I wanted love, not a lesson to learn

Dua Prayaag talks of love’s labour lost and fighting every temptation to kiss and make-up

Dua | Posted on 17 Apr 2016
I Wanted Love, Not A Lesson To Learn | Bonobology

My dear first love,

It was such a beautiful starlit sky, remember? It was just you and me on the beach in Malaysia, and all we could hear were our own chortles and the sound of the waves hitting us while we innocently explored each other. You promised me eternity. You promised me ‘forever-ness.’ There has always been an ‘always’ in all your messages for all the five years that we have been together. Yes, the distance took its toll at times, we were in different continents for most of these five years, but it was your conviction I drew strength from.

From crossing the Howrah Bridge on foot, sipping tea from an earthen cup while we were still students, to crossing the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, the Brooklyn bridge in the Big Apple and the Chain bridge in Hungary, holding hands and planning to cross many more together, we have come a long way, crossing so many hurdles, haven’t we? We have never had a big bank balance, but we have always had each other and together we have crossed oceans and mountains and seas and continents.  Remember our dinner dates in South Delhi? You, me and your younger brother. Two shawarmas, chili potatoes and momos, all for two hundred and fifty rupees, on your bed, while watching Two and a half men.

And our Himalayan sojourns? Sometimes I feel we were so exultant with the little we had, the auto rides we took, the movies we watched and the old Delhi trips we made. I cannot be happier now that you have your own car, your black i20 that we chose after countless test drives, your two-bedroom flat which I helped you decorate. The beige curtains, the pressure cooker, the drawers, the bedsheet and even the colour of the bucket. You wanted me to choose it all.  

You did tell me the last time we spoke, that we had ceased being equal. I did not quite understand what you meant. My educational background, my financial independence, the fact that I dropped you to the station as many times as you came all the way to pick me up among others, made me more equal, now that I think of it. Now that I am emotionally more stable than what I was when you reasoned your ‘mistake’ with me. Yes, you were right, I was not challenging you enough. And you like to be challenged. You see, in the thirty something days I got to spend with you in a year, I planned spending them trying to take care of you and know you better rather that always engaging in conversations that were intellectually stimulating. You do admit you have anger issues. Right? There is only so much condescending that one can take on a trip. I am a national scholarship holder, a debater, writing and public speaking are my strengths. You were my weakness. But it is alright. We all need to reason with ourselves. We all need to find answers. Some find them, some create them.  Yes, I was not without faults, I am sure I had plenty, but I accepted you happily with all of yours. Is that not what love is all about?

It is quite emotionally cumbersome a task, to put down in words all that has been clogging my otherwise rational thinking mind, for the past six months. But I need to reflect. And writing is my calming drug. It has been six months since you told me how your world will come crashing down if I even ever thought of leaving you, five months since I caught you cheating on me, four months since I last begged you to give us a second chance, three months since you told me you are in love again, with someone else, two months since you told me you have outgrown your love for me, the love we nurtured for over five years, and one month since I last spoke to you. If attraction and spark is all that a relationship is built upon, I must say, its base will always be very easy to quash.

My love demands. It demands love and loyalty in return.

From saying to me ‘You are to me what nectar is to flowers, colours to a rainbow and sunshine to a quagmire’ to now ‘I do not say anything to you, because I do not know what to say’, we have come a long way. I always thought ours was a fairytale. My fairy tale did not demand magic or castles or rubies and diamonds, it was just looking for a happy ending. You knew of my life’s struggles, held my hand and promised to walk with me for life, that you wished to grow old with me. I shared my deepest secrets with you. Today you tell me I will emerge stronger from this incident. I have faced enough struggles; I did not need another to emerge any stronger. I wanted love, not a lesson to learn.  

Yes, I am shattered and broken and hurt and wake up to nightmares of our beautiful memories together even after all these months. Some days are terrible. I am in bed all day long and all I do is cry.  But I am getting better. That empty feeling of diving deep into a bottomless pit, the feeling of my heart being carved out slowly with a blunt dagger every single day, is getting better. But I do not blame you for what I am feeling right now. I placed you before myself, and that is my mistake. I will not make that mistake when I fall in love again. It might not happen as quickly as it happened with you. But it will. And when it does, I will consciously treat my beau as my equal.

A promise is merely a sentence if you cannot keep it. You made so many. They were sentences after all. And beautiful ones. If today, after six months you do not know what to say to me, you will not know after six years either. We are not playful teenagers; we were adults looking at a marriage in a year’s time with a wedding planned in the hills. That corner in my heart which was praying secretly that you will come back to what you constantly reaffirmed was the most beautiful part of your life, is quiet and dead now.

Stay happy and do all you can to find your happiness.

The first girl you promised eternity…



Dua Prayaag is 28 years old and has been working in the development sector for over six years now. Independent and self-reliant, friends, family and travelling is what keeps her going.

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