It finally happened. It wasn’t over for me, and there were things I wish I had said, could have said. But as always, my head doesn’t articulate to my mouth what I want to say, and instead says something else and regrets.
I let him go.
” I had never been in relationships, never dated, never been kissed. I was never good with emotions, a tad too practical and closed. But you know, I’m also an introvert who doesn’t express enough, am quiet when in peace and ‘badtameez’ with people I am comfortable and close to. My moto was simple: Living life without complications- Love is too complicated.
And then you barged into my life! Like a gush of fresh wind, exactly like how they say- when you least expect it. I don’t know if I was your rebound girl, but your charm and wit obviously got me, and you always knew that. Because I never wanted complications, I was very uncertain and skeptical on many things. Why not? We were from different castes and culture, living in different cities attracted to each other and hopeful when we started. A year together with our share of ups and downs; most of the time I came back saying this was not going to work, my parents wouldn’t agree, but each time you convinced me that we could be together if we tried. Your love was my strength, reason and hope.
You were perfect even in your imperfections, seemed right and lovable even being so far away. Often I thought to myself if I was doing enough to love you back. The long distance kept us longing for more but I always thought we got our space that way too. In fact you called every hour to tell me what you were doing or share something or just to say you love me. You made me say I love you too back, and I learnt to say so, so that you knew I did too. Over time I began to believe strongly in our love and started to think that perhaps this could work out. This transition to suddenly being in love opened up so many emotions in me, strongly, that I now found myself readily crying at disappointments, feeling strongly for someone else other than my family, wanting to care and love a stranger. I had turned emotional. You said you would never leave me- there was no reason to- “I love you and you love me, and we won’t find better”.
But times change. Every tale has a twist, so did this one. Right in the beginning when you asked me out, I asked you about your family’s reservations, and you were so confident about them being cool about your relationships. Yes, you had had girlfriends from other cultures too and they allowed love marriages was what you said. This was the main reason I even took a chance with us, because I thought it would be easy to convince my parents, since I’m the girl. Your family teased you with me, and I thought they really would accept me. Then suddenly when your family realised that you were actually serious about me, and would even marry me, they reacted otherwise. They were okay with your past relationships which were also with different cultures, but I wasn’t. In fact they have accepted your siblings’ relationships too with other cultures. I wasn’t Indian enough. I kept telling myself that probably they felt that I had taken you away since you spent a lot of time on the phone with me than with them, feared I was distracting you from the more important things in life, like being career-oriented? and that it wasn’t to do with my culture and ethnicity.. But I was also keeping you happy- you said you had changed for the better and your happiness showed in your creativity at work. I will never know why they hated me so much, suddenly.
The first time you were shaky after your father spoke to you, you stayed strong. With the new year came our problems. Yes we argued, but I always believed we were supposed to grow with each fight. May be I was too straightforward in many ways and hurt you with my words so often.
Our main problems and miscommunications started after your mother’s drama started; When she made you seek help from another girlfriend of yours to act as though you loved her instead and made you call me to break off, whilst she listened on the other end of the phone; when you were forced to remove me from Whatsapp and Facebook and asked to completely stop talking with me. I should have known that very instance when you even agreed to do that, that you would never stand for me. How juvenile it was, even for a parent to ask someone to do such a thing and for you to follow?! You were ready to give up, but I wasn’t ready to let go of you, and I guess you started getting confused right from then. I should have known then when you wanted to break up, that you were not the strong person or the rebel you claimed yourself to be. When you wanted to break up, I refused to because it just didn’t seem right to give up so easily simply because I was of a different culture, and mostly so when we still felt we both loved each other. I thought it was the additional stress growing at home, work pressure and hectic travels, but perhaps you were more disappointed with your parents’ disapproval and traditional thoughts that were in opposition to how open you thought they were, than the rest of the problems. You were getting closed and I’m sorry I didn’t help much either with my unnecessary arguments because with so less communication happening I barely got to sense what was going inside you, and I had no idea how bad the situation at your place had got to because of me. They were checking your phone all the time! You were hiding me from your parents, you asked for some time to convince your parents, but you were giving up instead. You turned to your old habits, smoking, drinking and partying, and overworking to cope with stress and began lying to me. I was unaware of it all, and when I asked you to become a better person, you thought I was changing you, stopping you from doing the things you liked. I don’t know for how long you kept me in the dark. You could have just talked it out with me, or let me know that you did not feel anything for me anymore. You didn’t have to drag it and pretend to love me if you had stopped loving me. Your love was the only hope I had kept with myself to keep the relationship- letting me know you had fallen out of love would have been enough for me to let go of you. I wasn’t desperate you know, I was just in love.
But that day you came to my city and I had waited so long for this day, to apologise for not being so understanding and supporting you in your distress, and to plan out together how to convince your parents. You came and did not let me say anything, kissed and made out with me so hungrily instead, I thought you had missed me so much. Seeing you get turned on so hard, I thought you loved me. I hesitated a little at first, because I was nervous, my first firsts, and I had wanted to talk and clear the air first. But we made a moment except it wasn’t going to be a memory. I told you ‘don’t make me regret this’, and in doing so, I don’t know, perhaps I had pushed you away further unknowingly that night. I did sense you being in and out while we sat together in stillness, but I thought you were just tired and stressed. I said goodbye and left, little did I know that that was going to be the last time I would see you. While we decided to meet again and talk more, the next day you lied to me and made me book your tickets so you could fly back. You texted me to say you wanted to break up, that you had come to break up with me but lost control that night. You confessed so much all at once about you not loving me but regretting being turned on, about having hid things and lied to me, and that you didn’t want to change any old habits for me anymore, that you were a pathological liar who had lied all along, a person who wasn’t sure who he was now- all at once and I was going through so much emotionally that I did not know what to make of it. You said it meant nothing to you, that you were meant to be alone, run from responsibility, can’t be in relationships, cause hurt only to good people, that you’re a bad guy, that your life has been a disguise, and that love is a lie. Nothing made sense to me.
When we spoke afterwards, you sounded very confused, blaming yourself for being a different person, hating yourself for doing what you had to me; it was as though I was speaking to your alter ego. It seemed to me then that you wanted to keep me, but were pushing me away to protect me instead. Your mind was so disturbed; I suggested we take a break. You will never know what I went through during that period. Neither will I. You had said you got pushed away not just because of your parents, and that made me think about so many things every hour every day till we spoke again. It did not make sense to me because there were so many unconnected dots. Those stupid fights, the long distance, the lack of intimacy and communication, my nagging? What had pushed you away? We could have talked and straightened the fights, we could have found a solution to the problems, but you chose to be silent and carry on doing what you thought was right. I did not want you to stop having fun in life, when did I ever stop you? Smoking is bad for health- am I wrong in asking you to quit? I do not know even still what exactly made you stop loving me. I went from blaming and hating you, to blaming myself for pushing you away from myself, for reasons whatever they were. I agreed to give you more time, but the next time when you called and said what you did, my bubble burst. I just told myself, that it was not worth it, because nobody was happy anymore. I couldn’t force you to love me. You said you felt guilty that you were making me wait, but in reality I was just waiting for my answers as to where I had gone wrong. The fact that you had said you no longer loved me, was enough to make me let go of you. “Love is, loving so badly, that you won’t give up no matter what”, and here our very relationship had started with first me giving up, and now you. I suddenly realised that even though I wanted to be with you so badly, you no longer did, you would have tried things differently long back if you had wanted to. We were not meant to be.
And today we finally had the final talk. I didn’t know if I should have held on and that would have given you strength, or letting go would have given you peace. I put up a strong face and told you, yes things happen, life is unfair but has to carry on; it’s not the end of the world and destiny has something else for us. I let you know that I had let go of you and I think I sensed relief in you. You said thanks for understanding and apologised enough.
I think today you accepted, that the main reason was your family’s reaction to us and that you are no longer the same person. “We had run our course; played the role that we had to in each others’ lives”. I had wanted to be so rude at you and ask for all my answers, but seeing you just listen to me, made me pity you instead. Your sigh gave away how hopeless you felt. Seeing how your mother still hounds you about being in touch with me just made me feel sorry for you. Your mother still doesn’t believe you when you say we’ve broken up, and makes you send messages to me to see what I would reply, while you warn me before she does so, so that I don’t respond to them. You have removed and deleted everything so she doesn’t feel we’re still talking, even though the fact is we don’t. I hope you will sort out things with your mother soon. I meant it when I said that you will always be in my heart, and it did hurt when you said that the first loves always say that, but lasts for a few months and then move on. I think that says how much you loved me, and that for you it is a consolation that the first heartbreak is never so bad. I don’t know how much I meant to you, but I was true to us throughout and so I will not live in regrets, unlike you. You say you don’t regret, but I know you do, it’s in your voice. Why else would you ask me to hate you? You don’t believe in love anymore, still want to take all the blame for the damage that has been done, think you’re meant to be alone forever and are trying to push everyone out of your life so you can be alone; but you’re a man, an emotional one (you will move on), but even you fear yourself that you may never be the happy person you were. You have lost all faith in life, and I do feel so sad for you. I wish I could make you feel better. I cursed you so many times when you left me without my answers, but today I hope you find more love in the future, because you sure can give a lot of it when you do. I hope someone else will make you happy again, and from what I know of you, you will learn to love again. This has changed us all, and it is sad you’re mother doesn’t see how you have for the worse, or maybe she does and blames me instead. You are a workaholic now, still coping with stress in ways you know is not right. You are so closed and dejected, have pushed every single person in your life away, so you can suffer alone. I leave you because I have enough affection still; because you deserve to be happy, and if I can help you to worry one thing less, then I shall do that for you. I leave you because you want me to leave you. I wish we could go back and start fresh, and I could keep you happy again, but you don’t want to, because you do not love me anymore.
Of course I will never have the answers to my questions, but it’s not worth it anymore. I hate that you didn’t stand for us, gave up so easily and for that night. I will never know why you stopped loving me. Everyone has problems; we find solutions, but you chickened out, I think the rest were just excuses to push me away. Yes, you are a coward. It’s a shame you didn’t try harder for us but I guess I understand how fed up you were getting with your mother’s drama at home. Never had you thought that your parents who you claimed to be so open minded would object to us, and perhaps coming to terms with that also made you question yourself. “You have to be selfish to be in love; love alone is never enough”. I had only started to become selfish for my happiness and love and there you had given up because of the family. I couldn’t expect you to be selfish too. You had become like how I was when we met, thinking for your mother and family, and here I was willing to be selfish for you.
My only objection to you is that I wish you didn’t have to make it so messy. We can’t even be friends anymore or stay in touch just as simple friends like you are with your exes because you have removed me practically from every possible medium. Are you agreeing to do what your mother says simply because you want to avoid arguments at home? Are you so willing to give up your happiness for the family? Most importantly, why aren’t you standing for what you think is right this time, when it is about you, when in fact you have always opposed the wrong for others in your family? I wish you had simply had the courage to tell me that you were fed up and giving up than pretending to continue to love me or saying you had got pushed away, for I spent so many days blaming myself trying to find out what I had done to push you away. I wish you had just talked to me than making me feel foolish for having agreed to make out with you. You will never know how traumatic the nights were later. Did I not deserve to be on the same page as you? You took control of the situation and I trusted you, but you got lost in your own plans instead. Did I really deserve such a heartbreaking parting? Yes you may say, it was just a make out session, perhaps to satisfy your ego but it was true for me you see, the way you touched me and kissed me. I feel betrayed more than lost in love. I was ready for a parting but wanted it to be mutual, not so dramatic.
For the times you thought your parents had no objections you were secure and so confident and full of words. The moment things started to fall apart, you stopped fighting too. I rose stronger for you then, did my bit, you stuck around but I don’t think you loved me enough in the first place, to fight till the end, because you didn’t even try. We all love our parents, and to be fair I can’t say for sure how my parents would have taken you, but you didn’t even give me a chance to prove them or think twice. I was ready to give you that chance because I believe in fair play- win or lose. When someone told me that a guy’s promise is like a sales’ guy’s pitch- everything is a yes initially, but when it comes to actual delivery- ‘unki phatti hai’. This opened my eyes, for love had blinded me to not see that my man had refused to fight for us. He had simply given up and the moment I realised this, I let go of you. “Moving on and letting go is easy- knowing it’s not the right thing is difficult”.
I do wonder at times though, what if you had stood up for us and accepted to love me. I understand it takes a lot of courage to go against the family for love, but it does hurt me to know that I had given so much faith to you in believing you would do so if required, or would at least try. I took every word and promise of yours so seriously and blindly trusted you, but you knew you would never fulfil them. You say it was not just your parents disapproval that made you stop loving me. You were guilty for many other things I’m still unaware of. How and why would one feel that you were faking your love? No matter what your reasons are, the fact your parents didn’t accept me, scared you and caused you to think and change your mind. I will never know what was on your mind, or what you think even now, but this is my version and it’s time to forgive. Your helplessness makes me believe I can hope for someone stronger. I cannot stay miserable for a man who has been in conflict with himself forever. I do pity you, for even you agree that I showed you some light; you had stopped running away from life, but the fact that even we didn’t work out has left you hopeless too. You are so beautiful, but I wish you were bold and wise enough to make the right decisions. But now, I have enough reasons to accept losing you today than later. You have pushed me away too.
It is a shame, because the fact remains that it all started with an inter caste love. All because I’m not Indian enough. I guess we too fell prey to this. When will this country ever give chance to love- keep aside cultures, status and perceptions aside? The most interesting thing is that our parents are from the middle class that are always stuck with decisions, educated and modern yet traditional and so conservative. The rich have the luxury to do what they will, the poor cannot be bothered. It’s us who are in the middle trying to fit. Will we ever be strong enough to fight it out?
With or without me, stay happy, jaaneman.”
Just another tragic incomplete love story to do with cross cultural love that exists amongst many others’. My love story did not even give me a chance to prove what I could try to change in the society, but it hurts each day with the thought that we sacrifice so much love for our loved ones, and mostly in vain. Life will move on, so will the two of us, but the memories will never be the same, and some things in the society will never change irrespective of how many lists and stories we publish online.
Give us the strength to accept what is what is, and live in peace.