Is This Love?
Is This Love?9 mins 371 9 mins 371
What is love?
I don't have an answer to this question.
Do I love someone?
My answer to this question would be affirmative. I love a lot of people in my life. I love my father. I love my mother. I love my brothers, my sisters, my cousins, my aunts, my uncles, my friends, and every friendly face that brings a smile to my face. This is not where my love life ends. It extends to my love for my books, my dog, my car, my potted plant and the big neem tree in the courtyard. I love the open sky, the feel of rain on my hand, when I walk barefoot on the wet sand. I love the butterflies, chirping mynas. Sometimes I just feel that my love is limitless.
I wonder "how am I able to answer an advanced question about whether I love someone or not when I don't even know what love is".
I never needed to think about this. Until now.
Love just happens. How can one be even living without loving everyone and everything around them? Is it even possible to not love?
Today I am wondering about this question because someone has become a part of my life. Not literally. She is just a contact on social media account. So she is not really a part of my life. Using social media is quite similar to using a magic wand. You see them one second and they disappear magically the very next moment. I am a bit old school in my ways. According to me one of the stupidest things that happens in this world is people actually falling in love with someone they met online. I feel it's like reading an e-book. It's better functionally but an e-book can never smell like a real book. Though I read sometime back that experiments are being carried out to make it possible. But I don't think that this would be even close to a real one.
I am starting to think the contrary. I know that it all sounds senseless and confusing. This is exactly how I feel right now. Senseless, clueless and utterly confused. Let me tell you this story. My story. And her story.
It started six months back. One night I got up at 2 in the morning to use the loo. When I came back there was a notification flashing on my phone screen. Someone had liked my post. Her name was Riya. I got curious and checked out her profile. While going through her posts I accidentally sent her a follow request. Before I could delete it, she saw it and declined to accept. I thought she must be thinking I am the kind of guy who would stalk someone on social media. With this thought in mind, I went back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning my phone had some 20-30 notifications. I wondered someone had been reading my poetry the whole night. When I opened those notifications her name flashed in front of my eyes. Now, this was something unexpected. She had also commented on my post. I replied to her comment. I thanked her and asked her if we could talk as both of us write. She seemed a bit reluctant initially but agreed. Our conversations started with discussions about writing and drifted back and forth between writing and other stuff. We found out about each other's likes and dislikes.
We discussed a whole lot of things but most of it was about writing. We would play wordplay. She would write a story and I would write a poem using the same word. According to her, she sucked at writing poems. She loved reading stories as much as I loved reading poems. She told me once that she loves just a particular kind of poem and the reason she started talking to me was because I wrote that kind of poetry. That same day she told me that she had liked my post accidentally just like me without even reading it. And when she received a follow request within minutes she thought I was some pervert. But still it intrigued her about me and she read my poetry. When she said that she was glad that all this happened the way it did, my inner self was shouting '#metoo', but I didn't tell her. I thought that this might make things too thick to wade through.
I never realized it but I felt really comfortable while talking to her. I smiled the whole time. I waited for her to give me countless compliments for my poetry. I know I don't write bad. I don't write great either. Yet when she talked about my poetry it felt surreal. I loved how within a week our conversation switched from 'aap' to 'tu'. I laughed a lot when she told me that she loves south Indian movies. I think she has seen every single one that's been dubbed in Hindi. Her name on my phone screen was enough to bring a smile on my face no matter how bad a day I have had. But it all ended one day just the way I knew it would.
We had not talked to each other for a few days. We were both busy in our lives. This used to happen sometimes when we wouldn't talk for sometime. Then she messaged me one day. It immediately brought a smile on my face. She had messaged me 20 minutes ago. I was busy so I couldn't reply immediately. When I did I didn't get a reply for another hour. When she replied we talked about what we were most comfortable with writing. We talked for 2-3 hours. It felt good to talk to her after a long time. Last time when we talked she acted a bit weird and then we didn't talk for a few days so it felt good when everything was normal. Well, it started normally but it didn't end in same way.
When our conversation was about to end she said something. She said "I LOVE YOU". I felt good. No, actually I felt happy at that moment. I was in a bubble where the entry of my rational mind was not allowed. That night one part of me was sleeping and the other part was trying to enjoy that moment for as long as it can. It was to last for as long as the rational side of me was metaphorically sleeping.
This side of me is known to very few people. In fact even I myself don't understand it completely. While one part of me is filled with love even for inanimate objects, this part of me is scared of any kind of relationship. Be it loving someone or being friendly or even just have a heart to heart conversation. This part of me is scared. So scared that it would sit inside with a fear of catching cold than enjoy the rain. It would rather be alone, aloof, arrogant and egoistic than put me in a vulnerable spot where someone has power to break me in pieces with a snap of their fingers. I didn't want this part of me to enter my bubble. I didn't want to break this spell by talking about it either so I wished her goodnight and didn't talk to her further that night.
Next morning what happened was absolutely expected. My sleeping part woke up. I don't hate this part of me. Because I know that I am as a person, combination of my parts. While the loving part lets me love everyone unconditionally and makes others fall in love with me. It's the protective part of me which never gives someone else control me in any way. It saves me from being vulnerable. I would never trade a part of me for another.
So when Riya tried to start a conversation. The protective side of me replied by snapping at her. I told her that we don't share anything. Neither our paths nor our destination. We never talked after that day.
You would think that this is where the story ends. I thought that for sure. This isn't. We stopped talking but we didn't block each other or even unfollow each other on social media. I thought that we are adults and this kind of thing keeps happening to people everyday and we can handle this like adults. I was right about her but I was so wrong about myself. Well when she thought that I was a pervert when I sent her that request, it was normal. Her feeling comfortable with me was normal. Her feelings for me were normal. Her confession was normal. Her not messaging me after my rudeness is normal.
What's not normal in all this is me and my behaviour. (Which I am trying to figure out sitting hear listening to Lucky Ali and George Ezra.) Everything was normal until we stopped talking. Even my rudeness was normal. To me at least. It started 2 days after that conversation of ours, no it should be called my shouting session. She had uploaded a status on her WhatsApp. A song called 'Birds' by 'Imagine Dragons'. I downloaded that song and listened to it on loop. Every single time I listened to it I felt something. I don't know what it was and why it was. Two days later she posted another song 'In the end'. I felt it again. I listened to the song the whole day just like earlier even though I didn't want to. I had never felt this way ever earlier. Nobody had ever had that kind of effect over me. I had never let my guard down. This time I let it happen because I thought it's all virtual. But this virtuality was effecting me as something real could never. So I decided to end it all. For forever. I wrote her a mail (The modern form of letter. Such an old school me.) trying to tell her that all that she feels is not real. It's something that's just in her head. I never got a reply. I shouldn't because I clearly stated that I don't want her to reply. But I still wait for it. Thinking that she didn't reply because she never read it.
Now when I think about it I think that it was more of an explanation for me. After that I deleted her number from my contacts. I unfollowed her on all social media accounts.
Finally the end. Thought so? I did. Was wrong again.
I check out her social media accounts thrice a day now. Actually each hour sometimes. Everything she posts I somehow feel it's about me. I smile while reading them the same way I smiled while reading her messages. I could block her but I know it won't work just like nothing else did. She should, maybe that would.
It's been a month since I stopped talking to her. Now I spend much more time thinking about her than I used to spend talking to her.
I have a question. I can't even ask this question to myself, forget about answering it. Maybe you who is reading this can.
The question is.....
"IS THIS LOVE?"