Thursday, May 25, 2006

And They Lived Happily N-ever After

Hardly the kind of post expected after a vacation.. I agree.

A chance meeting with a close friend,surviving the trauma of a broken relationship, triggered off this most disconcerting affirmation. If there is one sphere of modern life which has witnessed such huge fluctuations in intensity, it is relationships.

"He's changed..drastically"..she said."Hes not the person I married. I just dont feel the same way about him. The magic has gone out of the relationship." All I asked her was if she was the same woman he had married. She admitted that it was difficult for her to identify herself with her actions and words. She had lost herself somewhere, along the way.

The only constant is change, said our sages. This is one area that demands we rekindle the light of this wisdom. Relationships are in a constant state of flux. To expect stability is one thing but to link it with a plateau -ed emotional level, is blasphemy.

All said and done, a man and a woman were meant to be with, for each other. The need although unquestionable, is also a major factor for discontent. Why do we interpret 'dependence' as a cause for abject misery? Or for that matter an ensuing' state of denial', as to the versimilitude of the fact that it is two halves which make a whole.

So what is the furore in perceiving oneself as a 'half' in this context? It will certainly not connote a fractured existence, contrarily a doubled one.

All around me , I notice failed marriages, relationships, stressful lives wrought with frustrations of unhappiness stemming from the paucity of that single emotion LOVE which does indeed 'make the world go round'. Whether in a tail spin or whirl of delight is the contention.

Nothing can come close to the exhilaration of the first flush of romance, the budding of a thousand hopes and dreams, the whisper of a promised land of undying happiness. If there is anything more enchanting than the child of a smile, it is the smile of a woman who has tasted the nectar of love.

What is saddeningly true , however, is its transcience. While on the one hand it would be hopelessly naive to believe that it will constantly be a tale of romantic days and nights,on the other hand , for something so divine to dwindle down to hate, disgust and disillusionment, is tragic.

Why does this happen? And so often? More a rule than an exception today. Yes, 'today' moreso. Lets face it we are more analytical, incisive, questioning than our fathers and forefathers. While this may have proved so profitable in wordly matters, in inter-personal relationships it has proved to be a downer. If we are happy, we spend time analysing, dissecting 'why'..and if unhappy then naturally, the brooding is endless.If he loves you ..there is 'why' and fears , doubts 'what if he deserts me'. If he/she leaves then ofcourse again 'Why'?

Sometimes to accept without doubt, or simply without rhyme or reason, is not only less traumatic, but painless and uncomplicated as well. Just be.. in love. But wait..

This 'many splendoured thing', is it really as pleasurable, blissful, ethereal as touted by poets, writers, legends we have been fed on. If it is , why is it so ephemeral? So slippery, it nimbly slides through the fingertips as a butterflies wings. Or so we think.The truth being that we dont really give love a chance.

Without attempting to take on a biased stance, either for or against either gender, what is glaringly apparent is the fact that we as a race have forgotten how to perceive love. Apart from its physical aspect. Infact , what it has degenerated into is just that.. 'physical'. Since 'it' can never sustain a relationship, and since caring, respect and acceptance have not taken on an 'expression', soon the emptiness and hollowness of the once blossoming , wholesome vibration, surfaces.

Who is to blame? For one, the Mills and Boon, Barbara Cartland, When Harry met Sally, Pretty woman, type fairy tales of love. Our youthful days are fed on a diet of fun, frolic, jazzy, funky, cheesy, glitzy, rose tinted glasses prism of love. It may seem ever-so-perfect, but is like the 'chocolate house' in the fairy tale, where the old woman lured children only to cook them for her next meal. Without meaning to stultify the debate, the idea is to propound the theory of 'fairy tale romances' as a culprit.

We all love "love stories. The problem lies in our unswerving aim to replicate it in our lives. Bound to lead to disgruntlement, dissatisfaction, frustration and then a drifting apart.. in that order.

Love is a Verb. Relationships moreso. It requires, doing. More often than not, once the 'time to disco' begins to develop cracks, there is nothing to fall back on. Life without the tints, is harsh, stark and ruthless. But where is the orientation for honing coping skills? Movies.. end at marriage. Life, begins then.

Lets question our innermost subtle motives, honestly. We tend to love a person not for what he/she is, but for what they make us feel about ourselves. It is what we transform into while in their midst. So primarily, true love is within. Looking for it outside is erroneous.

Having experienced the emotion in all its glory, why does it fade away? We begin to see more of what is unacceptable, simultaneously ignoring what is acceptable. Familiarity breeds contempt.. If this be true can love, therefore which thrives on familiarity, intrinsically, survive in this scenario?

Yes. If we ponder long enough over this wise crack "“Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So you are back.. and ready with food for thought.

fairy tale romances.. a big yes. But cannot ignore the fact that women are from Venus and men from mars. I can never understand women.. what do they want?? We cant think like each other, so how does it end? so long as we keep out of each others hair , its fine. Women must learn to let us be.

:)

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

You know anonymous it is very strange that we want the ones we love to be like us. Why? why do we need clones? Why cannot we enjoy the diversity of their personality instead. Isnt that what attracted us in the first place?

We tend to change or want to alter the very traits that made our knees go weak.Coz it has lost its quaint charm. And now we want to reverse it and make them ..us.

Why is it so important to understand someone..in the first place it never is possible ..secondly the frustration of not getting there is going to create more roadblocks. Just understand instead that you need this person, and will do whatever it takes to be together.

Make sense?

:)

Chameleon's Karma said...

Reminds me of a dialogue from an episode of Seinfeld. Dont remember the exact dialogue but it went something like:

George: You have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world then George Costanza as you know him ceases to exist. You see, right now I have Relationship George. But there is also Independent George. That's the George you know, the George you grew up with... Movie George, Coffee Shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George.

Jerry: I love that George.

George: Me too, and he's dying. If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George. A George divided against itself cannot stand!

Neha said...

See thats the problem..men dont want to commit, while women feel exploited without one. While we are ready to give it our all, men want to give only this much and no more.My ex insisted we live together. But marriage was out of the question. I too drifted along..but for how long? Finally it had to be a choice he had to make and moreover, one cannot respect a man who does not feel the need for committment. We are ready for heart breaks. what we dont seem ready for is accepting them and moving on.

North said...

It's been my experience that men feel a certain "superiority" over women.

This must be our undoing as women.

Also, one must never carry expectations from another being for anything.

Marriage is a commitment to each other-that each, will witness the life and death of the other-that thier lives will not go un-witnessed.

Love is like a primer
Commitment, the wax
Devotion, the shine

With these three things-a long marriage is possible.

However, there are many tests in a couple's life; which might tarnish the shine. Some events, get right down the primer-and blister the base of love, which is trust.

Most complicated thing in the world-love-wheras, it should be the most fluid of movements and emotions.

North

doublebarrel said...

good to see you back:)

I would seriously question the institution of marriage.. do we really need to be monogamous?

Why cannot polygamy, which then goes on to be called adultery , be the norm?
It is perfectly normal to be attracted to more than one partner....so what is the fuss about? Let the same rule apply for both. Marriage in its present form is in for a rehaul.

Your post is more about love , I guess.And we have forgotten how to love. That is also becoz all over the world all one gets to seee and hear is the disappointments one faces ...so it has lost face:)Its not an emotion one trusts totally.

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Ck,

That was truly funny ..and commendable that you could reproduce it. But what is striking is also that you chose to memorise it. quite a tell tale really.

Undecided whether you are ck or George? Or maybe wanna be George.

Why cannot independence be a given in marriage so long as it does not amount to hurting the spouse in thought word and deed? In fact this is the only guarantee of growth.

After all if a lifetime has to be spent together, does it mean that the growth is stunted from the marriage year on wards? I would imagine that both supplement each other to gain their potential ..optimum potential. Ideally..Is that the key word here?

Neha,

I see your point totally. But to me if a man is not ready, it would be a blunder to coerce him into it. As you can imagine, the destination is not the marriage certificate, but a continuum of a loving relationship. that requires a committment , a serious one. Men do remain boys.. and I am sure the men folk are going to baulk at this. But well ..its true. So let them play before they come home for good.


North,

I loved the verse. Superiority complex has been the cause of very many a broken heart. But hopefully things are changing. Walking shoulder to shoulder hand in hand is such a better way to travel, if not the most beneficial.Actually it is finally an individual thing. A lttle like tea and coffee..each likes it his way.

You got it right on ..north.

Blister the base of love..but I also feel that marriage or any relationship which is essential to our being, demands that it be allowed to rise phoenix like after every incident of being reduced to ashes. It would be a pity to let it die down. Unless ofcourse there is no phoenix that promises to emerge. But we got to do our darnedest..who ever said the path of love was obstacle free!

Double barrel,

Like I said it is a personal thing. To my mind monogamy is the one insurance for the marriage to survive. Unless an unwritten pact of mutual understanding has been reached and either is not effected. But that seems far-fetched. to me. There is bound to be a fall out sooner or later.

The basic ingredient that pre empts a decision to stay in a relationship is that the couple pledge themselves to each other. It is the highest form of control of desires, if you wish to see it that way. It is a sacred vow. Therefore, needs to be honoured.

Why give up the joy of togetherness and the years of investment in a relationship for something as transitory as a polygamous love life? The advantages of monogamy far outweigh those of polygamy.

Its not about children either. One decides to be loyal for oneself, and ones partner. Children deserve a stable domestic situation, is another matter altogether. But monogamy is also about personal perceptions.

Happiness is elusive enough. Why complicate things by striking at the roots of that one source..Love .. which might make happiness graspable?

puja said...

y'know what..I think i am going to call him up.This post has been just what the doctor ordered:)Lets give love a chance..and i hope for my sake you are right.

North said...

All the best, Puja!

Dear Kaveetaa-like tea or coffee-I like that! cooL

North

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Hey Puja,

Instincts tell me that you have made the correct decision..Keep us posted:)

North,

Thanks :)

Niket said...

"The only constant is change, said our sages"

And one of these changes is the attitude that marriages are made in heaven.

I wonder if the lower divorce rates were due to greater love or acceptance of the spouse, or because of social taboo and the fact that Indian women weren't financially independent.

Often feminism is blamed for increasing divorce rates (not saying that you blamed feminism). I think, by and large, what feminism has done is enabled (or empowered) some women to get out of abusive or unhappy relationships.

I guess some people wouldn't consider this an apt comment from someone married just 2 months back. But realistically speaking, I think an amicable divorce / separation is better than a bitter marriage / cohabitation.

Niket said...

BTW, good luck Puja.

Kaveetaa Kaul said...

Hi Niket,

True..If it is the last option then I guess an amicable parting is advisable. But you know the purpose of this was to kind of shake up people into realising that sometimes a relentless effort made from their side of unconditionally accepting and giving can change things for the better. Till there is life there is hope. Give up only if you MUST.

Yes the newly acquired economic power has been responsible for women now opting to exercise their ability to walk out of a relationship that appears to be going nowhere.

BTW CONGRATS.. saw your wedding snaps. Cute:)