Love Comes Quietly
Updated: May 5
I once heard love comes quietly.
Like the sun, it rises with a pledge to shine, to show up but not to stay forever.
And like the sunset, it painfully returns, taking with it the uncertainty of us seeing it rise (the same) again.
I have never been in love or fallen in love; romantically I should say. I love deeply, I know that. I can’t help it. So, I try to repress it. And learn to tame and give it out sporadically.
I once showed affection, pure genuine care for a male human. Apparently, it showcased as more than that. Everyone but I saw it. I thought I was being helpful and doing what he asked for – help unpacking. I guess I took it rather seriously and my empathy, as always, got the better of me. I was burned beyond repair from that episode. I returned to the hopes and ideologies of love, never wanting to feel such pain and confusion but always dreaming of what it will be like for your heart to beat for one person.
We have been told to let go when it comes to love. Jump in, just do it. First, I am too woke for that. And second, is that always wise? Or necessary? Sometimes caution is the best gift we can have. But when it comes to love it seems no rule applies, nor can any advice work for two different people. It is like water. Formless yet so power. Powerful to take any shape imaginable and unimaginable alike.
Many dream to find, fall and stay in love. Till death do them part. Well, in the Hindu tradition, once you marry someone, you are bound to them for seven lifetimes. Seven, the number of completion. That is extreme, one will say. Seven lifetimes? I find it rather my speed and defines what love photographs as when I visit my mind’s palace.
Love is not all cute and filled with “aaww’ moments. I see it as guns and roses. You shot to kill but lay roses when you lose what you had.
Love is painful. Being in love with someone with every molecule streaming inside you is grueling. It brings you more sorrow and confusion. It lifts you so high and drops you so hard the earth beneath does not seem to hold you.
It is as though you are free falling and clutching on to nothingness in front of you yet still hoping to grab onto something – someone; that one. Because that person, to you, is the only thing worth reaching out for.
That was Alia Bhatt’s fate in the movie Kalank. She played the part of Roop. A gorgeous lady forced into a marriage, a contract, to secure the fate of her younger sisters. But as life would have it, she falls in love with her husband’s brother as her husband focused on his first wife, as she was dying of cancer and her wish was to leave him with another wife, Roop. A twisted and complicated decision but rather straightforward if you think about it.
Roop lost the love of her life in a chaos he started but did not perceive will outgrow him. A plot to punish his father who abandoned him and his mother. In their final moments, she endlessly reached out to him to get on the departing train. But his deeds caught up from behind him and stabbed him to death, literally.
She watched her lover; her first love was stabbed to death by his friend. As her husband held her other hand from within the train to prevent her to falling – falling again to the brother he just found out he had; she reached out to his bloody body to get up and run to her.
But he could not. Her lover laid on the platform in blood. As silence flooded her thoughts, she crouched down in dismay. With tears, heartbreak and sorrow, she stretched out her arm one more time for him to get up and reach back. He never did. He could not. She knew his wounds were fatal, yet nothing mattered in the moment. She was free falling and reaching out to her first love, her true love – the one laying cold on the platform breathing his never verbalized, “I love you.”
If this is love, I don’t want it. I am fine. Merci bien.
But if this is love I will like to feel it too. It was agonizingly beautiful. Like I said, guns and roses.
So, what does that mean? Jump in? Stay back? Stay single? I can’t answer that question for myself. And I will not dare try answer it for you.
I am sure one day I will free fall for someone too. And weep, arm stretched towards them as they silently look back at me, unable to reach back. I like to say I will recognize that day when it comes. That I will be self-aware and know it right away. But that too is a false anticipation.
Love is everything but straightforward. But two things are true about love: it rises with a pledge to show up and shine bright, but never to stay forever. And like the sunset, it goes down in the vibrant colors, taking with it the uncertainty of us seeing it rise again. Yet leaving us with hope of a mustard seed – just enough to keep us coming back. And that, too, is okay.
If you have the chance to love another this much. Go for it. Free fall. But do it intentionally, with purpose and with commitment. Because when love runs out, and it will, it is commitment that will carry you through.