Theoretically, love is an intense feeling of deep affection towards the other person (within the family or outside the family). When an individual love someone, he/she validates that emotion/feeling by being with the other person in a relationship (often called dating). Dating is a stage of romantic relationships initiated by western culture (now followed in India). Two people are with each other and assess each other to form a further intimate relationship.
Practically, love is that part of life; without one cannot be happy; happiness, comfort, and value are significant. Love is a fantastic emotion and feeling one can ever come across, making the individual live life to the fullest. Love sounds a very fluffy and cosy word, yet sometimes it hurts, but still, it holds utmost importance in an individual’s life. Besides providing comfort, care to the other person, love can also head to the path of self-discovery and awareness. Love can sometimes act as a reformer and teacher (people learn through their past relationships). Love is that feeling which almost everyone wants to experience once that can enrich your life.
Dating is still a significant stigma in Indian society but, it has its perks for both individuals, and it should be recognized. The movie Kabir Singh showed a different aspect of dating in college and highlights its stigma. Dating helps evaluate the other person for a future marriage/intimate relationship (whether both are compatible). Dating has its pros and cons, but this culture has gone a long way and changed a lot through different generations, let’s look into the changes.
Earlier, dating was considered magic. Having a relationship and being in love with someone was a blessed emotion and a feeling of bliss in earlier times. However, there was a lot of stigma and restriction on people to date, but whoever goes in dating becomes the happiest person. In earlier times, arranged marriages (unison of two individuals ordered by their parents) were quite famous in India. However, people still love after marriage, and those marriages last for a lifetime. Various reports show that the divorce rate in the 1900s was rare (due to stigma on divorce). But, another reason can be that people knew how to make love, care and be with the other person accepting all the flaws. Various Bollywood movies also showed this kind of condition (wherein people know the importance of love, dating, and making love to others).
Look below to grasp the examples and situations in 1900’s-
1. SUI DHAGA
Grounded in a past India, where arranged marriages are common, this movie shows genuine love and relationship formation. However, the main focus was on something else, but it has focused on the relationship between two individuals who started to care and love for each other. This movie has thrown light on the purity of love in earlier times and how people push each other to greater heights. This movie also highlights the source of motivation one can become for the other in a relationship.
2. HUM SATH SATH HAIN
This movie is an evergreen one. People are still very fond of this movie as it presents three love stories amidst family dramas and complications. But, as in earlier times, it also highlights the purity of love between the two individuals. This movie shows that people in earlier times know how to make love (not just about sexual intercourses) and be with the other person emotionally, spiritually and socially.
Another heart-wrenching movie with a love story of 4 couples. This movie highlights the concept of fighting and standing against society for being with the other person. Mohabatien is a fantastic example that highlights the strength of love and relationships, which is a diffused situation to see in current generations. Mohabatien shows how people care, love and value relationships and dating and can go to extreme extents for being with their better half.
We saw dating, relationships and what being in love meant for people in earlier times. But, this is not the actual complete situation in current times and generation. People have changed, their thought processes are changed, and the meaning of love has also changed. Arrange marriages are still noticeable in society, but love marriages have also become a common situation that has changed dating and relationship circumstances. Dating today means trying and exploring with different individuals. There is no problem with that! But, the issue occurs when these flings create problems for others, hurt others, and dissolve the real meaning of love and love-making, which is now just confined to sexual preferences, sexual intercourse, and hook-ups.
“If you are bored, go try online dating, find somebody and have fun and hook-ups” is a ubiquitous statement which we also have heard in current times, especially in western nations. People have forgotten the actual meaning and magic of love and only want to get a tag of a boyfriend/girlfriend. (Being in a relationship/dating somebody makes them cool). People now are trying online dating apps (for instance, tinder, bumble, OkCupid, etc.), but these apps are destroying the importance of love, being cared for and valued. Nowadays, relationships and being with somebody is just considered a trend and not bliss. However, many individuals still believe in old-school love, but these new trends, online dating and hook-ups, have complete made love and dating a wastage of time.
Many Bollywood movies and web series highlights these situations and circumstances; look below to know them-
1. PYAR KA PANCHNAMA 2
This movie ultimately reflects the current hook-up culture prevalent in society. It highlights how love has become just a joke for people, and they are just fulfilling their own needs (physical, social, economic). It shows how people cheat each other in relationships, form relationships, and start dating based on their sexual preferences. It highlights the situation with the current generation and how the actual meaning of love-making between the people has died.
2. DEAR ZINDAGI
This movie is an excellent example of the actual dating conditions of current society. Here, the individual needs love and try to find somebody worthy of it, instead of ending up with hook-ups or breakups. This movie shows how a person misunderstands hook-ups and sexual preferences to love. It also offers extreme situations where these conditions can lead to varied psychological issues among the individuals. (As in the movie, these conditions, along with her childhood experiences, Alia Bhatt has to take up counselling).
3. STUDENT OF THE YEAR
This movie shows how individuals are now just focused on themselves and fulfilling their needs (to look cool, popular) from the school only. The actual meaning of love and dating has vanished, and individuals, even schoolers, focus on sexual preferences, appearances, and hook-ups. It shows how an individual’s appearance can make a person beautiful and famous, but the meaning of dating, relationship and love has disappeared.
There are way too many changes in dating and relationship conditions among individuals. But, one thing that is highlighted most is that dating is a complete wastage of time in India. Dating and love are taboo in India. In many societies, naming these terms can lead to heavy chaos and honour killings. Even currently living in the 21st-century, people’s thought process is not changed, and they somehow consider love/dating as unfavourable. As visible in movies like Dhadak and Ishaqzaade, it shows how dating and love are considered nothing here by people and reputation, caste, class, religion matters to people in India. Due to all these conditions, many individuals do not date in India. It is due to fear of their parents, families, society and culture. Honour Killings are also widespread even now in many villages.
Seeing all of these conditions in India, many people and the Bollywood industry have developed various movies and web series to normalize love, dating, and relationships.
These movies include-
- LUKA CHUPI– Tries to normalize the concept of live-in relationships.
- SHUBH MANGAL ZAYDA SAVDHAAN– Tries to normalize the same-sex and marriage (lgbtq+ community)
- DUM LAGA KE HAISHA– Tries to normalize love and marriage irrespective of the individual’s appearance and body shape.