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!) :)


You talked about setting aside a day to celebrate the emotion called love.
My question is why not? Agreed that love is not a one day wonder, but there is no harm in dedicating a particular day to this 'phenomenon' called love. Afterall we do have 'mother's day',father's day','friendship day'..and so on. Let us leave it to the people to decide whether they want it to celebrate love or not.
Btw i qualify as a member of the group 'narcissistic lovers' :D
Now take some time out of your busy schedule to thank me for being the first commenter on your post despite my comp again goin bang, splush,splat ! :((

Well i can't say I don't agree with you abt the whole thing... I do but I also agree with Arunabh when he says that why not have a day to celebrate love... but then again there isn't a need for that day...simply put... no need to celebrate on a particular day...

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I am not very much in favour of these 'dayz' except the ones for which govt grants holiday...Why do we require a particular day to express our love..be it for mother, father or lover!

Love is the driving force..It's the fuel which runs this world.I am very much in love with this lovely thing called LOVE!

Nice post!

@Arunabh: i AM 'people' and iv delivered my verdict: no need for the 'special' day! True that we have all the days you mentioned... but i ask... WHY should it just be this ONE day??? Even a lifetime falls short when it comes to cherishing these things! anyway mr.narcissist, THANKS for being my first commenter... im 'honoured' and all :P
p.s. oye does this qualify as godgiri?? never really understood the concept, hence the innocent query!

@rakshit: arunabh says i have a busy schedule... i say you are even busier! thanks for dropping by... and im trying very hard to understand your not-so-clear comment :P
btw, some parts of the post were 'inspired' by someone.

@aneesha: FINALLY someone who agrees with me wholeheartedly! thanks a tonne! keep visiting...

First of all....i have saved the same lines from the movie Shall we Dance!!! what co-incidence!!! i agree thats one of the best way to describe love...
Abt the ongoing battle in the comments section abt V-day...i celebrate it to the end...coz when imove out in the crowd of lovers all over the place..in cp in knags the vibes are just amazing...and for the three years in college it was no lover but my best of frens who celebrated it together...i m not saying you hav to celebrate it only one day..but why leave that one day coz others are also celebrating it!! we do celebrate our birthday..isnt our whole life special,then why just that one day?
why have all these questions?? just love the feeling of being in love...its a celebration of a lifetime!!

oh my GAWD !!
i give up on you.. this n godgiri ?

I personally like the feeling (thought i never call it love), because that is the only time I am not in control.

Yea, i'm a control freak !! =)

But wow, you managed to write a great read on love... something completely impossible for my immature mind :P

..may be Darwin's theory would help justify the spouse's love better ... u have generalised it with the other forms but it has its own significance with the nature and thats why i think it has been celebrated so much above others... just a perspective .... most of the "other" forms you have suggested are the ones which we take for granted or very few people lack it ... this "V Day" celebrates the "earned one" among the other types because of the uniqueness of the person ..... its to some extent "Natural Selection" that is being celebrated...

@samhita: really?!? you saved the same lines? gees... thought i was the only romantic here! thank god! abt the 'ongoing battle'... my poor cause has been blown dangerously outta proportion! but your advice has been heeded and filed for future reference :)

@arunabh: you need to enlighten me properly sometime :(

@cynical consultant: hehehe... thanks! you know i used to be a control freak too... but things are different now. its nice to let go at times :)

@sai: yeah what you said makes sense, dude... spouse's love IS the most intense of them all. but i still maintain what i said abt v-day :P
The 'natural selection' needs to be celebrated everyday with the same vigour... and not by squandering money, but by showing that you really care...
anyway, keep visiting!

Shakti says:

Firstly,nice post! You'v put up a great thot and i suppose everyone has their own opinion about it. I do agree with u dat LOVE is something u gotta celbrate daily but y not put aside a special day to make someone remba itz importanc to our life s u know we ol r human beings & do tend to forget.People both fall & rise in love..it differs from person to person so u can't realy say what phrase is approp to use. Also,i do agree wid u about the movie makers...trying to define the meaning of love is what i think they r doing..smthg impossible!! Evryone understands LOVE in a unique style so let it be that way...:-)

well its something like celebrating children's day on 14th November ... children are children throughout the year so why give special importance to that day then ..... the everyday concept is subtle(though very much there) but there is one day that reminds you to be more than just that so whats wrong in it....
For ur statement "The 'natural selection' needs to be celebrated everyday with the same vigour": think of this as going a step beyond on one day because your natural constraints(time, money and space) prevent you from doing so everytime with the same vigour.

One more query: are u in love :P ... a general curiosity for the reason behind contemplating and writing all this down :P ....

@shakti: one of my best commenter so far! thanks for dropping by, girl... and i do agree with most of what you said. sounded just like you... genuine and sensible.

@sai: i hold all your views in good respect, dude. and nah, im not in love. not even close. this was just another random musing that was aching to be written down.

The greeting card companies will go bust if dont have valentines day!, I dont like valentines day. All the PDA's on that day give me the creeps...man its tough being single on valentines!! and btw lovely post

why have v-day???? then why have b'day , d-day and all other days???
btw have u noticed in the movie 36 china town , the scene where kareena kisses the kid goodbye at a church and all her fingernails are well manicured and painted with pruple nail paint(oh how t hates purple!!) except for one ...her thumb nail thats broken , crooked and the nailpaint chipped...haha!!!! drew immense satisfaction frm it...even filmstars have to put up with broken nails ...ha!
and yes u forgot to mention one particular category of ppl...those that are in love with evrything d everyone...their family frnds , material possessions, spouse/lover pets , jobs etcetc..ha!
btw .....have YOU risen in love..?
since i knw what ur answer is , so tell me what inspired this post ?

p.s. b-day is birthday , d-day is wedding day...! lol!

@nikhil: thanks dude... keep visiting!

@exclusively_me: yuck!! first... you watch 36 china town... and THEN you ACTUALLY notice such a menial, insignificant detail??? grow up buddy... there's more to life than just glamour n valentino! but glad you feel good watching others flaws n shortcomings :p

abt the 'answer'... talk to you in person some day! till then... keep visiting!

p.s. awesome new blog template you got there!

Anonymous says:

firzt valentine under scanner n nw luv dizzected. gurl u sure r going thru a whole gamut of emotions :)
since we arent tht familiar,i wud sound agony aunt poiking nozeies into ur affairz. Taking a cue frm arunabh - the cohmaan link :d
(doors obsessed ya) wud putz it thiz way and tell u it sure workzz..hehe
'Girl ya gotta love your man
Girl ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand'
and take all tiz updesh wiz a pinch of salt


@prachi: gamut of emotions it is! arunabh has made a celebrity outta me! thanks for the four wise lines of advice... they made a lotta sense and have been filed for future reference. keep visiting (and poking your long nose into my personal affairs, 'agony aunt'... the suggestions are more than welcome!) :)

Why dont you seem 19 to me!!??

@pooja: cause some people are born GIFTED!

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first of all.. you're really good at this. i mean really, its an excellent read. now i may tend to write like your teacher but dont mind it.. they are just my comments.

1.you seemed to be awestruck by love.. thats a good thing. may i recommend two movies to you. they go by the name of SERENDIPITY and LOVE ACTUALLY. i am sure you'll like them, if you haven't seen them already.

2. lets talk about "falling in love" i'll try and explain you the significance of the particular phrase. you see, if you are walking and suddenly you fall down, its an accident, something unintended, and something you can't control. they mean the same when they say "fall in love" its an involuntary thing, an accident(a pleasant one though).

3. i am surprised that other girls dont think like you, atleast girls in my school(not college) never thought so, and every one of them expected buquets and gifts an you know what all, on V DAY it seems that you are a low maintenance girl, if i may be that blunt(and rude.. sorry)

4. as far as falling out of love is concerned, can you ever stand up by accident after a fall???? the only solution is falling in some other direction... ya because falling is so very addictive...

5. and hello!! dare you say anything about my dear film industry... i mean its not always that movies imitate life.. its generally the other way round in case of love... how else could anybody get such stupi yet effective ideas. accept it, movies teach a major chunk of the aashiqs .. how to love...

this must have been the longest comment you might have ever got but you see it was my favorite topic.. and tell you what... i just love to play dr. love... to give people advice in matters of the heart.. coz only a failure knows the pain of failing.

QUOTE OF THE DAY; "i love her not for what she is, but for what i am when i am with her."

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On an antithetic note- A hard-hitting fact is 'Love can be Betrayal' in da most common-sense. Look around & u'll realise...

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