By Mayank Jain:
The world preaches love as the antidote to all the diseases and cravings of life. Because finding love is the surest way of reaching salvation and then worldly pleasures look too small because “love is the greatest of them all”. Because, when a guy finds love, he no longer seeks cars and when a girl finds love, she finds meaning in Unicorns. The rant is not to undermine the idea of love but to expose the hypocrisy that runs right through its very notion.
Hypocrisy, like love, transcends generations and civilizations. The world stands united today against the evil forces of forthrightness and pride on one’s opinions and ideals. We are so busy being critical of everything that it is hard to recall when was the last time we stood up for something and not against it. People trying to push the train by their hands instead of putting diesel in the engine is one analogy of our half-hearted pretentious attempts at appearing modern, advancing and avant-garde.
The idea of love got crushed in one such massacre as well. The Indian society preaches so well that everybody forgets what they were preaching last night. Our children are born and brought up among the idea of an ascetic lifestyle and equality among all through moral education provided in books that they seldom read and they grow up looking at horrendous treatment of girls in their family and favouritism among kids on the basis of their test scores by the same parents they thought of as their ‘idols’. The innocent hearts are stamped on with hypocrisy, forever.
When these kids become adults and youngsters and they start finding their love and enjoying the attraction of being with someone who finally appreciates them and wants them; the society comes attacking. Parents go crazy hearing about the interest of their child and the relatives as well as prying neighbours get a fresh lease of gossip when they eavesdrop in social gatherings. The poor guy is now forever afraid of loving someone and even more so of giving a faint clue of it to his family. The same thing is worse for a girl who has to then bear lectures on the importance of staying under limits and how her marriage is of prime importance and it depends on her ‘character’ which she has spoiled by watching a movie with a guy she likes and so on.
Things are not better when you grow up because at every step, the society frowns at love. At any time, people would love to ‘Like’ your pictures and statuses if you have the guts to make it open on social networks but they will still raise questions on your morality and character behind your back. And God forbid if they find you walking with the same person on the road or having coffee in an eatery; because spending time with the person you like in a public place spells blasphemy for them.
So why then, do we preach love if we can’t appreciate it? Why do we advocate peace and harmony when we would rather punish people for having sex than for illicit gambling or smoking drugs? Why do we, as a society choose to accept this debauchery where we make epics on love on one hand and frown when we see a couple walking hand in hand on the road?
The answers to these questions are tough to speak but easy to recognize. We have led ourselves into the same mess that we pretend to ignore by embracing western pop culture. I have no quick fix solutions to suggest on this grave issue where young couples all over the country find themselves continually under the fear of being watched or being caught having a little playful time with their loved ones but a little acceptance of their relationship as ‘acceptable’ and non criminal will go a long way.
Just to be sure I will have to ask it again. Are we still in love with the idea of love?