The Rainbow Hues of Love


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Rainbow Hues of Love

Love is definitely many-hued and 'many-splendoured.' It's Roopa, our writing group's amanuensis, scribe and editor who made me think. Apparently next months news letter is on the theme of love. All in twenty pages in between agendas, updates, accounts...

   I am watching my cat Booba on the lawn shaking her arse and fluffing up her tail, which resembles a feather-duster anyway, before she pounces on the squirrel at the bird-feeder. Not a hope, I think and she knows it too. I 'love' my two cats and my silly dog Lily-lala.They bring sanity to this household in between bouts of football mania and the Brexit saga.

   My children of course make me in some way complete, so that when one goes away, I am amputated, looking for that lost limb. This kind of love is unconditional. I look for the self-interest in it and find very little. And where can you start in categorising what grandchildren mean. They are in a class of their own.

   I am thinking of all the ways in which I have 'loved.' That succession of young Kerala boys who caught my brief, wayward attention and disappeared in various directions -- I was certainly infatuated with them. A whole two pages of my memoir are devoted to those many fleeting passers-by. And then there are the slightly longer- lasting two or three (??), who lingered a few weeks more in my young imagination. They also went leaving feather-light memories behind, with all the colours of a monsoon rainbow.

   I loved my father with a deep devotion all my life and think of him almost daily, though he died in 1983. And all the women who cared for me when my mother disappeared. I have no mental picture of my mother who died when I was two years old. Among my many cousins who came and went like the seasons in Thalassery, I loved some and held some in contempt. So many different kinds of commitment.

   My friends from my wanderings in Africa -- they lent colour to my life and I enjoy their company whenever. The Net has made it possible to keep in touch. And that diversity of cultures makes me who I am.

   I am beginning to come to the conclusion that with married (or unmarried) love, men and women should be allowed to choose what and who they want to 'love.' It is especially appropriate today with the LGBT legislation coming through that human beings should be able to love same or opposite sex, as a matter of course, without comment. Sometimes same-sex attractions are towards a particular individual who somehow 'fits.' rather than to all the other folks in the same broad category.

   I often think love has passed me by-- or I have not recognised it when it appeared in front of me. Then I remember in flashes the euphoria of being in love, however briefly, how the world lighted up and each dawn was a wonder. How it was suddenly so important to touch, the way my whole self bent towards that person like the sunflower to the sun. Pathetic??? Profound? That was magic.

   Now in my old age, the only love I am giving up is for possessions and wealth -- almost. Not quite there, but I am winning.