A poem that I wrote in 1984 was all about a few moments together that I spent with the girl who would get to hear them only after we got married a few months later in 1985.
isn’t it funny how just a nod
or simply a few words mumbled
will form an unseen bond
that on new paths makes you trod?
and however rebellious you are
or think you are –
that strange sensation of
a first glance
a cursory touch
always keeps coming back to you
until you admit that
you’re in love
‘1984,’ I whispered and looked in her eyes. Specky, now my wife, smiled and we snuggled closer on a cold February night. Decades later as I recollect those moments I must admit that love was not something like the sluice gates of a dam being opened but more like a gentle knock on the door that you cannot forget because it happens again and again until you finally get up and mumble, ‘Yes, yes, I know you’re there. But please, wait awhile.’
If you think love comes riding an orchestra with cymbals clashing every time a girl twitches her nose or smiles demurely, you need to step out of your film-inspired dream-world. Love never appears with loud ‘ya-hooos!’ sliding down snowy slopes nor will there be Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel (1967) somewhere in the background, singing ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough‘:
Listen baby, ain’t no mountain high
Ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough baby
If you need me call me no matter where you are
No matter how far don’t worry baby
Just call my name I’ll be there in a hurry
But wait. As I said earlier, love knocks mildly, never wildly. Not once, but repeatedly and one simply has to notice it. Riches don’t matter, nor does age. Roles don’t matter, nor does religion. Fame and all other worldly things fade into nothingness when love knocks. Look at Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas if you don’t believe me. See what happened in the case of Dharmendra and Hema Malini. What about Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu? We all know how desperately in love Dev Anand and Saira Banu were with each other… or what about Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia? Well, this could easily have been forms of love forming slightly more complex equations with other needs or ‘good genes’ as a writer mentions in an article on the internet: ‘That is, the extent to which someone has “good genes” – indicated by their attractiveness and sense of energy (also known as vitality) – and the extent to which they are a “good investment” – indicated by their status and resources as well as their warmth and sense of trust.’
The truth about love… finally
When we talk of love things tend to walk beyond the realms of simplicity. If I were to use the sort of analogies popular today, I’d say that love is like a computer code that invades the mind and stays there undetected but growing its influence. The day it is large and powerful enough to be able to dissuade logic to keep quiet, it bursts into the open… and we humans know this because the lover’s pupils dilate, and this tongue-tied person wonders why the heart is beating faster. Everything appears brighter, vibrant, and full of energy. The world, it appears, has undergone some sort of an overhaul and is no longer what it used to be. Love has finally plonked itself firmly on the throne of this person’s mind. Everything has happened in one smart, rapid sweep though the siege has existed for much longer.
What I mean is that love is that powerful and singular expression that reveals itself so suddenly that even the word surprise may feel tardy. The poets, whenever they have talked about the suddenness of love were not far from truth. This moment of revelation is almost a reflection of that 1972 song sung by Roberta Flack where one of the stanzas went:
The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy it would fill the earth
And last ’til the end of time my love
I’m sure this is what must have happened between Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor where love slowly gathered power during the months of courtship before the question was popped.
Love then is a sudden joyful explosion as well as the outcome of a long period of serious and collaborative deliberation of converging thoughts. If you have heard Elton John’s ‘Your song’ from 1970, this stanza is what I’d say, reminds me of the enigma called love:
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world
These are words that would generally appear sane only if a relationship has been maturing over a period of time. Love, let me just say, pops out like the cork on a champagne bottle and also spreads all over slowly and surely like a glorious dawn on the horizon. Love is both a question to the curious and an answer for the seeker. Love loves to remain an enigma and the cause for a challenging debate.
02 October 2018