Where I begin is all one to me
Wherever I begin I will return again
All seemed sepia for a moment, as I saw back and back into the past and sat down to write about love. We all choose the tone to tell our stories. I chose sepia- the one which exists in diffused shading and is veiled with anonymities.
Memories are often tinted on luminosity. I prefer remembering only the brighter patches, but there lies millions of shades of Grey, suspended between the black and white, faded and blurred. And that’s the thing about love. It lies suspended as an elusive reality for many.
Socrates said, “A man who practices the mysteries of love will be in contact not with a reflection, but with truth itself.”
But who knows the Truth? We all carry our own versions, conveniently.
There must be some bigger mystery behind it. I hope it exists. And it would justify the alchemic reason for the masquerade of love we carry. After all, we belong to those who reason out everything.
We call ourselves “Smart Generation”. The ones who carry all the smart gadgets and believe in our own versions of “Smart Love”. I don’t know what does that mean but I have seen that it mostly ends in despair. I do not understand the meaning of loving smartly. But all that I have realized is that we fear loving madly. We miss on what it used to be the “old-school romance” like people of our generation wouldn’t take a flight to some place just to see someone we love. We usually break up because of long distance. We are no more blind in love nor do we believe in love at first sight. This generation of “Smart Lovers” is extremely sensible to fall in love. Too sensible for what it is called stupidity by many and serendipity by those few who get lucky. Too calculative for the risk.
Today’s Smart Lovers are extra cautious. We do not want to get hurt. We fear pain and suffering and choose lesser love for the ease. We take a back seat well before we become vulnerable and we tell that we are not prepared. We are not prepared for commitments, adjustments, requited understanding and all that it calls for. We, the Smart Lovers are not prepared for this foolish act of loving unconditionally. We defend it with all intellectual and so called “practical” claims.
We are constantly on guards. We do not want to put all that it takes to make a relationship work, may be because we are fearful. We fear the unknown. True love demands vulnerability, maybe we fear that. We carry the baggage of loneliness and find novel ways of accessorizing it with all the fancy things our smart brains can think of- adventure, travel, parties and many others. We also give cool and smart names to ourselves- wanderer, explorer and what not. But, all it takes is a single hurdle to make us crumble to our feet. The fact is that we don’t let our love grow, we let it go before time. We quit much before time.
But, then we know the skill of forgetting. At least we pretend to do.
An old man travelling with me once told me that for him love is a very momentary feeling. I remember, he said, “I am in love when I see birds perching. In that moment I am in love. I know that those birds do not belong to me, nor do I carry any intent to cage them. But in that every moment I feel immense love. True love is like that. It is free and it sets one free.”
He must be close to what Socrates said about love where the love is not merely confined to a being and does not seek any expression.
But, do we really look for this kind of love? May be not. May be it is only the thrill and excitement that we are looking for. We want someone to share our loneliness with. We need someone to party with us and get drunk until we believe that we are in love with him or her. We also need someone to hang out and watch movies with. These have become some sort of prerequisites of modern love.
Do we really need someone who understands us even in our deepest silences? Or maybe we ourselves fear them and carry millions of anxieties. May be we avoid such encounters with our own vulnerable self.
We prefer spending time together, but we don’t make memories.
We the “lovey-dovey” smart lovers are in constant need of the proofs of love. We pretend. We claim our love on social media and back it up with a dozen pictures. In the name of memories we create databanks of the testimonials of love. Maybe it feeds our ego- not the real self but the unreal self.
All the time, we look for instant gratification in everything we do. We are obsessed with momentary satisfaction and seek it in the work we do, the things we post on social media, the people we fall in love with. We do not want to give time for a relationship to grow. We do not wait for the emotional connect that develops over the years. After all, who knows what happens the next moment?
We’d rather prefer spending an hour each with a hundred people “networking” than spending a day with one. We believe in having ‘options’ and multiplying them. We believe more in meeting people than getting to know them. This new generation of smart lovers get into relationships at the slightest attraction and step out, the moment we find someone better. We don’t want to bring out the best in that one person. Nobody is worth it, is what we tell ourselves. And then we end disappointed with everyone.
We are tech-savvy and leverage technology for bringing us closer, in fact, so close that it is almost impossible to breathe. Texts, voice messages and video calls have taken over the physical presence of people. We no more feel the need to spend time together. We already have too much of each. There’s nothing left to talk about.
We have conditioned ourselves to believe we are not meant for relationships. We don’t want to settle down. We cannot even imagine being with one person for the rest of our lives. We walk away. We despise permanence like it is some social evil. We take pride in claiming that we don’t conform to social norms.
This generation also calls itself ‘sexually liberated’ for that it does not equate sex and love. It is the hook-up-break-up generation, all about temporary fulfillment. Relationships are not simple anymore. We have developed all kinds of varieties- open relationships, friends with benefits, causal flings, one-night stands, no strings attached and what not. And with all this, we have left very little exclusivity for love in our lives.
We are a scared generation of Smarties – scared to fall in love, scared to commit and scared to get our hearts broken. Today when there is hardly anything we cannot conquer in this world, here we are ham-fisted at the game of love – the most basic of human instincts.