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Rom-com Meenakshi Sundareshwar comes at an apt time. Due to the pandemic, long-distance relationships have been widespread for over a year or so!
Romantic comedy, Meenakshi Sundareshwar is all set to release on Netflix today (5th November). The film focuses on a long-distance marriage between the newly-wed couple, Meenakshi and Sundar and the obstacles they face.
The concept of a long-distance marriage hasn’t been focused much in movies. It will be interesting to see how it is going to be portrayed in this film. But what makes Meenakshi Sundareshwar even more special and relevant is how this movie comes at an apt time. A time when long-distance relationships have been widespread for over a year or so, thanks to covid.
The term ‘long-distance relationships’ generally evokes a sense of hesitancy and fear. How will the spark in the relationship be maintained? How will schedules be coordinated to meet over a call or in real life? When will it be possible to meet in person again? However, when the Covid pandemic arrived, there was no time to think about all this.
The pandemic thrust upon a life of new normal on all of us. From having to wear masks every time we were in a public place to complete work from home, all of us found our lives being dramatically changed.
In this time, relationships were not spared either. Lockdowns and travel bans forced most of us into long-distance relationships with our partners and family members in this pandemic. So how has that changed things for us?
From being able to come home for every special occasion to celebrating them virtually, the pandemic separated several couples through border restrictions and lockdowns. Despite being in the same city, it became difficult and risky to even be able to meet in groups and have gatherings due to fear of contracting the virus. Virtual parties, dates and hopeful texts became the way to go. Days were spent in uncertainty and hope that things would be normal soon.
Long distance relationships were frowned upon/not understood earlier. With communication largely taking place online, most people found themselves dealing with a long distance relationship not just with their partners. It also meant a virtual relationship with their family and work relations as well. Suddenly, it became a phenomenon that was common and relatable to many!
A study by WeForum.com discovered that the traffic on Indian dating platforms rose by 26 per cent. Dating apps like QuackQuack and OkCupid have also seen more cross-border connections and users indicating their willingness to enter long distance relationships.
It was even predicted by dating apps that many single Indians would be open to online dating in 2021. We may have been eased into long distance relationships, with the world largely going digital too.
Distance is normally viewed as a barrier to relationship and there are always concerns regarding making it work in such a scenario. But with the pandemic making relationships virtual, distance has become normal. It has been the norm for several non-romantic relationships as well and the mode of companionship for many during this period.
While long distance relationships are, challenging and require consistent effort from both ends, I believe that it is not necessarily a bad thing in this pandemic.
People are becoming more willing to enter into relationships with people from other locations. This may, in fact, make it easier to stay connected and provide support to one another. This is especially important in these difficult times.
Increased virtual interactions and our comfort with long distance relationships may help bring us all closer, without the barrier of geographic locations!
Image source: Still from Meenakshi Sundareshwar
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