Ahead of Valentine’s Day, a look at the things that makes the world go round – from determined lovers in khapland to a bond forged across prison cells; from modern love and its modern betrayals to what our bestselling romances reveal about us.
LOVE’S LIKE THAT: Those who have experienced young love will instantly get how you can know and not acknowledge, and that’s fine because that’s part of the dance of courtship — tentative, tenuous, trying to find a fit. How can love be all of these things — essential-as-breathing, simple, complicated, exalting, maddening? Yes, it can.
THIS IS HOW YOU LOVE: You will fall in love with the idea of falling in love. You will see yourself falling in love with a soldier, a farmer, a spy, a killer. Your love will alternatively be tragic, redeeming, adventurous and lethal. You do not see yourself falling in love with software engineers, dentists or marketing executives. You will be surprised to slowly learn that love can find a place in the hearts of the indifferent and the unworthy.
MAD ABOUT THE BOYS: Ravin Singh, the author of I Too Had A Love Story, quit his job with Microsoft to write full-time for readers across India who live vicariously through his love stories, write to him every day on his Facebook fan page and throng to book launches in hundreds. Read more about the two bestselling authors of Indian romances, and what they say about the youngsters who read them.
THE LOVE THAT KNOWS NO BARS: The nun saw him for the first time in 1995 in a photograph in a news story. She carefully unfurled the newspaper that she had used to cover her prayer book, and read about the young man who had been sentenced to life on the charge of killing a nurse. Did she know then that it would irretrievably change her life?
MAKE OR BREAK: A lot has been said about how technology — especially smartphones — has played the perfect cupid. But then does it also suck the life out of relationships? A delayed response, a non-expressive simple smiley, a status update or a profile picture — reasons enough to put some strain in relationships and worse, end them.
HEARTBREAK TALKIES: The two most beautiful actors of Hindi cinema in the Fifties and Sixties, Meena Kumari and Madhubala, whose radiance lit the desires of men across the country, began as child artistes Baby Meena and Baby Mumtaz respectively. They would go on to play the grandest stories of love and fulfillment, but had their hearts broken in real life.
TUMHARI AMRITA: Every bit of a rebel, Amrita stopped believing in god after her mother’s death when she was 11 and got married to one of her admirers, Pritam Singh, son of a hosiery merchant, when she was 16. However, the two could never develop a deeper connection as partners. Her love for Sahir, however, unrequited as it was — and maybe because of it — remained with her forever.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF KHAP: Scores of rebellious young couples continue to risk death for a chance at love and a hope that things will change. The cries of outrage against honour killings are no longer feeble today; they refuse to be muffled behind the curtain of social acceptance. Perhaps, it is now time for happy endings in khapland.