Altered Connotation of Love in Netizens’ World: Sagas from Shalini Mullick’s 'Stars from the Borderless Sea'

Article By Dr Shalini Yadav (Writer, Editor and Professor)

Time immemorial, human culture is meant for frequent change and undoubtedly norms, impulses and ways of dealing keep changing and swinging like a pendulum generation after generation and the vicious cycle goes on. Though we think that there is no change in emotions, how people express themselves and use sentiments, is the same. But to note, when changes are taking place due to upsurge in usage of gizmos and gadgets, where life is more about being active on social media rather than taking care of real relations back at home and ground level, the kind of love ‘a deep-rooted emotion’ in humans, unfortunately, can be perceived, no more exist the same way on earth the way it used to be since folks instantaneously change and discard partners and loved ones like clothes and other materialistic stuff every third month or keep many parallel promoting polygamy. Where are Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu and Romeo-Juliet kind of sagas lost in the world of social media? 

The same deep-rooted emotion of love, which seems missing in relationships, has found its abode in the sagas of Shalini Mullick’s Stars from the Borderless Sea. The article reconnoiters the intensity of emotions expressed through the characters, leading to productive discourse in the context of altered connotation of love in the present era. The impermanence and feeling of insecurity the way people have in relations can be slackened if we feel the gravity and worth of relations beyond materialism. Understanding love and providing support beyond vested interests can assist in balancing and maintaining good relations for long. 

Hence love is not just an emotion or sentiment for exchange or reciprocation or dealing like we do in business, it’s the core of one’s being flowing boisterously and required to handle delicately and with sensibility. Since it’s the source of immense energy and inner power, one needs to store and reserve it well being thoughtful and harmonizing one’s sentiments. Consequently, reading of Shalini Mullick’s stories can be a perfect take to understand love beyond benefits and avarice or sexual wants. 

The sagas ‘Humsafar’, ‘Sayonee’ and ‘Humraaz’ remind us movies like Pakeezah in which Raj Kumar stares at sleeping Meena Kumari and leaves a note near her feet requesting not to place her feet on the ground as they would be dirty; and Veer-Zaara, a story of an Indian pilot and a Pakistani girl who beyond different ethnicity and religions, devote their lives to each other with commitment. In the era of netizens, where one after the other  is easily available, who cares about commitment, honesty and integrity. Youth today has different connotations of love, as frequent actions such as friend-unfriend, follow-unfollow, like-dislike and block-unblock on social media are part and parcel of their lives and showcase the frivolity in their relationships. 

Thus reading stories of Shalini Mullick would surely give a different dimension to the prevailing concept of love recalling the times of retro or classics amalgamating them with present scenario and her true-to-life characters. Although the protagonists go through the phase of separation or any financial crisis or bad marriage trauma and sufferings, yet they stand together emotionally in all odds even without uttering a dialogue and with their silent and soulful support. 

In 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', Shakespeare says- “the course of true love never did run smooth.”

Therefore, retaining love and reframing it in a positive form is a much needed thing with other important values including tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, understanding, and acceptance which youth seems to lack somehow. Love needs to be taken as a power weapon shifting it from jealousy, hatred or insulting tool to a tool to motivate, inspire, enthuse and improve others.

What these stories epitomize, can be summed up with a quote of 13th century Persian poet and Sufi Mystic Rumi- “I love you neither with my heart, nor with my mind. My heart might stop and my mind can forget. I love you with my soul because my soul never stops or forgets.”

Channeling love in the right direction can make a person a better human being leading toward success and the stories reveal the same kind of intense feeling. A must read book in lucid language with a profundity of emotions to channelize one's feelings and make  one's heart a golden heart!

Dr.Shalini Yadav