There stands Cupid,
With an arrow in hand,
Ready to strike the beholder
Who can escape his clutches?
The mighty, or even the bolder.
The idea of love brings upon us the feeling of vibrant spring rightly infused with the charm and energy of youth, isn’t it? Think of your first love and the memories you carry with it. Love is a beautiful feeling inspiring immortal tales and immemorial songs. While the heart goes aflutter, the dark alleys in the human mind could instigate us to take extreme measures when our love story doesn’t align with our expectations.
We are talking about one of the raging social issues infringing on the country and many other great Nations around the world – youth suicides triggered by sour love stories. Estimation by TOI (Times Of India) reveals that the year 2014 witnessed around 719 deaths of suicide, due to some conditions of immature love. The year 2015 witnessed a sharp drop to 516. The year 2016 also shows a drop to 411. However, the year 2019-2020 showed a high rise, with annual deaths of suicide increased by 10%. TOI further conducted a survey in the year 2017 across several cities in India between age groups 14-21, and 18-30. Final analysis reveals that several school students choose the path of suicide to end themselves as the sole route to escape heartbreak.
The Constant Dose of Hyper-Reality: Too Fancy, Too Beautiful, or Too Immature
Why do most Bollywood movies, irrespective of the complex and unrealistic plot mostly have a happy ending? Because we all desire a perfect outcome. The chiseled hero braves mammoth odds, scales mountains, travels the world, fires guns, explosives, and fist-fights a mini-army. Why? To woo the apparently dumb, pristinely beautiful heroine and dance through snow-capped mountains, wearing bright, misfitting designer clothes. Seriously? Is it so damn easy to gain access to wartime ammunition, grenades, and shotguns? Along with commando-level precision to handle those firepower and trench weapons? And why would the actors require to flaunt bare-midriff dresses in sub-zero temperatures?
Television and social media project life to be flawlessly beautiful, without attaching scars of pain and shaded reality. When the shaded reality is perceived as the truth, that becomes the sharp sword to slice the heart into pieces. Be it the epic love story of the box office hit Bollywood movie Barirao-Mastani or India’s cult favorite, Laila-Majnu, the echoes of forever romance, and love in the afterlife drive thousands of teenagers on the same pathway. The forever tale of romance in pages of literature, Romeo and Juliet, basically a three-day immature love story of teenagers is the favorite tragic romance and remains, or rather will remain as a burning inspiration of love for ages to come.
Constant Craving for Social Approvals
What’s more, add are some of the orthodox cultural baggage and the constant craving for social approval which loom large on most Indian families. Such cryptic are the social fabrics, that the fate of your love story, largely depends upon the neighborhood aunty’s opinion on the matter. Herd verdict that brews within the narrow neighboring lanes and colonies play a decisive factor. Therefore anything marginally unconventional, including love and romance when presented as a barrier, with restrictions imposed forcefully becomes one of the prime reasons to consider extreme steps.
“We will meet in Heaven” – Well, we consider life to be a gift of God. So when we authoritatively strangulate life, it definitely won’t be pleasing the Gods and you aren’t going to Heaven.
The teenage and young adolescent period is a phase of bumpy transition into adulthood. And the Karan Johar brigade with his army of plastic heroines and over-charismatic heroes, ain’t the reality. For decades, marketing groups, brand strategists, print and polaroid media, along with the recent “influencers” on social media, have been preying on our insecurities and personal flaws. To sell products and earn money. Fair unblemished skin, layers of organic cosmetics, expensive designer clothes, and accessories for the ladies. Stubbles, beard creams, macho perfumes, power bikes and cars, expensive phones, etc for the dudes. These wouldn’t guarantee success in a budding romance scene. The reality, in all probabilities, would be harsher and more complex. The parameters of caste, religion, economic inequalities, professional differences, cultural disparities, and social acceptance would quietly seep in to contaminate the relationship, even before the dreamy affair attains maturity. That’s the reality and suicides are just the solution.
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