love_in_the_time_of_cholera

When I think about love, a song comes to my mind, a song by Mickey and Sylvia which I recently heard on the tube, Love. As they put it, love is strange. It has always been a strange emotion but as we get older and supposedly wiser, it seems to get stranger. With the fact that our lives are mortal and we are all subject to the thing called death, the incident in life when we are unable to continue on with it, no matter how much we would want to, yes, that thing called death and with the planting of this idea in our mind, we begin to regard love with an impatient ear.

We are impatient in the beginning when we are still undecided about death, not that we have an option but we like to believe so, but downright intolerant when we are sure that our time is running out and an ending looms large in the distance.

But what about the premise about everlasting love, something we think about, all of us, in our adolescent years? Suppose we had the opportunity to follow up on our promises and we could swear an entire life to love? Living endlessly might not be possible as of now, but if it were possible to love endlessly for the allotted time we have as we live? That is exactly what Gabriel Garcia Marquez has taken up in ‘Love in the time of Cholera’ and boy, does he deliver!
Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes about Florentino’s love for Fermina, unbridled and undiluted. Love that speeds up to us, jumps into our soul and vows to stay there till time ends and live on as a memory after we perish. That is the love which we get to see in Florentino’s actions towards Fermina, but alas, it is not meant to be. Love without tragedy and pathos and a whole lot of dark moments and days, would not be love. It would be romance, erotica, flirtation and a soap opera but never love as it is meant to be. Thankfully, we are treated to a full tragedy on love from Marquez. He wants us to live and love through Florentino and do that we must. He writes in exquisite words, words which move through ages and centuries to live, live on.
In one of my favorite passages of the book, Florentino is unable to write a commercial letter without any hint of romantic poetry creeping in. He discusses this with his uncle Leo XII who is the owner of the company. Florentino says, lamenting the futility of the situation, “Love is the only thing which interests me.”
Perhaps this is something to think about.

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