Did you sigh after reading this or think Oh God, not another happily ever after love story? I fall into the latter category. That's not to mean I was born and brought up there. No like most 'well brought up' Indian girls of my generation, I too grew up with a strong set of dos and don'ts. Life was lived in black and white with the virtues of living a good life instilled. Grey was not on the palette. The moral of the story taught was the good girls got the life they struggled hard for. The wicked ones languished in the aftermath of their debauched lives. And I believed in it too, Strongly. Every little chance to try a naughty deed was squelched. Every motivation to try the forbidden restrained.
But to this day, if there is one thing that I find myself amazed at, it is the strong belief I see in many friends and colleagues of the vision that was sold to them as a child - of the promised life in a lovely land with white clouds and blue blue skies and beautiful white homes on which green vines curled lovingly. A profusion of flowers adding to the mix, the gurgle of happy children, the smells and sounds of a prosperous life and most importantly - the assured guarantee of a happy ever after love.
The last bit is the most scary - guarantee of a happy ever after love. Remember to never question it. The guarantee is a taboo word. If you invoke it, you might just be jinxing your chances at getting a lifetime guarantee. What you can't predict, you don't doubt. That seems to be the attitude all round.
Mothers don't necessarily have all that they dreamt of in their teenage dreams. But that doesn't stop them from training their daughters to strive for the same mush. They may be less imposing than their mothers, but that is not to say that they want to jeopardise their 'successful parenting' badges by willingly getting their daughters to try to question, to seek for themselves.
When do the blinds come off? A month into marriage? Years into marriage? Or maybe once the children leave home? I wonder how many can honestly say there was no point of time when they didn't feel short changed by life. Or rather, let me rephrase, by the vision of life they were educated to believe in.
My best friend who has had her heart broken and trampled on still awaits that one true glorious love that will make all the pains and pines worth it. Maybe it is easier to look for the Yash Chopra formula - that they made two bits, left it to you to find the other one - join them and it is one happy whole. You are the fool if you didn't read the fine print. Who said it came with a guarantee of a lifetime? Who said that true love is the kind that you feel only for the man who was sent with the other bit of the heart?
When will we break these existing stereotypes? Maybe our children can be brought up wiser. Unwittingly, the blinders that we believe are needed to soften the blows of reality might somehow be making it more difficult.
Just one final thought - so are the good girls who lived all their lives by the good book very happy with the outcome they got - was it all that they were taught they deserved? Did anyone get the satisfaction of seeing the wicked ones seethe for all the illicit fun they allowed themselves while the good ones sat at the sidelines and pontificated?
I wonder. I, for one, want to be done with the myth of the One True Love forever...