Self-love or otherwise.
Your first attempt at love
teaches you true love.
The ‘I’ve got to make this work’ kind,
the innocent, ‘vanilla is the best’ kind,
the unconditional, ‘always? always.’ kind.
For me, the girl was a reincarnation
of everything I had ever loved.
There were no terms and conditions,
and we didn’t take steps one day at a time.
Our bed was a cosmic sky of fairly dust
and we didn’t need hope.
There were a few fights
here on text messages
there on WhatsApp statuses,
but all was good forever
till one day it wasn’t.
The second time I fell in love,
it was bold,
it required a tiger’s heart,
and it came out of a tailor’s guide
for a shredded heart.
There were conditions:
‘if I love me
and he loves me,
then this works’ I would say
looking at the man in the mirror
whose only standout feature was his
of which the universe was a reflection.
It was harder because there were memories
of both loss and pain
but the mirror man was kind.
He stayed by me.
No. I stayed by myself.
I made this work
and this time, love felt like String theory
or an exercise in poetic liberty.
The second time you fall in love,
you learn what real love is like,
self-love or otherwise.
Maybe if we didn’t decorate love
as a fantasy land where all is good
it would stop giving us reality checks.
But also maybe if we let it stay magical,
it wouldn’t become human.
I’m not going to protect
the sanctity of love
by saying that it cannot be toxic.
Love’s our protagonist,
it has flaws too
and for that, it should pay a price.
But just because ten men are bad,
we can’t call off humanity.
I don’t know if love gets better with time
But I can promise you
that love will always be an ‘always’.