Ruminations on love

Published On: February 2, 2019 12:05 AM NPT By: Manita Raut

Why aren’t we told anything about love in the beginning? Having the game in matters of love is also a craft, to be learned and improved with time

Coffee conversations can take interesting turns, especially the ones concerning your career, life and love. To partake in these, I have friends at my workplace who entice me with their take on feminism, trivial yet sometimes significant day to day episodes, escapades of life and deadlines.

Occasionally, we discuss love, usually the possibility and mostly, the lack of it. As we share our “ifs”, “could haves” and “would haves”, a lot of times, we reach to a grim conclusion that “finding a man to love and be loved is hard, at this day and age. Especially for some “25 years old”, “ambitious” “single women” like us. 

From early in our lives, like the “good girls” we are, we knew the path we were supposed to follow. It is nothing complicated, just that we study hard, bag a job and kick start our career. While the path pretty much ends here for some, this is just the starting point for us.

We are ambitious. I am not sure if it is guided by the fact that we are the first generation of women who have as much freedom, confidence and most importantly, the opportunity to go out there and live our dreams. And so, we set out every day.

My larger dream and “timeline of life” was not much different: education, work, love and happily ever after like they show in the movies. To my dismay, life plans are not as linear as I envisioned. Love particularly! It is a funny subject and frankly speaking, increasingly scary. 

Early on, I was told “if you want something, you are supposed to work for it”. No one told me, this applies to love as well. They were always keen on how less I scored than one of my cousins, how fine was the college I was applying to and whether the job I bagged was fancy enough. Suggestions and criticism followed, for career, never for love.

So, I studied hard, exceeded my attendance, partied less, turned in my term papers on time and scored well. When I was running after maintaining my grades, my friends were setting aside time for college romance. As the saying “what you sow is what you reap” goes, some if not all have love in their life now. If not love, they have experience.

I on the other hand have understood now that finding someone is important. What I don’t understand is how did the conversation from “don’t talk to boys” escalated to “settle down” and why does it not matter even if s/he is a stranger? 

Societal expectation of “settling down” is not something we can readily accept. We are not designed to accept any and every “arranged” proposals that come our way. For one, these are pretty much like lottery, works well if we hit the right ticket but fails miserably otherwise. After all, years of education did instill in us the ability to question and live life on our own terms. I am told, a girl who speaks too much, asks many questions and wears less clothing aren’t exactly what potential suitors are looking for. And there goes some of my chance. 

Going back to the conversation of “working hard to get things you want”, why aren’t we told anything about love in the beginning? As much effort, acing a semester needs, apparently, “having the game” in matters of love is also a craft, to be learned and improved with time. 

I wish the conversations on love were not as hushed in the family. I wish important subject of “finding someone” did not equate to getting married because everyone else is doing so. I wish these were casual conversations we could have growing up. Maybe then, it wouldn’t be so tough finding the one; to love and cherish, to grow together and hopefully share life, shades of sadness and happiness someday. And if we could not do so we would always have a group of friends and a cup of coffee to discuss that.

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