BHUBANESWAR: A whole new dimension was given to modern relationships at the session “Romance in New India” on the concluding day of Odisha Literary festival here on Sunday. Playing with the idea of love in modern days, the speakers at the session brought to fore the many facets of romance that figure in today’s writings.Novelist Durjoy Dutta was of the opinion that it was easier to sell and market a book on love and romance. “In order to make people read a book, a writer should candy-wrap it with love and romance,” he said.
Unlike in the past when love was considered a forbidden subject, it is easy to have a relationship these days. “Possibilities and avenues of finding a soul mate is more in the digital world today,” he said.
Refusing to accept that love in the modern age is bland, the young novelist said, “The perception that new age romance is not aesthetic as compared to that of the previous era in which it was sacred and long-lasting is nonsense.” Even in a relationship of three months, a 21-year-old puts in a lot of efforts. The person communicates a lot and even spends 24 hours a day talking to partner. “This relationship is as serious as the one in the earlier days,” Durjoy said.
Talking about the brief life span of modern love affairs, he said relationships end quickly because opinions and tastes of people are changing fast. The novelist further said unrequited love should not be glorified. “One-sided love may seem a good subject for movies and books, but it is never a pleasant experience,”he said.
Revealing that he is toying with the idea of writing a book on The Mahabharata, Durjoy said, “If I were to write the epic, I would make it a love story.”Author Milan Vohra had a different take on modern relationships. “The expectations of people have become fairly rigid. They want a ‘happy ever after’ but are not willing to compromise. That’s the reason why love is not working these days,” said Milan who is also a screenplay writer, playwright and advertising professional.
For love to happen, there needs to be a spark. “People today have been conditioned to seek massive longevity in relationships. With this expectation of theirs, they tend to lose the chemistry which sustains love,” she said.“The inability to compromise is also one of the reasons why we are looking at heartbreak stories in romance these days instead of the pure love of earlier days,” she said.Bringing out the subtle difference between love and romance, Milan remarked, “Love is an expression of life. Romance is an expression of love.”
Moderating the session, Pushpesh Pant, retired professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University and food critic, added a zing to the debate with his witty one-liners. “Love can’t be everlasting and this is what makes it priceless,” Pushpesh said and added, “Love is not forever but diamonds are.”
“Two people in love, two more are in the back of their minds,” he said and elaborated that besides love being an physical act, it is also memories at play.