Laws of attraction

Often, we get so caught up in the attraction that we experience, become helplessly enamoured, and let go of all our senses and sensibilities.
Representative Image
Representative Image

BENGALURU: Pre-monsoon showers have started, and with that, the plaintive cooing of the Indian cuckoo has started as well, loud and melodious. If you are lucky enough to live amidst tree-lined streets and parks, you would hear them early in the morning. Of course, given how much concrete is being poured on the streets and around trees, many of these trees might just fall and you won’t have the cuckoo greeting you for very long, but that’s another story. 

Cuckoos are famous for their melodious love songs as much as they are famous for leaving their eggs in other birds’ nests, letting them grow at others’ costs. Even without their biological parents to show them, the cuckoos somehow continue this habit generation after generation. 

What’s this got to do with love and relationships? 

Some people that we are likely to meet in our lives are going to be like cuckoos. They would sound really sweet, and be very attractive, but at the end of the day, they would just be on their own merry way, leaving you to take care of their baggage, and you might not even realise it until too late. Such people will drive you cuckoo, to use that old idiom a bit loosely. 

Attraction is not the same as love or affection. We should all know this instinctively, if nothing else, as a self-protective instinct just like we wouldn’t want to fall from high places without protective gear, or how we would run for shelter if there is a sudden hall storm. It doesn’t happen the same way in real life about people.

Often, we get so caught up in the attraction that we experience, become helplessly enamoured, and let go of all our senses and sensibilities. Attraction can be truly the sirens’ song luring us poor sailors of life away from our chosen paths, only to have us dashed to death in the rocky reefs as reckless ravers. 

The thing is, there are enough cautious stories in our collective cultural heritage through our myths and epics to warn us that attraction is not love. Yet, like how generations after generations of being cheated by cuckoos still don’t seem to have made current crows, robins and myriad other species of birds to wisen up, keep their nests safe and deny cuckoos the space they take away, we too do not seem to really learn from our peoples’ histories and keep repeating them – some once in their own lives, but many repeatedly in their own lives as well.

The trick is in being able to enjoy being attracted to someone, without necessarily needing to act on that attraction right away. We need to have our gates from attraction to affection to love, with all the permissions that go along with it. The cuckoo sounds beautiful hidden in the trees in this season – let them be just that much. Let the human cuckoos be similarly enjoyed from a distance – let them be, and be wary of getting too carried away. 

(The writer’s views are personal)

Mahesh Natarajan

(The author is a counsellor with InnerSight)

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The New Indian Express