With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and everyone embracing and celebrating the emotion of love, does it any way deface our Indian Sanskars?

It is quite difficult to describe the feeling of being in love and its meaning. Lao Tzu, a Chinese Philosopher, quoted, “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.” Free from any barriers, each one of us, whether human or animal, can comprehend it very well. When love resides in our hearts, life floats on a calm sea of goodness and optimism and our perceptions reorient. Often, being in love infuses a realization that our existence is not just physical but has a deeper cosmic meaning. It enables us to embrace our true selves and savour each moment of our being. As a mystic and wondrous love sounds, it is not easy as pie. Other than hurdles like ego, miscommunication, insecurities, fear of commitment, etc., the biggest stumbling block that restrains us from taking such a leap of faith is our ‘Sankars’.

Sanskars are very different from culture. Culture or sanskriti can be defined as ideas, principles or values according to which a society or a group operates, while Sanskars refer to our family ideals and are gauges of good parenting. They comprise of learning about good habits, our daily conduct, how elders, servants and strangers should be treated. Simply put, Sanskars are following rites of passage that show how ‘cultured or civilized’ we are. Even though they are fluid and have undergone change over time, the basic ideas remain the same and those who don’t pertain to them are labelled as deviant and unfit for society. It is on these grounds love too comes under the lens.

Although many of us have attended or are attending co-educational schools and colleges, we have been warned of maintaining a distance from the opposite sex. As puberty kicks in, boys and girls are often seated in separate desks and any closeness between them is seen with suspicion. Bollywood catchphrases like “Ek ladka – ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte”(Men and Women can not be friends), further strengthen this fallacy. Moreover, anything outside the heterosexual matrix is unimaginable and unnatural in this context. It is believed that parents and elders know what is best for us and our sanskaras tell us we must respect their decision without any questioning, even if it is as intimate as who we choose to be with romantically. Thus, the innocent emotion of love is polluted with the belief of being wrong and lustful. All of this is followed by ‘moral policing’ by random uncles and aunties and various groups. Our parents’ actions are always guided by the thought of our welfare but they are humans too and prone to mistakes and prejudices.

It is an undeniable fact that families especially Indian families, are caught between the dichotomy of pride and shame on one hand and happiness on the other and it is “Samaaj mein izzat”(Respect in Society) that mostly triumphs overjoy and contentment. People who are in a relationship start leading double lives as they are afraid to bear the scorn of their parents. This is not only stressful but also strains the relationship. All of this does not mean that lovers need to go rogue and defy all authority.

It is always preferred to tell your parents before taking any huge step. Often, their concerns are valid and only when one has assessed that their objections are not conceited, one should choose their happiness. Gaurangi Chawla, a student of Miranda said, “My parents say that we are from the land of Lord Krishna, the embodiment of love. Love is in our sanskar. Love is not ‘wrong’. Those who love truly retain their sanskars well!” We must bring back the time when love was celebrated for its purity as only then can we truly embrace what it means to be a human and belong.

Feature Image Credits: Scopio

Ipshika Ghosh

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One can cross paths with an introvert and might want to cross paths again and again. However, dating an introvert might get a little ambiguous sometimes, and human psychology only makes matters worse. It is time to put on the thinking hat and unravel the mysteries.

1. Initiate with the ‘Hi’

‘Should I text first?’

‘Won’t I sound too desperate?’

‘But I am not desperate’

‘This is going downhill already!’

This is what goes down in an introvert’s head, loosening the wires of brains. Try to initiate the conversation with a humble ‘hi!’ before the overthinking trigger is pulled, and the neurons undergo a rough patch even before the actual rough patch begins. Here is a thing about introverts- the imagination level reaches the epitome of visualisation, for instance, imagining being called a creep for the next thirty eight years for sending that one ‘hi’. Start the conversation, a two lettered ‘hi’ never did any harm.

2. The ‘hard to get’ card will not work

The ‘mixed signals’ have to take the back seat when it comes to dating an introvert. It is strongly advised to not use millennials’ (in)famous ‘hard to get’ card or one would have to get slammed by the reverse card. If an introvert assumes that the other person is not interested, they might immediately initiate the ‘distancing protocol’.

3. Three Es: Express! Express! Express!

A simple ‘I liked the thukpa we had at that place you recommended’ or ‘I really loved the song you suggested yesterday’ might add a little but significant sparkle to your conversation. Vent out all the feelings because introverts often bottle up their emotions. Compliment them if you like the colour of their shirt or their collection of novels. Introverts are not akin to Sherlock when it comes to analysing nonverbal communication. Hence, the only solution is to dissolve interpretation and literally do the talking.

4. Slow and steady wins the race

It takes time to open up. Put in your time, effort and everything possiblt. Do not feel disappointed if it takes time to know about a person. Introverts are fond of their personal space, so wait till all the layers unfold. Nevertheless, once they start opening up, do not force the necessity of sharing whatever goes down that brain. It will take time, and a fast forward would only have counter-effects. A person might feel like Mr. Darcy, and you might want to shut the novel but once you come across the underlying introvert self, you can’t help but fall for it the way Elizabeth did.

5. All silence isn’t awkward silence

An ideal date option would be an intimate space, preferably a place which is serene and quiet. For instance, a walk in Champa Gali would work much better than any club in the capital. Silence does not necessarily have to be deafening or awkward. Sometimes it works the other way round, and with introverts- it is the road less taken, literally and metaphorically. Walk along the lanes and streets and enjoy the silence that surrounds. A bonus point- if one starts feeling comfortable even when silence surrounds both, let them know!

6. The trust fall

Once an introvert turns the unfiltered mode on, it means the trust fall was successful. They finally find a person who can be their human diary. It is important to understand that this step is a giant leap of faith as the fear of being judged or the negative consequences of letting out of emotions is a pestering thought, once the trust trembles, there is no coming back.

Remember when Lara Jean said- “The more people that you let into your life, the more they can just walk right out,” Introverts felt it! Just like the Wallflowers, there are Perks of Dating an Introvert. They are great listeners and with the right proportion of time and space, are the most fascinating souls, and as the millennials say- definitely keepers. And just as the universal law of dating applies, “you know when you know”. Give them some time, the way Rajat waited for Ishita. It needed some time, but the fall was way more serene than a random park story. The wait will be beautiful and worth it. Till then, be a part of the stories they share, enjoy the seconds spent. It happens, one step at a time.

Feature Image Credits: Study Breaks Magazine

Priyanshi Banerjee

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