Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Questions Provoked.

When disaster strikes it brings silence along with it. But probably the fact that I can write something even in the midst of extreme grief is a manifestation of the fact that I have matured emotionally. Only about an year ago the loss of a relationship might have plunged me into total darkness, tears and silence but today though it has the same effect initially, eventually emotions are taken over my writing and I find this empty space here to speak. Or may be I am getting used to these incidents.

Only yesterday I was talking about this lady with whom I feel that I am failing to communicate even though technically our acquaintance is 20 years old. I even called her up on phone and talked with her after about 1.5 years. But little did I know that though she sounded normal on the phone she had already sent me the last email.

The lady who suddenly came back to my life 2 years ago after 7 years of silence and then again went off for an year and recently again came back. I felt overjoyed at her return but I soon realized that our differences are far from being resolved and the slightest attempt on my part to start communications again has again sent her back. She came back like a comet and probably unconsciously became an embalming effect on my sub-conscious but the comet that she is, she was destined to again shoot away. Or may be I am not a pull strong strong enough.

She is off to her own world and if anyone suffers in this process then it is me. I lost a potentially powerful connection and have only deep agony to suppress within.

Had I said a few lies or suppressed some truths the comet might have lingered on for a little while more but my scientific training will not let me say anything but the truths straight. Unlike the previous times, at least this time she went away with some explanations. But come what may the amount of things that I fail to understand about this issue far supersedes the number of things she cared to explain.

It is probably the vacuum of reason that I see in this issue that agonizes me most. Nothing can be more frustrating than to be given no reason by the other side and made only to suffer the consequences of the other side.

In these situations I sometimes seem to regret my rigorous scientific attitude. Perhaps had I not been so, I would have perhaps managed to not say some truths and would have perhaps managed to keep the connection. But my intrinsic nature to say the truth straight seems to be acting like a sharp sword that cuts through most human relations.

Are human relations by definition this weak that they cannot survive the slash of the blade of truth? Is the only way to maintain them is to not say the full truth but suppress some parts of it?

But I take this opportunity at this open place to request her to explain her specific reason for snapping this connection. My apologies if somehow unknowingly I committed some error against her. I would be grateful if I am explained the situation.

In retrospection I wonder whether things would have been different had this connection been through direct relationship rather than almost completely through electronic means? Does regular face to face interactions render any extra stability to relationships whereas electronically maintained ones are bound to be unstable?

Could I have been able to maintain the relationship with her had we been neighbours or would have somehow been able to meet regularly, say through a common work-place, rather than having to digitally bridge a geographical distance of thousand miles?

These are some of the questions that have been plaguing me deeply over the last 3 years and I need to find the answers.

But no answer can probably bring her back. No answer can shun the wailing silence of 20 years.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Virtual Life

26th May 2008, 4:21Am

To put it flatly I am just tired and bored with my sedentary existence over the past few weeks. I wonder whether the way I spend my holidays is anywhere close to how other 21 year old people spend their college holidays (even among the students of CMI). All I seem to be doing these days is to stay confined in 1 big room. (the rented house in Wardha(Maharashtra) where I live is essentially 1 big room with a verandah and 2 bathrooms. What is visible from my verandah is mainly large open and barren grounds and a chain of hills, apart from the large hospital to which my mother is affiliated. I see a small temple high up in the hills and somehow this fascinates me. Wondering when I will climb up to that).

As I have always felt, the only ability that nature gave me was the ability to write and communicate my thoughts. As usual let me use this only weapon I have against the solitude which always shrouds my existence.

These days all I see with me to spend time with are my about hundred Mathematics and Physics books and a computer which doesn't have an internet connection. Of course it would have been great had I the opportunity to spend the day with certain men or women, but they are all geographically separated from me by a few thousand miles or have become so irresponsive that electronic communications are also unable to bridge the mental divide.

So the only other person I have around to talk to is my mother. Hence effectively I am all alone the whole day.

As usual I have my own mind for company. I feel more and more convinced that I have an infinite cauldron of energy and strength in me which nothing can shatter and which will keep me running.

Apart from the daily activities all that I can do is to read and type. My sole companion over these 21 years: books, pen, paper, paint-brushes and colours. I started writing all sorts of things right since I was in my kinder-garten and today I write these blogs and letters (to the 4 or 5 people with whom I find things to share either mathematical or non-academic).

Though I can't remember it my mother says that when I was a kid I had created a script of my own and a different language of mine with its own set of pronunciation rules. She says that I had tried a lot to teach it to her but eventually it became a mode of communication for me in my imaginary world which I used to inhabit then. My mother says that the language was very different from anything she has heard and it sounded completely bizarre and the alphabets I devised were also weird to look at but somehow I used to speak and write in it while talking to myself or to the imaginary people with whom I used to interact when I was a kid. These imaginary people mainly took the form of dolls with which I used to play.

Today at the age of 21 I still feel that I can't make others understand what I want to communicate. I still feel as if I am speaking some language unknown to other people. Especially with a certain lady in my peer group. Despite all my efforts I fail to make her see my point. {Among million other things I am trying to convince her to join the research world and not join IIM and do an MBA} With most people I have given up but not so with this person.

So the repetitive cycle that continues through the day is that I read something for 1-2 hours and then take a break for 20-30 minutes and then again continue reading. Sometimes I would keep some music playing on the computer and sing along the songs which can be any of the 5 languages Hindi, Bengali, English, Marathi and Tamil or some music like that of Yanni or Micheal Jackson or Carribean Drums and sometimes dance. But then what is the point of dancing if it is not with someone?

And this is what I am reading these days to embalm the painful loneliness:

1. During the daytime, apart from the newspaper in the morning, I am mostly reading graduate text books on Algebraic Topology, Phase Transitions and Renormalization Group (Condensed Matter Physics) and Differential Geometry. Sometimes I flip through some books on Commutative Algebra and Algebraic Geometry to get a feel for these subjects. I plan to start reading some advanced texts in General Relativity from the week after the next.

2. During the evening I am reading the Hindi poetry collection "Madhushala" by Harivansh Rai Bachchan and "The Argumentative Indian" by Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate in Economics from India). The later book has totally captivated me and has made me realize India like never before. Later next week I plan to write about some of the points in that book that were absolutely revealing to me.

These books again bring back to me the point of how I miss people to share what all exciting things I am assimilating from these books and other sources through out the day. What all is fascinating me. And why I check my cell phone from time to time hoping that an sms has come from the lady I mentioned before. (Almost never anything turns up) Anyway my cell-phone has been dead silent for the last 1 year except for the regular calls from my mother about twice a day. Over the last year she has been more or less the only caller on my phone.

During the spell of 20-30 minutes I just lie on my bed and think while staring at the white ceiling above. Sometimes I fall asleep and then again wake up and start reading.

Sometimes I spend this time trying to make some new kind of drink or juice. I have always been interested in making new kinds of drinks using various kinds of fruits and jelies and jams etc. With the whole house being inhabitated by only me for a large fraction of he day, I can peacefully carry out such experiments in the kitchen.

But then again what is the joy of concoting a new tasting drink if I can't serve that to someone? One can atmost email songs and photographs but not drinks.

Sometimes it makes me wonder that there always exists an infinite universe and a billion galaxies and possibly as many black-holes above my head and I am myself rotating on the outer fringe of one such galaxy and so many exotic phenomenons are happening there but I am not being able to experience them. I need to connect to them but what I see above me is this concrete ceiling. As I type this article may be a super-nova is blasting in some corner of the universe or some black-hole is getting formed in some other corner of this infinite space-time and I am missing out on watching them happen live.

I just sit silently and think pondering on the central question that has always occupied me ever since and more so over the recent years: "How to communicate?". If the issue is technical then the question is how to make myself understood by other Mathematicians and Physicists. The topic might be some existing idea that excites me and I want to share it with other people in the field or it might be some of my own independent thought processes which I want to explain to my colleagues in the field of Mathematics and Physics. As I have always believed teaching is the best way of learning. I learn my science by doing a detail thinking of how I would present all these concepts to a class while teaching.

But the more complicated issue is when I want to communicate some non-academic thought.

Here the interpretational heterodoxy and devouring existence of bias among the listener considerably hinders the process of communication. These are some of the problems that do not exist in technical issues. Especially I find it most complex when it comes to communicating with the lady I had mentioned above. Somehow it seems that the world at large is not comfortable with the mathematical way of approaching questions where I would try to ask the most basic/central question first with no attempt to cover it up with distractive decorations. How simple and happy my life would have been had this lady appreciated the power of directly
confronting the central questions.

Over and above that the issue of "How to communicate?" becomes utterly complex when the lady in question decides to submerge herself in deafening silence and closes all routes to the world out-side. From my experience I feel that this tendency to snap communications with the outside world and to submerge oneself in silence is central to all females. What more could be more frustrating to the person who is trying to communicate, than to face silence?

This lady is the same person about whom I wrote the article "Yet another connection snapped". Like an unpredictable comet, to my great joy she decided to return back after an year long excruciatingly painful and deafening silence. But as soon as I tried to show her some natural truths about our lives, her behaviour seems to be shooting out of my sphere of comprehension and intelligence. Just like before. Somehow these long spells of silence (the longest one being of 7 years at a stretch) and communication gap is what characterizes my interactions with this lady over the last 2 decades. But mysteriously all this has only grown my sense of bonding with her.

Yet every time this silence phase begins, I start hoping that some miracle will end the phase and never again will it begin.

Internet connection in Wardha is very rare and expensive. Wardha is a very sub-urban place and almost a village. The only somewhat of a reasonable internet connection that I can avail of is from the cyber cafe that is run inside the hospital where my mother is doing her MD. It comes at a very expensive rate of Rs.13.33 per hour from about 1Pm to 6Pm from Monday to Friday and that too is very unstable. For long stretches in between these 5 hours (for about an hour or so) the net connection might not be there and even when it is there it might be going on and off every 10-15 minutes. Further going and coming from this cafe is not a pleasant thing since it involves a walk of about under the frying afternoon heat that characterizes Wardha summers. Thankfully the walk is only for about 5 minutes.

I find this situation with the internet highly irritating and frustrating given that internet has become an intrinsic part of my life over the last 2 years. Whatever little life I had before coming to CMI has long withered away and whatever non-trivial interactions I have are all through the internet with people whom either I have never met personally or I will probably never meet at last in the next few years and haven't met for the past few years.

But somehow the sense of bonding that I feel with the few people with whom I try to connect through the internet is so strong that I would have taken the troubles had the sun been more blistering hot or the cost of the net connection been higher. I attach much greater value to these one or two academic interactions I have and the lady with whom I am trying to connect. I can only faintly hope that these people on the other side also recognize my sense of attachment and sincerity.

This is the crux of my life. All my interactions are online. There is not a single person among the people whom I get to meet, with whom I have any interactions more than saying hi and bye. Hence apart from the cocoon that the books create for me internet has become the only world I live in. It seems to be the only thing in this world that comes ever any close to fill the vacuum I have felt within myself since childhood of rootless ness and homelessness and the vacuum of people with whom I can share everything.

This reminds me of this cliche which I had read while a kid and today it seems more and more closer to me no matter how crudely the below sentences might seem to be framed:

"A house is built with hands, brick and mortar. A home is built with hearts"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The statistical balance

From my analysis in the last 2 articles an obvious conclusion can be that passionate love is an absolutely useless and a practically non-existent concept. But in this article I would like to emphasize that there exists a very expensive silver lining to the situation.

A stable relationship of love is basically a question of statistics.

Of course one can say that stability of anything is a question of statistics. Take a wedge and take a cubic block of stone. Randomly place this slab on the wedge such that a fixed edge of the cube is parallel to the edge of the wedge and ask the question as to what is the probability that the block will be balanced on this wedge. The answer is 0 since the region of contact which can give a balanced situation is of measure 0.

The question of love is probably the most profound practical situation where statistics shows up its ugly face but it also acts as a comforting factor. Let me explain how it works both ways.

People can have pretty narrow preferences about what kind of a person they are comfortable interacting with. Say that the only kind of ladies who mesmerize me are ones who are professionally hoping to become an Algebraic Geometer and whom I think are beautiful, who love eating mangoes, who like listening to Gazals by Jagjit Singh, who love debating and who are not more than 2-3 months younger or older than me and who are interested in Condensed Matter Physics and are great fans of the pair Irfan Khan-Tabu on the silver screen.

Then statistics is going to ruin my hopes by putting the probability of finding such a lady at some number arbitrarily close to 0.

Hence the need of flexibility about what all kind of people one can strike a resonance with although they might not be the person out of my dreams. But then again one has one's preferences like if a person has very high mental maturity then being 5 years younger to me is not something that I will feel but if that person has no appreciation for Mathematics and Physics then things might be very difficult for me.

But statistics also saves passionate relations by telling us that the probability is miniscule that a certain romantic relationship is going to hit the dire situations as I explored in the last 2 articles.

Getting into a passionate relationship is more or less a matter of being severely optimistic. At the beginning it seems that it is very necessary that one has a good understanding of the limits of abilities of one's own self and the other side and then one simply has to hope that the relationship never faces a situation which is beyond the set of surmountable situations of either of the sides.

Its a matter of hope. And the hope seems to be pretty well-based since there exists the comforting statistics that the gruesome situations explored earlier are highly improbable.

But of course no solution seems in sight as to whether/how a passionate relation of love can be saved if it does hits the kind of breaking stresses explored.

It seems to be a matter of having an adequate amount of mental strength somewhere deep down so that one can face the situation if the statistically improbable situations do arise.

But does this mental preparation involve having an intimate relationship minus emotional attachment? Hopefully not! If that is what having such a mental strength is tantamount to then we must realize that we are trapped in an intricately meshed situation that the human intelligence has crafted for us.

The possibility/difficulty of having an intimate relationship minus the emotional attachment or expectations is a question that is closest to me because of the various personal experiences that I have had with regard to this. This is a question that I have had to face over and over again over my various electronic interactions (those that predominantly exists through emails and chats). These electronic relationships are an integral and essential part of my life and in my next blog I plan to explore these in detail.

But coming back to the original topic of this article, the situation seems to be that statistics is what prevents us from finding our dream other-half and again it is the same statistics which prevents most passionate relations from breaking down.

Its a very intricate balance between these opposing facts and probably happiness is a process of fully accepting this situation and its ramifications.

A romantic and passionate relation is a matter of taking that jump and taking that risk otherwise for what would the following imaginations and situations exist:

* Returning from a late night movie when the streets are empty but for me and my lady love.

* Walking on empty streets completely unprepared to prevent getting wet and then sudden advent of torrential rainfall with lashing winds. Then waiting at a lonely bus-stop in the dead of the night, with my lady for a miraculous appearance of a cab.

* The car breaking down in the middle of the road at an unknown place while traveling with my lady. Then having to lodge into a shabby in for the night. Start the night with blank star gazing and then finally getting involved with her in a heated debate discussion about space-time geometry and Yang-Mill's theory and hence realizing the deeper strings that bind us.

* Traveling on the train with a coup booked for the two of us or in a situation where the side upper and the side-lower is booked for us. Then spend the night together in the upper bunk watching a romatic movie on a laptop. {Thats what I see to be the greatest use of a laptop!)

* Because the outside landscape looked exciting, getting down at some arbitrary station instead of the planned destination while traveling on a train with my love. Then continue to travel to unknown destinations with her without any prior-planning. {I wonder what fun is there in planned and organized travels!}

* Cuddling up on the sofa with one's love to watch a late night movie. Then sudden realization of some question in geometry and then to pause the movie and then to start writing on the black-board trying to together understand it. Then again get back to the movie, unpause it and see it fully.

* Spend an evening with her in a corner table of a cafeteria or a restaurant.

* Go out with her on a small boat into the sea at twilight .

Of course I am not taking pains to describe any of the interactions between Jack and Rose in the movie 'Titanic' or those between Irfan and Tabu in the movie "Namesake". I find them to be deeply romantic.

In case it isn't clear , when I say "late night" I mean post mid-night.

The above was an introductory subset of my romantic imaginations which motivate me to believe in the statistical balance of love inspite of its gruesome possibilities.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Disambiguation about my last article "True Love?" and further analysis.

The comment by my good friend Pratish about the last blog brings me to realize that there was possibility of such a big misinterpretation of my last article. {@Pratish: You totally misunderstood my point}.
I think the interpretation that Pratish did in his comments on the last blog is pretty dangerous and it is somewhat of my responsibility to see that such a thing is prevented lest many other also do this. Hence this post.

My claim is that the behavioural pattern that I was trying to explore in my last article is not specific to either of the sexes. I claim that in the incident narrated in my last blog if the affected person had been the wife then the husband would have been equally likely to desert her.
The only point in the behaviour of the lady that I see to be unquestionably unethical is that she almost robbed the guy of all his property. Running away is one thing but to desert taking with her all the resources is clear stealing.

The point that I am trying to explore and understand in these writings are the existence and magnitudes of the breaking limits in romantic relationships. I am trying to understand what is the maximum shock absorption ability of a relationship of romantic/passionate love between a man and a woman.

I think one can classify the reasons what may cause a shock or strain in such romantic relationships into 2 groups:

1. Reasons arising out of behavioural patterns like infidelity or one of them being a drunkard whereas the other detests alcohol or one of them being a physical oppressor on the other etc.

2. Reasons arising out of accident like physical mutilation caused to one of them due to a disease or accident or one of them being affected by some disease which is incurable and will surely lead to death.

I am not considering the causes of the first kind since somehow I feel that these are of too trivial in complexity than the reasons of the second type. Reasons arising out of behavioural patters is in some sense avoidable (no matter how difficult it may be either socially or psychologically), in general such behavioural mismatch can be looked upon as lack of foresight on both sides that they rushed into the relationship without thinking through the situation in detail.

The critical issue is when the shock arises from reasons of the second kind. It is an unexpected situation that none of them foresaw and now they are forced into it.

The question is "Whether a romantic relationship is capable of sustaining such accidents or more crucially is it by definition even supposed to be strong enough to sustain such shocks?"

Isn't the physical truth of the two persons somehow intricately associated to the fact that they are in love with each other? Can a romantic relationship be entirely disjoint from the physical truths of the persons involved?

Two people of the opposite sex might enjoy talking to each other over electronic means and strike a great resonance of thoughts and might "feel" that they are "in love" but is it anywhere near being a realistic situation unless they both are able to naturally accept the physical truths about each other?

I somehow feel that the answers to the above questions is negative. Probably the demarcating line between a "close friendship" and "love" is the existence or not of physical attraction.

Given these premises is it possible for a romantic relation ship to sustain shocks of the second kind since it anyway started off with a shade of physical attraction.

How many men have ever fallen in love with a women though they think that the woman is not beautiful? {Of course "beauty" is a relative concept and one should understand this in the sense that each side thinks that the other is beautiful}

I somehow feel that feeling that the other side is beautiful, is one of the fundamental aspects to the whole conception of being in love and when this basic aspect is breached it seems unlikely to me that the relationship can stand through.

Of course one doesn't rule out the most-common possibility that an accident/disease may permanently handicap a person but may not ruin his/her beauty and elegance.

Now the question arises whether a relationship based on feelings of beauty and elegance is worth its existence? Is it to be called "weak" since it is so based?

At this point let me state 3 statements which 3 ladies (friends and acquaintances in my peer group) told me at various point of time during the last 3 years:

Lady 1 : (she was reclining on one corner of a bed and I was sitting on the other corner and with a sigh she said the following..) "It is always 'your' problem or 'my' problem and never 'ours'"

Lady 2 : (over gtalk) "No guy can love a girl as much as parents can love their child. Then what use is such a relationship if you have parents to support you through all situations in life"

Lady 3 : (over gtalk) "How many people do you think ever find 'true love' ? One has to make compromises."

The question is to understand who among them is correct? Is any of them correct or it is such that these 3 ladies are looking at 3 different aspects of a very critically balanced relationship which is not as strong as motherly love but is stronger than close friendship?

Is 'love' a detailed equation of balance of factors where one must be ready to face a break up when faced with severe shocks and not expect it to be some infinitely strong bind like motherly love?...and hence "love" as a concept which is far far removed from the dreamy idealizations that very often romantic novels and movies try to portray.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

True love?

I am not a raconteur.

Let me just record here a real-life incident that I recently came to know of and that caused non-trivial perturbations to my thoughts. It strongly brought back to me some of the non-academic questions about which for the past decade and more I have been pondering off and on and even today I actively continue to search for their answers either through personal or indirect experiences. Questions which I believe are very crucial to my life and whose answers can have far reaching consequences.

So how did I get to know of this incident that I am trying to narrate? I have just now completed my BSc.(Hons.) course in Physics at Chennai Mathematical Institute and Howrah is what can technically be called as my home-town (I am not sure whether I have anything in common with Howrah or whether Howrah has anyway influenced me!) I was travelling in a train from Chennai to Howrah after my last semester was over. On of my co-passengers was a doctor and this is an experience of that doctor which he narrated to us.

One day a well-to-do and married male patient came to this doctor with some kind of a tumorous growth happening at various points in one half of his face. Preliminary investigation revealed it to be a cancerous growth and that it had spread to critical areas like the eye and nose and the palate. The doctor realized that it is a complicated case and after consultation with his colleagues concluded that the only possible "cure" for this is to do a massive surgery on that side of the face and remove all the infected regions. There was no way out but to remove the eye and one-half of the nose and almost everything on that side of the face. Then a plastic surgery would have to be done to cover up all the voids and deep scars that would be created. To remove whatever malignant cells that might remain a round of chemotherapy had to be done.

This grave situation was informed to the couple and seeing no way out they conceded to the operation. The couple realized that they would need to liquidate some of their assets to finance the whole operation. While the husband was admitted to the hospital, the wife started bringing to him regularly papers and documents relating to their various properties like land owned etc. These were officially owned by the husband and hence his signature was required to sell them or mortgage them.

Eventually the operation was done. For the doctors there was a great sense of achievement that this immensely risk prone operation could be completed and the person was alive and healthy. But on more practical grounds now the person's face was a scary thing to look at. It was half a face and the other half was a flat sheet of skin. The wife almost fainted when she saw him after the operation.

Now the guy was on constant medication and the wife had to regularly buy and bring to him the medicines. The doctors noticed that the wife was uncomfortable spending time in the hospital and was not getting habituated to the typical smell that pervades a hospital.
Gradually the frequency of visits of the wife started to decline and finally she stopped coming.

Now the doctors were faced with the question as to how to keep procuring the medicines for the patient. So the doctors decided to keep giving to him whatever could be salvaged out of the stock of free samples that any hospital has. Thus the doctors managed to complete the cycle of medication and the guy was eventually released.

He walked out of the hospital alone and with half a face but without the tumorous growth.

After a few months this guy returned back to the hospital with a face and body that could hardly be called human. The doctor said that even seasoned doctors got considerably shocked to see him. His entire face had swollen up and the standard structures on the face like eye, nose and lips were indiscernible. It was a weirdly shaped lump of flesh to say the least. The doctor said that his face with the numerous tumours bulging out of everywhere looked like a large cauliflower. He even had weirdly shaped protrusions coming out of every point in the body which have the lymph glands like the arm-pits, groins etc. For most doctors he was the scariest effect of disease they had ever seen in their life. For others he was looking just like a character out of some horror movie.

The guy had the following tale to tell: When he was discharged from the hospital he returned back to his home to find that it was completely empty. He had no property to live on. His wife had run away with some guy taking with her all the property. She could do this since he had already signed the papers. Now he could hardly sustain himself on his own and loss of his wife plunged him into deep sorrow. Out of frustration he took to alcohol and spent whatever money he had on it. As soon as he started drinking alcohol the tumorous growths across his body started and the disease backfired that the earlier treatment had suppressed to a considerable extent. The disease now came back in greater measure and devastated his physical appearance and abilities.

Now his wife had run-away with all his property and he was reduced to a mendicant on the street with a ghastly physical appearance that made him recede from his social circles as well which could have been his help during such difficult times.

The guy surmises and almost correctly so that his wife decided to run away as soon as she realized the amount of physical distortion the operation had caused to his face. Almost surely she couldn't accept the situation of having to spend the rest of her life with a man who had half a face.

Now this man having lost everything but his life had come back to the hospital with only one request to make to the doctors "Please kill me". So this man chose euthanasia ("mercy killing") as the way out of being in a state of complete physical mutilation including the face being distorted beyond recognition, financial ruin and simultaneous loss of his family.

I am not inviting any debate about whether this choice is right or wrong. I am convinced that in that given situation I would have made the same choice and I will consider that person to be some being beyond human who would not chose death in such circumstances.

The issue what this episode brings home is the issue of mutual physical acceptability in a relationship of romantic love. How much is physical beauty a factor in falling in love? Is there any meaning or truth in "romantic love" unless it is passionate?

This is something that I have debated within me since I was in class 5 or 6 and even today at the age of 21 it is a question that I am yet to settle for sure. I don't feel confident of the amount of truth that is there when a people talk of love as some form of an emotion that rises beyond all mortal factors and is supposed to be a bind of thoughts and hearts etc etc.

A critical synchronization of thoughts and emotions is necessary for anything to even qualify to be called love but is it even remotely practically feasible unless there is a mutual physical acceptance? At this point in my life I don't think I can.

I think if a question is posed to me as "Will you love your wife as before even if she loses a leg as a consequence of some accident and becomes dependent on the wheel-chair?" then my answer is an emphatic "yes". But if a question is asked as "Will your love your wife as before even if she gets physically distorted like that man?" then I am finding it very difficult to come up with a positive answer.

I would consider it to be my greatest achievement if ever in my life I can give an emphatic "yes" as an answer to the later question.

I somehow don't see how romantic love between 2 people can be sustained without mutual physical acceptance. That will require an amount of strength to rise beyond all mortal factors, that I am not sure whether any person is capable of having.

Is such a situation supposed to be the best test for true love or is such a test impossible for anyone to pass?
I don't know the answer to these questions and hence the reason why I am writing these articles.

These thoughts bring home a more central point. Can you think of one relationship in this world that can stand this situation? When 2 people stick together even when one is physically mutilated beyond recognition ? Yes..I think there is only one form of relationship that can sustain this...that between a mother and her child.

I somehow feel that motherhood is one bond which is beyond the reach of any other form of relationship and probably the only form which has a chance of sustaining such shocks like the one discussed above.

As I grow up this is something that I feel in stronger and stronger forms: "Mother" is probably the symbol of the strongest form of bond, most unshatterable support and the safest shelter.

The central question one needs to find an answer to is this:

Is it possible for two people engaged in romantic love to be passionately in love and yet love each other like a mother loves her child or are these emotions mutually exclusive?