August 6, 2009

Can love be unconditional?

Is the term 'unconditional love' an over-hyped cliché? Here, I have re-framed another question that I have been asked a couple of times - Do I believe that Ajay Devgan's character in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is a realistic one?

In this context, 'Unconditional' refers to 'Selfless', perhaps. If that is so, I cannot disagree more on the concept! For, there is no such term as 'Selfless' as far as I am concerned. Every single thing that we do since the day we are born till the moment we die are always self-centered. At times, some of these acts also helps somebody else or society at large. But that does not change the fact that you did it because you cherished doing it or simply put, you wanted to do it.

Using the same principle, even love cannot be unconditional. What we might call selfless is the ability of a person to keep the partner's interests and likings above his. Each day, each moment, each time. This, obviously, is not easy. Yet possible. And to my mind, one of the most necessary ingredients to love someone 'selflessly' is a sense of very deep and strong self-love. If you cannot love yourself strongly and genuinely, you cannot love your partner genuinely either. Sure, you will do things to make her happy and please her and call it 'love for her'. Well, that's just a deception. What you basically need is her approval of you as a person and lot of acknowledgements of how amazing a person you are. This type of 'unconditonal love' will evaporate the moment she says/does something that is against your desire or hurts your ego.

On the other hand, if you are in a relationship with her without a need of re-assurance about your own self, then the only thing that you are really bothered about is how much more value can you add to her life and soul, how much more happiness could you give her, how much more of her real self can you help her discover. Now, is this being more 'selfless' than the earlier case? Kind of. Since you were always a content/happy person before you entered the relationship, the only reason you might have opted for it is with a belief that you could keep your partner really happy and joyful. This, the world perhaps believe, is selfless. I do not. Because if you are not enjoying the process, you would not be doing it. If that is the case, it cannot be unconditional. Here the condition is that you must feel the joy of her being happy. Being unconditional does not just mean you do not expect your partner to do something for you.

The character in HDDCS is indeed a realistic one because he too has shades of selfishness. If the character would have forced his wife to stay with him and not attempt to find the person she loves (and that would be against his own wishes), then he is doing that to please his parents and the society at large. That, surely, is a more selfless act than what the character actually did!

Finally, after all this, the most obvious question: Would I do what the character did? Well, rather than me saying anything, I sincerely hope (somewhere down my heart, I know) that there are a handful of people in this world who truly believe that I would indeed do so. Reason being I'm one of the most selfish person that one could come across. Simple enough.


nitin said...

kya baat kar rahe ho Sir, I dnt think u r tht selfish..

Someone, u no ;) said...

Unconditional love! Hmm…
Whenever I listen this term I can remember someone who I think have really loved unconditionally, infact all of us must have heard about her. Am talking about Meerabai. She was small when her mother told her that this idol of Lord Krishna is her husband. Her soul has accepted Lord Krishna as her husband from that very moment. She never thought of getting love in return. She never expected anything back from him. She only knew how to love.

She got married forcefully for family’s happiness. She was treated badly by family, husband and people around for loving Krishna. She bared all the pains and hurting. Still she was unable to detach herself from her love, never enjoyed her married life in real terms and never accepted his husband as one.
Dedicated her whole life in loving only one person. This is definately not an easy job.
The thing puzzle me is that how can anyone love without seeing the other person, without listening his voice, without sharing any of the happiness, sorrows, thoughts, feelings, anything. How is it possible?
I know that this is true love story and I appreciate and respect her a lot.
Even I agree that in today’s world seeing such love is a big “?”.

pandemonic scribbles.. said...

well, excluding parents' love for their child, the term unconditional love is confined to the dictionary. i believe every act and thought of man is directly/indirectly backed by selfish motives/expectations-be it big or small. wonder why many of us feel offended when branded as selfish which,in fact,is true!
good post.

LIFE said...

I think love is not unconditional.... because wen we love some1 v want dem to be happy... so v do many things for dem.... v do it because it is we who enjoy wen dey r happy so there is a selfish motive naa?????
if dey being happy wud not affect us we wud nvr do anythng for dem, ryt naa?????