Those Four Shades

I have a theory about love. Yes, the girlfriend-boyfriend type of love. I came up with it a very long time ago, have looked around me, and seen that it does work on people.  If you are already my friend, you would have heard this theory at least a million times from me.

So love comes in four stages right after it takes off. Those four stages, I associate with four different colors. Now, my theory is generally not gender dependent and can therefore can be applied to anyone who wants to wear these shoes.

The Pink Phase: This is the happiest phase. The phase where you have just fallen in love, you know, the committed-to-each-other type, not the one-sided-pining type of love. So obviously, you could be on the roof top, screaming with joy. Literally. You are ecstatic and everything around you looks hyper happy and super pink. The lovey-dovey baby pink types. Nothing or no one matters to you except the person you love. This person is in your life, in every inch of it. In your dreams, on your phone, at the restaurant, in your college, and sneaks around your colony, and you absolutely love it. You will find yourself sitting with a group of friends and texting away, or looking out of the window while riding a bus and blushing for no apparent reason, or just calling friends you haven’t spoken to in a year, to scream into their ears that you are in love. You are sometimes so self-and-love adsorbed that everything else seems like a void, be it family, friends, exams, or career.

Life’s like a fairy tale in this phase. Perfect and perfect. Well, if you are still a teenager when you dive into this phase, you can sometimes act royally cranky. You will sit at a Coffee Day and read its tagline: A lot can happen over coffee and start to smile involuntarily. You are a firm believer in romantic comedies and will dream of watching your favorite ones like the Titanic, Sweet Home Alabama, You’ve got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle holding the hands of your loved one. Because, holding hands is true love.

Life, to you, is a beautifully directed Gautham Menon’s film that has a happy ending seasoned with Ilayaraja’s background score.  When your friends ask you to tell them how it all happened, you are always full of energy and in the mood to act all Udit Narayan-ish, and sing, “Aankhen khuli ho ya ho bandh, Deedar unka hota hai, Kaise  kahoon main o yaara, yeh pyaar kaise hota hai…” And actually, you wake up the sleeping poet in you and write up some really crappy poems, feeling like Trivikram all the way. These poems can go from anywhere like,

“You are Someone….  You are that someone whose hands I would like to hold and walk on the beach… You are that someone who makes my heart melt when I look into those eye that speak volumes… You are that someone in whose arms I could lay for the rest of my life cause love is pure, and such pure love is here to stay….”


Premavaa?…Na premaavava? Premakai preminchava.. Na premavai  preminchava…. 

Prema anee, na premanii, ika nammavaa… Idi premani, mari ooha kaadani telchava…”

So, when you are saturated with all these emotions, you practically have no time to fight. This phase usually lasts for a few weeks, a couple of months if you actually picked a living angel to love.

The Green Phase: To start with, I wouldn’t call this the reality-dawning phase, because you know, the color is still green. And green means good to go. You however descend from cloud 9 or higher, and come to terms that you are in a relationship. Obviously, since you have digested that you’ll realize that your loved one is indeed your priority. You realize that friends and family are kind of important, so you try to make some time for them. Okay, you at least act like you are trying.

This is the phase were you want to pee all over your loved one’s territory. You know, mark your area so that nobody trespasses.  Sometimes, if you are two fools in love, it works well for the both of you. It usually does. But there may be some rare cases where one over does it compared to the other, and that may lead to a cute fight. This is the phase where possessiveness looks endearing and complimentary. Like you know, “Awwwww.. Baby.. You are jealous!?… You know,I love you. I just did that to see how much you love me.” And, anything that’s said on those lines is completely acceptable. That’s because you are listening to a lot of AR Rahman made music, sung by Sonu Nigam. Bring in “Ishq Bina” with all the “Tumne ishq ka naam suna hai, humne ishq kiya hain” here.

The first thing you want to hear in the morning is your loved one’s voice, and the last thing you want to listen to at night, is probably a lullaby by them. Because this is the phase for all the cuddly, cute, and revoltingly cheesy pet names. So even if their lullaby sounds like a donkey braying, all you can hear is Sonu Nigam singing, “Tu jo paas ho phir kya yeh jahaan… Tere pyar mein ho jaaun Fanaa…”

This is a seemingly important phase because, this is the phase you show your loved one that you sincerely care for them. You could start with being very eager about doing their work for them. If their laptop’s broken, you are willing to stay on the phone with customer support for two hours to get it fixed. If their scooty breaks down due to an empty tank, you make sure you are just a text away from getting help. If their records need to completed, you offer to sit up all night and finish writing them. And, you are saving up all your pocket money to buy an expensive ash tray and gift it to your loved one who is a smoker since the movie, Khushi, has kicked your sanity in the butt and turned your green color love bulbs on.

Fights!? Yes, you do fight here. Not quite often though. Most fights are over trivial things like, “why did you not wish me good morning today, or why did you get so carried away with work and forget to have your lunch.” Just remember, these fights don’t last long. A few hours maybe. And then, you are calling and saying, “Sorry, baby. It’s my fault,” and the other person goes, “No, no. Sweets. It’s actually my fault so I should be the one saying sorry.”

Ego!? Excuse me! We are in love. This phase lasts anywhere between six to twelve months.

The Red Phase: Okay, this has to be the reality-phase. The color says it all, no? Well, it’s actually more or less the yellow phase, when things are changing. And a yellow light, as we all know it, can turn red or green. So this is probably not a phase when people change or things change, but a phase where reality becomes, you know, real. In this phase, you can live for a day or two without any romantic good mornings and good nights. You focus on your loved one but that’s for about 70% of your time. You know love is important and all that but, you have to start thinking about a way to be together for the rest of your lives. So that means figuring out ways for you graduate, get a job, and be independent enough to take your loved one home to meet your parents.

So some priorities are juggled around. And that definitely is a good reason to ask for some headache causing troubles. Your intentions are always good, you know, because you are looking at the big picture and working towards being with your loved one for the rest of your life. But you want that rest of your life to start five years later. That’s why the present is neatly shoved into the back seat of your car and tucked under a blanket. It may begin with forgetting to ask if your loved one if they had lunch, or whether they took their sinus medicine, but will eventually lead to promising to meet at a restaurant for a date night and showing up 25 minutes late. Yes of course, the date wasn’t forgotten about, it was just pushed into the night by 25 minutes. So what was a, “Awww.. It’s okay baby, I understand you are busy, I will wait. Just come soon okay, we are going to have so much fun”, from the Red Phase (because it can never happen in the Pink Phase) now turns into a, “What!?!?! Is that it? Is this the importance I get for planning out this entire evening with you? You have changed!”

You Have Changed! This single sentence is what officially changes your yellow lights to a completely deep red phase. Every time love happens between two people, it is beautiful. I mean, if love is the most beautiful thing, then this sentence is what ruins it. It shows you that you are close to your exit. It gives you the feeling you get when you look at the sea. At the stretch where the sky meets the waters. You know that they never do, but you never explore that fact. So this phase is where you know that your relationship may or may not end, but that’s the area you never want to explore. People fall in love with people and, people don’t ever change. Never. It’s just that life gets shuffled often, and we start to think, “You traveled 200 miles just to see me on our first anniversary, and now you have forgotten that you were the one who gave me this watch for the occasion. Do you really love me?” Here is where you have dropped Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan from your head and shifted gears to Hariharan’s, “Tu hi re… Tu hi re.. Tere bina main kaise jiun…” or Arjith Singh’s, “Tum hi ho..”

This phase requires a lot of reassuring. Reassurance that you need for yourself that you are in love and reassurance from your loved one that they are in it too. There are a number of fights here. A little miscommunication, some dodging from the truth, a  lot of forgetfulness and copious amounts of ego. That automatically leads to ‘no talking to each other’. In this phase, you are strong enough, oops, your ego is strong enough to act like you don’t care and so you can stay without talking with each other for a day or two. Not more than that. But, trust me, at the end of those two days, there are couple of tears, a few hugs, and lots of bottled up love. Every patch up will seem like this is the last fight you two are ever going to have.

This phase may last for at least two to five years.

The Black Phase: The color say it all, doesn’t it? This is where you put on your warrior’s dress, arm yourself and cruise across the waters to see if the earth and sky actually meet. I mean, you want to explore the possibility of an explosion. Your patience seems to be wearing off. You cannot tolerate the person you once loved anymore. It feels like you are in love with a chewing gum. You like it, but you can do without it too. Also, a chewing gum because, gum has it’s flavor initially, for the first ten minutes in your mouth probably. And then, the flavor is gone. It is tasteless but you just continue to chew on it for a really, really long time, and don’t want to spit it out. Ah! This phase is exactly like that. After the flavor is gone, you can’t seem think of why you are holding on to it, and you can’t seem to think why you should let go of it either.

Love seems so surreal. It’s not just them. It’s you too. The phases have reversed. What you did find so appealing about them, you now cannot stand it. If you once admired their self-esteem, you now call it unnecessary arrogance. If you once thought that they were being protective of you, you now call it unreasonably ridiculous possessiveness. If you once considered their child-like innocence cute, you now call it utter stupidity.

You, who loved talking to customer support for two hours to get their laptop fixed, cannot make a two minute phone call to check why your utility check bounced back. You are wondering why they are so stupid to not have checked it there was enough gas in their scooty tank. You don’t like it that you have fallen in love with someone who isn’t responsible enough to take care of their own tasks, like writing records. So when you fight, you aren’t dying to patch up. The love it there. But now, it has just got up from the back seat of the car and is lazing around somewhere in the trunk. Fights in this phase go on for a few days. Some times a week. And when, one of you puts you ego aside and calls, what was a, “Baby, I’m sorry, it’s my fault.” becomes a, “No. You did this. It’s entirely your fault. I can’t imagine you would even think I will say sorry. You know what, I sometimes wonder how I even fell in love with you. I called you up first, isn’t that good enough?” This phase is probably the first time that your exes get mentioned in fights too, sometimes.

Anything to do with them is like listening to Thaman’s drum-beat-only music. You will start to figure out that Shahrukh Khan makes crappy and revolting romantic movies and that there is nothing great about them. You understand that you were once stupid enough to blush to Udit  singing “Ho gaya hai tujhko to pyaar sajna” in his high-voltage-packed nasal-voice while SRK is busy shaking his head like a 40 year old who has deliberately acquired autism, of course with his with his silly, annoying smile.

Birthdays and anniversaries are forgotten, dinners are missed, sometimes an act of kindness is not appreciated, more often, love is forgotten. This is the phase where people either decide to work things out and stay together for life, or call it quits.

About 60% of relationships keep twitching between the Red and the Black. Almost 30% of relationships are running between the lines of the Red and the Green. Seldom do 10% of relationships stay in the Green. And trust me, nobody stays in the Pink forever.

But then, everything is fair in love and war. So, whatever said and done, everything will be back to being normal. You will stand up, dust yourself and look ahead. Then, there is the same heart, a new start, and fonder love. It is a vicious circle, this inevitable beauty called love.


Again, this is my theory. The statistics and logistic are all, of course, made up to support my baselessly lovable theory.  For what it’s worth, I am a hopeless romantic. 

20 thoughts on “Those Four Shades

  1. Very interesting theory, validated by you by observation.

    A thought for you to consider, perhaps add to your theory:
    if the Green phase is longer, the couple can decide whether they’re heading for Black-Red, in which case they can either try to see whether they can do something to stay in Green or Green-Red, or call off the relationship if Black-Red appears inevitable.

    On a lighter note, could there be any connection between Johnnie Walker’s Green Label, Red Label and Black Label and the Green, Red and Black phases? Note there’s no Pink Label! 🙂

    • Hmmm. I didn’t know JW had the Green Label and Red Label. But I like your dotting the lines here. Maybe, let’s just make up some strawberry martini and call it the Pink Label.

  2. Nice Theory, though I would like to disagree with the last bit of going back to the same vicious cycle. In fact I also believe in all the phases that you have mentioned, but my strong feeling is that if the Red and Black last for long periods and if the red seems to be progressing towards Black then there is certainly something wrong and its better to see and decide where its going..
    I believe that its better to say good bye gracefully than to turn into bitter enemies and not even be able to see eye to eye with the person.

  3. ohhh, dis ws …funny!!! I mean, i hav never been in a relationship so cnt cmmnt on practicality of ur theory…bt yeah, seeing ppl around me fallin in n out of love, dis theory helps me understand their POV… nxt tym , i’ll try to laugh a lil less wen ppl tell me dr luv woes…
    Bt wt i wonder is dt, did dis theory cm up frm a personal experience or u wr simply bored n decided to cook up a cock n bull theory… ;p ????

  4. I laughed when I read the lines “Anything to do with them is like listening to Thaman’s drum-beat-only music” — mean I felt those lines…..

    I think you should have added Master ilayraja for LOVE… ?????

  5. Ohk… Dat was fun, somethng very true, some of d lines were filled with buckets of sarcasm.. 😀
    But what about break ups, what colour will be suitable for “after breakup” phase
    You know that “tadap tadap k iss dil se aah nikalti rhi” thing

    • Omg! You are the nth person who has asked me this question. Every time I explain my theory to people, they ask me this. So much so that I wanted to put it up here at the end of the post. That I’m still trying to come up with a theory for the ‘tadap tadap – tanhaayee’ stage, and for people who get back together a couple of years later after their break-up. But all I see right now is blackness everywhere for both the categories. 😛

  6. I actually think its actually a bit over the top article. Though i completely agree with the broader theme, the people in relationship can make the difference and decide about their fate.

  7. I am a teenager , and i usually read your theories! *The Four Shades* is the best of all i read yet ! And I would love to read such stuff furthur ! Thanks a lot for such beautiful things!
    Would be glad to

  8. Not sure if this relates to reality in general. But one thing is for sure, Life is a Game which starts on an easy note but as it goes thru, added flavors of relationships will cause some churn, good or bad, depends on how you handle those and live upto the expectations.

    Indeed Sahaja, like your writeup shows the patience and keen observation you have.

  9. I’m a teenager 🙂
    I love reading your blog, its fun and there’s a blast of fresh air in your thoughts. As always, well written.
    You’ve kind of inspired me to write a blog once I’m done with boards 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s