What is True Love?
Ever since my book came out, I have met so many people who want to talk about something that is at the heart of the book. True Love. You see my protagonist Kaveri, believes that there is something called a True love and she wants to wait for it/ him to lose her virginity to. So the discussion starts because people wonder, is there such a thing at all?
I really didn’t think so. Being a skeptic in this department, I often felt that life is a series of compromises and love is a situational hazard. One gets married for companionship, has sex to gratify the body, reads books to gratify the soul. Where did True Love fit into any of this? Dharma, Arth, Kam, Moksh. I was taught it. I believed it.
Then I met Adya. She confused me even more. She was 38. She had found a man she wanted to marry. It wasn’t pure love. It was a feeling that of all the men she had, he was the nicest. Moreover, her parents could not put up with her coming home to an empty apartment every night. Even though as a single child, she looked after her parents and they needed her, they wanted her to be married more than anything in the world. She decided that maybe it was high time that she give in to her parents even though she was completely happy in herself. In addition, there was that feeling of loneliness. She had felt lonely some days when she really wanted to celebrate something or really wanted to cry and there was no one there to hold her either ways.
Then she got married. She was still lonely in her marriage. He loved her and she loved him but somewhere they didn’t “get” each other perfectly. She is still married. But she said something that made sense, “Maybe for this lifetime, he is my true love.”
WE always think that there is “a better person” out there. We believe that there is someone who understands us perfectly, loves us deeply, wants us dearly, and needs us immensely. And we fool ourselves and let go of something we have or wait eternally for that something. It is all in the hope of that phantasm called True Love. And it’s not that only women think this way. It’s a men as well. Men go through heartbreak. They might not profess it so loudly, not weep so emphatically, and not talk about it so openly but they also go through heartbreak. Because they too wished that, the woman they chose was their True Love. They don’t know any better either.
Then there’s Zara. She has just turned 33. And she’s still a virgin. She lives in New York. And I realized it’s not just an “Indian” thing. This waiting to lose your virginity to your true love. It’s a global phenomenon. More and more people believe that it is out there. It will touch them and they will marry that person. Zara is a beautiful, successful woman who has had plenty of opportunity to sleep with men. But she’s chosen not to. Because until her heart falls in love with someone she cannot make herself do so.
But Zara is lonely too. Even though she wants her True Love to come to her, she has built so many walls that I wonder if it will happen. She believes that her true love is like a knight in shining armour who will break those walls and capture her heart. I try to tell her life is not that way. But she knows that unless that happens, she can’t give in. And so she waits.
I’ve started thinking why do people have so many hang ups? Why are we constantly after something we cannot have? Unrequited love is the most painful and dangerous and hence most addictive. But if we know it’s an addiction ,why can’t we break the bad habit? The more we make lists of things we want, the narrower our search becomes.
The truth is that the Universe does give you what you want. Not exactly the same way, but it does happen, eventually. True Love is not the person who you might marry or the person who got away. It’s not something that only you can complete with yourself. It is a person. Or persons. And that’s where the mystery lies. We all think that it is just one person. But we don’t realize that it could be many.
There is no one soul mate in a person’s life. Soul mates come and go as the heart desires. In this lifetime or the next.
That doesn’t mean we don’t try and make it work with the now and here. It only means that it’s ok if we have to let go.
And even with a True Love, there are compromises. There are bitter fights. There are ugly tears. And there are heartbreaks. Because that’s what it does. That is what it is meant to do. True Love is meant to toughen your soul, strengthen your resolve, and increase your courage to be able to do it again. It opens your heart, and makes you vulnerable to show you what you can be capable of. It changes the strongest of skeptics to believe once again.
True Love is the cycle of rebirth. Where one ends, another has to begin. Just wait for it.