Today was a nice day. Why? It is difficult to explain. Just feeling it was nice. May be because I was able to meet two friends after a long time. Particularly one whose wife is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for sometime. Just happened to pass that way when I rang him if he was home! The smile on his face on seeing me made my day. I realize it is very difficult for such people to call or visit anybody. Let us make a habit of taking the initiative and meet such suffering acquaintances because they will not be able to take the initiative!.
Probably the legendary scientist did not believe in God but to those who believed, he was the living evidence of the existence of God. Although miracles occur every day for the believers, Hawking was a miracle even for non-believers, Diagnosed with ALS at the age of 21 years, and given only two years, he lived a meaningfully productive life till the age of 76! No, he did not live in a vegetative state. He was undoubtedly the most outstanding scientist on black holes and quantum theory. His efforts to synthesize both the theories required a brilliant brain which he had and used to the fullest capacity. He died a satisfied man. If this is not a miracle, what else can be?
Words fail me to describe the legendary scientist who was so positive despite his non-curable and progressive disability! Modern day man has to learn a lot from him!
Today morning as I went to prepare my bed tea there was no tea leaf in the the container meant for this purpose. As I went to wake up my wife to ask where the tea leaves were, I found her enjoying peaceful sleep. I could not dare disturb her sleep and came back to the kitchen. I switched off the gas stove, searched for the tea leaves packet and filled the container with the tea leaves. As the brew changed the colour, I went back thirty years, the initials years of our marriage!
Would I have entered the kitchen so early then? No way, the MCP that I was, I would have woken up my wife rudely! Even if, assumed, had I entered the kitchen, the empty container would have made me furious and I would not even have noticed that my wife was sleeping! I would have simply shouted : ” What the hell you keep doing all day? Cannot even remember to keep the container full of tea-leaves?” And even after her having prepared the tea, I would have sipped it sulkily, cursing her for her absentmindedness as, in my perception then, it was her duty to keep all things ready! It is another matter that it would have wasted my morning also but who would have cared?
But years of living together and her silent suffering have brought a see change in my perception about our ‘roles’ and ‘duties’. I am more or less convinced that no one owes anything to the other….It has to be a mutual enterprise and this has eased things for me at least! over Thank God for this change in my perception!
He was always a ‘mama’s’ boy. I hope you know what I mean. I believe in Indian situation, every boy is a mama’s boy. The degree may differ. But he was a mama’s boy by choice. Like most Indian mothers his mother had sacrificed her lot of comfort for his happiness. Seeing her slog (not in the usual sense of the term) he had decided early in life that he would never let her down, come what may. Probably he had written the script for his life quite early!
As usual, the situation had to change after his marriage. But, although he supported his wife duly, whenever there was a conflict between the two ladies, he stood by his mother, even inviting the wrath of his wife. He did realize that sometimes his wife was more correct than his mother but he stood by his resolution steadfastly. He always thought his mother would not be alive forever…so he could make amends after she departs for her heavenly abode.
Obviously, life and death are not a wishful thinking. As luck would have their youthful time passed more quickly than it should have! When the old lady said final goodbye, they were in their fifties. Was it too late? He made another resolution ….not to let down his wife any more. But the young lady (no more so young) viewed everything suspiciously. Sometimes shocked, at others simply surprised! He would stand by her when she faced the children (now quite grown up), her parents and siblings, even his own relatives! Gradually she understood and started enjoying the new relationship! Jointly they would rue for the lost youthful time but they decided not to waste the time on the past.
Can we really have love at first sight ?The phrase has always been there or almost always. Somehow, I am not convinced. What is love anyway? Is it sitting together, holding hands, kissing and embracing at public places, having sex and/or abandoning each other? I don’t think anyone (except the possessed lover) will agree to this definition of love.
What one gets at first sight is gaining attention and getting/seeking attraction. And that attraction has different degrees—a simple liking to passion, leading to desire for possession! And, possession for what? As, at first sight, we do not know the person, love cannot simply take roots! What emerges is the desire to come closer, touch, embrace, kiss and do what follows such intimacy! It is simply a physical attraction pushed by carnal desires! This may be a part of the love syndrome but this, per-se, is NOT LOVE!
Most people professing Love at first sight want the ‘object’ (read man/woman) of their love at any cost! Even if that person does not want to be loved! And these lovers can go any distance to take possession of that object- threaten, throw acid and kill, if need be! They cannot tolerate that ‘object’ to dissent. How can love dictate death? I have often wondered! LOVE GIVES LIFE AND DOES NOT TAKE IT.
No. Love, as it has been known and understood since ages, in all cultures and societies, has always professed to GIVE and not take! Deliver and NOT possess! One in love is always willing to suffer rather than enjoy at the cost of the beloved. He/she willingly makes sacrifices for, and not kills the beloved.
The principles of modern management seem to have overtaken modern life in every field where success is measured in terms of achievements and possessions, where success is measured by the indices of profit and loss. So in love also success stories in media only report the possessive lovers…and not the ones who worship their beloved silently!
But, throughout history success of love has always been measured by the suffering and sacrifices made by the beloved…the pangs of love have always been the desire of the lovers. There cannot be any love at first sight. Love needs time to develop, mature and take roots. This can happen only when the lovers know each other. And final results of all “love at first sight” cases have mostly been tragic, which goes on to show that the society needs to discover itself afresh-at least in the matters of heart!
IS ALL (REALLY) FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR
The above proverb has almost become a cliché. Every one must have used it at one point of time in life. My hunch is that the number of males using this would be much higher than the number of females. This could be because, despite corrupt females coming on scene, still fewer females are inclined to take law into their own hands. For some inexplicable reason, I have never felt comfortable with this oft repeated phrase. Doesn’t it by itself convey that something has been done that ought not to have been done? The frequency with which this is being used these days only hints towards the declining morals in the society. But could it ever be justified? Let is examine!
To begin with, there are three key terms: fair, love and war. The dictionary meaning of these words is as under:
FAIR: treating people equally; just or appropriate;
LOVE: very strong affection, very strong affection and sexual attraction, great liking.
(Love affair: a romantic or sexual relationship between two people who are not married to each other)
WAR: state of armed conflict
As per the website www.phrases.org.uk/bulletinboard, “the use of this has been traced to John Lily’s “Ephesus” (1578). First attested in the US in “Horse Shoe Robinson” (1835). The proverb is usually used to justify cheating”. If that be the case, can cheating be ever justified? No. In my humble opinion cheating can never be justified! Even Gandhi ji said “ends cannot justify means”. I would go a step further and say, foul means can defile even the most glorious cause.
Let us first examine as to whether all is fair in the war i.e., armed conflict. Remember, here we are not talking of the fights between two individuals or groups; we are talking of armed conflict among nations, the situation which might have prompted the use of the proverb! India defeated Pakistan army in Bangla Desh war in1971 and captured over 90000 Pakistani soldiers. But they were not killed; they were provided food and other basic amenities and finally repatriated to Pakistan. We, on the other hand, often complain against Pakistan for maltreating our soldiers. We know that Pakistan is always at war with India. If all is fair in love and war then why do we complain? Some Iraqi soldiers were maltreated by the US troops in Guatemala camps. A lot of hue and cry was raised all round and those responsible for the ill treatment were prosecuted. Why? If this phrase were true, there would be no UN, no Geneva Convention on war and no Human Right movements! There are conventions to be followed even during war. Chemical weapons are still not allowed. Can someone using them be forgiven under the garb of this fairness? Even In the great war of Mahabharata, there were rules to be followed. All the international treaties clearly demonstrate that wars are to be fought according to rules.
If all is not fair in war can it be so in love?
What is love? If we see the definition given above, love is great liking/affection which may have sexual attraction. Some times we say “Love is God”. Most religious prophets have extolled love as a virtue that is the first prerequisite to meet God. Bhagat Kabir said “dhai aakhar prem ka parhe so pandit hoi” meaning that one who learns the lesson of love is really enlightened. Guru Gobind Singh said “saach kahon sun leo sabhai, jin prem kiyo tinhi prbh payo” meaning, listen every body, I speak the truth, one who loves attains God. How cans a feeling that leads us to God, incite one to cheat others? These days we often read in the newspapers that a boy has killed a girl because she refused to reciprocate his love! Or has thrown acid on her face to teach her a lesson. What a travesty of such a Beautiful feeling it is? How can a person who is in love kill his beloved? Do we as a society approve of such action? Love they say is always ready to sacrifice. How can one hurt others and still claim to be in love?
Of late Haryana (even Punjab) has been in the news for this love/war syndrome. The girl and the boy who love each other (fairly) break the norms of the society. What type of love is this that forces you to hurt your own parents who brought you up so painfully? And then, we have those khap panchayats who declare a “war” on these lovelorn couples and declare their marriages void. If they don’t abide by their dictates, they decree to kill them. Can these actions be justified by saying “all is fair in love and war”?
We claim that MAN is the most glorious creation of God and believe that He created Man in His own image. But the fact is that we have failed to live up to that expectation of God and have proved are the cruelest creation of God. No where in the animal kingdom the desire for possessiveness is as strong as in human beings. And this desire is at the root of all our selfish actions which force us to proclaim “All is fair in Love and war.”
Let us not forget that Love is the name of sacrifice, of giving, not taking. It is certainly not snatching. And giving never needs unfair means. Nature simply gives and gives. Let us also not forget that being human means playing fair to others, needy and weak.
War is the antithesis of nature and cannot be justified as a just cause. Unfair means used to win a war are doubly deplorable. No, sir, all is certainly not fair in Love or war.
You are a sweet rose,
Beautiful and elegant!
Your fragrance attracts people
From far and wide!
You are a sweet rose,
Lovable and attractive.
Your innocence exhorts
Every one to be protective.
Is there a soul
On this earth, so foul,
that doesn’t want you
by its side?
Wanting to hold thee,
From the rest of the world?
Where you’ll remain,
May be unnoticed!
but not unwanted?