Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » Lifestyle » What is it that we love to chase in love?


What is it that we love to chase in love?

There are different kinds of loves for different stages of life, says Rohit Trilokekar

Rohit Trilokekar | Published 04.06.23, 01:07 PM
It is possible to want to chase away the love we once pined for, says Rohit Trilokekar

It is possible to want to chase away the love we once pined for, says Rohit Trilokekar


Carol Braganza has been married to her husband Peter for 25 long years. Of late, when she wakes up next to him, she wonders what made her marry this bugger all those years ago in that beautiful church in Panjim. His family was Goa-based, but the idea of living with them was unthinkable, and so she dragged her husband all the way to her parents’ home in Mumbai. Peter’s parents laughed, telling their son he had become a ghar jamai and what not, but Peter Braganza could not care less. “Oh Carol, I’m not a fool,” he would say.

Standing in the veranda and sipping her cup of chai to the sight of the local newspaper delivery boy doing the rounds, Carol wonders what had drawn her all those years ago to the repulsive creature turning in bed only a few metres away from where she stands. In a few minutes he will be asking for his cuppa with khari biscuits. No sugar, of course, because Peter is diabetic.


Sometimes she feels she should simply inject him with processed sugar. Or throw herself into the path of an inbound train hurtling along the Mazgaon station railway tracks, which she can catch a glimpse of from her balcony. Carol’s suicidal depression stems from the loss of her parents a decade ago. She has gone to many therapists and tried several antidepressants. None of them has helped. Sometimes she feels she should leave Peter and only then will she wake up happy.

Of late, though, there is a little sliver of joy she feels every time she sees the neighbour who lives on the ground floor, Mr Bhandarkar, return from his morning walk.

We all love to possess things that we gradually lose interest in over time

The love that endures is not always the love that makes us happy

The love that endures is not always the love that makes us happy


One day, when coming home from Sahakar Bhandar, her bag loaded with veggies, the charming Mr Bhandarkar asked if he could help her carry her shopping upstairs. Carol politely declined, but perhaps that was the moment she began to take notice of this handsome Maharashtrian gentleman. Forget about Peter, he had been relegated to the background a long time ago.

We all love to possess things that we gradually lose interest in over time. We buy expensive watches, and then forget they even exist. Until the time we are so besotted with a watch on another gentleman’s hand. Only then do we take notice of that watch on our wrist. One that has long since stopped, when it comes to catching our fancy.

It was around the time Carol bumped into Mr Bhandarkar that fateful day that the realisation hit her. She was living with an obese frog from Panjim, while the real catch of the pond was the svelte Prince of Mazgaon, who lived in the ground floor apartment.

Suddenly, Mr Bhandarkar appears. He is back on the dot at six, just after Sandra has perched on the balcony like clockwork, waiting for her crush to appear. She can see the sweat on his shoulders (when Bhandarkar wears a vest she can swear he looks like Salman) from up here, as though she might have eagle vision. The feeling that courses inside her…That too, in a place she is ashamed to think of. All of a sudden her reverie is rudely interrupted by her husband, who has arisen and is shouting out “Carol! Where is the bloody charger?” That bastard is going to send me to the mental asylum, she thinks as she storms into the room in a huff, screaming,

“How the hell am I supposed to know? It’s probably in your a*s!”

Carol and Peter both worked for the same bank for 50 years. After the death of her parents, Carol and Peter moved out of her family home to another one close by. Carol found a great sense of pride in selecting curtain fabrics for the modest one-bedroom apartment they had bought with their lifetime savings. When Peter’s parents came over recently, they complained that it was too dark. They told Carol it was best the curtains be opened, to let the sunlight in. Perhaps her mother-in-law could not stand the thought that she had no role to play in selecting that fabric.

Carol did not open the curtains, much to the chagrin of Peter’s parents. Not then and nor in the several times that followed. One day, unable to take that perennial taunt, Carol eventually opened the curtains. To the sight of her bras and Peter’s underwear drying outside. That was the day the curtains closed forever.

It is all about the chase…only this time you want to chase them away

After a point, a lot of us need our own ‘Gangnam Style Love’

After a point, a lot of us need our own ‘Gangnam Style Love’


Just like objects, we relegate the people in our lives to the background. We meet our friends from old perhaps once a year, unless they are chuddie-buddies (with chuddies that hopefully are not exhibited to the locality). That rush, no matter whether it comes from hearing Gangnam style or glimpsing Gangubai (when a certain Namdeo sees her for the first time), is not going to last forever. That reminds me of something a friend told me long ago, a friend I envied for all the girlfriends he had: “It is all about the chase. When you get the girl, it’s over.”

Perhaps that is one reason why marriages do not last. All that running around trees (or mandaps, for that matter) is a thing of the past. Years later you find yourself living with an idiot who blames you for not stocking on khari biscuits. It is still a chase. Only this time you want to chase them away. It is not about loving the things we do not have. It is about loving the things we do.

Deep down inside, Carol Braganza knows that if it were not for Peter, she would have gone to the mental asylum a long time ago. It is the yelling and screaming, the glorious mess her life encompasses, that is worth celebrating. The little joy that comes from beating Peter at Uno.

And the love for Mr Bhandarkar? It has its place. He’s Carol’s “Gangnam Style Love” now.

Even if he has no clue about it. Or of her pretty bra flying over his bald pate when he steps out for his morning walk.

Rohit Trilokekar is a novelist from Mumbai who flirts with the idea of what it means to love. His heart’s compass swerves ever so often towards Kolkata, the city he believes has the most discerning literary audience.

Last updated on 04.06.23, 01:07 PM

More from My Kolkata