Young Love

Young love is *very* different from not-so-young love. The expressions are off the charts and sometimes we look back at those days of being unrestrained and full throttle in our feelings and maybe cringe a bit saying, “Damn! Did I really do all that?”

From writing your name along with that of the one you want to end up with for ever and ever to wishing on stars to having “your song” light up your day and your mood; young love is heady to the hilt and there’s usually very little logic associated with it. It’s all heart. Miles and miles of it.

I tend to remember anniversaries. Red remembers ours of course else life would be way more hellish and his credit card would be taken on a revengeful ride he may never recover from.

But the little dates that led up to the actual BIG DATE he tends to gloss over. While we weren’t terribly young when we met, we weren’t too old either. Young enough to be frivolous and silly at times but we didn’t do too much of silly. We did a few standout things and then became the kind of “proper” adults married couples are when they argue about unmade beds, wet towels and why they can’t share the same sheet throughout the night.

I was talking to the bestie a little while ago and we were reminiscing (like we do a LOT these days) and I started to think back at all the little lovey-dovey things I’ve seen people do while they were in the throes of their first love. Maybe their second. By the third and fourth time you know there’s probably a fifth and sixth one in the pipeline so you don’t go all out. You do just enough.

But more on that later…during the time when the love is young and so are you, eighteen page letters (front and back) seem to flow with ease. Giving missed calls to each other on the newly acquired cell phones each time you miss one another is also a hokey thing we do. Of course it can be taken into account that in those days it used to cost money to receive calls as well as make them but young love sees no currency. Young love sees only hearts, rainbows, unicorns, bike rides, hugging in the rains, love notes scribbled on napkins at whichever restaurant you find yourself in and the list is practically endless.

There are long-stem roses on the eve of Valentine’s Day. Actual gift cards with babies dressed like cherubs and little bunnies (thank you Anne Geddes for boosting the card sales for Archies galleries across India!), being starry-eyed and being only able to talk and think of “The One” is par for course.

And don’t think it’s only the girls who indulge in all this mushy-gushy stuff. There are guys who wish on stars (very few though), write mini essays on every book they buy for their girl because just a 2 line inscription does not cut it at all! Flowers get pressed between notebook papers, major detours are taken just to have a glimpse of a loved one and long journeys filled with bumper-bumper traffic on the way back home is faced after dropping off the love of your life. The actual meeting might have been for 15 minutes; but you met. Your hands touched, your eyes met and often, that was enough.

I have and still do find the excessively long or even the short but extremely private communication between couples pasted on social media quite hokey and hard to relate to. I could never do that. I had to do it in private or not at all. And knowing Red the not-at-all was more likely because barring the initial days of “romancing” we settled down to a pattern of togetherness that was not just comfortable but it was something we did with ease. Autopilot even. And while many people are detractors of the autopilot mode saying spontaneity, fun, surprises are needed to keep things alive, autopilot is where we’re all headed eventually so it’s not a state that we necessarily “settle” for. There’s comfort and complacency both in autopilot. There’s acceptance and (passive)aggression in autopilot but there’s a sense of knowing where you are and the person you are with which is very soothing as well.

So for everyone with their heads up in the clouds of love, enjoy it. It’s a rite of passage. Those nervous knots in the stomach, the flutters, the sweaty palms, the racing heart…it’s meant to be enjoyed, experienced and learnt from. Those who already have gone through the stage are more likely to pop an antacid if those feelings crop up now when they’re on the far side of being ‘young’.

Be young, be silly, enjoy gifts of multicoloured bear plush toys which may make you sneeze your head off (true story) or of big blooms on Valentine’s Day; thoughtfully spiked with an adulterated Charlie spray, by an over-zealous street side florist. Enjoy the little cards that have sepia-tinted images of little kids kissing each other…you’ll look back at the days when poems were shared, heartfelt lines were penned, all for you and for the sake of that irrepressible young love!


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