Thursday, April 19, 2012

La Vie en rose

Do you think it is possible to love someone utterly and completely for their mind alone? For the thoughts that course through it, for the beauty that it can create, for the ideas that bubble up to its surface, for the marvellous words it makes into sentences spoken in a voice you haven't heard yet?

I was watching 'A Little Romance' in the afternoon, and I couldn't help but be taken aback when the film's thirteen-year-old protagonist wonders about soulmates and says he worried that perhaps he'd never meet his soulmate because she may have been someone who lived in a different time - in Egypt when they built the pyramids or on a colony in Mars in the 24th century. And if he was lucky enough to have a lifetime that overlapped with hers, perhaps she lived in Tunisia or Japan or a place he'd never travel to.

It just felt sad - the idea of having a soulmate you could never meet. The movie probably intended it as a minor cute moment in the larger discussion that led to a rosily pictured 'first-kiss'. But the idea had taken hold of me and I could not relinquish it.

If all I could have of my soulmate was just their thoughts, then would that be enough? For one day, for a year, for a lifetime?

Or as Mitzi says, I am too old to watch movies like this one or to set much store by the beleaguered concept of soulmates.

I agree with her, it is better to know you don't have one than knowing you do and realizing that the laws of probability tell you that odds such as those are pretty insurmountable.


44 comments:

T. said...

I dont know about soulmates and all that but is it possible to love someone for their mind? Yes i do think it is easy to love them for only their mind. it's what plato called perfect love. also there's this great film called cyrano de bergerac that u should watch. it'll give u some answers.

DocPriya said...

somehow i Dont believe in the concept of soulmate.. However i believe that one can definately fall in love with the mind of a person.. Of how beautiful thoughts the mind of that person exhibit..!! Visiting blogger after a long time and its so refreshing to read you.. Keep writing!

Sinduja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sinduja said...

"Do you think it is possible to love someone utterly and completely for their mind alone? " - When I read that, I thought, "Okay, but what else would one love someone for if not for the mind?"

Virtues, attitude, emotions - every thing comes from the mind right? Hmmm. Is it possible to never meet the soul mate? I think it is absolutely possible. By soul mate, if it is that one person who will absolutely and truly complete us - yes, I believe in soul mates. And everyone we see vary in degrees in this compatibility. We could never measure this degree or even understand it unless we have met a better one. But how many people could we keep meeting?

I also always had this doubt if the soul mate could not be a person from the same sex. Is a physical bond necessary to feel this completion?

To me, it is not so much about that one person being in another time or another land that is a pity but they being right near; someone we perhaps see every day on the bus or lives right next door but could never get a chance to know. Or worse, we know there is something in that person but can never approach them.

Hah, I think I am ranting like a blind romantic! :)

Susan Deborah said...

Hmmmmm. I am wondering and if my comments don't make much sense, just have a good laugh.

Do you think it is possible to love someone utterly and completely for their mind alone?

Now I have to look at that person also so a fairly decent body should accompany the brilliant mind. Now when I say 'decent,' I am not referring to Brad Pitt or George Clooney types. Now, this is for a love where I would imagine living with that person.

Now, if one talks about virtual mind relationships, then I guess it would work out perfectly well but that cannot last as all mind games lead to the physical some time or the other.

Soulmate - I don't know about the soul mate part but I would like to believe that each of us have a soulmate whom we may or may not meet. I know that's sad but that's how it works.And I have questions similar to Sinduja -- the soul mate could be from any sex, I reckon. I think that a soulmate is much more than the physical bond (again as Sinduja mentions).

Sometimes I feel an intense bonding with certain persons but somehow ther eis a certain level, I can go on with that relationship.
Are we allowed to make love to our soulmates? or is it much above all that?

Well, Karishma, I am ranting.

Joy always,
Susan

Tangled up in blue... said...

T., thank you for the recommendation! Will definitely watch it soon. What I meant was, if you knew that the closest thing you could find of them was their thoughts or their words, could you love them completely. Would that be enough? You know what I mean? Perhaps I haven't done a very good job of saying this clearly in the post. But I honestly I don't really know how to put that idea into words very well.

DocPriya, you've been missed around here. How have you been? :) And yes, perhaps it is a hackneyed concept - even I wonder if it makes any sense at times! :D Thank you for your comment!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sinduja, thank you for your comment! Like all your comments, it sends my thoughts zooming off in different directions. When I said 'soulmate' I meant it in the traditional sense. Someone you could share your life with and I did mean this in every way. Like something from the film Amelie. I'm certain I'm letting these filmic ideas influence my thought processes a little too much now! But what you say makes me wonder. Perhaps a soulmate isn't necessarily a lover - perhaps it is simply someone who can by their presence give you comfort and tranquility.

And yes, if such a person was close by and you spent your entire life not knowing them - that would be sadder because you had a chance - slight though it may be, and yet your never could seize it for one reason or another.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Susan, that was a brilliant comment! Not a rant at all. "Are we allowed to make love to our soulmates? or is it much above all that?"

See, now that is a question that even I was wondering about but in a vaguer fashion I guess. Is it possible to love someone's mind alone or does one need more? Does one need to consummate that love as well?

I keep circling back to this doubt I have in some way or another ever since I read Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence. And as T. said, Plato called it the perfect love. We call it platonic love in his honour.

I may never find a suitable answer and perhaps I don't really need to because of the nature of the question I'm asking. It's just that I always found the idea of soulmates very fascinating.

My first introduction to it was in an old book about Greek gods that I borrowed from our school library when I was eleven or twelve years old. It was something like this - once upon a time, mankind was more powerful than they are now - they had two faces, two hearts, two brains, four legs and four hands. They were strong because of these and they were content. Zeus realised that mankind did not pray to the gods because of this contentment and with his thunderbolt he split each person into two. So were their souls split too.

And now they're cursed to wander the world in search of their missing half to embrace so that they can once again be complete.

There was something so powerful about that image of being separated from the other half of your self, that it stuck with me forever.

Well, now I'm rambling. I'll stop now. Thank you, Susan!

Aayushi Mehta said...

When I talked about physical attributes I don't mean the appearance, I meant the mannerisms - the way someone laughs, smiles, talks, walks, everything. Those are the things that make a particular person appealing to another particulate person, and these come into play when we are talking about non-platonic love.

All said and done, there are many good looking people in the world, and so are there many not-so-conventionally-good-looking people, but everyone has the same chances of falling in love. What you do need is that connection with someone, where then the mind (and the personality) becomes the most important thing.

Clearly I have been thinking about your post over a span of time. That doesn't happen very frequently, so you must have done something right while writing this. :D

Aayushi Mehta said...

And it seems my first comment isn't here. Well there was a comment before the one you see above. There was probably an error. Maybe I will come back later and rewrite what I had written. Or maybe it will magically reappear.

Ruhani said...

I gave you a blog award! =D

Arumugam said...

Watching Cafe de flore has really made me reevaluate a few things myself about soulmates too.


Are we our minds anymore than our bodies? Many people answer with a resounding yes,but I am not so sure.Our minds are just products of our upbringings,so to feel 'connected' to someone,or "to get each other" at least for me we would have to share many cultural references, be linguistically similar,enjoy reading some particular genre,some quirky things like watching Marx brothers over a bowl of popcorn(fill in your favorite sitcom).Knowingly smile at each other over 'We'll always have Paris'.So while we might be separated in space,definitely not in time.So I am pretty sure she will not be a 500 BC Egyptian:-)


I find it corny when people profess a love for someones mind of which I am guilty too.So loving the mind is no more holier than loving the body.If a person serenades you with Yeats,and with 'marvellous words it makes into sentences' ,what happens if it is lost by some freak neurological accident or Alzheimer's.Will love be for who the person is 'or' who the person was.


In the end,it all comes down to a person with whom you one can be vulnerable with,to be emotionally nude,a dependence on them which strips us of the capacity to impress the other in any way other than the sheer fact of our existence,and to be loved for it.


After all that serious stuff,will leave on a lighter note


"Once I thought a guy was my soulmate,because we both ate the same brand of chocolate chip cookies.Instead it just meant we had terrible nutritional habits.Sometimes what you think is a spark really is a spark,but sometimes its just static electricity from your seamless bra rubbing up against your rayon tank top.In a twisted way,i would be a lot easier to believe,that there is a single soul mate out there and I cant find him,than to believe that there dozens of potential ones and I can't even find 'one' of them.I mean what kind of loser am I? " --- Gottlieb

Tangled up in blue... said...

Aayushi, reading the second part of that comment, I really wish the first part would magically appear. :D Maybe blogger could comply. But yes, I do completely agree with what you're saying. I think everyone has these adorable idiosyncratic traits that you become attached to. The way my best friend wrinkles her nose when she is told to do something she really doesn't want to, is one of my favourite things about her! :) And thank you!

Ruhani, wow! Thank you thank you! :)

Sinduja said...

Arumugam!! How old are you? 300? :O What wisdom!

"Are we our minds anymore than our bodies?" Wow, I think you got quite meta-physical there but if you keep looking at things that way - then, nothing will matter. Because, at the end nothing matters anyway and we will all be just matter/energy or a bunch of atoms or whatever.

How else can we at least begin the love but with the mind? After a while, the heart takes over - call it whatever, conscience or humaneness or anything - and then, we keep loving, even if the initial attributes disappear - say, in the case of Alzhiemer's.

But yes, at the end of the day, perhaps anyone is capable of loving anyone - if only we are open to it because that is the ultimate form of love - one that comes from 'the sheer fact of our existence!' :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, yep! It was that movie and this one that made me wonder all about it in the first place. Otherwise, it's not a topic that usually is uppermost in my mind. :D You know that is precisely why I felt inclined to choose psychiatry as a specialisation - I am terrified of suffering from Alzheimer's one day or any mental condition that will change who I am near-irreversibly.

I would take my chances with pretty much any other variety of illnesses but the loss of one's self is almost unbearable to contemplate.

And as for wanting someone culturally congruent, now that I think about it, of course you're absolutely right! If I couldn't share my Sherlock Holmes obsession or my love for the Romantic poets with them, he or she wouldn't really be much of a soulmate now, would they? :D

And the Marx brothers? Really man, is there anything you have not seen or read? I love Duck Soup! :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

And to echo Sinduja here, yes, Arumugam, sometimes I do suspect you have the wisdom of centuries. :)

Sinduja said...

@K: You know what? I suddenly think the soul mate that we spend our lives looking is perhaps right within us! They always say that we have both make and female within ourselves. I think they were speaking in the yin-yang perspective. And suddenly it makes sense. Once perhaps we find that other half of ourselves within us, we don't need any one outside to complete us; not that we would mind but we are happy. And it does not matter who comes to our life - we can be happy with anyone!

Wouldn't that be great? :)

Sinduja said...

male* :/

Sinduja said...

@K: I am thinking Arumugam is a vampire!

And please forgive me for cluttering the comments section. Really sorry! :(

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sinduja, wow! That's yet another brilliant perspective man! Maybe that's what that old Greek story meant. To find the missing half of our self. Maybe it was supposed to hidden inside us the whole time! And the trick was to convince people to look on the outside for something that was always on the inside! So it'll be in the last place they looked!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sinduja, ooh maybe he is! :D Like one of those thousand-year old ones from True Blood who have gathered the wisdom of the ages, and now serve to help humanity! I am somehow really loving that crazy idea, right now! :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

And Sinduja, I love when the comments section turns into an online chat forum! :) Fire away!

Sinduja said...

@K: May your tribe truly increase! :)

Arumugam said...

Haha..I am a terribly confused vampire thinking about what my soulmate aka Bella needs to be like,and 300 years is quite not enough:D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sinduja, thank you! :) Yours too, might I add? There's too damn few people like you!

Arumugam, hahahaha! Too funny! The idea is really making me laugh out loud now. :D No offence to any real vampires who may be eavesdropping on our conversation but I must say, if it's Bella any of them are waiting for, they'd only find her in the midst of a zombie apocalypse I'll say! :D She's literally that brain-dead!

Astha said...

Wonderful post!
But you know I believe that we're MEANT to meet our soulmate in this life! Maybe not at first, maybe quite late, but some time or the other, we're bound to cross paths, no?
The thought just makes me very happy! :D

Susan Deborah said...

@ Sinduja: I agree that we are part male and part female, but how does that mean that our soulmate is right within? According to the Greek myth, we were split into two and going by that the rest of 'us' should be out there somewhere.

And it does not matter who comes to our life - we can be happy with anyone! This is an ideal state which is just impossible to achieve.

@ Karishma: Are you sure that we were split only into two? Sometimes I tend to think that are many halves. I connect and relate to many that way and all of them have left a profound part of themselves in me.

As for Arumugam, I have no words. His analysis and dissection is absolutely mind-boggling. What's he doing in a Software industry. He should be teaching Philosophy or Culture Studies in a University, confusing and amusing a bunch of young minds!!!

Tangled up in blue... said...

Astha, you know I actually remember having that conversation with you pretty recently! :) That is a very happy thought! :)

Susan, I wonder! Maybe that's why some people resonate with us, all in different ways. :) You being one for me! :) And I agree about Arumugam, he's the profoundest software guy I've ever known of! :D My brother included! :D

Aayushi Mehta said...

First comment:

I don't really understand the concept of soulmates...soul sisters, yes, but soul mates...just seems like something...unreachable? Surreal? That's probably because I have never experienced anything like that.

As far as loving someone just for their mind is concerned, yes, it is very much possible, but that would only be like platonic love, at least initially. I don't know if being soul mates includes or automatically implies attraction...

I think if there is to be progress from platonic to conjugal love...the physical attributes would definitely come into play. But then, I am sure the mind behind the appearance can make the appearance very attractive as well. So then.

And this reminds me....I quote, from 'The Host' by Stephenie Meyer:

"It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what they say. It's not what you look like in that body, it's what you do with it. You are beautiful."

Tangerine said...

@TUIB-
Ummm, your first line reminded me of a word, 'sapiosexual'; but well you didn't mean that ofcourse.
On the second thoughts it reminded me of a quote from the BOOK THIEF-" Some people are beautiful, not in the way they look, or what they say, but who they are".
Then it reminded me Paulo Coelho's Brida theory, which I am not found off. Sometimes I thinkthis entire theory of soulmates is incredulously absurd. We keep living in denial, we keep searching for THE ONE and we keep waiting for love to strike at first sight. And we create dream wrecks and heartbreaks for ourselves and the others with this 1 theory....why? It enhances suffering, its an ascetic thing, Does that even happen? ?

I do, I do. said...

No, you're never too old.

Sinduja said...

@Susan: Why not Susan? :)
Do you believe the Greek story? What if, like K has said, it was just meant to mislead us?

We keep searching for that attractive ideal 'prototype' of a man - a prototype, which some say stems from the opposite sex parent, others say, from our own deficiencies that we seek to compensate. Whatever it is, we are, filling some lack within us. But by nature, we do not lack anything. We are complete as we are. What we need then, is just to awaken the dormant stunted qualities that we lack - from within us! Just my opinion. :)

Shreya said...

Hi!!!
I've been following your blog for quite some time now,and I must say its an absolute pleasure to read what you write :)
Well,yes,i think its possible to love someone just for their mind alone,the way they talk,the things they talk about.....till the time our notions of love and life take over us....

Shreya

Kunal said...

First 'A Little Romance'. What a cute film it is. Apart from the performance of the kids(such a pity that the boy didn't act further), I think it is one of the last on screen performance of the Legendary Sir Laurence Oliver.

Second, I am blown away by the comment of Arumugam. What a delight!!

For my part, I do not what to believe in. For the sake of argument, if I say I believe in soul mates, and if I believe in one day I am going to find her...(from my perspective), then if I am looking hard enough or trying hard enough...may be my mind is constantly putting questions and doubts in my mind when I meet any girl..if she is the one..or if she is not...so in this case...it is actually the result of tug of war between my heart and my body which is taking a hold of how I perceive a potential soul mate..which makes me think...that is what everything is...a never ending tug of war between the two...somethings we believe...and somethings we do not...but then there will always be things happening in our lives which sometimes will strengthen our belief or weaken it. And probably that is when Faith kicks in. Unshakeable faith in something.

As for the question you ask in the first paragraph, my answer would be first. As in what Madhuri has for Sanjay Dutt in 'Saajan'. But, what would have happened if 'Sagar' wasn't Sanjay Dutt, is anyone's imagination. But one thing is for sure..it would have been another tug of war.

sm said...

yes one can love the beautiful mind

Tangled up in blue... said...

Aayushi! Thank you so much for typing that comment for me again! :) And yes, I do understand that now. But what I meant was that if well, conjugal love, as you put it so well, is not possible, then is platonic love enough? I don't really know right now. But yes, that quote from The Host is pretty great. It's not just the face, it's the expressions on it. Thank you for that! :)

Tangerine, wow! Sapiosexual! I had to look up that word on Google but now that I have, I really really like it. I think I should add it to my description on facebook :D And oh my, your train of thoughts is rather interesting to follow. I'm so glad it was my post that reminded you of so many interesting things. Especially The Book Thief. And too many awesome people have told me about it now for me to hold off reading it. Starting it tomorrow! :) Thank you Tangerine! :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

I do, I do., thank you! I was really hoping someone would say that to me! :D

Shreya, oh, then I must say, welcome to my blog! I've visited yours too, and I really like it! See you there soon! :) And thank you so much. :) And sometimes I really hope real life never does interfere with my notions, I wouldn't enjoy that at all! :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Kunal, this is sooo cool man! I don't meet too many people who watch all the movies I watch man! I mean, Saajan! Seriously? I saw it just two nights ago. Surprisingly it turned up on a rather nondescript cable channel and I vaguely remembered watching it as a kid. But I did like it on second viewing now. But it's such a coincidence that you mentioned it!

Also, yes, I do agree with you on that count. If we decided to put everyone we met through the 'soulmate test' so to speak, I don't think we'd ever end up with anyone. Idealisation is something one should always try to tone down in a real-life relationship. It always ends badly if one idealises the other person to such an extent that we never really see their real selves.

I'm so happy about all the different thoughts people have put down here and all the fresh perspectives they've shown me. I mean, your comment makes me wonder if soulmates shouldn't be a retrospective concept rather than a prospective one, you know? :) Thank you for another one of your amazing comments man! :)

sm, I see you're new here, too! Welcome to my blog! :)

Sakshi said...

I don't know if I qualify, but honestly, I fell in love with the thoughts of my bf first. I fell in love with his brash, absolutely practical but still over the top theories about the world in general. I met him almost a year later.

As far as soul mates are concerned- it is hard to find the perfect person, harder to find a perfect person that fits to you!
You meet people, you like them, or you don't, and then there are some insignificant ones who don't matter. The ones you like you keep in touch, and only when you talk and spend time do you realise that they may not be the one who you have envisioned as your soulmate, but they are there.
Plus- I am an ardent believer of Yash Raj concept of 'Sab ke liye, kahin na kahin koi na koi hai... and God makes sure that you meet the right person..'

Aayushi Mehta said...

This I can answer, what I feel is that if conjugal love isn't possible, platonic love is enough, always. That would be any day preferable over not experiencing that kind of love in your life, at all.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sakshi, thank you for that lovely comment! And yes, I must say you're one lucky gal. :)

Aayushi, :)

Sculptor said...

The idea of a soulmate is exactly that, an idea. We're all dynamic over time, we change and so do our needs and perception of what's right for us.

We're all in love with finding someone who goes through the same life cycle as we do, but I think we make do with someone who's right for us, for most of the time.

If I do find that person, I'd like to experience everything with her. On that note, loved Susan's comment. And the answer is, HELL YEAH, make love, create (a) life together. Making love isn't something dirty to contaminate the pristine soul-mate-relationship. Is it?

And its definitely possible to love someone for a particular attribute to death, but not want to consummate that attraction. There're many women I know who stimulate me neurologically, exclusively ;) If only they'd try harder, I'd have a handful of soulmates!

Isha said...

I'm a Monica Geller girl, through and through.
She says that there are no soul mates. You like a lot of people and you work at things. Some days you hate each other, but you get through that.
Because the odds are always against us, and that doesn't go down too well with me.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Sculptor, I love your comment man! :) It has me grinning since I read it ten minutes ago. And I do agree with both you and Susan. I was just wondering if that best case scenario doesn't pan out, then will the alternative be good enough? Something tells me, after all the comments I read here, that it's not all that bad really. :D

Isha, I remember that episode where Phoebe thinks she's met Monica's soulmate! And he's British. :D As for the odds, well, they're mostly pretty much always against me for some reason.