Love! All I ever wanted in life was to be loved. I wanted Appa and Amma to love each other and stop fighting. I really wanted Amma to love me the same way she loves Maria. I love my parents and my sisters so much. But that isn’t the same love I felt when I saw ‘beautiful eyes’ at the canteen for the first time, I knew I was in love, because I wanted to speand the rest of my life with him.
I looked at Ammachi. She loves ‘him’ and he probably loves her. He was there for Ammachi when she needed someone to love her. But what exactly is love? Is there a way to define love?
“I don’t know Ammachi. I really don’t know how to define love”
“Who do you love the most Nina?”
That was the easiest question. There is no one I love more than Ammachi.
“I love you the most Ammachi”
“Because you are my grandmother”
“How many grandmothers do you have?”
I tried to figure out why Ammachi is asking such stupid questions.
“2” I replied
“Nina Why do you love one grandmother more than the other?”
“Because you have been there for me from the beginning. And I know you love me for what I am”
“No Nina, you don’t love me because I love you. You love me, because I fill the void in your heart. There is a place in your heart that craves for a grandmother’s love. I fill that void like a sealant”
I didn’t understand what Ammachi was trying to tell me.
“Nina, when an aluminium pot has a crack in it, what do you do?”
I was almost about to say that, we will throw it away, but I knew that probably wasn’t the correct answer. At home, we only had one aluminium soup pot that Amma had brought with us from Penang. It is still brand new because Amma never ever used it. She is keeping that for Maria, to be given along with the knife set, dinner set, cooking range etc when Maria gets married.
“I don’t know Ammachi”
“Aiyyah” She shook her head. “Go and bring me the rice pot” She pointed the the rice pot that was on the kitchen counter.
I took the pot and passed it to Ammachi, all the while wondering what love has got to do with aluminium pots.
I watched Ammachi turning the pot over and looking at the base.
“Can you see this?” She showed me the base.
I looked at what she was pointing. Oh yeah, it looked like something was stuck there, like the bubble gum under the desk!
“Nina, I have been using this pot to cook rice for more than 15 years. Over the years, the pot started to develop tiny cracks. This is my favourite pot and although I could buy a new pot, I didn’t want to throw this pot away. So I use a sealant to seal the cracks.”
“Nina, Love is nothing but a sealant that fills the crack/void in the heart”
The master has spoken the words of wisdom, but the disciple had no idea what she meant. I felt incredibily stupid standing infront of my grandmother and watching the base of an old aluminium pot. “You didn’t get it, Did you?”
I shook my head to say No
“When a pot develops a crack, you take the special sealant they sell at the market, heat it and apply the melted mix on to the crack. The melted sealant seeps through the crack and fill the void, it hardens as it cools and seal it. Love is like the sealant Nina, it has no use on its own, but when there is a need, it can be melted over the fire and use it.”
“No Ammachi, love is not like that, love is what you feel in your heart”
“What do you feel in your heart Nina?”
“Love! I feel the love I have for you in my heart”
“Nina, how many grandchildren do I have?”
“6” I replied, as though Ammachi doesn’t know!
“How many of them come and visit me?”
“I am the only one among the six that visits you. See Ammachi, that is excatly my point. I am the only one who loves you and I feel that love in my heart. “
“You are the only one who can and want to fill the void in my heart Nina, there is a place in my heart that was void of grandchildren’s love. Your love is like a sealant, that fills that void. You know that and you keep coming to fill the void.”
“Ammachi,What about Apppa and Amma? Why don’t they love each other?”
“That is because, You just can’t use the sealant meant for aluminium on a clay pot” Ammachi was smiling and I couldn’t help but agree that she was right.
“So who do you think is the clay pot? Appa or Amma?”
“I think your father is the clay pot and every time the hot aluminium sealant is applied on the clay pot, it cracks the pot more as it cools! Don’t you agree?”
I nodded my head
“Nina, the thing about love is, when you love someone you will have to change a part of you, like the heat is used to melt the sealant. You cannot love without changing yourself. Most people are afraid to change themselves, so they expect others to change. It doesn’t work that way! A hard,lumpy sealant is no use to anyone. You shouldn’t be afraid to change Nina and more importantly you shouldn’t be afraid to love”
I thought of ‘beautiful eyes’. I wanted him to be with me, share my life. But at the same time I was afraid that one day he would leave me and I will be left all alone with a broken heart.
“What if you love someone and he leaves you?”
Ammachi looked at me and I realized how dumb that question was. I should have used my brain, before asking such a stupid question. I should have thought about Ammachi’s feelings. Before I could ask forgiveness Ammachi spoke
“Nina, it would only hurt you, if you are building the castles for tomorrow. When you love, you don’t live for tomorrow. You live for that moment, that day. Not for the next day or the day after. That is why I told you not to be afraid to love. You are afraid for the unknown tomorrow”
“Ammachi, how can you live each day, when the person you love isn’t with you?”
“Because you have good memories that can last a life time”
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I know I haven’t been replying to the comments for the last one week. I will reply soon!