After the ‘Happily ever after’

Shambhavi Tripathi

“It’s not that I do not love you. it’s that I love you a little too much. You’re such a special person. you deserve someone who can take you to the Moon. I will bear out the pangs of separation only because I know it’s better for you in the long run.”

I am unable to mention the speaker of these lines, probably because they’ve been used so often that it’s impossible to pin down where it all began. It could’ve been Prince Charming from Cinderella once he realized that she wasn’t all rosy lips and sunshine locks. But then again, who cared about the aftermath as long as the story ended with them setting off into this overrated ‘happily ever after’?

We breed in this almost diabetic, sweet view of love, love that is untarnished, unconceited, selfless and in most cases, an end in itself. We may forget our ABC’s but who forgets that first crush that sets you pulsating and colors up your world, or when you first learn to blush, steal shy glances with him and spend endless moments comparing him to that Mills and Boon character you’ve secured in the depths of your heart? We all have that phase, when spilling your heart out in the diary scores way above filling up pages of assignments, when you start doodling hearts everywhere and honestly believe that every love song ever written defines You. It’s extraordinary how simple it is to fall in love—after all, its not called ‘falling’ for no reason. Anything that I write about the flow and beauty of love will only be a repetition, maybe even in cruder terms.

It’s true: love transforms you and makes you believe that you can overpower any catastrophe. Love has moved mountains, waged battles and sacrificed. To a hopeless romantics like myself, there is relief even in the dooms of love. But what if it is all a charade, an age-old lore that is too tantalizing to not fall prey to? In the wanton illusions of lying below the sheet of stars with clasped hands, we are deluded into thinking that there will never be a starless night.

It’s almost cruel, that subtle drift from romantic to corny, expressive to cheesy, affection to clingy, and the hardest is to stand back and watch it all fall apart. The fear of loss, the choice between holding on and letting go, the painful wait to hear that you’re not a part of someone’s story anymore. Then come the tears. That’s the funny thing about crying. It doesn’t wash away anything, but simply sets your rash tremors in motion. Rains, sunsets and dawns—elements of nature you’d befriended do everything in their power to drown you in seas of separation, hurt and rejection.

He would have you believe that it is all in a vested larger good, an ironical attempt of ‘protecting’ you from a more severe degree of pain. It’s tough to compose arguments when you see the determined look in his eyes, and hear the harshness in the voice that made your heart melt. Breakups are severely underrated; the world seems to have objectified love in stunted concepts of ‘getting over’ and ‘replacing the guy’. There seems to be no space for those who love once with everything they have to offer. Love isn’t a conquest. It’s not a tryst to intensify life. It’s sunlight, which warms you to your core. You never grow out of love, it never fades away. Over time, we just find less painful ways of keeping it at bay.

It hurts, yes. Then again, what doesn’t? For a while, the world around you might not make sense to you, may even seem unnecessary, you may not want to go to the movies or tune into your playlist and no one can tell you how long that feeling of not feeling anything would last. In some cases, a broken heart is mended and other times, it might be the only time that the heart attaches itself to anything that requires it to beat faster than it biologically does. How much love is destructive? When is your insistence at holding on mistaken for your helplessness at letting go? When do you draw the line between trying to preserve it and letting it slip away because it doesn’t want to be saved? How do you know when you no longer have the right to move someone whose gravity you once were? Truth is, there’s no degree to Love. It’s either everything or nothing at all.

Next time you spot a cheesy gesture of love, think again. It’s not important to ‘succeed’ in love. What is vital is to believe in it, to believe in a version of the world that runs on simple love. The world needs that kind of addictive love, love that is supernatural, real and dreamy, all at once. I often think if we could ever run out of love, but does it really matter? The worst way to kill love is to quantify it with the ‘happily ever after’. Look out for love and grab it, make it yours, cherish and celebrate it. In love, take a couple of chances and skip a couple of heartbeats, because the world is just a dark, lonely place without it.