Romeo-Juliet, Laila-Majnu and many other love stories that have become legends, do seem to suggest that love is worth all the attendant inconveniences accompanying its journey. Even if it means dying for it. That people retell these stories with poignancy also suggests that facing every adversity for love is seen as noble and heroic We’re walking out of the movie Dhadak which has a story that quite shakes you up in the end. My mother in conversation asks me whether it had been worth all the tragedy, trial, hardship and travails. The story could be any couple’s love story in a country where religion, caste, colour, profession, monetary situation dictates one’s conjugal compatibility and where parents more often than not call the shots as to who you may have “permission” to marry. Boy or girl, the situation is not very different.
My view remains one in favour of love that comes with companionship, friendship and chemistry. I’ve always believed — with proof from my own life — that love does conquer a lot and with true devotion and love one can pretty much take on the world. In my late teens my favourite love story was ‘We the living’ by Ayn Rand where she even gives up her own self for the sake of her “highest reverence” — her man Leo. But there is also the alternative outcome where love and all its demands does not seem worth it. The other side is as much a probability, especially with two strong egos in play.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, had fallen in love with a much younger Rati Petit, who loved him passionately enough for the pair to disregard family, cut off financial and political setbacks. Social ostracisation and ensuing difficulties and tribulations didn’t seem to matter in the adrenaline rush of love and longing. Yes, they were deliriously triumphant and happy in their love as a recently published biography of Rati narrates. But disenchantment, bitterness, loneliness and neglect followed. It is said that Rati died of a broken heart. After all, love is about individuals, and every story can have its own individual turn of events. We all like romantic stories where love triumphs over everything and yes, it does often happen that way, but there is no rule that the story will not disintegrate into dismay, disappointment and regret. Luck, destiny, lack of maturity... anything can spell the death knell and who can tell how the narrative will flow?
Perhaps passion and love had not been worth all the sacrifice in the case of Rati Jinnah, one conjectures. Is it then the luck of the draw or a well thought out decision? At a young age when love is mostly blinding, one is not probably able to have ‘well thought out pragmatic decisions’, so you jump in often with raging passions and throw caution to the winds. But in my experience, the real outcome of love comes with maturity and growth. Growing and understanding each other together, making a concerted effort to work around differences and work towards synergy of thought, deed, action. Thinking and speaking positive and creating a decidedly win-win situation! A happy relationship and even a happy marriage is not a fluke. You work towards it and meet each other halfway. You care for each other and use a lot of empathy — you put yourself in the other’s shoes and create a situation of compassion along with the passion. For every story there is also the other story but the power of creating your own desired ‘happily ever after’ lies with you both!
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at nishajamvwal@ gmail.com...