Platonic love

 

Platonic Love

 

Radha and Krishna from Hindu mythology are worshipped as a pair for symbolising eternal and sublime love. Their love has always served as a benchmark for bonding between couples. It had a transcendental character and was free of the sensual trappings associated with the normal attraction between sexes. Several ancient and venerable writers depicted explicitly in their poems and songs the love play engaged in by Radha with Krishna.

Devotees of Lord Krishna justify the eroticism of such literature as a metaphor for the yearning of the individual self (jeevatma) to mingle itself with the universal self (paramaatma). According to purists, physicality had no place in the devotion of Radha and Krishna to each other. However, for lay people incapable of such far-fetched interpretations, the love frolics between Radha and Krishna, two unmarried adolescents, appear inconsistent with our social mores and are unfathomable, elusive and evasive.

Venu was working in a medium-sized private company after earning his MBA degree. Padma was his colleague. Padma was good-looking and smart. They worked together for more than a year. Then Venu realized that he was attracted to Padma. Venu would spend hours just chatting with her. They used to participate together in many office events. Venu was intelligent and successful in his career. He soon found himself hopelessly growing mad about her. The objective of Venu’s madness about Padma was not thought over by Venu but his colleagues concluded that Venu must be thinking of marrying Padma.

Venu was never in a hurry to propose marriage to Padma and felt that marriage would be by implication. Padma too loved Venu, but her love was practical and devoid of excessive idealism. Venu never showed any interest to come physically close to Padma, and Padma was at a loss to interpret this behavior. She thought it natural for all men and women in love to crave physical nearness to each other.

Venu failed to make his parents agree to his wish to marry Padma, as Padma belonged to a different community. He persisted in trying to convince his parents for several months, but his parents were stubborn in their refusal of the proposal. Venu was exasperated by his parents' attitude and decided against formally marrying Padma. However, his craving to be in Padma’s company intensified further during this period. Finally, he asked Padma whether she would be okay with a live-in relationship. Padma unequivocally turned down his offer, saying that such a move was evasive, escapist, and socially unacceptable. According to her, any arrangement other than a formal marriage would be highly deplorable.

Despite Venu insisting on his sincerity, Padma did not feel the same way as Venu. Venu for some unknown reasons started feeling that he would not do justice to the expectations of Padma in marriage. Padma is entitled to a better life. So Venu told Padma to move forward and marry some other person. But Venu termed his interest in Padma as sublime and akin to Krishna’s love for Radha evaded relationship. But love from Padma was expecting physical needs, security, sharing and so much as anyone can understand. 

The Photo of Padma was there in his Money purse. 

At home, Venu’s younger sister Latha married Somu. It was an arranged marriage. After marriage they started living a few houses away, the couple appeared at every event and on every occasion. Latha never had any inhibition in showing her attraction to her husband. In any discussion, Latha would refer to Somu for his affirmation. In the first year of their marriage, they never attended their office regularly, even though they were fully employed. Venu asked his sister to spend a few days exclusively with their family, and to the annoyance of Venu, she included Somu in the family. Added to that, they took away his parents’ bedroom without any inhibition.     

Somu had to go on official duty for one week. It was quite embarrassing to see the uneasiness of his sister. Every alternate hour they had phone calls. Latha hardly slept or ate that one week. How her sister changed after marriage, was a phenomenon for him. 

When Venu called her sister and husband crazy and infatuated, his father simply said it was their love and laughed with satisfaction at them. Venu vehemently reacted and grumbled to himself, how it would be called love. He felt that the spirit of love was completely misinterpreted by them.

With the photo of Padma in his purse, Venu had to agree to the marriage proposal from his parents. Parents searched and selected a suitable lady, Vani for Venu. After the routine events of marriage, Venu and Vani settled for family life. Venu idolized his concept of love for no benefit to Vani. Vani failed to understand either Meera Bai or for that matter Radha. Vani proved to be a good housewife for Venu's parents. There was nothing to complain about Vani.

After a few days of marriage, Vani went to her home and stayed for a month. She said that she had exams to write. Venu made calls only to inquire about her welfare once in a while. Venu repeatedly told her that his love for her was deep and sincere. He respected every aspect of her through his heart. He sincerely narrated to Vani his previous love and how his love was ridiculed. He promised Vani that he would love her with the same intensity.

A few months later, Vani left the station and never returned. A letter was delivered to the family. 

 

“Dear Venu,

Sorry, I am quitting our marriage contract. I feel sorry for us. You are a very good person. Your family is very nice and understanding. Our relationship as wife and husband started on a very wrong premise. It would have been good under different circumstances and expectations.

According to me, in our marriage system, commitments and privileges are changing from generation to generation. In the world today, I just cannot imagine your spirit of love and devotion, without expectations of any kind. I also did not understand your interpretation of love in a marriage relationship. 

I know the package of marriage comes with primary attributes like physical fulfilment and companionship. Sacrifice, responsibility, etc follow as secondary objectives. My purpose in writing is to tell my perspective on love and marriage. Most of my dreams of marriage are physical companionship and I am not feeling shy to write that you failed to recognize my needs. I missed all that fun and passion of the early days of marriage like many girls of age and friends. Your goodness, love all are of no good for me. 

I would go further in saying that you need medical help before you choose a partner for your love. In our worldly terms, love and physical need cannot be separated. Consider me a good friend. I do not have that much love and time to be patient with you.

I am firm in my decision. Give my regards to your parents.

 

Vani”

 

Venu found himself to be a rare species in that particular instance. He wanted to see Doctor immediately. 

 

Mangalampalli Vallinath

 

 

 

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Author

  • Vallinath Mangalampalli

    A retired computer professional. I like writing off beat themes. Generally the characters are taken from average, middle class families. I have lot of interest in reading books about cosmos and western philosophers. I belong to Hyderabad, Telengana.

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