Love’s Broken Symmetry

By Nisha Joshi
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Love has known me a long time now. I may only be a blip in Love’s timeline, for she is eternity herself. To me though, it does seem like an eternity has passed since I first took a tiny baby step towards Love, or at least what I thought was Love. And in all the giving that Love entails, I have failed. I always attributed the source of my love to the object of my affection. Thus rendering myself futile. Love and longing are intertwined in my life in a way that my heart often mistakes one for the other. They share an unhealthy bond, a bond destined to die a ghastly death.

In poetry and literature, the longing has almost attained a saint-like stature. Yes, I too was enamoured by it. But now, I’m bitter and disillusioned. For Love has been disappointing and unforgiving. And my heart is tired of giving and receiving nought in return. It is as if I am a living embodiment of unrequited love. Soon I will be a stuffed corpse in the museum of ‘What Not to Do When You are in Love’, on the ‘Love Is a Bad Idea’ floor in the ‘Love Is a Waste of Time’ section. 

I am not a hater of Love. Love has her benefits, and I have reaped those. I’m Love’s adopted child. Love has taught me surrender. She taught me to abandon myself for the sake of something more beautiful than my little world. She brought me in touch with something infinitely delicate within me. Love gave shelter to my already bleeding, searching soul.  I have felt like a dewdrop held on a leaf on a winter morning. And Love certainly swept me off my feet. Like a leaf drifting in the wind. In other words, Love’s beauty is not lost on me. It is the magic that’s missing. There are no sparks flying. I wanted to see fireworks in the sky in honour of my heart’s conquest of Love.

Instead, I am here wondering how I could possibly explain to my naïve, pining heart that who she thought was Love is gone, never to return. What part of ‘I don’t feel that way about you’ don’t I understand? As it turns out, my heart is adamant. She kept on attributing an idea to a person and mistook that idea to be Love. At first, the person’s face remained unchanged for a long time. But then, over the years, faces came and faces went, and the idea remained the same. Slowly, but surely, everything began to turn sour. Dreamy days became teary days. Gloom was made drearier by the summer’s sweltering heat, monsoon’s delightfully cool evenings and the charming winter nights when I silently lay on the roof, with no one but the lonely stars to keep me company.

Love left me aghast, with my frozen heart in my hands, which I willingly smashed into so many pieces that I don’t think I’ll ever really get around to putting them all back together. 

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