So recently I came across this television show called ‘Modern Love’. It’s about 8 different amazing stories about love. I noticed every story had its edge of platonic romance. Being a lovesick fool myself, I couldn’t help but cry my heart out by the end of the show. It wasn’t extraordinarily romantic. No, it wasn’t like Titanic where someone like Jack dies for his Rose counterpart. No. These were regular stories that we see everyday right in front of our eyes. They are beautiful but untold to the world. This show gives a hope. Especially after a devastating break up. This show gave me hope.
In each of its stories it highlighted one or two things about love that we need to understand. But the episode I could relate the most to was where Joshua played by Dev Patel is interviewed by a magazine columnist about his love story. He talked to her about how he loved this girl and how happy they were together. But one day she cheated on him and they had to separate. He got over her pretty fast. But he stumbled across her in a street while he was walking with his girlfriend two years later. He noticed her notice him. And everything changed. He said he felt alive after a long long time. Like the interval of his movie just ended. He did break up with his then girlfriend and he did call her. Sadly she was engaged. But months later she called him saying she broke off the engagement. What made her do that? The article by the columnist. Why it filled me up with hope? Let’s see.
Well first of all let’s not lie to one another that we don’t seek love in it’s hauntingly beautiful ways. We are humans. And we need that touch of love. Not necessarily from a partner. It can be a father. A grandmother. A stranger on the street. A teacher. An online friend. We all crave that or have craved that at one point or the other. But what makes us so rapturous about it? Why seek the comfort of someone else when we are so content with ourselves. I agree, many of us aren’t. But in my case, I’m happy being alone. I love my own freedom and personal space. Yet, why do I need it so much? Why is there this eminent need to feel understood and to be acknowledged? Why is there a need to fill someone else with my warmth? As I unwrap few layers of my mind asking these questions, I hear my mind casually blurting out one sentence- ‘It makes you feel alive, dummy.’
That’s right. It makes me feel like I’m part of the human experience. I’m part of this magic I used to read about when I was in school. It’s a good feeling to find someone who just clicks with you. Who makes you wonder how you had been living your life without that person. And as severely as I miss it, I’m grateful for such experiences in my life. I got a taste of love. Even though it doesn’t last long enough. Even though it has the potential to shatter you. People say it’s like a drug. But for me it’s a double edged sword. Anyone who has felt love has also felt the pain. There’s this deep, penetrating anguish associated with it. Yet I’d choose a few months of this ecstatic feeling and enduring years of pain. Most people who have experienced the pain, crumble and hesitate to try again for obvious reasons. But bravery is in giving everyone an equal chance to bewilder you. None of us came to this life with the intention of living carefully. So many of us arrive at our deaths, safely without having anything spectacular done. On the contrary, I’ve decided to take the other road. The road with more scrapes and bruises but also more meaning and wonder. If I don’t risk anything I feel like I’ll be risking everything that matters to me.
I have clearly stranded off topic. Coming back to modern love, I also learnt love is about acceptance. Taking reference from the episode about Anne Hathaway being a bipolar, I learnt two things. One, we must always speak our truth. Even though it’s ridiculous or embarrassing or uncanny. It’s important to be your most authentic self. That’s an area I don’t struggle with. I’m an open book. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Two, if we decide to love someone, shouldn’t we accept them as they are? The good, the bad and the mad.
As I analyzed my previous relationships, I’ve been quite a quitter. This takes me back to a lesson from Dear Zindagi where Shah rukh Khan tells Alia Bhatt that in order to find the right person, we must cross out the bad ones first. Like when we are shopping for a chair, it takes us quite a few trials on different chairs to finally find the one that’s most comfortable. And I truly believe that.
But I’m an idealist. What if I seek too perfect? What if my ideal partner doesn’t exist? How long do I keep looking? What if it’s time to stop and repair a broken chair. Chairs do get old. Just like relationships. It’s confusing. But look at a parent. A parent loves both the flaws and glories of the child. It’s close to unconditional. And if we indulge in any relationship close to the warmth of a family, we must protect it. When it feels right, it feels right. Maybe when it’s right I won’t feel the urge to quit. Maybe when it’s right it will come back to me in mysterious ways. I like to be delusional. Or optimistic. Whatever you call it.
I hope I find someone who can provide me the kind of warmth I seek. I hope we all do. It’s an empty world without someone to share it with. That’s why this show gave me hope. It’s based on true stories. It sends the message out loud that there are people like me. And they found love. Even in the most uncanny of places. Someday I will too!Someday you will too. Just keep the hope alive.