She was fiery, cunning, in love with another man. He was the regular ‘bad guy.’ Yet they were attracted to each other inexplicably and came together to alternately destroy and fulfil each other.
Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the wind. Judged on a scale of conventional morality, they are not nice, agreeable people. Yet judge them on sheer passion, and they are two extraordinary individuals who dared to love, to lust, to defy and to live.
Love is such a strange thing. Illogical, incorrigible and indomitable. Love destroys and love builds. The only thing worth having. The only thing worth dying for. Be it the love for a woman or the country it is the only emotion that makes men push his limits. Be it the love of a man or the love for a cause it is the only thing that makes the woman cross the boundaries. Love is magic. Love is powerful. And Love is bold
As Mort Sahl said – The bravest thing a man does is love woman
Why did I choose to speak about something which has already been dissected, eulogized, analyzed and criticized to death. There is by the way an unsettling dichotomy between love and death which I will blog about some other time. For now let me explain the reason. Yes ofcourse it is the season. The run up to the valentine day with the profusion of red. The nip in the air, the bright woolens, the parties with the hottest singles. There’s no better time to fall in love. Or rise in it.
There’s another reason why I chose to speak about love. It is the sheer power behind it. There are a million self-help books out in the market with umpteen formulae for reaching the top. They talk about personal effectiveness tools, decision making frameworks, and motivational tips for the mind and so on. I say trash them all. There is only one simple force that will take you to your goal. There is only one truth that will shape your life. Yes ofcourse that is love. Love what you do. And do what you love. You cannot become a brilliant engineer if you are in love with the Himalayas. You cannot two-time your way to the top. Nevertheless you can lead a reasonably prosperous and contended life with this deceit. Force your heart to compromise with the mediocrity. And let a pony-tailed guru tell you how to package the compromise to sell to a balanced world.
Yes love is not about balance or the calm. It’s the intensity that threatens to break you. Yet it is that intensity that has inspired everything worth reckoning that has occurred in this world. Like as a blackberry ad says is weak. A very convenient option in a Facebook world. Monalisa was not born out of a mere liking . Or the poetry where Tagore celebrated the joys of love. I remember visiting Nandan – the cauldron of culthood and romanticism in Calcutta. It was the season of the rains. And the courtyard was reverberating with the rants of a mad man. The unkempt man told me he had lost everything he ever loved. Yet he searched for it again. ‘The pain is ameliorating’, he said. ‘And I will have it no other way’.
Yes love hurts. The pains of separation, the fangs of jealousy, the wounds of loss. A Virginia Wolfe or an Albert Einsstein or a Subhas Bose have all been singed by pain in shaping their extraordinary lives, in living their passion. Majnu was stoned. Anarkali was buried. The fakir lost in divine love is branded a madman. Yet they lived their convictions, loved, lost and loved again unapologetically.
So this Valentine day rise in love. If it’s a conviction you have compromised with, go back to it. If it’s a person you have dared not approach, bedazzle him or her. Life’s too short for wishy-washy like stories. Etch your love story. And see the power of we transform your life.
In the words of that perennial romantic, John Lenon, executed by a man who professed to love him
Love is You
You and me
Love is knowing
We can be