Playing the audience..

I am on my way back to Pune in the Udyan Express. There is a couple sitting in front of me who I am guessing is in their late 20s and newly married. How do I know? There is the fading mehendi and the constant need  of touching each other while being completely oblivious of me sitting there, which I think are reasons enough. They cant just take their hands off each other. They are playing some game on their mobiles. The guy is beating her every time. She gets angry at him and he cajoles her. I have a feeling that the girl is purposely losing so that the guy cajoles her. They play the actors on the stage called life while I play the audience.

Life is always like that. Sometimes you play the audience while sometimes you play the actors. I think I make a very good audience. I am a very good listener,I dont just look but also try to see and Im in no hurry to judge people.

When it comes to the matter of love I have mostly played the audience. I have seen my friends go from the’I love you’ stage to the ‘I want to marry you’ stage. I have seen love change lives. I have seen an extremely lost guy turn into a very successful man, because of a girl. I have seen a girl cry alone in the rain because she was cheated by the love of her life. Hoping that the rain would wipe her tears and make them invisible.

The English dictionary’s definition of love is too narrow. Love is an extremely personal emotion. It is like religion. Everybody has his or her personalized version of it. There are no rights and wrongs. There are no set parameters. Every love story is unique and special. For some it’s sharing an ice-cream, for some it’s sharing a bed, for some it’s about sharing pain while for some it’s sharing happiness. To define someone else’s love with your definition is useless.

I am a sucker for love stories. I can sit and listen for hours  to people telling me how they met each other. Out of all the stories I have heard the story of John and Julia has always stayed with me. John was a womanizer and a rock star. He changed girlfriends every Saturday. Julia was a dancer, honest and would never hurt a soul knowingly. John fell in love with Julia the day he saw her dance on the stage. He would not tell her that for a very long time. Over a period of time they managed to become friends. They would talk for hours about their dreams and plans which always made a world of sense to each other. Julia eventually fell in love with him too. Though she  never told him so. She feared he would never be able to love just one woman all his life.

Time passed they both went their separate ways. They kept in touch through letters. They told each other everything accept for the fact that they loved each other in those letters. After two years John wrote to Julia telling her he was getting married to his girlfriend and he would like her to come. Julia replied telling him she couldn’t make it and wished him well.

John told me that he would have never have had the courage to find Julia in a remote village in Rajasthan teaching 10 kids in a classroom if he hadn’t seen that last alphabet of the letter a little blotted. He figured that just may be that last alphabet was a little blotted because she was crying while she wrote the letter.

So a week before the marriage, John cancelled it. He left to find Julia in that village. He broke hearts, was abused by his friends and family but he just had to see her. When he saw her in that classroom, the only thing he said was, “Will you marry me?” and she replied, “Thank god.” John and Julia are married for ten years now and live with their dog, Ceaser.

Oh! this four letter word makes life so beautiful. Im looking away from my train window thinking about things. The couple is finally tired of fighting and cajoling. The girl is sleeping with her head on her guy’s lap. After a while the guy keeps her head on the seat just for a second and gets a blanket and puts it over her. He again gets her head back on his lap,carefully. The girl smiles, she wasn’t asleep. This the guy doesn’t see, I do! Being audience has it’s perks and me being good at it would never miss a scene like that.

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