Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Falling for words


             My love and discovery of new words comes from my love of books. Ever since I was a little girl, I've always been falling in love with certain words-being unexplainably drawn to them and trying to bring them up in every conversation as long as I was obsessed with them. Often these favourite words have started meaning more to me than their intrinsic meaning and I use them with a smile on my face as the memories, emotions and little incidents related to them come rushing back to me.

             One of the first words that I got obsessed with was 'tacky'. My friend, let's call her Antimony, and I used it every minute of the day. Due to overuse its meaning for us changed from being cheap or tawdry to describing anything that displeased us in the least. Eventually we outgrew it and moved on to another word crush.

About a year ago, if you remember facebook witnessed a massive wave of colour based statuses by women according to the lingerie they had on that particular day in a (misguided) attempt to raise awareness for breast cancer. Seeing the array of over descriptive colours put up, a cynical friend put up her own colours ranging from custard blue to sunshine purple. It was the last of these that got my heart beating faster, my eyelashes flutter and me smile without reason as I had fallen in love with this pretty phrase that made me happy. There was something just so optimistic, magical and sparkly about it, something about its soul that seemed to quintessentially mirror mine and so it captured my heart. 

             My first encounter with the word disillusion was in the 9th grade while studying the Indian independence movement where the national leaders were said to have been disillusioned by the promises the British made. I was mildly fascinated by it but was not yet aware as to how much the word would later affect me. Fast forwarding to 2 years later where I had a crush on a guy, let's call him Alpha. Ironically around the same time we were doing a song called "Désenchantée'' (the French word for disillusion) in class. I was head over heels for him until one day at a party I saw him smoke. Now, to each his own but I abhor the habit and don't take it well if a person close to me indulges in it.
After that, the nothingness of complete disillusion set in. It broke my heart, not dramatically with a million tears but sadly and with the new understanding that a lot of times, people let you down not intentionally but just by showing you a facet of their personality you didn't know of and don't like.
             Sometimes it does happen. Words, even beautiful ones cause pain. Meanwhile, I continue reading, constantly finding new words and falling in love with them.

By Nirmitee Mehta