No, it was not “Love”
No, it was not “Love”
A few months back, I was getting ready for my office. From my dressing room, window, I saw a flurry of cars unusually gathered. Many people were walking in and out of our complex. Our complex has hardly four floors and we were acquainted well with all occupants. Looking at the commotion, I inquired with my wife for the reason. My wife answered that she was not aware of it. Then maid entered with the news that Dr Reddy’s daughter, Suma, has gone missing since last evening.
“Is Suma missing?” I was stunned. I called out involuntarily. Put my shirt on and hurriedly ran out. Reddy was the second-floor flat owner and was a very good friend of ours. When I met Reddy, he spoke to me saying that his daughter was innocent and was trapped by a distant relation, a close acquaintance. She was spoiled by friends and got distracted. The boy, with whom the girl left home, was about ten years elder than the girl and in fact, he should be called a man. The man was a software employee. Suma was two years senior to my daughter. She was doing her inter-final year. Dr Reddy and his wife were generally busy with their Medical practice.
I was told that the girl left a message saying that she would be married to that man and would stay with him. Someone from the group said that the girl loved the boy. The word “Love” always struck hard at me.
Another man from the group who might be a relative of Dr Reddy, said “Suma’s case is a lot better. The other day, my office colleague was complaining that his daughter was slashed by a blade on the hand by a boy and threatened that girl should accept his love for her.”
It was terrible news to me. I went to my office. But I could not focus on my work. Nowadays, I would often find such news that either a girl was burnt or the boy was murdered. Everything would be over love.
My worry was more than concern for Nitya, my own daughter. What was the motivation for Suma to declare freedom? Is it part of evolution? Is it physical manifestation? Is it cultural reformation? Or can it be social sophistication? I knew well that I would not get any answers from outside. Daily millions of such disconcerting incidents are happening. TV channels, Newspapers all are full of such news, news of “Love”. Movies would not be made without an element of “Love”, even if it would be a war movie. Many times this “Love” component would not fit to story.
I got tired and was feeling a bit delicate about the future of my kids. When and how would this ailment love would strike my kids.
We sat for dinner. My mother was at the dining table and could sense my uneasiness. She asked, “Why are you so upset with society and yourself? Are you worried about the welfare of those kids?”
I said, “More than that, I would like my children to be within our safe and proven system. I know I cannot run away from the realities. Also, I worry for a different reason. That can be discussed a little later.”
My mother said “It is more to do with your way of looking at things. They will be fine. Every generation adjusts for the best way in the system and would progress. One has to learn to be in the stream so that you would not find it as the generation gap.”
Nitya joined us at the table and I casually asked her. “Did you know what your friend Suma, did?” I also said to Nitya “do you want to get some advice from your friend?”
Nitya asked me not to worry, she would take care of herself. My mother and wife appreciated Nitya for her reply. Then Nitya continued “I am selected to participate in the Young Achievers Conference at Delhi. My project on energy conservation and recycling won recognition.” I felt the news was to remind me that this generation is equally good at academic achievements. I said to her, “Congratulations, why did you not tell me earlier. I remember, we both discussed this subject two months back”.
This news of my daughter’s achievement gave me some answers for my fear of the future for my daughter. I reconciled to the fact that, as my mother felt, my children would know what would be good for them. I should stop judging what would be good and bad for them. After a few minutes, Nitya asked me, “Grandmother told me that you delayed your marriage to Amma because you were in love with another lady”.
Nitya caught the reason for my uneasiness. I was precisely nailed for my embarrassment. I laughed, and my wife persuaded me to give an answer to Nitya. It would have been a repeat story for my wife.
For my children, I wanted to give my defense. I said, “I joined a job after a good academic performance. After a year of working, I was given a lady assistant for my project. She was a fresh graduate, from a neighbouring state. She was smart and very friendly. I started liking her from the very early days of our work. I expressed my liking of that lady, first to my parents. She visited my parents and family many times. As she was completely from a very far-off place and an unknown family, my father expressed his reservation. Still, I wanted to proceed and waited for a good moment to propose.”
“One fine day, a boyfriend from her native place arrived and started staying with her. They both together invited me for dinner and said that they were liking each other. They requested my help in talking to their parents in support. After a few days, her parents arrived for convincing her of another prospect. I met her parents and spent a long time with them to convince them of the girl’s choice. Finally, they approved of their daughter’s wish. All were happy. It was the true story of love. They got together in marriage and their love was graceful. I sacrificed and made many more people happy. I felt my love for that girl won”. I concluded my story to my children and felt a little embarrassed. We dispersed.
Later, I recalled my confusion and tension. That time I derived happiness after facing the greatest disappointment in life. But many years I felt proud of my love and sacrifice and readjustment in life. Last few years, I started feeling embarrassed whenever people talked of my love story. I have a feeling that like many other words in the language, the word love lost its grace, charm, and value. This society is advocating and associating the word love with violence and materialisation.
Now I stand corrected. My story was not of love, it was of liking or something else. Otherwise, I feel we should include a new word in our vocabulary, which is in between love and liking 😉