Opposites always attract. That is why love almost always happens between people who are completely different from each other. That’s the romance of it. But that is precisely the problem as well!
The first time we meet someone we are destined to be with (yes, I believe there is such thing as ‘meant to be’), or when we meet someone we are about to fall in love with, we like and even admire all of their eccentricities, quirks and differences. We think it is cute, that this is perfect, this person complements me completely, in fact completes me. We will be perfect together.
As time goes by, we realise these very differences take us apart. We just do not understand their mindset at all. Small issues can still be handled, if we only know how strong the underlying love is. Now that is something that requires expression. Love needs to be expressed. However long a couple stays together, it is important to tell each other they love them, it is important to hold hands, hug or express their love in any other way they can.
I find the silent kind of love the riskiest. Because you don’t know if it is really love expressed through duties and care, or it is simply aversion disguised by being busy and serious.
This is the point addressed in the movie Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain. Starring Sanjay Mishra, you know the story is bound to be good and the performance is bound to be strong.
The lessons we learn from these artistic movies are an experience in themselves. Alas, we don’t even know when these movies come and go.
I discovered this 2017 gem recently. The story revolves around an elderly couple, probably in their 50s, with a daughter of marriageable age (you know what I mean!).
The husband is one of those typical patriarchal ‘I will not smile lest people think I am not manly’ sort of guys who took his duties as a husband and a father seriously and worked in a post office to make ends meet. He did not know how to express his love to his wife and was in fact, a little aloof.
He did not even like it if his wife held him while travelling with him on his scooter. The wife, on the other hand, was from a very wealthy family. Her marriage to him was arranged because he was a good man with strong values. She gradually adjusted to a life with him and was dutiful towards him and their daughter.
While they were continuing like this, worried about their daughter’s wedding expenses and other standard ‘middle class’ issues, the daughter secretly marries the neighbour’s boy. That completely breaks the dam of unresolved feelings and emotions and eventually, the wife leaves home and goes back to her mother’s house as she felt he did not love her.
A beautiful moment in the film, says it all for us. Once she leaves home, she is talking to her mother and brother, and says, ‘Itna hi pyaar hai tho bathana chahiye na.’ (If he really loves me, he should tell me that.)
The next scene shows him talking to his daughter and son-in-law, saying, ‘Mujhe laga use pata hoga ki mai kitna pyaar karta hoon use.’ (I thought she knew how much I love her.)
Eventually, he learns to express himself a little better to win her back and she learns to understand his feelings better too. But even after that, she decides to take a break and go abroad to clear her head and give them some distance. And they exchange letters to understand each other during that time.
Lack of communication is one of the common reasons for why couples get stuck somewhere along the journey. Unless they make it a point to express themselves, they will hit a roadblock.
I have always been taught in my professional life that ‘if you want to get across to someone, speak their language.’ I think we should apply that in our personal lives too. If I want my partner to express his love to me in a way I understand, I need to learn to express my love for him in a way he understands.
But all of this is moot, if the lack of expression is not because of reservations but aversion. Something we should all consider.
I come across a lot of women who feel their husbands are the silent lover types, while they abuse and beat them endlessly. That’s where we need to realise that there is no love existing and it is better to move away. Though we need to make an effort to understand each other, there is one thing I strongly believe in – if a person is emotionally high-strung and able to express his anger effortlessly, he should be able to express his love effortlessly as well. So the lack of it should be a red alert.
In the end, love makes the world go around. So let us vow to make our lives richer by keeping that love alive, kicking and happening till the end.