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In a country obsessed with Bollywood, we obviously have the notion of the one and only first love. Let me tell you why it is so problematic!
Let’s start by talking about Indian movies! Girl one meets boy one and girl one falls in love with boy one. Meanwhile, boy one falls for another attractive girl leaving girl one heartbroken. Later on, another attractive boy falls for girl one and somehow, boy one now finds girl one attractive. And despite knowing that boy two is perfect for her, she chooses to go with boy one!
Does this story remind you of anything? Look at the plot of any of the romantic movies we’ve seen. Whether it is Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, Parineeta, Zero, Sanam Re, Kabir Singh or even the Telugu movie Size Zero.
What makes me wonder is the marriages in Bollywood movies. Take for example movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or Woh Saat Din. In those movies, we are served the idea of the piousness of marriages which should never be broken. However, when it comes to romance, why must the first love be the only love?
In reality, both boys and girls go through relationships and breakups and even today, women, in particular, are shamed for having multiple relationships. Often, due to the conditioning, a lot of girls take a lot of pride in admitting that they have been in only one single relationship.
These girls are proud of it despite the number of fights they go through and the suffering they undergo in these relationships. In fact, they even shame other girls who have been in multiple relationships.
While this idea of the ‘one true love’ might be true for many, it is enforced as an idea of unusual romantic notions or a make-believe world. One that becomes unrealistic in the world that we live in.
We need to teach our girls that lingering on the first relationship is maybe problematic and harmful to them. Mostly due to the associated heartbreak and possibly aggressive behaviour that might take place if one fails in love.
In fact, the increase in the number of suicide attempts, self-harm and substance abuse can often be traced back to abusive or broken relationships. The rise in the number of young people with depression and its symptoms has to be an alarm for us to change the depiction of relationships shown on the screen.
Inspiration from Bollywood movies should be nullified with a touch of reality. We need to depict relationships as real with a distinct honeymoon period, the mature phase, which may or may not result in a happily ever after.
Shaming anyone for their personal choices and decisions isn’t right and must be avoided at all costs! Before judging someone for their choices, one should ask themselves, ‘How is this relationship of my friend/neighbour/family member going to affect me?’ And then ask yourself, ‘Will it matter to me in the next five years?’ Well, I don’t think it will!
I really think we should rethink the whole concept of romance and substitute it with a touch of no judgements policy. Maybe then, we would have an idea of healthier relationships for the generations to come!
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hain
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