I was in school when I broke my leg and the doctor said that though a surgery was possible, I’ll always walk with a slight limp. When a pados wali aunty visited me a few days later, the first thing she asked my mother? Iski Shaadi Kaise Hogi Ab? Koi Ladka Milega? Though she tried her best to talk in whispers, I overheard it and it haunted me for long. In fact, it haunted me for so long that I spent my school years detesting myself. I was the rebellious kid who was angry at everyone and wanted to take it out on everyone. Though a few incidents added to the anger, what I failed to see amid all this anger was that with time, I had started enjoying this bitterness and insecurity I was living with. I was so busy romanticising my cracked confidence that I overlooked the things I should have admired and been grateful for. I was so obsessed with Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison that I totally ignored all the happy kids and happy people around me. I was angry. I was broken. I was shattered. But above all, I was tired. I was tired of myself. I was tired of being angry all the time. I wanted to be happy but I just didn’t know how.
A few years and several “failed” relationships later, I learned that unless you start loving yourself, you can’t ever find love in anyone else. No matter how much the other person loves you, you’ll only be able to feel it until you are in love with yourself. No matter how attractive others find you, you’ll feel confident only if you are happy with yourself. And most importantly, unless we stop glorifying our “tragedies”, we can never see the beauty around us.
So let me give you some gyan: nobody is going to look at you broken and shattered and find you beautiful. Trust me you, all that quotes about finding somebody who put your broken pieces together is a lie. Nobody is going to pick up your broken pieces and put them together. NOBODY. In fact, reality check: even you wouldn’t look at yourself and say, hell I made broken look beautiful. And you know why? Because all those beautiful stories and romantic poems about scraped knuckles and broken hearts are lies. Just plain lies.
So, here’s the plan: just stop romanticising the days when your brain asks you to smash the bathroom mirror or the days when your body refuses to move. Stop romanticising the lover who failed to understand you and put the blame on you. STOP. Rather, romanticise the first day of spring, the friend who was always there telling you it’s going to be okay, the lover who taught you how to love.
And no, please, don’t trust the poets and the writers. DON’T YOU DARE DO THAT. Because we love pretending that our disasters have carved us into something wonderful but in reality, there’s absolutely nothing beautiful about the shaky hands holding a cigarette and the empty eyes staring at that crack on the wall of your dim lit room.
On the contrary, beautiful is when you look at the mirror and smile, the book that comforts, the music that touches the soul and most important the scar that hurts less now. So starting this Valentine’s Day, fall in love with yourself. And romanticise only one thing: healing. Because bad news is no one is going to save you but the best news is that falling for yourself is the only thing which will save you and give you the chance to feel the love that others have for you. This Valentine’s Day fall in love if you must, but start with yourself. Fall for yourself.