It’s Valentine’s day, that we all know. A day to celebrate love, get angry at the concept of love or just let life flow without any thought about the “significance” of the day. I, like many others, have decided to spend this day at home. Randomly musing after many-a-fortnight, I decided to pen my thoughts on love.
Love is a difficult emotion. For the longest time, I thought it was something selfless, a feeling where you can lose your heart (and maybe soul) to one person, who comes to mean the whole world to you. Gradually, I understood it was more my maternal instinct speaking than really “love”. Mothers unconditionally “love” their children. That can be called “love”. But, what is this “other” love that the world just seems to be so obsessed about?
Going through social media feed is a pain, for seeing photos of couples either with engagement rings or marriage certificates with the hashtag #love or #loveyouforever doesn’t make any sense to me. How can a personal emotion be so easily quantifiable? I tried to understand my dilemma through films. Maybe popular culture could quantify love for me in some way.
So, I went to watch La La Land. This year’s most iconic movie, tied with Titanic for the maximum number of oscars (14) and apparently the best musical ever made (contentious). Having seen it the first time with a Marvel-lover engineer friend, the experience didn’t quite leave an impact on me. So this time, I went with my PhD in Sociology friend. Hopefully her deep insights into human society could help.
Halfway through the movie, I felt nothing. I understood why Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were attracted to each other, but I couldn’t bring the word “love” to my lips. Maybe I am just a noob who needs time to understand – but I really want to – how does one know that they are in love?
Love and relationships seem to be antithetical to each other. Love wants to be selfless, relationships are meant to be selfish. Why would we want to be with someone unless they always make us happy? Selflessness might bring misery, for no one’s perfect. Then, by that logic, the “love” in a relationship isn’t selfless, right?
Society defines love as a gust of wind that blows you off your feet, sends you into a parallel universe where everything is perfect and nothing can harm you. Then why are relationships facing boring questions like who’s paying the rent this time around, and why the hell should I cook for you?
Love has always been a utopia for people, and artists have just taken this insecurity as an opportunity to gain traction for their creativity. Films like La La Land or Titanic get made because we want to believe that there is that someone out there with whom we will have an epic relationship, something that came like a blast and stuck like a glue.
Romance in the modern day world faces tougher questions than ever before. Now, relationships don’t embody compromise, adjustment. We have big dreams and many-a-times relationships don’t fit into them. I have woken up many mornings when I have wondered whether my ambition will keep me lonely for the rest of my life. For I am ready to move to any place for a good job, but will my love move with me everywhere?
Modern-day relationships are more about finding yourself, rather than finding ourselves. Between 20 to 25, I have seen myself change every year, change my taste every year. My struggles defined me, but they also made me change my mood, my way of thinking. Imagine a movie on this. How will such a girl find “love”? Her dilemmas are enough to drive people away. But that is reality. When critics scream for “realistic” cinema, do they realise that if their demand is fulfilled, a morbid cinema might just make them flinch and change their profession altogether?
On a lighter note, lets not trash love altogether. Lets stop defining it for a change. If you’re in love, love it. But try understanding it first. For you may not realize it, sometimes, all you are looking for is love from someone else, but it first has to come from you.
On a happier note: Happy Valentine’s day folks. Those who took out time to read this story, here’s a gift for you: