Oh Ridiculous Love!

on Monday, November 7, 2011

No. I am not at all attempting to shed my image as a cheesy, hopeless romantic. Nor am I trying to opulently put on display some new found sagacity in matters of the heart, arrived at by some personal bitter experience. I am only amused at something I read. And in the present context of everything happening around me, I find it worth recording on my blog.

What is happening in my life is irrelevant. But largely, suffice to say that love-lorn hearts (including my own) are strewn around me; most with an ache- the others brimming with (transitory) bliss. In this transitional phase in life, transitioning towards maturity, we, inter alia, grow from being a student to a professional, from being carefree to being responsible, from being a dependent to an independent...and alongside, with a presumptuousness we form philosophical perspectives on various aspects of life. One of these perspectives, inevitably, is about love. The grandiloquence of it, or the mere futility of it.

Though my beliefs ascribe to the former category, there was a King in erstwhile times, approximately around the seventh century A.D., who immortalized himself in a single line, perspicuously displaying his disapproval of any heart that ever loved- "Dhik tam cha, taam cha, madanam cha, imaam cha, maam cha." In particular, he displays his disapprobation toward those who are attracted towards others, disregarding and being unfaithful towards their own beloved ones. Story says that Bhartihari, a distinguished scholar and poet, besides being a King, composed a verse after discovering the infidelity of his wife, which approximates in English as-
"She, of whom I think ceaselessly, is indifferent to me, 
She yearns after another man, who himself is attached to a third one,
While some other woman pines away for me,
Fie on that woman, on him, on the God of love, on my wife, and myself!"
(यां चिन्तया सततं मयि सा विरक्ता
साप्यनमिच्छति जनं स जनोन्यसक्तः
अस्मत्कृते च परितुष्यन्ति काचिदन्या
धिक् तां च तं च मदनं च इमां च मां च )
 What the poet alludes to in the above verse is a time tested consternation; I call it time tested because what the poet experienced in his mature years, a lot of my friends are experiencing in their yet young times. The extrapolation of the above line approximates to the poet's feeling that true love in this world in rare. Man tries to locate his happiness in that of his loved ones, and when he discovers them to be unfaithful, he turns wholly averse to the very concept of love. Sounds familiar? It does to me! When people question me (and sometimes when I question myself) about the idealistic nature which we attribute to a feeling as subjective and formless as love, at times I have no answer but just a smile which seeks to convey an incorrigible belief in the truth of this feeling. Sometimes that smile is to check within myself if the belief/faith is still there. May be according to the poet above, true love can exist only if it satisfies a condition of double coincidence of desires; which are not as rare in the present world as would be in a barter economy. May  be I hold consonance with this thought. But may be I don't.

I only seek to shy away questions of how and why which tirelessly attempt to generalize the wonder that love is. Unfortunate is the fact is that that people start generalizing the notions of love only after they think they've been scathed by it. So, a lot of times, they don't generalize, but demonize it- curse whom they once loved, curse the feeling itself. I know things get harsh and hard sometimes, but they are always meant to. This one thought should never be lost sight of. There stands no example of an enduring tale of love which has not been tested amid the worst of circumstances. It stand tall if it survived the test, and it crumbled if it could not. The fact also is that it crumbles only to give way to something more worthy in its place. 

This might sound like an overtly optimistic thinking; but I do not know a better way of living. I, from whatever I have learnt in life, will always avoid generalizing love. I usually believe in love stories which propagate the love is forever doctrine, in the most convincing way; but have also caught myself sometimes philosophizing about it having an organic character - something that lives, breathes and has a life span. The eternity is then justified as something sublime, which ends with the people in love, but ends for sure. Love sometimes is a strength, the other times the biggest weakness of a person. A firm believer in love is only once in a lifetime dogma, I have often urged, and encouraged people to move on; and have even witnessed perfectly successful love stories emanate out of the second or even the third tryst of love for some people. Holding on and letting go are both contradicting essentials for knowing and experiencing love. There is a lot which is ideal about love, nothing that can be idealized about it. Our best bet is to live it while it lasts. To hold on till we can. To be happy, and spread the smiles. Thereafter, if ill omens do manifest, faith will lead you on. And if it does not, you should know that you have to let go. Love is a feeling to make your life beautiful and worth living; not to turn it into a grotesque painting with all the wrong colors at all the wrong places. And if the latter is what you feel has happened with you, did you not know that the artist capable of redrawing the painting resides very much within you?

PS- If you read through till here, and you liked even a little of what you read, and you are a person in love, and you are slow-and-not-so-expressive, take this at the perfect opportunity of letting someone know, in may be a little sentence that he/she is special to you. Trust me, it might mean the world to someone. Even if it is just a friend, sometimes you simply need let people know.