“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Monday, October 4, 2010

True Love

It’s night. I am alone in the house, with Sancho sleeping beside me, as usual all fours up in the air. I listen to songs, Hindi, English. ‘Have I told you lately that I love you?’ by Englebert Humperdinck is an old favourite of mine. I switch to Hemant Da. I had taken a CD to my office and while at work, listened to Hemant Da’s Chupa lo yun dil a dozen times, softly coming out the speakers on my table. Lata sings with him – ‘Thumhari charanon ki phool hoon mein - ‘Here, my beloved, I stand before thee, head bow’d. Let me lay myself at thy feet, like flowers…’

It is a cliché, especially in the Indian movies decades ago, the abject, total surrender of women to their men. As a liberal, I have scoffed at this depiction of women as slaves of love, the all-suffering, all-forgiving womanhood, to which the prodigal man finally returns, repentant.

Yet, I wonder. Isn’t love a total surrender? Isn’t it the complete discarding of one’s ego for the sake of the other? We have read of Meera and her like, surrendering to God. As a non-believer in God, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yet, there have been times in my life, troubled times, when I had desperately hoped for a miracle, a power beyond me, who could help me out. Prayers failed to come from my mouth. Even as a child I had wondered, looking at others in temples, praying to God for this and that. I had wondered, if God is the all-knowing one, do you have to tell Him/Her anything?

A friend then SMS-ed me. Love, it said, is selfish. I was surprised; for one, the person had no reason to send me that – I could not understand the context; second, I had been thinking about the selfish/ surrender duality of love.

Who knows what true love is? Can there be just ‘love’ and ‘true love’? If it isn’t true, how can it be love?

I light a cigarette. I have loved, been loved, I still love, and hopefully, am loved. Every day I see love in Sancho’s eyes; in K’s voice when he says – “ Nothing, I just called you”, in the concern in P’s voice – “Are you OK there?”

Louis Armstrong grates on– ’What a wonderful world!’


  1. I do not know if dogs have ego let alone animals in general .
    Lucky they are if they dont have that nonsense.
    I guess you are relishing the time all alone in Padma Vilas.
    "Home alone or Baby's day out Part 3 or 4 call it what ever

  2. @Anil: You guessed right! Balan Home Alone Part 10001! :D

  3. “If music is the food of love, play on…” isn’t there something like this in Twelfth Night?

    An excellent post, Balan.

    My loneliness is not metaphorical and, sorry to say this; it fills me with True Hatred.

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  5. @Ashok: Glad you liked the post, though not one of my better. Acceptance of solitude is not easy; it comes from the awareness of the situation, from the acceptance of the condition, from the acceptance of oneself. To some one like me, your present life and situation, is the most enviable if I could be envious; which I cannot be. Then, there are always pluses and minuses - take them all in with a smile and a shot of Scotch! :)

    @Anil: Ashok doesn't know what he is saying, does he? Or is it his humility? :)

  6. Who knows what love truly is?
    What I know is this...
    Love and be loved
    It only spreads cheer around :)

  7. @RGB: You are a beautiful girl, RGB! :)

  8. You have posed a question in your mind and the mind of many others. Answers abound in the hearts of many and they are all different. Will anyone ever really know what love is? True love? What would one be willing to do for the one they love? Give their life possibly? Great thought....

  9. Dogs love you no matter what, they accept you no matter what and they are always there for you no matter what. It is rare to find that in humans. The simple truth is they make us happy.
    Love of mankind and between them,is a fantasy to me.It only leaves broken hearts.

  10. @Sandy: I would not call it a 'great thought', Sandy, but it must have been there from time immemorial, in the hearts of all beings. I do not claim to discover any thing new. But i discover my own understandings, my own perceptions, my own revelations. And therein lies my bliss.

  11. @Doc: Broken hearts? I have survived 7 dogs, starting from the one who was there when i was born. Each of them, thought they have passed on, have left indelible memories in me. Of great joy. Sorrow, yes. When my Tommy died last April 23rd, it broke my heart. I never thought he would die. Yet I survive; Sancho is Tommy's son. Death and the ensuing sorrow is inevitable; but it is silly to deny yourself happiness just because you are afraid of sorrow. Acceptance, acceptance. Nothing else.


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