The (Nearly) Lost Art of Love

I’m down with a cold. 🙂 It’s very rarely that I get a cold, or anything remotely near to it, for that matter. So, when I do get a cold, I make most of it! I enjoy it as much as I can…sleeping in the whole day, loving the physical discomfort and pain (Yeah, you read it right!). Yesterday, I was sleeping the whole day. Almost. After breakfast, I went straight to bed, got up for lunch, went back to bed, got up for tea, back to bed…I stayed there until around 11pm, when I got up to go to my friend’s room. I was awake till almost 4am…talking to her or just lying on the bed, wide awake, unable to sleep. It’s weird but I haven’t been able to sleep properly since New Year! Today’s class was so boring and helped in making me feel all the more groggy. I’m still so worn out and damn sleepy. Just can’t wait to hit my bed!

I am currently reading the book ‘Intimacy’ by Osho. And I came across this very meaningful part where he talks about the transient nature of everything in life.

“You love someone and you promise, ‘I will love you my whole life.’ And you know perfectly well that you cannot be even certain of tomorrow – you are giving a false promise. All that you can say is, ‘I am in love with you this moment, and I give my totality to you. About the next moment, I know nothing. How can I promise? You have to forgive me.’ ”

I found it to be so true. And yet, people choose to continue giving false promises, ignoring the fact that they can never be certain about the very next moment, let alone the possibility of ‘forever’. Honestly speaking, I was also among those who promised love and togetherness forever, rather than focussing on the present. But during the past few months, my perceptions have undergone a drastic change. For good, I believe.

One day, while writing the day’s diary entry, it struck me that the way we love a person is so wrong. Love, for us, is basically a bunch of conditions than a powerful and beautiful emotion. When we love a person, it entails so many conditions…conditions that require you to be faithful, stay together forever, get married, this, that. We can’t seem to let go of our apprehensions and just love.

Love is the most basic and powerful of all emotions. One of the simplest feelings ever. Yet, we choose to complicate it with our many rules and conditions. When a person says that he/she loves you, why don’t we just take it to mean exactly that…just that he/she loves us? Why do we interpret it to mean a hell lot more? Same goes for when we say it to someone. We should be able to fully mean what we said – that we love the person truly and completely, at this moment, here, now. Why complicate this simple emotion with worries of possibilities, time, qualities and the like?

Surprisingly, love is a highly essential element for existence, but complicated to such an extent that we have forgotten how to love…simply love. We have come to associate so many conditions with love, baring it of its beauty. For instance, fidelity. You can’t say love involves fidelity – one of the most important conditions when you love. Being faithful to a person is a way of forcing yourself to stay in the situation even when you might want to break free. Being faithful physically and/or emotionally does not translate into love. Love would never demand anything from you. Love just is. All the other attributes connected to love (fidelity, togetherness, adjusting, etc.) have been created by men…men who wanted to ensure security and certainty in a phenomenon as wild and uncertain as love. And what have we got? Endless instances of unhappy relationships and marriages. All because of these enforced guidelines and concepts of ‘forever’.

Love is an energy flowing through each one of us, connecting us. Love exists here and now. You cannot imprison it in a place called forever. Let it free, let it happen. Allow yourself to love naturally, simply…without preconceived notions and conditions. Because it is not love, when you are bound by such rules. Love is a lost art we need to learn, all over again.

Next time you say that you love someone, take a moment, and make sure you mean it, in real. Don’t attach any cute, sweet phrases. Simply love. Make sure that you love the person without any conditions or false promises of forever. Let’s not limit the boundaries of this wonderful emotion. For, love is far beyond forever.

Steering Through Sheer Homesickness

Today, when I read what I posted last time, I was like “OMG! What crap did I post?” I don’t know if it made sense to you. And in case you’re still trying to make sense of it, don’t worry, it won’t be often that I go so crazy as to write total insensible bullshit! Mostly, I stick to writing plainly stupid bullshit! 😀 Well, my weekend was great! I had one day of fun and another of pure lazing around. I would have loved one more day, though. But the prospect of going another day without blogging made me change my mind and look forward to the next day. 🙂 I definitely know a couple of readers who missed me. 😉

Since the very first day I joined college, I have missed home so intensely. During the first few weeks, I cried it out. There were many a nights on which I would curl up under my blanket and cry silently into the pillow, wishing I could somehow go back home and not have to come back to this hell. I used to feel instantly homesick when I listened to ‘Someone’s Watching Over Me’ by Hilary Duff because that’s a song that reminds me very intensely of home and the good ol’ times. Eventually, I got used to the homesickness. I still missed home but I slowly learnt to live with it. I found a handful of great friends, who helped a lot. It felt really comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in my sorrow. And who wouldn’t wish for a shoulder to cry on in the midst of all this misery? I did…and I will always be grateful for the friends I found here.

The first year was hard for me. Being uprooted from the place I call home, I found it difficult to cope with the atmosphere at college and especially with the ‘traditions’ and way of thinking prevalent in Kerala. I could not stand the stifling customs and norms according to which I was expected to behave. Apart from my family and friends, what I missed most terribly was the freedom I enjoyed back at home. I was born and brought up in Ras-Al-Khaimah (UAE). Even now, when I fill in my details, I cannot think of any place other than RAK which can fill the blank against Homeplace/Hometown. I know it may not be home forever…but that is where I belong.

 

Over the past 3 years, I have realized and come to understand a lot about myself. For instance, I never knew I could withstand so much of pain. Every time I came back after a vacation (inevitably to RAK), it would take me weeks to get over the fervent longing to be back at my home, with my family. Somehow, I managed to live through the struggle of those weeks with a strength that still surprises me.

If you ask me whether I’m fine with it now, I would say, to be very honest, I AM NOT! I still miss home so badly…my dad, mom, sisters…the evenings my sisters and I used to sit and talk…mom pestering me to have food…the boring Fridays…the heat during the summers…the slight fog during the winter mornings…Christmas time (!!! :()… I miss the way we used to listen to music 24*7 in the room (that’s something I MISS with a super-capital M)…hanging out with friends, checking out guys and once in a while, getting into trouble…the way I used to talk to friends over the phone for hours…the awesome food… Most of all, I miss the freedom I enjoyed there. I felt so damn free… I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I was never so bothered about what others would say or think; not as much as I have to be bothered now, anyway. I could stay out with friends for as

Home, very truly, is where the heart is!

long as I wanted (provided dad didn’t know :D), I could sit up late into the night reading or watching movies or listening to music or talking or doing WHATEVER I wanted! I miss that so damn badly!

This place has a way of getting to your nerves, suppressing you…suffocating you so terribly that you can’t stay in your senses for a moment longer. Here, I have had to ‘smother’ myself to a certain extent or quieten myself in a situation where I would have liked to speak out. All because of the conservative people and their rules…because they can’t live and let live. I had never felt so demotivated and depressed as I felt then. I’m glad I finally sorted it out and came out of that phase. And the most important thing, I never let myself be changed by the rules, customs or anything. I’m so glad I always remained true to myself, never giving in to the pressure of this place and its people. I can’t say the same for some of my friends, though.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, just don’t let anything force you to change. If you are happy with yourself, then you have no reason to change. Nothing or nobody is worth that much effort. And anyway, people who truly love you will accept you for who you are and not demand you to change. When you go through hard times in life, try to be strong and be true to yourself. I still miss home, especially right now, since it’s Christmas time (which is family time, for me) and because all my best friends are there right now…without me! 😦 But I know it will pass, like always. Maybe not completely. In fact, never completely. But I will be able to survive, live through it all with a smile…because eventually, I know I will get home…reach that place where I belong, where I’m truly happy, where I’m free to be myself.

Provoked to React

My college is one that does not encourage or tolerate (romantic) relationships at all. Sometimes, I feel this should be emphasized in bold, block letters in the college prospectus and in front of the college, too. I find it a very weird rule…Yeah, this is mentioned as one of the ‘rules’ of this college. Don’t they feel at all stupid when they say something like this? Inspite of the reputation of the college and the high qualification of the teachers, how come they don’t have the dignity and sense to respect a person’s privacy and decisions pertaining to his/her life? What right do they have to intrude into the private life of another person, even if it is a student?

To be frank, it isn’t just romantic relationships. My college should have a board at the front of it, saying: ‘BEWARE! ANY KIND OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS OF OPPOSITE SEX WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, WHATEVER IT MAYBE. (WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN FRIENDSHIPS OR SIBLING-LIKE BONDS/WHATEVER BETWEEN STUDENTS OF OPPOSITE SEX. THEY SIMPLY DON’T EXIST.)’ That about sums up the attitude of most teachers and authoritative figures here. Of course, there are a rare few with sense. I admire them for surviving among these others who are so ignorant about these matters. If a guy and girl are seen talking for more than, say, 3 or 4 times, suspicion arises and the two are put under constant watch and scrutiny. Of course, this doesn’t stop relationships from happening. In fact, they thrive over here. But these f-ing rules are an absolute pain in the neck for others (like me) who enjoy the company and friendship of guys without the implication of a romantic involvement.

One such irritating incident, recently, has incited me to write this. I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to properly react to that person. So, I turned to my greatest relief and outlet for pent-up emotions – writing! 🙂 This is just an attempt to let out what I’m feeling, I don’t intend anything more than that. I wouldn’t really mind if the person reads this someday, though.

Please Note: I do not mean any offence to anyone else.

This is addressed to that person, in response to his rude and biased behaviour towards me.

Dear Someone,

I do no wish to address you as sir because, to be honest, I do not think you deserve it completely and you have not behaved as a good teacher should. It was after coming here that I realized that I have had the privilege of knowing some of the best teachers ever…back at my school! And as far as I think, you can never reach upto their level, however qualified you maybe.

Anyhow, that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. I want to let you know that I completely detested the way you spoke to me the previous day. I’m the kind of person who believes that each individual deserves to be respected for who they are…and this invariably entails a respect for their privacy and what they do in their life. I expect others to show this same respect towards me, at least in a most basic manner. After having been with some really brilliant teachers (who were brilliant in every aspect), I’m amazed and shocked that most teachers here do not bother about anything of this sort. I feel the way you treated me was very unbecoming for a teacher and of course, humiliating for me.

I do not blame you for arriving to the more obvious conclusion (regarding the situation), as you have done in my case. It is natural that you tend to believe what you see & what you think. But I wish to point out that you shouldn’t make the mistake of trusting what you think to be what is right. You could try to find out what exactly is the truth. See, perceptions of what is right and wrong vary with people. My right and wrong may not be the same as yours. It’s nobody’s fault. But when you treat someone in a biased manner just because they did something that’s not ‘right’ for you…that certainly is very wrong.

As far as I know (and many others corroborate this), you divide students into 2 categories, generally – ones who are in a relationship and ones who aren’t. Your behaviour towards the students of each category is biased and drastically different. Losing your temper, using ‘poking’ comments/comments with a lot of inner meaning, prejudiced and humiliating behaviour towards students are some of the lowest ways possible in which a teacher can react. And why all this? Just because they don’t adhere to your perceptions of right? Next time you are tempted to do something like this, please take the time to think. Try to find out if your conclusion is true and then go about with your reaction. And I hope the reaction will be something more measured, dignified and sensible.

Dear person, it doesn’t really count if you are considered a great teacher or as someone with a lot of degrees or someone who is highly qualified. At least in a broader, wider perspective for life, none of this does. At the end of the day, if you have been able to earn the respect of at least one student or if a student has addressed you as a ‘sir’/teacher, meaning it completely and believing you deserve it…that’s what counts, ultimately! That is when you will truly qualify as a teacher. Someday, if you read this, I hope you will understand what I’m talking about. I wish you all the best in your life ahead.

With no particular feelings,

Your student.