Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (O heart! it’s difficult)

It’s been months and I desperately wanted to write something.

Searching through some random prompts, I stumbled upon this one- write about a song that’s on your mind this week. I closed my eyes and tried to listen to the in-built jukebox I have in my mind and I came up with this:

tu safar mera, hai tu hi meri manzil
tere bina guzara, ae dil hai mushkil
tu mera khuda, tu hi duaa mein shaamil
tere bina guzara, ae dil hai mushkil….
Tune into any Hindi radio channel, this song is topping the charts. However, this post is not about the song, the movie or Karan Johar and MNS debacle, it’s about the itchy feeling that the song gives you- memories of an unrequited love. 

The song is an effort to glorify one sided love. One fact I really liked about the song is that it’s a mixed bag of emotions. On one side the male protagonist seems to be admitting that he can’t live without his love – tere bina guzara ae dil hai mushkil and then he says his journey is not dependent on the destination- “mohtaz manzil ka to nahi hai ek tarfa mera safar”. Some ‘chemical locha’ definitely happening there!

My observation/experience
As far as I have understood the business of unrequited love from my own experience and observing people around me, it’s like a crash course of life lessons. One day you feel grateful to God that he gave you an opportunity to feel the purest form of love- a love without expectations, without any gain and the very next day you bury yourself under pillows and yell- “Why God, why me?”
I am neither an expert on relationships nor a psychologist, I am just an ordinary adult who has gone through the tumultuous journey of attraction and infatuation and has the courage to look back and have a good laugh on her own stupidities.

I remember stealing my mom’s magazines and reading the columns on First Love where people wrote about their first love and breakups. I used to be so moved thinking of why do people who love each other so dearly, separate.

But after witnessing hundreds of heartbreaks and dancing on several breakup songs, I feel amused and today I am trying to dissect the whole phenomena into four parts:
Stage 1: The sunshine

This is the first time you feel the warmth of love. A person has sneaked into your world without you knowing and surprisingly, you like everything about him/her. You try to be close to him/her just to observe the person’s behavior for you. You can imagine your faces photoshopped on the hero and heroine in cheesy love songs. In your mind, you blow up your casual meetings into some life events and publish them with dates on your own imaginary Facebook wall.
You count all the coincidences you had and try to prove the hypothesis that God has made two of you just ek duje ke vaste like Yash Raj’s movies.  You get butterflies in stomach when he/she is in vicinity. Your radar sets off an alarm when your friends are talking about him/her, you blush and turn red and suddenly everyone can smell the smoke of your fire. After days of teasing and mentoring, your friends encourage you to take a leap of faith and bend down on your knees.
Stage 2: The twilight

I really appreciate your feeling but I have never thought of you like that. Infact I like ^*^@(). You are a very good friend and I certainly don’t want to lose you. Can we remain friends and not talk about this again?”- While you play these words on repeat over and over again to find a loophole to console yourself that it was not a straight no, your heart is trying to recover from a mini heart attack. Suddenly a lot of never-experienced-before emotions crop in- you feel embarrassed because you just have been rejected and you have to answer your well wishers’ queries. You feel jealous of the girl/boy who he/she is dating or will date in future. You hate yourself for being not good enough for the person you love. You feel helpless for not being able to do something about it. You cry your eyeballs out and occasionally ask God to call you back to heaven.
After days of thinking, over-thinking and some more thinking, eureka moment happens to you- probably the time is not right. Let me give one more try. You take one step back and continue playing from a safe distance. This phase is mostly marked by a number of good morning and good night forwards and wishful thinking of getting similar replies but usually what you get back are monotonic letters like GN, GM, Hi, OK etc.
Stage 3: The dark moonless night

You tried everything you could. You liked, loved, stalked, poked him/her on social media; you tried DIY gift ideas to prove the authenticity of your love; very patiently and carefully you tried to maintain a safe distance (by sending yellow roses instead of red) with sporadic instance of love confessions which were turned down immediately. Now the harsh reality is dawning upon you and its official- you two are never going to be together. It’s a state of withdrawal for you. You avoid going out with him/her.
At this stage, you are at the highest level of hypocrisy- you tell your brain that perhaps this is best for you to stay away,  you pretend to drown yourself in work and forget him/her while your heart knows that this is the final desperate act of letting him/her realize your absence from the scene but alas! You find that he/she has happily moved on and no one misses you anymore. You try few more tactics- you start hanging out with a guy/girl he/she hates or you show up occasionally and give cold vibes to him/her only in order to let him/her know that he/she has made you miserable but oops, it’s of no effect.
Stage 4: The dawn

Stage 2 and Stage 3 can run in iteration for weeks, months and years depending on how stubborn your obsession is. And after a long period of denial, one fine day Maslow’s hierarchy of needs strike you hard and knocks some sense into you. You suddenly realize, you are not moving forward, instead of investing time and efforts on your personality development, you have wasted your precious moments weeping over spilt milk. And this is the day you actually put your specs on and see the light rays on the other side of the tunnel. You genuinely feel responsible towards your life and are able to see the bigger picture.
You think about 10-20 years ahead when probably this phase of life would be a distant past. You stop listening to your genuinely concerned friends who sympathize with you and abuse him/her for being cruel to you and try to boost your morale by reminding you that it’s his/her loss. It’s positively a new dawn for you and you are all set to give your life a new start by getting a new look, shifting to some other place or adopting new hobbies.

If you managed to survive the crap that I wrote in the last 1000+ words, let me tell you there’s a stage 5 too- where you become so indifferent and casual about the most painful phase of your life that today you are attending his/her wedding, raising toast, clicking selfies and doing high five with him/her.

Suddenly one of your kameena/kameeni friends mentions it in front of his/her would be and you just give out a sheepish laugh giving a Bhasmasur ( a demon in Indian Mythology who could burn anything by touching it) look to that friend.  

So if you are one of the wise ones in stage 5, salute to the indomitable spirit of life. The newbies in stage 4, welcome to the greener side of life and those who are still in stage 2 and 3, you have an apt song to sing along- AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL.


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