Ma’am mujhe phir se sachcha pyaar ho gaya hai,’ writes Mukundan Dixit. He sends me a mail whenever he falls in ‘true love’. He sends me a mail every two months. I have several problems with Mukundan. To start with, he should remove either the first two letters or the last two letters from his name, because, you know, you can’t force-mix two perfectly valid names to produce something that requires your lips to form an awkward circular shape, each time you call out.
Maybe, just maybe, this awkwardness is not letting sachcha pyaar stay on in his life for long. Who knows. Vaise who knows what sachcha pyaar is, in the first place. I don’t. Mukundan certainly doesn’t. Half of the young janta reading this column right now and texting their ‘steady’ ones from the other hand don’t. Most of us latch on to the first relationship that seems reasonably okay to us, and try to squeeze-fit it into the sachcha pyaar mould. Which is actually not a bad thing, considering that relationships are meant to be a lot about accepting and adapting. But then anything you squeeze too much, bursts out after a while. Science ka kuchh funda hota hai, so don’t ask me why.
So Mukundan and others like him, stay in a perpetual quest for true love and send mails to velle columnists like me, who themselves may be going through shit in life but never lose an opportunity to shell out advice just because they are perceived as experts. Well then, Muku, here’s what I think. Relationships being a very personal thing and all that, I probably can’t tell you who to opt for, but I can sure tell you what kind of a person to NOT go for. And since I don’t know or care which way you swing, this advice is gender-neutral. Run the latest candidate of your sachcha pyaar through these five moulds. And if she/he doesn’t fit in either, hang on in this relationship. And do not send me another mail so soon.
1 The unapologetic: A relationship in which only one person is always seen apologising is the most doomed of all to not be happy. An unapologetic partner – boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, is always trying to tell you that all that’s wrong is your fault. The partner who gets used to apologising for everything so that fights and arguments can be avoided, is actually getting used to slowly killing his/her self-esteem. And that, is never good in life. Close your eyes and recall the last time your partner said sorry to you over something. No matter whose fault it was. If what flashes before you are visuals only of yourself pleading and apologising, it’s time to open the eyes. Literally and otherwise.
2 The polar opposite: Yeah, I know ‘the opposites attract’ theory but if only life was till the stages of attraction. Life actually begins when the attraction settles down. And it is here that similarities matter way more than differences. I’ve seen people gloating about how they and their partners are like north-south poles, completely different, and yet so synchronised, and that adds spice to their lives. It’s absolutely great if it works for them, but in most cases, the extra spice starts to choke you, if you know what I’m saying. There isn’t too much distance to travel between ‘I LOVE my boyfriend’s shy nature’ to ‘Oh God, kuchh bolta hi nahi hai’ to ‘I can’t stay with him, he has complex issues.’ Don’t look for a replica of yourself in another gender, but don’t also fall for one who you share absolutely no common interests with. That’s two lives wasted. We are quick to match horoscopes even in this day and age. How about a compatibility quiz as annexure?
3 The non committal: A person who keeps hanging you in the lurch for small or big decisions is not just not respecting you enough, but also giving subtle hints that the relationship itself may not matter enough to them. I get countless mails from young people who are stuck in a ‘I love him/her but they say we are only good friends’ stage. Yes, not everyone is as proficient in moving on as Kundan and normal people need time to take decisions about committing but if for months or years, someone is just giving you the ‘let us explore where this goes’ line, they are bullshitting and you should know it. Now puhleez, don’t you go ‘But, I can’t take her out of my mind’ on me. Devdaas dekhne ko maine kaha thaa? Move on. There are Madhuri Dixits waiting ahead. (PS: Mukundan Dixit, this advice is not applicable to you)
4 The Unequal: You know, I have no regard for differences of caste, culture, religion, age, race etc when it comes to love. As long as the two people share a certain common value system that they imbibed while growing up. If there’s way too much inequity in the very socio-economic set-up two people grow up in, it takes its toll on a relationship. Bollywood films that show a coolie falling for a multi-millionaire’s daughter or TV documentaries about an American tourist marrying an illiterate farmer in an Indian village, make for an interesting watch, but perhaps not a very practical life. Anyway, I might be incorrect and also sachcha pyaar may be above all these differences, but I see no harm in keeping the ears open in case alarm bells about a wide inequity between you and your crush are somewhere ringing in the background. Do you?
5 The guilt-giver: This kind of a partner will ruin your life. Almost surely. A person who claims to love you but consistently makes you feel like a loser is not just being consciously or subconsciously manipulative, but is also distorting the very idea of what’s right or wrong, in your head. Sample this mail I got yesterday from a 16-year-old in Indore: “I and my boyfriend love each other too much. On the day he proposed, he made me promise that I won’t talk in a friendly way to any other boys in the class. I always kept my promise but last week when a boy commented on my FB post, I replied back with a smiley, and exchanged two comments with him. I have been feeling horrible ever since and I confessed to my BF. He shouted at me and says he wants to break-up as I’ve broken his trust. How do I tell him I’ll never repeat the mistake?” Well my dear Indore-girl, yes there is a grave mistake in your life. Sadly, you’ve not written his name. Need I say more?
Sonal Kalra is writing a ‘how to find sachcha pyaar for dummies’ guide. Any publishers interested?