Karavaki was viewing the movie Dayalu once again, the promised true love, joining two different people, into unconditional unity, almost like blending grape and ginger in the blender and the perfect concoction where one does not differentiate the grape from the ginger.

To Karavaki the big question had been if love is defined as an unconditional force that unites didn’t it make the word ‘true’ irrelevant? if one had to specify true love then the obvious conclusion was their false love going around too.

Maybe he was letting you into his thoughts without really preparing you to face it. after all he was the one who always was in the driver seat. From the day he father was forced to quit services by the anti-corruption bureau. His father would take up a job and nearly after 6-7 months, the anti-corruption story would show up, and he would either resign or would be thrown out.

the pattern was like a practised dance, father loosing his job, getting drunk and abusive, his mother responding to his father, with abuses and curses. He then recollected his mother pushing him inside a room latching it up,  she latched his siblings too. Today he understood what her fear was but back then it was suffocating, like being imprisoned. His drunken father would shout, sometimes roll on the ground and his mother threatened him that if he ever did it again she would butcher him.

The next day his father would be repentant and try to make amends. But his mother would take a tirade,” if you truly loved me, you would not do this”

Now that he was married, and he heard his wife say the same thing, “I’m not asking for much, I am just saying if you truly love me, you will do this” and the this and that generally seem to arise when his parents or siblings visited. Karavaki was genuinely confused, did love connect or did it disconnect.  

He had seen his mother seeking validation, and proof of his father’s love… and now his wife, Bandini was doing similar things. “If you love me, you will speak only English or Hindi to your family when I’m around” Bandini being a Bengali did not follow any of the southern languages spoken in Karavaki’s house. but mixing the three southern languages had always been the norm in Karavaki’s house.

Maybe the problem was the paradoxical need for expressing true love!! An expression that created an expectation for an idealized or superior experience of all experiences experienced this far… probably the question that his mother and Bandini seeked was is this the best experience?

Bandini he realized from the age of 3yrs had got her way by throwing that tantrum. When she kicked her leg on the floor her mother brought her the doll. When she cried her father stopped his work to play with her, that was her way of handling the threat in her environment.

But here were two of them, the grape and the ginger, being told from this instant you blend and become the other.

He was not able to recognize what threatened Bandini and Bandini was unable to recognize what threatened him. They both got hurt as the promised blending did not happen. Without realizing that it would take time and effort for blending to occur.

Maybe when he is asking himself about Bandini, “Is this true love?” the unsaid word is “I don’t think so”. Probably between him and Bandini one of them or both are saying,” I hurt. What worked me for me, hasn’t really worked, and I need it to work this time. The truth is I am not able to assimilate and integrate my current experience with the past”

In past we knew the threat and how to handle it… this is the unknown.

Maybe to experience true love the unifying power of the all powerful love, we need to love all of life, the good the bad and ugly, only then can we integrate it and accept it unconditionally. If we can do unify love for all life it would help us to experience true love to a great extent.

As Karavaki sipped his Wayanad masala chai the aroma of fresh cardamom and CTC tea (a teabox purchase) he really wanted to ask Bandini.

Let’s talk true love fantasies. What are yours? Do you dress in a certain way? Do talk in a certain way? Let us try on some of the characteristics of your true love fantasies for size, would it really fit in real life? How would it feel?

As he sipped the last dreg he smiled for he had decided on a experiment, to love the world wholly and unconditionally just for today. See each moment of his life leading to this point. Send love backward to every step of his past. Send love forward to everything in the future… probably then he would be true.. the uniting principle of his own love life, independent of his parents, wife, siblings.

That would indeed be an interesting experiment to try.





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