On the eve of Valentine's day, I feel lucky and proud to belong to a generation that openly celebrates love. Ours is probably the first generation that can say with pride that we literally fell in love. Prior to our generation, it was all arranged marriages, but our generation changed the marriage market for ever when an overwhelmingly large number from our generation decided to go for love, or at least, love-cum-arranged marriages. Had it not been for our love and love-cum-arranged marriages, could the current twenty somethings, ever have imagined to have graduated to the level of living-in relationships? Unfortunately, there are a few prudes who still believe that living-in relationships are wrong. Well, you can't blame stupid people. They aren't wise enough to understand that marriage is a sure killer of romance. Take my parents' life for instance. I have never heard them once say those beautiful words "I love you" to each other. From what I know they didn't even utter those beautiful words before their marriage. In fact, they hardly uttered any words at all before their marriage. How boring and unromantic! In comparison, our generation is so much better. We are constantly whispering "I love you" into our beloved's ears. We text message those words, and if that weren't enough, we splash those words on our beloved's Facebook wall. Now that's what you call is an open and romantic society!
To think about it, I doubt my parents even loved each other. Because if they did, why didn't they say "I love you" to each other? You know expressing our feelings through words is so important. The important thing is that it is so much more efficient than having to do all the work that you otherwise goes into a relationship. My mom, for instance, cooked super delicious meals for my father everyday. She also did the laundry for the whole house, and all that by hand, because those days we didn't have a washing machine. Can you imagine how stupid my mom was? If she had any wisdom, she would have only uttered those magical three words, "I love you" regularly. Instead, she chose the hard way of expressing her love through her actions.
Well, I don't blame my mother, because my dad wasn't any smarter either. For some weird reason, he always came home straight from work. Which stupid man does that these days? Shouldn't he have gone to a bar to hung out with his friends? But no! He preferred to come home, and work in our huge vegetable garden, tilling land, preparing compost, picking weeds, etc. That supposedly provided us with a lot of fresh and healthy vegetables for free. You know how these old generation people are: they just want everything for free! It's so much more convenient to buy things from the supermarket. But no! My unromantic dad preferred to sweat it out in the garden. He even dug a small pond, all by himself, so that he could harvest water, and water the plants without using a drop of the city water supply. According to him, the city water was meant for physical consumption only.
What I mentioned above are only small glimpses of the insipid existence of my parents. I didn't want to go into too much details and bore you more. I just wonder why it never occurred to my parents that life would have been so much easy if they knew the value of expressing love through words and gifts. Definitely, none of them would have had to slog so much, if they regularly exhibited their love through romantic gestures. But alas, my parents preferred to spend their lives working for each other. Can you believe that they never bought chocolate for each other? My naive mom thought it was more loving to cook traditional Indian sweets for the entire family and even our neighbors. Today, we are so lucky that we can easily purchase heart-shaped chocolates for our darlings. And we communicate how much we care by gifting huge teddy bears. It obviates the need to tend for each other during each other's sickness. We go out and have romantic candle light dinners. But unfortunately, my parents knew nothing more than kerosene lantern dinners. I'm completely flabbergasted how their marriage survived without the overtures of modern day romantic love. Surely, it was not love. It can't be, because there were no signs of romance. How can a relationship exist without a rose bouquets, pink hearts, cherry-filled chocolates? My parents relationship must have been the old fashioned co-dependency! Thankfully, our generation has found true romantic love. Happy Valentine's Day!!!
I see your point in mocking the materialistic way of expressing love. Sweet chocolates are bad for your health. However, you are aware that expression or non expression of feelings are very culturally bound. In those days, married couple had different ways of expressing and demonstrating their feelings both in India and in the west. Remember Fiddler on the roof? Agreed, Indian parents of the previous generations did not say 'I love you' to one another, but Indian literature, Mahabharatha's Nala Damayanthi and Kalidasa's Shakuntala are proof that expression of romantic love with words was not unknown to India! I think in the West, couples routinely say those 3 words in an effort to reassure the other, sustain the bonding and nurture the relationship. You are probably talking about many of the current Indian teenagers who blindly ape the West, including celebrating valentine's day by gifting plastic roses and teddy bears...ReplyDelete
Absolutely Ma'am! Cultures vary with respect to how much importance they place on verbal communication. And I actually teach about these cultural differences (High Context vs. Low Context cultures) in my organizational behavior class. However, my intention here was not to pit one culture against another. I just wanted to emphasize that subconsciously we are all--to a greater or smaller extent--getting influenced by the commercial media's depiction of romantic love. We start believing that love is what we mouth or what we do in terms of gifting things. In the language of research, the words "I love you" and the materialstic gifts of love are neither "necessary" nor "sufficient" conditions for the experience of deep romantic love. I believe we experience deep connection not through words or objects but only through our actions.Delete
One more thing: Although this is a satirical post, it is still is a note to myself, as most of my posts are.Delete
Thank you again, Ma'am, for your comment. I really like the examples that you quoted in your comment.
Great article...Paresh.Our generation fails to understand love and sacrifice thank God for our parents showing us that love really exists without the stupid superficiality .I have really never understood why we need to have a separate day for love.Love seems to has become like a commodity which can be purchased on special day's.......ReplyDelete
Dear Friend, thank you for your comment. Your comment inspired me to write a little bit more on love today. You definitely raised one interesting question that I am having fun pondering through my mind. Thanks!Delete