Expressing emotions openly is the most important factor in a healthy relationship. In my view it is the backbone of a love affair.
I wonder why it is so difficult to do that, especially in a democratic country like ours where freedom of expression is a constitutional right. No, this is not about politics.
It is about my friend Aalia, whose case stands out as the best example. She was in love with her imagination, or that’s what I like to call it. Actually it is Harsh whom I am talking about. He never had a clue how crazy she was about him.
It was the last year of college when it all began, when she met him through acquaintances. Things started moving so fast that in a span of months she was cooking dinner for him at his flat. But did she ever tell him about her feelings? No, she never felt it was necessary.
Perhaps it was lack of courage. She would often call me up and tell me how terrible she felt when Harsh went around with other girls. But telling him about it was never on the agenda.
While talking to her I felt as if she had been going around with him for 10 years. She would often weep over the phone. It was heart wrenching.
May be she wanted him to confess his feelings for her. But why would someone do that when he had so many girls vying for his attention?
After a point, Aalia gave up hope and got into a long-distance relationship with Ajay who works in the Middle East. It was beginning. I started seeing changes in her. That was until last month, when I called her. I sensed from her voice that something was wrong. I asked her what the matter was.
There was no reply. Two days later she called back and asked me if I knew a publicist called Sharmista. It was supposed to be for professional reasons. I didn’t believe her anyway.
I probed.. and kept questioning. After much effort, she broke down and told me that Sharmista was dating Harsh. I was confused. Wasn’t she dating Ajay? Or had she started calling Ajay by a new name.
To my surprise she was indeed talking about Harsh. She kept crying and I did my best to soothe her. At that point I learnt that Ajay was like her. He couldn’t express his love for Aalia. That was reason enough for her to go back to her so-called first love.
Last month, I called her one evening. She told me there was no spark left in her relationship with Ajay. She wailed, “He doesn’t even say, ‘I love you.’”
I felt bad for her. Earlier, she couldn’t express her love, now it was her present boyfriend. I advised her to break up. She is seriously contemplating it. I only hope she’s articulate enough while conveying it.
Four days ago, she called to tell me about it. I could detect the first signs of depression on her face when we met. Now if only she could express her grief to her current ‘ex-boyfriend’.