“Love... love... love...
Where do you come from?
From the heart or the air?
Is everything about you indeed fair?”
India is a land famous for love stories. We see love stories all around us. Our history, folklore, scriptures and even the mythological idols- all point towards grand romanticism. There are lessons to be learnt from all of these unique love stories wherein the most common straits seem to be sacrifice and selfless love. Though all is considered fair in love, it does demand sacrifice. No other religion describes marriage, romance and love like Hinduism. Since time immemorial Indian writers and poets have explored the romantic genre and have produced some amazing works. Some love stories are real, while some are the creations of the writers of that time.
· Soni and Mahiwal’s story is a Sindhi love story. Soni who was already married falls for Mahiwal and would go to meet him at night swimming across the river using an earthen pot to keep her afloat. One night her sister in law finds about this and replaces the pot with an unbaked one. It dissolves in water and she dies. Mahiwal sees her drowning and jumps in the water, killing himself. They are believed to have united thus by death.
Lesson to be learnt in today’s time from this story: Fall in love but make your base strong or you might just drown... :)
· Mastani’s father who was a king gave her hand in marriage to Bajirao after he helped him in a war. They loved each other a lot and were happy in spite of many hardships. Once Bajirao died while travelling. Mastani heard this and it is believed she committed a suicide soon after.
Lesson to be learnt in today’s time from this story: Don’t let your partner stray for long... :)
· Manjun falls in love with Laila and starts composing poetry for his beloved. But before their unison, Laila’s father marries her to some other man. Majnun goes away to the desert and stops eating while Laila dies eventually due to heart break. Majnun was found dead thereafter near her grave.
Lesson to be leant in today’s time from this story: Do not marry someone when you are in love with some other person... touché :)
· Heer was a Punjabi woman who was beautiful and charming. Ranjha falls in love with her and she feels the same for him. However, once her uncle sees them and plays evil due to his jealousy. Ranjha goes away and becomes an ascetic. But soon afterwards, they meet again and are about to get married. The evil uncle mixes poison in Heer’s food and she dies... Ranjha also subsequently dies, eating the same poisoned food.
Lesson to be learnt in today’s time from this story: Beware of jealous people around you... :)
"Jigar ane Ami" is a Gujarati language novel by Chunilal V. Shah. It’s a real life love story of an idealistic, non-compromising hero and his devoted wife, a love story also made into a film like many others.
Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, for his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died while giving birth to her fourteenth child. He mourned for her for a year and his appearance visibly changed during that period and he later built this tomb where she lays.
Lord Krishna, one of the most loved and cherished Gods in India had around 16,000 wives (Oh my God!... and ya, there was a movie also by the same name about Lord Krishna, though it wasn’t about his love story) but his lover was Radha... whom he never married. Their love story is very popular all over India and is celebrated even today in folk songs and prayers.
Here is a small story depicting the supposed nature of their relationship if they had mobile phones that time...
"Rukmini, the head queen of the palace of Lord Krishna calls Radha on her cell phone... (Yes, that’s right... all the wives and girlfriends were friends as they all lived together)
Rukmini: Hi Radha... How are you? Why don’t you come to Dwarka?
Radha: I am fine... How are you all? How is Krishna?
Rukmini: He is good. He would really like it if you came here...
Radha: No, if he wants to meet me he will come to Vrindavan.
Rukmini: What difference does it make?
Radha: You are the queen, I am the lover... and love is like that ... it does make a difference..."
Like Penelope Cruz says in Woody Allen’s movie, Vicky Christina Barcelona, “Only unfulfilled love is truly romantic”. Is it true? Ummm... Let’s just take that positively and say one should always keep the romance alive in a relationship; as Vicky Christina Barcelona is one of my favourites... :)
But hey, did you notice that all the famous love stories actually have tragic ends? What about so many of those lovely couples who have fought for their love and are living together day after day, still loving each other in the same way as they did in the beginning? Why don’t we acknowledge their love like these famous love stories? Here’s a big applause from me- to those who are happily married, and have made sacrifices for each other and kept all the promises.
What is love? Is it the system or arrangement where two people are supposed to get married and stay together or is it something more than that or maybe lesser than that? I think it’s important that the vows are taken in a marriage and they should be fulfilled. However the customs and the traditions should be more flexible. I came across an interesting article in a magazine called “Abhiyan”, where the writers have reported there are a few people who have broken the traditions and the myth along with that and have married in a totally unconventional way. They have actually done things like wearing black and also printing the marriage invitation cards in black to break the myth that it brings bad luck. They have taken the pheras (Indian tradition sealing the marriage) in an opposite direction and they are still happy and very much in love. That’s because they are fulfilling their vows... not necessarily traditions... Nevertheless, one may or may not marry according to the traditions, but it is important to always respect and fulfill the marriage vows or the promises given to your beloved.
Congratulations to Vyom, my cousin and Rajsi, his new bride on their marriage. May the insanity and romance never die... :)