Love, demystified…

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 8:58 AM in , ,
The most complex of all emotions, the most prevalent of all feelings… this is an attempt at demystifying the most convoluted inscrutability surrounding mankind… this is love, simplified…

Oxford English Dictionary defines love as “an intense feeling of deep affection.” Look around you and you see a major portion of the people snowed under what I call ‘the crowning glory of our short expedition on planet earth’. To reduce the ambit of love to lover’s or spouse’s love would be like doing injustice to its wide and varied scope and coverage. A quick glance and we see love all around--- lover’s love, spouse’s love, parent’s love, friend’s love, family’s love, love in the nature of narcissism, love with a pet, love commercialized on TV and in movies, love with books or one’s job or basically things/places/professions in general, love at first sight, et al. The possibilities are inexhaustible and the list is endless.

Cupid can strike at any time and what’s worse… one loses all control as soon as love comes calling. They say all emotions can be modulated, all except love. When falling in love for the first time, one feels things he’s never felt before. When falling in love all over again, one learns to appreciate things in a different way. Love is all about feeling affection and passion for someone/something, getting a feeling of acceptance… and it almost always involves a lot of thinking and some serious contemplation.

Now we unknowingly use the term ‘falling in love’(I just did!) without giving much thought to what it actually means- ‘falling’ in love. True… some ‘fall’ in love and later pay the price for doing so. Whom are we talking about here? Jilted lovers, divorced couples, wasted individuals, etcetera. BUT lets change the term a little, and I take the liberty of modifying it to ‘rising in love’. Yes, this sounds more positive and is surely more apt. History is redundant with examples of people achieving big because of possessing what we crave for the most- love. It bestows on us a feeling of completeness, sanguinity, and complacence. Sometimes it takes us to a different plane altogether. Often used as a synonym of obsession, attachment, infatuation and even crushes… we can be flexible enough and let it be confused with all these things because life is not always about watertight compartments. Take a bird’s eye view and we see everything is intermingled and interconnected.

Come Valentine’s Day and we see tiny red hearts and roses ALL around… in shops, on TV, on cards, in the newspapers and on the roads as well. The celebrations are notched up a tad higher each year and V day is now a million dollar industry for the people who were sane and sensible enough to cash in on this growing ‘trend’ at the right time (read: archies). Infact new runners in this rat race are also catching up fast and easy by offering more innovative ways of expressing love. Now, I am no shiv saini or anything… but sometimes the whole hoopla makes you wonder how much bigger will this get? I mean all the money spent on going out, messaging and buying cards and gifts can be put to better use. For the people who say it is the day to celebrate love--- why just confine the celebrations to one day?? Isn’t it an ongoing process?

Probably the only pitfall of the whole phenomena is the amount of effort that goes into falling ‘out’ of love. It takes immeasurable amounts of resistance, restrain, anger and frustration to get over that one object of affection. Love in its worst form takes the form of obsession. Sometimes life’s get ruined, people lose their ability to fall in love again, get wasted, need a counselor, eat themselves silly and shop like a maniac… while in other more solemn cases, they fail miserably at the ‘falling out’ bit altogether. But they say there is always a silver lining to every cloud. This cloud is no different. Agreed that some times it all seems very ugly… but at other times, falling out of love proves to be a bittersweet journey to redemption and self-realization. Love is capable of teaching a thousand lessons at one go… imparting the knowledge of a million books all at once… quite capable of transforming a crazy and impractical lover into a sagacious saint.

The movie industry is probably the one domain that has capitalized the most on the widespread predominance of this emotion. Since times immemorial, the moviemakers have cashed in by showcasing the different facets of love on the silver screen. Almost every movie ever made has got love to flaunt somewhere or the other. In most Indian movies, love is often the underlying base of the whole plot… the whole story is centered on the meeting/non-meeting of the two lovers. Garnish this with some running around the trees, a few songs, some foreign locales, extravagant clothing and jewellery, a few thrills… and you have all the makings of a big box-office blockbuster. This is the formula that big movie directors like Karan Johar and Yash Chopra have exploited and earned millions on. Now I’m deviating from course and will stop talking about the cinema, mainly because the ‘movie-matra’ deserves a separate post altogether.

But keeping in tune with the topic, I recently watched the movie ‘shall we dance’ and made a mental note of Susan Sarandon’s immortal lines that go like---
“We all need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on this planet. What does anyone’s life really means? But in love, you are promising to care about everything… the good things, the bad things, the terrible things and the mundane things. All of it, all the time, everyday. You’re saying ‘your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it… your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.’ You can call me a nut if you like!”
--- That pretty much sums up the essence of what we call love. Although here, she’s being specific about lover’s/spouse’s love. But in reality, as I’ve pointed out earlier, love encompasses a lot more than just that... though the degree of intensity might differ greatly. People fall in love with a plethora of other things. Some are in love with themselves (narcissists); some fall in love with physical and tangible things- their cars, books, material possessions; some love their jobs, or their lives; some feel deeply attached to their parents, siblings and family. Love can assume different forms but the whole discussion boils down to one simple conclusion--- love it or hate it… sooner or later, it is bound to happen to everybody. And when the time comes, I suggest you sit back and enjoy the ‘heady’ ride (with a pinch of salt every now and then!) :)

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