By: Devarya Singhania

Source: Pinterest

It’s difficult to present the blunt and demolishing reality of love in front of the third grader who romanticised every crush of his, synonymous with the overwhelming romance shown on screen. He knew not how the affection for the girl seated in front of him developed, and it wasn’t discernable. Even the romantic movies he saw weren’t out of a careful choice, he just joined Mom and Dad on their trips to the theatre, for he was afraid of being lonely (he still is). But oh how the grandeur of the profession of love bewildered him.

He couldn’t relish enough the moments of handsome men, effervescent of gelled, golden-glazed hair, surrendering on their knees as the gorgeous, embezzling, cinnamon-curly-haired women offered an immaculate smile to swander and swerve all aspirations of love.

And so, as every class began and the lady in her dress walked in, sat in front of him, offering only a slate of her frizzy, charcoal hair, he lost himself in a beautiful moment of romanticisation. It wasn’t altered by her absences, for he kept her present in his heart. And on the shrewd, wretched day the teacher reallocated the student seatings, he’d exercise his neck to survey the one he loves.

Every year as he grew up, his tales grew greater words for narration. Tales greater than the ones frail, flimsy pages of books can capture. Every year as he grew up, there grew an army to tear those pages.

He heard the world would be cruel before he saw its misery. He had his romanticised tales erased by the spewed shards of the miserable.

He was resilient in third grade. In the fourth he began to weaken as he deciphered parts of the sentences. Fifth and sixth provided a perplexity emerging from a stunning disbelief, while the seventh translated to undeniable gore. To weep, to woe, to worry.

He didn’t woo the lady in front of him anymore, nor could he woo a trip to the mirror. The adoration he possessed in third began to wrinkle and emerged like an ageing distraught which forced him to be violent with himself. He couldn’t excavate the endearing kid from the monstrosity his mirror presented.

His nightmares trembled from the antagonising words spewed by similarly tall, aged, giggling individuals, not knowing why he’s displaced elsewhere. They seemed to look gorgeous but he understood why. With their evolving vocabulary on the apparent disfigurations on his body, he understood the synonymous encryption in the comments uttered by his family. This parallel left him paralysed and numb; he wept alone.

He started buying jackets, but told Mom it was because he felt cold. He skipped meals and found solace in one bread roll. Even sport fields taunted him as his legs couldn’t sprint the four hundred metres like his closest mates. He found no place but in the seemingly shrinking square of the plastic chair in his room. He felt aloof and no company seemed to knock on his door.

How could he think of loving someone, when he was never taught to love himself?

In all his romanticisations of the loving lady in front of him, there lay a fear. A growing tingle warning him of replacement. She could find hilarious, handsome partners east or west, and they could actually view the glistening glimmer in her smile. While he patiently sat, visualising glamour beyond one’s comprehension as his pupils were treated to the frizzy charcoal threads.

No one told him to be brave, to be resilient to the daunting gusts of horror as they arrived. So he trained himself to try and stand still. To not winnow to the rhythm of such filthy curses. But he was only minuscule, and the gusts shunned his ears from hearing any arguments of loving himself. And he began failing to explain his romanticisations in his head and soon, even imagine them.

Who’s to love this obese, unfunny individual when the world never provided anyone with diction to pacify his fear?

He grew old with their spewed venom emerging victorious every time. As it sprinkled itself over the shredding hair on his forearms, assimilating into a strangle on his neck; he stood still. For that’s what he trained himself to do. Silent, still, solitary.

Now he travels in a freezing foreign land with coffee in paper cups, around different individuals of a similar age who still look stunning. And with the camera capturing them, he believes himself to be the stain. A disdainful disfiguration to their perfection.

Loving them with all his might and reserving none for himself.