Recently, on my flight from Bangalore to London, I watched Woody Allen’s “The Cafe Society”, a 2016 romantic drama that has a chain of betrayed relationships – one man leaving his wife for another and then this one leaving for another and so on. Woody Allen’s movies are always about unrequited love and people love it because they can all relate to it at some level and it makes their one-sided loves worth loving.
The human spirit loves complex problems or challenges. We can never truly appreciate and cherish what we have. It is in our nature to want what we can’t have. Even my 6-month old daughter isn’t happy with just rolling over or crawling, she wants to stand up even though she can barely even sit by herself. So, chasing people who won’t love us back is like the ultimate life challenge. Even the Hindu mythology is all about it. The Ramayana is essentially about unrequited love of Ravana for Sita and the Mahabharata is that of Duryodhana’s for Draupadi or Amba’s for Bheeshma.
While literature, drama and media have glorified this sort of love over the years, the only thing left to do with “the discussing grocery lists” sort of love between a man and his wife is parody. Having discussed grocery lists with my husband for over 6 years now, even though I don’t say it out loud every single day, I love it. I love it in a way that I could never love my crush from 9th grade who I loved with naive passion.
One presents volatility and uncertainty, while the other presents stability. Some people prefer indulging in self deprecation driven by irrational passion while some others value reciprocation of emotion. Neither love is lesser than the other, it’s just different. Having seen different kinds of loves over the years, I prefer the mellow “talk for hours about arbit things under the sky” till you fall asleep sort of love over the state of ambivalence an intense passionate affair leaves you in.
What if you’ve never experienced different kinds of loves? Do you then simply have to rely on movies to meet your ever elusive loves on a Euro rail? Would you be able to tell what kind of love you’re looking for? I am sure my grandmother would have argued that it doesn’t matter, and we just have to make do with what we get. She’s damn right, but we’ve too much exposure nowadays to simply make peace with our loves without sampling. So, I’d say, go out there and sample, even if you are 45, because it’s never too late to fall in love and that’s the only way to distinguish between different kinds of loves.