A lovely tale of love that needs to be re-read as soon as you finish it. For you won’t be able to help yourself with this bounty of love!
I fell in love hook, line and sinker with ‘You’ the moment I saw you! ‘You’ had come home with Dad post one of his shippie- breaks. Impeccably dressed in brilliant blue and white, the memory of your first look still makes me jelly- knee’d even after so many years.
The budding philosopher in me marveled at the harmony-in-contrast ‘You’ presented. The deliciousness of your dark, suave, brooding exterior stood one eighty degrees with your light, raw, vulnerable inside. Oh! How beautifully balanced ‘You’ were! Clearly a work of Art unlike anyone I had ever seen.
Bowled over in the first meeting itself, I met you plenty whenever my parents permitted or whenever there was no one else in vicinity. ‘You’ and I were never together for more than five minutes but those five minutes at that age; I would give anything to buy back. Having hopelessly, helplessly fallen in love; I would dream and daydream about ‘You.’ With each passing day and each clandestine meet, my love soared. Sometimes, I had traces of our love affair on my mouth and I can’t deny savoring those traces for I still relish their memory.
When I became dangerously obsessed with ‘You,’ I cannot put a finger upon. A child as I was then, these thin lines were blurry and non-existential to me. But experienced and perceptive as my Mother was, she saw me crossing the line. Very gently, she apprised me of her knowledge of my secret visits to your place of stay. She discouraged my growing fondness for you, saying that ‘You’ were a foreigner. Once gone, there was little way of knowing when ‘You’ would next be seen in India! She warned me of the resultant heartbreak I was sure to nurse. Mom was quite vocal in telling me that ‘ours’ was a doomed match.
I can’t say I fully disagreed with her, so I did try to contain my self. But the glint in my eyes every time ‘You’ were close by gave my secret of ‘still-in-love’ away. One fine day, pulled by your irresistible charm; I tiptoed to meet ‘You’ at night when I was certain that everyone home slept. Barely a few moments had passed and Mom was there.
I was awfully embarrassed being caught red-handed with ‘You’ despite her warnings. That moment she took a call and decided to shift ‘You’ to another place where we couldn’t see each other so freely. I cried, pleaded but she would not listen. She asked me to sleep and discussed it with me next morning in private off course!
“You do know the story about ‘ati’ meaning excess?” she asked.
“Yes I do, you have told us that Akbar-Birbal story,” I nodded as I spoke.
“So you know the lesson about how excess of everything is bad?”
“Yes Mom! I know,” I sobbed.
“Honey! It is all right to like someone or something. We are all humans. But what is not right is to get dangerously obsessed about that someone or something,” she said and hugged me while I cried on having to part with ‘You.’
“See my love; life can only be enjoyed if we can learn the lesson of moderation. We must decide our mental boundaries on where to stop and keep the control in our hands. Trust me all turns out well once we can learn to do that,” she wrapped up and left me to absorb it.
That my first love story would be this short-lived and meet this brutal, abrupt end was something I had not imagined. With heavy heart, I consoled my self. I knew I had to get over ‘You.’ Mom was right. I needed to learn self-control and I would.
Days, months and years have passed since then and though ‘You’ came to my mind ever so often, I reminded myself of Mom’s talk on moderation of thoughts and acts. The fact that you belonged to foreign shores helped as out-of-sight supported out-of-mind.
Almost two decades later, I faced the challenge of bumping into you unexpectedly. Apparently, you had a home in India too now. ‘You’ were still as impeccably dressed and still a work of Art but I had become wiser. So though I met ‘You’ and savored each second of your company; I knew better this time around. From a girl given to your addiction to a woman who knew when to call it off, I had come a long way indeed.
That night, my husband brought ‘You’ home and introduced ‘You’ to my son. Neither of these boys knew about my obsessive history with ‘You.’ And I didn’t even feel the need to clear the air.
My excited son who had been binging on the company of your fellow brethren for the whole day had now his attention focused upon ‘You.’ I acted all cool but Mom that I myself am now, I could see the same glint in my son’s eyes. It was like life having come a full circle.
I sat him down and gave him a talk on not overdoing it. Since, he was too young to understand intangibles, I explained him about the expected pain and cavities. Excessive chocolate consumption can do that to anyone’s teeth, everyone will agree.
Hello! Why am I talking chocolates?
Well, that would be because my first love was Bounty– the finest coconut chocolate ever! Did I not mention earlier? Gosh, it must have slipped from my mind. Blame it upon the grind and grime of time!
Bounty therefore became a metaphor for an important life lesson I learnt when young. Ironical that the English meaning of Bounty stands nowhere close to the learning of Moderation. But then, who said life-lessons do not understand ironic?
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Published here earlier.
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