Is Love a Responsibility?

love responsibilty

In this month of February where there’s an overdose of love everywhere, here is a refreshing and thoughtprovoking examination from a teenager.

Love is often spoken about as something divine and beautiful, but talk of it is so widespread that it can get degraded to a mere obligation. Some argue that falling in love is a given in everyone’s life, and that one has not fully experienced life without it. Others insist that it is impossible to be happy without a lover or spouse despite it not being the case for some. In today’s society, significant others are almost treated as an object to be won – interpersonal connections and close relationships appear no longer be as important as they were in the past. In a society where living alone is often perceived as a failure rather than a choice, the role of relationships and love in culture is to be examined.

A functionalist may argue that a spouse, or some other form of significant other, is necessary in an individual’s growth and maintaining a balanced society. In most cultures, it is expected and considered natural to have a partner in order to procreate and have children. In fact, that is the very purpose of a living being – to reproduce. This concept is so instilled in society that it’s almost difficult to imagine a good and settled future without someone else. Not having a significant other or spouse merely breaks the cycle; one is unable to have kids, raise them, send them to school, and get them married, as well. In this case, change is unwarranted, and whoever does dare to resist this cycle ‘breaks the family lineage’ and is often viewed as a disappointment.

The culture and personality theory illustrates the idea that cultures create and value certain kinds of citizens. People in the west, and in many other areas around the world, simply perceive a partner as a requisite aspect of adulthood. People who don’t have one seem out of place, and this can oftentimes be demoralizing. They may eventually start questioning themselves: are they worthless, unwanted or unlovable? This may not be true, but societal culture can influence thought and emotions. Even though one may be satisfied without a partner, expectations may force them to think otherwise. People may question what is right for them, and could possibly act to please others at their own expense.

As emphasized by the theories of functionalism and culture and personality, the idea of love can be changed from a personal relationship to a responsibility. Having a significant other or spouse fulfills one’s role in a harmonious society, and anyone who doesn’t fulfill that role is considered strange and rebellious. Living without a partner has been so denormalized that it can prompt self-doubt and hatred. Though a partner is certainly not necessary for happiness, societal expectations and pressures regarding relationships present significant challenges to those who would rather remain alone.

Any thoughts? Do share.

A Cup of Tea

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A cup of Tea

is a fuzzy warm morning

flicking aside the blanket of night

It is a lazy afternoon

a let’s sit down

and chat for a while

It is a moment

booked just for me

to waste as I please

to brood

sit by the window

look at nothing

or hitchhike on a plume of steam

to neverland

A sample from my upcoming book of poems and short stories Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree. Out soon!

The Witching Hour – Short Story Excerpt

I watched the dense thicket of clouds slide over the giant luminous cookie in the sky. A pitch-black darkness descended over the neighborhood, and there was not a single streetlamp to mar it.

It appeared that All Saints Eve was going to live up to its reputation after all. I glanced at my companion. I could tell she was thinking the same.

“Should we start? The time looks right,” Myra said.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I smiled at my long-time friend and neighbor.

She adjusted her lace-up corset and handed me her long and tattered train before gingerly stepping out of the alley that had been our hideout ever since the beginning of our ritual. Once again, I had to pause to admire her elaborate costume. She was pleased with it, especially since she had put it together herself. The delicate tea-stained ivory lace and tulle dress accented with droopy brown roses gave her a wispy and forlorn look. The many years of our adventures had supplied a precious aura of authenticity to the dress, as it had been tripped on and ripped several times.

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Roam to your Heart’s Content- Street Joy (Spain)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Along ancient streets

and by-lanes

alien sounds ebb and flow

With familiar inflections

passions don’t simmer

they explode

Stirring smiles

on drab countenances

The air vibrates with soul

 

Inspired by the ancient streets of Cordoba, Toledo, Seville, Granada, in Spain. Walk on!  More poems in my soon to be released book ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’.

Introducing The Med Bag

 

I’m excited to announce my new blog and website called The Med Bag. It’s a place where people from all walks of life can share their experiences and insights related to the medical field– sort of like medical reality TV but in the magazine form.

Do check it out, share and subscribe. Contributions are welcome! You can also click on the link right above this blog.

 

Solo (Shaan’s Story) 1: Love Affair

Prologue

1: Love Affair

“Phew!” Shaan threw his pencil down and leaned back in his chair. “Finally. No more of this dumb scutwork. I’m done. Now I can concentrate on what I really want to do.” He glanced at his cell-phone. He hadn’t had to charge it in 48 hrs. Yes! The goddamn thing is working! He pushed his chair back, and ambled up to the single window of his office cum lab. Not a single celestial body marred the inky black sky. Even if he screwed his eyes, it was tough to decipher the outline of the spruce grove that surrounded the cottage.

I wish Rich and Spacegenics had capitulated earlier, he thought. They should’ve realized long ago I wasn’t the one they were looking for. It was someone higher up. Someone with the ways and means to infiltrate the entire network and manipulate it to suit her ends. They compensated me pretty good though. I’m not complaining. But why the public apology. That must’ve cost Rich something. Humility doesn’t come easily to that bastard.

As Shaan wrestled with the puzzle just like he’d done an infinite number of times in the past, the powerful motion-sensing exterior lights snapped on suddenly, blinding him. Something or someone had triggered them. Shading his eyes, he scanned the perimeter. He couldn’t see anything beyond the white arch of the lights. He’d installed them this past Spring at the behest of his neighbor, Bob. For a man of few words he’d been very insistent. “To keep the bears away,” he’d said. Bob had also made Shaan install a heavy duty chain link enclosure in the back for the garbage cans. Shaan had thought it was going a little overboard yet he’d humored the older man. After all he had much experience living in the mountains just like Andy Sr. had with women. The thought evoked certain memories making Shaan smile.

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Falling Perfectly Without Trying- Book Review

Domestic abuse is a grave ill that doesn’t spare any strata of society. Almost all of us have been touched by it either directly or indirectly. Women, even those who are highly educated and one would expect independent, are subject to domestic abuse. A couple of my own colleagues, physicians I know had been suffering silently for years. It makes sense when you think about it.  

It’s not just the woman who’s involved but the rest of the family, particularly the children who are used as pawns by the abusive partners. The abusers maintain a strict and severe psychological hold on their victims which prevents them from escaping even when help is available. I’ve seen women who are brought to the ER with telltale bruises and fractures but when asked they provide excuses and are terrified of registering complaints against their abusers. To escape takes enormous effort and courage yet often the trauma continues afterwards and has lasting effects that can be disabling and interfere with rehabilitation. When you think you’ve made it across the bridge, you find there’s still a mountain left to climb.

In her memoir Falling Perfectly Without Trying Jenny Delos Santos writes of what starts as an innocent tale of love but then transforms into an account of unimaginable horror. She shares a deeply personal account of how she overcame domestic abuse and the deep scars it left behind and is still continuing to do so. Her story is filled with incredible pain yet at the same time tremendous grit and hope that readers will find inspiration from. It touched my heart and so will it yours.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Surya Namaskar (Salutations to the Sun)

According to me one of the most spectacular scenes of nature is the play of the sun across the horizon. I’ve been lucky to watch the sunset often–over the Rockies and the ocean (whenever I visit the California coast) but not as often as the sunrise. The reason is quite obvious. I’m not an early riser, unfortunately.

Today, however I had to get up quite early to drive to the bus stop to pick up my husband (better than the 40 min haul to and from the airport). On the way back, I witnessed the most ordinary yet extraordinary phenomenon–the advent of dawn. First, the burgundy tint to the clouds in the east, followed by the gradual lightening of the skies and then the most spectacular of all– orange flames consuming the horizon. I was mesmerized. Who wouldn’t be? If you think about it there’s no other message more powerful than of a new day. It’s the message of hope, of change, of renewal, of revival. No wonder native people around the world worship the Sun and have done so for millenia including those from my country.  

 

Surya namaskar (Salutations to the Sun)


 

In the Vedas (ancient Hindu scriptures) Surya also known as Aditya is the Sun God. He first appears in literature in the Rig Veda (the oldest among the Hindu texts composed between 1500 and 1000 BC). He travels across the sky in a massive chariot pulled by seven horses representing the seven colors of the rainbow. He is also the creator of the material universe or prakriti. Those familiar with the practice of Yoga are familiar with Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation; a sequence of twelve poses, performed in the early morning on an empty stomach facing the east. They provide an excellent whole body stretching routine and cardiovascular workout. The purpose of this most famous yoga sequence which is in practice for thousands of years is to express gratitude to the Sun, the giver of life and the source of energy. According to Hindu tradition, different parts of the body are governed by divine impulses. One of these, the solar plexus (also called the second brain) is located in the center of the body and is connected to the Sun. The regular practice of Surya Namaskar enhances it thereby increasing our creativity and intuition. The notion is very tempting. Enough (I hope) to nudge me awake every morning 🙂

 

Solo (Shaan’s Story)

Prologue

I was obsessed with her. I was her toy. Her fool. She could do anything she wanted with me and she did. She used me to the hilt. Ruhi darling, I’m telling you all this now because I know you won’t judge me. You love me with all your being and you take me with all my faults. Your love gives me strength and this is my confession.

I’ve been carrying this burden with me for a very long time. Ever since you came into my life and I fell head over heels in love with you. But I was afraid to tell you what a sorry excuse of a man I am.

tbc 🙂

If you want to read Shaan’s and Ruhi’s story check out:

Inconvenient Relations and it’s sequel Now and Forever