That old fashioned love

These days saying “I love You” is as common as saying hello. Look around you to know what I mean. How easily people say those three magical words.

I think a lot of people are using the words ‘love’ and ‘like’ interchangeably. It’s not common for high school girls and boys to be in “love” with someone. They easily fall in love, and at the slightest quarrel, fight or argument, they fall out of love and break-up. By the time they have passed college, they have fallen in and out of love at least five or six times. Isn’t love supposed to be ageless, a classic?

In this world of instant gratification, instant communication, instant food, instant money, instant, early and easily available sex everyone is super impatient. No one wants to wait. By the age of 12-13, girls and boys in schools start to feel complex-ed if they don’t already have a boy/girlfriend. They are impatient to wait for the right one to come by at right time. By the age of 15-16, they start keeping a score of how many girls they are doing and how many have they already done. By the age of 20, they have seen it all. They have been in and out of love several times, some have married, some have had kid/s and by 22-23 when they ideally should have begun dating, they are fighting legal battles and filing divorces. No wonder, the whole love thing has left a bitter taste and led them to believe that there isn’t such a thing.

Unfortunately, morals have hit an all time low. Love is confused with sex. Your desirability quotient is judged by your virginity. If you are still a virgin at 20 or 22, then there has got to be something wrong with you.

I personally think that this whole thinking is flawed. The peer pressure on the Western society to ‘do’ it as soon as they are in high school, to start relations so early in life when your little mind is incapable of knowing what you will want 8 years down the line has led to so many complicated relationships around us. Obviously what you think is right and perfect as a teenager doesn’t seem so correct when you become an adult, does it? No wonder then the divorce rate in these countries is more than 50%. Because marriage is no longer for keeps. It’s as easy to opt out of marriage as easy it is to get in. Then what’s wrong with a country like India, which is a little conservative, where sex outside marriage is still considered a taboo for a majority. But at least, people are willing to wait it out before they are adults. At least marriages in India don’t fall apart so easily.

I am not sitting on a moral horse and saying sex outside marriage is bad or anything. That is for each person to think for himself and decide depending upon his beliefs. And in today’s world where urban people put off marriage till late 20s, it’s impossible to think that they wouldn’t have had any sex before that. But the moot point is, what is the need to start so early…at 13/14? Why are kids impatient to be become adults? Why can’t they wait till the time is right and save themselves serious relationship issues?

And even for adults…what is love actually? How can we have 5 serious relations in 5 years and claim to be in love with all? Then there is something definitely wrong with our definition of love, isn’t it? Why don’t we wait for the right person to come along? Why are we eager to pledge out love to any “single” person that crosses our path?

What IS love then?

Love takes its time. It grows eventually. When it happens, it hits you exactly where it should. It makes you want to take extra effort to make your relationship work; it makes you want to give your best rather than just think about receiving. It is unconditional. It makes you love someone with their irritating habits. It won’t change even if people change. Because people are bound to change a little every passing year. So when you love someone you love them exactly as they are, without expecting them to change, and exactly how they will be in the future. You will love them even if they become someone you don’t agree with.

And I feel love by itself is nothing. It’s just a summation of a lot of other wonderful feelings like friendship, understanding,sacrifice, respect, communication, laughter, trust, attraction, companionship and belief.

So don’t rush into saying “I love You” to anyone and everyone, keep it for that special one, say only when you are absolutely convinced it is love. And when you are absolutely convinced about it, the words will make their way to your lips. You will feel like you have to get them out and let the person know. But wait till that kind of urgency and compulsion to confess grips you.

Let’s not steal the thunder from those three words, let it have that special effect on the person who hears them. And that will happen only when we wait for the right time and the right person and use those words only sparingly.

Let’s bring meaning back to those three words!! Let’s bring back the old fashioned love.


A relation extraordinaire

She was all of 19 when she got engaged and entered our lives. And 20, when she got married. And our lives were set to change forever.

Timid, demure, unsure, shy, undecisive you may think…nah…not at all…on the contrary fiesty, outspoken, decisive, confident, highly opinionated, politically incorrect and not the one to mince words, ekdum bindass. And not to forget, very very clear about what she wants from life.

I will be honest, we had our doubts. I mean how can a girl, all of 19, be so sure who she wants to get married to? How can you trust a teenager’s sense of right and wrong? What if this was just her infatuation? Heck, does she even know what marriage is? Turns out, she didn’t. All she knew was if she marries, she will get to be with the person she loves all the time. Period. She didn’t have the faintest of the idea of what RESPONSIBILTY marriage is.

Meet my sister-in-law. My brother’s wife. Aarti. Its been over 3.5 years now that they are married. And a loooooooot has changed.

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that she didn’t know to boil water. She didn’t know anything about the kitchen. She was the ultimate epitome of laziness. She loved sleeping till late and rarely pushed herself physically or otherwise to get things done. What did she love then? Feasting on burgers, her mom and my brother. Why and how she fell in love with my brother is a matter of another post.

Little did I know back then that this was a beginning of a wonderful new relation in my life, the one I am going to share with her. There were many teething problems, I wouldn’t deny that. My parents, they had a few expectations from their daughter-in-law. And Aarti hasn’t ever shied away from that either. But what would a 19 year old know about expectations and fulfilling them. She would fulfil them only if she would realise what was expected of her in first place, right? I often remember being the bridge between my mom and her, communicating messages to and fro and clearing misunderstandings on the way.

But where there is a will, there is always a way. And she had the will.To learn, to absorb, to understand, to empathise and to adjust. Today, if you meet her, you wouldn’t be able to say she is that same girl who was seeing the world through her rose-tinted glasses. Oh boy, she can cook and cook very well now! After her initial settling-in period, she decided to take matters into her hands. To change things, to have a goal, to have a aim, to have a fruitful, challenging life. She took up a very difficult corporate sales job. She was determined to polish her language, and groom her personality. She juggled between a very demanding job that called for a 3-hour of daily travel, her further post-graduation studies and managing our home. She stretched, pushed her boundaries and kept absorbing and learning things like a dry sponge. Her journey of self development has been phenomenal. After pursuing a job, and gathering enough confidence and exposure, she called it quits. Only to now start pursuing her dream. She wanted to be a make-up artist. Not just any artist, but someone who would really make it big. And I am so proud to say that she has begun that journey recently and she is already doing very well.

In the previous few years, we have come very close and mean a world to each other. We have shared, cried, laughed, worked, cooked, exercised, and done some insane things together. She is the soul sister I never had. Though she is a couple of years younger to me, she is much more head strong than I am. There is this devil-may-care attitude of hers that I love as much as I envy. And at 24, she has a vision. She has proved herself, her worth to everyone around us…but most importantly to her own self. Now she is a confident, vivacious, bubbly, talkative, adorable and drop dead gorgeous young woman. Her unintentional and oddly-timed jokes are the funniest. She speaks her mind and is brutally honest. Her honesty is often taken for her arrogance, but I know that arrogant is something she isn’t. She is still politically incorrect and she is still someone who will call a spade a spade. And I wish that never changes about her.

Everyone in our family has accepted her with open arms and has played a vital role in helping her shape her personality and have an identity. She has learnt certain things the hard way, but what had to be leart is now learnt. Behind every successful woman is a strong, supporting man, that my brother is to her; and also a supportive, flexible family that eggs her on and is willing to adjust and realign their thoughts to her new thoughts.

Aarti, that you mean a world to me, is something you already know. You are my agony aunt, just like I am yours. I can’t tell you how much I am going to miss you in NZ, your non-stop talks, our walks, our cooking time together, your irritating habit of speaking loudly and jumping to conclusions, your day-dreaming face with mouth wide open, the fun times we spent, the jokes we shared, those unspoken conversations we had through our eyes, the time we went to office together, the time we spent shopping, the time we spent gossiping. There is no one who can fill that void. And there can’t be a replacement of you. You remember how we spent 3 hours travelling to get a silly hair-cut? Vishal was maaaaaaad to say the least.  And how we begged the hair stylist to cut our hair, even if we were whole two hours late, thanks to Mumbai’s infamous traffic? That was one epic evening, Aarti. The memory still brings a big smile.

There are so many things that I am indebted to you for. I loved how you dressed me for my wedding. Oh, you are such a talented make-up artist. I can’t thank you enough for making me look so beautiful. And you always look so pretty your self, make up or no make-up. 🙂

Aarti (right) and I

Aarti (right) and I at the wedding

At the engagement

At the engagement

Thank you Vishal for bringing her into our lives and making our lives so much more beautiful.

P.S: Those who are looking for make-up artists, consider hiring her. She won’t let you down. This is all I ask. Here’s a link to her work. And she has just started.

A very new beginning…

Ambivalence. This is one word that perfectly describes my state of mind right now. Two completely conflicting set of emotions have parked themselves in my mind. On one hand is extreme happiness for starting a very new and radically different life with The Cool Guy (TCG) that the husband is, and juxtaposed are the feelings of sadness and nostalgia for leaving the old and “comforting” behind.

But who said dealing with change is easy? And bigger the change, more difficult it gets to adapt. Because that means coming out of your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries to adapt better to the change. But change is the best thing that can happen to anyone, right? And we always emerge better and stonger. Flowing water is never stagnant.

Like you know, I am born and brought up in Mumbai. Mumbai is the world I know and Mumbai is where the schooling, the college, the job, the friends and the life happened. And sadly, I haven’t travelled internationally at all yet. But The Cool Guy (TCG) that I am married to lives away. Very, very far away from Mumbai. Over 6000 Miles away. About a day away. In New Zealand. Yes, that far. And I am set to join him there very soon. The Visa is in my hands.

But I am a bundle of nerves. It’s a different world. DIFFERENT in capitals. If it was the US or some swanky city in Europe I was shifting to, I would probably have been less nervous. After all, they couldn’t have been very different from Mumbai. A metro is a metro after all. Speedy, crazy, thrilling, offering demanding and satisfying jobs and a stressful lifestyle as a byproduct. Not very different from the life I am used to in Mumbai. I am used to the speed, the craze, the stress, the long serpentine queues, the pollution, the dust, the heat and everything Mumbai. In NZ, life is comparatively slow. There is no rush to get anywhere. People actually “live”, rather than just exist from one day to another.  TCG says that people smile at each other for no reason. (Try smiling at a stranger here in Mumabi.  If you know what I mean.) There is no pollution. Its silent, its serene, its beautiful, its calm, its relaxing. And it is postcard picture perfect. TCG sends me such scenic pictures everyday. Unreal they seem, but real they are. Also, people leave offices by 5. They have a perfect work-life balance. (Try leaving your office at 5 in Mumbai!) What could be possibly wrong with such a life, you’d ask? Nothing I say. Only that I am not used to this slowness, this freshness, this natural beauty, this serenity, this silence or even this balanced work-life for that matter. I am used to the din, the restlessness, the craze, the speed, the hop-skip-jump lifestyle and the accompanying stress that my very metro life in Mumbai offers.

Hence, NZ makes me a little nervous. What if I unable to cope? What if I don’t adjust to the very cold climate? What if I don’t make new friends? What if I don’t get a good job? What if I want to suddenly eat chaat, that we eat off the streets here in Mumbai? I live in a big family here. What if I get too lonely there? That NZ is very very far away doesn’t help either. On a whim, I can hardly come back to Mumbai, just to surprise my family or check on them. I don’t even want to think how many of my friends’ weddings I will be missing.  Sigh!

But, at the same time, I am very excited. To start my life afresh with TCG. He has assured me over and over that everything will be fine and he will try to make this transition as smooth as possible. That he will even cook for me, and clean and do all those erstwhile ‘female’ jobs. I am excited about our new house and about doing it they way we want, the new city, the new country, the new friends (whenever that happens), the road trips, the nature, the beauty, about wearing beautiful winter clothes which I never got a chance to wear hear in Mumbai, and about simply enjoying the marital bliss.

So, I have my fingers crossed. I am really hoping that I won’t cry too much and won’t miss Mumbai a lot.  I am sure I am going to miss my family, food and friends (in that order) terribly and there can’t be a replacement. But I am hoping TCG will fill that void. I will also try and be nice and adjusting and not irritate the hell out of my husband.

Side note: I will have more time to blog and read now. Something I haven’t been able to do as much as I’d like. Yay! May be I will do a whole new category on the new life. Maybe not. Let’s see how it goes. But you can wish me luck.