January 06, 2006

On Love...

Why is it that man’s largest purpose in life it seems, is to have experienced love, even if it was entailed with loss?

The word’s of Khalil Gibran come to mind as he writes; “love is sufficient unto love”. Perhaps love is in the driver’s seat and we are merely passengers designated to ride in the back alone or perhaps in company? Regardless, it keeps on driving.

So much has been written about love, so many poems, songs and volumes all trying to capture its essence, purpose and mystery. Shakespeare wrote in his Sonnet 116; “It is not love that alters when it alteration finds, nor bends with the remover to remove”.

I ask myself; then what have we all been doing so far? I see love bending everyday. I witness love changing with circumstance, even disappearing. Such love that is idealized by Shakespeare seems fit only for the world of sonnets. He finishes by saying; “If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ nor no man ever loved”.

No doubt, "Romeo and Juliet" has been, is and always will be the ultimate epitome of a classical love story. The Arabs have “Qays wa Leila”, the Indian Subcontinent have “Leila Majnu”. It can only be fair to say such stories must have affected the way societies view love and perhaps idealized it into some sort of higher state of being that extends and lives way beyond our sense of time and space. Suddenly the idea of a hereafter is given a greater purpose; one to reunite loved ones.

In our world of “common sense” where love is nothing but “chemical reactions”, the flare and magnitude of such epic depictions such as the likes of "Romeo and Juliet" have become reduced to nothing more than a work of art preserved for posterity due to its historical importance rather than perhaps its inspirational. Whereas in other places like India, the story lives on everyday through the mass-producing Bollywood movie industry where forbidden love and dramatic circumstances where love lives beyond the realms of time all are common place.

One might wonder if the rationalized west is less romantic than the east. Or perhaps societies with a great belief in the hereafter or reincarnation depict love in many more dimensions than one? Dimensions that seem like hogwash to someone who doesn't believe in anything but the empirical and scientific.

Julia Roberts may have gotten the object of her affection in “Pretty Woman”, but nearly a decade later she was left without as she watched the love of her life marry someone else in “My best friend’s wedding”. What brought on this sudden twist of fate in the modern day Hollywood love genre? We always used to love watching our onscreen love heroes and heroines reunite. Or perhaps not.

Maybe the complexity of love doomed to fail strikes a cord of realism and ability to relate in our hearts, just like it always did. Maybe there’s a reason why “Casablanca” still remains among the top ten voted love stories of the past century, and people still sing “Love Hurts”.

It can be said, that no matter what opinion we should hold about what love is, an opinion we hold, nevertheless...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

yeh pyaar ki baat kahaan se aagaya hai? lekin sahi baat hai, hamare filmon mein hamesha yehi topic hai, pyaar aur mohabbat.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

kahin jaga se aana paregha? hamare ehsaas kahaan se aate hain? dimagh se, dil se, haina?

Jee, pyaar aur mohabbat, aiki cheez hai. Lekin sawal yeh hai jo ham poochna paregha ke, kis vajah se hamare liyeh pyaar aur mohabbat kiun itna important baat hai ke saare shairi aur filmon mein sirf yehi haal ke baare mein kuch kehna chahta hai?

BuJ said...

Hello, my name is Mr Smith!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Sho maalek? :) Maafi Mrs Smith, yalla rooh!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Did you wanna say something Buj? by all means..itfaddal! :)

Anonymous said...

mujhe nahi pata lekin hum to sirf ek cheez ke baare mein nahin batein karte hai...kabhi kabhi politics or culture ke baarein me bhi batein karte hain.
Phir bhi, pyaar sab se mohim cheez hai..aur uske baad maa baap ko izzat karna.

France said...

Hi Shakespeare!
I see your blog the other day and was following it. especially about muslim issues in europe and le foulard , because as you know in france we have this issue about it. Europe is more and more secular everyday and pour ca we feel that religious symbole should be something private. It is not to offend. But we have problems with some muslims in france now and they need to take responsebilite to change things. Thank you for this blog, I enjoy it.

BuJ said...

shaira, i was just being sarcastic about Mr Smith since it's the typical English-only name, in reply to what i can only assume to be urdu with a latin script :)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

fahimt alaik...

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Hello france. Oui je sais que il y a un débat chez votre pays de la question du foulard et symboles religieux, mais il faut que dire que il n'a pas de probléme si tú veut être sécularize mais les droites de tous les gens dans europe, c'est la même; liberté du religion (religious freedom). Le foulard ne represente une chose politique mais vous le representez comme ca, et le probléme il est lá, chez vous... n'est-ce pas? je suis desolé mais je ne peux parle beaucoup mais quand il y a une chance de parler, je la prend :)

france said...

Ah oui, peut-être comme ca mais je ne suis pas en d'accord totalement. Nous avons un gouvernement sécularisé ici donc les gens doivent adherér à lui.

Seraph said...

I really loved your entry, it seriously makes you think!

I believe that man's greatest experience is to love because it has been so dramatized as such a beautiful thing that one seeks to experience such a feeling of euphoria.

You speak of the way that love is being portrayed by the media. I guess that it has been more about biology rather than romance lately. People never give up hope on love though do they, it's what keeps most of them going... the hope of meeting their other half.

To conclude, it's one of the most seeked feelings regardless of how the media has shown it to be; and, it's seeked due to the strong intensity that it holds.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Welcome Seraph :)
Yes it's very true what you say but I also believe love is sought after for many more reasons than its intensity.

People experiencing less love growing up turn the object of seeking love into an obsession later on in life mistaking every single feeling of some sort of higher degree than like, as love.

The paralell is very interesting when you compare love in the west and east. It has often been said that if you as much as happen to look at an eastern guy be him pakistani or arab or anything else, he will think you're interested, should you further talk to him for whatever reason, he will think you wanna marry him. (Now this is a very general comment and is not true especially with most educated men from the east yet empirical observations do support the statement in essence).

However doing the same in the west is concidered normal interaction thus seldom leading to thoughts such as "is she interested".

There is a cultural context here and even a religious one and these two factors determine alot how we percieve love and go after it.

MD said...

i think love is one of the biggest distractions of our life. at any age...u feel the same pinch of uncertainty - shud i tell him, shud i tell her, what will she think, what will she say?

even in those moments of uncertainty, there's a mystic aura abt it. something inviting.

i think love bends all the time. people change and circumstances change. but the reason why love is talked about is because it's so simple, yet so complex.

despite what we see around us, each of us have a definition of love conforming to us. so u'll never stop finding millions of variations of love n what it means to each one of us. it just continues to be a free-flowing enigma.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

It's interesting you should say love is a distraction.

An old moroccan man once told me, "If only women at their young ages would not let themselves be distracted by love, how much they would accomplish, instead of wasting time on men".

It stayed with me somehow. There's a massive point in it especially coming from a man.

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