By Arathi Devandran
I had a long day at work yesterday. I came back home to warm food, and my parents sitting comfortably in silence, both of them immersed in their respective gadgets – my mum was playing her Nth level of Candy Crush (oh how I rue the day this game was created) and my dad was playing Scrabble on his iPad. They looked up to greet me, asked after my day, and then settled back into silence. Together.
For a moment, all I could do was look on.
Love is the comfortable silence of two hearts which are steadfast in their devotion to one another.
We live in a world that is quick and eager to deliver definitions.
I attribute this to the fact that definitions allow our lives to be neatly compartmentalized into clear plastic folders – there is order, there is understanding, and there is control.
We know how much we yearn for control, don’t we?
Perhaps, this is why we are so obsessed with labels.
Feminist, dreamer, artist, writer, leader, warrior, insecure, lover, slut, worker.
I blame this obsession for the way our society now views love as a commodity.
By setting rules and guidelines and containing matters of the hearts to Facebook statuses, love obviously becomes more palatable.
Love is the light that continues to shine bright, even after the lover is long gone.
I sense this strongly as of late; my immediate environment seems to be morbidly fascinated with the definition of relationships. Men and women seem to think that there are certain roles that they have to play to embody a “successful” relationship. Lists have to be made and boxes have to be ticked for couples to get the Certificate of Entitlement, or so it seems.
Engagement rings are flaunted in extravagance but there is bitterness in conversations between lovers. Gold embossed wedding invitations weigh more than hearts. Forget romance, let’s figure out how we’re going to get our new home in 2 years.
It’s worrying, this need to fit a mould. Why has it perpetuated so? I don’t claim to know much about love, or relationships. What I have observed are simple, every day signs of what I’d like in my life, most of it from my parents.
Maybe it was the time when my dad took my mum to the barber’s to get her head shaved before she started her chemotherapy. He still thought her to be the best thing in his life, hair or no hair. Maybe it was the time when my mum and I were out, and my dad called from his office, just to ask my mum how her day was. Just because. Maybe it was the time (or times, I won’t lie) when they had an argument and doors were slammed but they were on the same side of the door. Every single time.
So, I don’t know what relationships are “supposed to be like.” I don’t know what “an ideal marriage is.” I don’t know whether my version of love is going to be the same as your version of love.
All I do know is this:
Different people have different wants and different needs.
It is important to remember that there is a world that lies between want and need.
It is also important to remember that we should never make homes out of people.
Everything else, really, is just a matter of the heart.
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