Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Many kinds of love

Many kinds of love
Only parental love is unconditional
Parents love their child
Mostly with no strings attached
No value judgement precedes nor succeeds
This love, probably, chooses to overlook
Achievements, successes or otherwise,
Even cruel acts or crimes.
Just that it is there, because
They shared their body and
created this person.

Filial love, if siblings are closer 
in age, starts with jealousy
From having to share parental time and affection.
Metamorphoses in to caring and giving,
Parents and social norms see to compliance
With age old norms of behaviour.
Marriage brings in physical distance
And mental too. Demonstrations are
Limited to annual, ritual meetings
Exchange of gifts and goodwill.
Birth of the next generation
Brings back the cycle of comparison 
And jealousy.

Love of material possessions
Is an ever growing hunger, with an infinite
Appetite, if you let what you eat, wear, ride 
or live define you.
For there is always someone with more. 
One day the mirror laughs back at you
Like a demented fiend and shows
The naked you bereft of possessions.
Very few are spared this me-versus-me
The emptiness of it all is inevitable,
Advancing age gives everyone a dose
Of spirituality.

Conjugal love, at least for India
Starts with pure undiluted lust,
nurtured from youth. Grows slowly
To the mental level, never declared
Fortunately not having to subjugate
Oneself to western ritual, oft repeated daily,
" Love you" and "Love you too!"
And seeking constant reassurances.
For us mostly, it is
Slowly adjusting to each other's angularities.
Love shows itself in small acts.
Children make sure there are no overt 
Exhibitions of affection. Sex is the only physical contact, sly, hurried and at the dead of night.
With children as the locus,
Parents on different orbits, stereotyped though
Father the provider and
Mother the care giver,
Love slowly suffocates with passing age.
Old age changes it to habit and just
Accepting that the spouse is there
And that is about all.

Children's love for their parents
Is conditional. The Not OK child
Does bear grudges, real or imagined.
The transition of the child to the adult
Is almost fraught with turbulence.
The OK adult rationalises and reciprocates,
When convenient, the lifetime of love received.

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