“Love grows. Lust wastes by Enjoyment and the Reason are that one spring from a Union of Souls, and the other from a Union of Sense.” – William Penn
How does one distinguish one from the other, is the big question.
After 28 years in a cloistered and abusive marriage to a man who had no understanding of what he had got himself into by getting married and having a family, I met Dipankar. It started as a friendship that had possibilities of becoming romantic. Both of us realised that we had a rare and beautiful real friendship which would only get sullied if we brought in the romantic or physical angle into it. He’s an amazing motivator. He gave me the strength that I needed to take some of the toughest decisions of my life. He pumped in the feeling of self-worth painstakingly into my low self-esteem self.
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We decided to stay friends
I became his strongest support in his pursuit of his passion for singing. When all of our friends and his family were against his singing in pubs and eateries, I stood by him till he established himself. So both of us committed undying and deep friendship with each other. Best friends for life! We would show the world that a man and a woman are capable of pure deep friendship!
Though we had our physical needs, we decided that was not something we would bring into our friendship ever. So he would tell me of his escapades and I would tell him of my fantasies, and we would have a healthy and hearty laugh over it, till Sharmila came into the picture.
Sharmila. My childhood bestie. She was my lifeline during my tumultuous married life. My motivator till I got my full-time motivator in Dipankar. Nothing was hidden from her. All of my secret fantasies, even of Dipankar, which I kept under wraps from everyone but her. She is a doctor of medicine in the US of A and seemed to have all the answers that I needed. A total fun person. She would visit me once every 6 months just to unwind. This was our precious time of togetherness when we would catch up with each other, go to spas, watch movies, go clubbing, get drunk, and spend nights at the fancy hotels she would stay in. Both of us would look forward eagerly to this time away from work and family pressures.
But that lasted only until I introduced both of them.
At one shot I lost both of my besties. Both of my support systems gone at one go.
They fell for each other
In retrospect, I realised the reason why I was so close to both of them, as compared to any others in my life, was that both of them were so similar. And I unconsciously knew it. So introducing them acted like introducing a tiny spark to dry grass. The entire barn got burnt down in no time. I was forgotten first and became the first vamp in their love story. She would still make her biannual trips to India, but they were no longer for me.
She would still make her biannual trips to India, but they were no longer for me.
Then their families, their work, their social lives. Everything started becoming unimportant in their lives. Nothing mattered anymore. They were so consumed by passion for each other they were willing to let go of all that they held sacred, for all of those 50 years of their life, in their passion for each other.
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Hell broke loose
Then suddenly everything came crashing down. Sharmila’s husband got wind of the illicit relationship. Dipankar had to bear the brunt of all the wrath the husband and the families felt. Being a woman has certain advantages too in such situations I suppose. He was accused of having cast a magic spell on her with his music and led her astray.
I had cut off all contact with both of them, as soon as they had started their affair and they were ignoring me.
After almost 2 years, Dipankar contacted me, concerning a query he had on a project I was doing. That is when he told me of all that had transpired in that period and of Sharmila’s betrayal and the backlash that he had to bear. He was in total shambles by the time I got to know of all this. She had cut off all of her communication modes and hence we had no way of knowing what exactly transpired at her end.
So what was her story then?
So has it been just a holiday romance for her, an exciting oasis in her busy schedule of work and home responsibilities, or is it some kind of a dawning of responsibility towards her children and husband, or is she under some kind of a threat to perform her duties? Was it the rare emotion called ‘love’, as per the claims and declarations she had made to Dipankar, or was it just an exciting midlife romance and lust, as per the claims made by her husband?
I do not know what to expect anymore. She had turned out to be a personality so different from the childhood bestie of mine. Is this what love did to her? Or was it only just lust which drove her to this?
These are the questions which continue to plague Dipankar and me. I wonder if life will ever give us the answers.
He has trust in her love for him, still, and strongly believes she will be back. Then he will have his answer.