14th February, 2017 has passed by with its celebrations of Valentine’s Day. I do not bank on setting a day to spread love. For me it’s something you remember and say those magic words too, “I love you” all through the day. Thanks for being alive.
Love is supposed to be the panacea that can cure mysterious maladies of the heart and body. However it doesn’t work that way always. Spread in abundance, its light keeps life rejoicing its existence. Yet love can also cause hearts to bleed to a slow or sudden death and this is where like slimy grime it trickles down, doesn’t hold on to all it should. It seems as though when the Creator gave emotions to human beings, love was given with the dual possibilities of its striking a life. Love comes to us like a beauty and a beast. Love lies in the heart of the beholder, spreads its branches and roots, and holds flowers and fruits. And when love is lost, the soul becomes barren, the flowers and leaves dry and return to the roots. Alas, we can ramble on about how great it all is, but like many other things in life, there are no promises when loved comes to hold on in its embrace.
Romantic love carries its glory and life finds new meanings as one heart touches another with that magical emotion. In the modern age people start seeking loves of their heart, impatient like the spring, only there is no age to falling in love. With the aid of science and technology the world is on the fingertips of these young and old hearts. Internet, text messages, e-mails and telephones give them the unlimited opportunities of finding the soul mates even on the other side of the world. Ages back people used to see a person first and then fall in love. These days the minds and hearts find invisible links when Cupid finds its ways in the modern technologies to strike its arrow. People fall in love and then take the longest journey of their life across oceans to see the beloved in person. “Love at first sight” is true for some but for many love strikes its first chord on the first words exchanged on the Internet or a wrong telephone connection.
Romantic love has this incredible power of conquering lives at all stages. These days, many people fall in love in the later years of their lives and some find love more than once in their lives. The adage “the one and only love of life” hold lesser credence. People seem to fall out of love just as easily as they dip into this incredible emotional experience. Just as “I love you” has the world bathing in a new light, the utterance of “I am having an affair, I have found a new love” can bury a heart in the bottomless dark pit. The largest diamond cannot bring the happiness that love brings when it lights a heart and the eyes speak words beyond all the tongue can say. And when love decides to close the doors it leaves an invisible knife repeatedly gnawing the heart, a slow poisoning that kills a soul. With the arrival of love all the flowers of spring seem to bloom at once and when love coils back the cold dismal winter chills the heart that no fires can warm. Love comes with its ecstasy and agony hidden among the other mysteries of life.
The proverb “Love conquers all” seems to pique new questions. If love did conquer all then why did Tonmoy, a young man at the tender age of 22 commit suicide because his fiancée deserted him? What went wrong between a mother and a daughter that had the daughter leave home and start living on the streets? Why was the refusal of love requests sent to an unwilling village girl result with throwing of acid on her? Did not agony fill the heart of fifty-year old Mrs. Chowdhury when her husband, a balding man at the age of fifty-five went to file for divorce because he had another younger woman in his life? She wonders why love could not conquer her marital bliss.
Other than romantic love what about the bondages of love between children and parents, between siblings, friends and relatives? Why does it hurt the deepest when the child a mother has held in her womb one day says, “I hate you Mom, why do you want to control my life?” or what about the day when a father kicks out his fourteen-year old son saying, “ I did not become a father to raise a disobedient brat like you.” Life touched these people with its perplexities and love became a twisted test of life. Love seemed to have lost its way and the wounded hearts wondered what went wrong when love was there to put things back together. Life has many unanswered questions and when love goes topsy-turvy one ends up awe stricken with endless “Why ?”
Love binds us to a mysterious, infinite hunger in the soul. It holds us helpless with the love of this world and our desires to live a long life. We, the mortals know that death waits us somewhere around a corner of our journey between life and death. Yet our love of life does not diminish no matter how sick or poor a person is. Love of life keeps us going; climbing mountains, sailing treacherous seas and flying without wings. At the moment of death love grips the heart with the desire of living with its strongest force. A dying man will cling to the last ray of hope to go on living. I find love cruel when it keeps its grip on the soul knowing well that when death comes, no force can save us except the Almighty. Love would be kinder to the dying if it loosened its grip on the heart for the hunger of life. Maybe that could make it easier to accept the end, to accept the decision of the Almighty, to find peace as the soul leaves the body.
Love, pregnant with its multitudes of meanings for life on Earth makes us cherish the birds, trees, flowers, seas and sky and at the same time keeps whispering “You have to leave it all one day.” Emotions come to the human beings with so many faces. The Almighty added love to our emotions as the biggest challenge. It will be there in your life, like the sky overhead or like the smallest particle in the nook of your house, yet somehow it will make a nest in your heart and soul. Love has its own riddle on each life. Great stories of humanity, romance, and sacrifice come from this God given emotion. Love of power and freedom makes and remakes history. Love of beauty makes the poets write their poems, the musicians compose their songs and the artists and writers create their maser pieces for the love of the creativeness that feeds their intellectual beings. Love, with its agony and ecstasy comes to us all in its own form and makes us laugh or cry. When love ceases to exist in a heart the human in us also dies a cruel death. We may go on living but life becomes unbearable, we suffocate even when the wind is blowing with its strongest blasts. While we continue to celebrate love and want its lights knowing well that there is darkness under the flame of the candle, love continues its play riddles for us.
Here, I sit in the park watching a young girl pluck daffodil petals. Her voice comes softly, “He loves me/ he loves me not.” Love hides between the individual and the mystery of it all.
Tulip Chowdhury writes from Massachusetts, USA