Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Love in the Time of Everything

When, once, asked about his legendary concentration, Rahul Dravid said, "It’s not easy to concentrate for 10 hours. You switch on and off. You push yourself. Your mind wanders, but you bring it back. You steel yourself. That’s the real beauty, when you win the battle against yourself." Increasingly, this seems to be the way I'm beginning to see relationships. Love is in the air. It's probably the age but for almost everyone I know, Love has become the fixation. People are either overwhelmed, confused, angry, resentful, depressed, optimistic or desperate and all for that one word. I've always maintained that life is like a Sine Wave. All your moods, choices, ideas, philosophies are dependent upon the whether you're riding the crest or the trough. When you're riding the crest, the world can't be a better place. You love yourself, forgive people, dream big, charm the hell out of others and in moments of solitude, thank God and hope that when you fall, you don't fall too bad. On the other hand, while riding the trough, you hate yourself, are too hard at yourself and others, are too scared to dream, claim that all people are hypocrites and in moments of unnerving loneliness, pray that you get out this as soon as possible. That's life.

Now, when two people commit themselves to be together, while both of them are riding the crest, there's nothing like it. It's blissful. Squabbles? Whatever the fuck they mean. Ever heard soulmates, brother? That's right, that's us. When one of the two is hitting it pretty rough but the other one's still on a high, it'll still work out because one will pull the other up. She/ He used to love me once. She's going through a bad phase. This is going to make our bond only stronger. But there are times when both are at rock bottom. Life becomes unbearable, unworthy, too much of a pain. You start dreading the other person's company, you find faults where there are none, the fissures become almost big enough to swallow you up, you feel so much hatred that you're surprised you're capable of it; You want to breakup, to move on. You convince yourself the relationship's dead, that some things are never meant to be forever. If this goes for too long, more often than not, people breakup. But sometimes, some people get lucky. They get a second wind. They have that moment of inspiration, divine intervention, crystal clear clarity, a piece of timely advice- whatever you want to call it. And in that moment, of the tinkling laughter, or of the passionate hug, or of the expression that takes you back to those beautiful times all those years ago, you decide you're not going to let go, you're not going to let the embers fade away into darkness, you're not going to let the world teach you practicality. You remind yourself of every beautiful moment that you've spent together, you tell yourself these are tests you will pass, you summon all your energies and you decide that you will give one last shot- the last, desperate punch of a boxer who gives it his all just before he falls. 

This is where the movies end. But life doesn't. You will keep getting these moments, you will have to keep fighting them. It is impossible to maintain a relationship, either with your love, work or art, with pure passion and focused intensity. You can probably do that in slam bang T20, which is all sound and no substance, but to build a meaningful, complete Test innings, you need more than that. You need discipline, you need perseverance, you need what Cricket writers call Temperament, you need commitment, you need dedication, you need to keep reminding yourself the bigger picture, the great moments you've had before, the wonderful moments you will have in the future if only you will focus now and keep your wicket.  Like Dravid so succinctly put, the idea is not to overcome the opposition but to overcome your need to oppose. In moments of pure love, ego dissipates. You become one with the object of your desire. Like playing in the Zone. It is in search of that wonderful, elusive period that we keep playing. It is what gives the entire enterprise its meaning, and purpose. But we keep forgetting that it is so captivating precisely because it's so elusive. You have to earn the zone to experience it. You have stick together in these troubled times to reclaim the high of well-deserved happiness. Effort, for the lack of a better word, is the cornerstone of all contentment. My earlier self would have scoffed at this statement but what is life if not change; if you don't constantly realign yourself with your true feelings, doesn't it mean you have stagnated? Again, I don't mean change as in replacing all things you dislike now. No matter how much you change on the surface, the core of your being more or less remains the same. Like the monsoons only bringing new waters into the river. The river's still the same.

I have digressed much from where I started. And though I'm not sure if I've made myself clear to you, for the first time in ages, I'm clear as of what I want and where I'm heading. It's not a bad life neither is it very catchy. It's eventful if you know where to look. Sometimes, it doesn't give you too many options and at other times you're so sure of what you want, you don't want any options. It's alternatively fun, irritating, poignant, free-flowing and purposeful. And in those rare moments, extraordinarily beautiful which makes everything else worthwhile. I might as well have been talking about a test innings here.