111-Monday Musings – The cottage industry called Love
What is about unrequited love that makes it the fancy of all human beings? Cinema, poetry, prose and in some ways all form of fine arts would have been deprived of so much inspiration had love found its fulfilment. Statistically speaking, love finding its reciprocation and logical conclusion, is an exception, if not an aberration. Yet an entire cottage industry of expression and literature not only draws inspiration from its failure to be requited, but to my mind it actually draws sustenance from it. Some would argue that precisely because of this that love has its widespread appeal – providing fertility to the painter’s imagination and converting an ordinary individual into a potential poet. There would be no romanticism left in life if love were to be reciprocated. How deserted and arid, how hopeless and uninspiring life would be without the elixir of what-if’s!
The more I witness the canvass of artists, the span of cinema, the depths of poetry and the expanse of prose, the more I am convinced that the story of human sensibilities is shaped by the stories of love and its various stages of un-fulfilment. It would also be a folly to believe that there ever existed a thing called absolute fulfilment in the matters of the heart. Each story around us is only a work in progress at best and completely unrequited at worst. The first provides struggle, the second much needed angst.
Some love stories are stories of bereavement, others are stories of anger, yet others are stories of tragedy; some are stories of exhaustion, others are stories of errors, and the most tragic of all are the stories which miss not love, but the IDEA of love. After sufficient number of years, specifics do not matter and honestly no one remembers them because may be they do not matter. Yet two complete strangers can connect through a piece of art or a song or a movie, because angst or pathos unites the creator and the observer. No wonder Devdas retains his appeal even after fifty years, whether as Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel or as Dev D. No wonder also that all the epic love stories which have become reference points viz. Heer- Ranjha, Sohni-Mahiwal, Romeo-Juliet, Sahiba-Mirza, Sheeri-Farhaad are stories of unfulfillment.
So what is it that makes it so much talked about, so much written about, so much mused about – this whole thing about love attaining some kind of permanence? Well I guess, precisely this pursuit of an impossible utopia makes it so popular in everyone’s imagination. Everyone knows the utopia does not exist, but its pursuit is so superbly idealistic. The idea of love is so pure in its construct, that there is inspiration even in the failure to find it.
Unrequited love seems to be a cottage industry and everyone is milking it.Guru