Monthly Archives: April 2013

Love is…sharing a hanky

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I’m on a horse. I’m on a white horse, clutching the bare back of my Spartacus warrior – my gladiator hero. And we’re riding off into the sunset.
Warning: All cynics and realists, you may now leave the room before you reel with nausea at my sentimental stirrings. I am going to write about love. I’m writing about LOVE!

I love weddings. Maybe it’s because I grew up on an awesomely sweet diet of Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Or maybe it’s because when God was handing out the die-hard romantic genes, I stood there with a pick-up truck. I can’t help it. I love weddings because they make love so visible and blatant. Sure….Life’s silent moments and painful trying moments give true love the opportunity to reveal itself but I like weddings more because weddings make love obvious and unashamed. Weddings offer you the chance to believe in good, old-fashioned love again.

In this generation, love is a little damn scary. It is unstable and complicated and easily given up on. Love in this generation doesn’t require the title of marriage, the ceremony or even grand witnessing by the Lord above. It can be fluctuating and impermanent, constantly questioned and under threat and sometimes, it won’t even last the seven steps around the marriage fire. But we all need something to believe in. And while a wedding doth not the marriage make, the purity of the moment is something to behold.

As I watched my gorgeous cousin exchange vows this weekend, I was reminded of the reason that people gather to have a wedding. I don’t think it’s because you get to walk around @Home choosing items for your new love nest with that supermarket-scanner device. I don’t even think it’s because you get to voice the tear-jerker speech you’ve always held somewhere in the recesses of your mind, collected from all sorts of inspiration spanning across “You had me at hello” and “Is it still raining?…I hadn’t noticed.” I think it is because you get to promise to love somebody with all your heart in front of all the people that matter to you.

The counter argument is that you can promise to love somebody with all your heart privately, quietly and without public announcement. But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the Dilwale Dhulania in that? Where are the high stakes? (For now…I have no better arguments, so let’s digress.)

Somewhere in the evening, I took a big bite of soji and the not-so-soji-sweet moment of the nuptials arrived – the hurling of the bouquet into the snatches of the available ones. Surely a die-hard romantic would love this time-honoured tradition? Contrary to popular belief, this is the single girl’s nightmare. No, it not a declaration of your cool singleness. It is a loud, embarrassing proclamation of the fact that you are still sitting on the bloody shelf like an awkward vase. I tried to lift my arms to catch the bouquet but they just wouldn’t budge. And I wondered why…

Let me just take this moment to step down from the white horse. If I have to really challenge my fantastical love-princess vibes I can be a little honest and say that I don’t really have to have the marriage. But what I really have to have is the love.

There were two impeccably beautiful standout moments in this marriage I witnessed. In the first, the priest barely completed his question, “Will you take this woman to be your wi-” when the groom shouted with unbridled enthusiasm, “I WILL!!” The next was a quiet moment between new husband and wife sitting on the stage. She asked him for his handkerchief and delicately wiped her nose with it. Later on, he reached over, took the same hanky and wiped his face with it. And that was the moment that sealed it all.

Weddings give you a chance to uncrumple your heart. It’s time to say thank you to the believers – the newlyweds, the ones who would walk 500 miles and the ones who will love each other in this incarnation and the next. You allow me to dangle my legs over the shelf and to believe that one day the realistic man of my unrealistic dreams will find me…and be willing to share his hanky with me.

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Tossing and Turning

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As I write this, I sit down at an outside table. I take my jacket off. The wind blows. I put it back on. I start writing. I stop. I start again. Back space. Back space. Back space. I pick up everything and go and sit inside.

I’m going. No, I’m staying. I’m taking it. I’m not. I get it. I don’t.

There is much to be said about decision-making. There are some things in life that cannot be decided with an eight ball, angels or ching chong cha.

Being restless is starting on the right hand side of the bed, rolling over to the left and ending up at the foot. And the harder you search for comfort, the more the bed sheets tangle you.

The Guardians of my Universe are shaking their heads in dismay and every now and then letting out a loud guffaw. “Look at this silly girl,” they seem to be saying.

They shuffle around hurling obstacles in my way, only to clear my path, only to put up ‘Wet Cement’ signs. They’re amused and I’m not listening.

I’m too caught up with fear, doubt and hope. And lamenting my old self that leapt off the ledge as they shouted: “3,2,1, bungeeeeee”.

Last night a man grabbed my ass at a bar and fought with me over my occupation of a barstool. What a lowly human specimen – Neanderthal, Beast, Cretin. I fought back throwing words at him instead of the barstool I so desperately wanted to lodge between his vacant eyeballs and then I proclaimed loudly to the barman: “Do you make it a habit of serving assholes at this bar?” The caveman’s brother then told my friend: “Your friend needs to loosen up a little. She’s so uptight”.

Who would have thought that assholes could be transporters of wisdom? The brute at the bar was right (not in his behaviour of course, but in some indirect analysis of my own bullshit). Maybe I’m taking all of Life a little too seriously at the moment. In some kind of Wordsworthian way, the world is too much with me.

We create our own rules, our own limitations and our own liberations. What difference does it make to anyone? And why do I carry this undue pressure like bricks in a satchel? When someone said: “Live each day as if it were your last”, I don’t think they meant that The End lies waiting in a spacious, airy, one bedroom two blocks away.

The wisest man in my life reminded me: “It’s okay to say, ‘Stop the world, I want to get off’.” I do. Just for now. Just till the winds have stopped rattling my windows, till the nights are less restless and just until I’m okay with indecision.

Should I end here? Or keep writing? Urggh! It doesn’t really matter, now does it?

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