Nineteenth century called and they want their classics back because contemporary culture has no room for them, or wait, do they?
After ample endeavours by countless people who desired to comprehend love let’s just add a marginal attempt to give that pursuit a whirl. With time the construct of our perception of love has changed. A chronocentric argument which is often contrived is that love of the older days was more meaningful than what it is today.
A connoisseur of classics would perhaps by all means list the nineteenth century Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which bewitched us body and soul, on the top. What sets this novel apart is its rebellious narrative axised around love to counter class hierarchy and associated pride. It was not just love but the struggle of love in those times. The fallacy of the aforementioned argument lies in the reduction of it to battle great art set in times to counter Orthodox but with the layer to suit the likes of generational battle where older times of classical culture has to be viewed in superlative forms. If you make it boomer versus millennial, you my friend have digressed. Great contents on love have emerged in those times and still continue to surface up. Of Course deterioration also happens but absoluteness of disgrace for expression of love in today’s time comparatively is not acceptable.
From Mir Taqi Mir’s composition, “Dil laga ho jo jee jahaan se uthha maut ka naam pyaar ka hai ishq” to the twenty first century extracted quatrain from Vikram Seth’s poem, ‘Through Love’s Greatest Power,’
“To sneer at love, and wrench apart
The bonds of body, mind and heart
With specious reason and no rhyme:
This is the true unnatural crime” we have come a long way. These two expressions of love are so dynamic yet so beautiful and far from ordinary.
But ordinary love also has a charm of its own.” After all, I am also just a girl, pretending to not like clichéd flicks, secretly hoping to have one for my own.” It’s already an achievement that chick flicks are somewhat considered guilty pleasures and not normalised to be constructed into a reality.
Clinking teacups in London or gulping Bordeaux in France, the backdrop of the falling sunset, beverage and in love in the bourgeois public sphere has been romanticised enough.
So where did we fall short between Faiz’s notion of mohabbat (love) and answering if, ‘is it better to speak or die?” (Dialogue:Call me by your name) on celluloids?
The answer lies in popular culture. Mass reproduction of ideas of say Shakespeare or resorting to making of remixes rather than original compositions or making raps which demean some socially deprived groups have been sold and deemed successful which is problematic. A movie director spews that if you don’t have the liberty to slap each other and be violent with each other then he sees no LOVE there. On the contrary another movie surfaced which debunked f the myth that in the name of love you are not given the license to domestically abuse your own wife.
Love for God is used to justify honor killings and ignite riots to cause social unrest. Such normalisation of violence and other social evils in the name of love is problematic.
Expressions of love over the years through art has widened the horizon for how far reaching it actually is. This expression defines the transition which love faces over a period of time surviving Orthodox, archaic elements, tokenism, false glorification and plurality.
Feature Image Credits: New Indian Express