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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Love hurts


The path of love might just lead you up the alleyway of emotional atyachar, Prakriti Raj and Vikas Chaudhary discover
Issue Dated: February 20, 2011
Tags : Valentine’s Day | Delhi | UTV Bindaas | TRP | Emotional Atyachar |

The naysayers to Valentine’s Day and those who object to the manner of expressing love on the said occasion can breathe easy. Not because those in love will henceforth have qualms about declaring it, but because there will be a greater number of those who’ve been ditched in love remonstrating in their own way. Lovers too can be content doing their own thing because the ones in the news will be those who have turned love into cheating or a business proposition.

If you doubt this, just look at some shows currently being aired on UTV Bindaas galloping ahead in the TRP race. If you view Emotional Atyachar Season 2 and Love Lock-up without the titillation angle, you will be forced to concede that Valentine’s Day accounts for little now. It’s no longer love that makes the news, it is rather an open display of cheating in love and making an exhibition of it that is the fashionable new trend.

A UTV Bindaas spokesperson Abhishek admits that the channel’s ratings have zoomed since the said two shows were aired. Season 1 of Emotional Atyachar pushed up the channel’s rating points by 26 per cent. Season 2 has seen the show registering a 35 per cent increase in viewership over the previous year. 

Mansi and Avinash (names changed) are from Delhi. They met about three years ago and it was love at first sight. Two years into the relationship, Mansi began to suspect that Avinash was no longer as loyal to her as before. To diagnose the infection that was eating into her love story she decided to get a loyalty test conducted on her boyfriend. The test is Emotional Atyachar’s diagnostic tool for love as much as blood and urine tests aid doctors to get to the root cause of a disease. 

The “loyalty test” can be conducted by either private detectives or by reality TV shows. The young of today consider only that love as true which passes the requirements of a loyalty test. In that it merits as much respect as say an ISI, Agmark or Hallmark stamp. Mansi approached the  channel to test her boyfriend’s loyalty.

The channel's investigative team swung into action almost at once. It got out of Mansi all information about her relationship and boyfriend. The first step in the test was arranging a meeting between an undercover agent Veena (name changed) and Avinash at a Delhi pub where mobile numbers were exchanged. As the two became closer the investigative team kept a watchful eye on all their activities.

What was caught on camera removed all doubts. That Mansi meant little to Avinash became clear. Avinash was caught kissing the undercover agent. Both then went into the bedroom and lay together entwined in each other’s arms. When Mansi caught Avinash the following day with the help of the television crew, Avinash declared that there had been no wrongdoing on his part and that Mansi was his past while he was looking for a future with the new girl.

It did not take Mansi long to realise that her relationship had reached the terminal stages of that disease called LSD (love, sex and dhokha) from which recovery was impossible.

A recent meeting with an old friend further removed any illusions that there might have been nursed about love. I asked him if he was married. His response was that he had neither married nor had any children. My surprised retort to that was, when you are not married how does the question of children arise. He said the fact had to be underscored because his sister was unmarried but had a child. So much for the advances in the universe of love. Things have moved beyond live-in relationships. And the red banner in this universe is that people don’t shy away from publicly discussing such issues.

There was a time when betrayal in love was a matter of shame. Now it is the subject of proud exhibition. Reality television on the issue is born out of this willingness to exhibit. Films are being made, MMS clips are being filmed and sold and in many instances blackmailing is also part of the picture. Betrayal is big business, an excellent means to easy money. Private detectives never had it so good because they succeed in almost every single instance. Nearly every 'doubtful' is proved unfaithful. Those who watch this on television neither lament it nor are surprised by it. This shamelessness and unfaithfulness forces one to think whether this is all there is to love now or that true love still exists.

This fall of accepted social norms makes one wonder whether it is all concocted just for the channel’s TRPs. We spoke to the crew of the show and on condition of anonymity they said that whatever was telecast was completely true and that they don’t invite anyone to the show but that people approach them of their own volition.

‘Don’t expect quality in the era of competition.” This adage can often been seen hanging at shops. It is the same with relationships. For today’s youth to have two or more partners is a status symbol and girls are as adept at this art as boys. Girls are no longer averse to one night stands or live-in relationships. This does not require the kind of national survey we have had conducted. Just peep into the homes of upscale neighbourhoods in big cities and you will have your answer.

However, there are certain aberrations to this nascent trend. Some have found another way to make their love tick. They walk with the times and make the best of both worlds. Bangalore-based Suneetha and Anil adopted this path which is essentially a deal. Both are about to be married. Their love has a green signal but they were careful to choose partners from the same caste. 

Suneetha and Anil met each other as colleagues in a private firm. Their common Malayali background brought them together. Friendship grew and quickly turned into love. Their meeting everyday in office as colleagues worked as a catalyst for their love. On Suneetha’s birthday Anil invited her for a movie. The next day Suneetha spoke to Anil about their relationship status. After sharing their feelings the love and friendship grew stronger.

“I did not consult my parents before accepting Anil as my life partner. But I had confidence that my family would approve of him. I saw his caste and nature and decided to take the next step. If he was from a different caste, there would have been problems at home. My parents were from different castes. They suffered a lot because of their inter-caste marriage. The pain and problems we all as a family went through made me think twice before making a final decision about who my life partner would be," says Suneetha.

 Old-fashioned know-alls assert that love is a bit like homeopathic treatment. It is always better to let it blossom slowly and reveal its results gradually. But times have changed and today’s generation prefers the thirll of instant gratification. They prefer love to be like allopathic medicines which show quick results but often lead to far-reaching, even damaging, side effects.

Whether it be social mores, the spectre of inflation or simply love, the debate whether this era is better than the era gone by will always continue. Love is a costly bargain, hence it should be examined well. Another Valentine’s Day is round the corner. Do be careful, lest  you are at the receiving end of any emotional atyachar. Amen.

“Everybody has the right to test the depth of a relationship”
Pravesh Rana, Host, Emotional Atyachar

After breaking hearts in Emotional Atyachar, how will you do just the opposite in Love Lock-up?
It is not like that. Both have their own importance. Love Lock-up will give couples an opportunity to solve their problems. It will help those that are facing a rough patch.

How real is Emotional Atyachar?
Whatever you see is real. Those who want to test the loyalty of their partners come to us.  

Is is true that you change many things on the show?
It's a compulsion. We cannot see everything that happens. Moreover, certain things that happen do not deserve to be shown.

What is the reaction of your family members to your show?
They say, how do you tolerate all these things.

After seeing your show it seems love has become an object that can be bought and sold.
You are absolutely right. But such people are very few. Most people love with a true heart. And Valentine remains in the heart of lovers. Love is like a fragrance forever.

Most of those who come to your show fail the loyalty test. Are true lovers an extinct species?
Yes they fail but that does not mean everybody is morally depraved. We have tested just a few people. No definite conclusion can be drawn from such a small sample.

How important is the loyalty test for a partner?
It is everybody's right to know the depth of a relationship. But the loyalty test is not the only way available. Trust is the second name of love. And when trust is lost, love dies for good.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017