Written by Buttertoes
This is a piece I prepared a presentation on for an event. P.S. Too much Hindi movie references. Please excuse me for that.
My Aim in Life.
I remember the times we had to write essays on this topic when we were in school. The topic never seemed to change with classes; just the word limit increased. My friends used to write all kinds of crap they never believed themselves- some wanted to be pilots, some engineers, some architects, and what not. Even I wrote my share of crap- to be a doctor.
But all that I wanted to do was to fall in love. And yes, that was indeed, truly, my one and only aim in life.
How did I realize it? Well, it hit me when I was watching a Hindi movie- Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. A movie more popular for its ever-lasting love song- Pehla Nasha Pehla Khumar. As the song played on our old TV, I got so deep into the video that I started picturizing myself in place of Aamir Khan. Overwhelmed by the feeling of being in love for the first time, throwing myself on green grass and rolling in happiness, dreaming about the girl all day, all night- yes, that was the foundation on which I built my view on love.
As days went and as Shahrukh Khan’s gooey romantic movies made their marks on lovers’ hearts, my view on love kept getting stronger. And more filmy. Why wouldn’t I be a creepy psycho stalker to be with the girl I’ve always wanted? Why wouldn’t I throw myself out of the train quite dangerously and help a girl to get on board? Why wouldn’t I play violin and dance with the ghost of Aishwariya under the rain?
Now here there are two things in common- one is Shahrukh Khan (Duh!) and the other is a girl. And it was always okay for me to see myself with a girl. In fact, I didn’t realise it might not be okay until I was in my O Levels. Either I was too dumb to understand that it might be a problem or I was too sure of my own sexuality to even consider this as an anomaly. I would like to believe the latter. Bears well on my self-confidence.
The real problem started to happen when I tried to go out there and offer my oh-much-love-filled heart to girls. To my surprise, there weren’t many girls who’d embrace that with open arms. In fact, there were none. It was like I’m riding a super-cool Ferrari on a road filled with beautiful female pedestrians and I was offering them a ride, but no one would take it because the car was of a different color. It made me frustrated.
But then, Om Shanti Om was released and its very famous dialogue- roughly translated to “If you truly want something from the purest corner of your heart, the whole world will conspire to bring it to you”- gave me confidence. Yes, I will get the love I’ve always wanted. One day.
However, once I actually started dating, within two months all that I believed of love was almost gone, to my dismay. Where is the love that makes you want to dance with instant-ready background dancers behind? I realised relationships and love are totally different. And relationships with girls- I don’t know if I’m being sexist but those are harder than volcanic rocks. Or maybe it wasn’t them; may be it was me.
And then came the inevitable heartbreaks; the kind of pain that makes you want to run in Gulistan in front of the buses and then dive out of the damn flyover onto the horse shit below. And every time my heart got torn apart, and every time I had to glue it together, made me grow skeptical of love. What’s the point of falling in love if that’s how it’s going to end up every time?
There’s no point denying that I’m getting older. And with age, comes maturity. After a while, I realised that all these heartbreaks are the nature’s way of teaching me to get stronger. And to make me understand love is not Hindi movies; it’s not getting yourself killed over someone you love; it’s not mushy songs with transparent sarees in the rain. Love just is.
And it takes not the soft heart of a poet, but the heart of a lion to fall in love. To fall in love with someone of the same gender going against all odds, against the stupid social norms, against every possibility of a heartbreak, against everyone telling me I’m wrong.
But then again, is it any less exciting than any movie you have seen?