Maine Tujhe Dekha

Lost deep in thought, he felt a sudden prickling on his skin, flesh raised in goose bumps.  He raised his head and scanned the crowded, smoky room. Near the front door, he saw a silhouette, a slim figure with long, silky hair, lifting her slender arm in greeting to their host. She hesitated for a moment, and almost as if she could feel the weight of his stare, she turned to look directly at him. Their eyes locked for long seconds…

And, they fall instantly in love! Can this be possible, or are we fooling ourselves? Do we really recognize our soul mates instantly, or is this just lust? Are we misunderstanding our own body’s signals?

There is no doubt that we all have an innate need to reproduce, and the law of natural selection means that we seek out the most compatible, the most superior and the strongest genes instinctively. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is a basic evolutionary concept, after all. And, when we fall for someone, perhaps it’s just our instincts telling us that this is our evolutionary partner—the most compatible match for our future gene pool.

Isn’t it possible then, that ‘love at first sight’ is simply a concept that is easier to grasp, and therefore more popular, than ‘survival of the fittest’; that the two are essentially the same thing?

So, when our parents select our mates for us (as they do in this part of the world), are they also selecting the ‘fittest’ mate for their child? Do our ‘survival’ instincts work just as well for our children?

Or have I just found a rational, scientific reason to step back from arranged marriages, and let more ‘love marriages’ flourish?

By Sabahat Muhammad

A graduate of the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture in Karachi, Sabahat is a graphic designer, and a senior editor at Indireads.

5 replies on “Maine Tujhe Dekha”

I have quoted this earlier in one of my promotions for Full Circle, and quoting it again – the line from the Tamil movie Alaipayuthey. “Love is like a flower, tender, fragrant, beautiful, but withers soon. Whereas marriage is like the root – strong, stable and enduring for life.”
When you fall in ‘love at first sight’, you pick the flower first. You have to pollinate it and protect it so that it develops seeds and the seeds sprout the roots. And from those roots more shoots and flowers grow, spreading the beauty all around.
However, arranged marriage is where the root comes first. From there the plant has to grow and put out flowers for the love to blossom.
Arranged or love, if the plant does not get taken care of well, there will be no flowers of love, and the relationship will either fall apart or become stale.

I have always been fascinated with the idea of ‘love at first sight’ but to me it’s just that – an idea. My marriage was arranged and my husband and I grew up to love each other. But that ‘lightning bolt’ is definitely possible, I think

Interesting and I believe now -true. Even then, knowing everything, we still like to suspend disbelief and let our fly away, flow away with gauzy, dreamy romances…..

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