Yes, that was sar­casm. I don’t un­der­stand the logic of Valen­tine’s Day. Any­way, this week’s col­umn is ded­i­cated to vic­tims of the OSL syn­drome. One-Sided-Love, yaar!

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Time Out - Sonal Kalra thinks Valen­tine’s Day is one of the big­gest causes be­hind the state of bad men­tal health in In­dia. Re­search, any­one? Mail her your thoughts at sonal.kalra@hin­dus­tan­times.com or face­book.com/son­al­kalraof­fi­cial. Fol­low on Twit­ter @son­al­kalra.

Ar­rey jao, nahi karna cel­e­brate Valen­tine shalen­tine day, kar lo jo karna hai. I’m sick and tired of ev­ery vella ask­ing ev­ery other about their plans for V-Day. I just don’t get this need­less pres­sure to cel­e­brate, be it New Year’s Eve or Valen­tine’s Day. Do you? For me, the stress of plan­ning or gift­ing some­thing only be­cause a lot of peo­ple have asked, takes away the fun and spon­tane­ity out of cel­e­bra­tions.

And as if Valen­tine’s Day — the ori­gin and logic of which is a mys­tery to more than 90% of those who du­ti­fully flock restau­rants, suf­fer long wait­ing, and end up pay­ing twice as much — wasn’t enough, there is a Rose Day, a Pro­pose Day, a Morose Day, an Af­sos Day or what­ever, in the run up. Any­way, I’m just rant­ing, the ex­is­tence of these days is not the topic of dis­cus­sion to­day. The spot­light, this week, is on those who are sit­ting, with a rose, and their head, in their hands be­cause they are the un­for­tu­nate vic­tims of OSL syn­drome. One-Sided-Love. Typ­i­cal filmi style, I love Su­nita, but Su­nita loves Anita…oops.. Amit, Amit loves some­one else and la­gaoon. What a big tamasha our life is!

And then sud­denly this OSL be­comes the fo­cus of their ex­is­tence, they can’t help but keep on think­ing about the per­son they have a crush on, who, for some rea­son, does not feel the same way about them. I’ve been at the re­ceiv­ing end of sev­eral mails from OSL suf­fer­ers. And in the in­ter­est of hu­man­ity, I’m at­tempt­ing calm­ness tips for them rather than for those mushy buf­foons who’ve al­ready spent three months of pocket money on buy­ing gifts for their girl­friends, which they would re­ceive with an awww and tears on Feb 14 and ex­change with the store on the 15th. No need to fret, the OSL gang, calm­ness awaits you.

1 Have you said it right?: Be­fore you go all teary-eyed on how the per­son you love doesn’t love you back, just be sure that you’ve ex­pressed how you feel, clearly and in the right man­ner. The worst would be to move on from some­one ‘as­sum­ing’ they don’t feel the same way, when they per­haps would have, had you ex­pressed clearly. And since this one thing is likely to have a big im­pact on your fu­ture, be up­front, clear and un-dra­matic, in the way you put across your feel­ings. In other words, don’t get into the farce of wait­ing for Pro­pose Day, buy­ing cards with hearts drawn on ev­ery free inch, and writ­ing cheesy lines picked up from the in­ter­net. And if a romantic re­la­tion­ship is what you are propos­ing, be ma­ture, sen­si­ble and clear about it. Don’t mum­ble vague things like ‘I want fraand­ship’ with you, which then gives the other per­son a chance to throw back equally stupid replies such as ‘but we are al­ready fraands’, when they jolly well know what’s be­ing im­plied in the pro­posal. So, un­less your OSL is for some­one who is al­ready com­mit­ted in a re­la­tion­ship — in which case go ahead, slap your­self — say clearly why you feel the two of you are right for each other, and how it’d be a good idea to ex­plore tak­ing it to the next level. Sorry, now that I’ve writ­ten it, I re­alise that my ad­vice sounds more apt for a cor­po­rate pro­posal. Sigh. Okay, buy the damn heart-shaped card but don’t be tacky. Please.

2 Learn to take ‘No’: Now, you ex­pressed your feel­ings but the other per­son replied that he/she doesn’t think the same way about you. Well, too bad, but that’s it. THAT’S IT. Not an earth shat­ter­ing de­vel­op­ment and cer­tainly not the end of the world. Yes, it is dis­ap­point­ing, but do not make the mis­take of over-re­act­ing and think­ing of it as a ‘re­jec­tion’ of you as a per­son. Some­one not want­ing to be with you is about them, not about you. Ev­ery­one has a right to choose who they want to be with. Grant them that right, and don’t go all bit­ter be­cause you are not who they want. Also, don’t tram­ple your self-re­spect by harp­ing on it even af­ter they’ve clar­i­fied their re­sponse. Re­mem­ber, it’s not easy for them too, and a lot of peo­ple hes­i­tate from giv­ing a clear neg­a­tive re­sponse to a pro­posal. But for your own good, learn to in­ter­pret it cor­rectly, and to let go. Any­one who says things like ‘I do feel for you but my par­ents would never agree’ or ‘I think you are great and any­one would be lucky to have you, but right now my fo­cus is my ca­reer’ is essen­tially say­ing ‘No, thanks’ but doesn’t want to be rude. Don’t pro­long their agony, and yours, by not un­der­stand­ing their re­sponse and in­sist­ing that you’ll con­vince the par­ents when the right time comes. They know it al­ready, and have still said ‘No’. Learn to take it.

3 Move on: Are you the King of the World? Or God? Even if you are, there’s no guar­an­tee that ev­ery­thing in life would work out the way you want it to. You felt for some­one, but it didn’t work out. Now move on. There’s too much to do, to ac­com­plish in life. Love, or the lack of it, is just a part of our life’s jour­ney. Don’t try to con­vert that part into the en­tire whole. Doesn’t work that way. Star­ing for too long at a closed door takes our at­ten­tion away from all the other doors that are open. Phew! Itna gyaan toh Aastha chan­nel pe bhi nahi milta. Please grasp it be­fore I get in­di­ges­tion from say­ing all these wise things. I prom­ise not to write any more senti col­umns on mat­ters of the heart. Too much ho gaya… here’s my part­ing ad­vice and the most im­por­tant, golden rule of love. ‘If ever there’s a choice in life, al­ways go for some­one who loves you, rather than some­one who you love’. Khush ra­hoge, mind it.

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