Bhubaneswar: Ravinder Singh, the best-selling writer, is on a quest to understand the evolution of ‘love’. Holding a talk on ‘Love in the time of Tinder’ at the Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet on Friday evening, he described ‘being in a relationship’ from being characterised as ‘apka charitra sahi nehi hai‘ in the 80s to the acceptance of extra-marital affairs today.
The engineer-MBA from Burla who first wrote his autobiographical romantic novel ‘I Too Had A Love Story’ a decade back, blamed the dwindling fate of love to the absence of real connections in our over-digitised life and too many ‘distractions’.
Elaborating on ‘backups’ in love, Ravinder recalled a couplet he wrote on Instagram describing 21st century’s ‘multitasking-wala pyaar’ – 21 vi shatabdi ka romance mein kuch adbhoot ho raha tha, Laila ki phone par Majnu ke saath saath Romeo ki chat khuli huyi thi, aur Juliet ke so te hi Romeo Tinder pe online ho chuka tha.
Walking down the memory lane, he talked about how ‘power cuts facilitated social networking during my childhood’ when neighbours and even his mother would open doors to ‘gupshup’ sessions, while today he doesn’t even know those living in his building in Delhi.
On being asked about his take on ‘commitment’, Ravinder reasoned it with lack of communication between partners. He lamented the practice among couples to consult their best friends for relationship advice instead of communicating directly with their partners. ‘The day your partner becomes your best friend, I challenge nobody can break your relationship,’ advised the optimistic ‘King of Love’.
He touched upon social issues such as extramarital affairs and appealed to everyone to talk about it and understand why it has become so rampant today. He applauded the acceptance of LGBTQ, and hoped the same for other archaical issues plaguing our society. As an answer to discrimination of people from North-East, Ravinder weaved the romantic tale of a Punjabi boy and an Assamese girl in his 2018 bestseller ‘Will You Still Love Me?’.
To the young, he asked not to overreact to breakups, stating millions had breakups today, millions will have tomorrow. He summed up saying ‘Love like life is insecure; it silently moves into your heart but never promises to be there forever.’
The writer, who spent 25 years of his life in Odisha, said that Burla to him is what Malgudi was to R K Narayan in his novels. He also recalled how Eric Sehgal’s ‘A Love Story’ prompted him say his and so the title, ‘I Too Had A Love Story’.
After the session, he also interacted with the over-enthusiastic youngsters.