There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
To reach to you each day.
This bridge remains invisible
In the world governed by reality
Glad that it is non-existent!
In a world marred by evil eyes
It remains invisible to naked eyes
In love with concrete images
And I did the right
By not giving it a shape
To a bridge I travel across
Each day to reach to you.
Had it been built by me
Surely it would have collapsed
Facing every passing moment
The rays of eyes dipped in
Evil and falsehood, treachery and crime,
And I would have lost something
Which sustains my earthly existence
There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
Through the realities of visible world
To reach to you each day
In every passing moment
To arrive at a world
Where no one exists
Other than you and I.
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” (Shakespeare). This became evident in cruel fashion in case of Divya and Ilavarasan. Ilavarasan and Divya belonged to different castes. Ilavarasan belonged to Dalit community and Divya came from a higher Vanniyar community. When their love story attained pinnacle, it did not evoke sweet episodes as one witnesses in Hollywood/Bollywood candyfloss movies. Last year, the girl’s father, unable to digest the vituperative remarks of people belonging to his community committed suicide. And now the news arrives that Ilavarasan, after Divya came to disown the marriage in blatant fashion, has committed suicide by jumping before the train.
Their love story from the very beginning was marred by series of unfortunate developments. It first resulted in a typical caste bigotry, which this time did not remain confined to a small section. The mounting tension took in its grip whole Tamil Nadu. They got married amid unprecedented developments.” I was on my way to Trichy for a football match. When I was in Omalur, I got a call from Divya saying that people in her house are trying to get her married to someone else. She asked me to take her with me. We went to Andhra Pradesh and got married there.” ( Ilavarasan in an interview to Tamil Edition of India Today).
When they got married, it led to huge tension in whole Tamil Nadu. A political party named Pattali Makkal Katchi entered into a campaign, triggering the impression that marriages between Dalit boys and non-Dalit brides were mainly for the purpose of extorting money. Fake cases got filed against Ilavarasan so as to block his appointment into police department in which he got newly selected. The issue further deteriorated when girl’s father committed suicide last November. Many colonies in Naikkankottai village got burnt- the village of boy’s father.
For Divya, these developments seemed a bolt from the blue. After her father’s suicide, she went into state of depression and decided to separate from Ilavarasan. Naturally, her decision left Ilavarsan in a state of shock, who was determined to seek better days. Just a day before his suicide, it’s learnt that Divya categorically informed the reporters inside the Madras High Court campus about her decision to disown the marriage and not to return to Ilavarasan at all. Unable to withstand this dejection, the very next day Ilavarsan jumped before the train and ended his life.
Divya might have decided to disassociate with Ilavarsan but Ilavarsan remained true to her till his last breath. The only thing found in his possession, near the railway track, were the letters which he wrote to her during 2011.
Listen my beloved
Love is never put on scale
In love do you measure the
Worth of emotions, desires and wishes?
Why do you wish to heal the pain
Emanating from injuries you fail to see?
Pain which nature wants to heal
Shall always get healed
And sometimes unhealed injuries
Refine the soul further
Or let them remain unhealed
Floating in the ocean of heart as insoluble capsules of pain!
It’s an unbearable dishonesty on your part my beloved
An act unfair to dilute the pain simmering inside
Listen I have learnt lessons
To move from one pain to another
In the company of light
It’s time for you my beloved to touch new horizons
And leave me far behind
To walk all alone on the isolated path
For I have also learnt
How to remain alive with no trace of life inside!
The same poem in Hindi with a slight modification in style and treatment.
सुन मेरे मीत: तू कुछ जख्मो को हरा ही रहने दे!
जो इश्क करते है वो
इश्क को तराजू में नहीं तौलते
अरमानो, ख्वाहिशों, जस्बातो
का लेखा जोखा कैसा मीत!
जो जख्म दीखते नहीं उन
पर मरहम लगाना कैसा?
जिन जख्मो को भरना होता है
वो अपने आप ही भर जाते है
या वक़्त के साए में ढलकर
रूह को थोडा और निखार जाते है
या नासूर बनते है
तो नासूर ही बन जाने दें?
सो लिहाज़ा तेरा तडपना, आज़माना
अब बेमानी सा लगता है
कि एक जख्म से दूसरे जख्म तक
का फासला तय करना हमने सीख लिया है
सो बेहतर है कि तू आगे बढ़ चल
रौशनी के कारवां संग
और छोड़ दे पीछे मुझे
अजनबी सी राहो पे तन्हा चलते रहने को
कि अब मर के भी हमने
जीते सा दीखते रहने का हुनर सीख लिया है।
I have never been die hard fan of Yash Chopra’s movies. His romantic angles mired in illicit relationship always left me appalled. He was a noted filmmaker having Midas touch for conceiving interesting themes, hinging around three people in one single relationship, either due to providence or chance. His penchant for such complex relationships, on par with illicit love affairs, could be gauged from the fact that barring his early years of film making when he made gems like Waqt, Dharamputra, Ittefaq, Mashaal, Trishul, Deewar and Kala Patthar, nearly all his movies in later years depicted adultery in one or other form. It can be safely opined that his movies, both explicitly and implicitly, promoted illegal relationships. That’s pretty unfortunate as filmmaker of his caliber should have been more sensible in application of his mind.
He had the brilliant ability to present romance with all its elements in grand style. The grandeur and colourful imagery noticeable in his movies takes away our breath. It’s true that average cine-goer likes to flirt with unfulfilled dreams and wishes as he/she enters inside the theater, and tries to dissolve the harsh realities in the silken world appearing and disappearing on the silver screen. Any average filmmaker is not very much interested in exposing his viewers to shades of realism. Yash Chopra understood this well and so in his movies we have characters, borrowed straight from Mills and Boon novels, flirting with their ladies against scenic backdrop. No wonder Swiss government honoured Yash Chopra for promoting tourism in Switzerland!
To make his romance stories gain some substance, he was but compelled to fall in the arms of “illicit relationship” so as to provide some shock value to his films. However, he lacked the ability to seriously contemplate over any issue, which demanded deep attention, but in the same genre his brother B R Chopra exhibited the art of serious presentation in an effortless manner. That’s why B R Chopra’s “Gumrah”, having adultery as central theme, depicted the conflict emanating out of such relationship quite well. Yash Chopra’s movies based on the same plot stand nowhere to pathos exhibited in Gumrah. Yash was more governed by the desire to emerge as a successful director in the genre of popular cinema despite being person of immense capabilities. He was a pure entertainer, who used “arrival of third person” as perfect masala element to make his movies mint money. That’s why we cannot contrast him with likes of Raj Kapoor. He failed to attain the stature of Raj Kapoor, who was also governed by the desire to emerge as great entertainer but with a difference: Raj’s sensitivity always managed to find a suitable cause, which under his brilliant directorial treatment ripped apart our emotions. In fact, lot is said about depiction of grandeur/ style in his movies but Gulshan Rai and Feroz Khan stand miles ahead of him even in this department.
Let’s take into cognizance “illicit relationship” – a dominant feature of his movies. He should not have roped in this angle unless he had enough reasons to substantiate his viewpoint. For instance, let’s take “Darr” promoted as a violent love story. What was Yash Chopra trying to demonstrate? That Sunny Deol (husband) has to be equally cunning, powerful and mad like Shah Rukh Khan (lover) to save his wife from the shrewd moves. The greatest irony is that evil gets checkmated by good doesn’t sound convincing in the end when evil enjoys the upper hand, dancing with some else’s beloved for most of the time. One of the salient features of movies made by Yash Raj Films has been that one has to be shrewd and street smart to emerge as a winner. Idealism is of little use in world dominated by market-oriented world, wherein end justifies the means. That’s the guiding principle of protagonists appearing in “Trishul” and “Deewar”. Aditya Chopra’s “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” highlights the same trait. The protagonist even as he is reluctant to run away with his beloved, enters into ridiculousness and pathetic gestures to woo his would be wife. The success of this movie is remark on the declining standards of a viewer’s approach towards cinema.
That’s the aberration which marred the movies churned out by Yash Raj Films. The movies having candyfloss flavour, embedded in synthetic sentiments, depicted a section of society, which barely depicted the real face of India. For instance, Salaam Namaste was entirely shot in Australia, talked about reunion of two lovers, caught in problems born out of “laid-back lifestyle”. Hum Tum, Mohabbatein, Dil To Pagal Hai and etc. turned out be old wine in new bottle. Even patriotic perceptions were effectively used in ”Chak De India” to keep the cash box ringing. The point is that Yash Chopra and his successors have realized this pretty well that market forces and not the theme of the movie, which ensures success or failure. The global world, which made the boundaries meaningless, opened new markets, and, therefore, themes also got focused on people who sustained these markets. Both Bollywood and Hollywood rely on stereotyped emotions to make their movies emerge as blockbuster. So scenic landscape, stunning faces, big cars and pulsating music became the essential ingredients of romantic movies be its made by Yash Chopra or anyone else from Hollywood.
Some might find it unpalatable, and unbearable as well, to treat his movies as promoter of illegal relationships. However, it’s not a misplaced belief when one becomes aware of the fact that cinema, life and society are intimately linked to each other. Chandni, Dhool Ka Phool, Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila, Doosra Aadmi, Darr, Faasle, Lamhe, Daag, Aaina, Yeh Dillagi and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan to name a few, more or less, had controversial themes, wherein secret lover or illicit relationship added a complex twist to the story line. It’s a cliche to state that cinema borrows its concept from society. The ultimate truth is that it borrows the clues from society, exaggerates them, turning them into saleable scripts and, in the process, creates scope for more distorted themes. In a combined research conducted by the ” American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the National Institute of Mental Health” to establish the negative impact of movies on youths in USA, it was clearly established that “just as every cigarette increases the chance that someday you will get lung cancer, every exposure to violence increases the chances that some day a child will behave more violently than they otherwise would.”
The point is when you are genuinely depicting the harsh realities of life, be it centered on illegal relationship, it adds a new dimension in your understanding but when you use such themes to carve unrealistic presentation, merely to ensure commercial success, it’s altogether a different story. Yash Chopra was more conscious of commercial success then ensuring a perfect treatment to a substantial story line. Ironically, Mahesh Bhatt also used illicit relationship as effective plot but he ensured that he remained close to the real life. Anyway, Yash Chopra makes me realize that attaining success is different thing than doing good work which makes difference in lives of people. He got success by promoting flawed romance, which served no greater cause other than ensuring flow of money.
It’s really hard to understand why lovers or couples who were so intimately involved in courtship years feel the need to move on different routes barely after few years of togetherness in a marital relationship? In my eyes, such breakdowns are indicative of weak foundation. Just the way the wall crumbles down if it’s devoid of proper foundation, the modern relationships are crumbling because they were not built upon the proper values in the formative years. At the same time it cannot be altogether denied that negative education has made newer generation hyperconscious. As a result of wrong conditioning we are not able to imbibe positive values which ensure healthy relationship. For instance, co-operation is indicative of weakness. One needs to prove one’s worth. So when competitive spirits sets in the wisdom gives ways to trickery or cleverness. One might be totally corrupt but one should know how to promote himself as saint! That’s called management funda by our modern times management gurus! We have now mastered this art. The world is being ruled by such people only. No wonder right from offices to homes are all in state of doldrums.
Some feel that new work culture in which couples do not get enough time to share qualitative moments might be the reason of rise in cases of separation. However, one needs to ask why did we give rise to such system which ensured such maddening involvement of both the sexes? On top of it, it was very cleverly filled inside the consciousness of modern women that they can live life on their own with no assistance from anyone else. Obviously, heightened individualism ensured that modern women feels it insulting to compromise or adjust! At the same time, capitalist values ensured that greed controls both the sexes. So even as the couple talked about love somewhere in the mind the desire to own big house and car or, for that matter, comforts of life remained the cherished goals.
Economic security does ensure stability but bigger financial dreams often acts as spoilsport. So bigger became our dreams, the lesser became our happiness. Above all, in an attempt to realize our dreams we created a huge distance from our real being. After all, bigger dreams cannot be realized unless we have learnt the art of deception, unless we have learnt to work like machines. Once we turned into machines the home life representative of intimate feelings became some sort of stopover. It also ensured that complexities look like part and parcel of human life; complex relationship look more meaningful than normal relationships and all lesser people got worshiped as icons of success. Against this backdrop, it’s obvious break ups are more visible than tales of long union.
Is there a way to restore lost love or lost intimacy ? Yes. However, the problem with human beings is that as they increase the subtlety of mind they coin strange terms to define human relationships. That way they make the human life more complex. Life is calmer when we rise above the such stupid notions carved by humans. Just go back in times when we were kids. We were mired in bliss since we loved life to its fullest. Now we don’t enjoy life. The new absurd categorizations which sees men and women as alpha male and alpha female have blocked the interplay of emotions humane in nature. So the most effective way to ensure a good relationship is to strike a good bond with our real being. How can we know that we have struck a perfect bond with it ? Once it happens we start thinking in simple ways. Like a walk together becomes as romantic as dinner in costly restaurant!! Let’s learn to be simple so that we regain the ability to see the world from our own eyes rather than seeing the world from eyes of corrupt souls.
I am interested in deep loving relationship between man and woman. And I am really in pain to say that as both sexes are evolving it’s become difficult for them to live together in perfect harmony. I prefer inertness of previous ages than evolution of nowadays. At least, we were able to “drink from thine eyes” quite freely without being fear of labeled as this or that.
“Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss within the cup
And I’ll not ask for wine.”
( Ben Jonson)
You appear in memories
And I cry again
The age in which love crossed our hearts
Murmured the dragon called society
That’s not the age to be in love!
You didn’t protest
Nor I came to chain the dragon
And as it breathed fire
Our dreams got burnt
Time changed its cover
And arrived the age to love
Prevailed now the glorious illusion
Called glories of the skin
By which hanged the misery
In form of earthly fame.
Around me moved sea of people
Competing with chameleon
Burning in the flame of fame
Filling the episodes of life
With strange amalgam of black and white.
I searched for you in these new shades
Even in the isolation filling these shades
And I realized you were now a gentle breeze
Flowing in some unknown distant land
With you love remained like love
With all its mysteries and foggy depth.
When you changed I realized
That world does change
Sometimes to beat the time
Sometimes to be beaten by the time
I too tried to change my skin
Punctured the self within
To let it imbibe the law of change
Yet it remained the ancient self
Those who changed now wear some crown
And I the unchanged
Moving like lost ship in the ocean.
I am in love with Radio since childhood. It’s my first love. That’s because it remained above the distortions that hit the silver screen /idiot box with passage of time, providing healthy entertainment, besides keeping me in touch with changes taking place in the world. The other two mediums gave way to skin show but radio kept its virginity intact for long. However, very recently I discovered that it has too given way to vulgarity and obscenity. This time vulgarity entered not through the eyes but through the ears in form of sound waves.
It took me by surprise when I found one of the very young female listeners shrieking out loudly on radio that she enjoys uninterrupted “Sex and the city” and others can also have same quality experience like her if they come to own a particular brand of set top box! It appeared to me that society has really progressed- a belief that did not stay for long. That probably also explains why we have so many late night programmes on radio, often hosted by female presentators with remarkable confidence. That makes me feel pretty awkward within as how come being a male I lack the same confidence? Anyway, the arrival of songs like “ Ooh la la“, “ Chikni Chameli“, ” Bhaag DK Bose” and “ Jalebi Bai“, to name a few, on radio wiped out whatever little respectability radio had so painfully preserved in all these ears.
Anyway, it gave me some sort of satisfaction that bombardment of such songs and programmes is indicative of growing maturity in society- something also in tune with supply and demand theory. I mean I felt when young generation can so boldly discuss and share their experiences on radio, television and online portals I have no reason to assume that times have not really changed, in which people like me owning a great degree of shyness in such matters are like great black patch on clean white plain clothe. Have a look at our teenage days. We had just morning shows at theaters delivering “Gupt Gyana” (secret knowledge), which was rarely watched by guys and gals from decent homes and then there were magazines like “Playboy” which few could afford and some Hindi books- poor versions of foreign magazines. To discuss such matters was considered taboo and television after much consideration started showing late night movies in late 80s, which none watched.
Look at our times. We have helpline numbers that deal with queries related with post marriage worries !! There is growing awareness about sex education, more than need of moral education- to such an extent that talks about moral education seems to be regressive! Well, my eyes were wide opened when some months ago next door young boy,studying in good school and belonging to a good family, asked me ,” Do I own CD of Murder-2 ?” My response in negative made him give me a strange stare and he was virtually annoyed when I asked why he has so much interest in movie having bold scenes-based on theme revolving around extra marital affairs? He smiled and said I am not in sync with recent trends!! I found merit in his response , after all, how come I forgot that all national magazines carry out sex surveys, which has details of intimate moments ? These are easily available low priced magazines which anyone can afford!! Gone are the days when “ Roop tera Mastana” or “ Julie I love you” aesthetically picturized songs, evoked unheard sensations. It’s a different world wherein explicit details in normal conversations are commonplace and sexting has killed all scope for unheard sensations.
The point is do these signs are indicative of the fact that society is on right track after having become comfortable with sex related issues? The answer is a big “No”! Just now I signed a petition that will serve as a memorandum to Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, compelling him to take note of “Gang-rapes, sexual assaults, victim blaming, shameful rape trials” which have terribly hit Delhi/NCR. It reported the highest number of ‘rape’ cases (414) in 2010, leading it to earn dubious distinction of being rape capital of India. The other cities are also not that safe. In Calcutta a woman was raped by five youths when they were offered lift by her in middle of the night. In Gurgaon, a woman pub employee was allegedly gang-raped by six youth in a flat in the city. The sensational rape case of a BPO employee at Dhaula Kuan is still fresh in our memories.
After such incidents males are cursed, viewing rapes in narrow perspective as subordination of females in patriarchal society a way via which males prove their superiority over females. The feminists and intellectuals speak about ways and means to prevent rapes the way this petition talks about like better promotion of ‘women helplines, monitoring through CCTV’s, sexual assault prevention and redressal policy, state and police sensitivity towards women, workplace safety and awareness campaigns. However, the big picture is often ignored. At this point it would be not be out of place to suggest that the United States has the world’s highest rape rate. A country that has high level of transparency in sexual affairs with a great freedom to indulge in sexual experimentation. Let’s also remember it’s a society highly feminist in nature. “1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men have experienced an attempted or completed rape” states one of the reports published several years back.
Let me state that this issue has many complex facet. The same society that proclaims about freedom of sexual preferences and about attainment of maturity has utterly failed to address some of the key questions related with sexuality. The same society also deals with serious issues in biased manner as its more interested in vilification of men community and sharp polarization of society for vested interests. It boasts of sexual freedom but it loves to highlight important issues related with men and women in stereotypical way. That’s one of the greatest paradox in our times. It’s because more women in offices means greater consumption of material goods and so none of the countries including India can dare to ignore demands associated with women as they play a great role in stabilization of nation’s economy.
However, this has led to another problem. The market oriented global society has utilized women’s efficiency not only as qualified labour but also used her sexuality to great extent in selling of the products as well which these women are producing. Nokia sets are made in some remote part of India with the help of over burdened male and female staff and these very phones are launched at glittering ceremony, wherein one notices gorgeous male/female star accompanied by good looking females! Notice how sexuality is also being promoted along with new Nokia set!!
The problem arises here: Youth can buy a Nokia set but how and where will they unleash their sexual energy? That’s why it’s also promoted that we are now a country which allows many sexual preferences, enabling girls to boast “why should boys have all the fun? ” A certain sexual tension is gradually built. Want to buy a soap? Buy one which impresses girls easily or buy one which sexy Katrina Kaif uses over her long legs!! Want to buy a toothpaste? Use one which leads to freshness of breath so that it’s easier to attract kiss of a beautiful girl? If you use certain cream you attain a great glow to attract young girls and if female is using such a cream glow of her face is sure to get her a job!! It’s not enough to see the ball reaching the boundary. See how semi naked cheer girls express their joy when ball races towards boundary! You buy something and the woman cashier at counter, being impressed by the mobile you carry, offers you condom to compensate for lack of change!!
That sort of sexual impressions are being constantly generated. These are false images. But they are powerful enough to shatter into pieces better values. They lead to dangerous conditioning of mind. As a result right people from both the sexes suffer. If you are not allowing healthy release of sexual energy even as the the mind gets hammered with sexual images of all the types will it not lead to perversions of all types? Will it not lead to rapists and sexual offenders? Why are only men being vilified? Why not the system in its entirety being targeted? Will tough laws that seem to punish all the men and laws which view rest of the men as potential rapists serve the purpose? I think these are not preventive measures but methods to end the human society for forever.
Now let’s talk about love as well. The same Indian society which gives the impression that it has evolved to great extent is still comprised of people having more closed mind than people living in stone age. On the one hand, we find one reputed female editor finding extra marital affairs good for keeping marriage lively and, on the other hand, we have societies which hang to death boy and girl for loving each other just because they belonged to different caste. One real love story gives gives rises to many problems in India. Angry parents, shocked relatives, red-faced friends and hostile law authorities all make the life of lovers no less than living hell. No wonder the path of true love is never easy.
It’s quite ironical that casual sex has so many takers if one takes into account growing number of teenage pregnancies or sex at the call centers or growing number of educated girls from good families joining prostitution to earn good money in short time but the same society is not yet ready to embrace the lovers with open arms. That reminds me of middle class morality, which finds its appearance in dramas written by G B Shaw. A stiff resistance often greets lovers, who not only have to face hostile law authorities but also be face-to-face with shrewd moves of deceptive friends and relatives. Deceptive friends? Tell any friend that you are in love with some girl and you are bound to hear anyone passing this great information that she has slept with him too!! A lobby of bad friends gets in action side by side good ones, leading to dominance of half truths. True lovers get above such traps but not all are that great willed and so most love stories end up on tragic note.
So it’s okay to be fake lovers, in which there is display of money but no real emotions. Just the way a new movie get released every Friday, a new girlfriend or boyfriend appears in life of such lovers. It’s okay to be a couple, who have no respect for each other but they are in relationship to keep the society happy or , for that matter, to keep the honour of family intact. Often such couples are involved in serious clashes and some even come to murder their partners. However, the Indian society has place for all such incidents. It treats them as part and parcel of drama called human life. What really baffles is that these same block heads who endorse all ills of societies in name of growth of society are so harsh towards lovers seriously in love with each other!! The custodians of morality still issue death warrants to them all in name of religion, caste, language and status.
Let’s hope that Indian society which is so eager to convey the impression that it has evolved and in tune with better sensibilities makes way for right people, create room for healthy relationships and removes chosen contradictions. At present, it’s in cusp which is neither modern nor ancient. I prefer not to treat it as a society trapped in transition. It’s probably moving away from its core: The core made up of ancient wisdom which treated even insentient objects worthy of admiration.
Look at present age. We are murdering our own kids-only because they fail to fulfill our expectations. We believed that husband and wife are each other’s reflection. Today we find that most of them are living in dead relationship. We treated women as object of worship. Today she is some ‘chikni chameli’ or, if that’s not the case, she is promoting some mobile or deodorant via the charm of her body !! Our wise present age intellectuals call prostitution the oldest profession. They forget that we have produced women who have set high precedents. Let’s not glorify trash even as we come to make way for trash to make the life attain full circle.