Breathing, talking, sneezing. That’s all I was getting to hear in an old but romantic room. It was not the room itself that evoked affection. It was also the pleasant weather and the unusual day that made it so. The sun’s setting rays coming through the window in to the room created a décor that was unconventional, beyond the human whim. We were sitting on the couch opposite each other, as usual talking about certain typical issues. Looking at her face, I could judge that she was trying to keep the conversation on, somehow. If it stopped, she wouldn’t get a chance to see me anytime soon. I knew that she always wondered if I got bored with her talks. But I never thought of it that way. I usually used my mystery face as a means to change the topic. Of course, I never said it to her face. Through our frequent observations, she had noted my love for always talking about something new. And I guess that must be why she came up with this question. And often, our conversations were in a question and answer format. And the one thing I loved about ourselves was the fact that no matter how many disagreements we had, we always had the space and freedom to present our points before the other without any hesitation. So here’s the question she had asked me, ‘Is love necessary for the evolution of human life, and how can it facilitate social change?’
The moment I heard it, my face curved into a beautiful smile. Which always irritated her and made her wonder if her question revealed her desperate emotions. She already thought my face was mysterious, and my smile made her wonder even more – what I thought of her question. Either way, I was more than ready to answer the question. This is what I was waiting for, in all of my conversations so far. An open discussion on topics that matter to us. There was relief on her face too. It was during our conversations that she had a chance to know me better apart from during social interactions, when she barely made eye contact with me. She loved listening to me though. I clearly recognized that.
She pulled out a bottle of water from her bag and took a few sips. And as she was drinking, I could see her leaning back into the sofa and relaxing completely, with each sip. Looking at her, secretly getting into her comfort zone, I smiled once again. And she tensed up immediately when she saw that.
‘Love is among those five universal emotions.’ I started telling her. ‘It is expressed by all those who are breathing. And even though it is commonly believed that love has no limits, I think there are certain limitations. Well not limitations exactly, but I think that there is the formation of a cycle. As most people understand, whenever you express your extreme or intense feeling toward someone, it is love.
But look at it this way. When we are born, we are born more with a body of love than that of blood. And our first companions are our parents. It is through them that we get access to the external world. We want them in our lives and we find ways to express our love to them.
And then we come to a point when we find relatives, siblings, friends and later colleagues, with whom we want to share our love. So you try to segregate your love between all of them and your parents too, because we cannot do without their love either. And even as we are segregating this love, we also strive to live the life of our dreams. And to portray that love, we express our gratitude to the almighty through our divine love, praising and worshiping him until we breathe our last. In this journey of love, we often come across situations when we are unable to give time to our parents and other close loved ones including our siblings and friends. We don’t do this deliberately. It’s just that we are encountering new connections on our way. And just as we reach the stage of divine love, our love is also being passed on to those who inherit it, to pedal the cycle of love further.’
By the time I was done saying it all, I could see her posture had changed. She was leaning forward, toward me. And within a few moments, she just broke out of her tension and hugged me. For a couple of minutes, there was silence. Her tears were wetting my shirt. Her energy made me feel as if she was healed by my words. The moment she pulled away and made eye-contact, I wished her with a smile, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’
Prashanth Jamol has been a student at Touching Lives since his mischief years, when he was in seventh standard! Today, he attends college – SYBA and is our intellectual Community Leader. He also contributes regularly for the Touching Lives blog, as part of the Creative Writing Program. He loves thinking and reflecting on life’s big questions and aspires to be an IAS officer.