Friday, August 21, 2015

Happiness and Love

If you ever read Jane Austen, who by the way is the greatest novelist of romantic fiction, you will realize what ruined generation after generation of women all over the world. I first read Jane Austen when I was fourteen. You know what teenage girls are like. They are impressionable and gullible. I read a lot of other books before I read “Pride and Prejudice” but “Pride and Prejudice” touched me in the hidden corners of my heart no other book ever did, and don’t even get me started on “Tess of D’Urbervilles”.

Quite frankly, which part of your heart is your science fiction fantasy or Tenali Raman going to touch you if you are a little girl? I read Ramayan and Mahabharat too when I was much younger than that. There were mega serials on Television. Remember Sunday morning 11 AM telecast of Ramayan? What stuck with me however was the romantic mush mash of Pride and Prejudice.

Romance has a way of touching people the way no other genera ever did. Try Foundation Series, Bourne Series, Wodehouse, or any good book that is not romantic fiction. You will realize they are good. Very good indeed but nowhere close to affecting you as Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott (Little Women?) have been affecting girls and women for centuries now. Oh yes, I read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and “Kite Runner” and experienced horror and agony; I went on a journey of love, rage, courage, patience and perseverance with the “A Song of Ice and Fire” (George R. R. Martin), but I did not change as a person. Reading Jane Austen’s books, however, I changed. I grew up from being a little girl into a woman.

Nothing wrong with that you say?

I did not realize this until recently but most girls often confuse happiness with finding true love or the knight in shining armour (A young girl I know read Anne Frank and Roots. But she also read Jane Austen). Do you realize how much pressure we put on the boys we befriend, date, and marry with this idea of “knight in shining armour”? Girls these days score better at math than boys do. They ride scooters and drive cars. They can scale walls and kick slabs. Women, single-handedly, run households. So why do we let our little girls believe there is going to be a knight in shining armour?

Happiness is about making a difference. You could make a difference in the life of anybody. Be it a stranger, your spouse, your child, your parent or your cousin. That is love too and you are the knight in shining armor.

Be that knight. Don't wait for that imaginary one to come along.