It’s the twenty first century, and we’ve somehow reached a point where forty something’s and teenagers all text using the same lingo.
“i think im in love with the boy in my spanish class, he is so fucking hot haha”
“im in love with her dude she has the most amazing ass lol”
“we got drunk and he went down on me last night omg i might just be in love”
Now compare this to these lines by Pablo Neruda:
“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.”
Whether fifty years ago, or an effortless fifty years into the future, the one thing that has and will remain unchanged is our desperate, all-consuming need for love.
We’re suckers for romance, we’re the supreme rulers of the Holy Trinity of flirting, sexting, and clichés, and we’re absolutely unphazed by cynicism.
In a world where marriages crumble away quicker than ever, relationships rarely last longer than a few months and lovers fuck each other with a mindless, animal lust, but hardly ever make love to each other – romance is all but dead.
Love follows a distinct pattern today: we pick a potential partner, and make them the object of our unadulterated obsession. We woo them until they’re swept away by our charm, and somewhere in the process of doing so, we fall headlong into love too. Eventually, the sex gets dull, we don’t like the same things any more (perhaps we never did, but it begins to bother us now) something snaps, and we’re done.
Three days of over-dosing on ice-cream, Netflix and popcorn, and a quickie with a stranger at a bar leads us to write a couple of verses in a drunken haze at midnight – for a whole forty minutes we’re convinced we’re modern day Shakespeares. Eventually though, we get tired of pretending to be hurt (there’s only so long we can nurse a shattered ego that has disguised itself as a broken heart,) so we follow Taylor Swift’s advice, and shake it off.
In, out, and on to the next.
Perhaps the reason why we romanticize unromantic things is because we lack romantic sensitivity in our relationships. Adrift in an all encompassing ocean of dysfunctional, distorted relationships, pain is the order of the day and no one really cares about anyone else. So it is no wonder that we casually shrug over our morning coffees when we read about murders and rapes, bombings and genocides, and yet frantically Keep up with the Kardashians.
And yet, somehow, everyone believes in love.
Everyone believes in magical ever-afters, although we’re living in a world full of happily never-afters.
Truth is, we all need saving, and somewhere along the way, we decided that love would do the job. So we believe in love. We giggle over coy text messages, we blush when someone tells us that we take their breath away. We gush over the newly weds kissing on the beach and we feel our hearts swell and eyes well when older couples hold hands at the supermarket.
While evidence points in the opposite direction though, maybe we’ll continue to fall in love faster than ever. We’ll trip in and stumble out, hold on and let go, crash and burn or shine forever…but love, we will.
An outward display of sentimentality over the things that matter is considered a sign of weakness today, so we’ll swallow our grief when we’re hurting and fake a couple of tears and orgasms along the way; but love, we will.
And maybe because we can’t always outlast love, love will outlast us all.
Tanvi Deshmukh is a nineteen year old girl from Pune, India, with an affinity for words and books, cats and coffee, Nepalese food and hippie music, and the colour green (along with Oxford commas). Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English, she loves poetry, volunteers at an NGO and plays the keyboard in her free time. Along with devouring books of all kinds, unless of course, she’s in the middle of heated discussions on feminism, patriarchy, gay rights, or what to name the neighbour’s new dog.