I was reading ‘Antarmukham’ by Yandamoori Veerendranath last week and a few lines from the book really disturbed me and had me thinking:
“Every relationship is based on the policy of ‘give & take’. And, once we stop giving & (only) start taking, the other party in the relationship feel the brunt and will eventually lose love on you. They might still be in that relationship with you, but it would either be out of gratitude, responsibility or need. Such a relationship which starts in love, changes to responsibility and finally becomes a burden is not ‘love’ but an illusion”.
Isn’t it true of any relationship? Does it mean that a relationship will hold good only till we are capable of ‘giving’ in that relation? What if we end up in a situation where we cannot give anything in return but only take? Would love become gratitude or responsibility?
The scene (from the book) which brought about this conclusion: An old man is bed ridden and is in his last days. He has 3 children, but loved his daughter more than his sons and saved money for her marriage. His daughter though in the same house would never enter his room on the pretext of ‘unable to see her lovely dad bed ridden’ (according to the old man). As time goes by, medical expenses mount and his sons who can no longer pay, decide to draw money from their sister’s marriage fund. Though the old man is sad, he doesn’t say much. That night his daughter walks in to the room, cuts his oxygen supply and walks off. The old man watches this and is shocked beyond belief.
I tried to convince myself that the lady took that extreme step due to financial constraints and that I may not do the same if I were in her shoes. But, an interesting question arose – why? Why would I not act that way? Would I not pull the plug – out of love? or ’cause I’m morally convinced it’s fundamentally wrong? What defined my action? Would my relationship with my father (if I were in his daughter’s shoes) still be love? or gratitude? or responsibility? And, if money was not a constraint, and that extreme step not a necessity, would I be with that bedridden person out of gratitude or because I still loved the person?
Do I have an answer to this dilemma? or is this yet another morality breaking question I need to be content with?
Would your friend still be with you if you stopped being one? After you stopped entertaining them, after you stopped caring for them? after you stopped being there for them? Would your spouse still be with you after you stopped loving her? When you no longer gave your attention to her? No matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise, we all know the answer is – no. They might stick around with us out of gratitude for old times, but sooner or later they’d move on. Everything depended on what you ‘give’, what you ‘do’.
No matter what your intentions are, if others don’t see them in action they’d assume the same to be your intention. For example: when I care for my friends, I do so naturally, instinctively, spontaneously, there’s no conscious will I put into that. But, even if that’s my nature, my actions need to reflect that or else it’ll break the relationship I’m in.
How long would you care for someone who can only take from you and cannot give back in return? Your answer gives some interesting insight into your psychology.
I think I’ve been logical in my analysis. Even though I wish I was wrong, I’m afraid I may be right. If you’ve come across situations which can prove this theory wrong, please do have a say in the comments. I’d love to get your perspective on this issues.