Friday, April 17, 2009

Being Single

A single woman with good education and notable looks is a source of anxiety to near and dear ones and a source of gossip to not-so near and dear ones!(1). A single lady is single because of a failed love affair is the general assumption. So earlier whenever I was asked questions like, ‘why are you single? Why have you not married yet?’ I would choose to go with the flow and say that the guy I was ready to die for got killed in Kargil! But recently I discovered that I cannot state that as a reason because leave alone the people even I am not very sure what Kargil was all about. Kargil is a faded memory. When did the ‘armed conflict’ happen? Was it pre military coup in Pak or after that? Agra summit definitely took place after Kargil. My connection with Kargil now is the memory of scams that followed it.
So that got me thinking about how a man or a woman reacts to a doomed love affair and its depiction in popular literature. Immediately the (in)famous lover Devdas came to the mind. But then I started searching for a female protagonist in mythology or popular fiction or movie who has ruined her life for love. Believe me I have been thinking overnight and I have not found an example for a Lady Devdas! I mean women are supposed to be more romantic, more sentimental and more emotional. And how come there is no female parallel of Devdas in literature. All I could list out were few examples for ‘Hell has no fury like a woman scorned’. There are characters like Ambalika (?) in Mahabharat who takes another janma to take revenge. Or similar villainous characters from movies. But where is the lady mourning and literally dying for the lost love? May be Greek Mythology might have some strong female protagonists but my knowledge is limited.
The search is still on.
(1) Apologies to Ms Jane Austen!!

3 comments:

Atoorva said...

I tried thinking of female -devdas from Indian literature ....no one matches the account perfectly. But you must read two books (available in English translations) first is Banabhatta ki atmakatha hazari prasad Dwivedi and the second is Na hanyate by maitreyi devi . Both have characters living with the memories of lost love.
But i guess a simpler way to solve your problem is to do a google search on Kargil war and refresh your memory .....:-)
Another solution is that next time someone ask you the question of why single...tell him/her "because Clark Gable died in 1960 and gentleman like rhett Butler are extinct ...

alice said...

Hmm, if they fit into the category of self-denying, self-destructive, paranoid lovers then its good enough.
Well, usually I google in the mind to recall, and if I fail then I give up, dont take the trouble of googling on internet.
I think I can think of varied responses depending upon what kind of reactions I want. I mean, I can say that I am single because I have to look after my parents. They will respect and show regard for my sense of responsibility. Or I can say( as I posted) that I am still mourning for my first and last love which can make them admire and sympatise with my feelings. Or if I want to shock them, I can always say 'well, I have different sexual orientation!!, no?
BTW the charm of Rhett Butler was that he was no gentleman!!

Anonymous said...

sorry for bothering, but you forgot about "MIRA"