Life & Love



Ever since the advent of Man on this planet, the most talked about and universally felt emotion or expression has been LOVE.

Hatred goes side by side as it equally overrides the head. But Love takes precedence and rules the world.

Sure enough, there has to be a language, rather a common dialect for the expression of LOVE. But all the Sufis, saints and so-called Pundits say very clearly… LOVE is expressed through the eyes.

The expression and the portrayal of love varies from people, culture, time frame and also generations.

The LOVE is there but the style and manifestation changes.

I have tried to categorise them into distinct heads based on my personal experiences spanning the last sixty years.


My parents lived a good sixty- five years of married life.

It’s pretty cool to taste the nectar of togetherness that’s been around for more than six decades. They were happily married and had a decent love life.

I am the lucky one to have lived with them through the years.

I never saw my parents hugging or kissing each other. Never saw them sitting in a romantic mood or cajoling each other. Touching in public was considered vulgarity.

Should we contemplate that they did not love each other?

They of course loved and had their own personal moments. But nothing was public.

My mother showered love on my father by cooking him the choicest things, knitting sweaters for him and at times giving him a good head massage when he was tired.

Then of course they had their own set of arguments and fights. But this was a part of the affection they cherished for each other.


As a student in class Seven, the meaning of LOVE was innocent and naive.

It can be inferred that the nice feeling between a boy and girl is LOVE. More was seen in the early sixties romantic movies, that instilled the feeling of liking between the boys and the girls. However, the enigma and aftermath of love were poorly understood.

I can’t forget the small note… “I LOVE YOU” scrambled by a pencil, on a piece of paper, and neatly tucked into my class eighth Math book. For years, my Sherlock Holmes friends tried to decipher the girl’s handwriting.

I still remember touching the most beautiful girl while passing her a book. She smiled and I misunderstood the gesture as LOVE.

Resting the head on the front desk and constantly ogling at the girl’s gesticulations.

This was’nt love; it was INFATUATION. The teenage heart expressed LOVE in its own way and communique without any physical proximity.

But there were sleepless nights, frustrations, jealousy and jilts. Touching was still taboo. Hugging and kissing were accomplished only through dreams and wild imaginations.

I still treasure a dried rose that has survived more than fifty years within the pages of my book. She gave me the rose when I sang her favourite song at the school annual function. Was that LOVE? I still wonder.


LOVE carries a totally different dimension to professional college.

These individuals have already crossed their teenage years and have stepped on the bright side of youth. The approach to life and towards the opposite sex works on a different platform. There are career prospects and dreams to be accomplished.

Right from the first year to the final year, pairs were seen loitering in the college corridors; in the corners of the Girl’s hostel; in the rear secluded seats of the stale and flop cinema halls; in the coffee shops; on the desolate benches of the lonely parks; behind the bookshelves of the college Library etc.

I still wonder about the language of LOVE in that scenario.

There could only be an occasional kiss and a hurried smooch as in those times of restrictions and conservationism, nothing more was possible.

The exchange of cheap affordable gifts and treats in canteens and mediocre restaurants was the call of the day.

During the five-year period, most of the pairs were sacrificed on the altar of the Parent’s priorities, caste preferences or different career pursuits. There were heartbreaks and depressions. Some extremists even committed suicides because they couldn’t handle the loss.

The LOVE was there and it was unique, but with different interpretations.


In our times’ Marriage was an arranged affair. LOVE marriage was taboo and was denounced by the set of oldies who ornated the dining table and gave their uncalled suggestions on every home affair.

The ‘first night ritual’ or the HONEYMOON was in no way a proclamation of LOVE. It was like testing the Masculinity and exploring the No Man’s Land by finally unfurling the flag.

The harder the effort in the final assault, the better the deal would be as it glorified the standards of VIRGINITY.

“LOVE HER… LOVE HIM … this is your destiny.” The actual sanctity and meaning of love were lost in the daily chores and in pleasing the other side of the family. The arrival of a new member was again out of peer pressure… “So many months have passed and you have not become a father”, as if producing the baby was the only way to assure LOVE.

The process of raising the family, children’s education, job issues and money crunches left the couple with an almost LOVELESS and insipid life.

The language of LOVE was focused on, “Today X did not go to school.” ….. “today Y has a fever, need to see a doctor” … “Today I missed my period.” …etc. The already bashed up husband after returning from office is in no mood to even look at his ailing and fidgety wife … what to talk of LOVE.

However, there were very few lucky ones who broke the stale norms and tried to explore LOVE  by creating a milieu of NEED, both emotionally and physically.


The morning was beautiful and the day was pretty good, but somehow, the clock clicked so fast that the evening hue could not be anticipated because of the psychological thick blinds that were on the way out.

Suddenly the day was over. The Love hymns; the ruffles in the needy rough hair; the fragrant youth and its carnal desires were lost in fulfilling the family needs.

The mirror became an enemy as it revealed the sudden invasion of wrinkles, sagging and greying.

LOVE was lost somewhere.


The batsmen are tired, the pitch is flat and lustreless, but the GAME IS NOT OVER. The mandatory overs are yet to be bowled. This charisma persists even when hitting a sixer off the last ball. Rather the vigour should be spruced to win the game.

Another dimension of love is discovered at this time. This is more fulfilling and emotionally satisfying. There is realisation, understanding and empathy. The spouses find the ageing love in their crevices and wrinkles. There is a want and urge to rekindle the fire and give it spiritual and emotional warmth. The communication is more profound and on a different pedestal.

To top it all there is an individual preference that does not fall in the constraints of age and creed.

I still look for a Warm and Meaningful hug from the person I love.  I want an evocative dialogue and expressive communication that touches my intellect.

This has evolved not by graduating the subject of LOVE, but by growing in the ambience of values and LOVE COMMUNIQUÉ.

To be honest, AGE IS NOT a BAR. I want to die with the same agility as I have throughout my life.



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