When I was in school, I had my first experience of love. It was exactly how they described it in songs and movies. Biblical, romantic and grand. I felt lifted, as if I was floating. Mid-air, it was surreal and I can trace back the feeling exactly the way it was. How easy is it to define and explain but to experience it once more, well…
The girl was way out of my league. I was too stupid for her, she was pretty and cute and flawless, and me? Shabby, disoriented, aloof and I really didn’t care. It was brief but immense.
Once again in college, I had the fortune of being with a woman who turned a boy into a man. I never knew love carried such depth with it; that it was the only truth; that all the love songs and movies and poems and books will never be enough. It gave a meaning to my life. And for a man, meaning is hard to come by.
As with every story, I had a heart break. Shattered identity, a torn soul and consumed in distractions, I was broken! It was the exact opposite of how it felt when I was in love. As if the Gods had devised a balancing act. They give and then they take.
Six years went by but I am still haunted by what I lost. It is not really about the person, but how I felt, who I was!
Life has a way of teaching us. You don’t need a college degree or certification to learn the act of life. It is instinctual, innate. And as with every tragedy, there was a lesson intended for me. The realisation was absurd yet profound.
Love as I had known was not what I thought. It was way grander than any presumptions. It ran much deep, beyond gender roles or romance or preference or privilege.
I understood that love was the language of the universe. In romantic love, you want the other person, but real love is about detachment. Real love is about letting go, getting out of your way, getting rid of expectations and beliefs and notions and concepts. It is the only truth. And the essence can only be realised by falling in love with yourself.
When you are in love, in the truest form of love, you are not bound to a person, place or a thing. It transcends the human fiction. It leaves no room for bias or objectivity. It either is, or it is not.
Once you fall in love with yourself, you start seeing the world in a different light. You love a tree as much as you love your mother. You love animals as much as you love a river. It is as if you discover a hidden portal, another dimension.
The fabric of the universe is love. Unconditional, unbiased, transcendental love!
I am still designing a definition for self-love. All that I know is what it isn’t.
Self love is not about falling in love with yourself, justifying your mistakes, acknowledging your flaws and accepting who you are. No, I think it is too superficial. To truly love yourself means having the courage to admit that you are wrong, that you were mistaken, that you are flawed, that you are not enough, and having the empathy to bring forth a change, to ensue a state of perpetual observation, analysis, experimentation and amendment.
For instance, one of your best friends is slowly being clawed away by drugs. What do you do? Do you accept things the way they are, or would you intervene and talk? It isn’t about helping the other person, but sometimes it is about making people see things exactly the way they are. Sometimes it is more about invoking an objective perception than subjecting them to our pseudo moral grounds.
This is the same for me. If I am hurt, I wouldn’t go and hunt or extract revenge. No. What I should do is sit with myself and ask questions. Why does it hurt? Did I expect too much? Why do I expect? Why am I crushing the other person under my baggage of expectations? Why can’t I just let go? Be grateful for their presence. Accept and nurture and celebrate them and still have a thin layer of detachment. Why have I outsourced this control of how I feel? Am I not enough?
Peculiar that a woman can teach you so much about life. I am grateful that I had my heart broken. I am truly grateful to that person. It is a privilege to have a broken heart, have suffered for so long, to have experienced true love, and for giving myself a chance to actually experience what it feels to be broken, what it feels to have a broken heart.
Tere Bina is a song I wrote about this realisation. That to lose someone, to lose yourself is an honour. Because far beyond the dark forest and the pit of fire lays the final resting ground of peace, tranquility and non-existence.
Watch the live performance on YouTube
hai jo munasib wo
hai.n jo iraade
wo jaayaz nahi.n
sardiyo.n mei.n sard hai.n
narmiyo.n ki gard hai.n
chhupa ke rakh lo
qeemti ye hai.n
dil to zara se
nalaayak bhi hai
qillato.n ki dhoop mei.n
chaao.n jaisi zarooratei.n hai.n
aa bhi jaao na
kitni der hui
ghar ko aao na
kitni der hui
Written, performed and produced by Saby Singh