When giving it a title, an alternative idea was ‘tale of two break-ups’. To be autobiographical, I had two affairs in the last 27 years on earth. Both were short-lived. Given their brief existence, one would even wonder whether they qualify to be called ‘love’.
My first love, which the later years taught me, was an adolescent infatuation, collapsed in a month’s time while the second one (so far the last), which happened many years later, was a one-week wonder. Both were followed by years-long emotional trauma and persistent sense of defeat. Both had left me all the more lovesick.
These days I have reasons to be reminded of my former loves. There have been intermittent visits of sweetness and bitterness from the bygone years. Other than a lot of private time and lonelydom, what did induce the revisits of good and bad feelings which were lying dormant deep within the heart? It is the queer connection between them, other than their premature end: both my former girls, months older than me, are going to get married in the space of a fortnight.
If this logistical constraint was not there, I would have been a definite presence in one of their weddings while I am the least expected for the other one.
Nine years after the departure, which always left me wondering why it happened, I met my first love some time back. By the time, for me it was a thing of past to which I have developed an effortless indifference. But the frank admission that there was a vain hope of a re-union and an enduring fondness gave me a soothing shower in my love-starved pursuit along the dreary desert.
We wished good things to each other. A relation passed through the phases of painful breakup, absolute silence and indifference finally turned into an innocent friendship. (To describe a man-woman relationship, `friendship’ is the shallowest word, but I find no substitute here). She will ever be a good friend.
But all is not sweet with the later one, a storm that came and gone, that left the clichéd ‘trail of destruction’ at the fag end of my student life; a one week rollercoaster. It inflicted a deep hurt within me. More than the shattered promise of a romantic deluge what kept my hardfeelings always awake was its ruthlessness. The usage 'rocking the boat by doubling its speed,' in a novel reminded me of that damning pace followed by a head-on hit. I was reading that novel while savouring the bitter after taste of the lovewreck. It quoted Oscar Wilde to say "Love begins with deceiving oneself and ends with deceiving the other".
However, both the brief encounters with this magic thing you all call ‘love’ had given me a wealth of experience; an ability to be self-analytical and a gift for character study. And a relevant observation about my self – I love and I hate, with utmost sincerity.