Is Spoken Love Sweeter?
I happened to read this blog post recently written by my friend Shruti about how men find it difficult to express their love to their loved ones. It gave me pause and food for thought. Obviously, I can’t speak for all men but I would like to take a stab at explaining the why and wherefore of men being unable to express their love to the women they love. If you think I am doing this altruistically out of some universal love for the brotherhood of mankind, perish the thought, this accusation seems aimed at me too and I welcome this opportunity to explain. People who know me personally know that I am quite articulate generally but put me in front of a girl I love and I am straight forward tongue-tied. I would rather stare dumbly at her, eyes glazed over and look to be in a world of my own rather than try to impress her with flowing words professing my eternal love for her. Having had the same feedback that I am not expressive when it comes to love, this is a novel attempt to set the record straight on my part, for I can henceforth refer all my future lovers to this blogpost, to explain why I was standing there like a statue just ogling at them.
To make my point I would have to dip into the archives and share a few personal anecdotes if you don’t mind. A few years ago I fell in love with a girl who had a habit of always being late to everything. She never gave a damn for punctuality, which was so opposite to my character of fussing on doing things at their proper time. So whenever we planned to meet for watching a movie, I would be there at the theater first waiting and waiting and waiting for her to show up but she would reach late, so late that we would routinely miss the first ten minutes of the film and would have to get to our seats in the darkness stamping on others feet. Anyway there I would be, perched on the topmost step of Abirami theatre and as soon as she entered through the main gate and made her way up the steps towards me, what I would feel was a, I can only compare it to a dizziness at the first glimpse of her, even from a distance. I know now, after so many years of analysis that my heart must have filled with so much love at that first glimpse of her that my heartbeat and pulse rate must have gone up to stratospheric heights resulting in the dizziness I felt. Thank god I didn’t faint.
But right then I would just stand there watching from the top of the stairs as she climbed up towards me, my heart trying to jump up out of my body every step she took nearer and nearer to me. It is a totally indescribable feeling and even now I struggle to put it in appropriate words. As she stared at me in exasperation at my woody expression and tongue-tied state, would she have believed me if I had told her that the very sight of her, drove my heart into doing somersaults and handsprings? When she finally came up the stairs towards me all my fatigue from the waiting, all my anger at missing the first part of the movie, everything would evaporate except my pleasure at being with her and i would stand there just looking at her, drinking her in, while she would bustle about as if i was the culprit in wasting time by standing there like a statue and would order me to follow her into the theater and then later on would complain constantly about how i never had a loving word for her but always stood there staring speechless like an idiot.
How could I explain, how could I put it into so many meaningless words that when she came near me my heart just jumps around and my tongue cleaves to the floor of my mouth and hence all I would be able to speak would be a croak if I opened my mouth and I was delirious with joy in seeing her and that’s the reason I stood there grinning like an idiot. I mean, I could say all this by taking the time out to write an elaborate blog post, but to put all this in words on the go? Can mere words suffice to express such heartfelt emotions? I find language inadequate to supply me with the necessary words to explain the mysteries of the heart. And hence I surmise that men in love, in true love are unable to find the right words to express their feelings of that magical moment. You cannot compress a saga into a haiku can you? Being cryptic doesn’t do justice to the emotions of love.
I would like to add a clarification here that all the above explanations are for real love, the till death do us part variety of love and not the fake hey, we work together at the same firm, we are of the same caste, plus you look good baby, so let me flirt with you, kind of pretend-love. For there, these rules do not apply. There, the words would flow easily off the tongue, because the heart has no work to do and its all brain driven. So men can lie easily to a girl about love forever when there is no real love involved. Guys who are fluent talkers when it comes to expressing their love are most often players who have said similar lines to a dozen girls before. Their words however eloquent and touching are just from the mouth and never reaches their eyes.
As I said before true love is far more difficult to embrace with words and can’t be explained that easily, however many times you keep falling in love. For it’s a fallacy that love happens only once and people cannot fall in true love again. Any time you fall for another person, if that love is a true emotion, you go through the same tongue-tied statue phase. No exceptions. The reason they say that first love is special is because when it happens you don’t often recognize what you are going through and you are taken by surprise when you finally realize that “oh so this is love? This is what it feels like?”. And that’s why first love is special.
Which takes me back many years ago to that magical moment when i fell in love for the first time ever. Like everyone else, I too didn’t recognize what it was and it took me time to understand what I was going through. All I knew then was that I had talked to that girl that morning and by afternoon I was sick and feverish and had to spend three days in bed. I couldn’t guess till a long time later that what I had was a feverish love and had not caught a viral fever as I believed at first. And everyday my mother used to ask me “not going to college today? and I would reply “but I am still burning with fever” and she would feel my forehead and tell me “but you are cold outside” and I would reply “but I am burning up inside” and it took stupid old me three days of full time thinking lying a-bed to process my feelings and realize “Kya yehi hai pyar’u hai? Yejo mujhe ho gaya…su’nna tha, dekha na tha, samjhan’na tha, ab jann’na na tha”. Yep it took me that long but once I figured it out, i got out of bed, went back to college and got into a fight with two other guys vying to win the heart of that same girl and that is a story for a different day. The point is how could I have made that girl understand that the first time we talked she gave me a three day fever and explain it as a proof of my love? Such are the practical difficulties men experience in expressing their love.
To conclude, I don’t know if it’s the same with women but for men it’s the most damnably difficult task to express their love. First of all there is the fear of not being taken seriously, being called absurd, being laughed at or being friend-zoned like “I thought of you as a friend only, why did you say this and spoil it all?”. And even if that does not happen, it still is difficult to pour the bubbling emotions of the soul into words and structured sentences. If you women want us men to show you how much we love you don’t wait to hear it in our words, just look into our eyes. The joy of true love can never be hidden from the eyes. Why do you still need words?
P.S. The song reference is from the Hindi Film “Mast” (1999) directed by Ram Gopal Varma and starring Aftab Shivdasani, Urmila MAtondkar and Antara Mali. The music is Sandeep Chowta, an underrated music director and sung by Sonu Nigham and Sunidhi Chouhan. If you would like to watch it here’s the link on Youtube