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Love Aaj Kaal

It seems everyone around me is in love. Wherever I go couples follow (or it may be the other way round). Be it public transport, malls, restaurants or theatres ,I see love struck people, walking or sitting hand in hand, continuously communicating through gestures or simply by talking. Indian society is no more rigid like it used to be. Girls and boys do not hesitate to openly confess about their relationship. The cupid has done its work. It has made people fall in love. But are they actually in love? 

Love is innocent. Love is kind. Love is pure. This is what I have been taught ever since I was a kid. Seeing loving parents at home I thought love is always unconditional. It is not selfish and is wants to see others happy. This picture of love was so amazing that it became the ideal definition of love for me.

Today I find love is different for different people. For some it lasts for few weeks or months. For some it is nothing more than “give and take” relationship. Belonging to this generation I understand and closely see the “21st Century Relationships”. Love, now, has completely changed. It is more violent, abusive and revengeful. It is all about making the other person feel intimidated. Love has lost its strength. It is more of ego than just letting go things. The acid attacks, rape cases, molestations are some of the examples where ego took over love. I do not say that the accused love the victims. It is them who said that. But they chose to destroy the other person’s life because they said no and they could not take it. And they call it love. Well that is obsession. Get it right.

I do not only blame the males out there. Girls have equally distorted the image of love. Dating rich guys and then dumping them later, blackmailing their boyfriends, and treating them like puppets is just so cool for some of them. And then this feminism. It does not always work girls. You cannot harass a guy, abuse him or hit him if you do not want the same things happening to you.

The cupid is sad for he never thought the meaning of love would change so drastically. People hardly respect their partner’s feelings, emotions, desires, space. There is no room for individuality. The person has to do what he/she is told to do. One is dominated by the other. One cannot wear what he/she wants to wear, has to talk when the partner wants to talk. Sometimes a person becomes possessive and tries to keep the other away from the rest. It seems confusing as to what actually love is. Is love in today’s scenario all about curbing ones freedom and changing the other person’s personality? Why cannot we just accept a person as he or she is? Is it so necessary to be perfect in every manner? If one has to pretend to be someone else then how is love truthful? And why, on the other hand, the other person accepts to change him or herself. Love does not teach us to lose our dignity. Neither does it allow anyone to underestimate someone so close. Love is not about owning anyone. It is all about loving someone. 

Playing with other’s feelings, making the other person feel miserable, breaking hearts is fun for some people. If  you are seriously in love with someone, you are considered old fashioned.  And if one is not comfortable getting physically too close then that person becomes old school. Like seriously? Is not love all about seeing others happy?  Is not love all about loving others? Is not love all about giving respect? Is not love all about care? Is not love all about treating everyone equally? And is love all about getting “close” ? 

Earlier the bond shared by a girl and a boy was strong enough to keep them happy and content. They did not meet up regularly, did not talk over the phone and were not comfortable being too open about their relationship. Like us they did not go out on dates, for dinners, parties, etc. They were not even lucky to have a broad minded society and family like many of  us have today. 

If we talk about people staying in different cities, that is, people having long distance relationship, they suffered more due to the distance. With no technology the couples could not keep in touch regularly. There were no mobile phones, no computers, no laptops, no internet, no video calls, no facebook, no whatsapp, nothing. But still they were happy together.

Today, after having so many tools for communication and ways of being in contact, we have more number of  failed relations. Couples fighting over petty issues make me wonder how importance we give to such useless, unworthy things over love. How easily we give up on something that at one point meant everything to us. How can we let go something so good, so special for the sake of our ego? 
Are people really in love? Or is it just infatuation? Do they really want to be in serious relationship or they just want to be together because that is what is in fashion? I fail to understand whether people have lost the patience that is required in love or they just do not want love to be their priority. It is about respecting one’s values, religion, culture, family, likings and many more.

For what I think of love is, I may be called “old school” or considered “typical” but I do not care. I never have and will never give importance to what others say or think. For me love is above everything. For me love is God, love is family and love is “that one person”. 

Every individual emote and express differently. Therefore, each and every person has different ways of loving people. I do not say I am the epitome of love. Love may hold a completely different meaning to someone. But everyone should be able to differentiate between love and affection and should keep the above discussed points in mind. And if  in doubt, read the article again and again and ask yourself    “ is this love?”

Writer: Zinia Karmakar 
(Email : zkarmakar@yahoo.in)
Model: Ankita & Subhajit
Photographer: Ayan Mukherjee