This happened way back in class 9th or 10th. I don’t remember the exact date. Anyhow, someone asked this to me once while we were randomly discussing the ‘love birds’ of our class, “Why are you still single?” Truth be told, I was really surprised by that question. I had no answer to it back then. I said, “Koi mili hi nhi yaar ab tak. Jb milegi tb dkhenge.” And then came another question, “Aisa ho hi nhi skta ki koi pasand nhi aayi ho, koi na koi to hogi hi!” I defended myself from this one by using the previous question as my weapon, “Agar hoti to mein single thodi hota.” And with that, both of us had a good laugh.

Though that seemed a pretty usual question at the time, I never really gave a thought about it. But, if someone asks me the exact same question today, I have an answer to that. And I am not saying that I have a girlfriend or anything, I am still very much single. But now I think I have figured out the reason for being so.

I don’t know how or when, but lately I have been observing things which seem a bit disturbing to me. Yesterday, while I was taking a walk in a park near my house, I saw something, which is very much the reason I am writing this.

Now obviously, if we picturize a normal park, there are all sorts of people. Starting from small kids to teenage couples to married couples to old people, everyone spending quality time with nature. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Kids playing, old people having a discussion and the couples or the love birds sitting close and talking to each other in hushed tones. But, to my surprise, it was nothing of the sort. The kids were still playing and the old people did sit in a group discussing some political issue, but there was something wrong with the teenage section. Yes, they were indeed sitting on the same bench, but, instead of talking to each other, they were busy replying to messages on their smartphones. I read this in a poem titled ‘Look Up’, which aptly describes the scenario, “We are becoming slaves to the technology we mastered” and that “We are a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.”

No wait, before you form any opinions, let me get one thing straight. With whatever I have learnt being with people who have been in relationships, the two of them keep talking to each other all the time, right? If a friend of mine gets a call(which used to happen a lot earlier) or a text (which is more frequently used nowadays) from his/her girlfriend/boyfriend, I am supposed to leave him/her alone. I don’t have any experience about being left alone yet, but that’s how it happens all the time. Everyone does that. It’s understood. I have no idea what they talk about for so long and I don’t want to comment anything on that, but yeah, that’s how it is.
Keeping that in mind, I always imagined their secret meetings to be like the ones described in the infinite novels and depicted in a million movies, you know, two star-crossed lovers, sitting together in some quite place, not caring about what the world thinks, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, admitting how deeply they are in love with each other and imagining their future together.
Like that scene in 3 idiots when Aamir Khan asks Kareena Kapoor, “Kabhi aisa laga hai ki hawa chalne lagi ho, ya slow motion me dupatta udne laga ho.” and she says “Aisa sirf filmo me hota hai buddhu” to which he replies, “Are nhi, real life me bhi hota hai. Agar insaano se pyaar karogi to hoga, gadho se karogi to nahi.”

That’s how I have been imagining love to be. I haven’t been able to understand which of the two is the reality yet, is it really what they show in movies? Or is it what I saw in the park?

Keeping everything aside, I am looking for an explanation for just one question. What is the need to reply to other random people on chat when the one whom you consider special is sitting right next to you? I would definitely take a moment here to say that unless it is your mom/dad or other family member, you don’t need to reply, but how frequently do we chat with our family members? So, don’t you think that the other less important messages can be dealt with later? I mean, you are no businessman wherein you need to be continuously in touch with your team members. You are just another guy/girl who has a few friends and the special one is right beside you! Isn’t it logical then to keep your smartphone inside and live the moment? If you go by what people do, it’s not. And that makes me feel bad about all this. It gives me a very negative feeling about relationships as a whole. It makes me feel that people lose their value when they are committed, which is definitely not how I think it should be.

This scene made a long-lasting impression on my mind. This was the proof that relationships have become a joke these days. “Time-pass.” That’s how I have heard people describe their relationships. And not just once. On multiple occasions.

So yeah, that’s my answer right there. I am not looking for a time-pass relationship to show others that I also am fortunate enough to have a girlfriend. Or that I have a way with girls or anything of the sort. That’s not worth my time.

I still believe that love, if it exists, is romantic. Exactly the way I have read and seen it being defined. Passionate. Where you don’t have to keep your smartphone in your hand when you are on a date, where you need not think about anyone else but her, where you can keep looking into her eyes and forget all the fears and tensions, where everything else seems to vanish but her, where you don’t talk about anything else but her, where you throw a surprise party on her birthday and she has that mesmerizing look on her face, where you forget your anniversary and she stops talking to you unless you kneel down and propose her, reliving those special moments all over again, where you realize how important she is to you and how empty your life would be had she not been there.
That’s what I believe is true love.
That’s what I am looking for.
I won’t settle for anything less.
Would you?
Think for yourself.