"Love is in the air...", chirped Nishi, while strolling beside me in the park.
I pondered over her statement as she heaved a really deep sigh.
It seemed oddly pathetic that the smoke and dust particles in the city air were more conspicuously visible to me than the "love".
She flicked a few popcorns into that love-filled air and did a little jig which she usually does when she is very, very happy.
And she was particularly happy these days...
For reasons obvious from her statement.
She was in "LoVe". Precisely for the third time..........
My cousin Nishi is a confused little soul.
The more she thinks she has a clear idea about what love means, the more clouded her judgement becomes. She has been into the labyrinth twice, and has admitted losing her way, both times.
She hasn't committed yet, and I thank God that she has retained that minimum cerebral functionality to not jump into relationships.
Now it may seem very weird as to what her definition of love is.....
Well, it is as messed up as that of any average teenager's.
She grew up reading Grimm's' Fairy Tales. And she believes that "Knights in Shining Armors riding White Stallions" do exist. Just that these days the Knights have traded their armors for Levi's Jeans, Calvin Klein shirts and accessories from Ray Ban & Fastrack. And the low-mileage white stallions have been chucked, enter "kewl" 150 cc bikes.
She has always dreamt of bumping into her soul mate in some scenic location (the Alps are her favourite), and rehearsed the "love-at-first-sight" thing numerous times in her head. And then comes the "lived-happily-ever-after" nonsense.
I'll say that the Idiot Box can be the worst friend-philosopher-guide to any young mind.
Especially to a mind like Nishi's.
Thanks to the world it has opened up to her, she hopes for a partner who looks like Enrique Iglesias, dances like Hrithik Roshan, has an aura like that of Prince William,as funny as Woody Allen, is at least as suave as Brad Pitt...and the list goes on...undergoing regular changes.
And she herself aspires to have the eyes of Aishwarya Rai, the tresses of Catherine Zeta Jones, the figure belonging to Cameron Diaz and the charm of Kate Winslet (minus signs of ageing).
And as she tells me more about the new "love" of her life, I get to know that this one is apparently much better than the guys she had admired in the past.
The first one she liked had a remote resemblance to Enrique (purely according to her)....her high-frequency "Eeeps!!!" of delight still ring in my ears like they did when she first told me about him. After a couple of months, she refused to talk about him. Coaxing out the reason was easy enough...she found him too "unintelligent".
Then a year later, she couldn't stop talking about a classmate who was so smart with integral calculus that she didn't mind him being average-looking. That was the only phase in her life I guess when she actually took interest in current affairs and social issues, until the long discussions on studies bored her for good.
I couldn't help but smile at her innocent and confused thoughts about this thing called "love". I knew very well that she was far from even guessing how and when these things affect one's life and the very course of existence, right now happy in a virtual dollhouse where everything is supposed to be pink and perfect.
I don't intend to break her happily chugging train of thoughts until the time comes, when she'll grow up and herself realize what it means to be responsible for another person's happiness, how difficult it is to hold on to everything in life at the same time, and what a tough experience it is, to be the reason that holds together someone else's world, too. It'll be a long time before I inform her that there is a really thin line between practicality and uncontrollable emotions she'll walk one day....
Till that day.....I constantly watch over her....
My stupid little Nishi....
In what she thinks..... is......love...
The following lines will definitely make no sense to her......
You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love;
the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.
~~~Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum"