“May those who love us, love us and for those who don’t, may God turn their hearts! If he doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we will know why they are limping.” If this bartender’s dialogue from (my newfound favourite) the movie ‘Keeping the Faith’, was to hold true we will find more than half of us limping, giving brisk business to our dear orthopedic docs around the planet.
The unrequited love has been a favourite with writers and filmmakers for centuries. Whether it is the hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza in Marquez’s ‘Love in the Times of Cholera’ or our very own Devdas (or Dev D now), they have all experienced it’s bitter agony. Florentino never lost hope and finally got love of his life in his end years (giving some hope to the hopeless souls). Devdas lacked courage and tried to drown his suffering in the endless supply of alcohol.
The famous comic strip, Peanut’s character Charlie Brown suffers from unrequited love for the little Red-Haired girl, as Peppermint Petty does for him. Now, Betty Cooper from Archies has also joined the loser gang. Archie Andrews has finally proposed to Veronica Lodge after 68 years of fooling around, adding weight to the popular notion of nice girl/guy loosing the game. Even if he realizes his faux pas later, poor Betty is already down in the dumps.
Bollywood Betties are no less popular. Be it Karisma in ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’ or Kajol in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. We had all done our share of sympathizing with these luck-less souls. Even while being aware of the fact that it’s all fiction, we end up praying for them in our hearts. Few end up being ‘just good friends’ (like Karisma aka Nisha) helping the guy/girl get his soul mate. Others (like Kajol aka Anjali) get their share of a ‘happily ever after’, even if it comes lil late in life.
There is no end to Betties and Devdases, not only in ‘reel’ life but also in ‘real’ life. Most of us have been in their shoes at least once in our lives. Whether it’s the love in the times of cholera or love in the times of swine flu, the rules of this game haven’t changed much with time (excuse the masks please!).
May God superglue all those broken hearts out there. Amen!