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To The Man Who Never Really Loved Me, But Only Pretended

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By Radha Kapoor:

I was quite apprehensive in the beginning, but you were not, as all you wanted was to just awaken the love in me without any intention of loving me.

Meeting you was a beautiful experience; maybe because I was at an emotionally chaotic place when I met you first and the whole idea of you seemed overwhelmingly exciting. I have always fallen in and out of this magnificent state of stupefaction called love, but it’s never been easy for me to fall in love. But there was something magical about you that I fell head over heels in love with you, unexpectedly and unknowingly. The idea of you was fun and enormously thrilling, there was profuse passion and the connection was brilliant, because it was swift and came with an admirable ease.

Loving you occurred to me naturally and I really didn’t have to put much of an effort. I realized this after you made that terrifying confession about your past. I clearly had all my reasons to walk away from you then. In fact, after all that happened I never really wanted to meet you. But I couldn’t stand the fact that you were in pain and that is when this agonizing realization hit me that the love I have for you is genuine. I picked your pain over mine. We decided to meet casually, and I trusted our decision which I regret now.

Sophie Hunt illustration

I believe in channeling my emotions into action and I did the same with you. But you got me completely wrong. Otherwise, how could you candidly talk about this to everyone? When I said I was excited that you kissed me on my forehead, I meant that I felt extremely safe and secure with you at that moment as it was different from other kisses that are sexual in nature. I thought it implied the love and respect you have for me manifesting in this most non-threatening form of affection. It was the kiss with the intimation of faith and love. I don’t know what you found so frivolous in that? I thought you were sensible enough to understand that, but you proved me wrong.

You always wanted a commitment from me, but I wonder what your definition of commitment is. You said let’s go with the flow and see where this leads, but I am sorry, I am not a dead fish to go with the flow. For me, the definition of commitment is much deeper. You were smart and devious as you never gave me the assurance of stability and you never promised a future. Probably you never wanted a future with me, but my spirit was completely crushed, and I was devastated when I realized I wanted more from this, though I know it is such a terrible spot to be in.

I tend to bring up anything I am thinking about, I say things with candour, I am an expressive person by nature. I was drunk when I first made out with you, but I was clearly aware that I was kissing you and I think at that moment both of us wanted it. After that we made out a couple of times. Each time I was getting more and more attached to you; each time I made out with you the love grew like a cancer inside me which intensified these feelings even more. It consumed every aspect of me. A part of me forced myself to believe that it was the same for you as well, but you proved me wrong yet again. You made it look like it was special for you, but I didn’t know you would discuss about these moments in a gross way and spoil my reputation. You just made it look like a drunk girl’s lust for you which shattered my feeling into millions of pieces. I don’t know what joy you gained out of it, maybe it gave you a bit of filthy notability amongst your friends, but you forgot you were doing that at the cost of my feelings. I cried as I was profoundly hurt with the excruciating injustice of love and ill-assorted emotions. I was hurt because whatever I had was real and it still flashes in my mind from time to time. I was exasperated with myself; I wanted to wake from the awful spell I had fallen under.

It felt good when you said that you loved me, but it hurts as I knew what you were seeking out of this relationship. You always wanted me to get drunk so that things would be easy for you whereas I wanted to invest my love in this relationship. I wanted to give my soul, but you did not give me a chance as you made your selfish needs evident each and every time we met. I pretended to be oblivious to this because I took pleasure in each and every little second I spent with you. So, I chose to shut my eyes to all that drama you put up.

You know what? Sometimes I feel you are too innocent, and that could be the reason why your hidden motives became so apparent in spite of all the acting you did. And that this whole idea of playing around with me and my feelings needn’t necessarily be yours, it could be something you imbibed from your friends as that’s what they do all the time, or in the worst case scenario this could be their idea.

Meeting you helped me discover a new part of me that I didn’t know existed. In spite of all that you did, I still love you. I have all the reasons to stay away from you, but it seems next to impossible to do that. Maybe our love is young and not that tranquil and honestly speaking it didn’t take much time to bloom, but it assures only a certain sense of intoxicating passion and you anyway don’t seem to deliver anything beyond it. But what do I do with these feelings I have for you? I know there is nothing I can do rather than just let go of it. It’s too painful to even think about doing that. At the same time, it’s scary to commit to you, as it would lead me back to that terrible spot, where you are unable to love me the way I want to be loved. My feelings and insecurities stems from this place since I know I deserve more. But I am inquisitive and I know I will try to explore what more is out there.

Sometimes I wish you would just set aside all your hidden motives and open your heart and see what I have for you. I wish I could keep you in my life forever. It will do no good to me and will just leave me in another mess. But I have one question for you: don’t you think it’s selfish of you to take more of my time, love or more of everything? Do you see that or are you just pretending not to see it? Is it possible for you to feel the same kind of love inside that I feel for you? What you have for me within you right now is just engulfed in flames; it’s blazing and erratic and will eventually burn down.

Note: The author’s name has been changed to protect identity. 

Featured image artwork by Sophie Hunt

Banner image artwork by Tutticonfetti

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  1. sakshi tewari

    Clearly it was a bad choice move on

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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