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A Different Love Story


Three decades and more of being in love is a long enough time, I guess, to relax and reminisce about one's experiences and also try to question what love really is. And that is what I got to extemporaneously doing on that pleasant sunny morning in early spring.

I truly believe that a love-story can be deemed to be comprehensive and complete only when it describes the entire life-cycle of the particular incidence of love in focus. Being strongly partial to the points of view from the platform of science, it is my contention that the assumed eternality of love is a funny fanciful fallacy. On the basis of preliminary conclusions deduced from questioning other perceived traits of love, I claim that every occurrence of this phenomenon is a conditional expression of emotion, pre-evaluated for the existence of one or more areas of mutual benefit and gain within the envisaged domain of the proposed bonding for profit and its expected period of applicability, by the conscious and subconscious levels of the cognitive and contemplative abilities of the involved individuals. Now, that is quite a "wordful", isn't it? Impending lovers would think a hundred times before falling in love, if they knew so much was involved in the process.

Dwelling on the life-cycle of a love-story and the manner of its narration, my opinion as already stated, is that like everything else in existence, any occurrence of love has an origin and an end, and traverses a cyclic path between the two. The narration of this traversal, which is the love-story, can start at any point, go around the said path, and end wherever that it started. And along the path are assumptions to ascertain, bridges to build, cumbrances to caper, dubieties to decipher, fjords to ford, mounds to mount, fiends to fight, decrees to defy, friendships to forge, professions to pursue, quatrains to quote, babies to birth and bring up, points to ponder, successes to squander … all in the name of love. It is indeed a brave individual who manages many such perilous love-cycles in a lifetime; most settle for one and heave a sigh of relief when it is done; while a few, put off by its wordy definition and daunting challenges, never venture beyond the stage of thoughtful deliberation.

As an inexperienced youth, anatomically well-endowed and with a fair share of eagerness to dabble in the business of love, I had been standing on the threshold between an adventurous plunge and a tactical retreat for a long while. Finally, fizzy romanticism got the better of a normally overcautious me. An imaginary green light glowed above; "Go", yelled the virtual jump-master; and I was in rapid descent, first an exhilarating, stomach-churning, senses-numbing free-fall, then a serendipitous parachute-aided glide over fluffy low-flying white clouds and more sturdy, colorful treetops, and finally the boots were where they ought to be, upon welcome terra firma. A lunge and a lurch later, I found myself on my knees, head raised, and eyes looking at the most beautiful face I had ever seen. To be precise, it was a female's. In addition to over-cautiousness, a non-menacing bourgeois aloofness also happened to be among my inherent traits, which had conspired to keep me away from viewing any face, male or female, from close quarters until now. This would lead to the logical and correct conclusion that any face that my eyes set upon, particularly after a protracted plunge through near-nothingness, would have appeared rabidly ravishing.

Conscious faculties being lulled into total inactivity by an overdose of adrenaline, it was their subconscious counterparts that analyzed the mutual benefit levels, and declared a match that needed immediate compliance with the recommendation, and resulted in me hearing my first words since the beginning of the fall. "Wondrous and worthy would thee deem, to magnanimously marry me?" I asked. The woman behind the face too seemed to have been unsettled by the dramatic turn of events, and was goaded by her subconscious to immediately reply with a simple, "Yes". She may have wrongly ignored the convoluted rendition of my question and attributed it to the diagnosed adrenaline overdose, little knowing that voluble verbosity was also one of my other failings. This was the primary disadvantage of the expression of love, resultant proposal, ensuing acceptance, and all that follows it, happening in that sequence, with lightning rapidity at first sight.

Once I stabilized sufficiently with time after my first romantic encounter and its life-changing consequences, normalcy with a character entirely alien to me, began to creep into our lives. Finding fault had become a focused fixation; constant caviling criticism replaced calm creativity, also curbing customary curiosity; robust reasonableness lay rigorously repressed. My wanton weakness for wild, willful, wordplay; to assiduously alliterate in absolute abandon; to etymologically explore every expression to its earliest elemental existence; these harmless and perhaps hedonistic habits had begun to harangue and harass our otherwise harmonious and healthy state, of being honest, honorable, house-holders. My wife, unfairly and disparagingly, compared the effects of my inspired manuscriptal masterpieces to the pitiable condition of those unfortunate roman soldiers in Gallia, vigorously patted on the head by Obelix the indomitable Gaul, transforming them from a three-dimensional object to a line or a point aligned with the ground at their feet. Another equally belittling analogy was with the sordidly sorry state of those at the receiving end of a decaying-booze flavored verbal tirade gushing out of the appropriate facial orifice of Captain Haddock in an imperious and perorating mood. The ferocious intensity of these extremely accusatory inferences made me feel that I was the one suffering those wretched plights.

Our nascent marital concord was being severely tested; against imposing inherence and insistent inclinations, cooperative compromise was temporarily bested; on being truthful to the marital cause, each thought that the other only jested; we began to question our sanity, though in hope and self-belief we ardently stayed invested.

With each passing day, the intensity of our urbane "ramble-o-succinct" confrontation only increased. My alliterations further stretched in tandem with it, and her responses grew even briefer in contrast. Hitherto, I had known monosyllables to be the most concise form of communication. It was a revelation that advanced research in linguistic science had discovered sub-syllable sound units of speech. My wife appeared to be well versed with it and was nonchalantly directing them at me without a concern about its possible side effects upon the receiver. I was of the firm opinion and also ever-so-firmly held on to that notion with gusto, that any language with its vast collection of words, its repertoire of established procedures for meaningful usage, its intrinsic openness to embrace experimentation with newer forms of articulation, should be made full use of without inhibition. What was the point, I wondered, in dictionary publishers meticulously researching one-hundred-seventy-one-thousand words and publishing it in twenty volumes every year, if a minuscule subset of this was sufficient for evocative exchanges. I refused to be a Scrooge McDuck, stashing away my vocable treasures and abilities in an inviolable vault, but certainly preferred to use it for my entertainment as well as that of others.

She, on the other hand, equated me to that emperor, the one famed for his imaginary clothes, steeped in narcissism, and advised by unscrupulous courtiers. In her judgment, my eloquence, in all its splendor and sparkle, amounted to little more than zilch. My recognition and understanding of her sub-syllabic speech was her justification for approval of my imagined unclad and exposed situation in public. I do concede that the state of unclad-ness, was quite acceptable and maybe even desirable within the marital arena. The thought of open public exposure, however, was very embarrassing, greatly disconcerting, and wholly unacceptable.

The proverbial last straw was customarily consumed, shared in equal proportion according to the laws of matrimony. The breaking point had been reached. The flood-gates of the frustration-holding dam were thrown wildly open. Arrested anger, incarcerated indignation, reined in resentment, forcefully flowed out of the yawning opening with a deafening roar, zealously cascading down the inclined concrete dam wall. The input-starved power generating turbines downstream revved up to their full potential and beyond, energizing our imagination to unprecedented levels of fantasy. We, husband and wife, swooped down on one another, with drawn weapons, threatening vociferations, and bone-chilling war-cries. We fiercely battled upon the scorching deserts clad in flowing Bedouin robes and mounted on careering camels with the bellowing sand-clouds to witness our boast-worthy bravado; we saw intense combat in the air, riding twenty-first century brooms, hurling the choicest curses at our command that our wands spat out with a raucous rattle and accompanying lightning streaks, the surrounding dark and menacing clouds cheering us along; we saw furious action underwater too, in full scuba-diving gear, our fingers tensed to pull the trigger as we struggled to get the other into the crosshairs of the lens mounted on our respective harpoon launchers, which seemed a dim prospect in the midst of the din created by an audience of an assortment of aquatic creatures baying for our blood.

Not made superhuman, utter exhaustion inevitably caught up with us. Coincidentally, we found ourselves at ground zero, the place where it had all begun on that exciting, unforgettable day, not very long ago. The cycle was complete, though it had taken much less time than what one normally does. During our fantastical confrontation across every possible worldly terrain, our minds had subconsciously brokered a divorce deal that remained unknown to us until then. As it slowly surfaced to the conscious level, I realized that the moment had arrived to end this engagement in all its facets. "Are you okay with the deal?" I asked, in my most concise, plain, and simple, interrogative sentence formulation. There was a long and ominous pause. "The dramatic denouement of our definitive daring deeds distinctly declares that there is a decided design to the distinguished developments. We must deign to deliberate the deal diligently, and directly defer any drastic decision," was her reply.

I found myself on my knees, head raised, and eyes looking at the most beautiful face I had ever seen, rendering the most wonderfully alliterated sentence ever framed. I fell madly in love all over again.


© 2017 Ram Ramakrishnan

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