|Aunt Jhurjhura and her cub talking the universal language of love
An additional read on the occasion of St. Valentine’s Day is below.
The time I refer to is one when my romantic life had taken permanent residence on a rocky outcrop that wasn’t even bathed in sunshine, so as I’d often do, I ran for counsel to my saviour, Old Hag. After a brief trek in the woods I found her meditating hanging upside down from a tree-branch like a giant tamarind and by dangling before her face some raw papaya and pineapple skin, which she loves, she was finally persuaded to hoist herself down the right side up and give me the ear.
“What’s bothering you?” she asked sans much ado, through a crunchy bite relieving the papaya of a chunky piece.
“My loneliness is killing me,” I said. “I desperately seek someone who would love me.”
“So, what do you make of love?” said my spiritual guru.
“What do I make of love?” I replied cheekily; “I’d rather make it!”
“Cease being churlishly flippant at once!” she roared in her voice that sounded roughly like an elephant’s sneeze. “And answer my question with a degree of seriousness that behoves an adult!”
“Um, well, I don’t know,” I said. “I can’t have this thing figured, see. I’ve been very unlucky with it so far, you know. No matter how hard I try, all I seem to attract are thugs and sourpusses, and not love.”
“What in the way of effort…” said she, “may I know you have registered?”
“Ask what I have not done, Old Hag!” I said impassioned. “I overhauled my wardrobe, got a flashy motorcycle, updated my coiffure and filled my shelf with many shades of dark glasses. I made great paintings and wrote extremely imaginative come-hither poems in ornate English. But all the effort has borne no fruit.”
“Did you give love?” she asked straightly.
“Give love?” I retorted. “But you don’t understand; love is that I want to get!”
It was at this point that her face seemed to betray an acute loss of sympathy for me and the colours of the final result of her evaluation of my character seemed to be not flying all but rather grounded in the depths.
After a good half a minute of such non-verbal castigation she finally began: “You think as a farmer you have sown and the harvest has ditched you, but in reality you have only sown desire that has now grown to a tree of desperation. Know not unclearly, you rank muttonhead, that love is that which comes only when you give. You must first give that very thing you desire to get. This is how the law of the universe works. You must give without the expectation of receipt, and you must give freely without attachment to gain, and sans desperation. And the beauty of this giving is that contrary to the laws of economics, the more you give, the more you stand to gain.”
As I was still reeling under the profundity of the thought, she finished up with some bonus advice: “And as for your poems, trash them;” she said delivering the coup de grace, “love needs no prolix words, for it is a language unto itself.”