We are so fortunate to have been born in ‘Bharat’ a land which understood and glorified love as no other.
What is love? A feeling a man has for a woman or vica versa and which ultimately should – and does often – end in marriage? ( And then, there the love ends??!!)Think
I think not – our thing on this deep subject cannot be so narrow and singular, especially if we are Indians.
Just look at our ancient scriptures; our mythology; our history – even our films ( in all languages).
We have as our Gods Ram, Shiva and Krishna. Though it is accepted that Ram loved only one woman Sita and Shiva only married Parvati in all her humanavatars – what about Krishna, whose stories are the most entertaining of all in our folk lore?
He loved a Radha but never married her – since she was already married and more than twice his age. But they are spoken of together and thus considered one unit in our lingo now – Radhakrishna! Centuries later a Rajput Princess Meera loved him passionately thus making an enemy out of her own prince husband. This husband tried to kill her by a potent poison but love saved her and the poison turned into Amrut ” peevat Meera haansi re”.
Krishna mamarried Rukmini and Satyabhama but did he really love them? Because then he went on to marry about a 1000 other women whome he saved from the tyranny of a Rakshas!
And if you talk about Krishna – the other name that comes to your mind immediately is Arjuna! What a glorious jodi that was!! They went through so ,many escapades and so many adventures together – even cross dressing as beautiful damsels and thrilling the hearts of gallant kings whose powers they wanted to usurp.
We now revere monogamy – what about Draupadi who was in a way ‘forced’ to marry five guys and simultaneously had five husbands? But when push comes to shove and the wicked Kauravas are hell bent on disrobing her in public it is not any one of these husbands who comes to her rescue but again – Krishna!
And what about the fact that despite having five husbands Draupadi has in her heart of hearts physically pined for a sixth man – unknown eldest brother of Pandavas – Karna?
I will not even mention our various temple carvings in Khajuraho and elsewhere that shows ‘Kamsutra’ in all the glorious ‘positions of lust’.
If all these things should teach us one thing it is that Love is many splendoured; it can happen to any body at any age and there are no restrictions that the heart understands.
Love is not just between Yin and Yang – two women or two men can also love each other passionately. A man and a woman can love each other passionately – while being married to other partners. Friends can also be lovers even if they never have sex together.
Why does society ordain that if love between a man and a woman does not end in lust it is unfulfilled love while love between the same sex must NEVER end in lust?
You know which is one of the most touching and romantic Hindi movies for me? Cheeni Kam. It portrays so touchingly the love story of a 34 years old woman with a 65 years old chap – someone who is FIVE years older than her own Dad! I am now waiting for a Cheeni Kam – part two, where a 32 year old guy can love and be with a 60 years old woman – why not??
Speaking of love and soul mates, i think the BEST soul mate i have had in my life is my dog Monty. An intelligent German Shepherd whom we nourished and looked after from day- one of his life ( along with his 6 siblings) he loved me so much that when during his last days he suffered from Cancer he was sad and depressed because he saw the suffering in my eyes and on my face and it broke his heart. He understood that despite his misery and bad prognosis I did not have the courage to ‘put him to sleep’ so he waited till I was ready to let him go and the day we finally decided on his mercy killing, he called out to us and with his head on my lap breathed his last himself.
If love does not teach anyone to be understanding and permissive and have empathy for others, it teaches him/her nothing. It means love has never touched the wretched lives of these people.
As Paromita Vohra, a film maker and writer puts it best –
(Love and friendship) – In being neither gay, nor straight, neither sexual nor asexual, friendship exists in that space we might call queer. It defies definition and it has no reason to be except that it springs from being human, and privileges and celebrates our humanity. To recognize friendship is to hear the unspoken, pay allegiance to human desire, to love and be loved for no reason, except for being us.