When I started writing this lengthy novel of mine, it was a normal love story. Later when I finished it and started reading it I found a pattern in it. The reason for rejection from many of the publishers was they said it didnt conform to the template of best selling romance novels. There was no cheating. There was no lust or steamy scenes. The resolution is not done in beaten to death way. I contemplated whether to change it or not and finally decide to stick with my work. The novel traces a man’s journey through seven stages of love as indicated in Arabic Literature.
Hub – Attraction
It is as simple as it can get. We will be attracted towards something before we fall for it. Sometimes the attraction just remain as adoration and that may be a good as well as bad thing. If it is about a boy or girl, when the eyes meet, sparks fly and an instant attraction happens. For love is like a fire which is hard to ignite and impossible to quench.
Uns – Infatuation
The dictionary tells us as infatuation is intense but short lived passion or admiration towards someone or something. This is the period where people tend to do lot of crazy things. There is no right or wrong here. The drug of love travels slowly through the veins and when coupled with young hormones it is a lethal combination. Most of the people would be happy to stay in this stage with different women or different things. But this is also some kind of pain, the prick of the needle in the vein before the actual drug hits your system.
Ishq – Love
This is where the actual drug hits the system. This is the most fulfilling stage and people reach pinnacle of good feelings and self assurance. What happens after this is a different story. To cross the stage of infatuation and to come to the third stage is something very natural and it makes every second of one’s love memorable.
Aqeedat – Reverence
This is the fourth stage of love. From a normal person of adoration the other person climbs up a bit on the pedestal. One may not show it outwardly but each and everything they do or say will seem just right. One cannot bear to hear anything that is demeaning the other person. The love coupled with respect defines the relationship with the other person.
Ibaadat – Worship
When this stage is achieved the other person takes the role of God and the one in love become the bhaktha. He or she will literally worship the other person with whom they relate to and do each and everything to please them or with the intention to please them.
Junoon – Obsession
This is where the duality ends and both the object of desire and the one who desires becomes one and the same. Whatever you inflict upon them means it is inflicted upon the person who is obsessed. The identity of the one who is obsessing over someone or something is lost. Obsession is not healthy but once people cross the third stage, this is inevitable.
Maut – Death
Death can be taken both literally or figuratively. The death may be the death of relationship, ego or life in some extreme cases. We don’t get to hear the story from those who chose the last option. But this cannot be termed in a negative sense. The death may be start of new good things. Another new cycle or even a better future. But there will be definite end which will resemble nothing of the other six stages.
If we look closely, we can put a lot of wonderful love stories in such categories. The Great Gatsby by the great Scott Fitzgerald may fit perfectly into the stages. And then there is Love in the time of Cholera. But to be true I knew about this only from Dil Se. I was very young when the movie released and it was funny to see Shah Rukh Khan jumping around. But once I came across this concept, it all made sense, everything from choreography to the costumes.
I may not have detailed everything like Mani Rathnam. But I hope I did a decent job.
Hope you will enjoy reading the novel as much as I did.