9: Unconventional love stories

Every love story is special, but what makes some stories worth telling and not others? The greatest love stories show us our own potential for unconditional love, through others. The greatest love stories are also the ones which show us that love is nothing but supreme sacrifice. When a person is ready to sacrifice their happiness for the sake of someone else, the seed for a great love story is laid out. How often does that happen in the real world? Not a lot, which is why we have only few stories worth sharing. In most cases, love is used as a romanticized term for an arrangement. We ‘love’ somebody when we decide to be there for them, in return for them being there for us. We provide emotional and physical support in return for the same. If either parties falter, we move on to a new arrangement. That is why people say ‘love’ is work, you need to put in as much effort as your job. In contrast, real love may have nothing to do with romance. Every day I fall in love with someone, a little bit. I don’t even know them and may never see them again, but that love leaves it joyous imprint on me.

Unconventional love stories are my favorite kind of love stories. That’s because the characters cannot usually provide what is naturally expected from them. In the absence of expectations, unconditional love flourishes. A guy who stops pursuing his crush for a mentally challenged girl who loves him unconditionally; the man who devotes his entire life looking after and saving the life of a boy whose mother he deeply loved, the girl who prioritizes her sick brother over her own romantic needs. These are all some of the beautiful tales that history has told us which shows the human capacity for unconditional love and sacrifice. There is an old Indian couplet, which translates us, Do not love like the birds, which fly away when the lake dries; Love like the fishes, who die when the lake dries. Contrary to what you may be thinking, this is not an advertisement for self-destructive love but only illustrates that the transformative power of love which changes you (for the better or worse) when that love ceases to exist.

When we all love unconditionally, we are taken care of by each other. But what happens when you love people unconditionally but remain unloved throughout your life? Is that a risk worth taking or should we just resort to mutual living arrangements a.k.a relationships. That’s a choice which everyone makes in their lives at some point of time. The greatest love stories remind us in our mundane lives, that if we choose to open our hearts to the fullest without being afraid of the consequences, that will be a story worth reading, a thousand times over.

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