Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To love and lose or never to love at all.. ..

It could be the story of Romeo and Juliet, or our very own home grown 'Heer Ranjha' and 'Sohni - Mahiwal'. The setting is just out of a bollywood movie. No, no not the lush beautiful rich Yash Chopra type..more of  Vishal Bharadwaj- a la "Kaminey".

You might think that a slum of Pune is probably not the most conducive environment for love to bloom. But then love can happen anywhere and like it happens in the movies, the boy is a twenty something,  out of work, 2nd grade drop out, while the girl is a comely sixteen year old brought up on the wholesome diet of TV serials and masala movies. So love blossomed while there was nothing else to do. The boy, lets call him Shahnawaz, swore undying devotion and was ready to pledge all his worldly ( and other -worldly) goods to her , while she , Mohini , promised to follow him to the ends of the earth ( It is a different issue that he has  never left home even to go to work). All that was left to happen was the fairy tale ending when they rode the white steed off into the beautiful sunset. ( well, the horizon was choc-bloc with high-rises and sunsets were hard to catch, but you get the drift)

If you're holding your breath, you can exhale or take a deeper one, after all, if there is a  hero and a heroine, the situation demands a villain , right?  This is where the  the 'zaalim zamana' fits in. The parents on both side were distraught. After all, 'no pyaar, we are Indian' is the first tenet of parenting. and horror of horrors, that too across communities and even religions? Why, that was blasphemy!! So he was beaten senseless as they tried to knock some sense into him. ( oh well, it has been known to work) but to no avail. He swears that it is either her or none, while she promises to set herself afire if parted from him. As of now, the flaming controversy continues.

I know that love is blind ( and sometimes deaf and dumb )  and mundane concerns like where the next meal is coming  from, escape those blissfully in love. Love and fresh air seem ample. Having had my own set of infatuations and crushes , I know that the world seems to be one's oyster when one is young. No problem seems insurmountable, no mountain too high to climb, no star too out of reach to pluck and strew at the feet of the beloved. Yet I know of love fading when life's little realities drown out the sound of the Cupid's wings. Then the same love song begins to pall. Does love really give you the ability to brush aside reality?  Love is a powerful force, capable of changing the course of history. Remember the British Monarch  King Edward, who abdicated the throne so he could marry an American , Mrs. Simpson? Or Helen of Troy? Even the gods were not spared by cupid   and even Shiva was wounded by kaamdev's arrow, never mind he paid with his life for that little service as he was burnt to ashes by the irate god.

Yet,  does love need to be all about fire and self immolation (a la Mohini)?  Does love that not get consummated into a formal relationship end? Do you have to swear undying love in blood to prove its existence? Can it not be the magic that you hug to yourself or the lucky  charm that raises up your spirits when you are down?  It can be the serene knowledge that someone loves you unconditionally, unselfishly in this ' business as usual' world!   'It is better to love and lose, than never to love' goes the saying, but from where I stand,  loving  does not seem to be about losing or winning. I am told possession is nine-tenths of the law of real estate.  Is it the whole of romance too? Does one have to possess the loved one?  Maybe. ..... but the business of living is tough enough without trying to get perfect fairytale endings for love. That is probably the reason most stories end with the wedding scene and not ten years and two kids  later. King Edward's abdication may sound divine, but why did Mrs. Simpson not make the sacrifice and insist he keeps the throne and work for the greater good. What if he felt that he'd made the biggest mistake a few years later and could not say anything about it? Is Mira's love any less intense Laila's ?

 I do not know how  the 'Sohni-Mahiwal' errrr,  'Mohini- Shahnawaz' story will end, but I doubt it will be a regular fairy tale with knights on chargers  and damsels in distress. But then again, who is to say that all fairy tales should be the same?!!


  1. Food for thought. Wonder how and why love turns into desire.

  2. Well, Love and desire are too closely entwined I guess. I suppose when one is young, desire has the upperhand. Also, emotions are too complex and dont fit into just black and white shades. One can only try to figure it out for oneself and talking about it helps, I think!! :)

  3. Interesting post. I have always maintained that love is overrated and when have you ever read a love story with a "happy ending"? Life goes on and love is a state of mind..no more no less..

  4. Hi Ankit, The longer I live, the more I am unsure of things. So I cannot say whether love is overrated or underrated :) Actually, happiness is a state of mind and I think love can be an uplifting experience. I remember a scene from a Jack Nicholson film, when he is asked to pay his love a compliment and he says
    'You make me want to be a better man'. I suppose love has that power. Love does tend to become all about fire and blood and I think that may be where the problem lies... :)


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