For the first time, I’m in a dilemma whether I’ll be able to write what I’m trying to. It was a normal day for me today, starting with a call from my lover who’s love for me can supersede the gleam of the sun and incandescence of the moon. So much does he love me. And yet, I’m not ready to reciprocate. For I had a journey before I met this man. A journey of pain, turmoil, and suffering. And that changed me forever.

As an 8 year old little girl, I was hostile to attend wedding parties. Reason being, I was always cornered by a group of aunts, who took piqued interest in knowing about intimate details of my parent’s rift. I felt upset at the barrage of questions thrown at me. ‘What happened? Why your parents don’t talk to each other? Why your mother has not come to the party?’ All I wanted to do was enjoy my ice cream.

The lack of love made me fall for all wrong men in my quest of love. I slept with wrong men; shed tears for months; led a sexless marriage for 5 long youthful years. 32 years of questionable existence and things started to look better. I came out of marriage and found a nice, upright, loving man. All is well that ends well. Well in my case, it differed because it was a new beginning of my life.

At this stage, I had 2 options. Get married to this man; forgot all pain that was inflicted in my past; acquire wealth; raise my kid; lead a blissful life; and happily die. The scheme of things looked most secure and alluring for a love deprived person like me, save one thing. That I did not want this misfortune be inflicted to any other person. Yes, the last motive became the driving cause of my life and it eclipsed every possible personal happiness that I listed before. I became so passionate and insane in helping people that I put on stake the stability of my relationship, and the future of my son.

But what’s the issue? What I’m trying to do seems a regular kind social work that a lot of people already do. Except that my social cause centered on sex. I had the awakening that sex was responsible for every mishappening in my life. For one, sex is the factor that isolates standalone family units. This is a family because this man sleeps with this woman and hence their love is confined within this family. For those aunts, my father did not sleep with them and hence I was not their child and thus I was subjected to public shame and scrutiny at a tender age of 8.

Today as I look around, I see a huge lack of community compassion and support in the society I live in. Because we operate in our small circles, our small families. And sex is the underlying reason. My neighbor would not care for me because he does not sleep with me, and he cares for his wife because he sleeps with her. Plagued with these questions, I met a woman today, who was a member of Art of Living for 12 long years. I asked her, do you think love exists between a married couple? And she gave me a lopsided grin and said:

There is no concept of marital love between a couple. It’s all a need of mind. Love flies out of the window in the first 15 days. What remains is a “need”, a need for companionship, financial resources, raising children; and a secure environment to live. Love does not figure in marriage. There are other factors for which couples get and remain in marriage. Love can never be confined. Love is universal, for mankind. I realized this when I was 21 . I had a boyfriend and we both loved each other and wanted to marry each other. We had been going steady for 2 years. Post his college, the boy wanted to go to Massachusetts and do his masters. And I said where is love?  

And I did not understand her. I asked her, I didn’t get what you said. Love was still there. Didn’t he promise that he would come back and marry you? The woman replied, so it’s a need darling. If love had been there, he would have never left me. It’s a practical need to separate and make a career, make money. Where is love?

The realization shook me. The arcane riddle of life, the lurking circumstances; the constant fights for share of time, money, and attention; the indifference. Is it love? It’s a need that befalls all of us. A new-born, an infant, the most unadulterated state of life, never knows and recognizes its mother. If the biological mother is replaced by a different woman who gives the same amount of love, affection, feed, and lap to it, it starts recognizing the other woman as its mother. But once that infant grows into a child, it founds that this particular woman looks after me and starts clinging to her. We all have never grown out from that state of “being looked after”. It’s not the love, rather the insecurities that binds us in relationships. 

I could now understand on that fateful date, when the aunts cornered me and mortified me with their cindering questions, the aunts did not have love inside their hearts for me. For they were tutored to confine their love to a family where they sleep with the head of the family, the man. Sexual exclusivity has also isolated us in real lives; we have become bored, cold, and compassionless.