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.

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