It’s winter, or what passes for winter in the temperate climes of Bombay. There is a nip in the air, and when you walk in the bright sunlight, it warms your soul, makes you happy to be alive and free. It is the season of falling in love, in believing in the mad rush of passion and the urge to jump in headlong into the soft fuzzy feeling of romance. It’s February, the month of Valentine.
As Damien Rice croons in my ear asking me heart-rending questions “…Is he dark enough to see your light? Is he bold enough to take you on? Does he drive you wild or just mildly free? I know I make you cry, make you want to die, but do you really feel alive without me?...” ('Accidental Babies', 9), I acknowledge that it has been a while since I answered yes to any of those questions. But I remember the time that I did.
The glorious head-rush that comes with the meeting of eyes with a guy you think is deadly cute, the joy of seeing him laugh at a shared joke, noticing his eyes crinkling as he leans in towards you as if he’s going to tell you a secret, close enough to make you think of kissing him and wondering what that would be like, the knowing look that both of you wear because you both love this particular dance, the dance that opens up the world of possibilities. Then he asks you, “Do you swing?” You look affronted and say, ‘I’m not that kind of girl!” and he rolls his eyes, takes the drink out of your hand, twirls you around and whispers in your ear, “Take your mind out of the gutter and dance with me.” And you dance, breathing him in, noticing the stubble lining his jaw, and before you know it, you’re moving to your own music, in your own little world where the other people are cardboard cut-outs frozen in time.
As he lets go of your hand, time filters back in and you look at him, noticing the crinkle that you left on his shirt when he had held you close. He smiles at you and you smile back, answering the unasked question, “Why not?” In the pit of your stomach, you feel the entire world opening up, and you feel as if you’re falling, and you hold your breath, waiting for the wildest ride of your life. He reaches out, holds your hand and both of you throw caution to the winds and take the plunge. Welcome to the romantic world’s cliché factory, may your stay be glorious.
In this season of love, I adore the romantic comedies that are released practically every week. They tell you the stories that you have grown up hearing and believing, that there is a fabulous guy for you, that you will find, connect and keep your perfect person with all his imperfections, and that you will feel the warmth of a family, of a group you belong to, and you will be adored and will not disappoint, that there will be music and happiness and many laughs which you will remember when you’re old, surrounded by your extremely close-knit circle of friends and family. There will be a happily ever after.
It gives me hope. Keeps me optimistic. And that’s a great start to the year.