I was in school when I first fell in love with a cocky Gujarati boy with whom it ended badly. But I managed to get the last word in. A year after we broke up when I called him to wish him on his birthday he was mean and small. And I said knowing it was his birthday and this I remember oh so well because it just came to me – inspired as it were, ‘Some people never change; they remain just as bad as they always were.’ And promptly hung up on him.
He didn’t teach me anything except to hate the word ‘dumb’ because when he started getting bitchy, he started calling me ‘dumb’. When someone I don’t like too much calls me dumb, to this day, I draw a little extra blood from them and feel vindicated.
The next time I fell in love with a man, it fucked me up. We fucked each other up as much as we could and even enjoyed it most times. From him I learnt a lot of nice things about myself – the gloriousness of my own body. And he is slowly learning even to this day that everything I expected and believed of him and his goodness was true. So we are still friends. And we still care a whole lot about each other in a quiet, non-interfering way. And we have decided never to meet because we are extremely scared that the fire-works that brought us together might explode in newer and destructive ways. So we don’t.
From him, I got a story, my own novel in the making.
And then it was a man who started out as my best friend. I gave and gave and gave to him. He did too – purple perfume, purple pencil in burlesque, purple gem stones, purple candles and purple dreams. Then we loved and I resigned myself to comfort and love instead of fireworks and magic. And then he broke me. Or we broke me together because I let him. He said things I never refuted. I took it all in. I shattered and sickened.
And that’s what he really gave me – too many auto-immune diseases to name. And every time, my RA flares up I think about him and wish that he suffers at least one per cent of what I go through every day in my hopelessly disabled life.
So I gave up on love-making and concentrated on loving instead.
Now I’m staring in disbelief that love – no matter in what form – can make you so vulnerable and can cause you so much pain. And make you feel so small. So infinitesimal that you might as well not live. But you have to. And so you do. And so this cycle of loving and knowing and hurting goes on.
Only now, there is no lesson to learn. Only now, I’ve heard the accusations before. Only now, I feel I can’t take any more.