All's fair in love
As another Valentine's Day comes along, RACHNA CHHABRIA takes a look at Cupid's modus operandi.
Collage : K.B. Jawaharr
THE time of the year when men and makers (not the one above) but those down below, let me be more specific: manufacturers go into a frenzy to celebrate Valentine's Day. The hearts buried deep are extracted, dusted, polished and readied to be worn over the sleeves. Red, the colour of the season, pervades the atmosphere and heart is the shape of the month. Red roses have sprung everywhere.
Open and overt display of affection on V-Day is predominant. Roses or chocolates are exchanged. Moonlight/starlight/candlelight dinners are the norm. Cupid the patron saint of Valentine's Day is having his fun. After a refreshing and much-deserved breather, he resumes his duties with renewed vigour and vengeance.
Let's delve deep into Cupid's psyche. This cherubic angel, sometimes flying with a bow and arrow searching for victims, sometimes playing on his harp celebrating his victory is no fumbling, bumbling hero whose random shots in the dark may miss the marks or sometimes hit bull's eye.
Unlike his Indian counterpart Kama, Cupid the child prodigy is a shrewd worker, thoughtful in his planning, meticulous in his execution with sharp eyes that can spot victims miles away. With a wisdom belying his age and arrows unerringly finding their mark, Cupid is a successful worker. That's why he is able to get a Martian man and a woman from Venus together to live happily on Earth and discover Heaven in each other's company.
As long as men and women inhabit the Earth, Cupid will never look for an alternative profession. Love at first sight is Cupid's normal MO (modus operandi) but if that doesn't happen it is NBD (no big deal) for Cupid as he has other aces up his sleeve. Instant attraction is not the only way to fall in love; there is also a gradual deviation towards it where the lovers realise that they just can't do without each other over a period of time (all under Cupid's watchful eyes).
Moving with the times
If you have watched Cupid carefully, you would have noticed that he is one angel/God who has moved along with time, sometimes moving ahead of it, at other times leaving it far behind.
In earlier days he sought the help of the elders in the family to match make. Things were moving pretty smoothly. Then children (our great-great-great grandparents) were obedient and listened to their parents and the parents relished playing the role of Cupid and they thoroughly enjoyed their matchmaking tactics and all was well on Earth. Cupid couldn't be happier. Sometimes he let uncles, aunties and family friends enact his role.
When newspapers arrived on the scene Cupid was quick to realise their immense value and importance. He thoughtfully turned the pages and not only spied his chance but also grabbed it with both hands.
Now he could reach wider targets, which meant more victims for him. He devised the matrimonial columns. People from different corners of India and the world met and hooked up, all thanks to Cupid's machinations. Things couldn't be better, Cupid thought, as he pored over the Sunday supplements of newspapers looking for possible matches. For quite sometime things cruised along. Everyone was happy and all was well with the world.
Sometimes, to brush up his act, he flew over schools, colleges, theatres, parties, offices, discos and wherever people interacted, all in the cause of duty. He was successful there too. He continues to do that on and off just to keep himself in practice.
Then came the computers. Cupid watched in dismay. He would be rendered out of a job if people didn't let go of their preoccupations with computers. He couldn't just sit back and twiddle his thumbs. He did some rapid thinking. Quickly he set up the Internet Highway, creating chat rooms and ensuring everyone had an e-mail-id. He surfed chat rooms on his laptop looking for possible matches. At the click of a mouse, he struck gold.
Cupid couldn't believe it. He became fond of computers. His only regret was that the Internet hadn't been discovered earlier. The oddest of people from the remotest corners of the world were pairing up together thanks to the Internet and Cupid's timely intervention.
When people who were scouting around for matches for their children and grandchildren became Cupid's victims, things definitely couldn't get better. The Internet-born lovers were writing new vows. "Till Intel and Pentium do us apart," they swore. Love at first chat became the norm. Cupid had exchanged his bow and arrow for the mouse.
Thoroughly enchanted with the Internet weapon/tool, Cupid eagerly scouted around for more such tools. His eyes fell on the mobile phones. He rubbed his hands gleefully. If with computer love was just a mouse click away, then with mobiles it was at an SMS distance.
People with weak spellings and not so perfect grammar now found and wooed their partners with aplomb. Spellings and grammar could take a walk, they muttered, as they furiously typed messages of love. They had as much chance as someone with perfect English of serenading their lovers. Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley could all go for a walk. The lovers didn't need poems and sonnets to woo; text messages would suffice.
Cupid blessed the cell phone operators "may their tribes prosper," he chanted. These mobiles were better than computers as they were smaller and could be carried anywhere and everywhere, he thought joyfully. Cell mates modern day versions of soul mates cropped up everywhere creating their own language.
Last seen Cupid, wearing a happy smile and looking very pleased with himself, was scouting around for new tools. He knows well that he can adapt himself to any situation and invention and use it to his advantage. In the Game of Love it is always Advantage Cupid regardless of the lovers scores or expertise.
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