21 Oct 2008

Love, sacrifice, and purpose

I read this Tamil novel பின்தொடரும் நிழலின் குரல் (literally translates to Voice of the dogging shadow) sometime back.  One of the best novels I have ever read.  One thing that I took from the novel is the idea that we do things just for the sake doing them -- nothing has to be expected as a result.

The novel is based on a historical incident in which thousands of people were killed and millions were locked up in jails and tortured.  All these people had a dream.  They all worked and sacrificed everything they had for a noble cause.  Much later, after so many people had died, people realised that their leaders were purely selfish and cunning.  The leaders were only interested in gratifying their ego and getting unlimited power.

After explaining the incident and facts, the novel explores the mental state and feelings of people who suffered because of their sacrifices.  Reading the novel was a tremendous experience which I won't try to explain here.  But my most important learning was that we sacrifice only because we want to sacrifice.  There is no point in looking for a purpose or meaning.  One chapter of the novel explains how these people realise the fact that there is no meaning or purpose for their sacrifice in the external world.  A sacrifice, like many other things in the world, is complete in itself; it doesn't need to get its purpose from the external world.

Sapnay is one of my all-time favourite movies.  When I saw it for the first time, I was a school kid and I didn't understand the movie much.  After a few years, I happened to see it again and fell in love with the movie.  I am very much amused by Kajol's love and Arvind Swamy's love.  Kajol falls in love with Prabhu Deva who is completely incompatible with her values and views about life.  This is an odd truth that has been disturbing me all my life.  How can it be so illogical, I never understand.

Arvind Swamy's love is something I can personally empathize with.  His love was never understood by anyone.  His parents, his friends, the girl herself.  Not a single person understood what Arvind Swamy meant by the word "love".  Then what did he love for?  His love just stayed with him like an unsaid dream -- fuzzy inside his own mind and inexplicable to anyone else.  I wonder how heavy his heart felt with his unrequited love.  Was he ever able to drop it all and live peacefully?  So many questions arise inside me.

After reading this novel, whenever I think about unrequited love and all its pain, my mind comes up with a readymade answer: purpose of love is loving itself.  We don't love to get someone.  This idea seems logical and my brain accepts it; but the mind is purely illogical and it never accepts it.  Maybe it will, sometime in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment