That dreamy look you get when someone walks into the room can mean only one thing. Your soul mate has arrived. The way they smile, the way they shift their gaze down and left with that reflective look before they answer, or the way they throw their head back when they let out a hearty laugh leaves you weak at the knees. Carefully caressing every movement of theirs with your gaze, their sigh becomes your sigh and their embrace becomes your completion.
Such deep surrender can only be possible with a soul mate. It cannot be explained any other way, right? Of course it can, but in that moment of desire, logic escapes us and the loins take over where love pretends to play. But it’s not a singular desire that drives us to lose sight of reality and suddenly abandon our faculties in favour of love, sweet love. That would be far too simple a neanderthal response to explain why such sophisticated beings as ourselves suddenly drool with desire when the brain fog sets it.
We go through life savouring successes, even tiny ones, bravely rising from each setback that befalls us. With each rising we muster a portion of renewed hope, a smattering of new wisdom, and a lowly regret that we tuck away neatly because it doesn’t quite complete the picture that we now present to the world. That’s the image of composed resilience that won’t be stifled. It would be fantastic if that cycle came around only once, but it doesn’t. It comes around more often than we’d care to remember, or even less than we’d care to admit. And so with each cycle we grow weary, but continue to exude hope and optimism, because all the fairy tales in the world cannot be wrong. My soul mate cometh, and I shall be ready and waiting to meet her at the door before the threshold, so that we can trundle in together, or not.
The reality is closer to the truth of us spending our lives seeking avenues of expression so that we may be able to reveal ourselves to the world without feeling vulnerable in the process. Striking that balance leads to a tiresome combination of restraint and expression, until one of the two become more dominant. That dominant disposition shapes our character to the world around us, eventually convincing even us that it is who we are, until that fateful moment when that soul mate enters. That soul mate comes in the form of one who expresses what we restrain, and restrains what we express, thereby striking a cord with a desire buried so deep that just teasing it leaves us giggling like lovesick teens who just witnessed the de-flowering of the world.
That completeness awakens us to the optimism and passion we once held dear, and with seeming abandon, we expose ourselves willingly in preparation for the embrace we yearned for since forever. Suddenly we wish to express to the world on their behalf what they restrain, trusting foolishly that they will express to the world what we restrain, and from between our loins shall spawn the perfectly balanced beauty of the sum of us.
Whether they are soul mates or not is almost entirely irrelevant, or at best, subject to interpretation. We selectively interpret life, and love, and then follow it with deliberate action that either proves our views to be true, or abandons the world for being untrue. It is what we choose it to be, but such choices have to be mutual if the outcome is to be idyllic. Sometimes we meet one whose choices are inversely mutual, thereby syncing perfectly with our own, but sometimes what appears to be an initial sync turns out to be a novelty phase of fascination and not much more. When that phase passes, some will convince us that soul mates are not always intended to stay forever, while others will suggest that they weren’t ours to begin with. Either way, the outcome remains true, and the lessons we take will either build us up, or break us down.
The amazing thing is, whether we’re right or wrong is not really what matters. That’s just bonus points. How we appreciate and grow from whatever or whoever comes our way is what peppers life beautifully, or taints it horribly. Much of life is wasted waiting for opportune moments or validation. Soul mates will be drawn towards us as kindred spirits when we live authentically and pause only for air to fill our lungs before we push on again. But authenticity is not easy to express, because we’re raised to find affection and validation as markers that determine our success. No wonder, in a world of emotionally stinted half formed adults, we wait for our soul mates to join us before we immerse ourselves fully in what is always only ever a one time offer.
Life doesn’t wait for soul mates, nor should you.
About the Author - Prateek Pandey is an idiot. He is precisely the kind of idiot I am proud of knowing and in whose presence literature, poetry and language acquire newer dimensions. He answering questions through his prose and poetry which the world is yet to learn to ask. Lampooner.