From childhood, our perception of romantic love is shaped by a number of ways: Mills & Boons books, Bollywood and Hollywood movies, TV serials, other classic romantic novels, and of course, the legends of Laila-Majnu, Shirin-Farhad etc. etc. We get drunk in the charm of Romance, soak in the warmth of intense passion and dream of such a replica in our lives.
Then, reality happens!
In our real life, the search for the ideal soul mate becomes a trying odyssey of compromise and heart breaks. But what if we have been learning about love in the wrong place? What if we should look at reality than reading up all the great Romance stories?
It’s time to get real about the reality of love. Let’s see, which is more romantic, the imaginary or the real:
I know they are mythological, not really ‘real’. But the strength of their love just blows my mind away: Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati. If there was one complicated love story, it is by far the craziest one. A princess falling for a pauper: theirs seems like the prototype of all Bollywood stories about rich girl-poor boy love.
Despite their difference in status, wealth, wisdom and age, these managed to stick together, literally forever. The wrath of Parvati’s father or the tests of love from Lord Shiva – nothing could break the bond. It’s time that we, the modern ones cite love quotes from their saga than picking up lines from candyfloss romances.
When the-then Indian Cricket team skipper Mh. Azharuddin married Sangita Bijlani in 1996, they infuriated the entire nation. Everybody’s favourite obsession became appointing a period of time for the longevity of the marriage. The divorce from the first marriage, the kids and the Cricketing scandal, surely, Mh. Azharuddin never had a worse timing than this.
Today, almost twenty years forward, they are standing tall, very much in love. Their love and commitment seem like a direct import from the famous love and romance stories. Again, they show us that real life is the bedrock of the imaginary love lore: a lesson, worth learning.
One of the best Indian love movies, Veer-Zaara depicts a most enduring love story between an Indian boy and his Pakistani beloved. They stand the test of time, society and a particularly annoying conspiracy involving diplomatic issues. Of course, the portrayal of Veer by the king of Bollywood made ladies of all age redefine their expectations from their men.
But, have we ever looked at the real life Shahrukh Khan and his commitment to his lady love? Being one of the biggest stars and the second richest star in the world (yup, he is second to Jerry Seinfeld in terms of wealth), his unfailing love for wife Gouri is the real story of everlasting passion.
These couples have convinced the romantic in me that we create our own Mills & Boons romance with our passion and commitment. It’s up to us to make that magical love happen for real.