When love haunts

Musings on everyday life


Suresh Pattali

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2022, 9:32 PM

No doubt, to love is a great feeling. We’ve all experienced it at one point or another. If you have doubts, you can Google, the ultimate arbitrator of our times, to read up posts like “Ten reasons love is the best thing in the world” to convince yourself. Since love is universal, the bucket list of reason also seems to be universal, starting with “Love makes you feel invincible” and “Love makes you happy” and ending with “Love makes you believe”. Does it mean, the more you fall in love, the happier you are?

So far so good. But the problem arises when love behaves like a wayward algorithm, churning out, not just scoops, but mountains of happiness and associated feelings, good and bad. Just as I searched the word love on my desktop, I started to get pop-ups about all things love on my phone and apps. That’s when love becomes a pain in all parts of your body.

Whether it’s an antibiotic, supplement, cough syrup or even an elixir, doctors prescribe certain doses, beyond which it would turn toxic and harm the patient. Churning the ocean of love to obtain the divine nectar of happiness is a risk-driven exercise that even the Devas may not endure.

To cut the story short, love in excess is like the mythical halahala that turned Lord Shiva’s neck blue. Unbridled love is like a runway elephant that would trample anything that comes its way. It uproots relationships, mangles bodies and souls, and leave the victims in a spiritually vegetative state. Obsession, possessiveness and denial of personal space, the byproduct of excessive love, would ruin any relationship, not just romance.

There’s this long-distance love some time ago who I pestered with a repetitive message on the hour, every day:

“Hi, how are you? Where are you now?”

In hindsight, I was like a maniac, obsessed about her movements, which set temperature soaring in our relationship. And when it became unbearable, she called it curtains:

“I’m fed-up, man. My day — and night— ends answering your queries. You’re trying to stake out on me. You have become a shackle around my neck. Get off my life.”

A lesson learned the hardest way. I have since been careful, not to choke anyone with love. Love is also detrimental when it leads to total surrender. There’s this group of lovers who become foolishly submissive to prove the caratage of their feelings. They stoop to conquer. They volunteer to expose their threadbare emotional side, leaving enough room for their partners to walk over. They give out a live commentary on their day-to-day activities, demanding reciprocity.

“Good morning, just woke up. You didn’t wish me. It’s 9 already.”

“Brushing now. Did you?”

“It’s cereals for breakfast. Mind your cals, darling.”

“Just got out of the Metro. I sent 10 messages, not even one from you. You don’t love me anymore. You’re still an enigma.”

A sure shot recipe for disaster. They set out a pack of wolves into your personal space and leave your spirits bleeding. Love then becomes a nightmare. I wish love were in the eyes of the beholder. Fancy living a lifetime gaze-locked, no words uttered.

There are also parents who refuse to stop gatecrashing into their ward’s lives in the name of love. I was one of them until Vava told me off.

“Vava, which toilet are you using in your in-law’s place?”

“How does it matter to you, dad?” Pat came her reply, effectively asking me to piss off.

“Where are you? No message yet, it’s midnight.”

“Get off our back, dad. I’m with my husband.”

Some people never learn. I again tried it out with my son in the name of love.

“Hello Kannan, miss you a lot. Can please send a few photos of the locale you live in in Munich?”

“Sorry, dad. We are private people.” He shut the door on account of privacy.

When I was about to close this column, Vava rang up.

“Who’s the blonde who likes your Insta post every time? That air hostess on your FB; how did you connect with her? Why does that Sri Lankan friend of yours drop a heart under your posts every time?”

I hung up silently at the end of the barrage.


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