If love could be painted on a canvas, it would probably look like a multi-colored rainbow in an Autumn Sky and if it could be sung, it would probably sound like Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”. Love may be multi-faceted yet it undeniably forms a huge chunk of whatever durable happiness a person can experience in life because love brings meanings and fulfillments in ways that nothing else in the world does. And once in a lifetime can someone make your knees wobble, and your heart summersault and when you do find such a person, you can be sure that he will turn your life around and downside up.

The journey of meeting that one person is the most exciting part of the love saga. Here is an interesting account of one such meeting: a friend met the love of his life when he first spotted her in a group picture of the National Graduate Orientation Program in one of the Kuensel publications. He circled the picture of a girl his heart was set on and tracked her down. He had dated several girls before but none who could be called for keeps. This one made him tick right but he still wasn’t sure if she was the one. Unlike his past girlfriends, she did not seem bothered by his way of dressing, his profession, his salary package or anything relative to his lifestyle. Having realized that her love for him was not bound by superficial factors, he seized the moment and married his precious catch. Today, they are parents to two beautiful children and still have eyes only for each other. Now who would have thought the serious and sometimes formidable national newspaper could be the medium of two amorous soul’s convergence?

As in raising a child, love has its many stages too. At first, the excitement and the anxiety can be almost palpable – heartbeats soar and sleep absconds and there’s the feeling of finally coming alive. Then there’s the glamour of taking baby steps in love in its youthful stage– the caution, the need to impress, the wining and dining, the long drives, the precious moments of sharing hopes and dreams and all the wonderful things that appear to encircle life. This is also the stage where your mind is constantly occupied with the thoughts of that one person from dawn to dusk and in the middle of the night, in anything you do and wherever you are.

Love evokes such strong emotions and passion that one would have never imagined possible. But love is such that it has its own reasons that reasons know not of. It has no boundaries, no parameters by which it can be defined or quantified. It is beyond any logic or explanation. Perhaps it is not for nothing when Marcel Proust lamented "People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the comma bacillus."

The question remains though if the illogical nature of love can suffice as justification to some unethical behaviours such as that of adultery?

When love surpasses its youthful stage, it moves on to its adulthood with marriage packaged with its perpetually flowing responsibilities and the subsequent doses of reality check. This is where realization dawns that the notion of romantic love in movies and novels and all the blurbs in product marketing may perhaps have merely created a romantic myth, a hyper version of what love actually is in ground reality. Part of this romantic myth entails that there is a person out there, a soul mate, who will complete you and without whom, life would only be half lived.

Could it be possible then, given the exponentially rising divorce rate and ignoring women empowerment factor, that this hyper version of love maybe pressurizing couples to constantly strive to fulfill each other’s expectations and live upto the image of this hyper version of each other? Might it also be possible that all this romantic myth may actually be causing more stress and harm than support? Also, could it be possible that an increasing number of youngsters shying away from marriage these days may have recognized this myth?

Still, people do all sorts of thing for love; while some change themselves for the better, others succumb with heartbreak to their end’s bidding a little too soon. One such person in the most recent case is Sunanda Pushkar, wife of the Indian Union Minister, Shashi Tharoor. Sundanda, after hitting the headlines in attempting to reveal an alleged affair between her husband and a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, bid her death a tad too soon. Though some call it twitter death, most say she died of heartbreak…

These days, only countable couples have the wherewithal to withstand all stages of love, through thick and thin, through the rainy and the sunny days. But love in its most mature form is such that there is an unspoken understanding and calmness that each other’s mere presence can provide companionship in ways that no other presence can fill. Look at our parents and grandparents for example, who have stood by each other through the tumultuous years and yet are still together. Perhaps there is nothing like having each other when the meaning of all else fades into oblivion. By contrast, modern marriages are so fragile that they might crash at the drop of a hat!

In many ways, Love is like rolling the dice in a lhakhang – sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t and the probability narrows even more so when it leads to marriage wherein happiness becomes entirely a matter of chance; all of which has nothing to do with the merits or demerits of the kind of person one is.

But then again, isn’t it all about the journey that makes it worth your while?

Love’s paradoxes are many– on one hand, it may make a poet out of a man, on the other, a villain. It may make a king out of a commoner, but it may also reduce a king into mediocrity as was the case of King Edward VIII of England who abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson, the woman he was so completely besotted with. Love heals, yet it poisons. It fills some with courage, others with fear and insecurity. Love instills life in some, drains it out of others. Yet it touches all atleast once in their lifetime, with varying degrees of intoxication that when it is gone, one maybe left in awe at the voluminous void its absence can create.

Still it can never be denied that only when love has arrived, the subtle qualities of a person such as generosity, honesty and openness springs forth. When in love, colors seem more vibrant, laughter more frequent and there is a spring in your stride, a song on your lips. Childhood memories become more vivid than ever and one is filled with courage to dream dreams that may never come true. You feel more beautiful, much more special and you look at the world, as if through a new pair of lenses. When in love, there is a renewed sense of purpose that now life seems so pregnant with a million possibilities. Perhaps those are some of the reasons why none are happier than the victims of the onslaught of the kind of stuff that romantic love is made of.
5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Aum Kinga,

    Strange that you should exclude those of us who are in a paradoxical love situation - those of us who go through life upholding a value system that does not bring fulfillment to our love, but separation and heartache which is the very anti-thesis to what love is supposed to be all about. We do this because there is a paradigm shift in the way love is treated.

    We have set standards on love.

    Love is no longer for the sake of love. It is about reason, logic, status, congeniality etc. We no longer have lovers any more - what we have are merchants of love. We weigh the pros and cons of falling into love. It is like going to a tailor to be fitted out with clothing that is a prefect fit. There is nothing spontaneous about loving anymore - finding love is a cold-blooded calculative exercise in manipulation and maneuvering. The old notion that love is perilous and dangerously unpredictable has been rendered out of vogue. Today, when we love, we love with our mind.

    This is perhaps why we have a greater rate of failure in marriages in the modern times. I think we do not submit to the passion of love, as we should. We love for all the wrong reasons.

  2. It's very refreshing reading you after ages. Welcome back.

  3. Kinga Choden Says:


    Everything you say seems correct and convincing in the manner you say it but imagine, if there were no standards on love, if 100% freedom was bestowed to those in love. Life of mankind could go haywire if everybody did as they desired. What about those then, who are left by those they love because the ones they love went in pursuit of another? As inspiring as the life of Buddha is, the main question that many has raised has been, what happened to those left behind, when he went on his solo journey to enlightenment? I think this could be one of the reasons why religion was conceptualized and practiced...to form rules for the society and to demarcate between what is good and bad, right or wrong...and maybe that gave way to the concept of dignity. All classic novels and movies indicate that those in the past treasured pride and dignity more than love and passion. In fact, many had died for love. Fortunately or unfortunately, modern ways have given way to love...especially in the context of Bhutanese society. Marriages have come to mean hardly anything - they are as easily broken as they are made.

    Anyway, as they say, all is fair in love and war. It's just about the choices we make and the hope that these choices work to your benefit.


    Thanks! It is difficult to write esp. when you have gone out of practice. But I bet you have never gone out of practice. You are a true blogger :)-

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I found something missing. You should have written something about your own experience. Love, it seems, strikes not to just a select few but to all ( at least at one instance of their time). Unless of course you share a similar story to that of your friend who was on a picture-circling spree on that fateful NGOP day.

    I am confident you will let the cat out of the bag one day, and mesmerize with a story so awesome that we cannot help but wish we were that 'other half' :)


  5. Kinga Choden Says:

    Dear hh,

    I wish I could dramatize my own story to be as awesome as you would like but man, no such luck! :)-

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