Mirror Magazine
16th January 2000

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Love in the 21st Century

'Listened to Super-Fax yesterday?" asks my friend.

"Didn't have time," I reply.

"There's this guy who's interested in someone from our school," she continues. "There was a message in the 'Hello Out There' as well," adds my other friend.

"That's really silly. Why can't he just ask her straight?" I query.

"But, that's so old-fashioned," interrupt all my 'cool' friends. "You are living in the past," says my friend from the 21st Century.

I ponder over it. So this is what modern-day courtship is all about. This is how it happens...

Incident: The guy sees the girl.

Place: Majestic City, Liberty Plaza, K.F.C, British Council or some other trendy place.

The girl: From a 'leading' school. Fair, pretty, dressed in jeans or a short dress.

The boy: Also from a 'leading' school. A 'cool' dude.

He tries to follow her, but she is with her parents, so our love-struck Romeo can't make contact. He finds out about her from her friends who are more than willing to help.

Next he sends out dedications to one of the many radio shows and newspaper greeting columns. God help him if she doesn't listen to the radio or read that particular paper. But somehow, the girl gets to know of the message.

Then comes the telephone bit. He phones her (by this time, he's located her phone no). If she doesn't have a phone? Forget it, she's not 'cool'.

Next, he sends her an 'I love you' card. And a present. Usually a Mills and Boon, SVU or Dawson's Creek book.

If the girl says 'yes', the ritual continues, with more dedications of undying love and eternal devotion. The whole world gets to know of their affair because as far as possible, they use the mass media.

This is the world of 21st Century romance.

What marriage is all about

Falling in love, being in love, how wonderful it is! You fall in love with a beautiful face, a lovely voice, a gentle personality, an attractive body. 'He warms my feelings', you would think Amali, of the handsome young man you are in love with. "She is so desirable and I need her so much," dreams Raja.

And so you are in love, in that untroubled period of courtship, when even the least disagreement is a time for a rapturous making-up! Just you and him, that is all that matters. Dreaming of a future with him, your heart full of restless urges to be with her. Ah to be in love a great feeling it is, but is it real?

Sometimes days after the honeymoon, sometimes months after, sometimes even a great many years later the reality intrudes and suddenly you wonder: Is this the person I fell in love with? It is then, the divorced from reality experience of love, grows into something stronger and lasting or withers and dies. A friend of mine said laughing, "When young lovers come back after their honeymoon, a few are yet in the clouds, the others have descended and then their eyesight improves."

Perhaps, being in love is to see each other with rose-tinted glasses, but when you start living together, then that is the time you see faults. "It's so late when she gets up," said a young friend of mine, "and she delays so much with the tea and I have to rush to office." "Why can't he wait a little longer?" asked his pretty wife and somewhere in her mind is a little twinge of fear. Why has he to go so early, is there someone in office who would make him his tea? she thinks anxiously. Love that has been exclusive so long has now to let the world of everyday living in, and how prepared are the young bride and groom?

The next day she is angry that he wants to rush off and he is exasperated. She cries and in sadness at having hurt her, he waits, wipes her tears and comforts her and is late for office. His boss is too annoyed to listen to any of his well thought of excuses and shouts at him in front of the rest of the staff.

Poor young man, he comes home from office, dejected. The exotic dish she has made in her happiness is ignored. He barely talks, worried about the incident in office and she does not understand the fuss he is making. To her, such a trivial issue. She is angry, then start the disagreements, the arguments and the fights, as the young lovers who had sworn they would not hurt each other, stop playing games and act naturally.

The true 'you' comes out. It is here that the working of a marriage becomes vital. The way each of them deals with the new person they are getting to know is what marriage is all about.

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