Vikram Bhatt column: The Unsaid

Through time, love has had a lot of enemies. Religion, caste, social strata, money, familial enmity these I can count at the tips of my fingers, I am certain there are more. Yet there is one that is more potent than all these, one that is much underrated and, if truth be told, the most dreaded in times today.

That enemy of love is the Unsaid. Nothing has torn lovers apart more than this much feared fiend. You may wonder, what I mean by the Unsaid. Allow me to tell you a story.

He and She were very much in love. They were young, brash and given to many a violent tiff. One of these tiffs turned terribly serious. He and She did not speak to each other for almost a week. Yet, they missed each other and craved to see each other. They decided to meet to sort their differences out.

The meeting, at first, did not go well. They hollered at each other, blamed the other for the poor state of their love and even went as far as to say that perhaps they should not be together. The phrase that made all lovers shudder hung over them in the silence; it was called “break-up”. They sat in the room, looking away from each other, waiting for the other to say something. Neither of them said a word. The meeting was getting worse.

Then He stood up, ready to leave. “Wait!” She said. He waited. Then after a silent moment he asked, “What?” She paused, the seconds ticked by, “Nothing!” She said in response. “Fine!” he countered as he shrugged away their life and left.

They did not meet each other for years. The love story was done with.

But then they did meet. Years had passed and time had turned both He and She into a much mellow version of themselves. Embroiled in other relationships now, they decided to catch up for old time’s sake. Over a drink, they spoke, and laughed and reminisced. He remembered their last meeting quite clearly, so did She. “When I was about to leave, you asked me to wait, but then did not say what you wanted to, do you remember?” He inquired with a smile. ‘Yes,” She said softly. “What was it that you wanted to say?” He probed gently.

She sighed a little sigh, “I wanted to say that I love you very much and that we should not break up.”

Even after all those years it hit him hard. “Why did you not say it then?”

“You did not say it either…” She let the words hang there, not wanting to really blame him for what had happened. They sat there in silence, years later, wondering what life could have been had they said what they had wanted. It was not what they had said to each other that had driven them apart, it was the Unsaid.

When we have it, we think it can happen again and again, but it is only for the lucky few that love happens again. For the rest, you are left with the thought that usually starts with the words, “If only…”

I can say, I have reached a place in my life where I am happy and that is mainly because I have etched the dictum of the Unsaid on my heart and mind. That dictum is really an easy one to remember, “Say it! Just say it when you feel it. Don’t lose the opportunity! There will never be another again.”

Don’t keep looking at the phone, waiting for it to ring. Don’t write the status on Facebook for him and her to get the ‘hint’. Don’t secretly see whether the object of your affection is online on WhatsApp. Don’t post those fake happy pictures on Instagram like it does not matter.

Because it does matter. And it matters most to you!

There is a window that love gives you. It is a really short window of opportunity, before it become too late. And then the chance is gone. Your false sense of pride will snap your love in two. And believe me, you will live to regret it.

Say it if it hurts, say it if you care, say it if you are angry, say it if you are sorry, but for God’s sake, say it! Even if you expect your lover to not understand it, just say it. At worst, you might sound like you are stating the obvious. It is better to state the obvious than to be a victim to the Unsaid.

The most common reason I have found for the Unsaid is that the dejected lover thinks that the other just does not care enough and there is no point in saying anything. Even if that may be true, say it because you care.

We are living in a time where the usual suspects that came in the way of lovers have ceased to matter and what has become the greatest enemy of love is the lovers themselves. So the next time you see him/her walking away, don’t pray secretly that he/she turns to give you that one last look over the shoulder. Shout out and scream, “Stop!”

The folly of youth is to think that love comes again and again. The regret of adulthood is the knowledge that it does not.

— Co-ordinated by Dinesh Raheja

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