Reacher or Settler...which one are you?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The concept of soul-mate is very much akin to that of ghosts. Some people believe in it and some don't. Some have experienced it themselves and some...well, lets just say they were kept ignorant of it! But very much unlike the latter(that is, believing in the dead) people try to be optimistic about things that are alive. So, what is a soul-mate. What is your ideal definition for it? Is it true that someone, somewhere is made for all of us...along with our dream house and awesome kids? And if so, why some people are always unmarried? Where are their soul-mates ?? How can two very realistic words 'mate' and become something so beautiful yet obnoxious!!! 
And, the biggest problem that entangles all those who believe in it is, where is the person? If your last relationship didn't work out, does that mean he/she is just a participant in the 'Who's my Soul-mate' competition and you have just chucked out one more contestant? And as we move from gawky teenagers to hip youngsters to somewhat mature adults into fully grown oldies...does the number of participants eventually go scarce? And if they do, which certainly is the fact, where do they really go and with whom do they land up with? Somebody equal their worth(which is actually not possible, since their soul-mates have aged out and they were eliminated from the competition) or somebody far ahead/beneath their worth? And if you're an atheist to the very concept of Soul-mates...then the question is definitely for you....What do you think you are, generally in a relationship? A Reacher or a Settler?
If suddenly one fine day, you hear that the most dashing single guy in your college is going out with the least significant nerdy-braided girl who sits in the corner of the classroom then you'll know who is what in the relationship! You may say its weird but let me tell you people, such things happen and it is happening all over the world and sadly even around you, as we speak. Remember the movie 'Ishq Vishk'? Shahid Kapoor's character, Rajiv Mathur, an extremely charming young man, capable enough of landing the richest snob in the campus ultimately falls for the simplest girl with almost zero looks but a heart to die for! So film-wise they were soul-mates, ain't it? But even if we consider the factor that it exists as much love and lust does, why does such a fairy tale word(made supremely for girls) complicates a relationship by involving, almost always, a reacher...who gets the good one and a settler...who, well, settles! (Read: Grim on my face)
How can a truly magical concept play so hard? Does this mean that what we imagine or rather desire is nullified by it? Why is it always a choice between dorky-and-loyal & washboard abs-and not applicable???? How cruel is the cupid! Actually, how much can you blame a baby in diapers with arrow in his hands deciding our fates.....which we ourselves can't decide. Let alone anybody else. 
I always boast my ego stating the fact that I'm a Settler....at least quite consistently since I was in High School...maybe? The one thing that bothered me the most during my school days were proposals for love, commitment and words heavily sedated in mushy stuff from my guy friends. I befriended most of them trying to eliminate the 'ick'  factor yet they continued to woo me, much to my chagrin. Today I may feel proud to say more than half the guys liked/loved/wanted to sleep blah blah blah with me all those years but back then, I was always embarrassed and to tell the truth, deeply disappointed. Oh! C'mon! Who doesn't want a bit of real mush, some occasional gifts and companionship? And I was no different. The reason which, however kept me away from all of them, giving me the title of a snob, was all of them were pathetic! Looks wise, personality wise, presentation wise and everything wise....but not really wise!!!! Now I think maybe I kept my bar really high, back then, since the population of such men is in abundance, at-least in a city like Calcutta. You may wonder, weren't there any guy good enough to fit my criteria? Well, there were some crushes and infatuations I had just like another girl spending six hours everyday with nearly thousand testosterone guys all over the school...but they somehow couldn't match some other criteria in my list. If some guy was damn hot, his sense of humor was in Mars and if some nerdy guy was cute enough, he displayed some weird schizophrenic habits(like preferring to talk to me when I scored well and staring at my best-friend when she did)
Sadly, now that I have grown up...I'm standing between two very odd questions. Number One, how big was my list back then? How big is it now? And number Two, Was I a reacher to them? Tossing almost half the class and quarter of my seniors did I absorb myself completely in the fact that I'm by all means superior to every guy around not noticing the reality of the place where I actually stood. I thought myself as a 9...was a 7..., had affinity towards the rest 3 always encountering the disciplined bitch called karma, and thus, went round and round dismissing and getting dismissed by my own set of choices. Hence, in spite of being quite a Queen at least that's what I chose to believe, I stayed single for the first fifteen years of my school life. Now when I look at some guy friends of mine, highly committed(occasionally cheating on their best halves) and all perked up, I wonder how my life would have been if I would have accepted some of their's proposals! There's no surprise that many of them continue to look at me with sinful lust and their words still linger around my mind, "We would have made a great pair!!!" Oh grow up, if not yourselves then at least those pair of balls. you guys are already in relationships. I say to myself and just flash them my best of pity-smile as if its their loss and not mine. It really isn't.
At 17, whenever anybody asked me why I was still single my only answer would be, "God is writing the best love story for me!!!" At 19, I started dating, got into a relationship and while I was having my share of fun I lied to myself, it's just something you read, not really gonna happen. At 21 again, Single and Rocking I have started believing in it again. Indeed, something really big and nice is cooking up there and the dish is exclusively for me. But being a girl with extremely high hopes, high choices and well, high number of proposals I look around and think...what will I be this time? A reacher? Or a settler? I have been a settler my whole life....but I don't wanna be a reacher as well. My ego is too high to accept that fact. What is this competition between two people? How far are we affected by it? Now that I have met a guy charming and handsome and so giving what do I become? Where do I stand? To me, perhaps he is a settler but he makes me look like one! Is he too good to be true? Does stuff like these bother us to the extent of inflating our egos badly...so badly that it might burst someday? Which one is a better place to be? Can a relationship exist between two equals? Say, Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie(the best example at hand) Does chauvinism stop the machinery of two equals staying together and people who are equally perfect to us are nothing but another pair of reacher-settler and nothing else? I myself have always dreamt of a place where I would stand with the man of my dreams with my head held high....for him and for myself in equal amounts. But is it a myth that I built in order to protect my dreams? Maybe so. Or maybe even if I do come across my equally good as myself other half I will always be a reacher/settler in some aspects of the relationship and he in some others. Does this machinery operate like this too??? Perhaps it operates only like this and our approach has always been wrong. You can be bad in cooking but great in giving massages to him, right? He can play the guitar but he can't sing as well as you do. So doesn't this stabilize the whole balance of love and relationships....yet again?
Perhaps, that's why yet again the fairy tale word Soul Mate comes to existence and yet again chick flicks give all of us the much needed assurance that someone somewhere with all his/her imperfections is waiting for all of us, to complete us, to love us, to nurture us expecting the same for themselves while they overlook all our flaws just like we did theirs.
Rini Ghosh.

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