You’ll get butterflies in your stomach. Next, come the sparks. Mini explosions imploding through your sensory and nervous systems. Your knees will buckle and of course — how could one leave this out — that supposed warm fuzzy feeling that leaves you goo-goo eyed will fill your chest. Or so they say, and so we hear.
Love, a one syllabled, four-lettered word. Seemingly uncomplex, the hunt for it may sometimes send people into frenzy. There have been countless news reports revolving suicidal attempts by individuals who had fallen out of love. Usually, snarky comments would follow these reports. Those stupid, brainless fools. I often wonder, what exactly is it about love that has the power to drive people to their wits’ ends and to take their dear lives.
To me, love resembles that of tempura — Hot, golden brown, light and crispy.
Love can be described as the moment when your dog rushes to the door when you set foot at home after a hectic day. Or perhaps waking up to the aroma of homemade waffles that your mum just prepared. It is indeed hard to put a finger on such an abstraction, but it is with such amber passion that I see auras of love radiating from within. Such love is the warmest and most innocent of its kind. Almost hot to the touch. Capable of inducing melting. Maybe now we will truly comprehend the cliché that only love can thaw a frozen heart.
For most of us, we do not get the perfect colouration of golden brown tempura upon the first attempt at deep frying. The childhood sweethearts got lucky. No, it isn’t all fun and games, cotton candy and unicorns. Love entails a certain level of cultivation, compromise and learning. There will never be a perfect fit. There will not be another person on Earth that would be an exact replica of your thoughts and behaviour, just like how no two tempuras would ever look the same.
We fall prey to romantic sappy movies which brutally exaggerate the idea of soulmates. Sadly, the harsh reality is that we would only be able to achieve that “impeccable love” through experiences and sacrifices, as these are avenues which would mould us to be better versions of ourselves. Tempuras come in all shapes and sizes. Far from flawless, with jagged edges and all. In order to receive love, you have to be “lovable” first. No, I am not asking you to lose yourself for love but rather, to go down the route of self-reflection and empathy. Change for the better but retain that fiery inner spark that keeps you, you. No one wants to eat an over fried tempura, hard all around, or an under cooked one. The optimum temperature for frying tempura batter is 175 degrees Celsius. When will you find this out? Only time and experience will tell.
“She is glowing.” Those who aren’t on the love express would be rolling their eyes by now. Call me hopeless if you must, but I do believe a sort of light-weighted airiness attachment accompanies love. Isn’t life ‘heavy’ enough? Late nights slogging away on grey study desks, worrying about the mountains of unpaid bills and the avalanche of perpetual headaches seems to pile on. Luckily for us, the pursuit of love is the elixir to life’s weightiness. It is in our innate nature to yearn for love due to its ‘aerated’ components. Just thinking about your impending date with your significant other at dusk when it’s only 12pm at your workplace is sufficient to send shockwaves through your weary system and instantly lift your spirits up and have you powering through the day. Lovely pockets of air are filled between the tempura batter and its contents to achieve that much desired aerated element of crisp upon first bite. Indeed, one can make do with mushy tempura and forego such aeration in all its technicalities but why settle with just make do? Fry that tempura with mastery. Do it right. Crispy on its edges, and you’ll see how much crispier and lighter your soul could feel when all is done with love.
One will never know how his tempura will turn out while it is in the fryer, which parallels the uncertainty which love inherently possesses. Yet, we still gamely advance in our pursuit for love. Bouquets left on doorsteps, heartfelt handwritten letters tease our rationalities. But little do we know, we thrive on these lovable crispy uncertainties. After all, with the monotony in most of our lives, a little uncertainty wouldn’t kill, keeping things just crispy enough for us.
Deny it if you must, but deep down we are all wired the same way. All after that comforting and luscious bite of tempura which hums a melodious tune — warm and hearty on the inside but crunchy and golden brown on the outside. The immaculate concoction of love. Greasy, sinful and almost overwhelming at times. But, a cycle which we never wish to fall out of.