24.5.08

The Love Thing

Romance and love is a genre of its own in the film industry and in Western culture- but nothing can rival Bollywood in that genre. Almost every film either revolves around love or has a subtheme involving a guy and gal destined for one another, overcoming all odds.
We both watched too many romantic films, but it didn't matter. We fell for each other. Who knows if the idea of the foreign guy/ girl influenced our feelings.
What I found was that regardless of which side of the globe you're on, the love industry is a massive one. Valentine's day rakes in big bucks and the fact that it's even a holiday shows the popularity of this industry. And Bollywood is, after all, thriving for a reason. People just love love!
The idea of eternal bliss with the man or woman we cant is a dream-come-reality for those on-screen. For those that are off it, the dream is lived through film.
But do these films, whether cheesy and funny or haunting and beautiful, form an unattainable standard in our mind, or is the reverse possible; that they make us more cynical and pessimistic towards romance?
I admit to swooning whenever yet another leading main man comes along to save the day, and the girl, but still cringe afterwards: "what if someone actually thinks that that's how every relationship should be- perfect?!"
Do we expect more from our partner, for example, after seeing a film where the lead travels two days to a foreign country to find the girl- even though he has no clue where in that vast land she could be? And to think that lazy boyfriend of yours won't even take you out for dinner this Friday night... another friggin country!
As a result, an entire industry has been built around that female who should always expect more from a partner, no matter what the situation. The leader in this growing catchy trend is Cosmopolitan magazine. With headers like "How to please your man" and "getting your dream guy", it's not hard to see their point of view. You have to first get pointers on how to find the elusive "great guy", followed by guidelines that will help you to please him, or, in other words, keep him all to yourself. Such a precious commodity should be guarded and constantly persuaded to stay, lest he get other ideas about other girls and try to leave... I mean, you even cares about your own happiness or the idea that maybe some gals are more content and confident being single.

It was summer in that desert city and hot. My blood pulsed and boiled, and not just from the heat.
We had time to talk, find out what made each of us tick, laugh over lunch, share a beer and catch glimpses of reflected looks that we both knew very well. But we never kissed. Even though I was white and there are certain stereotypes involved, he was one of the good guys I met and he never tried anything on me. I respected him back for that seemingly small gesture.
But when I think about us now, the first thing that emerges from the fog of memory is the feelings I had for him, even though I didn't know him for very long and didn't get to know him innately during that week. What emerges when I think of love is not him physically, but the feelings I had at the time. Were they genuine emotions- or was I not truly seeing who was in front of me, only seeing something new, exciting, fun. Had I fallen into the trap of being in love with the feeling of being in love, rather than the person?
I don't know if there is an answer or whether it's possible to find one now. But at least I still have the memories of hot days on the back of a motorbike, whipping past blue houses and glittering bazaars with a feeling of utter and complete freedom- and that's the important thing, right?

3 comments:

Arun said...

// "Had I fallen into the trap of being in love with the feeling of being in love, rather than the person?"
gee I find myself asking that question many times... do we all fall in love with the idea of falling in love?! hmmm...

Kiera Aten is a pseudonym said...

wait...are you being sarcastic. Hm...maybe I didnt phrase it right. I meant to say that, for example, when we watch films or read romantic novels where the feeling of love is so prominent and both people have found their hapiness, that we as the viewer become engrossed. We want that. Even if it means lying to oursleves, not being true to what is in front of our own eyes, and overlooking flaws.

Arun said...

I wasnt being sarcastic at all :)
but yes all that digs deep into our consciousness...