Sometimes I feel Love is , of the entire spectrum of human emotions, perhaps the most overrated and the most over-hyped. I know my opening line is sure to draw flak, but I am going to stand firm. Oh I know all the counter arguments: love makes the world go around (I wonder then what gravitational force does?), love makes us human (the ferocity of love between my two Labradors is enough to dispel this one), love is the antidote to hatred ( don't you think this supposed anti-dote is proving rather ineffective against all the senseless violence infecting our world ?) and so on and so forth. Ponder this: what does love give you: broken promises, unfulfilled expectations, heart break, pain, loss, tears, loneliness, envy, insomnia, anger, violence, crime, punishment, shame, psychoses, neuroses, stomach ulcers , heart disease , the works........ ! But then perhaps we cannot help it, perhaps because there is within our genetic make-up, entwined tightly, woven deeply, something that draws us irrevocably towards this emotion in spite of the very high and very real risk of being burned to cinders. The analogy of the ‘shama’ and the ‘parwana’ in that Anand Bakshi/ Kishore Kumar song describes it best; how the flame warns the little insect that it will surely burn in its fire and so should move on; but the tiny creature is un-heeding, as mesmerised by an unknown pull (love?) , is drawn to the flame and to its invariable death.
There is a composition by Tagore on this particular line of thought and though I find it a little duplicitous on part of the Poet considering the fact that majority of his writings revolved around this emotion of 'love', the words themselves ring so true and the little advice woven in it sounds so relevant, that I think I should overlook this slight and rather insignificant duplicity. Tagore himself did suffer the pangs that love brings throughout his life. His love and his muse, his sister-in-law committed suicide at an early age and his remaining life was peppered by losses of people he had loved. Yet surprisingly, in most of his works, joy and hope course through like a lifeline.How did he achieve this joie de vivre? May be the answer lies in the words of this song.
Here, the Poet asks, tongue firmly in cheek, 'What is this thing called ‘love’ that you obsess about so much? Why do you waste your entire life running after it, this thing called love that brings you only pain and suffering and tears?' 'Come to me instead,' he says, 'and I’ll show you how to live without this ‘love’ thing, I’ll show you how to be happy sans it, how not to be enslaved by this fatiguing emotion.' 'Come to me,' he beckons, 'For I, who have taught myself to be joyful despite all the pain, to draw joy from things far removed from love, to not depend on love to keep me happy, will then teach you the same.'
My paraphrase has deviated a wee bit from the original in the interest of maintaining the rhythm and metre as also conveying the spirit behind the words more effectively. Do forgive these trangressions.
Sakhee, bhabona kahare bale. Sakhee, Jatona kahare bale. Tomra je balo dibaso-rajanee bhalobasa bhalobasa- Sakhee, bhalobasha kaare kai. She ki keboli jatonamoi. She ki keboli chokher jol? She ki keboli dukher shwas? Loke tobe kore kee shukheri tore emon dukher aash. Aamar chokhe to sakali shovon, Sakoli nabeen, sakoli bimal, Suneel aakash, shyamol kanan, Bishodo jochona, kusumo kamol- sakoli aamari mato. Tara kebali hase, kebali gaay, Hasiya kheliya marite chai- Na jane bedan, na jane rodan, na jane sadher jatona jato. Phool se hasite hasite jhare, jochna hasiya milaye jai, Hasite hasite aaloksagore aakasher tara teyage kay. Aamar maton sukhee ke aache. Aay sakhee, aay, aamar kaache- Sukhee hridayer sukher gaan Shuniya toder jurabe pran. Pratidin jadi kandibi kebal ekdin nai hasibi tora- Ekdin nai bishad bhuliya sakole miliya gahibo mora
What is this thing you rant of, All day- This thing called love? This thing Called love! Is it only of pain and care, A play- This thing called love? This thing called love!This ‘Love’, this thing- If only tears, hurt and sighs It bring- Then tell me friend: What pleasures from it ascend That despite the sorrow You still want to wallow In this thing called love? This thing called love!Come instead to me, The world from mine eyes see: Where all is new, all is clean The skies blue, the groves green. The moonlight’s bright, The blossoms a delight Where you can keep this‘Love’ Well out of sight......Like me they laugh, Like me they sing And want to die On laughter’s wings! They know no ache They know no tear, Pains of desire Nor do they fear......The shedding flower Laughs as it dies, The fading moon Laughs its goodbyes. Into the bright Milky Way The stars drown laughing With the dawning of the day !So come to me, My lovelorn friend Listen to my happy song And be happy again!Forget Your sorrows, For just a day, Forget your tears, Come, be gay. Come join me As I sing today: My songs of joy, My songs of joy!