Love is..Valentine's Day?
With just a few hours left for the Valentine’s Day, 2014, the market has left no stone unturned to make the “love is in the air” phenomenon seem true. Discounts, “gifts for him/her”, “surprise your partner”, “make this valentine’s memorable”, “travel with us to a romantic destination this valentine’s”, “show it with a diamond”, “special discounts for the perfect dinner” and so many similar temptations in forms of hoardings and posters are floating around since the past week. The market is flooded with all shades of red in different shapes and sizes, to suit all pockets.
The Valentine fever is not limited just to the market, it has reached your inbox too, and the radio jockeys have made it a point to not lag behind. Thanks to one of them, I drove through an hour of romantic numbers, and it was then that my attention was drawn to the lyrics of these songs. Nothing like the cupid had struck me, it was something I had a lot of time with and it forced me to think. Every love song that is sung, in any language, be it happy or sad, has one thing in common, for most of them, love is equated to infinity and madness. It tempted me to dive into what people perceive of the love phenomenon.
For most of us, these days love rests in Archies’ and multi storied malls and in credit cards or in the halls of huge dinner places, eating joints and movie halls. They call it, “a celebration of love”. It always meant differently, life became a celebration in itself with love.
“The true love is a state of half-madness, of some kind of soft obsession, ruling a so delicate kind of feeling that can lead a person from the greatest happiness to the most dreadful pain.”–Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto
Was it not an expression meant to be beyond all human understanding and sensibilities, if seen at, in its “true sense”? When did it end up being so entangled in the body, the mind and the senses? To experience love could not have been more difficult and with the present day’s ever growing distractions, it is even more so.
Love is the submission of self in a way that the self ceases to exist without the other. It is possible only if the soul binds and entwines with the other. It does not need a “touch” or “physical presence”. It is a source of pain and hurt and does demand social senselessness at times too.
There has to be no reason for it to be, it can’t be driven by logic – love exists in spite of all these. Unfortunately, for us today, logic is the basis for everything, even for loving or losing. We tend to be mostly driven by logic and most of us will have a logic and rationale to support this statement. A love that is greater than right and wrong, true and false, togetherness, physicality, ego, anger, lust and revenge does not seem to exist largely anymore.
Love as used to be and perhaps should be is madness, its calm, its knowing that you love and belong with the other irrespective of whether you are with the other or not. It comes when one stops manipulating, when you stop bothering about the other’s reactions towards you and when you dare to be you, when you dare to be vulnerable.
“Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; for love is sufficient unto love.”–The Prophet (1923) by Khalil Gibran
Is it not equivalent to cheating oneself, that in the name of love, all we do is exchange worldly pleasures, when ironically, love is supposed to make you rise above it all? It is true indeed then, that love has been commercialized, how else would it matter if it were or were not Valentine’s?