I was doing my share of daily online reading, when I read a dialogue from the Bengali movie Chitrangada written, acted and directed by the late Rituparno Ghosh. The line from the film translates to: people always warm upto love, but tell me how many have the courage (to follow their heart)?
It got me thinking. What’s the most definitive element of love? That one aspect which defines the omniscient, omnipotent force in the world and beyond. Is it the words a poet weaves together? Or a writer writes in a romantic novel? The talks we have with our beloved. Or the pings we send on numerous IMs?
Maybe it’s all of these. And none of it. Tell me if a woman who loves a man doesn’t muster courage to take a stand in front of her parents, will it still be called love? What about the man who loves a woman and never expresses it? Never lets her know? Or the religiously-different couple who choose a spouse from their communities in fear of being ostracised and in some cases, killed by their very own.
Most of us will say, love happens just like life. True. You can’t plan on falling in love. Neither can you predict the person you will end up loving. But once we do, find love, true love, the question then arises, what do we do to keep it? To nurture it. To follow our hearts. From time immemorial, following one’s heart has been equated with bravery. Because it entails arguing, explaining, fighting one’s fear and taking the leap. For the one we love. And that most definitely requires courage.
Like someone said, courage doesn’t mean you are rendered fearless instantly. Courage means, you act despite being numbed by fear. And that isn’t easy. It necessitates a state of mind, which you can attain by pushing yourself, by fighting against the odds. Because you believe in what you’re willing to do. Because you believe in love.
Courage doesn’t always mean a man will stand up and run towards the woman he loves, and kiss the daylights out of her because he suddenly realises that’s love, as his bewildered parents and relatives stare in disapproval. It happens in films and films require drama. Courage many a times, on the contrary, is silent. Sometimes its a voice that whispers inside you. And makes you do incredible things.
It’s the timid college guy who promises to himself that he wont give up on love. So what if the girl he proposed turned him down. Courage is that girl who inspite of being betrayed by her uncle or beaten brutally by her husband chooses to believe in a man again. Courage is also that young girl who after falling head over heels in love, wakes up to a message from her boyfriend calling it quits. And even though that crushes her, she shakily and tearfully decides to move on.
And you know what, courage is the voice in our heads which tells us to keep trying. To keep trusting. To keep loving and sometimes to snap out of a loveless relationship.
Courage is all of these. And so is love. And both are so damn inseparable.