We often fall in love. Have you?
Falling in love in our young age is an experience. We cherish this experience throughout our lives.
But falling in love is not a planned activity – falling in love simply happens. You start liking someone so dearly, beyond any rationality and reasonableness that it occupies your thoughts and influences your actions or behavior on 24×7 basis. You day dream about him or her all the time and your dreams at night no more belong to you. You get simply possessed and you don’t anymore live in the real world.
Recalling your mate of the past sometimes pains you if your love is “not successful” but the bitter-sweet memories “tickle” you as you grow older. Love adds salt and pepper to our otherwise bland or busy life.
“What if we were married”, you muse. Sitting with a glass of single malt whisky with lots of ice or smoking a thick cigar relaxing on a cane chair – all alone in a verandah at a bungalow on a beach resort is a perfect setting for such a recall. These can be a great evening sit-outs while watching a sunset for an introspection, sometimes repentance but ending with a smile to yourself- understanding the game of life we have to play and live with. Some end this introspection with tears but that’s alright too. As these tears are special, genuine, pure and relieving.
Falling in love as you grow older, changes its color or tone or the “grade”. Some say that your early age passion to love is more physical (but that may not be true always), later more “intellectual” seeking for a company, to experience the joy in sharing of thoughts, supporting and respecting each other’s emotions and aspirations. Here there is less of urge or the lust (as some say crudely) and more of the warmth. Love in the young age looks more like a flame and at a later age love is more like the “candle in the wind”.
It’s strange that often people who fall in love are not conventionally compatible. They come from different religions, cast, culture, education, profession or income. So you wonder how these two “souls” want to come together and want to marry to share their lives. I see many times objections coming from families, some form of resistance or disapproval and it’s great to see how the two souls in love struggle, rebel and take decisions that are seemingly “irrational” to “everybody”. I love to see when they succeed and marry– whether right decision or wrong – as either way there could be a repentance!. The “forth dimension” of love, that we often don’t see, helps them to “win” over.
But falling in love does not mean that you must or have to marry. You simply love, bask in its warmth in the light and live in a bliss. Do you need a formal engagement of a marriage at all? I tell this to the youngsters around me. But I know I could be wrong. Honestly, it’s everyone’s own choice. And don’t forget that some fall in love with many at the same time (apart from the wife or husband).
Again, love is something not limited to the humans. You fall in love with your pet dog or cat, you love some kind of food, the music, the books, your favorite place and your profession. My wife tells me that I am too much in love with the field of environmental management and on 24×7 basis. “Think of something else and do something different other than the work you do”. She says in all seriousness and I do try to be “different” at least for a couple of days. I try my best.
But the ultimate expression and form of love is perhaps falling in love with the GOD. For a person like me who has gone through interesting stays in Mumbai’s hospitals (with “touch” to “return”), you don’t even realize that you have now fallen in love with the Almighty. And as I said earlier this simply happens.
Love can be blind.
I remember story of a close friend of mine who is a great saxophone player in Mumbai. I was at his house in Parsi Colony in 1990. He was playing his saxophone and unwinding some great pieces of Jazz. I asked him “Ruben, how do you feel when you play such fantastic music”
Ruben pointed to the upright piano that was in the hall below an antique chandelier and said “I wish there was someone with me to accompany on the piano – if I find someone and whom I love, who accompanies me then I will be blessed in my life. We will play together and share our joy and happiness”
A week later, there was an announcement in the newspaper about the concert “Songs of Asia” at the Homi Bhabha Auditorium at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) situated at the Navi Nagar – end of Colaba overlooking the sea. I always liked to attend concerts at TIFR because of the picturesque location of its West Canteen where you could sip a ginger tea with cookies in the air of scientific sophistication.
The West Canteen at TIFR
I booked the concert tickets for me. Ruben and I reached an hour earlier and spent some quiet moments in the West Canteen.
The concert began. There were violins, a viola, percussions, a grand piano (that looked so majestic) and of course the vocals. The stage was illuminated with the conductor at the center standing on the podium directing the musicians.
The Homi Bhabha Auditorium
There was however no “throw” of light on the pianist. All we could make out that she was a woman. The lights were on the shining keyboard of the piano and we could see the hands in white gloves doing the magic. The grand piano was of Yamaha make and since we were right in the third row we could see the reflection of the movement of her hands (and the fingers) rendering or rolling out notes that mingled and supported the songs that were sung.
There was a solo piece in between that the lady on piano performed while others faded. It was for about 2 minutes and it was so charming, elegant and flawless, that exhibited her emotions through a volley of complex notes but in a simplicity in disguise. I noticed that Ruben was in some kind of trans, with tears in his eyes and his hands tight on the arms of the chair. After the song ended, there was a loud applause and perhaps more for the lady pianist.
Ruben whispered in my ears “Prasad, she is the one I am looking for. I want to marry her”
Although I knew Rubens’ passionate and crazy behavior, I was shocked with what he said. “You know nothing about her Ruben, you have not even seen her. And she could be married already. It will rude and crude to ask”
Ruben did not respond to my (stupid) protests. He kept staring at the Piano and after some pause said quietly and firmly “I will see her during the first break and make a proposition”. And I knew he meant it.
In the break, Ruben and I went behind the stage and sought entry to the green room. I accompanied him so that I could rescue him from any embarrassing situation that I was sure he will be confronted with.
The artists were taking a break – some were on the stage with curtains down, re-tuning or re-calibrating their instruments and some were having a coffee served from the West Canteen.
The Manager of the concert stopped us at the entrance. When questioned, Ruben said that he wanted to see the Pianist and thank her for the great performance and have a short chat. Ruben introduced himself as a Saxophone player and a senior member of Time and Talents Club. Perhaps, that made some difference.
Well, the Manager said – “My only request is that please be gentle to her. She is an outstanding pianist, coming from Prague. We are grateful that she agreed to be part of us and travel across the world. I hope you know she is blind from birth and very sensitive if you ever show your concern or empathy towards her blindness. A very upright person she is. That’s the reason why we illuminated only the keyboard and not her face”
There was a stoned silence. Managers words came as a shock to me. I looked at Ruben.
But Ruben was unmoved. Probably this piece of “new” information didn’t matter to him.
He told me to stay where I was. He walked towards the pianist who was sitting alone at the corner of the room. I saw him speaking to her. I think he proposed to marry her as I could see her face shocked. Then I saw him holding her hands – in the white gloves.
Ruben married Easter in a year. I was amazed to see his courage and her generosity. They married in the church in Bandra on a bright Sunday. Easter looked so beautiful and elegant in her wedding dress.
Easter and Ruben now live in Ruben’s house in the Parsi colony in Mumbai. They play music together practically every day and occasionally I get invited or I bump in. Both live so happily as the music continues to bond them. And love always wins whenever they disagree or grump on matters that are silly.
Last week, they performed one of the songs (Time) of the movie Inception composed by Hans Zimmer. I would highly recommend you to watch and listen to one such rendering by two artists (Frank Bergmann and Miriam Geier). These artists performed in Extraschicht 2015 in Waltrop in Germany. It is a master piece on YouTube. I am sure your will enjoy. Imagine the pianist there as Easter instead of Miriam Geier and saxophone player as my friend Ruben instead of Frank Bergmann!
So love is not blind. A sunshine that brings a new meaning to our lives. Its a breeze of fragrance. It’s a bliss.
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