Thank you Mother.
“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
Human relationships can be romantic, platonic, filial, fraternal, sororal, corporate and so on so forth and all of them are capable of flourishing as much as failing. In all the cases, emotions are involved and the aftermaths of broken relationships can be painful and in some cases even devastating. There are some inexplicable broken relationships with dirty linen washed in public, which too cause a lot of problems for individuals and families like this one for instance. There are others which go through turmoil too due to no fault of the individuals concerned like this one for instance.
It is the presence of a number of young people in my life now with broken romantic/marriage relationships that prompted me to suggest this topic. I just wanted to see if other LBC members too observe this phenomenon which I think is a modern development as in my youth while one did come across broken relationships, the numbers were low. Many broken marriages were kept alive for the sake of children and societal expectations and the hurt was not brought out in the open for public awareness and scrutiny like one can see often now. There were non marriage break ups too and I personally experienced two big ones, but these too were rare as romantic relationships themselves were rare in our society where arranged marriages and segregation of the sexes was the norm.
In all these cases the relationship is based on some kind of love and that is a word that needs a lot of understanding to be able to figure out what can be done to avoid breaking up of relationships. Since, much to the dismay of my betrothed, I still prefer not to reinvent the wheel, I will simply leave an expert to talk about this very confusing word.
“I am an adherent of the Ancient Greek way of thinking about love – that we need to become more sophisticated by thinking about and nurturing the many different varieties of love.
Today we have one word for love. We use that same word to sign an email – “lots of love” – yet we whisper “I love you” over a romantic meal. The Ancient Greeks were much more complex in the art of loving. They had one word, eros, for sexual love and sexual passion. They had another word, philia, for deep comradely friendship. Another word, pragma, was about the mature love between long-married couples – about giving love as well as receiving it, and compromise. There was agape, their concept of selfless love, which is where we got our word “charity”, from caritas which was the Latin translation of agape. And there was philautia, which is self-love – the idea that we need to nurture a healthy self-love. And the sixth kind is ludos, playful love.
I think that nurturing these varieties of love is the way to lead a much more complex and deep emotional life. The idea of “all we need is love” – whether it’s Frankl or the Beatles or [psychiatrist] M Scott Peck – it’s not enough, it’s too simplistic an analysis. We need to be much more sophisticated in the art of loving, and that’s why we need to look to the past. I love this quote from Goethe: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.”
Having read the book by Roman Krznaric, I am now able to understand what goes wrong in relationships but am no closer to come up with solutions to repair or prevent breakages in troubled relationships. If ways can be found to articulate somewhere right at the beginning as to what kind of expectations both parties to the relationship have for it to flourish and both agree to work at meeting those expectations, perhaps relationships can flourish. Which then brings us to the question of why one or both are not able to articulate that. And that will take us into a completely different study of the problem. On the other hand, illness of one partner well into the relationship can cause problems which too demands different approaches and character to adapt and change.
Suffice it to say that this is a complex problem which is almost endemic to human beings now and it does not help that other problems like like gender inequalities, societal values, patriarchy etc add fuel to the fire.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by yours truly. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!
I had not expected to write any more about lion ladies after I wrote this nine days ago.
I however could not resist the temptation to write again because of this photograph.
The young lady riding the lion is Zaina and the proud father standing next to the lion and the lady is Khaleel who brings Zaina to our local joggers’ park frequently.
The lion is one of the many models of wild animals that have been placed around the park for children’s entertainment. The other models are an elephant, a giraffe, a tiger, a bear and a deer. You can always see some children being put on top of these models of animals and photographs being taken of them like I did for Zaina.
It was not to be and yet to be something totally different.
On Monday, a friend of mine had booked tickets for the 5.30 pm show for Olympus Has Fallen. We reached the theater on time and after parking that car in the basement parking lot discovered that the sole elevator to the theater was under repairs. My friend’s wife was still wearing a plaster cast on her foot following a torn ligament and gamely hobbled her way up a flight of stairs, but anything more was beyond her. We therefore aborted the outing and succeeded in getting a full refund from the theater as well as the parking lot, thanks to a very efficient and understanding manager.
We went for a long drive and settled down comfortably for some tea and later for some excellent dinner at their home before calling it a day. They kindly dropped me off at home and that was that.
Earlier this morning my son and heir Ranjan offered to go to the movies with me and we went to see the same movie but in a different theater.
It was a totally unique experience going to the movies with Ranjan. I can’t even remember when it was the last time that I went to a movie with him. Thank you Ranjan. I enjoyed going to the movies with you. I hope we do it more often.
You want my opinion about the movie? I wanted to see it primarily because it had Morgan Freeman in it. His role was a let down. the rest of the movie was full of action and noise but entertaining.
The experience would have been better had it not been a holiday today for Holi. We were surrounded by morons who were noisy and using their mobile phones leading me to wonder why they go to movies at all.
Having finished reading the book Mumbai Fables which briefly appeared on my earlier post Doppelganger I want to share some information about the cover of the book that I found at the end of the book. I quote the author and reproduce an image of the original poster that inspired the self portrait.
“Consider the contemporary artist Atul Dodiya’s Bombay Buccaneer. The self portrait assembles multiple fragments that share no organic connection but depend on artifice and imagination. A poster of the Hindi film Baazigar (1993) is its formal inspiration.In the original, the images of two female protagonists are mirrored in the sunglasses worn by the film’s psychopathic antihero.
Bombay Buccaneer replaces them with the reflections of the painters David Hockney and Bhupen Khakhar. In place of the menacing antihero, there is an ordinary office worker, collar unbuttoned and tie askew, but armed with a gun, the fixtures of everyday urban life frame the portrait – the open doorway of a suburban train, a metalled roadway, and the ubiquitous yellow and black taxi, broken down. Dodiya intermeshes art and cinema, Indian and Western, pop culture and high art, to brilliantly capture Mumbai’s kaleidoscopic urban experience.
This books is an amazing piece of writing which can be truly appreciated only by some one who has lived in Mumbai and before that Bombay. I have lived there during both phases and have first hand experience of many insights that Gyan Prakash brings into the city’s history and present. It is a book that I will read again and most probably once again.
Anil, thank you for this wonderful gift.
I went to see Django Unchained yesterday with my friends Neena and Anil and we had a great afternoon of movie, pop corn, soft drinks, shopping, tea and some serious problem solving for Anil with his iPad and mobile telephone.
After the dust settled down and I booted up the computer, I posted on FaceBook that I had just seen Django Unchained to keep my well wishers informed that I am on track for doing ‘things’ during 2013. This is all that I said – “Saw Django Unchained earlier this afternoon. Typical Quentin Tarantino effects but a story well told and enacted by all the cast.”
This morning when I opened my mail, I found two alerts as comments on my FB wall. The first was from my irrepressible nephew Jai who said – “I think this is what is called Ramana Unchained.”
Okay so far. Jai will be Jai and I will not have him any other way.
A surprise message came from David which stumped me completely, as I am sure it will most of my readers. This is what David had to say:
“It’s interesting that large numbers of “cowboys” after the civil war were ex slaves…hence the term “cow boy”…yet the average american only knows about white cow boys…. before the civil war the cattle industry relied on slavery to a great extent.
Texas of course viewed itself as a none slave state…when it attained independence from Mexico the Mexicans insisted on no slaves..so the Texans introduced 99 year indentures (as in indentured servants).
I remember my father telling me about Black cowboys…and today we heard a programme about them on the BBC….
The one I recall hearing about was Nat Love…. he wrote his own biography I believe.”
I could not locate the BBC programme but a little research took me to this clip on YouTube.
Okay, all of you must be wondering what prompts this rather unusual post. I suspect that Tammy would have already known that she would feature in this post and she is right. She inevitably calls me the Cowboy as she remembers my having translated my family name a long time ago. My family name translated into English is King of Cowboys. That is what Krishna was and our name is one of the many that He goes by.
Yes Jai I am now unchained and as you would have noticded, I have been doing many things that I had not been able to the last so many years. I wonder if you too had this cowboy coincidence in mind?