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Anoushka's advice to lovebirds

Why is it so normal for us all to go through that euphoric rush of falling in love and then unravel into mundane existences filled with petty fights? Wonders Anoushka Shankar.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2009 11:00 IST
Anoushka Shankar

Here I am, yet another columnist, writing to you from London this week. I was here on work, went home to California for six days, suddenly had to come all the way back, and in three days I’ll go back again! My body feels like it’s been through a washing machine, but I’m always happy to be here.

At Heathrow airport, I saw a young couple, obviously very much in love, reuniting as I came out of the gates. She flew into his waiting arms and they kissed and kissed, unable to let go of each other. It was beautiful. A few feet away, a mother and two children were waiting for a man who came rushing out and gave his kids a quick hug before he and his wife began arguing, barely saying hello to each other first.

Where does all that love go? Why is it so normal for us all to go through that euphoric rush of falling in love and then unravel into mundane existences filled with petty fights?

Is it possible to hold on to the respect and care with which we treat people before we settle into long-term relationships? The truth is, relaxing is an important process in becoming closer to a partner, and it’s normal for some of the earlier fire and passion to fade a little (though not too much, if you’re lucky!) while the safety, trust and intimacy continue to grow. But often, that safety can bring about a sense of complacency, in which you start to take your partner for granted.

Maybe, people who’ve had, and then lost, several loves, understand the fragility of relationships. But oh! Why do we forget so quickly? Once words are said, once hurt is caused, you just can’t take it back. And yes, a life-partner or spouse is meant to be there forever, but that’s something to cherish, not take for granted. The truth is I’m sure the married couple at the airport loved each other very much. I saw, before the husband came out, how excited the woman was as she waited for him. But first one of them snapped, and then the other, and the potential magic of a reunion was lost, replaced by sarcasm and bitterness.

Let’s all try something today. Even if you’ve already done it, why not do it again? If there’s someone you love, do something lovely and loving. Go and give them a full body hug or a deep kiss. Tell them you love them or tell them what makes them the most special person in the world to you. Take a chore off their hands or give them a backrub. Do what comes naturally to you, but remind them that there’s someone in their corner, rooting for them and loving them. After all, none of us ever tires of being reminded about something so wonderful.