By: Abdur Rahim

Episode 1 – the Beginning

I invite you to join me on a journey to see, comprehend, and think fresh regarding your love, as seen through the lens of life; wearing clear transparent glasses but not color ones. I have attempted to explore this vital matter of life through various ways that might open many doors and windows for some to help choosing the well path on the life-time journey.Humans are curious, inquisitive and most emotional species on earth. They have always asked questions about themselves – relationships, intimacy, passion, and of course love. Love is the most illusive thing in our understanding, perhaps intriguing, incomplete or/and not contemplated deeply but always talk about it. To understand “Love” at the deepest level, we need to know what love is? How it’s explained? To get into it, I am tempted to begin with the words of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore:

“সখী, ভালোবাসা কারে কয় ! সে কি কেবলই যাতনাময় । সে কি কেবলই চোখের জল ? সে কি কেবলই দুখের শ্বাস ? লোকে তবে করে কী সুখেরই তরে এমন দুখের আশ । ” (Oh beloved! What love is? Is it only aching pains? Is it only tears in eyes? Is it only breath of anguish? Is it that people embrace deep pains as reward of bliss….). Tagore also wrote – “প্রতি অঙ্গ কাঁদে তব প্রতি অঙ্গ – তরে । প্রাণের মিলন মাগে দেহের মিলন । হৃদয়ে আচ্ছন্ন দেহ হৃদয়ের ভরে মুরছি পড়িতে চায় তব দেহ – পরে । তোমার নয়ন পানে ধাইছে নয়ন , অধর মরিতে চায় তোমার অধরে । ” (Cries every limbs thus every layers of limbs. Heart long for body to unite. Heart’s concealment renders body to render heart in physical pleasure to be aroused; body pressed against body. Your eyes behold and run through mine, and your lips kisses mine; lost in love”). It’s really very hard though to translate into other language of those words of the great poet. However, I have tried to translate his words into English to bring out the theme with the closest meaning of Bengali version I could.

Love, romantic love in particular takes the center stage as immense inspiration for paintings, music, poems, stories, and movies. All these have been used to communicate different feelings about love that is difficult to articulate with words. Emotion of love rarely behave in ordered, rational, or easily predictable ways. The meanings of love and the norms are not identical in every society, culture, and religion in the world. Yet, there are overlapping meanings among people all over the world to understand fully the word “love” and the values associated with it. We may not infer from this that the word “love” will describe and explain the same values.

Poets, writers, musicians, and artists find myriad aspects of love. Philosophers define love as “madness but there is always some reason in madness” or “One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life, that word is Love.” Mathematics cannot predict love very precisely. However, scientists are beginning to get insights into the nature and origin of love. We can look into our brain to study the changing patterns of activity and biochemical changes that take place during love, explore diverse human experiences of love, study how we select mates and look for the evolutionary roots of love and even marriage and sex. The fact is, people around the world fall in love, marry, and have sex, yet love, unlike others, is the most ambiguous, intrigue, and controversial. Dictionary defines love as a noun, but it is a verb as well; one can argue. Love is not a thing without action. I can say I love you, but it doesn’t mean anything unless I show you how do I love you! When we behave lovingly towards someone, it means we love that person. Love is not only a concept but also an action. The Hebrew word for love, ahavah, reveals this true definition of love. The word ahavah is built upon the root consonants h -v, which means “to give.” In order for love to be real love, it has to be expressed as an action. If you love your beloved, then you must show it. By the same way, if you are loved, that has to be shown too. You know it by the way you are treatedi. While love is the most intense and powerful human experience, and it makes life most worth living it’s definition and meaning varies from person to person, from culture to culture, from generation to generation. There is no single unique definition love. How you define love? I will talk in the next article.

(to be continued……)