love’. Those who can camouflage it are better. They can still make their partners dream; have that platonic idea of romance. The woman would never know why suddenly things changed or perhaps, it was all part of the plan.
Love is a so-called ‘feminine’ emotion. Men cannot even relate to it. For those who have read Chetan Bhagat’s novel, the most ‘loved’ author of India, one can relate how a girl is all about kohl-in her eyes, sleeping without a bra, a saviour for sex-starved men and automatically, just a sidekick. Or perhaps, the songs of Honey Singh which are so popular, but are filled with vulgarity against women, desperately, trying to show them their place. And who cares what the lyrics are, till the tune hums and is peppy, anyway, right? But all this subtle indicators reveal a lot about male ego and thought-process.
A woman has to be protected and she can never be better, not than the man by her side. After all, who can take so much of oestrogen?
Growing insensitive to love?
It’s quite natural to grow ‘out of love’. Say for example, how many love marriages, still have the ‘love’ factor? How do you know they are not faking it and perhaps, doing a very good job at that? One does not know when suddenly ‘love’ changes into a burden, a ritual that needs to be showcased for the sake of marriage, for the fear of society. Or just for the sake of convenience, it turns into a bargain to keep oneself away from loneliness, ah, the dreaded word!
Not everyone gets a ‘happy ending’. And who said, staying alone, picking yourself piece after piece, following your own dreams and creating your own identity is not a ‘happy ending’? Just because it has no male presence in it, does not make it less important.
Being ‘out of love’ is not being bitter. Sometimes, it is being more conscious of one’s life and one’s own choices. Sometimes, it’s about having the courage to stand alone, in spite of what comes next. And most of the times, it’s the ability to read in between the lines and understand, that the man confessing his undying love for you, or playing an irresistible hide-and-seek game is just doing it for the sake of distraction, nothing else.So, don’t be scared if you feel uncertain about the future. Don’t hammer yourself if you don’t feel love anymore.
But yes, don’t grow into a cynical old hag who hates anything and everything to do with love. Don’t take it that far.
Perhaps, your story might change. Who knows you can trust again? Keep the doors open, perhaps a never-before story is waiting for you, just round the corner.