On June 20th, 2020, I completed my two years of return to India. Two years of struggle and success with entrepreneurship, two years of absolute bleak blatant singlehood, two years of extensive entertainment and growth at activities that I love deeply, two years of transformation of my body into a sophisticated powerful machinery, two years of thousands of meetings across the business, finance, tech and environmental community in India, two years of countless rejections and a few acceptances, two years of hiring and firing people, and at the absolute end of the day, two years of sleeping absolutely alone in my bed.
For the first time in my adult life, for the first time since 2010, for the first time for such a prolonged period, I had no one to kiss, no one to hug, no one to inform about any achievement, no one to send a picture, no one to call late at night or no one to wake me up, just no one.
And in the beginning, I thought, it was cool, I needed it, everyone needs it, everyone is single at some point in their life, it's not that big a deal. But over the two years, I have truly realized, that all of this "single is awesome" and "its cool" is truly very grapes are sour behavior.
Now, obviously, pairing for the heck of pairing or for the fear of loneliness is a much disastrous and pointless thing. But, I have come to an acceptance of the fact that the state of singlehood sucks, the hopeless eternity of it sucks more, and the feeling of penalization and alienation for the reasons of very basic amounts of so-called success, sucks even more.
Yet, one can't deny the beauty of love, the sheer necessity of it, and the fact that, at the end of the day, whatever one does, whatever money, fame, impact, change, marvel, hard work, innovation, creation, whatever beautiful impressive adjective one attains, one wants to share it. At the absolute end of the day, one doesn't want to be lonely in bed.
Yet, my state makes me feel more relatable and more empathetic towards the state of global love. The rise of the unloved, the sheer rise of distances and egos and separations between humans that keep them far from each other. In fact, my true realization is that women need as much sex as men and that men need as much love and intimacy as women; yet the contradictory projection of these needs by society is probably the single largest reason for the rise of the unloved and the rise of loneliness.
Men are scared to form human connections and invest in them. Women are scared to admit that they want that deep connection and if not that "happily ever after love" then at least an honest attempt at it. Both the genders have begun to wrap it in the cloak of the casual, the casual that serves none. In no way, am I criticizing casual sex, and in fact, with the right amount of mutual respect and healthy levels of consent, casual sex can be as connecting and intimate as relationship sex. But over the long term, human beings want more, and that more is that honest attempt at true love.
For us mere mortals, we can only guess the truthfulness of love, and even in the throes of it, one always wonders over the existence and robustness of it. "Is this really true love, maybe it isn't." In fact, I would theorize that one truly realizes the truthfulness of one's love only years after the breakup.
However much of science and maths and psychology I apply to these dynamics of love, I can't deny the fact that I miss it. I can't deny the fact that the last I remember feeling so unloved was probably when I was 13 or 14. Somehow from 15 onwards, as I started preparing for JEE, books and the dreams of escape from home were my love. And soon after coming to college and tasting that sweet nectar of freedom, the sheer exploration of my entity was love. And finally, like the luckiest girl in this whole wide world, I met the boy in a blue-white checked shirt and blue jeans and twisted lips in the hallways of IIT and my world was never the same again. Even on the loneliest days of life, I could find solace in the fact that at least once upon a time, I was truly honestly loved.
And just like the grapes are sour fox, however much of reasoning and critiquing of the male cohort and their lackluster existence that I do; or appreciation of myself as this supremely perfect unattainable woman that I do, I can't deny the fact that I miss a man.
I miss wearing his shirt. I miss smiling and being goofy around him. I often wonder at my own weakness, what makes me so unloved. A voice from the right says, maybe there something wrong about you, maybe you are not a loveable person, maybe you are not nice, maybe your boobs are small, maybe your voice is loud. Maybe. Another voice from the left says, no all guys are fool and you will find someone. Be an optimist and there is someone. It's a big wide world out there with billions of people and there is someone somewhere in this world who feels exactly the way you feel and who will understand you exactly the way you are. But however much optimism in this hope of the world one can build, the fact remains that we are still lonely in our beds.
The fact remains that so many of us have so much capacity to give love, and yet so many of us so deeply feel unloved. How weird is this world? How unoptimized and terrible is this system? How many inefficiencies have we placed in our exchange of love?
Probably one true common and fundamental desire that every person across this world feels is the desire to feel appreciated, desire to feel seen, to feel belonged, to feel heard, to feel like one matter. And however good or bad, rich or poor, thin or fat, I have seen from experience, when people hold a baby or a puppy or a bird, that all living beings have this insane capacity to give love. And yet God knows what goes wrong in this process. On one side lie the takers of love and on another, the givers and the distance are so short and the hurdles kind of none, yet no love takes no love is given and we all just end in our beds alone, in our rooms alone, on our phones, laptops, machines, alone.
And again, the eternal optimist that I am with a heart the size of the fucking entire planet, I know I will find love, at the end of this weird phase, I will find someone, and maybe he will break my heart like the last time, but maybe he won't, and even if he does, there will be someone else. The curious case of an eternal optimist. But the trouble often arrives, just like when you are on a long hike, when will I reach my love? Is it around the corner and should I prepare to witness the most majestic sunset? Or are we not even halfway there and I need to readjust my expectation? Is the hilltop just around the corner and can I run through this patch and reach quickly? Or is it just the midpoint and I need to preserve my energies? Life is a non-stop pathway with no map of the next stations.
But in this waiting, hoping, trying, losing, crying, one very terrible thing happens to all the unloved people. We become unloving, indifferent, empty, cold, bored. The opposite to love is not hate, it is the "indifference". Break us once, we cry, break us twice, we weep, break us thrice, we don't give two shit. A part of me feels, that the entire world is becoming unloved unloving, and indifferent. The guy who would ideally like to kiss me the first thing when he sees me now instead caters to his ego and ignores a hi. The same guy who would throw his life to save me from any danger now watches from the side chair. A part of me feels that all of us are becoming like that. Forgetting what the real purpose of life was, forgetting how truly important love was, and consoling ourselves with the brands of success, dreams of impact, pats of our mission, hearts of appreciations, but would we not give it all away for that one last kiss, that one last kiss that made us feel like truly happy.