Every year as the hearts explode (better than bombs!) across the city and everything, be it a bagel, or shoes or chocolate screams sugar coated love, one cannot help but think of love and its meaning in our own specific lives.
Back in school that love (read popularity) was measured by the number of roses you collected that day or how public the shy boy in your life got with his feelings. I remember in my first year A- levels, seeing the class heroes walk in with duffel bags filled with single roses and hand them out to the girls, even the unlikely ones, cementing their status as the aw-guys for the months to come. I liked that Love meant friends too. The girls who didn’t get the random roses were spoken for, of course, and the expectations soared where that sweet love was concerned. The last rose at the flower stall that day was always auctioned off, urging the guys (or girls) to prove how much they really loved that special person- and though we were outwardly horrified to see that withered last rose go for Rs.600, I know that secretly everyone wanted to be the person for whom “nothing was too much”.
Of course love evolves, and let me add thankfully to that. College love was essentially more angst ridden, less friend-ly. Everything was heightened by simply the fact that at that point in life, hormones aside, we should have been focused on building ourselves. However every little obstacle, be it self searching or career building, serves to magnify out of proportion this thing called love.
Before I get to married love though, I must mention this. A few days ago on Facebook, in answer to a status update of mine, a friend had written on how her grandfather always said that the word love didn’t exist till you had children. That “there is no such thing as a boy and girl loving each other. LOVE is a word only fit to be used for what a mother feels for her children, it’s the only place the word is actually justified, every other emotion is just a branch of it.” The words stayed with me, and I have been wondering whether I agree or not. Perhaps what he meant to say was that its the most potent heart searing love of them all, the kind that brands your heart in a way that other loves cannot. I have to agree with that. No other love quite squeezes your heart with paralysing fear as well as intense affection at the same second making you feel like you won’t be able to survive this. But then I think of the kind of love that has been written about, that has nothing to do with children and it feels unfair to not give that its due. I am not sure I am comfortable with love only being familial. I feel love should cross many boundaries, both natural and man made. That while mother-love perhaps grazes spiritual heights but the other kind of love, the one between partners, beings us back to our baser instinct of being needed and wanted and cherished in another way.
I don’t know what comes before or better because I feel you cannot compare. Kind of like the chicken or the egg story. I think essentially the different kinds of loves we need all interweave together to create that net that catches you when you fall. Sometimes what saves you is the mother-love you are capable of and sometimes the sheer thrill of being desired is what will pull you through. Friend love, sister love, parent love, they all play their parts, tearing you up propelling you faster, pushing you down. All joining hands to make sure, you survive life with love.
When Hussy asked me my plans for v-day this year, I told her that given the pace and speed of life with two kids right now, I feel more like a pyjama than a thong. For me the best thing that could happen on the day of love would be that both the babies go to sleep by 8 and I get into my pyjamas- red ones (after all, its Valentines!) and I sit in bed with k, with a plate of hot home-cooked something, and brainlessly watch TV and chatting aimlessly till we fall asleep. Given my love for analysing, I could possibly overthink about falling into a rut- how the 5th year of marriage has rendered all ideas used and we are too tired, too busy and too comfortable to now push the boundaries of excitement in our life. True, I could do all that. Or I could simply think back to how he surprised us by coming early to the park, the twinkle in his eyes when he looked at me and have my pasta and fall asleep, hugging him.
Happy day of love, peoples.