Valentine’s Day, the day of love has come and gone. But hope stays alive of a utopian world where love rules and hatred gets a drubbing every day.
There was a strong smell of ginger and garlic wafting across to me from the house next door. In fact, it was this smell that had yanked me out of the tentacles of sleep. I quickly took the lift down to the ground floor, only to have my ears calloused.
From a nearby flat, loud sounds of a conjugal scrimmage hit me.
“You are such a slothful man, always ordering me around.” A highly aggrieved woman was venting her ire against her husband.
“Slothful, who me? That is the greatest joke of the century.”
The arguments and counter- arguments were traded for some more time. Then I heard the flat being locked and a young couple ventured out, hand in hand, looking lovingly at each other. Were they really the ones who had been fighting just a few minutes back? Well, doesn’t love also mean blowing hot and blowing cold? Now they appeared beaming, surrounded by the aura of love–the heat dissipated, the ire dissolved.
A small pup came out from under a car, greeting me with loving glances and in no time, had hurled itself at me with elastic bounding of canine affection.
Under a tree, I glimpsed a Fagin-like, villainous character, vigorously brushing his teeth with a Neem stick. He looked so sinister and mean that I frantically glanced around at the kids romping and skipping in the park. Which child was he eyeing? Which kids would he kidnap and turn into pickpockets?
I heard sudden whimpering and gasped when I saw that the tiny pup who had greeted me with affectionate barks just some moments back, had got entangled in the barbed wire fence, around the garden.
As I ran towards the fence, the Fagin-look- alike flung away his Neem stick and galvanized into action, reaching the spot before me. As I watched, he bent down and with loving care disentangled the pup from the vicious clutches of the barbed wire, and then quickly scooped it up in his arms, lovingly talking to it and caressing it. Then he slowly put it back on the ground and the pup hobbled away.
As I walked on, relieved, I again turned back to ensure whether the pup was safe and was pleasantly surprised to see it following the bedraggled fellow with staccato barks of grateful love, its tail wagging happily. If it could sing, it would surely have sung a love song.
There was love littered all over the park, the birds were necking unabashedly, there was feline and canine love in profusion, the mother cat licking its kittens and the pups lovingly huddling next to the mother. What amused me immensely was the beautiful sight of a tiny tot being pushed in a swing by her doting mother, who was also thrusting love-drenched morsels into her mouth, every time the swing came near her. The girl chortled in delight and the young mother giggled in pure pleasure, mouthing a nursery rhyme every now and then, which the tiny tot, tried to mangle to the best of her ability.
I had left Valentine’s Day behind me. That love-soaked day had indeed gone to rest for one year, but I could see nothing else but love around me. Love was present every day, love was meant for every day, every moment, and every second. Why allow hatred to flex its muscles and break into a maladroit jig every now and then at its triumph? Its Pyrrhic victory? The romantic in me once again went into a flight of fancy, where I saw everyone well-fortified behind an armor of love, and hatred not able to insinuate itself through the slightest crack in the armour. Yes, I am a glutton for love, and always find myself fantasizing about a utopia where love rules and hatred gets a drubbing every day. Well, I am a dreamer, dreaming of love one day decimating everything evil in the world. One day, I know, it will.
I closed my eyes and saw a young couple under a pine tree, lost in each other, plugged my ears, and heard, the voice of the Carpenters reaching me from across years, so soft, so soothing.
All over the world
You can hear the sound of lovers in love
You know what I mean, just the two of us
And nobody else in sight
There’s nobody else and I’m feeling good
Just holding you tight.
Well, if only, the entire world could hold each other tight in a never–ending embrace of love. If only ……
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