Love Exists Beyond the Confines of Choice

Love is a very sacred and pious feeling in us and it is the very essence of our existence. Nowadays, we don’t love someone as much as we choose to love. Loving is different from choosing to love. When we choose to love, it means we love a choice and not the person whom we claim to love. I differentiate love of Laila-Majnoo, Heer-Ranjha etc from the modern conceptions of love. The former, for me, are the love realities and the latter are just love stories. I too love a girl (an MBBS student) this way or that way. The following lines revolve around my experience and also my conception of these different reflections of love.

31st May, 2014 heralds a new beginning for me as I transform my self-incurred immaturity into a thoughtful reflection that makes me cognizant of the fact that life is really a complex phenomenon and my life is going through the phase where Faiz must have hummed, “aur bhi gham hain duniya main mohabbat k siwa.”

Here, mohabbat should be understood in the way most of the teenagers understand. Hitherto, I justified my endeavors in this field with the little knowledge I had of the spirituality embedded in the famous and often quoted tales of Laila-Majnoo, Sheereen-Farhad, Sassi-Punnun, Heer-Ranjha , Mirza-Sahiban etc. Here, Laila Majnoo, an Arabian tale, is like a universal phenomenon and hence known to all, whereas all other love realities have thrived in the erstwhile Punjab.

Punjabi literature and culture is close to the Gujjars and Pahari speaking people of the Northern part of the subcontinent mainly because of their reverence for sufis and sufi poetry and the spirituality therein. I am a Gujjar and hence close to it and these love realities.

Having good details in my temporal lobe (a word I learned from my doctor from whom destiny is parting my ways) about these love realities which had a spiritual touch in them. I played smart in justifying my love story by reflecting some spirituality in it as well. I rather, replaced the commonly used words like bf, gf, love affair etc with Jani, jaana, mohabbat, Ishq etc and I felt, being a poet, as if we are living in the Lucknow of the days of Aatish or Delhi that once belonged to Ghalib (I believe that it was not Ghalib who belonged to Delhi).

By using this terminology I felt as If I am doing something sacred and the fellows we find cuddled in various lanes and streets, parks and cinemas etc are a bunch of fools. The reality is that we are all fools and the bigger reality is that I still don’t know how to understand the aforementioned love realities.

There were many moments which we spent together physically but the moments which are a testimony to our love are those which we spent together even if we were not together in the physical sense. These are the real reflections of the bits of love we, as the sons and daughters of this new epoch, have towards our chosen love partners. This is ‘the choices’ we make today that makes our love stories different from the love realities of the bygone days. To love someone does not and should not mean to love your choice and your own likes rather it means to feel that someone you claim to love; understand his/her understanding of love. Having said all this, I feel love is still not a mystery required to be solved in our temporal lobes rather it is that fragrance which is to be felt somewhere deep within our soul. Though I haven’t practiced spirituality yet I feel this is the guiding light along these mysterious streets of love.

I, as an individual, may have a very Kantian lifestyle (though at moments) that can be at odds with a very possessive doctor who is away from her routine patients only for those few moments. I wished to spend those moments with her knowing that She can be with me only in those few moments and hence I killed that Kantian spirit in me by transforming my persona to the farthest extent possible. She rather her possession wanted a transmogrification and I could go only up to a transformation. Those who believe that possession signifies love should memorise this Tamil Saying ” Alvukku amir thamum nanju” i.e. ‘even an elixir turns poisonous if taken in excess’. I also believe that possession may be a part of love but it is not love in itself. Love transcends it. The love stories thriving around us begin in a different way wherein everything in the other person pleases you and with time we start brawling and wrangling. Possession plays a great role in these not so humane bashings.

Bearing all these intrinsic hardships, lovers still move on upto the point when they think of themselves as sons and daughters of their parents. India is a peculiar place in this regard as Chetan Bhagat mentions on the cover of ” Two States ”.

Life begins with the likings for sweets and chocolates, when you wish to have enough money to buy all those sweets and toys you like; we then move to a stage where we really feel that ‘our heart’ beats and these beats block the rational waves of our ”zehn” (i.e. Temporal lobe). We start falling and this fall is overly exaggerated in a positive way. The reality is that we fall intellectually as well, and we fall in a huge gorge of so-called love and then remember Faiz, ”teri aankhun key siwa duniya main rakha kya hai”. This is blindness in its worst form where you don’t see even if you can see.

These mistakes of love become sins of our adulthood and we do all sort of weird things; we justify our acts and boast of them by taking LOVE as a defense mechanism. Humans are no doubt ”Ashrafal-makhlooqaat” and somewhere deep in us rises a wave of conscience and we realise our mistakes. We realise that love is not just what we feel about a person of the opposite sex; the moment when you return home drenched in rain and mom dries up your hair with her dopatta is also love, the moment you succeed somewhere and your brother screams louder than you in excitement is also love and the moment you ditch him and your friend comes without any verbal complaints but slaps you tight on cheeks is also love. Love is a very complex and multi-dimensional physico-psycho and cardio-philosophical feeling.

Now, the chosen ways in the mysterious valley of love become a problem for us because we never loved the person, we loved a particular choice and this is what differentiates our LOVE STORIES from the LOVE REALITIES of the days which are gone.

I think that we claim to be lovers and we boast of ourselves that we are the Romeos and Juliets of this era without knowing the bigger reality what this love is all about. It is like a person claiming to be a cricketer without knowing what a pitch is made for. It is like Masoch who is aware of his sub-human existence and still enjoys it. To love someone does not lead us to any sub-human existence rather it elevates our self but the person who does not know what is love and claims to be a lover is not in any prisoner’s dilemma; he/she should grow up, know and face the reality of his/her stupidity. I adore the love realities and the lovers worthy of calling so.

She is not with me in the sense this generation understands, but my beats and this continuum of breaths are a testimony of the fact that my “doctor” is still here, with me, curing me.

Jaani, I have a severe headache once again. Take my head in your lap and cure me the way I get cured. I know I am so selfish. It is only because, sadly so, WE have a love STORY.

‘Mujh se pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang’
My heart beats a way faster now…
People say I may die soon…
My breaths stopped at moments
They say I may die soon,
I hum in frenzy, seeing you
They say I will die of madness
But I shout, in my senses
There in the wilderness
I may live soon, as a life is coming in my skeletal whole
A life is coming along these beats and breaths

COME here in the valley of bliss and LOVE
Leave those mad PEOPLE behind
I welcome you with arms open
Come, MY LIFE…

About Ishtiaq Ahmed Shauq

Ishtiaq Ahmed Shauq (2015) is a post-graduate student in the Department of Political Science. He can be reached via email: shauqs[@]

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One comment

  1. Beautiful :)

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