Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What's with One True Love?

"One happy bright sunny day in summer, a beautiful princess was born to an ecstatic king and queen. She had an enviable upbringing. She went to the best schools in the country. Graduated at the top of her class and soon enough became a successful professional in her own right. The King then set about hunting for a groom for her, and after a nationwide search for the most eligible young men, settled on Prince Charming. He lived up to his name, charmed the living daylights off the princess and soon had his ring on her hand and her in his bed. And they lived happily ever after"

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... 

23 comments:

  1. I second your thoughts! There is no such thing as a true love that will last forever and ever..Life is not lived in "Twilight" and we are not vampires...:D
    Compatible couples can come together and work hard at keeping the relationship going...And if they are real and practical and care for each other, they have a better chance of making it work..
    I think the current generation is more practical that way..
    That said, the bitches have all the fun and all the good men... Not fair I say! :|

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  2. Ahh, nice post, and great writing style. :)

    Left me to think a lot.

    Btw nice pictures as well. Keep writing.. :)

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  3. Almost felt like a page out of my diary. True love and Forever need not always go hand-in-hand. In fact seldom do they come together. You could even end up loving more than one person at a time, and I wouldn't always call it two-timing. Well these things are hard to explain. Whoever said love is simple. If you're lucky enough to find a true love that's forever, simple and honest..you're one lucky bitch. Why not..for it's always the bad girls who do it all and get it all.

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  4. Your blog is cool. To gain more visitors to your blog submit your posts at indli.com

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  5. Choco: As always, well said. Life cannot be lived in Twilight, I'm not even sure if I'd appreciate a Robert Pattinson lookalike in my life.

    Satwinder: Thanks. :)

    CC: I like the name. The choice is between damned as a frustrated feminist or a rebel without a cause. Damn it all..:)

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  6. Yes life is cruel and funny at the same time. One true love..the idea itself is hilarious...I do not believe in stereotypes and thankfully my parents had never instilled such ideas in me even as a child.

    I always feel that sometimes you meet people or fall in love with them and sometimes they do break your heart all because you need to learn something which will make you grow spiritually. The good girl and bad girl idea is so subjective..we can never stereotype people that way. I second what Choco has said about couples.

    BTW Loving the new look of your blog :)

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  7. I think the English language is most to blame for this illusion. The Greeks had it spot on with 4 words to for love.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love

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  8. LP: The new template is so easy to manoeuvre around. :) As for the One True Love, I wonder where it comes from. If I trace it back historically, must be the vestiges of the Raj. For in India before the British, polygamy and polyandry existed. So I'm sure the Indians were more practical about matters of heart.

    TMFP: Welcome to my blog and I agree with you completely. Like I wrote earlier, I think we were 'in the know of things' till the British decided to recast us in our own moulds.

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  9. I am tempted to agree and disagree....

    so called "good girls" and "bitches" are quite cliche... for myself i can say there are times that i am both...

    "true love" again another cliche.. it takes hard work .. oh yes!!! real hard work to make it work.. but as long as "BOTH" are willing to make it work it does work... there are ups and downs... there are bits that I do that probably no other man other than my other half would be able to live with, while mine doesnt as much as wink .. and there are bits that I let him get away with which again another woman might not be able to tolerate... all in all we are tempted to kill each other at times, but still i would call it true love... as long as its mutual it does work .... that for me is true love and it does exist a lot....

    "one true love" - again another cliche ....if we are not continuously attracted to other people of opposite sex(or even same sex, whatever our inclinations), we are just not being honest enough... but if one is in a loving caring relationship and wants to continue it, one would know where to draw the line....

    i would say believe in fairy tales, mills and boons, yash raj brand of romance and all that jazz... but don't take it literally... these are meant to be metaphors and symbolic... treat them that way ... spice them up with some praticality, realism and individual personalities to get your own brand of true love...

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  10. I agree with you... I think our definition of good girl involves obedience, acceptance, never questioning the norms, living life with a fixed set of predefined rules (and hence being unprepared for the unexpected), being submissive... the so called bad girls seem to be better prepared to face life.

    Bad girls can question, assert, demand, dream, choose freedom to acquiescence, disobey if they are not convinced, bounce back faster from the inevitable heart break and disappointments, move on after even bad marriages or divorces... bad girls are also less concerned about what people might say. They seem more confident about their decisions - which might make them seem defiant (and rather 'black' by traditional standards). Bad girls are also willing to explore untried options - and go where no woman has ever gone before. ;)

    They are as likely to make mistakes as 'good girls' but maybe they are more likely to find love (true, the one, the best match, whatever) - because if they won't find him the first time, they are more likely to try again.

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  11. Nids: Hmmm...points to ponder over. See When I write about the wicked ones, we naturally term them bitches. But it doesn't necessarily mean they are nasty or mean. It just means they don't play by the set rules. My problem is with the selling of a dream that makes reality unpalatable for the weak-willed. Strong willed women survive no matter what - they don't care about appearin good all their lives but also manage to keep their wickedness well camouflaged.

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  12. Indianhomemaker: Welcome to my blog and I think you have put across a couple of points I now feel should have been part of the post. I just want our society and codes of upbringing to be less hypocritical and more elastic. It will give more girls who dare not take a breath in the wrong direction some leeway to explore life. :)

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  13. Love is an endless mystery - so said Rabindranath Tagore. :)

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  14. I'm losing faith in the institution of marriage itself.. too much burden!!!

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  15. Ana_treek: Most people claim to settle for the gilded noose in moments of temporary insanity. So wait for your moment. :)

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  16. Absolutely agree with you...it is time we learn to break the norms and come out of the as you said 'Yash Chopra' mould coz being in that mould harms us more than it harms anybody else.

    This is a problem I guess people in the 30-35 age group r facing these days. Ppl below that are still in the newer generation and clear about what they want in life.

    Nice one :)

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  17. That's a quite valid observation, Vishal. It's true that its the 30-35 category that is caught on the cusp of thinking practically but with the heart still attached to helium balloons and violin music..:) Btw, welcome to the blog.

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  18. Well,apprehensions of modern indian girl is acknowledged.Yeah blidnly marrying someone chosen by parents by believing in the myth of "all is well" future is the thing of past,atleast for some.But to be blindly writing off that culture is not good.Well access to new cultures can bring lot of new bold thoughts.But ask one thing,is it true love simply commiting to someone out of true passion and then living together with all fun,to realise that there is no love and to move on from relations to relations a good way of living life ! Everyone has right to get the best choice.But blindly nodding that our culture is mythical is wrong.If you see the divorce rates of so called free culture tells,there is less true love there,and more disgruntled youth seeing there parents chasing new partners than caring them.Well a nice article.I liked those thoughts,even when i mnt a supporter.

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  19. Nithin: I get your point and appreciate the point you are trying to make. But this isn't an East Vs West comparison where I am disowning everything in our culture. My problem with the concept of 'one true love' is the lack of practical view it fails to impart. I'm not an advocate of Western life or even opposed to arranged marriages. But I believe certain concepts need to be de-romanticised. :)

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  20. so so so very true...nice post..

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  21. http://gurufrequent.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-is-love-m-i-fear-from-love.html

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