"Can love die?" He asked me reflecting my question back to me. Just then we entered into a shop and the question got lost in the consumerist gluttony. But it resurfaced once again while I was sitting in the balcony of my house looking at the setting sun (symbolic of death?). Now before venturing on to the question of death of love and related issues, it is important that it be made clear at the very outset that love is not what one feels for the girl at the bus stand whom one has never talked to or for the actor on the screen. Well then what is love? Oh, I wish I could borrow the Vedantic term of Neti Neti which they used for Brahma, the Ultimate Reality. Isn't love indescribable just like Brahma? Is love the warm gooey feeling you get when you think about the one you love or wanting to spend sleepless nights watching the moon together? Long silent walks on the beach, or silently peeping into the low lying bird nests and giving naughty smiles to one another? Or when you continue to hold each other's hands long after your first denture? What all can love amount to? Whatever it may make you do, love does take you to the pinnacle of human existence.
Again, just like Brahma cannot be realized through reason, love too is beyond rationality. The more you try to reason out, the less would be the share of love in a relationship. But since humans are rational animals, they cannot forego reason and it is not surprising that there is so little love in the world. I cannot help mentioning Cadre Based Marriages here, a common phenomenon in the world I am now a part of but I think can never belong to. No love, only calculated convenience! Selfish logic overpowering deeper emotions!
Love cannot happen at the drop of a hat but it can happen more than once. Imagine a situation where a boy once loved a girl, truly, madly, deeply. But they could not end up being together for some reason. So will the love that he felt for her never die? Will he forever burn in the hellish fire of unfulfilled love? Can he never fall in love with someone else without the thought of his first love looming over him like a dark gloomy cloud?
The answer I think mostly lies in whether love has been nipped in its bud or has been allowed to grow into a blooming fragrant flower. There are situations when love is not allowed to reach its logical conclusion. Here, it is easy for it to eventually die as the two hearts have not tasted the sweet fruits that come out of a prolonged association. The case of the boy mentioned above may belong to this category. But what when the two have lived each other's lives? Have lived in a cottage by the riverside in a land where the sun sets but never so in the two hearts where it is always bright and sunny? Have left indelible footprints on the sands of beaches? Have carved their names on the tall deodar trees of the Himalayas? Have breathed elixir on each other? Have discovered their Zahir, their soulmate in each other? When there were fireworks in the two souls out of the ecstasy at having found their long separated halves? At the search having finally finished? Can this love die? The flame of this love can never be extinguished. Nietzsche's God can die but not this love! Like Ashwatthama, it is doomed to live forever.
But how does one discover their Zahir? Only a few are fortunate enough to find their soul mates. Most of us either are not lucky enough to find them at the right time or just pass through them. The latter happens due to the thick layer of biases and preconceived notions we have. These make our souls less receptive to the sounds of violins playing in the air. And we whisk past them. And here love dies before it could be born.
This is the long and short of love and its death..