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LOVE - Shaon Roy Chowdhury

There are few words in English which an English dictionary fails to explain aptly. ‘Love' is one of those very few terms. Yet it is that word whose meaning is known to all, worldwide, irrespective of their nationality or the language they speak….and the funniest of realizations is that it is hardly a term. It is such a multi-faceted feeling that it envelopes all elements of creation in its grasp and yet reaches out to seek for more….in an individual's heart.

The very origin of life springs from love. The birth of a child, its nurture at the mother's breast, the shielding care of the father, the trepidation felt by the mother in the early days of weaning, the awe and tearful smiles exchanged between the parents when the toddler first sets out on a determined wobbly walk, the sheltered, caring cocoon built around the growing individual, the encouraging ‘thumbs-up' and ‘bless you'-s exchanged when their precious, precious kid sets sail in the ocean of life….is all just an expression of love, the heartiest of affections.

The love among siblings is yet another blessing; the adoration among couples a mish gosh of intense passion; the trust and faith among friends, an unforgettable ardent harmony and the romance among lovers, an ecstatic exchange. But that is definitely not all. The devotion with which an individual, priest or not, serves God and the manner and wisdom involved in the caring of a patient by a doctor also reflects love.

Love always gives a special dimension to everything –the consequences of work done with or out of love being the best situations to back the statement. After all, the best of all works of art has been portraits of love. The Taj Mahal, a wonder amidst wonders, echoes the love of Shah Jahan for his beloved Mumtaz; Mother Teresa devoted her life to the caring of the lonely and ailing out of love; Michelangelo did the extremely tedious job of painting the dome of the Sistine Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome out of his love for art; Rabindranath's countless dramas, songs, prose and poetry, Shakespeare's adherence to the stage and plays were nothing but the expression of their love and passion in their chosen fields.

The nationalists in India and elsewhere devoted their very lives for the struggle against imperial foreign intruders and autocracy, and for the freedom of the nation they loved, the freedom which they themselves never could taste. And last but never the least, this beautiful creation of which we are a part is an image and a gift of the Almighty's love.

Love itself is often a consequence but love too has several consequences. People often lose their loved ones through misunderstandings or due to calamity or circumstances. They often never achieve what or whom they love. The hurt thus inflicted, the pain thus borne, makes them sore and grudging. They regret the feeling and often lose faith in God or swear against the individual who betrayed them in love. It is at such a stage that one must be reminded that “To love and win is the best thing, to love and lose –the second best.”

We also often forget that it is impossible to hate a person, for hate itself hypothetically stands on love. We either love or are indifferent to an individual or thing.

Neither should obsession be mistaken for love, for the former often leads an individual to attain the element of obsession in an unjust manner or by unfair means. Obsession is complete when one achieves what one wants, but love, on the other hand, is absolute and ephemeral. True love knows no bounds. Wasn't it H.B.Adams who said, “Oh!but love is real enough!”

This feeling though mostly fulfilling, love can prove to be distressing for many. But inspite, as the old proverb stands, “To love and not to be loved is far better than not to love at all.” After all, love is the only feast for the emotional aspect of the tangible heart.

It is never possible that an individual is not in love. Something or someone stirs this emotion deep inside everybody however rock hard he/she may be. In love people can sacrifice what means most to them. But this fact is not distressing to a lover as “Love is not blind, it sees more, and not less, but because it sees more, it is willing to see less.”