Before you begin, play THIS:
It happens to everyone. An escape can only be dreamt about. Sooner or later in life, you have to deal with it. The intensity might vary, but no one is spared. It all starts when you inadvertently meet someone, and it almost instantly feels like you’ve known them for years. You are instinctively drawn towards them. It’s not always about the smartness or the beauty. It’s something else. Sometimes it’s the imperfections. At other times it’s the aura. But, there is that ineffable ‘something’ about them that attracts you - a strange urge bestowing you with a sense of willingness to know them better.
You consciously or often subconsciously, put in efforts to get their attention. And before you know it, they become a nice acquaintance. The cautious formal nature of the texts slowly metamorphoses into an affable companionship. And as time passes and you slowly warm up to their enigmatic appeal, you just can’t stop yourself from thinking about them. Slowly, you start sharing everything – from everyday trivia to embarrassing secrets. Not a day passes by without their musings. Small coffee dates. Silly arguments. Priceless gifts. Lovely notes. Mindless jokes. Stupid chatter – about the dog you had while growing up, about your childhood friend, about your disastrous exams, about the books you read, about the things that keep you awake at nights. You know, it feels like you are flying. You sit on the roof with them and watch the night sky. You don’t want to ‘label’ that kind of bonding. It’s fine, as such. You just make memories; for a life time.
And you know, there is nothing better than memories. You don’t realize when you are making them. They transpire just while you are having fun with that person. And it’s beautiful. It's no surprise that bonds and memories happen between those who interact. Yet the process is more complex: Why do you wind up with that person out of all the mortals in this planet? The more you think about it, the more it makes you smile. And suddenly one fine day, it hits you. You are laughing madly with them over something trivial as a whatsapp joke, and out-of-the-blue, you think about how much you enjoy their existence. Boom. How would it be if they just like that disappeared? And believe me; you can never anticipate this stretch. You can be the world’s biggest planner, but nothing can prepare you for the moment when you go “Okay great… But who is he/she for me again?”
And slowly, the thumping chest-beats, surging hormones and weak knees give way to something more sinister – a strange place where your heart seems to feel at home. You sense safety and security with them. You will know it when it happens. You will know it’s that ‘something’ when the hardest day-to-day event becomes bidding ‘goodbye’. You will know it’s that ‘something’ when you start seeing the world through that person, and that person throughout the world. You will know it’s that ‘something’ when you look into the future and dream about beautiful things with them. You will know when that person accepts you as you are, with all your faults and vice versa. You will know when he/she bursts your insecurities like a bubble. You will know when they listen to all your crazy shit with a smug smile and a dreamy look in their eyes. You will know when they pull you the tightest hug when you are crumbling inside, staying up all night, holding your hands all the while. Yes my friend, you will know when you have apparently found your soul mate. It terrifies you at some level, but the good news - it’s fuckin’ electrifying.
The bad news - it’s a bloody tricky thing too. There is no controlling that heart of yours – when it decides to give itself up to someone. It doesn't see logic when it’s opening wide to accommodate that person in excitement. But once they are inside, it slowly unlocks itself to brutal reasoning. Ambitions. Sensibilities. Fear of hurting the ones whom you cherish. You can’t even start listing them out. Sometimes, you can work around them, trying your best to hold on; but at other times, it all feels like its sinking. It’s weird how a beautiful thing could incite so many conflicting feelings. But that’s probably what makes love so ‘beautiful’ – the closest thing to perfection that exists in this world, and yet the farthest. The only thing that could effortlessly encompass the two extremes – clarity and confusion.
They say, ‘the worst feeling is loving someone who can’t love you in return’, but you know, it’s not! Nothing can match the pain of loving someone who also loves you, but you go on to realize that you can’t be together.
Love is all that you need? Really? Is just ‘love’ good enough? Did all those fairy-tales - all those happy endings you grew up hearing - lie to you? Alas, you inhabit a world restrained by rationality, and while love may be irrational, you could try all your best to make it work, but at times, the real world does catch up.
May be, it’s the right person after all? Is it the circumstances then? What does it take to win over those? If only, there were answers. But, even though you come to grasp that you probably shouldn't have loved, you do and always will, because irrespective of all logic and reason, there are less than a handful of people in this entire world who will ‘consume’ us, for the reasons you can neither explain nor control.
And would you regret that magic? Would you ever? Would you sit and sulk? Would you withdraw yourself into a bubble of self loathe and guilt? How would you rather spend your time? Fighting and arguing over every single issue? Inside, you feel like crying your heart out. You feel like breaking down and be torn apart. One way to survive this agony is to give in to the sadness first. But is it the only way? Is it how you would want to end things with someone, who gave you so much to treasure?
Wouldn't you want to hold them close to you and freak out - wandering around endlessly? Wouldn't you want to see them smile and feel their warmth till it lasts? Why regret, when you can continue loving, with all your heart and sinew, at least for the moment? Fear of separation – is it possible to treat it as an illusion? Would it feel free when you can temporarily overcome it? There has to be a fitting way to give all this ‘love’ its due. There, definitely, has to be one. To care for the wounds without reopening them. Like a pain-killer. Like a hypnotic. To address the pain with a temporary antidote, without inviting it back on you? Or would numbing the pain for the moment make it return with more vengeance, when you finally feel it? Logically speaking, to heal a wound, you need to stop touching it. But would your masochistic love concur? Is that kind of escapist ‘bliss’ possible?
The prospect of livin’ it out till it lasts... it appeals to the heart more, right? And when has the heart won over the brain in matters of love! And so, it begins. The ceaseless journey. The boundless dreams. You don’t worry about tomorrow. You don’t care about the next second. The magic is short. And it’s ending, one moment at a time. You have him/her with you now, and you are gonna' make the most of it. No replays. No rewinds. The wandering – it’s not about getting somewhere; you don’t even move. You only imagine you do. But it’s about the reasons that keep you smiling. It’s about the celebration of your momentary togetherness; that keeps you under the false pretence that this was how it was all destined to be.
தீரா உலா தீரா கனா
தீரா உலா தீரா விழா…
தீரா உலா தீரா கனா
தீரா உலா தீரா விழா…
The wildness of it all is not easy to take. How can you be appreciating the intimacy and sinking into the other, when something within keeps reminding you that it’s all a dissolving dream? You want it to last; amidst all odds. The more your crazy, climactic journey transcends the dimensions of space, the more it draws you in and fills you all over. Like a soothing tune metastasizing the air. Like a fluttering feather getting drifted by the breeze. And before you can realize, it surpasses the dimension of time. Like pure magic. Like a splendid miracle. Indeed it is, and everything feels unimaginably awesome, but for how long?
As the insanity of closeness slowly gets the better of reasoning, you tend to get into these imaginary make-believe-conversations with them. About what could have possibly been! Commitment, family, home, children, and what not? You shudder at the chances of any of those happening, but why not give yourself these small joys – some kind of exaggerated wish-fulfilment fantasies – for one last time. It does pain, but why not? You soak in the affliction.
And at some point in the mad run, you comprehend the inherent hypocrisy of the whole idea. On one hand, you know that it would be painful; after all any change is destined to be, but would it be as painful as being in love, knowing the twisted destiny? One moment, you fear hurt and disappointment, but the next moment, you doubt the distance you can go feigning ‘happiness’?
You silence the voices by partying harder. But the ghosts never do make sense. All they do is get you more confused. They drive you around in a vicious cycle, only to leave you right back where you started. You never know when they strike, but when they do, everything collapses – all the self-constructed building blocks of apparent bliss. Eyes get moist, but you choose to go wilder.
It sucks. Doesn't it? Trying to make peace with fate, and getting punished with more love… Getting loved unconditionally in return, but being reminded every other moment that they can never be yours! You can go to him/her for assurance; realizing very well the emptiness of it, but would it heal the pain? You can consciously stay away from speaking the obvious, but would it serve the purpose?
To hell, if it doesn't. You know it all along, right? You know that there would be an imminent separation. You know that it would all become a memory down the lane. But still, you choose to love him/her, not even an ounce any less. Stupidity? May be. But, are you in a position to care? You know every other beauty, including that of this madness, would fade. But, you refuse to brood over something you can’t change.
என் பிரியத்தை அதனாலே
சரிந்து விடும் அழகென்று
என் சந்தோச கலைகளை
நான் நிறுத்த மாட்டேன்!
And you know, there is nothing worse than ‘memories’. You turn them over and over, until you know every nook and corner, but still you'll find a new edge to cut you. To make you bleed. You can close your eyes to the things you don’t want to see, but can you close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel? How long can you cage your soul? No matter how hard you try, he/she is going to be the person; you can never get out of your mind. After all, how could you just forget someone who gave you so much to remember?
Two seeming soul mates get to know each other – their deep fears, their dark secrets, their favourite things, what they love, what they hate… literally everything, and then suddenly it feels like a dead end. You know that feeling? It’s the scariest feeling in the world – what if no one else makes me this happy again?
Some moments are nice, some are nicer, and some are even worth writing about. And that one day, you will look back and know exactly why it had to happen.
Written by Mani Prabhu, an ardent believer in the underestimated art of painting colourful images in people's mind by using words of black and white. An unabashed fan of the celluloid medium, he always attempts to bridge two of his dear passions - cinema and writing - into a visceral, magical experience.