May 26, 2013
Love. According to my teenage son, when a girl smiles at a boy and launches him instantly into space — Sputnik like, without a countdown — that’s love. For girls his age, love is calling five times a day and then the sixth.
Everyone knows what love feels like, yet people are going mental, not just looking for love and trying to deal with it once they find it, but also trying to define it. “What is love?” was the most Googled question in 2012. In .22 seconds, Google throws up 4,030,000,000 answers when you key in this question. Everyone has tried to define love. Love is chemistry, vaigyanik log say. Smart Alec says love is a temporary insanity curable by marriage. Bruce Lee said love is like a friendship caught on fire. Kahlil Gibran said love is trembling happiness.
For our TV people, like Ekta Kapoorji, love is seva, parampara, sanskar, and true love exists only between saas and bahu. Husbands come and go. Sons need to be killed sometimes. But moms-in-law are forever. According to the jaanbaz cops of CID (Sony), love is looking seriously impressed when ACP Pradyuman repeats your comment as a key finding he’s made while staring into the camera. And according to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the new entrant to TV, love is a long, protracted courtship around diyas, mehndi, dandiya dance and ladoos.
Bhansali’s Saraswatichandra on Star Plus has been pirouetting on love for some weeks now. And what better setting to bring together two love kabutars than at another’s wedding.
Love, as we all know, leads to a certain lightheadedness and you find yourself asking, often, “Main aa rahi hoon, ya jaa rahi hoon?” But before you can answer, you start to giggle, like an idiot. Love also results in a heart condition. Heart races — Usain Bolt se bhi tez — at just the thought of that someone special. Love also leads to mood swings. One second you are on top of the world, swinging ped ki dali to dali, and the next second you are sitting in a corner drinking tears, eating chips. Or ice cream. Or bhujia. Saraswatichandra and Kumud are behaving like love mein pagal, bhang mein drenched little puppies.
Katti-abba, katti-abba —there’s at least one fight per episode, and making up. The cosmos’s future depends on this. It collapses and life on earth begins to end when it’s katti time. But when there’s tender, intense making up over kaanch ki chudiyan, bansuris, jal tarang and happy violins announce that the cosmos is coming back to life.
Saras is also very fidgety these days. He can’t sit still and must find out exactly how much Kumud loves him. He’d be happy with either a measure in kilos or inches. But Kumud is giving him philosophical ones. Love is trust, she says, when he tries to flirt with one dazed duffer.
No, he screams, when Kumud dances with another man, dandiya to dandiya. Love is dancing the dandiya only with me, no matter how much I beat you with my dandiya sticks.
It’s all very silly and daffy. And very embarrassing really, this love ka bukhar. It’s made Saras and Kumud delirious. And yet I want it, and I know you want it too.