Tête-à-tête At A Wedding

I had been looking forward to this wedding with varying degrees of uneasiness and excitement, for almost 6 months now. I was a little upset over the fact that she was still too young to get married. This could largely be due to the fact that, accepting that someone who had dressed up barbies and played kitchen play sets with me was getting married and would soon be doing those things in real life, was harder for someone who likes to pretend its not her birthday just so she does not feel old when people wish her.

So there I was, on the day of this auspicious occasion, to bear witness to the marriage of a friend, I looked around me and saw an auditorium full of people doing the very same thing. As much as I wanted to rejoice, some part of me just felt helpless. That is when I was reminded of what Beverly Clark from the movie ‘Shall We Dance’ had to say about why people get married, “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet…I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things…all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because; I will be your witness’.”

If Mrs. Clark got that part right, I was merely a witness to two people promising to be each other’s witness for the rest of their lives. As I stood there contemplating these thoughts, I saw an old family friend sitting in the crowd. Now, here was one of the few people in the world I felt this inexplicable need to NOT disappoint. We exchanged the normal pleasantries and I explained the general state of affairs of my moribund life. Somewhere between explaining my general hatred towards the place I live in and my plans and hopes for the future, the conversation inevitably led us to contemplate about life in general. The result was a general feeling of hopelessness and desperation about the life, universe and everything!

When I tried pointing out that I had come to a point in life where there were very few people I could trust, he pointed out to me that you could never really trust anyone completely. No matter how much you think you can trust somebody to be there for you, at some point they are bound to disappoint you. I found myself conceding to the point that one could be sincere in one’s efforts, but one need not really be sincere to everyone. Sincerity in this case, would be the willingness to forgo one’s own happiness for another. Most people would stop at some point because their ego or self-preservation would take precedence over helping that other person out of his misery.

Man might be a social animal, but the fact that he is endowed with an ability to think is conflicting with his ability to feel. Personally, I will admit that ‘intuition’ does play a huge role in my judgements about people, but when it comes to laying it in the open, I try to ensure that my judgements are based more on what I think (after hours of deliberation) than what I feel. I can not honestly tell you that I have said anything from the bottom of my heart in a very long time, because – frankly – more often than not, I run through the entire dialogue a couple of times before it comes out of my mouth. So, in this world where people weigh their words and the resulting lines qualify them to be amateur script-writers, how can anyone admit to be run by their emotions? In fact, it is rather in vogue to say that, ‘I am some one who has her emotions in check.’

The argument put forth to me was that, if we really do love another person, we would be willing to unquestioningly do anything, make any kind of sacrifice for that person; if you do not, you probably do not love that person completely. Even in the instances when we are arguing out our point with someone else, we like to have the last word on the matter. I for one, hate to lose out on an argument, and that is not just because I was in the debates team in junior college. There has been only one time I have agreed with someone whose arguments I did not agree, and that was when we both agreed to disagree! Thus, giving in, even when you really care about the other person is not something that you do without thinking it over in your head. So maybe, I have never really loved anyone, and if that is what love really means, I shall have none of it!

We might all have experiences whereby you go on for a very long time believing you know everything there is to know about a person, and that there is nothing that you could possibly come to know about this person that would change what you think of this person. Then one day you learn something about this person that completely change the way you look at this person. That is not all, we believe that hiding something from another is not a lie, but honestly, is not hiding just another form of lying? And can someone who has been lied to ever really forgive someone? Or forget?

I have been able to not judge some of my friends even after I have come to know something that should have radically changed that person in my eyes. Does that mean that there is still hope for love in my life? I have had friends who would abandon their task and come to my rescue when the occasion called upon them to do so. Did that mean that there was sincerity still left in the world? To this last question, the family friend tells me that, maybe this sincerity was the result of the fact that my friends and I were placed in a situation where we were in a new country, miles away from our family and we lowered our ego enough to be sincere to each other. It seems like a logical explanation, but then the inevitable question that follows is; ‘Would they not have done the same for me if I had met them when they were still living with their families, and does that in anyway belittle all that we have endured together?’

By the time I reach this point in the conversation, I realise that if I accept all our postulations so far, I have accepted that I am an island and whether I like it or not I am to accept that I am entire on my own. When you realise that you are the only one you can trust, you find that it is a rather effortless process not to expect anyone else to trust anything you say or do for them. You begin to try to realign your objectives in life, only to realise that most of the objectives in your life somehow revolved around people in your life. You say you want to travel the world? Do you really want to see those exotic places on that 2 week annual holiday you get from work, or are you just doing it to tell your friends and colleagues about it later and share some pictures on Facebook?

Life is filled with social obligations that tie you down to the earth. Once you realise how futile and artificial these ‘ties that bind’ really are, you feel like you have been released from the chains and shackles; only to realise that it is now a place of nothingness and you are left with nothing to aspire to and nothing to hate, and suddenly you want to belong again. The chains and shackles that bound you till recently, become something that is equally haunting and appealing. This is around the time you feel the need to be lied to; lied to convincingly. You want to enter your adulthood with faith and hope, and not this depressing revelation of the meaninglessness of existence. You want to feel alive and not just sit back and accept that ‘Zindegi Migzara’ (life goes on). You want to be told that all that you have contemplated is just an idle mind’s banter and that your real purpose for life is XYZ. You want to be told this in such a manner that, it is compelling enough for you to let go of all these ideas that now seem to have found themselves a permanent residence in your mind.

At some point the meaninglessness becomes too much to accept. The nothingness becomes too much to endure. The futility becomes a concept too complex to understand. You slowly begin to forget the line of thought that convinced you that your life here was pointlessness and that there was no purpose in life. This is when you continue with the trivial tasks on a task-list you have set for yourself because that keeps you from completely giving up on this pointless existence. Soon, you would get back in the flow of life and it would be like you have found your purpose in life again (though there is none!). It might just be the way nature deals with the deviants; make them see the truth and make them wish that they had not and make their brain want to block out the memory of that realisation. Did I not make sense? That is probably because, I have already forgotten the gravity of the issue I am dealing with, for it was too heavy a burden for my mind to bear!

2 Responses to “Tête-à-tête At A Wedding”
  1. Maya Ashok says:


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