Is Love really sefless? Or above survival?

She loved him. More than anyone or anything else in this life. He loved her too. They were married for more than 3 years now and still had the same chemistry between them. If not same, better. Living together had made them even more considerate of each other’s needs. Nainika sincerely believed they were soul mates and not really just partners who had loved, got married and settle down. Everybody knew they were perfect for each other and she could never thank God enough for what she had in her life. A nice family, supportive in-laws, a God-sent husband, a good career. When she folded her hands to prayer, she didn’t know what to ask. Instead she thanked God a million times for all that He had blessed her with.
 Nainika waited for Manik impatiently on the bed. As they started to get cozy and intimate, she told him, “I love you so much. I think I can die for you”. Manik was not really pleased with the D-word. It put out his mood. But Nainika kindly explained to him that she had said that only because she was too afraid of death and it’s unpredictability. But ever since Manik had made her life so beautiful, she wouldn’t mind giving it away for him, rather than ever have to live without him. Manik understood and kissed her with all the passion in his heart. The night wore on and so did the love.
 Manik shouted “Naini, come here. Look at the beautiful view”. Nainika carefully made her way off-track and went in the direction where Manik stood. She exclaimed when she saw a small lake surrounded by beautiful mountains, lush green grass, completely concealed in a corner in the middle of the jungle. Immediately, they both decided to run down and steal a quick kiss. Manik helped Nainika down to the lake where they sat down admiring nature’s beauty, looking into each other’s eyes, stolen kisses and breathless promises were made.

 As it started to turn dark, they realized they had sat there far longer they had planned to. They started on the trek again, oblivious of the facts that they were completely on the wrong trail. As night fell, and stars appeared in the sky, they reached a huge waterfall that was nowhere in the trail they had been following. But they decided to rest the night there and follow up with their friends in the morning. Both of them were tired to their bones. Nainika was quite terrified too. The darkness and the eerie silence made her uncomfortable and she jumped at the slightest noise. Manik held her in his arms and soothed her like a baby. After a while they both fell asleep.
 Nainika woke up with a start. She thought she had heard some noises, but since she didn’t want to disturb Manik, she kept still. But now she was sure there was some wild animal waiting to make them his next meal. But what came out of the adjacent bushes got the better of her scariest nightmares. She saw a herd of men, more like tribals, who wear only leaves around their genitalia. They held spears and pointed it at them as a threating gesture. Nainika shook Manik up and for a couple of uncomfortable seconds, no one spoke a word.
Assuaging the situation, Manik finally spoke up, “Wh-What do you want?”
Immediately Manik and Nainika were separated and bound with thick ropes. The tribals did not say a word to them and spoke excitedly amongst themselves in a language that both Manik and Nainika couldn’t decipher. They both tried to calm each other and said their “I Love You” in English and Hindi. At about 3’o clock they both were forcibly taken near the huge waterfall they had earlier encountered on their way. Manik was stammering and Nainika crying. With fear. Finally, after much persuasion from them, their chief, a menacingly looking man, came forward and spoke some broken Hindi. Manik and Nainika froze. They ears were buzzing as if somebody had boxed them. “Sacrifice…1….man…woman….good luck…rain…happy….god”.
It didn’t take them long to realize that these tribals wanted to sacrifice and throw one of them down the waterfall to appease the rain gods. But they didn’t know who would be chosen.
Just then, another bomb dropped on them. The chief tribal pointed his spear towards Nainika and asked her to be brought forward. Nainika took one look down the waterfall, then looked at Manik with horror in her eyes and stepped forward. And then the chief spoke again, “you decide….who goes to the God”.

The sacrifice was to be made at the crack of dawn. Both of them were hung on poles with their hand and legs tied apart. Below them, they could see the waterfall gushing, as if prophesizing its mightiness. Both Manik and Nainika were speechless. The only words they both could hear were “I love you Manik. I could die for you”!
Nainika jumped and woke up with a start. She was sweating profusely despite the air conditioning in the room. Nainika was bewildered as she realized she had been in a horrible dream and started crying. Manik sat up, confused and looked at the clock. It was 5’o clock in the morning and sun was just about to rise. Manik laughed softly when he heard that his wife was crying due to a nightmare. He gave her some water to drink, calmed her down and went back to sleep. Nainika, however, could not sleep.
 She kept tossing and turning. Only she knew in her heart the terror she had gone through. It was real. She could feel the fear of death in her ribs and heart and that the prospect of dying had put a lot of things in perspective for her. Including the love she had for Manik. And more importantly, herself. She kept thinking whose name she would have taken in the dream. She wanted to hear herself say Manik, but she knew better. She had just seen another facet of the human mind.

Love – a habit, an addiction or sacrifice?

I was watching Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam for the nth time today. I always feel the same rush of emotions while watching the naked display of raw emotions, as Ajay Devgan is torn between his love and responsibilities. And especially the last scene where Aishwarya finally gets what she’s been seeking all along – her love but turns it down in favor of her husband.

Till the last time I remember having seen the movie, I never felt the way I felt today. Maybe it was because of the fact that I have loved and married the man I chose and maybe could relate to both Salman‘s and Aishwarya’s emotional suffering. There is this last scene where Aishwarya walks away from Salman and I felt angered. I mean, there he was, suffering as much as she was, suddenly weaving dreams of a happy future once again with the love of his life, only to be rejected and turned down and left forlorn for the second time. I mean, once is more than enough for anybody to go through that hell!

The love birds – Aish and Salman!

Anyway, I felt my anger directed at Aish but then I thought that it was not her mistake entirely too. It’s not easy to forget your first love and get married to somebody and just resign to your fate like that. At least you need some time to come to terms with that. Anybody in her place would still long for the ex after the unceremonious exit of Salman from her life and a quick marriage to Ajay Devgan. But there’s our hero who wants Aish and Salman to unite and takes her to a strange country to find him. Through the turbulent times together Aish realizes how selfless her husband is and begins to believe that that is true love! And then I got angry at her parents for making her go through this.

Because if Aish had never been forced to get married to Ajay Devgan, there would never have been that guilt that she was probably feeling because of which she throws away her love. There was nothing wrong with all three of them. All of them were true lovers and one of them lost. Why? Only if she wasn’t married, and she was on the quest to find her soul mate, I am sure she would have probably happily married him by the evening without a second thought.

Aish with her on-screen husband Ajay

And that led me to think that is Love actually the other name for sacrifice? Or is Love merely an addiction that we can shake off with the passage of time? Or may be just, a habit or getting used to a person that we can shake off with time?

I mean, if Aish hadn’t spent some quality time with her husband, she would have never come to know of his godliness. And then there was the marriage to honor. And so her parents succeeded at what they had set out to do. Destroy her first love. Was it right? I can’t really say. With time, she began to like Ajay, her love faded a little and marriage won over. I kind of felt cheated. And I have no idea why.

And then there is the sacrifice part. We love someone, we sacrifice a lot of things for their happiness. But was it love when Aish sacrificed her love to be with her husband, and in turn broke Salman’s heart? What kind of love is that when you break someone’s heart and balm someone else’s? Can love really be measured? Ajay’s love was greater than Salman’s and so she decided to stay with him, does it work like that? I don’t know. And I can’t help thinking.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that the theory that “we find true love only once” is an eyewash. I think, as life progresses, we change and find different people who we can love. And I don’t mean it in polyandry kind of way. I feel that Aish loved Salman when she was young, wild and passionate. But because of the heart break and subsequent marriage, something inside her changed forever. She wasn’t the same girl anymore. And may be that’s why she was able to appreciate a rather mature (Ajay Devgan’s) love rather than the almost childish (Salman’s) love. It was right, and yet I felt a little wronged. All these years, I always felt happy for Ajay Devgan in the end. But today, I think time has changed something inside me too. Having gone through the struggle to be with H for life, has changed me. Seeing someone’s love story break half way just brings out my defenses strongly. Even if that love story is a fiction.