2013-06-10

Love: One For The Ladies

By now, anyone with any familiarity with Bollywood movies knows about the apparent suicide of once-rising starlet Jiah Khan. She was found hanged in her home. The rest of the Bollywood stars expressed total shock, at least publicly.

Today, The Times of India published a suicide letter allegedly having been written by Khan immediately prior to her suicide. While it is still far too early to say for certain whether or not the letter was indeed written by Khan, whether it is a legitimate and not a fake, the ideas expressed in that letter are not at all uncommon among young women who get themselves involved with the wrong kind of man.

I have known many such young women over the years. There is a certain mania with which they approach their destructive relationships, rendering the rest of us fully incapable of talking any sense into them. So, why bother, especially considering that Khan herself has expressed it so perfectly.

Now, I am going to do some editing for the benefit of young girls everywhere, who think that they are the only women in the world for whom love has burned so intensely. I would like my young female readers to understand how utterly ordinary this sort of situation is, so that they can think twice when they get involved with bad people, and perhaps pause long enough to improve their decision-making skills.

I would also like my male readers to understand the psychology of highly vulnerable women so that they, too, can make informed (and hopefully merciful) decisions when choosing to get involved with girls. Naturally, no one person is to blame when someone gets her heart broken, but that doesn't mean a man should take advantage of any vulnerable girl who thinks she is in love with him.

Regarding the love she felt for her boyfriend, Khan has much to say, most of which will sound extremely familiar to young women who have felt similar passions:
You may not have known this but you affected me deeply to a point where I lost myself in loving you.... I've never given so much of myself to someone or cared so much....
When I first met you I was driven, ambitious and disciplined. Then I fell for you, a love I thought would bring out the best in me. I don't know why destiny brought us together.... Your life was about partying and women. Mine was you and my work. If I stay here I will crave you and miss you... I never went out, I never went with anyone else. I am a loyal person. I never met anyone with Karthik I just wanted you to feel how you make me feel constantly. No other woman will give you as much as I did or love you as much as I did. I can write that in my blood... All I wanted was love. I did everything for you. I was working for us...
...I wish you had loved me like I loved you. I dreamt of our future. I dreamt of our success...
Sounds very intense. How did it work out for her?
...Yet you tortured me everyday. These days I see no light I wake up not wanting to wake up. There was a time I saw my life with you, a future with you. But you shattered my dreams. I feel dead inside...You returned my love with cheating and lies. It didn't matter how many gifts I gave you or how beautiful I looked for you. I was scared of getting pregnant but I gave myself completely the pain you have caused me everyday has destroyed every bit of me, destroyed my soul. I can't eat or sleep or think or function. I am running away from everything. The career is not even worth it anymore...
...After all the pain, the rape, the abuse, the torture I have seen previously I didn't deserve this. I didn't see any love or commitment from you. I just became increasingly scared that you would hurt me mentally or physically... So I am kissing my 10-year career and dreams goodbye. I never told you but I received a message about you. About you cheating on me. I chose to ignore it, decided to trust you. You embarrassed me. Things were looking up for me here, but is it worth it when you constantly feel the pain of heartbreak when the person you love wants to abuse you or threatens to hit you or cheats on you telling other girls they are beautiful or throws you out of their house when you have no where to go and you've come to them out of love or when they lie to your face or they make you chase after them in their car. Or disrespects their family. You never even met my sister. I bought your sister presents. You tore my soul. I have no reason to breathe anymore.... But you were never my partner. My future is destroyed my happiness snatched away from me. I always wished the best for you, was ready to invest what little money I had in your betterment. You never appreciated my love, Kicked me in the face. I have no confidence or self esteem left, whatever talent whatever ambition you took it all away. You destroyed my life. It hurt me so much that I waited for you for ten days and you didn't bother buying me something. 
The Goa trip was my birthday present but even after you cheated I still spent on you. I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply. You destroyed my Christmas and my birthday dinner when I came back. When I tried my hardest to make your birthday special. You chose to be away from me on Valentines Day. You promised me once we made it to one year we would get engaged. All you want in life is partying, your women and your selfish motives. All I wanted was you and my happiness you took both away from me. I spent money on you selflessly you would throw in my face. When I would cry for you. I have nothing left in this world to live for after this. I leave this place with nothing but broken dreams and empty promises. All I want now is to go to sleep and never wake up again. I am nothing. I had everything. I felt so alone even while with you. You made me feel alone and vulnerable. I am so much more than this.
Something we all have to confront at some point in our lives is the definition of love. I would suggest to the suggestible reader that we must each define for ourselves what love is.

As you build that definition of love for yourself, please take the time to consider that love consists of more than just your own introspection. As I have written previously, we are defined not by our private thoughts, but by our actions. Actions are how we demonstrate our thoughts. Thoughts in absence of action can never amount to much more than conjecture or imagination; wishful thinking, perhaps.

Ms. Khan, or whoever wrote this letter, writes in detail about the love she felt, and provides examples. Those of us who have been lucky enough to live beyond our 20s understand that many of Ms. Khan's expressions of love are a little immature: buying your boyfriend a vacation to a resort town, spending lots of money on him, giving your body away to him without limit, being loyal despite concrete evidence of infidelity, etc. A more experienced woman would never make such mistakes without tangible evidence that he loved her in return.

Instead, Ms. Khan had all the real evidence she needed, staring her in the face: He spurned her affection, embarrassed her, made special occasions painful for her, refused to interact with her family, and (allegedly) subjected her to rape, torture, and abuse. This is not the behavior of man who loves a woman; it is the behavior of a man who detests her.

Note also that no amount of giving or loving on the part of Ms. Khan was sufficient to change his mind. Why not? Because love is a two-way street. Not only is Ms. Khan entitled to define love any way she sees fit, but so also is her boyfriend. If, then, he does not return her affection, then there is no real relationship, at least not a relationship of love.

We might leave open the possibility that her boyfriend was a very sick man who truly did think he loved her. Even so, what matters is not thoughts or feelings, but actions. Gauged only by the actions alleged to have taken place, he did not love her.

It is possible to spend many years - even a full lifetime - loving someone who does not love you back. All this requires is regular physical contact and will to shoulder the full burden of the relationship. It can go on like this forever. But human beings deserve to be happy; human beings deserve to be loved back.

Thus, I ask my young female readers to consider the quality of the relationships they pursue. Judge them not by your own private feelings, but rather on concrete, demonstrated actions. Not merely yours, but also his. Loving, two-way relationships are possible. Not only are they possible, they are quite common! There is no need to squander your youth and beauty - and possibly end your own life - over unrequited love.

Often times, our own obsession over these imaginary love thoughts are the very barrier that stands in your way of obtaining the kind of relationship that merits the burning passion described in Ms. Khan's letter. Please, don't let Jiah Khan die in vain. Learn from this letter; learn to embrace happiness in love.