A bud bloomed in spring. Fresh breeze caressed it softly and each stroke flourished it naturally. It was tender and pure just like a teenager who feels love for the first time and takes every praising eye and flattering remark as a gesture of affection. This feeling never lasts for long and a gust of circumstances withers away childhood dreams very roughly. Time passes by but leaves its marks behind and a teenager turns into a promising youth who wants to adore and be adored ideally. Now he/she combats with reality. The ideal of an unconditional love is knocked out by worldly considerations and social constraints. Looks, money, status, and background suddenly become more important and lover is chosen like a car or an outfit that must suit and reflect your class.By the time a youngster reaches the age of marriage, he/she is expected to forget all past `mistakes’ and fall in love with his/her soul mate. While men in the east often feel free talking about their previous love cum hunts with pride, women are likely to bury it deep inside as it’s considered a stigma for them. In marital life too, responsibilities soon replace love and turn it into a routine.It seems that throughout our lives, we desperately seek for true love and develop many relations; material, human and spiritual to satisfy the urge. But very few of us hardly ever get it.
It happens at least once in everyone’s life. You meet someone somewhere who causes your heart miss a beat and makes the person more important for you than rest of the universe. People call it LOVE. Ideologists explain it as a strong feeling of caring about someone that gives you an immense pleasure. Cynics identify it as a folly of mind while for lovers it is the power that makes the world go, not round but wild.
The conviction that we are loved is perhaps the supreme happiness in our lives, which often turns into a tragedy afterwards. But do we experience this feeling only once in lifetime?” Is it true that we fall in love only once; rest is just our deliberate attempts to forget the first love? Or, on the contrary, cupid can cast its spell over an individual more than once. If it is not the case, how anarkali’s deewana sheikhu could replace the memories of his beloved courtesan with the company of petite Noorjehan.How come more than ninety-five percent people could happily tie a knot, after being knocked out in romantic quest. And how so many heartbroken youngsters find an excuse to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fresh zeal every year.
First love, no doubt, is the most beautiful thing that happens to anyone. Just recall your first fall, you might not remember anything but pure madness that keeps you above from all worldly considerations. Purity and perplexity are the real beauty of first affair. Initially an aficionado creates hundred of excuses for having a glimpse of his sweetheart, then become completely dumb or in some cases turns into a chatterbox in front of his beloved. Whether it’s a first sight love or a fore sight incidence, it arises such tender sentiments that transform an ordinary person into a poet, writer, singer or an artist at some point of life.
However, first love is often destined to die before it flourishes and leaves its victims in the world of despair and gloom where they shed tears on sad filmy songs and ghazals while save the memories of their beloved in diaries with faded flowers. But it doesn’t take them long to come out of this trauma and meet other nice people around them. So life goes on like this. If first love is irreplaceable, second is almost a reflex action — a desperate attempt to fill the gap created by the first one. Dejected souls badly need a companion to share their feelings and raise their shattered self-esteem with acceptance and emotional support.
So in matters of heart, once beaten often becomes twice bold.
Despite the fact that in real life stories, there is no director to help the hero and heroine against zalimsamaj and mischief-makers, most lovebirds like to take their chances on their own. Quite often, neglecting the fact that they neither have Hirthik and Shahrukh’s charm, nor Sonali’s and Aishwaria’s charisma.
Besides, they also have to face the bitter reality that in modern metallic age of romance, no one is fool enough to kick away its fortune just for three hollow words. Nowadays even to qualify the first round of love; girls have to meet the standards of bold and beautiful while boys need to join a gym to appear tall, dark and handsome. Even if they don’t have killer looks, they can apply their credit cards, cars and contacts to cost the hearts that are no more priceless.
Today’s cable crazy generation has seen and heard so much rubbish about media generated romance that its thoughts are fully contaminated by bigger than life images. They are unable to differentiate between lust and love. Those who can afford change their sweethearts with fashion, mood and season. They idealise their favourite movie and sport stars and imitate filmy style in their love lives. Most of them truly reflect the saying: ‘tu nahi aur sahi, aur nahi aur sahi’ (if not thou, someone else, if not him/her anyone else)
In their desperation, they frequently have crushes, flings, infatuations and romances. Sometimes deliberately confuse them in hunt of the right person. These pastimes continue until they tie a nuptial knot and some of them like to pursue the practice even after that.
Saima is a career girl in her late twenties. She had several crashes in her teens. She says “I remember only a few in which I was a bit serious. But I realized the actual difference between infatuation and true love the day I met my soul mate. It is total submission to someone you love unconditionally and wants to spend your entire life with.”
Anees, a computer engineer, had a bitter experience in matters of heart. Two girls came in his life and both deserted him subsequently. One for an American based cousin, another for the sake of her family pride. He believes that there is no regard for love in this materialistic age. Modern generation takes it as a fashion. They flirt around pretty faces, rich and handsome guys just for fun and walk out when they get bored.
However, it doesn’t mean that true love has completely vanished away from the earth. Even today, Majnoos become mad after their Lailas, Farhads dig around to get money for their Shireens. Queens leave thrones and Zubeidaas crashed to death for eternal union.
However, no one can exactly define true love, as everyone perceives it through its own spectacles of experience. But one thing is sure; we can learn to love and be loved only by loving. Whether you call it a hearty matter or a brainy affair, it can affect us anytime in our lives, not necessarily once. There might be several pictures in the heart gallery of a person, some clear, some vague, some sweet, and some bitter but each leaves its impression on us and that is the beauty of love.