Happiness only real, when shared

Today, I was on the bus to Bangalore and they put on the movie Salt and Pepper. No matter how many times I see the movie, I always become terribly touched when I see the ending. I have watched other movies with a love story in them, but I don’t think I really cared about them. Most of the movies I have watched have guys “falling in love” with a girl at first sight and then running behind them until they decide to take pity on them and do them a favor by returning the love. A lot of people tell me that girls think differently and that they should be treated with sweet words and flattery to gain their company. That they value self-destructive gallantry over deep respect for self and others. Sometimes, I have seen girls play to this image that junk stories like these create.

Just to provide an example of a story with everything I hate, I want to give a summary of Tanu weds Manu. In the movie, the Hero (if that’s what you want to call that pervert) sees an extremely pretty girl passed out from alcohol lying on her bed. He immediately falls in “very very deep” love with her. He then proceeds to systematically rape and mutilate his self-respect in an effort to win her heart. By the way, the girl has the absolute worst character that anyone would want in a person. She is so stupid she can’t see through the controlling love of her parents and has chosen to rebel against that by getting into destructive and shallow relationships. She is rude, crude and unsophisticated and I was hard pressed to try and find something good about her apart from her looks.
Eventually, she has her eyes “opened” to the true love emanating in self-pitying rays from the pathetic, beaten-up-dog-like eyes of the hero and decides that she should change. Hurray! Another victory for True Love! The movie just made me sick and left me wondering whether shit like this influences our society and shapes expectations of male and female behavior.

Salt and Pepper was a truly different movie and it made me realize why I hated most of the romantic movies. In that movie, love(the one that touched me) does not happen in an instant. It develops slowly through a shared passion, through shared interests. Two people realize what it is that is missing in their life and come to see in steps a possibility for happiness and fulfillment that they never thought possible before. They enjoy doing similar things and have interesting hobbies and passions. No one begs the other person for attention or interest. It happens naturally as it should when people who are meant for each other meet.

The woman is not just the pretty person being impressed by the skill of her admirer. She is a person with talent, ability, character and a soul that longs for understanding company. The guy does not feel the need to have his ego massaged the right way. The girl does not want to be continually told that she is pretty. She is just as impressive a personality as the guy.

It was a love story that involved personalities, not just faces and dancing and singing. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Maybe, that is how you are supposed to feel after watching such a movie. Maybe it is a longing… I have always been a very passionate person and I love sharing stuff with others. That is why I bother to maintain this blog and talk about everything I know to  everyone. It makes me feel happy when even one person listens to me and tells me something in return.

I can imagine how awesome it would be if I were to meet a person who is also opinionated and passionate about what she does. I always dream about the how exciting it would be to do something together and come closer through that.

After all the disappointment and the torture that the guy and the girl go through, after struggling with their deepest insecurities, they finally meet each other and realize just how happy they are. I have a deep longing for solitude and a slightly anti-social tendency. After watching the movie, I got to thinking about a movie I had watched – Into the Wild. We or at least I, always try to get away from everything and everyone thinking that by cutting ourselves off we are avoiding disappointment and heart-break. By getting out of the misery and pain that society is we will find peace and satisfaction. At the end of the movie, before the protagonist passes out, he manages to scribble down

Happiness only real, when shared.

Christopher McCandless/ Supertramp

Yeah, I guess that is true. No matter how accomplished or how skilled or how self-sufficient we become, there will come a time when we want to share and seek help. It is fundamental human tendency and battling it is useless…

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No secrets between us

Is it wise to confide things of a personal nature to a person who is in a relationship with someone? Who do we trust when we need to just to talk to someone without fear of what we say becoming public?

I was wondering about some of these questions. What set it off? I was just thinking about an  incident that I happened to witness once… maybe more than just once.  One person was in an extremely distressing situation and under extreme emotional and psychological pressure. The person felt that it was absolutely necessary to talk about what happened to someone. (Since it is difficult to keep on using “one person” I am going to use “he” everywhere. Pardon me if it, at times,  sounds gay. )

So, he chose someone who he thought was a very good friend and would provide a sympathetic ear to his troubles. Immediately after he puts down the phone, the friend dials his “love” and quickly shares the secret. Why? Well, that is an easy question!

Because, they are in such deep love, the highest and most noble of all emotions. That pure and exalted quality that can solve all of the world’s problems. There cannot be a barrier when people are in love. There cannot be secrets. When someone tells one half of a couple something, there is simply no way of keeping the other half from it. The partner of the friend, since it was not his secret to keep, nor was it directly entrusted to him, immediatly flashed it throughout his hostel.

Why? Because teenage love is more of a tool that is used to bolster an evolving personality which does not yet have the foundations for a solid and versatile ego or an unshakeable sense of self esteem. The boost that one can get from having a backdoor access to secrets happening on the other side and from showing it off to friends is addictive and to resist the temptation is too to much to ask of young love.

I have asked some people why they do it. Always the answer is “Because honesty is absolutely vital to (puppy) love.” When I hear that, the sadistic devil inside me gives a little giggle. So, it is honesty…. They tell absolutely everything to each other!! Really!? Well, maybe not everything. They  obviously don’t tell their own shameful secrets to each other. They don’t recount tales of all the really humiliating and embarrassing episodes in their life to each other. They don’t tall each other their own little efforts at infidelity.  The market is already tight enough. No one would want to make themselves look less desirable. Not unless there is a sympathy angle to be exploited or if they feel that the other person might be feeling a little beaten in the face of the magnificence of their own achievements.

In any case, no person in a relationship would knowingly upset the power/image balance with dirty secrets involving themselves. Not if they can help it! If teenage love is as much about maintaining an image, playing it “cool”, showing attitude and being a “fun” person(even if it is not the real you)  as it is about showing respect, then how does deep honesty with regard to other people’s secrets have anything to do with it?

Well, again an easy question. Instead of any deep appreciation for the other person, more often than not, what drives these kinds of relationships is the desire to feel loved and the feeling of adulthood and responsibility that it brings with it. I have seen people discuss these “lofty” matters in secret and immediately shut up when they seem me. Why? Because I am a boy and not yet mature enough to handle/understand such weighty matters.  Here are a bunch of guys who only recently crossed puberty sitting around discussing such small things while ignoring their studies, national and international affairs, questions concerning their personal ethics and morality and other things that would be directly beneficial to themselves and their society.

The digression aside, the really important point is that, image is everything. Who would miss an opportunity to share ghastly things about a peer to his loved one? Just imagine how good it makes the person seem in comparison? Never mind that whether to share the secrets or not is not their choice to make. Never mind the dishonesty and cruelty you are showing to it’s real owner. All that pales in comparison to your “love”. Its really sickening….

Most people eventually outgrow such relationships and walk away with important lessons that will be useful to them when the time comes. Some get hurt irreparably. Some follow through with it and of these relationships  a vast majority end up on the rocks. There is a time for everything. When you are flaming with passion you will be blind to a huge number of faults and will be struck by the talent, beauty and ability of your mate. Only time and cold reasoning combined with actual experience can teach a person that what is really important is simplicity, a good heart, a kind disposition, a good handle on emotions and real and suitably mature honesty. Beauty and talent doesn’t really do anything to make relationships work  over the long term.

So, what will happen to the guy who confides his deepest secrets to such friends? Well , he is screwed! If it doesn’t immediately become public, it is only a matter of time before it does. If the couple stays together, they both will know and probably others will too. If they break up afterwards everyone is going to know for sure. The shallowness and petty cruelty of youth takes time to die off.

So, who can you really trust. Well, the easy answer is people who are paid to do it and just maybe… your parents. But, that is like a touch and go thing. Sometimes, even parents might spill the beans, maybe to try and teach you a lesson or to shame you into submission or something like that. You can always count on them to have your ultimate well-being at heart. Never mind the feelings of hurt and betrayal. I am not saying that they love you less. But, they just might not understand you completely. After all, humans are frail and weak.  Love doesn’t make people smarter. In fact, I would bet on the opposite.

People who you can really trust and are emotionally secure enough to be open with are really hard to come by. They are the real friends and lucky are the ones who find such people. The rest are all friendships of convenience. Sometimes, I wonder what the sad people of the world would do if there weren’t shrinks or priests sitting inside wooden boxes who have promised themselves eternal hell if they spill the secrets…