Have you ever wondered why the basic theme/mood or expression of most songs, poems, sonnets, stories and sagas is “love”? Yes, why does this emotion override all others when it comes to bringing out the best as well as the beast in us? With Valentine’s Day in the air and the wedding season in full swing, I cannot but wonder what it is that drives humankind even to realms of insanity when it comes to this feeling called love.

Of course there are those who state that the world’s greatest love stories are immortal because of their tragic endings. Be it Romeo and Juliet, Heer-Ranjha, or even our very own Muna-Madan, they all met with the same fate; that of separation and death. Even the greatly heralded pair of Radha-

Krishna actually never married or got together after their brief Vrindaban rendezvous. There are also those who are of the opinion that the “Happily ever after” theory only applies to fairy tales. I have often wondered, if the theory didn’t apply to real life then why on earth were those stories created in the first place leading thousands or even millions of young minds to believe that ‘true love’ is the ultimate purpose of one’s life?

Does love truly exist or is it just one of humankind’s unaccomplished missions plaguing generation after generation to pursue in vain? What or where is the key to unending bliss and joy? Why is it that with thousands of years of experience behind us, we are still on the quest of ‘the perfect love story’. More importantly, we live in a society that still believes in ‘arranged marriages’. Arranged marriages are usually arranged between families of equal economic stature, social standing and background. Of course, no matter how liberal modern day families claim to be, in their hearts, most of them still like to ‘fish’ within their own caste and creed. And no matter how perfectly well all other factors fit in, arranged marriages do leave out the most important factor; the human emotion. My personal view is that it downgrades the human intelligence as incapable of choosing one’s partner. It further eliminates the chance of experiencing one of life’s greatest adventures; of ‘being head over heels in love’.

Yes, ‘matched couples’ these days are allowed to go out together to get to know each other. But with the ultimate goal of their meetings already set subconsciously in their minds, do they have any choice but to try and see how best they can fit in together. Anyway, how many couples actually have the courage to say no to the already approved and to a certain extent endorsed circumstance? A friend of mine who had an arranged marriage recently shared with me what I consider to be a very bold confession; that she has never really experienced what it feels like to be in love.

Love has been credited with the creation of the most beautiful pieces of art and poetry. Taj Mahal is heralded as a testimony of love and is a monument that stands unparalleled in its exquisiteness till today. In the 1300’s, Francesco Petrarca wrote 366 sonnets dedicated to his true love; a young woman married to someone else. His love remained unrequited but it gave historians and litterateurs plenty of food for thought. A hardened General like Napoleon Bonaparte could not withstand the power of love. Our modern day princess, Princess Diana seemed to crave for love. It is sad how she never found her true love even though she was married to a real prince and she gave so much love and compassion to the needy. Eventually Charles went on to marry the love of his life, Camilla Parker though Diana was considered to be prettier, more compassionate and deserving in every way of being loved and cherished.

All said and done, I feel that if you have never experienced ‘being in love’ you have not lived yet. If we are to experience all that life has to offer, why leave out the most amazing of all experiences.

Just the fact that couples in-love believe that their love story will be different than that of the rest is a refreshing fact that humankind still believes in love. Every love story is different; each has its own share of ups and downs. Love is not only about being young and recklessly passionate.  It is with the experience of having lived through good and troubled times together that each love story becomes different and special.

Call me a hopeless romantic but I still feel like a young girl in love when I hear Rod Stewart’s
Have I told you lately that I love you. Many of my favorite songs are old English, Hindi and Nepali evergreen love songs. This Valentine’s Day, my wish for you is that may each one of you have a day filled with roses, chocolates and the most incredible ingredient of all; LOVE.