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Thanks to the influence of movies and books, we have has several definitions of love. But what does love mean? Is it losing yourself or letting them go?
For me, ‘love is madness.’ It is a state of mind where we are ready to go to any lengths of madness. But it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it just means there is a willingness to accept anything in the pursuit of our happiness. Deep down, it is an egocentric state of mind.
We say all kinds of things like, we are selfless with the other person to let them mistreat us yet stick to them. But, we tolerate everything because a part of our mind is convinced that our happiness lies with them. It is like we are addicted to the idea of being with the person that other things stop mattering.
And it is only fair that we often associate our romantic ideas with what we see in fiction- our escape mechanism from reality. None of the things we see in movies may actually work out the same way in reality. Like we cannot stalk a person and make them fall for us. Neither can we expect the bride to come running towards her ex while the groom stands at the altar. Then again, fiction sometimes captures the essence of what the fuss of love is all about.
And ‘The Holiday’ is one such movie. It is the story of two women in toxic relationships who decided to take a break and swap houses for change. What follows is a breezy drama of what happens when they say goodbye to the toxic people in their lives and embrace as it comes.
Love eventually finds them in the most unexpected scenarios. And that teaches us that it is important to choose the people who choose us. Instead of waiting for a miracle to make the person we choose.
As heartwarming as the movie is, it seems unfair to the people who immediately cannot find a person who loves them. It makes things seem like the moving on phase only happens when you find the next person you love. What if that takes time? And what are we supposed to do till then?
And that is exactly where the movie ‘Queen’ scores! If you want to move on from someone, all you need is ‘you.’ No one else. If you can fill yourself with so much love, there is no way another person has to come and fill the void that your ex has created.
It may take a while for anyone to come, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you find that person. Even before that you can very well shove your engagement ring back at your ex and move on like a queen indeed.
There is a Tamil movie ’96 which was a huge hit. It is about a school romance where the lovers (?) part ways due to circumstances. They still reminiscence their memories in a school reunion several years later.
The movie has always gotten on my nerves. It is extremely superficial for a 40-year-old man to not have moved on from a high school romance. What makes it worse is that he still passes out when his high school crush touches him.
I would describe the movie as one about a coward who never confessed his love. But still stalked her till she got married and then, when she moved on, wrecked her life by telling her.
I would call this a classic example of what to do when you really love someone. But then again, what does one do when one really loves a person?
You know what you can do when you’re in love with someone? Be open about what you feel and respect the other person’s decision. ‘Poo’ is that idealistic portrayal of love- one that is uncommon in mainstream cinema.
Since they were kids, Maari is madly in love with her cousin. She was open about it- only not with him but with the whole world. However, when he refuses to marry her, citing complications in marrying blood relatives, she respects his decision. Even though she was heartbroken, and left with longing and suffering, there was something phenomenal about her love. She lets him go, only for him.
Throughout the movie, she never persuades him or mourns over not marrying him. She simply wishes the best for him and eventually breaks down when she discovers later that he has an unhappy married life.
When I watched the movie 11 years ago, I was completely awestruck by her. But as I grow older, I realise this is what being selfless is all about. Being selfless is not trying to limit that person for our happiness. Love comes when you respect the person, no matter what they choose to do.
But no matter how much I idolised her, I wouldn’t want anyone to be like her. That saves so much trauma. The ultimate purpose of human existence is to be happy. And to be happy, the only way is to keep our hearts open and embrace the changes life happens to shower us with.
Quite like Raju does in ‘C/o Kancharapalem.‘ We have to be brave enough to never let go off the love that comes to us at all stages of life. The love that comes transcending the societal barriers. You are never too old to fall in love and whenever it happens, be sure to fight for it no matter what happens.
Raju gives hope in life without romanticising it with the past but just by embracing the present. No matter how twisted our stories get, the universe always finds its way to give us everything we deserve. Just open your arms and be ready to accept it.
The possibilities in life are never-ending!
“Try not to resist the changes, that come your way. Instead let life through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – 40 Rules of Love.
A version of this was first published here.
Picture credits: Stills from the movies mentioned in the article.
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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