Decadance of Romance
The fast-paced life of the 21th century, largely dictated by technological innovations, has certainly come with a heavy price. It now defines how we live and how we conduct our relationships. The obsession with occupational success and the rat race for material possessions means that romantic relationships are no longer a priority for most people and are routinely compromised. Recently a top model was heard saying, “Lovers come and go but my career is the only constant in my life.”
Romance needs time and thought, two things that most people do not seem to have enough of in this day and age of ‘attention deficit’. Just like young people are not afraid to change jobs every time they get a slightly better offer –– in fact it is said to raise their ‘market value’ –– they do not want to commit to a romantic relationship in case there is ‘something better out there’ waiting for them.
The sensitivities needed for romance are no longer present in the average person; to stop and smell the roses is an awkward, alien concept. For the young, romance and love are merely euphemisms for sex and infatuation.”
“But romance doesn’t have to be expensive or full of grand gestures! Little things like a handwritten note on the dresser saying ‘I love you’ or taking time out for the occasional picnic or dinner (with mobile phones switched off!) can go a long way in keeping the flame alive.”
“Valentines Day is ‘celebrated’ with unprecedented fervour and extravagance now but genuine romantic gestures, even amongst the idealistic youth, seem to be increasingly waning. The shallow, single-dimension of gift-giving might be more ‘easy’ and practical, but can it ever compare with a poem such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s How do I love thee? Let me count the ways, which she wrote for her husband Robert Browning?
From the arts, to literature, to movies and music, the connotations of romance have been redefined. The natural affinity described between a man and woman in the poetry of Ghalib, Majaz and Faiz or the novels of the Bronte sisters was pristine, unpolluted, decent and innocent. It did not have the ugly, lewd undertone that is the norm in fiction, movies and music of the 21th century.
“It’s all about sex and the clichéd argument is that sex sells,” says 53-year old Shazia, mother of two. Anyone who seems to resist this tendency is labelled ultra-conservative and even frowned upon. “It’s all physical and tangible now,” adds her husband.
Till two to three decades ago, romance was all about the emotional attachment. Songs like Mausam haseen hai lekin tumsa haseen nahin described the emotional and the abstract which have been replaced by the crude vulgarity of Choli kay pechay kiya hai.”
“Love and romance have become mundane emotions. The youth of today belong to the ‘cut out the crap’ generation. For most, romance begins and ends with physical relations.
They no longer wait for natural attraction to flourish. Instead, they actively pursue ‘lovers’ because of the stigma that society now attaches to single people. As a result, most relationships stem from the need to have rather than love, per se.
Both men and women routinely gloat and boast about their ‘romantic’ escapades and conquests to their mates and take great pride in doing so. In the days when romance was still alive, people were highly protective of their lovers and took immense pains to prevent any shame coming on them. They respected each other’s privacy and honour, but now each romantic enterprise is yet another feather in the cap.”
extract from An article by Munizeh Zuberi, ‘Gone with the wind?’
Complete article here