Sunday, June 27, 2010

The lost art of romance

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W. 

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never. 

Captain Wentworth to Anne Elliot" 
— Jane Austen (Persuasion)

And such was the beginning of the most awaited marriages of Austen's books.
One of the greatest downsides of technology adding to the rest, is the shallowness if i must say so, or the nonchalancy it renders to all our relationships. Gone are the days when one takes out the time and the effort to sit down to write a letter, contemplate over it and formulate it and the beautiful anticipation of awaiting its reply. Now we can simply just send a text message or post a scrap and expect an instantaneous reply. 
Gone are the days when a man actually spent years observing and then courting a woman only to marry her later. Now we can just date and 'see where it goes'.... Gone are the days when a man would write or say such words to a woman that its readers years later could actually feel and experience his agony and pain to have to live with his unrequitted love."A man does not recover from such devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not." Now most relationships i know start with "!!" Or a woman for that matter spends a lifetime pining for one man just because he was the only one who made her feel like a woman."All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!" 
Not that i have any ill feelings to the above mentioned occurences, i for one being most frequent with it all. But where if i may ask is the depth... where has our depth gone? Have we now sunk so low as to treat our relationships with the same feelings that we dish out to our 'two minute noodles'?!! Where are the sentiments and the graces gone now... the courting... the romance...? Are they to be banished as the events of a bygone era to be read about only in books or seen only in period dramas? Have we lost them forever as an accepted casualty of mordernization and advancement?
I hope not... oh dear... i do hope not...

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