Through the eyes of love

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These days I find myself wondering more and more about the concept of ‘love at first sight’. Recently I reread ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in which the 17-year old boy sees a beautiful girl from afar and decides at that very moment that he can never love any other girl till the day he dies. He ‘woos’ her (the story is set in the times of frock coats and parasols and moonlight violin serenades under her balcony), and the 13-year old girl soon falls for him, but a couple of years later she comes to her senses, realizes that it wasn’t really love and marries a doctor. She has a very happy marriage till she’s 75, but our lover boy suffers all those years, till her husband dies and the book ends with the lovers reunited in their old age.

The story is exquisitely written, beautifully described and Gabriel Marquez’s use of language and his knack for storytelling is unrivaled.

But confusion kept nagging me and I wished I could better understand how one lets a lifetime go by for a love that is founded simply on another’s beauty. Lover-boy’s character has some interesting depths, too. In the half century spent waiting, he has had endless number of women and is an experienced lover. He used to devise ways and means to pick up women, have sexual  relationships with them and then move on, without ever committing to any woman, always careful not to leave behind any trace… because he was saving himself for his love. Even though she was happily married and not even thinking of him for 50 odd years. And apparently it is  infidelity only if it reaches her ears. When they are seventy-something-year olds, they make love for the first time. He tells her he is a virgin and she believes him, impressed…

Now that is one character I seriously have trouble understanding, in spite of his being passionate and romantic as hell. One might say that such characters do not get a place in our cyber age where the ‘woo-ing’ does not exist anymore, and a passing beauty is stared at with an open mouth, appreciated and then forgotten.

men-staring-at-woman
Kind of like this! In the old days, these two would have become her ‘suitors’!

The concept of ‘love at first sight’ may remain only in romance fictions, but the relationship between love and beauty is strongly omnipresent.

A young girl dreams of a handsome young prince. A guy will dream of a tall blonde girlfriend (with big boobs), and a dark-haired Spanish beauty as his wife. Fairy tales speak of love between beautiful princesses and handsome, fearless knights come to their rescue. They speak of true love made in heaven.

Nothing wrong with dreaming. After all everyone wants dreams to be pleasant and filled with beautiful people to look at. What angers me is how some people refuse to look beyond the good looks that eventually fade into nothingness. If a couple looks good together, they must have found true love and happiness. If a girl is with a not-so-great-looking guy she must be on a rebound from the last failed relationship with the good-looking one. They forget what makes her happy, they  think it is their right to interfere, to let her know that she has made a mistake and that she is going to regret it. If they can’t do that, they will satisfy themselves with gossip, snide comments, or a twisted expression now and then that says they do not truly approve.

Maybe the girl never saw what others so blatantly pointed out. Maybe she only saw him as the person who truly makes her happy, someone so genuine and wonderful it makes her want to be a better person. She sees him and finds him beautiful. In her eyes, he looks just like the man she loves…

What do you think? Was it maybe a simpler time when one saw a beautiful girl, asked for her hand in marriage and spent the rest of their lives through compromises, but leading a simple, happy life?

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13 thoughts on “Through the eyes of love”

  1. Oh my…
    I think it is just so – not simple. 😉
    I defo agree on the ‘she only sees the man she loves’ – love kinda breeds desire…fulfilment in the company of someone you enjoy changes (oddly) the way the physically look.
    I really do think we do LOOK at beautiful people – but MOST of us really do know that love goes deeper…(or do we these days?) – even deeper than the ‘perfect match on a non- physical appearance. Well it should anyways. Sadly( or not) there really IS something to be said for chemistry…and it is UNPREDICTABLE! Though I think those who are real and worth it – DO see a little deeper and feel some connection beyond the initial spark. But then yeah – sparks happen in unexpected ways – not just what we see as ‘beautiful people’
    What is that one ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’?
    Guys and girls are going to look at pretty people and think – hmmmm –
    But I am sure in story telling it is so fairly simplified yeah?
    Society will judge everything – so screw them I reckon.
    It is a juvenile out look that we have to think – I MUST be someone ‘beautiful’ – and you know what…I actually think men are more realistic! They DO and WILL look…but when choosing a lifelong mate – there has to be more. They will do chicks all over the place but only ONE will hold there attention to become THE ONE. – A bit like girls I guess 😛 –
    Great post – gets one thinking! And I DO like thinking about such things 😀
    Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. This is good! I enjoyed reading it. I agree with you. I think it is impossible to “fall in love” with an image, or just by seeing someone somewhere. That is not “love”, it’s lust. Not that it can’t lead to love, but if it starts out superficially and it’s not substantiated by other qualities, it will probably stay that way. However, looks are what make you want to cross the room to talk to somebody.
    Surely, waiting around for decades for “the one” you fell in love with just by looking at them, when they’ve chosen another “one”, is a waste of time, and some sort of cruel self-punishment that most of us do not deserve.

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  3. no one knows the truth… we are all just trying to find something … no one actually knows what true love is …
    Different people and their different perspectives. Someone dreams of something wonderful… someone is happy with whatever he has …
    All we need to do is first know our self … then we will know whether we love someone or it is something else. sometimes you like people … some times you just hate people .. and that life is …

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  4. Loved it! Its so true….people fail to look beyond looks and blatantly critisize those who actually CAN! I can see you basing this on some of your personal experiences….. superb thought!!

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  5. madhura you said you red this from a book right?but my favourite movie cinema paradiso have some scenes you mentioned like making love for the first time when they are old.but the situation for their seperation was different but yes oh god i think that movie is inspired from this book.i don’t know i still like old king and queen stories.yes you are right love is something mysterious cannot happen in first look and all i guess.

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