Love - The connective tissue of universe
Bestselling author Paulo Coelhos definition of love tries to capture its true import Love is an untamed force When we try to control it, it destroys...
Best-selling author Paulo Coelho’s definition of love tries to capture its true import. “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused,” says Coelho in an attempt to unravel its mysterious and magical ways.
Not just him, this many-splendoured, delicate yet powerful emotion has been a major preoccupation for poets and preachers, intellectuals and philosophers, artists and scientists enthralled by its force but rarely able to grasp its essence.
The ambiguity and subtlety of this ethereal emotion is most times beyond the realm of word and meaning, rationality and calculation. To fall or rise in love is merely giving in to an overwhelming emotion that resonates in the hearts of lovers. Like M Forester says, “You can transmute love, ignore I, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”
Seen through the spiritual plane too, love is the life force that sustains the universe. Barbara Ann Brennen in her book ‘Hands of Light’ speaks of love being central to reaching higher levels of understanding. “Love is the face and body of the universe. It is the connective tissue of the universe. It is the experience of being whole and connected to the universal divinity,” she says. Unrequited love stories bring tears of sorrow and those that end happily see eyes moistened with joy, whatever the setting, whoever the players.
Not surprisingly wars have been waged, thrones abdicated, and rivals united in the name of love spawning films media and poetry all over the world. Although Valentine’s Day became popular in India post-liberalisation and arguments about Western influence come to the fore every February, sparking endless debates between those for and against celebrations none can deny the influence of love and uplifting influence.
Love has been central to film, literature and life changing with the times to include changing social and moral codes and ethics. From coy glances and symbolic scenes of flowers brushing against each other to depict intimacy to bold scenes of lovemaking, a portrayal of love and romance have undergone a sea change. Live-in relationships, homosexuality, incest, and hitherto unexplored shades of love and romance are depicting contemporary thought in film television and web offerings.
Does marriage kill love? Is romance dying? Can love strike at any age? Is death do us part relevant? Questions around love abound. Relationships rest on factors like compatibility, longevity, trust and security and love has many flavours like the incomparable adolescent love, unconditional love and mature love depending on the particular time of our life says, Aparna Thota, author, who has compiled 12 love stories in the bestseller ‘In the Mood of Love’, where her short story ‘Valentine’s Day’ is featured. Love is a fulfilling and subjective emotion where one can just bask in the feeling even when the loved one is not around, she says. “Love exists everywhere in every form and has nothing to do with age or marital status. It can be sparked any number of times with any number of people. Like a painting that fits into a particular frame it all depends on that particular setting or point in time,’’ she adds.
Young professionals and students feel that today’s films reflect the changing social mores but do not veer away from the basic premise of love being central to life and relationships. They are better crafted than realistic feels Roshni Mathur, the young vice-principal of Leaping Frogs play school, who is clear that couples need to work on their relationships and not take each other for granted for love to remain fresh and undying. Has love changed since her parent time? “No. Love has not changed. It has evolved and how! It is no longer limited to the same sex or caste.
Love now is a lot more than a physical and emotional connection. It is now a mental, physical, social, and emotional connect,” she elaborates. In contrast young advertising professional Taher Shaikh feels that the base plot of love has made Bollywood a hugely successful industry and film stars like Shah Rukh Khan have made their career through romancing on screen. “Love has not and will never change. The ways of expressing love have certainly changed over time but the feeling, the emotion is timeless. It is the same as that of our parents,” he affirms.
His colleague in the industry Shivendu Mishra is however not clear about the timelessness of the emotion or its enduring quality. “For me, it is all about finding someone, who is in sync with you and your personality and is by your side in the worst situations,’’ Mishra feels.
Two people accepting each other as they are and support each other through the vicissitudes of life is true love, agrees Shikha, a student with NIFT, who feels love can be an undying emotion but one that needs a lot of hard work. “I am fortunate to have parents, who have loved each other through the toughest times. Even when giving up seemed the easier option they always pulled through. I believe that if you find the right person till death do us part is possible,” she says with the refreshing optimism of the young.
Beginning with the story of Shakuntala that she heard in her childhood sparking beautiful notions of romantic love that she compared with the verdant beauty of nature, the exhilarating smell of rain on parched land, gurgling waterfalls, brightly coloured flowers and changing seasons imagining herself as Kalidasa's famed heroine, prolific Telugu writer and avowed feminist Kuppili Padma happily declares that she ‘loves love stories’.
All her stories beginning with her award-winning love letter that she wrote for a contest held by a popular weekly are based on love themes. Her latest book ‘Mantaranagari Sarihaddullo – Prema Kathalu’, which chronicles different aspects of love with contemporary themes even has an interesting story on break-ups, where even breakups are celebrated with a bouquet. “Love is a simple and natural emotion. It is we humans, who complicate it. Love is desire and desire when intense turns to longing.
What is natural desire and what isn’t? What kind of love is right and what isn’t? What is a natural expression of love and what is perceived as unnatural? We have let our courts and society decide this. The irony in this matter is clearly evident from a recent Supreme Court judgement. What was felt unnatural for a hundred years was in one judgement seen as a protection of the expression of human love. My latest book on love stories is a collection that embraces the newly sighted rainbow,’’ Padma explains.
Whatever the reason, whatever the season love is an emotion that induces positivity for its loving and giving that making life worth living! This quotation by an unknown author sums it up beautifully ‘Love knows no reason, no boundaries, no distance. It has a sole intention of bringing people together to a time called forever’.