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Love and longing in the city

Nothing quite as refreshing as new beginnings?a new way to start your life, a go at making amends, to change over a new leaf?well, almost a second chance.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2006 00:29 IST

Nothing quite as refreshing as new beginnings—a new way to start your life, a go at making amends, to change over a new leaf—well, almost a second chance. Well, there are quite a few of us who could do with starting all over again. Cousins Raj and Uddhav Thackeray could make peace for one or maybe the Mafatlal family might consider keeping their family secrets confined to their own home? Greg Chapell could see Sourav Ganguly in a new light—the possibilities are endless if only we’d have the courage in our hearts to explore them.

Speaking of courage, a bachelorette (that’s the politically correct euphemism for a spinster these days) complained about the lack of romance in the modern lifestyles. Quite a valid point there if one were to compare the remarkable love stories that are part of Mumbai’s folklore when men were men, unafraid to take on the world for the damsel they fell in love with. Nusli-Maureen Wadia, Adi-Parmeshwar Godrej, Yash-Avanti Birla, Pallavi-Jaikishan, Murli-Hema Deora and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Men who unabashedly pursued, wooed and wedded the women they fell in love with are, according to the statistics available to us, a rare commodity. Cut to the present scenario where whirlwind romances, as many a lovestruck femme has discovered, are often followed by hemming and hawing, acute commitment phobia and a tendency to turn tail at the slightest provocation. ‘Will you still respect me in the morning?’ is a question that most women find themselves not after some wild romp but merely because they are popping the question.

The unwillingness to put ourselves through trouble for anyone except ourselves, contributes in a big way to the stifling environs we live in. Quite similar to the manner in which the denizens of Mumbai manage to live in cramped spaces resigned to their stifled fate. Emotional constriction is an ailment too. Several city slickers convince themselves that an expression of emotions is too extravagant. That just polite curtseying or mercenary exchanges are enough to get by on the long road of life. That there is no greater sin than getting emotionally unhinged. That loving truly and fearlessly is for those who are unpragmatic. That it’s a sign of weakness. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The bravest and the greatest men in history have often been those who have followed their heart, which by all accounts is a dangerous exercise. It’s not something that the uber confused, can’t- make -up- my -mind, what- if-I-get-hurt species, male or female can handle. The sad truth about modernity is that bravery and courage are virtues associated with bungee-jumping, or shark-feeding type clownish excesses on AXN though nothing could be further from the truth. Even a nine pound weakling who stands up against a bully is a hero and love, whether it is for your pet or any loved one, empowers you.

My suggestion to those who really want to make this year count would be to follow the advice my English professor once gave me “Go fall in love, because it’s the only way to live.”


PriyankaSinha is Editor, HT Style

First Published: Jan 01, 2006 00:29 IST