First love is always special. It’s that which we, all, would cherish; openly or secretly. No matter how much you try – you can never forget that person whom you desired and loved so much. If your first love was your last – you can be assured – you are luckiest among the lucky. Parting from your first love’s painful or dreadful – never easy. You may pretend to be otherwise, but somewhere the tears flow quietly or to-the-bare-least they moist your eyes. You may be 19 or 90 someday somewhere you’re reminded of that person – who’s the benchmark for all the “new” love(s) that follow(ed).
There are so many tales I’ve heard, witnessed and, even, felt about first love. Many are interesting while some are boring. They are nevertheless stories of individuals who’ve realized the fact of life that it definitely takes more than ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ in life to live.
We’re so emotional being. If you care to disagree with me here and assert that “not all are!” then I’d simply say that even materialist beings are severely inclined – emotionally – to their materialist gains.
Yesterday, i.e. 26th of April 2013, I turned 31. And after all the celebrations at office and at home with my pet Labrador son – Winston – I simply sat down on my lounger and recalled my memories spanning just over three decades. It was a splendid journey, indeed. From a 16 year old drop out in 1998 when I lived with most despicable people, inhospitable places (some without proper toilets), earning (or hardly) little money and trying to make something in life to what I am today: an accredited international journalist, recognized Asiatic historian, internationally commissioned writer and also an fairly successful media and technology entrepreneur running self-funded businesses – I can take pride to have achieved something in my 12 year long journey in the “real” world.
Rich or not – I don’t have any loans or liabilities. Famous or not – I’ve accomplished friends across the geographies who care and stand by me when in need. Powerful or not – every time my career and character was sought to be destroyed, like phoenix through the ashes I’ve risen again.
I’m, and have, touched people from all walks of life; from beggars to rich, from thugs to cops, from peons to chairmen, from local politician to national leaders. I can definitely claim to be someone promising – if not important. If you care to argue – I’ll be least bothered.
But whatever I am today – I’m so because of scores of people who’ve stood by me when I was down in pain and plain misery. Whatever I may have achieved today it’s owing to few words of inspiration and courage given to me at the time when I need the most and yet not many may have had offered it to me. Whatever I’d be tomorrow I’d remain indebted to many souls – some of whom I may have simply forgotten by chance. But there is one whom I reminisce so badly, today… my first love.
I remember today every moment of my past as if it’s happening right before my eyes. As if it’s unfolding itself, right here, right now. I was a buddying entrepreneur then, a time in life when I had so many reasons to be fearful of. I had so many questions in my mind bothering me – and so badly – as to what would happen “If I fail”. The fear of “loosing” was so much taking its toll on me and yet I had this lady, younger by two years, sitting by my side everyday listening to my ordeal – as if an expert – and finally holding my hand and telling me “Don’t think so much… all will be fine!”
I knew she had no idea about the depth of the issues bothering me and yet the very smile she posed after saying those down-right clichéd words made me feel happy. I didn’t need anything more – not even a cigarette – that which I smoke so often today – to feel the rising spirit within. I would be relaxed and refreshed. What was that made me to fall for her? I’ve often asked this question; several times. No doubt she was absolutely beautiful with a graceful personality, fair complexion and near to perfect figure. She was a desired woman for any “eligible bachelor”. But that wasn’t the reason why I so loved her. Oh yes, she was also born to fairly well-to-do couples and their only child, therefore heir apparent to significant property. There were so many women who passed in my life, after her. Even though more beautiful and charming they could barely hold a candle to her subtlety.
She was simple, down-to-earth, fairly liberal but – most importantly – away from all the “wannabe” chicks in the streets desirous a fairly rich men with a keen sense to confuse infatuation and sex with love. She knew I was near to penniless. She knew that my chances to equal her chances were hardly any and yet after assessing all the pros and – highly evident – cons she decide to stand by me – come what may.
She was such a perfect woman to me – I knew that! But what was the reason I so perused her. Why is it that even today I recall her, often after nearly a decade since her sad and sudden demise? It may not be wise to delve into details and make this an absolutely personal note; but it’s worth explaining the essence.
The grace of any good relationship is UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION, in that order. No matter in what pain I was in – instead of losing her cool and adding to my woes, she always managed to sport a sweet smile while saying “… don’t worry… all will be fine.” Her logic, the way I saw, was that “If you can’t offer a solution, don’t add to the problem.”
When we are in confusion we seek solutions to problems and answers to questions. We often tend to forget that answers aren’t instant noodles. You got to wait. As the famous Sanskrit proverb goes Kaalaya Tasmai Namaha – only time will tell. But when our mind is uneasy we only get reckless – taking patience away. This adds to our woes when the person you love isn’t able to handle you and add to your owes with his/her own concerns. It’s a great virtue to be optimistic with your loved one when (s)he is feeling down. While it’s fairly easy to be so… not many are able to. This is the single most raison d’être for most of the relationships to end in a disaster. This is what absence of UNDERSTANDING causing chaos is.
Looking behind from where I am today leading a fairly pleasant and happy. I cannot but recall my first love. The lady who always said “… all will be fine.” And just when everything IS – I don’t have her in person to say a prompt “Thank you”.
Here’s my humble advice to you: If you love someone and there comes a time when (s)he is in pain or trouble where you could offer zilch – just stand by them… hold their hand… and just say “don’t worry… It’ll be fine.” You are sure to witness how those five life letter words, though your compassion, cheer up your loved one, inspire them to buckle up and put things in order.
You don’t need to be an omnipotent or omniscient to be a GREAT partner/spouse. What it takes is your ability to say a few good words to calm their otherwise deterred mind. It doesn’t take much to be a great lover/spouse/friend except UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION. They’re not-at-all difficult to practice and yet people inculcating them are increasingly hard to find. May be you cannot be UNDERSTANDING or COMPASSIONATE to the whole world but do try to be one to the person for whom you mean the world.