On Romance

Why now? Well, March is coming, and I feel romance in this month (and in September)  for various reasons. One ofcourse that this time, Nature sheds its old clothes and wears new, and my birthday also falls in this month. Besides, living in Delhi means after the long and chilling cold, your fingers and toes are now spared to feel anything but cold. And if you are from a Village in North India then the glimpse of ‘mustard field’ in March make you understand the whole concept behind the the song ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. Yes, these fields suits well with this song.

This year was less embarrassing/trouble-less since valentine day was on Sunday. No office!! so there war no one to ask things. So I spend all of my Sunday in my room reading the books just arrived who was written by scholars who might never had wondered about Valentine Day (or perhaps Romance must have happened in their mind). When I got tired after reading the same stuff, I borrowed ‘Times of India’ from one of fellow Paying Guest. Debonair could have been a better option, but you can not ask for it from anyone. There is no reluctance here since it is called a newspaper, more acceptable idea. I read it, and guess what, I realised how much the idea of romance has changed.  My favorite newspaper, TheHindu, is very boring. It does not have any sexy things (girls?) in it, not even in its city supplements. Perhaps that is why it is called ‘leftist’. There is no advertisement of ‘Meethi meethi baatein karo‘ and worst, no horoscope. I got an awesome knowledge on romance, that mainly deals with sexy gifts, sexy sex, sexy touch, and not to mention sexy articles. Its was a delight to read, most of the article help you to convince yourself that the soul purpose of the girls are to please men. But this is only a tip of iceberg. And who would mind reading something sexy. But curiosity kills every joy. But even if you read non-sexy things to feed your curiosity then also after some time while lying in you bed you realize that more you know, more frustrated you get since you have control over nothing.

This idea of romance (the corporate media definition) is only for dudes. The first objective of dude-hood is to get laid as early as possible else you are not dude enough or are simply gay. There are few many non-dudes around. Unfortunately, I grew up reading them like Premchand, Dinker, Mahadevi Verma, Jaishankar Prasad, Harishchadra, Shukla, Purn Singh, Agyey, Renu, Kamala Das, Renu and many other poor Hindi-writers; so in spite of colossal opportunities that a sugarcane field provide in my Village, I am still virgin. Thats not to say that it is part of my dignity, more or less it is the lack of enthusiasm in these kinds of stuff. Stuff, which Indians generally consider/considered unethical.

But education can kill any ethics. There are lot of magazines just to do that. I could have really dropped down the idea that casual sex is unethical, had I been an ardent reader of TOI, which I am not, or an ardent watcher of M.TV, which I am not either. Worse I read Ruskin Bond, who says in his book ‘the India I love’, “…..since the possibility of romance was there in my life, I declined his offer to go with him to prostitute…” I liked it, and ignored the fact that he got neither. But I’d love to live his life, so I keep his advise; or should I take clues from ‘Dev-D’. Anyway, I like the way I am ruining my sexual life.

Valentine Day, now epitomises the day of romance, is grossly commersiled. Neither I like it, nor I ever get the chance to do so. In my school days, unlikely for someone from Village those days, I knew about this day. This day, I never had anything to say, a rare thing to happen otherwise. Anything controversial in India (especially in North) becomes part of her culture. So we are seeing the the emergence of Valentine day not because that it really means anything to Indian-love (we have so many role models, Laila Majnu, and otehers.. just go google) but it gives the opportunity to build brands values. So on one hand Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc can increase their brand values in their supporters by demonising it, and on the other hand corporate media can gets its own share by supporting it and ofcourse never forget the market, giving special discounts on viagra. And we, a poor generation, who is got caught in having a casual relationship and soul-mate hunting, just can’t get less confused. We accept it,quite blindly and get more confused about what is romance and then to kill this confusion we turn to check our compatibility with the one we suppose to love with ‘Kundli Pro’ (astrology) and not to mention all the other compatibility test, travesty of statistics. Who says ‘andh-vishwas‘ will die with education? But if a rural fold do it, he is ‘andhvishwasi’. If a degree-holder does it, well that you should know!

Lets leave ‘why valentine?’ altogether. Others have a lot to say. The very purpose of this day seems to express your feelings. These days Valentine Day’s cards sold over 1 billion around the world. I wonder who was the first man who send this card. He must have been very shy or very unattractive or both (Hunchback of Notre-dam? Nah.. thats Disney, they are too dreamy!!) and must have send it anonymously knowing very well that it could never be requited. For their recipients, it could bring the joy at guessing who was the poor creature who fancied them ( They might have used it to increase their reputation among peers, Thankfully for him there was no mobile, orkut or Facebook those days else before his message reaching her, others gossips would have reached him.).

 These day, yes in my time, people use text messages and emails (which I also tried, and now horribly regret the very idea) which by the way reaffirmation of a relationships which suppose to exist in his mind (yes, that what I meant by regretting the very idea, it might have been slightly offensive also.) People argue that don’t tell her the truth about how you feel or else you will scare her, or a relationships always starts with pretty lies. Reallly? I continued with writing letters, not anonymously (this is just sissy). And I use postal services, who the hell will train a pigeon! Anyway it helps since its very hard for me to open my mouth in front of a girl I like, this is also quite sissy, but it is good also, unless I speak there is hope!! (Personal advise : Do not write email, sms or letters after watching ‘Little Manhattan’. Honesty seems to scare a hell out of people! ).

The idea of romance is really strong unless one is not an animal, which are a lot these days in human form. But ‘romance with whom’, that idea might disappear overnight to be replaced with the idea of someone else – more or less – (As Beatles loved to sing… Love has the nasty habit of disappearing overnight..But they can not be trusted.. They also sung..In my life…Oh the lover of memories.. First sign of getting old). Few ideas are really hard to hold on to, no matter how dear they are to you. Well, thats life (or character?). Cant say….
Going to ‘Southern Cross‘….

with Love
dilawar

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Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

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