It’s love too, isn’t it? - ZorbaBooks

It’s love too, isn’t it?

Valentine’s Day and Saraswati Puja celebrations had coincided in one day this year. Even though red roses continued to be a classic favourite, the choice of yellow sunflowers, roses and marigolds had made deep inroads into modern romantic preferences. She got immersed in dreams of love in shades and hues of yellow and decided to make efforts to create magic in yellow, one of her most favorite colours. 

She had a yellow saree adorned with floral extravaganza in shades of yellow, mauve, pink and purple. She made an effort to get beautifully dressed and self shoot some performances of love songs and romantic dance sequences for a Facebook page one or two days before. She had bitter-sweet experiences in her love life, of late the bitterness exceeding the sweetness in many ways. But even though sometimes we get angry on love or feel sick and shattered, love is such an emotion that it keeps on recreating a certain kind of magic and makes us also immerse ourselves in the magic of love in some way or the other , no matter how much overwhelming our bitterness has been. 

Sometimes she found it very difficult to pardon her lover for all the bitterness he had given. They were poles apart in many ways. But he was the one to send her message of love in the very early morning of Saraswati Puja and Valentine’s Day. In many ways they had certain things common but also stark differences which were sometimes very difficult to come to terms with or reconcile.

 He had a very problematic and insecure upbringing, and his family, especially his mother was very backward in many ways. He was honest but his money and health management was very poor and often she had to make up for many of his inadequacies. All this sometimes crossed a reasonable limit, and she would feel irritated and want to severe ties with him and never see his face again, envision some modern advanced handsome man as her lover but again he would say sorry or come back to her and renew the relationship. He would even admit that he was not suitable for her. He would tell her everything he wanted to say the days they have not talked. He had honesty no doubt. They had a lot of honesty in their relationship. He was so helpless without her she could sense that.

She would soften towards him, but often could not come to terms with him. Often he would seem to be manipulative, often very concerned. He confused her. 

Inside her often she would experience a struggle, a revolt. 

But she had experienced many special moments with him, moments of such closeness and intimacy……….she had never done the things she had done with him with any other man. She was practicing not to let her complaining side get the better of her. She was grateful to God about the love she had received, been gifted with even there were many troublesome issues she had never even dreamt of. 

Her mother had gifted her a new beautiful yellow saree even though she would have been content in wearing her other yellow sarees which she had worn a few times.

She did not like too much rituals in worship. Her worship was different. She liked to celebrate Saraswati Puja by doing activities close to her heart that were related to maybe painting, singing, dancing, writing, creating something, of course wearing a yellow saree. It was not that she had not participated in Pujas. She had enjoyable experiences no doubt. But in her home even though Ma Saraswati was not worshipped in a ritualistic way, the devi would be worshipped in other ways. He would tell her, “Oh, in your house there are no pujas.’’ She would earlier get angry, but now she had become more calm. 

But he would be the one to first wish her, talk to her. This time also there was no exception. He had wished her as early as 5.30 am in the early morning. He called her and heard the sound of her fingers clicking the keyboard. “So, what are you doing, writing love letters to your lovers?’’ he had jokingly asked. Yes she was writing . Certain thoughts had come to her that she felt she could do away with, but now she felt the urge to write to get it out of her system. She felt that relationship of an individual with God should be true. Different people of different mentalities have different forms of worship. What you can do whole-heartedly is your form of true worship because God values truth. She was very honest and could not do anything half-heartedly just for the sake of being a people pleaser or showing off. Worship was more in her heart and as she grew older she valued solitude in her worship. 

He had always emphasized blowing the conch shell in the house, and she did not have the practice in her home and often they had a debate. Now one day she went to Dakshineswar and found beautiful conch shells. She asked for a conch shell that was easiest to blow and she was shown a beautiful big conch shell which she liked a lot and felt that it was of very good quality. She bought it, something she had never done in her life and tried to blow through it, making such funny sounds….even you tube videos did not help. Then she asked her maid, and her maid said that she learnt from her father-in-law and was also awarded a prize in a conch. Well there should be division of labour, not everybody is good at everything. After that she did not tell him anything, but very morning the maid will blow the conch shell thrice. She admitted, “The shankh is of very good quality.’’ One day he called her and overheard. He asked, “ What beautiful shonkhodhwoni(sound of conch shell ) I heard. Where ?’’ She said, “ In my house …….’’. She elaborated further. He was so pleased. 

Earlier she used to involve herself in artistic activities for pleasure. The pleasure element was still there, but now for the last many years there had been a necessity, an urge to express at times, the importance of which only she could feel.

Today she did drape herself in a yellow dhakai saree. She had a class in the morning. She went out in the afternoon to get darshan of the Saraswati idol in her community. Very surprisingly when she stood in front of the devi she received his phone call. He made a video call and saw her and Ma Saraswati. He exclaimed,“You are looking so beautiful today. Do click good pictures and send to me. So you said that you had prayed to ma Saraswati and you did not want to disclose your prayers to me. What were your prayers?’’

She replied, “Well, I am extremely grateful to the goddess for showering her blessings on me in education. But now I want to have an educational as well as art and culture institution of my own. I pray to her for strength, clarity , direction and helping me take the proper initiatives and decisions.’’

He smiled and repeated, “I love you ‘’ many times.

For the second time she came in front of the idol, he again called, “See I am unwell and feeling feverish.’’

She urged him, “Check your temperature .’’

He was reluctant and she again said, “If you don’t check your temperature I will not send you my photos.’’

So yes, after some time he did call her. The temperature was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. He was lying in his room, the room was dark.

“Do go to a doctor.’’ He kept all his money fixed and often was not able to pay during emergencies or extra requirements. He asked money from her. He was going through a bad patch of time and he was not able to manage himself properly. They had quarrels on this. This had happened the previous day also when he had demanded, and she said he was crossing a certain limit. She softened and said, “I will pay if required.’’ He replied, “ No, no.’’

She became tough. “Don’t aggravate the problem by neglecting it.’’

Uff! She remembered a doctor’s visit of his she had to schedule and he had called her on that day so many number of times! She had once commented, “He is nothing but a grown-up baby’’ and he had admitted, “I can only tolerate you as you understand me to this level.’’

That morning was the last day of an on-line wealth mastery class she had joined under a female Life Coach. Now the coach had said that there are four categories of people-Spender, Saver, Avoider and Monk.

Spender- more inclined to spend

Saver-more inclined to save

Avoider-avoids discussion on money matters

Monk-thinks love is everything not money

Now she had been the leader of a Breakout room of Savers where many women opened up. Many of them in their negative points admitted that they felt very guilty to spend, even for necessities and of course, for themselves. 

She had a balanced mindset and had always struck a balance between spending and saving. Now she understood that he had this problem due to the imperfect uncertain circumstances of his upbringing and life. This problem was towards the extreme at times.

As a fear of making more money, one lady had admitted that she feared that if she made more money, her close ones will ask for more money and how to safeguard her money. The fear was not immaterial. When he sometimes demanded beyond her limit and was unable to pay back, she also had this fear. She had a savings account where she diligently kept money, but he simply would not and fix everything. Out of the money he gave to his mother, he would not pay himself first, that is set aside some money for himself. He was good-hearted and often said that I hand over all my money, you do what you want. 

He was very confusing. She sometimes felt that she should be strict and draw boundaries, but he would face her no matter what. He would often regret his condition. She had assured him that everyone despite their circumstances and fate can improve themselves, even in money management. She would often feel that he was the most horrible man in the whole wide world and never want to see him again, but he would come back and she would feel what will he do without her. She had guarded him like an umbrella, sheltering him and preventing him to go off-track so many times. He himself had even admitted, “ How much will you prevent my going in the wrong direction?’’ Surprisingly, even though her overall decisions were much better than him, he had saved her some times when she had taken wrong decisions. He had even apologized to her for behavior of his mother which had annoyed and hurt her. 

Sometimes he would lift her, she was far more modern and advanced. Sometimes he would get jealous and try to pull her down to his level. She would get the best of praises and the worst of hurts from him and sometimes she would fear him as well and feel like “Why God you sent him to me? No other girl would have, and will put up with his nuisance. Why me?’’ Then again she would soften, and picture him- for example, while singing classical one day, she was always picturing him in her room, joking and making fun. How horrible! She least desired him to be with her at that point, and somehow she was missing him also. He had seen a dance of her with a romantic song and exclaimed, “See the singer sings standing or sitting, I understand…………but I don’t understand why are you turning, raising your hands…..has someone tickled you or what?’’ She could never imagine someone could interpret her dance in such a way. She stared for a while in an unbelieving way, and then burst out into laughter.

He was too much talkative and she talked far less. Uff! At times he would talk so much…….so headachy!

Whenever he called, he expected her to take the phone immediately and if she ever said, “I am calling you later’’ he would also reply when she called her, “I will call you later.’’ She had often said, “See, when I call you often you also say that you will call later and I understand absolutely. So from my side this will happen sometimes. Why can’t you take it normally?’’

She had cooked for him, given food to him of the best quality, even when he had no money and had cried to her in the phone to give him some food one evening and she had rushed to him.

He will not try to drag her into his unfavorable circumstances. 

Often she felt her care was well received, often she felt she was being mistreated for her care and she would become firm and set her boundaries. Again her heart would melt. She had done so many things for him. Often she would question, “ Am I out of my head?’’

He was very rigid and took a long time to bend. She was far more open-minded and flexible. The episode of making him handle a smartphone was unforgettable…..he was so reluctant and then understood the relevance….the details will make another headachy big story…. He had studied in Bengali medium, she in English medium. He did make her translate letters in English, but when it came to education of would-be-child he would emphasize education in the Bengali medium school just beside his home in the countryside, and she would shudder. An English medium school was there nearby his locality where she had called- the fees was very reasonable and children were not given homework, not overloaded with studies-there were facilities for giving tablets to parents and educating parents in English as well. She had searched in the internet, found the phone number and called. He was like mad at her at first, fees was high, not much high but later he said, “ Why, you won’t come here? That school of which you spoke of, won’t it satisfy you?’’

Despite the differences, he had always promised loyalty to her. He had lots of qualities, but also many faults, strange problems. But he was the one to wish her on this day and acknowledge her love. He had admitted that she had always stood by his side during a very rough patch of his life and he would never leave her, even if she left him. She had many times not even spoken to him for a month, but he had restored relationship with her. When she did not speak with him, she had often missed him despite her hatred and exhaustion due to intolerance and dreamt of him also.

He trusted her a lot. 

He was crazy, he was confusing. But he adored her. Sometimes he seemed caring, sometimes uncaring but again the bonding would get strong. What kind of chemistry this can be only God knows! She often felt bewildered, perplexed.

It’s love too, isn’t it?

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