Should be reading more and writing less, but well...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Romanticising Romance

As I walk up the dark cinema hall aisle, the screen light falls on people sitting. I don't notice whatever I don't notice; but I do notice some hands holding each other, heads resting on shoulders, arms entwined, shoulders touching, and before I realize it, I am looking for my seat. As I move on with life in such small steps, it hits me that I miss being in love. I don't miss any specific detail. I just miss the feeling. That's just it.

What is this feeling? Is it another emotion that cannot be explained? or is it possible to break it down into more rational axioms and understand it better? I am tempted to say that it could be beyond both; but then, I can't see what can lie outside the inexplicable-explainable spectrum. Continuing that particular sidebar, I am not sure about my feelings for epistemology either; but well, for now, let's cut to Jack Rabbit's Slim's:

Mia: May I ask you a personal question cowboy?
Vincent: No.
Mia: Alright. Have you ever been in love?
Vincent: I said 'No'.
Mia: Don't be so testy. It's not that one; this is a different question.
Vincent: Still seems personal enough.

Mia: Ok.
Vincent: Love is a commodity.
Mia: Warming up; aren't we? A commodity, like, for sale?
Vincent: Sale, discount, retail, designer, factory seconds, et cetera, et cetera. They sell. You buy.
Mia: Me?
Vincent: Yeah, you.
Mia: What if I want to buy?
Vincent: Yeah, it looks like you have, already.
Mia: Good one.
Mia: So, I bought it. Let's say designer. Do you have a problem with that cowboy?
Vincent: No, I don't. My problem is not with you. My problem is with the next woman I want to fuck.

Cut back to blog-post. Insert some dialogue here which deconstructs love along the lines of how much paper, screen space, and network bandwidth it has wasted. I have taken this quasi-Nihilistic kind of approach too. But, the blissful irrational happiness and the forlorn feeling surrounding it (on the timeline): that's undeniable. Also, rational reasoning along the lines of loneliness, hormones, progeny, and other facets (unexplained in their own right) is also appealing.

I have 3 options: a) Don't bother either thinking or feeling. b) Feel. c) Think.

As the camera zooms out and credits start to roll, a pencil is seen shading option (b).

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For a moment it beckons and while you float in that emotion can you really tell what love is ?
option (C) it is !
Love is not a feeling neither is it a thought. When it is either of them, you are binding it to something, and when it is bound it is not love. Because feelings and thoughts can cease to exist, but Love cannot. Can you classify Mother's love (which we know is love without worrying about it's formal definition)as a feeling or thought.

Reminds me of something I read in a Jiddu discourse,

"Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom."

and unfortunately I know it is beyond this understanding, for we are mortals. I "feel" what you are feeling!
I am amused you would not talk about option d) Feel and think. Is this divorce necessary for romance?
@Anononymous: That thought had occured to me while writing the post. Somehow, they seem to kind of pull down each other. Clinical thought about it kind of makes the feeling trivial; just feeling is almost always devoid of reason. What about an equilibrium? I don't know.

On a related note, even writing about it in a structured way seems to be an exercise in futility (cuz I have not chosen an option). I guess the best bet is poetry, or some such, where you sprinkle enough words that either trigger thought, or emotion, or both.
An equillibrium, or at least a hand-shake.I don't know either.

The post is beautiful. I did not want to comment earlier just to preserve the 'feeling'. May be the burden of pure cognition lies on the writer. Also, sometimes, the cognitive elements don't spoil the romance - they become a part of it. May be an equillibrium is possible after all.
@Anonymous: Sweetly spoken indeed. Why am I not surprised?
Unabashed romanticism - at times sadistic,at times perverse, and mostly anonymous :)

I still have a question: Your title says 'romance' and you talk about 'being in love'. I don't equate the two. Do you?
@Anonymous: Well, let's talk about romantic love.
Ah, romantic love. The word ‘love’ kills the romance. It makes me wonder. There seems to be no agreed-upon meaning. Mostly, romantic exaltation, moment to moment, doesn’t seem to satisfy the ‘love’ cravings. Other feelings follow, mostly out of thinking, or so I have seen. And then people argue one should ‘feel’. Is it never possible to answer that question concretely – appealing to both logic and emotion?
@Anonymous: Romantic exaltation - the growing exaltation (say for more 'trivial' romantic situation) speaks more than just romance now, doesn't it? That's just one example.

But personal experience tells me that whatever I want to believe is love, is not entirely understood by reason alone.
Vincent: suniye
Mia: kahiye, kahiye
Vincent: suniye, suniye
Mia: kahiye, kahiye na?
Vincent: suniye, kahte sunte baaton baaton mein ...

@Teju, I think the usage of word 'love' misled me a little, though the title and the post does make it clear what you are referring to. Mine was a poor example, but Jiddu's quote still holds nevertheless.
Was just wondering about the consequences of "I miss being in love" [1]. Would one "fall in love" just because one was missing "being in love"? Would the yearning to "fall in love" bias one's idea/definition of "falling in love"; as in, wouldn't such a person easily misunderstand something that's not "love" to be "love"? I am myself not sure what "falling in love" is like, so I don't know what a reliable "indicator" for love is.

Also, how important a factor "touch" is, to you, as a part of "being in love". Why does one have to "hold hands", etc.. to feel "being in love"?

[1]: All references to "love" refer to "romantic love" as your post suggests.

@MeghanaK - As you might have noticed earlier here, I have qualified 'love' with other expressions like 'whatever that feeling might be' or similar such.

In the context of this post, where I am not sure about its real nature per se [1] (whether it's a congnitive thought that stands out by itself, or just a feeling that is different from other feelings felt before), knowing whether I am in love would also have similar ambiguous answers.

[1] - Why are we doing this? Not sure really. I kind of romanticize the idea of being in love, and that makes me come back and analyse its nature now and then. Same with patriotism, intractability, and a few other ....er...passions, say.
love can be easily misunderstood with lust. their is a very thin line that divides the two. what we see these days (most of teh times) is mere physical attraction. as teh charm fades away, reality dawns. Hence ppl break up/move on.
People fall in love as and when they meet people who fit their set of criterias or ideas. Many fall in love when - they feel that soem one cares for them or some one thinks they are important

Life is very dry and boring without romance. But the enlightened ones know what iits all about.
its all in mind!! u think u are in love then u are else u are not
Here is a gem - Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How do I Love Thee?" A quick link -

I think, E.B.Browning has a superb balance of abstract thought and plain honest feeling, as in the lines:
"I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light."

Well, what cannot be explained is not necessarily, never understood, especially when it is truly felt...so, option (b) works very well for me.

Feeling atleast takes us closer to understanding, so that explaining may follow...and then, emotion and thought can start holding hands :)
"How do I love thee" is a beautiful poem indeed. What amazes me though is its meaning to me has changed over the years. Perhaps definition of love changes as we evolve as individuals, and as human beings. Way too often we look for kind of love others (media, writers, friends) have defined for us. And perhaps just feel is not an option after a certain stage - for the better I hope.At least I feel better about it. It offers me a chance to think about a mature companionship versus coarse emmotionality.
hi ,
I just call all these options or classifications of feelings as artificial one. These feeiings make us to feel comfertable or give some high. Truly speaking all these emotions or rare ability of humans to smile and love all the day or all year, as verb or adjective is just to bind together. So society survives. Love is one component, romance is another. Many chemicals in brain then love , few romance, couple passion. Man, we are the slaves of our genes. try to escape-- thats why some feel strong expression of love and others wont, well- it all boils down to - survivl of fittest-- love is not blind - the bonding is so strong just because survival chance of two will be better than one-- even today--IT is only my opinion.
:) Stop the illusory rant after all your are still a slave of your emotions.
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