12.2.11 | Post by Kriti Mukherjee
So that’s what I am doing now – identifying. Its Valentine’s Day soon and so the love described here should be (in popular belief) about lovers. And what a beautiful love that is!!! The love of trust, sex, belief, togetherness, lifetimes shared together, walks in the beach, roses, misunderstandings, children, old age, companionship, table for twos, dim-lights, thorns, tears, sacrifices, familiarity, comfort, pain …. Not necessarily in that order. A life shared together in a nutshell - a life that ends with knowing the birth of every minute wrinkle on your lover, and the expertise of quickly being able to erase them, to bring back memories of youthful love and titillating excitement. Then again maybe none of the above but still lovers forever – even soul mates.
Once upon a time, in a not so faraway place, there lived a girl who was blinded by the love she harbored for a much elder man in her village. She spied on him when he toiled in the sun, working on his land with his cows and plough. The smell of his perspiration and boiling blood infused the damp soil and the atmosphere with the kind of intoxication that was only known to her. Jamuni, kept the secret of her desirous love only to herself. When at times their eyes met – she would feign innocence and behave like a child, who was mesmerized by the power of muscles. Kishan would nod at her and go home for an afternoon of love and rest with his wife. Jamuni would wait endlessly for another opportunity to catch a whiff of that pulsating air.
Days turned into night and nights into days till the time came for Jamuni to get married. Her parents had found a “suitable” man for her and the day of the wedding was finalized. Jamuni bravely accepted her fate and played the part of a shy young girl for the world. Till one day she was cornered by Jai, her husband to be. “Jamuni, I know where you heart is,” he said. She didn’t dare respond in case her voice gave her away. “I know it will never be mine. But I am selfish. I am happy to be a part of your life even if you will never be a part of mine.” Jamuni’s stinging eyes could hold the tears no more but her turning away only exposed her love and pain a little more. The blood running through her veins turned cold and her legs gave way. Jai caught her before she hit the ground, their eyes met and there was an immediate understanding. They hugged in urgent embrace till the weight of their sacrifice penetrated their skins and took up a bitter sweet place, forfeited by reason in their heads, leaving little space for anything else but the rulings of the heart.
The day they got married, both bowed down to take the blessing of Kishan – and he blessed unaware of the magnanimity of his role in their relationship. His wife embraced the new couple and whispered good wishes into their ears. And so the union was formalized.
It is said, just a fortnight later, Kishan and his wife were hit by a bus while going to town. He had died on spot while his wife had become paralyzed for life. There was no one in the world to take care of an invalid woman. She had little family who were prompt to make excuses of financial hardships among other things. She was 45 years of age then. Now she is 73. Jamuni and Jai still look after her - taking care of her minutest needs, taking her to all her check ups and going the world around to look for a cure - all this at the complete amazement of all around them.
On one inky blue night, Jai and Jamuni sat on their jute cot outside, enjoying the moonlight as she was heard telling him “he lives in her – I have finally got a chance to love him.” Jai smiled and said “I love you”. She smiled back and said “Thank you and I love you”.
Hope I was able to explain the layers of love to you my dear reader. Love is tricky – ‘I love you’ will never be enough to express what is in the heart. Words are just letters – read the heart.
On a lighter note - Nirvana’s ‘Come as you are’ is one of my favorite tracks on love. But in quotidian life when I say “come as you are” I don’t mean it. I mean “wear that shirt to go with that tie and please be a friend.” When I say “leave me alone”, I mean “please don’t go anywhere”. When I say “whatever”, I mean “specifically this or that”. That is what most women are made of – riddles. We absolutely love to take our man on a roller coaster ride and leave him hanging in the air and of course we still love him. In a way I guess that is the problem. If you were not on my black book as ‘lover’ – I would leave you alone – but you are hooked my friend. That reminds me – If I told you your love is everything to me even on Valentine’s Day – it doesn’t mean you can go without giving me a little something special (APART FROM YOUR LOVE).
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