“Love is a gypsy child
Who doesn’t know what rules are about…”
Lyrics from the Opera CARMEN, which I guess many of us will agree to; but mind you, only in the private four walls of our minds and hearts.
We all know love, have been there, done that, yeah whatever, but Oh! Those parks! Such an awful sight for us! Most of us at least.
Yes, love is a feeling most frequently experienced. But the dynamics of situations in which it has to sustain are not as frequently explored, are they? Many of us like taking “cute” and “cuddly” pictures with our boyfriends and girlfriends in the cozy comforts of a restaurant or the nonchalant environment of malls. But two people, sitting together on a bench, watching the sun go down beside a lake- it’s just a pretty picture to paint. Not so pretty to digest.
In an under-the-covers society like India’s, where all’s well in chai- wallah addas, but the discussion of the country in dumps is endless, changing the mindsets of people is like hitting your head against a wall in the hope that you will manage to break it. Trust me, you wont. There sure will be a crack, but only in your head.
We can’t get enough of aged actors pretending to be not so old and romancing painted girls. Have we ever wondered why? It’s because film makers are cashing on our dream- like desires which will remain shut in a tiny box within us and only be fulfilled passively on the silver screen.
Public Display of Affection or the infamous abbreviation- P.D.A . What is the first image that we get in our minds? Go get a room. The more liberal amongst us may protest, but they are the few unlucky ones who just can’t get their heads around the need for moral policing.
While every one of us loves criticizing the rising blasphemies of right wing extremists like the Shiv Sena and the RSS, we fail to realize what is egging them on. To create mayhem on a harmless occasion like Valentine’s day. To commit ridiculous atrocities like marrying off couples trying to see each other’s faces on a special day and attempting so against all odds. Of course they are foolish. Foolish to think that we will let them. For the seemingly blasphemous acts of such notorious groups are actually solid embodiments of our rigid beliefs.
We, as a society, may not act in such extreme ways, but our condemning of romantic relationships and labeling the expression of love as an “audacity” is what these groups are also conditioned with. The only difference is that their determination has completely lost the way.
Today, I do not want to walk on the road with my love one arm-in-arm. Why? Because I’m attracting the stares of people around me. Because I know they are judging my character based on how much I care about their views. And you know what? This is what each of us thinks. What is the society made of? The fear of one another. The fear of that third eye: the third person perspective; not the view of those involved but of those who can’t crack a nut about gauging the situation.
Problems at home are only for me. Only I have to cope with the narrow mindedness of my family. Only I have to hide my relationship beneath the blankets in hushed phone calls. Only I have to secretly meet my boyfriend in a coffee shop far away from my home. But what is the need for people to walk on the road, holding each others’ hands? Why should they be cheesy enough to go to a park and make out behind a bush, away from the prying eyes of the world?
Honestly, how many of us DON’T think like the thought chain described above? It is terribly easy to look down upon people based on their actions because of some moral Viagra that boosts our conveniently timed conscience. But it’s easier still, to switch its alarm off when we face the heat.
I say think back. You’ll know what I mean.
Not very young at mind…not very old at heart….Trying to strike a balance between the two and making futile attempts to bring about a change in the world…
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