Many a time I find that, when I want to get down to giving expression to my innermost thoughts and feelings, it becomes difficult for me to find the right words- through which I can speak exactly as I feel- no more, no less!
"...I feel I have been in love as long back as I can remember. In good times or bad I continued to love and was loved in return," says Madhubala.
As a result, I have got into the habit of not saying things, rather than saying them and later suffering the added agony of having misrepresented myself.
Now, however, I find myself in a really awkward situation- having to say something on a subject which has confounded thinkers and made philosophers tongue-tied. I am asked to give my views on love. May God help me!
A great deal has been written and about love from the remotest times. It is enshrined in legends, poems and novels. What I have heard and read is not much, but I was curious, as most girls are, eager to know what I could about it. I was quite alone in my adventure and it took me time to understand.
The written or spoken word, so nicely and meaningfully arranged, could never do more than excite a passing interest in me. If at all my mind was exalted, it was only for a brief time. A crash followed. It was as if I had been riding on the wings of a foolish weak bird which not knowing how far it had to fly, set forth on its mad journey through the skies and then was overcome by the effort of its flying.
Secretly I brooded and searched. Time slipped by, but I did not know all the time that the answer to everything was right inside me, waiting to make itself known.
As I see it now, I feel love is too vast, too big to be captured in even the cleverest of sentences, or the lyrical quality of songs and poems. They at most succeed in giving only some kind of form to the impression it makes on one. From this ocean one can fetch but a drop for the showing. The rest remains in the ocean, unseen by the eye, the very roar of the ocean unheard.
"It is a fashion these days to say that love is merely a romantic attraction between men and women. I hope I shall not be dismissed as being, 'old fashioned' if, as a woman, I refuse to accept them," says Madhubala.
It is a fashion these days to say that love is merely a romantic attraction between men and women. Silly modern customs and attitudes have led to such thinking and I hope I shall not be dismissed as being, "Old fashioned" if, as a woman, I refuse to accept them. The ideas have made of the ocean and its turmoil a sorry storm in the gutter. They rob love of its dignity and have given us our broken hearts, and broken homes.
Now that I can understand a few things around me, I feel I have been in love as long back as I can remember. It started perhaps with the dawn, the sun-lit tree-tops, the wind and the sound of living things.
It showed through the gentle caring eyes of my mother. It has resounded in the hearty laughter of my beloved father, as with his finger held firmly in my hand I walked with him.
There have been moments free of care and filled with unremembered joys. Then came hardship and the heart-breaking effort to live and sustain oneself. But never for one moment- and I speak with complete honesty- was I felt loveless and lonely.
In good times or bad, when we were rich and when we were poor, I continued to love and was loved in return. This great thing called love was not then something between man and woman alone. It was a song made out of the sky and the stars, one's home, people and the good things round one, which joined to make a grand chorus and entered out souls, to remain there forever, not change or die.
So when, at last woman claims her man, it would not be true to say that Love was born the moment he appeared on the scene. No!
Love has been there all along, waiting to receive him.
This is as true of me as it is true of our mothers and their mothers. Why should we women belittle something so find and beautiful and speak of it as a commonplace attraction which stars with seeing one's beloved, grows during courtship and dies in divorce.
As times change, values appear also to alter. Hugging the old values to my heart and unable to adapt myself to people and conditions round me, I have given cause for resentment to many and I myself have experienced much pain.
But all this had only served to affirm my faith in beliefs which upbringing and experience have sown in me. They are that no peace or happiness is possible in life without true love. No love can endure without sacrifice. No sacrifice is possible without having the character to make it, and not one can have character unless one learns to look at things correctly.
To love and be love, one must raise oneself above cheap standards. Rather than choke and kill Love, God's finest gift to us, we must protect it and allow it to lift us to where we can live in beauty and with God!
This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s March 30, 1956 edition.
The image appeared in the feature is from the original article.