Ishq wala Love? It’s money, stupid!

And if it is, what is love? No doubt, this has been amongst the most googled questions, of late. And I confess, even I in my forcibly extracted moments of void, can`t help but wonder about the same. More so, when leaning against the Metro wall, my empty eyes stare across the glass door, and start brimming with the mystery that fills me when I see lovey-dovey pairs floating in their heaven of love. From very ordinary, unnoticeable ones to very charming and strikingly delightful pairs, couples exude an unmistakably unrealistic happiness. The girls blushing through their cherubic pink cheeks, the boys lost deep in those two oceanic eyes; or the girls chuckling endlessly, with the love-struck guy pretending to listen to everything while actually thinking – ‘God, how much she babbles, but isn’t she lovely? I just want to go on and listen to you all day long!’

Other kinds, just-not-getting-enough-of-each-other PDA couples, who are easily accessible behind the bushes at famous lover-points in the city. Or those mature breeds of lovers, sitting in a café, with nothing but calmness afloat in between, interspersed by serious talks on life, career, philosophy and religion.

Looking at them, one can’t help but wonder about that mysterious power that holds them together and keeps them in that intoxicated state.

They say, it’s the heart’s job! But no, it’s your shrewd trickster brain that gets you entangled into the cobweb of the so-called love, so have proved scientists. The sacred emotion that our heart pounds with, when we are in love, is actually the work of the brain’s chemical engineers – dopamine, nor-epinephrine, oxytocin and serotonin.

It is this cunning collaboration of hormones and neurotransmitters that drives human beings crazy in love. Crazy enough to fritter away big amounts of moolah on ‘that special one’ or say the special ones, if you don’t have enough supply of oxytocin yet! Because, it is oxytocin that ensures emotional attachment and trust in just one partner.

After a little scientific enlightenment, let’s turn to the pecuniary facet of love.

A recent report by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) states that the value of the Valentine’s Day market in India stands at a whopping Rs 15, 000 crore.

Besides, we are already known to be smitten with the idea of the big, fat Indian weddings. So, the connection between money and the soul mate is hard to ignore. Though many love-struck lunatics would deny this school of thought and go on to say that theirs is an eternal, unconditional love which doesn’t vary directly or indirectly with the number of roses sacrificed, or cups of coffee sipped together at pricey Starbucks. But, nowadays, the romantic love, i.e, ishq wala love, owes a large chunk of its existence to credit cards and debit cards.

However, in spite of knowing how this ishq wala love is actually a science wala, money wala love; everybody, in their heart of hearts, wants to experience and witness the Shah Rukh wala love!

The love laced with Bollywood dialogues like, “Mai ankhein kholta hun toh tumhe dekhta hun, ankhein band karta hun toh tumhe dekhna chahta hun”.

The problem with wanting to remain in this kind of a dream-like state is that it is as fake and unreal as the layers of make-up smeared on the faces of our favourite stars. It remains with us till we are in high school or till we are in our twenties or maximum, till in our thirties. After that, when the stark realities and myths and delusions stare hard into our faces, killing the innocence; we change. We change.

And then we realise what real love is felt like. It was when your nursery classmate preserved the red chair for you. It was when your little sister kept your secret from mom, it was when your mom chased you till the school van to give you the lunchbox, it is when your best friend doesn’t tell you how weird your hair looks. It is when your mom doesn’t wake you up in the morning, just to behold you sleeping calmly. In all these little things, love was and love is. Because, if it dies, it never was love.


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