You are heartbroken. Again! Like seriously? Again? How can one person get his heart broken so many times? How is that even statistically possible? And yet here we are! You convinced yourself it was different this time. You were sure you had found your soulmate. You were going to make it work this time, you were sure of it! It just felt perfect, different, like it was meant to be. And you ran with it. Of course you did. Like  you have a hundred times before. And it was glorious. It was beautiful. It was passionate, all-consuming. It hurt, but it hurt so good. It had to be true, because it can hurt so much only when it is true, right ? right!

You made a vow to be romantic, faithful, intense, understanding. And you tried to be all that. There were fights, arguments, rows. Heck, there were even public displays of disaffection. You did doubt it all. But like a fanatic, convinced of the righteousness of his newfound cult and prophet, you were convinced of your love, your life together. The harder it became the harder you fought, because, that is what you do, right? Right!

And then it started going south. You saw it from a mile away. You always do. And what did you do? Did you let go? Oh no! Never, never ever! You were a soldier behind enemy lines, struggling against the advance of  the inevitable! And boy did you put up a fight! No one can argue with that!

But the inevitable did happens. As it always does. You crashed and burned. There were the inevitable tears, the emotional drama filled moments. You were demoted from ‘boo’, to ‘baby’, to ‘dear’ down to just your name. And now just to ‘somebody I used to know’. Messages were posted on social media. Relationship statuses were changed on Facebook, locks were changed, leases were broken. Your stuff was left out on the curb, done and dusted!

You went to the shady pub in that alley. You opened a monthly account. You drank yourself to sleep. You pestered strangers with stories about your bad luck in love! You made a fool of yourself. This I get, you always do make a fool of yourself. What I don’t get, is how did you end up in this small temple town? Why are you at a thousand year old temple! And why are you talking to this ash covered monk! Seriously? Talking to guys in a shady bar is acceptable, they asked for it. And they might knows a thing or two about love.

But this monk? Really? You  are going to take love advice from this guy? This is low even for you!His long dreadlocked hair has probably not seen a trim or a wash since before you were born. Orange is the new black for him. The fresh ash on his skin is just about dry. All of his belongings are neatly packed into a small bag. He sits in a hunched position that is visibly uncomfortable. There is a hunger to his eyes like he was just about to eat something delicious and it was snatched away from him. He is mumbling under his breath like a secret service agent, sending news back to the control room.

Surely, surely if anyone knows anything about love, it has to be this guy! You pour your heart out to him starting with your first crush in second grade He nods along pretending to know what a crush is. And you tell him things you haven’t told your best friend or your doctor. And he listens, you can give him that. He really listens to you like his next meal depends on it and it probably does. He  listens like your mom used too, until she gave up on you. Like your therapist used to, but now she can no longer stifle her yawns.

“Yes my child, I understand!” He says, And who knew, who knew that that was all you needed. For someone to say, they get it. No judgmental remarks, nor sneers, no comments about how you are a loser. Just a simple, I get it! And you are done! You have found whatever it was you were looking for!

You smile for the first time in months. You thank the monk! He of course, goes onto tell you that all your problems can be solved with the right rudraksha! And what do you know! He has the exact same rudraksha with him right now. He produces it with a flourish. He asks an exorbitant sum for it. It is still less than what your therapist charges. You buy the goddamn rudraksha.

You can suddenly think clearly. You are going to work on yourself You will join the gym. You will became more assertive. You will develop a hobby. Maybe photography, you will buy a dslr camera. You will start a blog for your photography! You will get a dog and maybe post photos of your dog on your blog. You promise yourself all of this. Life will be better, you will be better! You will learn to love yourself, to cherish yourself. You will not throw yourself at people who barely value you.

Your phone beeps, it is a message from her. “Maybe there is a spark somewhere in all the ashes of our hearts? Maybe we can try and reignite what we had?” She asks you. It hurts again. These must be a spark left right? Why else would it still hurt? It must be true, why else would it hurt, right? Right!

You take a deep breath. You ball your fists. That tiny self respecting voice in your head tells you this is bullshit, you have been here before and you cannot reignite ashes. You listen to it for a minute. You agree with it. You put your phone away for a minute. Then five minutes. Wow, that is a personal record! Congratulations! But then you pull out your phone and your fingers type out her number. You are after all a romantic, or maybe a retard. There isn’t much of a difference right? Right!

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3 thoughts on “Romantic or retard

  1. He asks an exorbitant sum for it. It is still less than what your therapist charges. You buy the goddamn rudraksha.
    I laughed inwardly at that bit.

    Overall good pacing and nicely told, very relatable and summarises the human weakness.


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