On the other hand

The Unsaid

On the other hand, because there are two sides to a story

The Unsaid

Through time love has had a lot of enemies. Religion, caste, social strata, money, familial enmity, these I can count at the tips of my fingers, I am certain there are more. Yet there is one that is more potent than all these, one that is much underrated and, if truth be told, the most dreaded in times today.

That enemy of love is the Unsaid. Nothing has torn lovers apart more than this much feared fiend.

You may wonder, what I mean by the Unsaid. Allow me to tell you a story.

He and She, were very much in love. They were young, brash and given to many a violent tiff. One of these tiffs turned terribly serious. He and She did not speak to each other for almost a week. Yet, they missed each other and craved to see each other. They decided to meet to sort their differences out.

The meeting, at first, did not go well. They hollered at each other, blamed the other for the poor state of their love and even went as far as to say that perhaps they should not be together. The phrase that made all lovers shudder hung over them in the silence; it was called “break-up”. They sat in the room, looking away from each other, waiting for the other to say something. None of the them said a word. The meeting was getting worse.

Then He stood up, ready to leave. “Wait!” She said. He waited. Then after a silent moment he asked, “What?”. She paused, the seconds ticked by, “Nothing!” She said in response. “Fine!” he countered as he shrugged away their life and left.

They did not meet each other for years. The love story was done with.

But then they did meet. Years had passed and time had turned both He and She into a much mellow version of themselves. Embroiled in other relationships now, they decided to catch up for old time sake. Over a drink, they spoke, and laughed and reminisced. He remembered their last meeting quiet clearly, so did She. “When I was about to leave, you asked me to wait, but then did not say what you wanted to, do you remember?” He inquired with a smile. ‘Yes,” She said softly. “What was it that you wanted to say?” he probed gently. She sighed a little sigh, “I wanted to say that I love you very much and that we should not break up.”
Even after all those years it hit him hard. “Why did you not say it then?”
“You did not say it either…” She let the words hang there, not wanting to really blame him for what had happened. They sat there in silence, years later, wondering what life could have been had they said what they had wanted. It was not what they had said to each other that had driven them apart, it was the Unsaid. When we have it, we think it can happen again and again, but it is only for the lucky few that love happens again. For the rest, you are left with the thought that usually starts with the words, “If only…”

I can say, I have reached a place in my life where I am happy and that is mainly because I have etched the dictum of the Unsaid on my heart and mind. That dictum is really an easy one to remember, “Say it! Just say it when you feel it. Don’t lose the opportunity! There will never be another again.”

Don’t keep looking at the phone, waiting for it to ring. Don’t write the status on Facebook for him and her to get the ‘hint’. Don’t secretly see whether the object of your affection is online on whatsapp. Don’t post those fake happy pictures on Instagram like it does not matter. Because it does matter. And it matters most to you!

There is a window that love gives you. It is a really short window of opportunity, before it become too late. And then the chance is gone. Your false sense of pride will snap your love in two. And believe me, you will live to regret it.

Say it if it hurts, say it if you care, say it if you are angry, say it if you are sorry, but for God’s sake say it! Even if you expect your lover to understand it, just say it. At worst you might sound like you are stating the obvious. It is better to state the obvious than to be a victim to the Unsaid.

The most common reason I have found for the Unsaid is, for the dejected lover to think that the other does not just care enough and there is no point in saying anything. Even if that may be true, say it because you care.

We are living in a time where the usual suspects that came in the way of lovers have ceased to matter and what has become the greatest enemy of love is the lovers themselves. So the next time you see him/her walking away don’t pray secretly that he/she turns to give you that one last look over the shoulder. Shout out and scream, “Stop!”

The folly of youth is to think that love comes again and again. The regret of adulthood is the knowledge that it does not.


On the other hand

Vote for! What for?

On the other hand, because there are two sides to every story

Vote for! What for?

The Congress released its manifesto a few days ago while the BJP is yet to release its manifesto. It could be happening today; I am given to understand by reading in the media. To all who do not get what this tumult about a manifesto is, allow me to explain. A manifesto is a written statement from a political party outlining the programs and measures it intends to take for the furtherance of the country. In other words, a manifesto tells us why we should elect a party that is standing for government.

Ironically the campaigning is in full swing, corruption cases are tumbling out of the closet and abuses are being hurled at the slightest or sometimes no provocation. But we the people of India are yet to be fully informed of the blue print of governance that every party has in mind. Well, does not matter, I suppose. The election is here and we get the leaders we get and vote we must, so in the absence of a firm guideline what are the issues that should be important to us?

I thought about this for a long time. What is the greatest problem that plagues our country? Is it corruption? Poverty? Religion? Administration? Terrorism? Economy? Security? Whenever I thought any one was important the other tipped the scale. I remained confused.

Then like a catalyst came this brilliant show on Netflix called Delhi Crime. Inspired from the horror of the Nirbhaya rape, this show with a stellar performance from actor Shefali Shah, had an inexplicable effect on me. I have no idea what it was about the show that made me weep and weep and then weep some more. It was like something or someone had grabbed my heart and jabbed it with an ice pick, over and over again.

It has been more than six years and yet the memory of those Nirbhaya days remain fresh in the minds and hearts of every Indian.

And then it came to me, an insight like lightening that breaks through a dark grey sky.

There is only one issue that plagues us; the value of a single human life. Let me correct that. The value of a single Indian life.

I was shooting for Neel’s short film Vision of the Future in Switzerland and I remember with pristine clarity the accident that happened on the Swiss alps, right in front of our eyes. A biker had fallen off and injured himself rather severely. All the lanes of the freeway were immediately closed and a helicopter swooped down in ten minutes to whisk the rider to the hospital. It is a developed country, yes. The population far less than India, yes, but that is not my contention. What got me was the simple dictum; when it came to a human life all else must become secondary.

Let’s all be very honest with ourselves here and with that searing honesty can we say that the value of a single human life is high in the eyes of any leadership of India? And why just the leadership, in our eyes as well? I for one, don’t think so.

When we look around and observe closely we realize that every malaise we suffer stems from this value of human life. From a pothole that refuses to be filled up to the police constable who only has a wooden staff to protect himself, to the state of our government hospitals, to our fight against terror; everything is about human life and the value for it. Feel free to think of an issue that really matters to you and you will find, and the chances are, that it is about the value of a single Indian life.

We are blunted by the news that we read every day. So many dead here and that many dead there. Some in an accident, some in an attack, more in a footbridge collapse and few by Naxalites; the list is endless. Pick up any newspaper and you will count more dead bodies than you can imagine. Lives have become numbers for us. We have become numb!

Nothing will work for us till those numbers don’t leap at our conscience and suffocate us till we don’t allow those numbers to turn back into lives again.

When a government and with that government when we as citizens learn to put one Indian life over everything else, I believe we shall see a new dawn.
The issue cannot be how a government can make my life better. The issue is how much my life really does matter?