Timeless Love in an Ever-Changing World

In the wake of the COVID-19, most of us sought solace and entertainment through streaming services, delving into captivating series. But, to keep myself away from the clutches of prolonged screen time, I am drawn towards limited series & Anthologies.  Recently, I came across “Modern Love: Chennai” on Amazon Prime, which piqued my interest. It is a remarkable adaptation of short novel published by The New York Times. It unveils a collection of regional narratives that celebrate the power of love.

I must confess that although each episode of the series showcased the multifaceted nature of love within relationships, a few of them failed to captivate my interest, with it sluggish pace. But, some episodes presented a sense of maturity, offering fresh perspectives on love that  urged me to dig deeper into enigma of love. 

Unquestionably, I acknowledge my inherent bias in this matter. My appreciation for love in a relationship is moulded by my personal understanding, the anecdotes I’ve heard, and the observations I’ve made in my immediate surroundings. Consequently, any depictions that deviate from these familiar realms may strike me as alien or incongruous.  

The lens through which I view relationships is tinted by my cultural background and upbringing as well. A relationship I appreciate in a Hollywood movie may lose its essence or connection when depicted in my regional language. Cultural acceptance undoubtedly plays a significant role in shaping our perception of relationships. 

“What could be more fascinating than unveiling the intricacies of love and relationships within the context of societal norms?”

The Metamorphosis of Love in India

No doubt, India has made significant strides. Not just in terms of economic development and advancements but also  in adopting progressive societal outlook. 

Up until a few decades ago, concepts such as divorce, dating, premarital sex or even love marriages were almost unheard of in the country.  The concept of marriage is so deep in Indian minds, that the idea of living together without marriage is unacceptable and frowned upon.

Despite being the birthplace of the Kamasutra, the term sex still remains a taboo. It is so grossly misinterpreted and stigmatised to the point where it elicits shame and embarrassment. 

However, less-inhibited new age Millennials and Generation Zs are pushing the conventional  boundaries, with a fresh alternative meaning of what love is. 

India is in the midst of a long transcendent sojourn from an orthodox & parochial society to a more-open minded set up influenced by the Western culture. Recent survey reveals most of  Gen z are unwilling to have children and question the institution of marriage.  Indians are becoming more upfront about what they are looking for in a relationship. This is a radical step towards a progressive mindset among Indians.

It is important to note that while some individuals of Gen-z question the institution of marriage , this perspective does not apply to everyone. There are still many who value and aspire to have traditional marriages. On the other hand, a significant portion of the Indian population still harbours reservations about intercaste and inter religious marriages.

In a land of diversity and heterogeneity, paradoxes do abound more prominently. There is always an ongoing negotiation between tradition and progress, and individuality and collectivism. 

The clash between societal expectations and personal desires can create a challenging landscape to navigate, causing individuals to grapple with finding the right balance.

This reality becomes apparent when observing the popular Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. The individuals often display confusion regarding their preferences. Some create extensive checklists, longing for an idealised package that seems only attainable in fairy tales.

It saddens me to witness those who struggle to find their place in the realm of love and relationships, fighting with uncertainty about their needs. This is where the relative ease of arranged marriages becomes apparent, as family members make the choice at a young age, and couples grow together, fostering a higher level of acceptance.

Love: A tapestry of complexity

Regardless of all this , Love is a complex emotion that is difficult to define in a single sentence. It is a profound feeling experienced in various types of relationships, including romantic partnerships, friendships, and familial connections.

Love involves a deep sense of connection, empathy, and emotional intimacy with another person as well as a genuine desire for the happiness and well-being of the loved one. And I can list many qualities as love, it is subjective and it varies from person to person and time to time.

Some one quoted “ Love is blind” “ Love is Magic” ” Love at first sight” “One true Love”…. 

It is important to note that these phrases are metaphors and not a universal truth. Not all love is blind. A healthy relationships should involve a balance of love and a realistic assessment of the other person. 

Love can undergo transformations, even within long-term partnerships. Individuals do evolve, their interests do change or may yearn for new experiences or simply seek a spark in their lives. Unraveling certain aspects of love can be intricate, requires delicate handling with utmost care.

Now back to my Modern Love: Chennai, which presented one such ‘love transformation’ of a middle aged married man.. My curiosity was enticed and my imagination ignited and I am here with this blog. Thanks to Director Bharathiraja for bringing out a whole new dynamics in love. The story did break Stereotypes, challenging societal norms and preconceived notions. I was captivated by the graceful portrayal of three distinct characters and their deep emotions.

This is very common in the western world, separating on mutual consent for each others benefits. It looks strange and out of line as it is uncommon and not heard of especially in conservative Tamil family. But that does not mean it can’t be a real life possibility. 

Change remains the sole constant in the world

Change is an inherent part of life. It affects various aspects of our existence, including our perspectives on love and relationships.

It would be unrealistic to expect individuals to remain static in the face of such profound societal shifts. By venerating age-old literary portrayals of love as pristine while dismissing alternative narratives as impure, we inadvertently reveal our limited capacity for personal growth and understanding.

As our experiences, values, and priorities evolve, so does our understanding and expectations of love and relationships. The dynamics between individuals have the capacity to adapt and transform, influenced by many landscapes. By embracing this idea, we open ourselves to the possibility of deeper connection. It helps us build increased understanding, and more authentic and fulfilling partnerships. 

However, it is important to recognise that what works for one person may not work for another. Each individual has unique needs and desires. And there is no universal formula for success in relationships or a clear definition for what love is. It is not my place to judge or claim superiority for one approach over another based on my tinted glass. 

Rather, it is crucial to respect the diversity of individuals and their varying paths to finding love and fulfilment. It just needs recognition and acceptance allowing that space for growth and exploration. Besides, this open mindset  will help us navigate the complexities of modern love and foster relationships in harmony with the ever-changing world.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. palniarch says:

    Well written. Couldn’t agree more..!!

    1. Thank you for reading

  2. esvbangalore says:

    A good comparison of olden days love and marriage with modern days love and marriage.
    Acceptable .

    1. Thanks for reading 🙏

  3. Srinivasa rao PVV says:

    great writing……..to simplify what is a complex human emotion

    1. Thank you Srini as always for reading and taking time to comment

  4. Gayathri says:

    Interesting topic. Good observations and well written!!

    1. Thanks Gayathri – Thanks for reading

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