Role Reversal

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“Why did you behave like that? You insulted my friends for no reason. They were joking. And you are asking me what happened?” slammed Anshuman to his girlfriend Kavya on phone. She came to his room in the afternoon to meet him as usual. His roommates started teasing them. It was a witty banter by friends when girlfriend of a guy shows up. He was taking it sportingly, but she lost her temper. She retorted back and things got out of hands. Her behavior was unacceptable to Anshu as well. He asked her to leave to cool down the situation. He called her after half an hour of her departure. In a meantime, he was trying to calm down his friends.

Anshuman was a 20 years old smart, funny, extrovert guy with a good sense of humor. The humor was his asset for which Kavya fell in love with him. Today, his other side was more dominating this conversation. He was probably a cool minded guy, but lost his cool due to misbehavior of Kavya.

“Calm down, Anshu. Let’s talk about it,” replied Kavya.

Kavya was a 20 years old sincere, intense, and quiet girl. She was also short tempered and always reacted on impulse without thinking about consequences. Her spontaneous nature was the most adorable thing for Anshu. She spent most of the time in books and loved contemplating about every day things.

“No, I won’t calm down. This is happening a lot. Every time you act weird, you tell me you were just kidding or give some stupid explanation. Is that what you are going do again?”

“No, I can explain. But, you need to calm down first.”

“What is there to explain? I’ve had enough of your explanations. You act weird, then give some stupid explanations, and expect me to understand you. I kept cool for so long. I tried to understand you every time. You know that, but I don’t know what your problem is?”

“Let’s do one thing. We will meet tomorrow and talk. Till then, just calm down.”

They were in a relationship for one and a half years. Kavya used to get angry over silly & funny things Anshu did to entertain her. She used to say a lot of things that shouldn’t be said, react on impulse without knowing what she is saying and Anshu used to understand her reactions. He knew it was her nature and she didn’t mean anything wrong. Sometimes, Anshu found her spontaneous reactions childish, but cute. He tried to make her angry on purpose to evoke those reactions. She used to get mad at her and Anshu used to coax. Little moments like, making her laugh by cracking jokes out of nowhere; making fun of her serious talks was making their relationship special. She was a serious kind of girl, but was so cheerful around Anshu. This time, it was Anshu who was getting angry and Kavya was trying to coax. The roles were reversed. That’s why they say it’s complicated in relationship.

They decided to meet at café where they met usually. But later, Anshu asked her to meet at their college ground. His intensions were clear. He wanted to confront her and break up. Her strange behavior, her mood swings were beyond his understanding now. He thought that his understanding kept their relationship going and she was doing same mistakes frequently. So, he decided that he will not listen to any stupid explanation she will give and break things up.

* * *

Anshu was sitting under the tree at the corner of the ground. It was 2’o’clock in the hot summer afternoon. The scorching heat of sun was nullified by shadow of a tree. It helped him to calm down and get ready to confront her. It was the most difficult conversation he was going to have. As she arrived, she gave a cheerful smile to Anshu, while he returned a contemptuous smile.

“Hi, you good?” asked Kavya in a charming tone.

“Wrong question,” said Anshu in a firm voice, looking intensely at her. She laughed.

“I know. And I’m the reason. I always wonder how you can find the humor out of nowhere. Even when you are angry, it doesn’t affect you. You can find it from anywhere.”

Kavya tried to cheer him up a little. She knew he wasn’t trying to be funny.

“We are not here to talk about my sense of humor.”

“Yeah. I apologize for my behavior with your friends and you. I said something to your friends and to you that I shouldn’t have. My mood swings and weird behavior is affecting you. I have let you down. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t need your stupid explanations and apologies again. I’ve had enough of it. I told you yesterday.”

“You’ve had nothing.”

“What are you talking about? You want me to tell you what you have done that proves I’ve had enough.”

“No, I want you to listen to me before you say you’ve had enough. Let me tell you something I have never told you before.”

“I’m listening.”

“My parents used to fight a lot. They still do. The only reason they have not divorced yet, is because of me and my sister. I have been going through this since childhood. Those loud noises, cursing each other, smashing things, enraged faces, and making mountains out of molehill. It was like hell. Their fights were like a tornado meeting a volcano. I just wanted to bury myself deep in the ground. I tried to ignore, but I can’t. They were my parents. My sister was an outgoing person. She used to go out with friends to escape from this and I used to immerse myself in books. Those books were unable to take me away from reality. So, I used to keep everything inside. And it erupts in different ways. Then, I get mood swings, I behave weirdly, and I say things I shouldn’t say. All these suppressed emotions, feelings, and rage are calling me constantly to get them out. And, I get mad over silly things. It doesn’t stop here. My sister is married, you know that. She is gone with her husband. So, my mother finds me to complain about my father. She complains how life is unfair and how my father made her life hell. I again feel weird. How am I supposed to react to it? She is in depression for years. She is on medication for years. I can’t go out. Because, when I try to, she stops me. She gets emotional. She tells me how she will be alone if I go out. If I stay, she starts disdaining father. And, I have to listen to it. Do you have any idea what I have to go through, what I have been going through?”

She was telling her story staring blankly at the ground with teary eyes. They exchanged gazes as she stopped for two seconds.

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” said Anshu.

“Because I forget everything when I am with you. I don’t have to find an escape from reality, because I enjoy the present moment. You are a funny guy. I forget all the problems, laugh on your silly jokes, and feel good. And you have been so great to understand me every time I do all those stupid things. I know I was wrong yesterday and I will apologize to your friends.”

“Okay, I can never imagine what you go through. I understand you; but my friends won’t, because they don’t know this. And I don’t want them to know all this. So, you have to come to my room tomorrow and apologize to my friends.”

She agreed. He asked her to say no more. He wanted to enjoy the solitude and a gentle breeze under the tree in the hot afternoon. He swallowed the thought of break-up. This time, again, he was the one to understand her to keep relationship going. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. That explanation wasn’t stupid. It was bitterly true and beautiful at the same time. His entire attitude toward her had changed. Now, he had more reasons to understand her weird behavior, mood swings, getting angry over silly things, and lot more. Her eyes filled with innocence, her ability to persevere, and her fortitude made him spellbound. He fell in love with her again. This time, more deeply.

The roles are never reversed in a relationship. Even if it reverses, it’s momentary. The crazy fact is, role reversal takes place only to make a relationship stronger.

 

 


 

(Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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