‘Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen. They fell in love and lived happily ever after.’ How dreary are the happily ever after stories. As a child, I was fascinated when the young princess escaped the clutches of her evil god mother and lived a forever happy life with her prince charming who always had the perfect gelled hair and a baritone to die for. But as life started to take away my innocence and maturity started to bring out the worse in me, I started deriving sadistic pleasure from the tales of tragic love where the heart loved but destiny conspired against it. William Shakespeare knew that Romeo must die. He knew that the traditional concept of true love and happiness merging into forever together would have been yet another Barbie Disney tale. What is love without tragedy and what is love without jealousy.
Imagine a happy ending saga of Othello where instead of murdering the love of his life Desdemona under a fit of rage, the tale ended with them making castles by the beach and forever making babies. Picture Cleopatra and Mark Antony counting stars under the night sky or running towards each other in slow motion through a meadow of daisies instead of cruel act of committing suicide due to false news about the lover’s untimely death. What if Salim and Anarkali had a traditional nikah and lived forever together brushing their kathak skills under the mirrored walls of the palace instead of the tragic episode of the beautiful Anarkali being entombed alive in a brick wall right in front of her beloved Salim’s eye. Tragedy is what made these tales immortal.
Maybe I am a jealous soul. Maybe I don’t like lovers ending up happy, atleast not in tales or movies. I want to see them love and then lose it. I want the universe working against their togetherness for their loss balms the bruises of all the time I was forced to let someone go. It makes me realize how my own nature can work against my own happiness. Sugar coated happy endings disgust me because my reality is far from it. While the heart smiles to the pleasant ending love stories, the soul connects to the tragic ones. The world is too messed up to let go of tragedy.
I am happy that Jack died in Titanic. I am happy Rose lived forever alone for the rest of her life reminiscing. I am glad the ship hit the iceberg for it depicts how sometimes you are destined to sail on the ship of disaster that rams into an iceberg. I want to feel the disappointment, rage and the frustration of the characters, because it makes me feel better about my own situation. Happy Love stories make me lament for my life isn’t effortless or blessed with love that breaks the shackles of the deformed mindset of the society I am part of. Like they say, Misery loves company.
The reality is that we all have been victims of destiny not working in our favour at some point or the other. I happily embrace the tragic aspect of life because by not doing so I would be lying to myself and moreover I would lose the ability to understand that the meaning of human life goes beyond mere happiness. Forever gloating on the happily ever after tales and never accepting the tragic reality, makes life and us, a lot smaller. A happy ending is nothing but a serious misinterpretation.
P.S- So tell me what do you prefer? A tale of happily ever after or a tragic love story.
P.P.S- I sincerely do miss writing, especially the humour loaded ones. But my mind has found enough excuses not to and hence I have succumbed to sheer laziness.