Everyone has their own definition or idea of love. My belief is that genuine, all consuming love in its purest form, that works both ways is the best thing you can ever experience. There is no greater feeling.
Unfortunately, that kind of love is almost certainly dead.
If you think Disney fairytales set the bar too high with their unrealistic expectations, you have yet to encounter 90s Bollywood. I grew up with it and while it is largely responsible for any last shred of romance that may still be lurking in my cold, dead, heart, it’s probably ruined my hope of ever finding love. I realise most readers aren’t familiar with Indian cinema, so let me explain.
The biggest hit of the 90s in India was a film called Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which loosely translates to The Brave of Heart Will Take The Bride. It was a romantic comedy, starring two of the biggest stars of the time. The film centres around Raj and Simran, a seemingly mismatched pair from London, who fall in love during a holiday in Europe with friends. Simran, who is from a strict Punjabi family, is allowed to go on the trip on the strict proviso that she move to India and marry a man chosen by her father.
Following the trip, Raj follows her to India, ignores Simran’s mother’s suggestion that they elope, and slowly and with considerable charm, wins over the family. There’s a very sweet scene where Simran’s mother, desperate for her daughter to live a life she herself was deprived of, urges Raj to take her away. He sits her down and calmly explains how he was brought up to believe that the easy path was never as fulfilling and asks her to put her faith in him to take his time and fight for his love, by earning her family’s trust. Along the way, he befriends her fiance (a cad), is attacked by said fiance’s friends, but most touching are his attempts to win over Simran’s dad. A man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
It sounds horribly old fashioned, but it was a beautiful film and you couldn’t help but leave the cinema wanting to be loved like that. The song they reunite to in India, became something of a love anthem for my generation and it was one of 2 films that got Asian children across the globe to embrace Indian cinema.
That’s what 90s Bollywood was all about. It made you believe that love conquers all. That the harder it was to win, the stronger it became. You paid your dues and earned it, followed someone to the end of the earth if need be. Giving up was not an option. The love didn’t disappear if parted.
In reality, Simran would probably have moved in with a friend, stuck two fingers up at her embarrassing dad and Raj would’ve slept with her best friend who was clearly besotted with him and didn’t have half of Simran’s issues, nor a family that would massively cramp his style.
But not love.
My idea of love is this:
It doesn’t happen frequently.
You do whatever it takes to keep it.
It’s not about suitability or common interests, you don’t choose it, it just happens.
You know they’re the right person for you because they show you. Not with flowers, or diamonds, but by instilling in you the absolute knowledge that you are the most important thing in their life and they will never, ever, give up on you. No matter what.
I know that sounds ridiculous. *Janice voice* Movie love. I don’t really think it happens. Not anymore. I’ve been with men who’ve told me they share the same idea, but they never have. Not really. I’ve only ever walked away from someone I’ve loved because I’ve believed it’s what they’ve wanted.
Forget romance, even friendships are brittle now. Relationships built over time are erased with one cross word, one bad day, one event. Nothing is built to last. There is no desire to understand someone beyond the words they use. People are fickle.
It’s outdated, old fashioned, unrealistic perhaps, but it’s what I believe and I won’t settle for any less, even though I’m fairly certain it doesn’t really exist anymore.
What it boils down to, is this. 90s Bollywood has ruined my life.
Am I crazy? What is your definition of true love?
*edit* I struggled to write down what I meant in this blog, luckily someone else did an excellent job of it, so please read this one instead. I agreed with every word.