Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For Love

He had made his life about her. The swish of her hair, her ability to make him do exactly what she wanted- that is what he lived for. He had dreams, dreams of his own. So had she. Her dreams were circumcised, she said. By virtue of being born a woman. His were stifled. Voluntarily so. Or so he liked to think. Until the stifling of dreams reached a point where he felt suffocated. Unloved. Uncared for. That is when he began to notice that his life had become about her. His life had become the life he had always scorned. Cliches began to float around in his mind- he was a puppet- a doll hung from a string. He told himself that he was not one of those men- he would not just blame a woman and be done with it.


 After all, hadn't his father done just that?  He hadn't just blamed his mother, but blamed the rest of her family. It was bad blood, he said. It was bad blood that caused this nonsense.  You're weak , he said to him, every night after dinner. You cry like a little girl. And then, almost on cue, he had wept. He wept every single time. Even his tears, like everything else in his life, followed a pattern- it would start with a lump in his throat, followed by constricted breathing and finally after much tussle with himself, the tears would run down his cheeks. His father's head  nodded disapprovingly, as if in rhythm to his tears.


Life went on, and one day he met her. They had all warned him about her. He had always been a recluse and his  trustworthy friends worried about him. She's a maneater, they would say to each other, knowing fully well that a statement such as that would not be tolerated in his presence. They knew she was whispering sweet nothings to her lover- someone she had always loved, while she used him as a front. For her, it was a relationship of convenience. To him, he had fallen in love.


He followed her around like a puppy follows its master. He clung on to her every word. Usually selfconscious, he made the most obnoxious declarations of love in public. Lying in bed afterwards and smoking his cigarettes made him quite embarrassed about what he had done. It was love, he told himself. Love makes you blind. Love makes the world go around. And then he lit another cigarette, continued to smoke, and thought of the girl of his dreams.


She was waiting for him near the bus-stand, her hair blowing in the wind.  Her short  yellow dress and kohl lined eyes were certainly attracting a lot of attention. She had deliberately dressed provocatively- probably to entice him. He could not help but notice the look on the bus conductor's face.


 She showed him her new camera and asked him to take pictures of her. The light had to be right. So did the angles. She secretly thought of showing those pictures to her lover.


Obediently, he clicked. He clicked all morning, all afternoon and when he grew tired and took out a cigarette from his pocket, she asked him if she could have it. She had to have everything. She needed to. It didn't matter that he always did exactly what she wanted, anyway.


She called him names. On more than one occasion, she called him an elitist. He secretly thought she was a social climber, using his connections to make a name for herself. But it didn't matter what he thought. Her voice was always going to be louder than his.


As he went to bed that night, he told himself that everything he did and didn't do-he did  for love.

**

This is a very raw version, like most pieces of writing on this blog. Hopefully, I'll work on it and turn it into an actual story.

No comments: