There is a mother wondering around desperately in the streets with a baby clung to her bosom. Nobody knows her in the city. Nobody knows anybody in the city, because a terrible famine has struck all kinds of relationships and affiliations out of the city, as well as their minds. There is no food. Nothing to eat, nothing to feed an innocent, little and feeble baby. The woman’s eager eyes catch sight of a crowd at the end of an alley which immediately makes her face turn red.
She rushes madly. Upon reaching the ground where people are fighting for stale food like morbid dogs, she halts at once, realizing that she is unable to jump into the battle because of the weakling stuck to her like a leech. Her feelings of helplessness haven’t reached their climax yet, when another woman, panting and screaming, cuts out of the crowd and runs to a side. There are two boys and a girl of ages not more than seven, excited to see their mother, or perhaps the loaf of bread which is to be divided among them equally. Our hungry maid is stunned with the intensity of this shock. And only when she comes back to her senses, the other lady is screaming again behind her and she’s leaping like a wild kangaroo with the bread and baby hugged to her breasts. The babies’ cries and the women’s shrieks make everyone forget their hunger for a moment. The other woman, stronger than our maid, runs to catch her, but quits after a few seconds to enter the crowd again, and come back to her children this time with her hands empty and eyes so full. Our maid has found a safe seat somewhere and she is chewing the snatched food, which is half already due to the heavy tolls of robbery. After chewing a while and taking full care not to swallow a bit, she spits the semi-liquid into the mouth of her baby. Looking at the sky, where there are no birds to take the honor of inventing this strategy of feeding the young, she offers her God a heavy thanks. In a far back ground, the other woman mourns and cries and complains and curses.
I don’t remember exactly, but a Greek genius of the golden olden times had philosophized that there are two forces whose continuous operation keeps the world working; love and hate. Love is, according to the genius’s definition, the force of attraction which compels things to come together, while hate is the stimulus which causes them to move away from each other. The philosopher had not only pointed out their role in the world of human affairs, but also applied the same principle to functioning of the physical paraphernalia of existence. But if I can trust my memory, he didn’t happen to consider the occasions when love starts making things worse by pushing the very lovers and loved ones away from each other.
There are times in life when the beauty, the power, the charisma called love starts playing the most negative role one can imagine. The problem, most of the times, is that the role is no more attributed to the whimsical manifestations of love. Rather, people appear to diagnose it as greed, jealousy, cruelty, stubbornness, or something else of the same sort. But it is nothing else than love itself, which is disguised so quite against its will.
In the story above, the lady who snatches the piece of food from another woman is bound to follow the dictates of her own love. She wants to feed her baby, so sincerely that this very sincerity makes her forget the fact that the other woman also has three loved ones to feed.
Such examples abound in everyday life. You find a man who is suffering from what is called “conflict of roles” in sociology. He loves his wife, but he is also passionate about his work. The wife wants him to have enough time so that they can go out, watch a movie and have dinner together, and make a beautiful evening more beautiful in each other’s company. But he is just helpless. His work has its own demands. So what should he prefer?
Situation is even worse when you find a married man, who loves his family very much, is swept off his feet by another woman. He is a loving husband and an affectionate father, but the love of the other beauty also keeps tormenting him. He does not want to be infidel, but he also hates losing his love. When the wife comes to know about the affair, her natural reaction is of strong resentment and hatred.
No magical formula can be suggested which can help one get rid of such horrible situations which play more havoc inside than outside. Love is a noble emotion, and we should try to accept this hard reality. We should make a habit of looking behind the curtain. Events do not look how they actually happen in the world of human affairs, and do not happen how they look. We should be wise enough to trace the real motives of an action, and if they involve love, we must be able to accept the action as such. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you will sacrifice for someone’s love, some day someone will sacrifice for yours.