I often ask Vasanth what regular love is like.
Is it easier to believe someone when they say that they love you? Do you walk into the sunset, happy and beautiful like the picture perfect folk on couplegram or coupletok?
I ask because ever since I can remember, I have seen my folks only tango with this dangerous torrid love concoction, hoping that they will find their place in that sunset spot someday.
I have seen my mother and father exchange disgusting, passionate kisses in front of my sister and me. I have seen them locking fingers, regularly ready to touch and hold each other. I have heard sincere renditions of ‘I love yous’ and love letters that my sweet, silly and horny mother has written to my father before they were wed.
It is likely that I have heard them have sex. This is a box that I am unwilling to open today.
They have spoken for hours on the phone, moved cities and even done many small holidays to Lonavla when they have wanted time away. Unfortunately with Anuchu and me because they have never gotten out-of-city travel passes from my father’s folk. They have tried at different points to accommodate each other’s dreams- my mother’s request to work and my father’s yearing of becoming rich.
They have joked, played several hundred rounds of rummy and picked out each other’s clothes.
I have unfortunately also seen anger, sadness and disappointment regularly accompanying this love. I have heard arguments about money and pleas- oh, so many pleas. My mother has begged to wear clothes other than sarees at her mother-in-laws house- her jail. My father has begged for forgiveness after regularly returning home drunk and sad.
They have rejected each other’s personhood, been subject to humiliation and have passed around meanness as though it was some recycled gift. Jokes masked as insults have been made so many times that my mother has shed tear upon tear begging for it to stop. Support has been cancelled. Kindness has been denied. Hearts have been stomped on and divorces have been contemplated. Mostly though, with one of them dead, the other has been left to deal with life and hang in alone. That’s terrible, isn’t it? Terrible. Torrid. Terribly torrid.
What is life like without these extremes?
What is life like with regular love?