Love in the time of cell phones

Avantika Debnath is disillusioned with love, lovers and all things love-related

Avantika Debnath | Posted on 15 May 2016
Is This Love? Then I Think I'll Pass | Bonobology

I no longer want to fall in love. In fact, lovey-dovey couples make me laugh. They seem to exist in a make-believe world, fully aware of its futility. Why, I wonder. Is this love? I don’t think so. These lovers wear many masks. Especially, far from their beloved’s loving gaze, captured and much-flaunted in many a picture on their Facebook pages.

When Mehek and Saugat got married after 15 years of courtship, we were all thrilled. After years of battling the caste barrier, the couple had finally united. But then I bumped into Saugat at a restaurant recently. I was with a couple of friends. He was with a friend, maybe a colleague. Who cares? One can have friends outside of marriage. I didn’t see anything wrong with him having dinner with a woman other than his wife. I was pleased to see him. He didn’t seem all that pleased. He flinched at my hearty greeting. Then he reached for his handkerchief to wipe the tiny beads of sweat on his forehead; it was winter and we were in an AC restaurant. After a short exchange of pleasantries, we settled at our respective tables.

Cell phones are a sinful addiction of this generation – if only I’d been addicted to cigarettes instead. As we waited for our orders, I pulled out my phone to scan my Facebook page…I was greeted by pictures of newborns, selfies with besties, quotes from a book read long ago. And then I came upon a post by Mahek… “Hubby darling is off on a business trip…one night passed somehow without you, four more to kill…come back soon…miss you so much my love…Hope Mumbai’s treating you well…"

But here I was – in Bangalore, sitting a few tables across from her husband, who in turn was with an unknown woman…stealthily stealing glances at me, his handkerchief soaking with guilty perspiration. Finally he worked up the nerve to walk up to me. Unable to look me in the eye, he seemed to be debating his choice of words.

“It’s okay, Saugat,” I said. “I have known you guys since primary school. Have seen your love blossom, your struggle, your marriage, and now I am seeing you here. But for this one time, I will un-see you from my memory. This meeting never happened.” I put him at ease.

What goes on behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors. I have no idea whose fault it is. I don’t want to know who ignited the fire and who is fanning it. I don’t want to judge. Maybe Mahek hasn’t been compassionate enough. Or perhaps Saugat is shamelessly cheating on her. In either case, the real loser here is Love. The love I have been laughing at. Today, I will laugh at it just a little bit louder. Not that I never believed in it. But the kind of love I believed in is lost on today’s rushed times. This twisted representation of love is something I can live without. If this is all I get in the name of love, I think I will pass.  

 

 

Avantika Debnath

Avantika Debnath is a corporate professional who gets drunk on good reads. Having devoured Khaled Hosseini, Erich Segal, Amitava Ghosh and Jhumpa Lahiri, she finally figured out that writing is the only thing she can find solace in. She also has a crazy side to her personality, with zero tolerance for hypocrisy and open denial of truth. Her first book, The Bridal Pyre - Nainam Dahati Pawakah is a battle against such evils. She speaks her mind through everything she writes and she writes it like she means it. 

 

Maya Khandelwal: Aah!! That it should be so! We therfore see many a young hearts nowadays a little reluctant to be bought into the institution called marriage. Their love, their trust has been thwarted badly and they no longer find it real enough to give their lives to. As far as having the brains of those who betray the trust of their life mates, dissected is concerned, well the idea intrigues me.

Team Bonobology: The question is - Does your opinion change if it's a one-night stand versus an ongoing affair?

Tina Acharya: Cheating is a choice and not a mistake. its beyond my intellect, how people can think of cheating while with a person they love?. I wonder what would have happened with Saugat, who looked for another woman while he was married to one he loved. such brains should be taken to lab and analysed so that vaccination can be developed for such behavior.

Team Bonobology: “Cheating and lying aren't struggles, they're reasons to break up.” ? Patti Callahan Henry, Between the Tides

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