The meaning of love has changed over time. It’s interesting when we hear young people talking about going on dates now days as if it’s the most common thing to do. Cut to ten years back when Indian brides and grooms were still chosen through a familial social gathering. It seems the youngsters these days have morphed themselves into what is called a corporate construct which governs not just their professional lives but their personal lives too.
Relationships have ceased to be about romance and getting together, it seems to have moved more towards mutual satisfaction. It is not uncommon for guys to have more than one girlfriend as it is not uncommon for a girl to flaunt a long list of lovers. One of the respondents to my article on conditions of anonymity says, ‘I love my husband but I am out most of the time where do I have the time to have a full fledged romance with him, so I have boyfriends in all the work sites I visit but when I come back home I am very committed to my husband.’
But on a more serious note, I am reminded of Rituparno Ghose’s film ‘Shubho Mahurat’ where the protagonist –Nandita Das asks if it is possible for her to love more than one person. This brings us to the whole idea of having more than one lover which we call –polyamory. Polyamory ( coming from the Greek word poly meaning multiple and latin amor meaning love) which means having more than one lover has been a documented fact since the classical Hellenic times, its only now that we have woken up to the fact that loving two people at the same time is not done.
Societal ideas have shaped this of course including the Victorian ideals of our past law makers. Even our Indian literary discourses have instances of men having more than one wife with equal affection for all of them (Being a patriarchal model it was only the men who were having more than one partner, i am sure if it was possible it could very well have been the other way round)
Another respondent, Rita told me, ‘We are always fighting and breaking up, imagine if I broke up with my boyfriend a day before a party, how would I go there alone, what will people think of me, that is why I always have several boyfriends who can take his place.’
So are emotional structures really breaking and making us more mechanical to the very emotion of love? Sociologist would call this a growing dissent in human bonding and emotional attachment and doing away with the societal conceived notions of commitment. But this breaking away is not just about a sort of protest to the social construct but rather a conditioning that has been impinged upon by our knowledge of the West and definitely to a large extent seeing the media portrayal of celebrities who are leading such bohemiam lifestyle. So maybe love is changing from ‘You and Me’ it’s on its way to becoming ‘We all’