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.