Finding Love

I love Mills & Boon romances. Isn’t quite natural for a 16-yr old like me ?  I love those tall, dark and handsome heroes and the way they desperately loved the girl in the story. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling – the feeling of being in love ?

I wanted to experience that, in my heart, in my soul. But how will I recognize that feeling of love ?  Apart from the physical chemistry that comes along, what exactly is the feeling of love ? Its a mystery which I want to solve.

Even reading more and more of the M&B books, didn’t solve the puzzle for me.

But, I hate the fact, that I had to hide the book from my amma and read it. She doesn’t approve of me reading such books.  Being born in an orthodox Brahmin family, such books are taboo at home.  She actually hesitated to tell me all about my menstrual cycle. And I know, I’ll not be enlightened on the other secrets too, by my amma. She is like that – she has been brought up like that and so she is like that. She has never thought of changing the ways.

But my friends talk a lot, thanks for that. I don’t know how they get to know all those facts, they really made me aware of a lot of things – and one such initiation was the introduction to M&B books.  People might say that it is stupid romance, but for me its something I am so excited about. When there is no display of affection at home, sometimes a small deviation from the regularity, is surely to make one excited.

Now, I pray everyday, for that unique experience called love. And I want to know, when I really fall in love too. Just by thinking and dreaming about it, the years roll by. Its been quite disappointing for me, for I still wait to feel what is love.

I am in the final year of my college and still not felt that emotion called love.  How can I feel it ? It’s always been a girls’ school and then a girls’ college. Even the commute was totally taken care of by parents – they had arranged an auto for me. I never got any opportunity to meet or talk to any boy. Being in such a sheltered environment, was I wrong in thinking about the feeling of love ?

“Sarasu…..”, shouted my mother. That’s how I am called at home, me being named after the Goddess Saraswathi.  But I just nod my head in acknowledgement, the story is too interesting to take my eyes off it.

The shouting increases and my amma comes running with a photo in her hand. I look up to see that my amma is so happy. So, what is it now ? What photo is that ?

“Look at the photo…he is the mappillai….your husband-to-be. Isn’t he tall and handsome ?”

The moment I heard those words – tall and handsome – I became quite excited myself and took the photo from amma to see it. OOPS, is this amma’s description of tall and handsome ?  I had imagined tall and handsome to be really good-looking features and a great smile. But the picture lacked a smile or may be something. I was disappointed.

But there is no one in this house, to ask me whether I like this mappillai.  No one told me what is he doing. It was just assumed that I’ll say yes to this man and get married to him.

All my friends heard that I am getting married and started teasing me silly. How romantic it will be…how he’ll take care of me….how he’ll start loving me like those tall, dark & handsome heroes of M&B !!!

I think I just took refuge in those moments. So what if I don’t like the picture of mappillai ??? I might fall in love with him, after marriage. That’s how, every woman in my family has been. If he can make me feel that special, then life will be fantastic. I consoled myself and agreed to the marriage proceedings.

The day came and I got married. But, I didn’t feel any electricity racing through me, when he touched my hand during the ceremony. I asked myself, whether its ok ? This is not the way people in love should feel. But, now, there is no turning back.

The first few days were so hectic visiting people and going through so many customs and rituals, that I fell into the bed at night with exhaustion.  So, certainly I can’t agree that I enjoyed what happened to me in bed. It was also a part of the ritual, I felt.

Now, being the eldest daughter-in-law of this huge family, the responsibilities are aplenty.  And I don’t have time for myself or my pleasures or happiness. The family comes first. The sister-in-law needs to be married. The brother-in-law should complete his studies and get married. Taking care of the aged in-laws is another responsibility.

I wondered how my journey in life has changed in such a short period of time !!!  From desperately reading M&B romances to a stage, where romance has no meaning in my life, it certainly is a journey worth remembering.

Slowly, with kids around, came such happiness, that I forgot for sometime, what I was looking for in my life. Where is that love ??? Where is that feeling of utter joy and happiness, that nothing else matters, except him ?

I don’t know, maybe it got lost somewhere, when I was busy with other things in life. But it is not fair, if I failed to see it due to other responsibilities.

I learnt to be happy and smile at things, owing to the presence of my two little boys. They made me feel special and totally happy.

Life doesn’t wait for us. It keeps going and we need to go at that speed to enjoy and find things for ourselves. And I failed with myself, for not taking the initiative to find what love is.

Now, I am old, my sons are married and settled in their own homes. The mappillai is reading newspaper, sitting in the rocking chair. Life seems good, as all major responsibilities are done with. Its only the two of us, at home.

But, I still feel that I’ve not found that love.

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60 Replies to “Finding Love”

    1. lovely choice of words…and it felt like a true story…very close to someone’s heart…like it really happened..

      You made me think !

      Like

      1. Thanks Nu…its the story behind many women out there….

        It doesnt matter so much whether u read a M&B or not…its the way some ppl look for love… 🙂

        Like

  1. Beautiful story Uma. This is what is expected to happen to an average Indian woman and she is supposed to love this life and the sacrifices it involves…. this is like the other side of my post. Colleges go out of the way to make sure girls and boys don’t meet and love doesn’t happen. Both are lonely.

    Like

    1. “Btw, this is the wifes story, isnt it? The husband would be having an even bitter story to tell !!! All his life, he kept loving his wife, but his wife kept searching for love !!! ”

      You have a point here Vimmuuu. The thing is in this story he never shows her he cares, she was prepared to love and to be loved. She remained lonely, and he also remained lonely.

      Like

    2. IHM, glad you liked this story. 🙂 This is just one woman’s perspective and there might be others too…this is not the only way, a woman fails to find love in her marriage !!! Am glad u understood my thinking, on the storyline. 🙂

      Vimmuuu, write your version, then I can say hayyyoooo hayyo, in my style. 😉

      Like

  2. I’ve never read M&B. Somehow, never wanted to either.

    But I always pictured myself getting married in a gown. And when I told my parents that, they said “Silly you, how will you get married in a gown? You’ll have to marry a Christian…and then, it wont happen in a temple.”

    And I said, “Let me get married in an auditorium instead!” 😀 😀 😀

    But well, all that was simple fantasy, I thought.

    But on Nov 17 2008, I got married in a gown (in a church, not a tmple…but who cares!) 😀 😀 And I know what love is 🙂

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    1. WOW, Priya, great thinking and kudos to you for following it too !!! 🙂 Am so happy for you…finding love is quite tough…glad u found yours. 🙂

      Like

  3. Lovely story – bittersweet…… Sometimes I feel that many of us forget the daily loving that goes in to making a marriage…Romantic love is pretty great – so long as it lasts for the long haul…

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    1. Yeah Corinne…daily loving is a sure thing, provided she finds time among her huge responsibilities a joint family demands of her…

      Some ppl might feel that being gifted a rose is romantic, but for some others it might be different…perspectives differ for romance and love too…this woman didn’t find hers.

      Like

  4. Moral of the story : Never go in search of love. You cant find it. Love is like aliens; many have claimed to have seen it, but there is no proof ! 😀 😀 😀 😀

    Moral of the story 2 : If you still need to search for love, try google. You might end up with something ! 😀

    Btw, this is the wifes story, isnt it? The husband would be having an even bitter story to tell !!! All his life, he kept loving his wife, but his wife kept searching for love !!! 😀 😀 😀

    Like

    1. You are true there… speaking from experience arent you? Don’t go looking for love, you wont be able to find it. You have to let love find YOU! Just like Laxmi landed with you…right? 😀 😀 😀

      Like

  5. Hi. The story is very nice and very well-written. However, there are so many social issues connected with this and also problematic. In the US, when many of these romances started coming up, many many young girls got romantic notions in their heads and eloped with their boyfriends to ‘make new lives’ and they put the ideal of these tall, dark, handsome perfect heroes on their boyfriends.. obviously after a while reality hits and many many of them committed suicide.

    The problem is that the MB stories are removed quite a bit from reality and they condition our minds as to how love should be. Many girls today wait for that special physical feeling / attraction / chemistry and say it is not true love until that is found. So they are unwilling to give anything else a chance. I personally know at least 3 women who are now in their early 30s and still waiting to be married. (I am not saying that every woman should get married before they are in their 30s but, tell me what with one’s biological cycles and all, if one wants marriage, family, the works, doesn’t it make better sense to start before one’s bones and muscles and whatnot are on the wrong side of the 30s?)

    Also, just like in a movie, these heroes are perfect beings. where do we have perfect anything in this world? We are not perfect ourselves, how can we expect perfect heroes to sweep us off our feet? We have to work at a marriage / at a relationship on an every day basis is something these stories tend to forget. I see so many youngsters today giving up on relationships because it is not perfect, or he is not doing this or that or she is not behaving this way etc… What they have not been told is that relationships have to be worked at… What Corrine Rodrigues has said in her brief comment is worth thinking about a whole lot. What starts as romantic love can become true love if we work at it.

    I also clarify that I have read many M&B stories and even now dont mind picking up a book when I want to just chill. We have to understand it to be simply time pass. What is true love after all? I think each one of us has to find that one out for ourselves and it would be described in different ways for different people, isnt it? And it is not a standardised homogenised kind of same feeling for all, as the MB stories like to put it.

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    1. Priya, my aim is not to make the M&B image of love, as the ultimate thing in life.

      Every woman, while young, has dreams in her heart, for the love, the man, the life she’ll have later. This perception can be different for every woman and the basis for this perception too might be different. Some take it from M&B, some from their parents and some also learn how not to be…its personal.

      This is just a story of one woman – who wanted to find love after marriage. But, being weighed down by family pressures, she is unable to do it. There might be many like her or none at all.

      Only when a girl undergoes such pressures and responsibilites, because of marrying into a family, can one understand how much sacrifice goes into that relationship. She doesn’t have time to find that love, whatever it is based on. She would have made a happy marriage and a great relationship and much more super bonding with the family members. But the basic love might be missing. Being good to each other is not love. Its only when one lives through the throes of a family with in-laws and responsibilities to shoulder, one gets to understand that.

      Like

  6. Wonderfully written,i thought it is a real story until i read two sons and they are settled.

    Till college girls are carefree,no responsibilities only fun.Life starts with marriage.Whether girl selects the groom or parents do,it is the same grinding in the life,time just flies.Each and very bit is been enjoyed and maybe that’s the love a women spreads……….

    M&B i never read,but my m-law’s fav book.Heard from her about M&B.

    Like

  7. You mean true love ….at least in this selfish and self centred world.
    I can recollect few word from the past as “Love is like a GHOST, a few have seen and all will talk about”.
    It is very difficult to be in true LOVE; at least now a days.
    Wish you all the best….

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  8. very well written Uma! 🙂
    I loved it. your narration style was so profound and it conveyed everything so well…
    This could be the story of any average Indian woman of the previous generation…
    Now, we see some changes, some positivity… I’m glad things are changing, tyhough its slow

    Like

  9. “You only see what you want to see” – I believe that is the girl’s problem. It is impossible for 2 ppl to have stayed together for decades even under societal compulsions if there isn’t a bond.

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    1. LW, not to disappoint you, there are many women like this – there is adjustment and some dependence, but there is no love. So many out there will fit in this circle.

      Like

  10. That was just soooooooooooo real, Uma. Isnt this the ‘love story’ of millions of women in our country? Pushed into an ‘arranged marriage’, pushed into bearing children, pushed into raising them… with absolutely no ‘love’. People often confuse Love with Duty and Responsibility. Its a pity, really.

    Btw, I just read a M&B yesterday AFTER AGES, and though it was really silly, it was fun too 🙂

    Btw, btw, your description of ‘mapillai’s photo’ reminded me of a friend’s engagement pictures… both she and her fiance looked so serious , as if they were being tried for murder!!!!

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    1. Pallavi – //Isnt this the ‘love story’ of millions of women in our country? Pushed into an ‘arranged marriage’, pushed into bearing children, pushed into raising them… with absolutely no ‘love’. People often confuse Love with Duty and Responsibility.//
      I think it is.

      Loved this story Uma.

      Like

    2. Yes, its that woman’s story who is pushed into many things, without being asked. Its irony when the ppl around want her to find love within the space they have created for her.

      Pal, M&B after ages ???? U liked it ???? I find it silly now…having read all the titles in the library once upon a time…LOL… 😉

      Thanks, Pal. You being a fiction writing expert, glad u like it. 🙂

      And IHM, thank you again !!! 🙂

      Like

  11. Uma, loved it!!! Story of many people men and women (yours is from the woman’s point of view) actually who look for love and never find it. As a society we are adamant in denying that element to individuals. I wonder why. Taking care of others is the only thing allowed by society and that is glorified to the point of denying other human emotions. Slog, live for others, find happiness only in that. I wonder WHY. Why is our society so against any form of happiness or expression of self.

    Like

    1. Was waiting for your comment…I needed yours !!! 🙂 Thanks. 🙂

      Isn’t irony – forcing to find love in a staged situation, filled with duties and responsibilities ???

      Yes, human emotions are denied, in the effort to live peacefully…but at what cost ??? Is the heart peaceful ???

      Like

  12. Oh dear! I thought it was a true story being narrated till I reached the end 🙂 Very well narrated Uma! And so true. But yes, it is the real story of too many people!

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  13. M&B’s that’s what drew me into this narrative 🙂 I’m a confessed Mush and Goo addict, with no hope of redemption, so yeah, I’ve read a LOT. Still do, if and when I get one 😛

    The story itself is such a true tale. Ironical as it seems, all the expectations just pile up into that one day when one realizes tht it just isn’t to be, and then one plods. Life ends. Existence begins.
    Beautifully articulated.

    Like

    1. ha ha…how M&B’s dragged you to this post ! 😀
      Hugs and cheers on being mushy like me ! Am glad to have found you 🙂
      I’ve read them all the whole of my teens 😉

      Thank you for liking my story…am never good at writing fiction. Somewhere reality has crossed its fingers here.

      Like

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