The Ministry of Love

The Ministry of Love

As Indians we struggle with the concept of love Are we a loving nation or a hating nation Do we love hating or hate loving What exactly is love It is...

As Indians we struggle with the concept of love. Are we a loving nation or a hating nation? Do we love hating or hate loving? What exactly is love? It is confusing. When young lovers overcome by love on Valentine’s Day, meet one another with flowers and gifts to show their love, they get beaten up, or worse, married to one another. Clearly there are fundamental disagreements on the concept of love. And as we can see from the news, we, as a nation, are wasting a lot of energy on love.

To understand this better, let us examine the case of young lovers who experience love for the first time. They are flying on clouds and experiencing chemical reactions that make them feel invincible. Not knowing too many ways to show their love, and not having too much money to spend, they buy flowers on the designated day and arrange to meet up at a distant park to express their love. God willing there will be shrubs with flowers, trees to run around, songs to sing and hands to hold. Love, as this movie-novel narrative goes, starts like that and progresses into deeper shades of grey and ultimately ends up in jobs, better partners, marriages and hate. This is the natural progression of love as experienced by most young lovers.

Unknown to them, there is another narrative, that is believed by another bunch of lovers (culture-lovers), heading to the same park on their motorcycles, faces covered in handkerchiefs. They are not holding flowers, but are holding mangal sutras and other equipment required to perform a quick marriage or two. They also have phone cameras ready to capture their version of love which is to marry off as many suspicious characters out doing this ‘love’ business. The group descends in the park and looks around for any suspicious activity.

People holding flowers, hands, one another are quickly spotted and checked for marital status. Most are not because married people don’t do stuff like this. Then these guys quickly perform their marriage and put an end to all the fun they were having, all the while capturing it on video camera and uploading the same double-quick. In effect, they put an end to their love since love and marriage, like games and academics, are mutually exclusive for most.

When questioned, the young-lovers argue that all they were doing was to love. Love makes our world go round they aver. The culture-lovers allege that this flower-shrub-hand routine is not love but a money making conspiracy by foreign flower sellers, park sellers, song sellers and hand sellers and the young lovers were their agents. This foreign love business is against our indigenous culture business, they say. Walk, but separately. Hold hands, but your own. Buy flowers, but do not give to others. Sit behind shrubs, but do not shake. The young lovers shook – but in anger. Both sides didn’t agree on a single item.

Clearly one cannot leave this important, booming ‘love’ business to immature teenaged humans and their fleeting emotions. What we need is a Ministry of Love with a few laws, nicely drafted by some senior members, hardnosed bachelors and spinsters ideally, to sort this love-business forever. How to love, what and who to love, the right age and gender to love etc will be made clear. We can have certified love gurus (not Karan Johar), love schools etc. Possibilities are rife – Eminent Universities of Love for instance. Once we have a Ministry of Love to draw up a code, we can channel love properly through the proper channels. What a lovely idea!

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