Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Do you miss me? For I do… And why should I not. You are gone and I am alone. No longer does the sun declare it is day long after you’ve gently awakened me to its rise. No longer does night fall to your, “Goodnight, young lady” in a tone the matron reserved when one slunk in to the YWCA at 1 am. Never mind that it is now but 10. And never mind that you tuck me in safe in your home and I in mine. I sleep in your embrace: warm and defenseless in our love. Secure in its everlastingness. Secure in our world. Secure in your need of me.

Yes, I am lonesome tonight. And I must be.

For I have myself ended that what kept me warm. I have myself walked away from that what defined happiness. I have myself taken away my succour. Who then do I blame? Who do I villainise and what rationale do I lean on… That he loved another? Was commitment-phobic? That he had no plans for us. If life came in such black-and-white certainties, heartbreaks would be a shrug. Sadly, he was wonderful. Defined man as no man could. And yet he felt trapped in his own world. And even as I routinely solved the jigsaw — hallelujah — it wasn’t my chakravyuh to exit. And so, I freed him of my entrapment. I let him go.

Ah, the comfort of being dumped! The secure haven of rejection. The warm embrace of tears and a well-deserved heartache…. Some of us are not that fortunate — it is not in our limited destiny. Has your heart ever been broken? You dumped. Left to bleed. I envy you. You had no choice in the matter. The other moved on and you had to cope. Sure, it hurt and you bled. But there’s little you could do. No, it doesn’t reduce the pain but it does help rationalise. Your helplessness turns your strength… Shock turns to grief turns to anger and then, resolve.

Meanwhile, say hello to the abandoner. Often, unwilling. The victim and the villain. The victim because you still love your partner and the villain because you must end the relationship. Why? Of course you want to cling on. Of course you want to continue basking… And yet the emotional pain it causes is far greater than the pleasure it brings. It is pain that causes you to push the other away. The ‘unwilling rejector’ wants to love. Wants to continue loving but something that the partner does or doesn’t do makes him feel rejected. And his act of rejection is born out of feeling rejected, and the pain therein.

Stop. Pause. Reflect. Have you truly been dumped? Or have you thrust this painful act on him and taken refuge in being the ‘rejectee’….

A dentist on my flight home in sharing her story allowed me this epiphany. Sweety’s husband bought her an apartment in Andheri. Asked her to focus on yoga, kathak and her waning practice. “Do all that you desire, darling,” he cooed. This even as he desired their dental assistant. “It was such a lovely story to tell myself,” said Sweety. “That I am the centre…” And no, he didn’t turn a demon — he was just as caring as he always was. As indulgent. Only Sweety couldn’t share her man… And asked for a divorce. Mr Sweety became the rejectee. Unable to comprehend why his wife, mother of their two girls, wanted out. He loved her just as much. Why then was she dumping him?

As the unwilling abandoner, Sweety was not fleeing a painful relationship but trying to save it. Her rejection was perhaps a cry for help. While you say, “Leave me,” what you are actually saying is, “Please stop pushing me away. Let me love you.” If you hear her, as you must, and course-correct, all that will abandon you both is rejection…. But then we are all trapped in our limitations. Sweety is divorced. Mr Sweety married his assistant this May…

Meanwhile, are you lonesome tonight? Don’t be, my love. For love is not love only when showered. Love is not felt only when expressed. I watch over you and ever will. Yes, we’ll move on and this anguish of heartbreak will subside. But the mind will ever hold on to those mornings with you, when you were never with me but I was always in your embrace.

Goodnight, darling. Sleep thee well.

Nupur Mahajan is a sum of many parts. Ideas are her business even as her creative streak sees her straddle television, advertising, publishing, radio and brands. 

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