Friday, September 27, 2013

The things we tell ourselves

We tell ourselves when we fall in love
 that it couldn’t have been with anyone else,
 that it was fate or destiny or written in the stars
 or such-like. We try in this manner to create
 an unchangeable, permanent legend of ourselves,
 of our stories, of our love. But it strikes you
 how arbritrary we are at choosing the objects
 of our affection. A glimpse, a smile, a dream 
could have had you choosing someone else. 
Anyone else but the one you fell in love with
 and eventually eloped with on a day drenched with July rains.
 Or is it love at all? Isn’t it some kind of a skewed sense of finality
 that eventually led to whatever arrangement
 that we define as love? Don’t all love start selfishly,
 terribly, chaotically? It is jagged around the edges,
 it doesn’t fit quite well into our lives.
In our distinctly Manipuri lives, trapped
 in our essentially Manipuri bodies,
 whatever that we did were never good enough,
 love was never a good enough reason for marriage,
 there would be so many relatives picking
 on every bit of our lives, yours and his, turning it over,
 examining the unconformities, the abnormalities,
 the lover and the beloved would have to stand
the strain of being made public. Privacy was a luxury
 we could ill afford to maintain. Love was a price
 to be paid for together-forever-after; marriage
was larger than one person, it was many people,
 Ekubok, Enembok, Ibenthou, Enamma, Etei,Mou Ahan,
your nephews and nieces, your marriage was the establishment
of relationships and camaradie with these strangers
 who might like or might not like you, who might
 make your life easier or worse; knowing the man
 you had married was the least of all the tasks involved in a marriage.

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