A certain something between lovers

I saw them again last night. They were pushing a trolley near the frozen food section at Megamart in Juffair. She had an animated expression on her face as her fingers scrutinised the ice-cream containers while he looked on at her with sunken eyes and a wide grin that spoke volumes about his intentions than anything else. Two days ago, I had spotted them walking near Pizza Hut, his hand resting below her waists while she clasped his belt and made feeble attempts to pull him closer. I was struck by how oblivious she was to the world around as her gaze remained fixed lovingly on his impassive eyes that scanned the road for potential voyeurs he could glare at. It was the way they interacted that intrigued me, and so when I saw them again last night I was amused to see that not much had changed. He still had that detached look about him, which she didn't seem to notice or even care. It was, as if, her entire world was standing next to her, and nothing else mattered as long as she was held by this man who, she believed, would care for her till she was old and decrepit. There was that particular glow on her face which I've seen in countless women who are absolutely sure about the man they are deeply in love with. A glow that in the company of a right man has the potential of making a woman feel really alive. But the same glow in the company of an uncaring and insensitive man often leaves a woman shattered to the very core of who she is, and crippling her natural instincts to love. But looking at him, I couldn't see the same level of interest or even passion. He seemed delighted in her company, and this was quite clear with the way he squeezed her arms, played with her hair and pinched her nose and ears now and then. But his self-consciousness was, also, evident since he couldn't help himself from checking out if anyone was watching them. I just couldn't figure out why he was acting so wary, and giving his woman his undivided attention didn't seem as important as checking the reaction of people in the vicinity. I'm sure there was more to this couple than meets the eye. One can never really know. The life of strangers is a story we can only assume and concoct with impunity. A story in whose outcome we have absolutely no emotional stakes, and therein lies the freedom to weave the plot in whatever direction. Be that as it may, I would still, nevertheless, be interested to know how this particular 'love story' eventually develops. I'd be curious to know if the girl still retains her wide-eyed adulation for her man in the months to come, and ALSO, for men and relationships, in general, in the years to come. On the face of it, there are already so many clear indicators of a possible heart-break in the future, and yet it appears painfully clear that the only person who would be most devastated by a break-up has actually chosen to take that risk. Of course, if one goes, once again, merely by face value, most people will have ready explanations as to why the two of them are together. Perhaps it's not love but a sense of resignation that pulls them together. Perhaps both of them thought of each other as the best possible 'catch' they could ever get in their lives and that it would be stupidity to allow something like common sense to ruin the formation of this match. Perhaps it was the first time her heart was stirred by a man who was the very image of what, she thought, real men ought to be and was thrilled that such a man would choose to be with her. Perhaps he was relieved that he could still make someone so young and so nubile want to wake up with him each morning. Perhaps it was something as simple as an impulsive gesture where no thought was given to consequences but only satisfaction. And by the way, did I mention that she was in her early 20s, oriental looking, very casually dressed, and if she was employed, didn't appear to be white collar? And him? He was a white caucasian male in his fifties, still handsome though slightly fading in that department, and yes, he was very much white-collar all the way. Definitely a cliche couple. Definitely a couple with a sad ending just waiting to happen. An ending with potential of turning into a tragedy if she loses trust in love altogether -- even when someone sincere comes along, and is willing to shatter himself just to piece together her brokenness. But will the story end that way?


Pragya said…
This was very interesting to read Ashish.

Some things you said reminded me of Raj Kapoor's old movie - Barsaat. Seen it?

The way they filmed the song - "Patli kamar hai, tirchi nazar hai..." showing Prem Nath's character singing and dancing in a club and Nimmi's character - left behind - singing - "Aja tera bahon mein ghar hai..." and several other lines where the camera cuts to the man who has tuned the girl out so completely and moved away mentally and physically and the woman who still clings to his memory if not him.

I think if I was the observer here I might have arrived at the same speculative conclusions as you have, even if an outsider, an observer, never knows what's really going on.
Ammaro said…

Yes, you see it all the time. But somehow, when a person ignores, or at least is more non-chalant about a relationship, it makes the other side try to pull closer. Don't know why, but its a fact.
Natasha said…
Intersting description of what one has encountered, more often than not; while in Manila and sometimes here in Singapore, as well.

The lure of a better life and the lure of lust; put together.
Very vivid!
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Manju Nair said…
Ashish, I love people watching and trying to make guesses, its one of my favourite pass times. In this case the man could be married hence the furtive looks around...and I am afraid they fit the bill of many a cliched couples I see in this part of the world....the young Asian looking for a way out of financial doldrum, an older man looking for a young, easy and uncomplicated squeeze!!! Love? only they know..Cynical moi?? naah ;-) Manju
Anonymous said…
Hey Ash, long time you posted something here!

Come on, write away, my friend.
Ashish Gorde said…
I am just too busy with work, and feeling too lazy to write anything, but yes, i have topics and quite a few unfinished drafts... thanks for the comment though :)))
Ashish Gorde said…
I was being deliberately naive here, and not because the scene shocked the living daylights out of me... just that I wanted to talk about a much broader issue here, namely, the sexual politics that characterises certain gender equations.

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