Why Love is Unfair
There’s something oddly peaceful about train journeys. The clackety-clack of the train over the rails somehow helps me channel my thoughts. The gush of cold air from the windows brings boundless freedom to my imagination.
So here I was debating, or rather seething over the unfairness of love and life when I noticed the couple seated right across from me. These were short, round folks who reminded me of oversized soft toys. Cute to the boot!
The Husband was humming loudly with earphones on when I entered the compartment. The Wife, with a head full of red hair and a kind face, had just woken up. She was slowly reclaiming full attention from the grumpy kickstart. As she sat staring off into the distance, our musical Husband nudged her and asked if she would like to listen to music. When she nodded, I half expected him to magick a second pair of earphones out of thin air and hand them to her. Instead, he shared one earpiece of his earphones with her. They sat swaying, listening to music, smiling vaguely, reminiscing about some old memory that they shared.
That’s when the Husband’s phone rang. He uttered a hurried Hello. He proceeded to explain to the guy on the other end that the Exhaust fan in their kitchen was installed incorrectly. He must have repeated the whole thing 5 times over. The dying signals in the remote area let the Exhaust fan issue hover like a bone of contention between them. So the harried caller finally told the Husband to text him the problem. I suspect the caller could hear just fine. He just didn’t want to deal with the Exhaust fan. Clever guy!
The Husband, a middle-aged gent, was bad at texting and worse at spelling. So he asked his wife loudly ‘what is the spelling of Exhaust’. She smiled like a little girl in love with her Husband’s adorable mistakes and spelled it out for him.
“‘Ex’ like in Exit. No, no S there. S comes at the end.”
He typed S again. She laughed at his goofiness. Her musical laughter made him laugh too.
And so they sat, stumbling, holding each other and hoisting each other up every time one made a mistake. Somehow these two people, short, stout, filled with unmistakable love and kindness sat sharing these beautiful moments with not a care in the world.
Who says love is fair. It can’t be if something so beautiful can be attained by two ordinary individuals. In fact, love is partial to these people who find laughter and romance in such small moments. It’s almost like the universe is conspiring to add to their happiness.
And it’s strange that these lovebirds, these sparrows in a world enamored with peacocks, this oddball couple of a pastor and a staff nurse sit in an airy bogey of sleeper class of Indian railways, NO Bollywood love song in the background, as they catch this light romance. They could be teenagers on the 3rd date.
It’s ironical that this elusive treasure that’s love was so plainly and uninhibitedly brewing in the dim light of a nondescript, dusty wind-laced railway coach.
It’s this nature of love which makes it unfair. You wait in your moon-lit balcony, hair brushed golden, face glowing like the moon, waiting for love. While this flighty magic happens right under your nose, in a railway coach that’s everything typical about Indian middle class, to someone else.
Love is unfair because we are looking too hard for miracles while we should be focusing on moments that pass us by. The opportunities to revel in love and its warmth present themselves to us every moment. But somehow we are busy looking at the horizon for fanfare, violinists and winged naked babies with bows and arrows.
Don’t let those moments whoosh past you without acknowledgment. Catch hold of them, make more out of them, find your magic in them. For who knows where the journey will take you.