Love’s Labour Lost

Something that I had to read up as part of my curriculum eons ago…it was one of the early plays written by Shakespeare.

The play bristles with verbal wit and his usual complicated storyline. The King of Navarre and his three companions attempt to foreswear the company of women for three years that are to be spent in study and fasting. However, the King gets infatuated with the Princess of Aquitaine and his companion with her ladies in waiting. In an unusul ending for a comedy, the play closes with the death of the Princess’s father. So, all weddings are delayed for a year. The play talks a great deal about masculine love and desire, reckoning and rationalization, and reality versus fantasy.

What does the phrase actually mean? Is it a positive statement or does it reflect the fleeting emotion of ‘love’? Superficially it could imply that the person who is in love with someone has been let down by that person. So all the effort they had put into the relationship is now wasted.

Unrequited love has always inspired writers as it beautifully lends itself to the idea of angst, complicated scenarios and convoluted plots and denouements. Let us leave this aside.

Love’s Labour Lost has changed in its implication for me in the years flown by. I see so many people investing their thoughts, emotions, aspirations and dreams on one person. Rarely are these fulfilled as human behaviour is volatile.

Parents put in a lot of effort…love’s labour…into a child. When the child grows up, s/he moves on with their own life and parents very often are sidelines. Influences of peers and partners take precedence over that of parents! In the modern world we see many kids abandoning parents and interacting with them rarely, not taking them into confidence about personal milestones. I am not being judgemental and saying that this is wrong or right…that is the way society works.

More and more, I see marriages flounder in my world after 20 to 30 years of married life. This includes arranged marriages and what we call ‘luv’ marriages in India. Women seem to feel that their labour in this relationship has been rewardless or unfulfilling. Men too seem to want out of difficult partnerships where their wives have been over demanding or critical..of course trophy husbands and wives attributed to mid life crisis seems to totally discount all the effort put into a relationship for decades. Partners are discarded in what may seem to be a whim…but what happens inside a relationship the partners only know. The gel that stuck together this relationship—mostly kids or finances…seems to melt away once kids are grown up!

Friendships are supposed to last..but many are actually like ‘train friendships’! You get on and off the train at different stations…we promise to keep in touch, but in the course of daily routines, people are left behind in the wayside. So the effort that goes into getting to know somebody, investing in that friendship and then the momentum getting reduced or lost is very common. Few friends stay on in life.

Take this consortium… took time and people to build up into a vibrant forum to exchange ideas….today there but a handful that believe that ‘Love’s Labour is not Lost’. So like the prodigal I come back into the fold hoping for some fatted lettuce and pasta (I am a veggie, you know)!

The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, Rummuser, Shackman and The Old Fossil. We have a new blogger Lin at Dun-Na-Sead joining us this week and I extend her a warm welcome to the LBC.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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7 Responses to Love’s Labour Lost

  1. Grannymar says:

    Padmini, When adding links as you have done above for the LBC members, copy the paragraph and change from visual mode to Text mode and then paste in the area where you want the information to appear. Then click on save draft.


  2. padmum says:

    Thanks Grannymar…I tried various things…didnt work 😦


  3. padmum says:

    Got it Grannymar…my Guru…you rock!


  4. Grannymar says:

    I agree with you that few friends stay on in life and those who shout the loudest about being friends for life, often prove to be the most fickle.


  5. rummuser says:

    Wow! What a way to come back. Great post Padmum. Let us hope that you won’t see any more tragedies!


  6. shackman says:

    Perhaps we have different definitions for friends as real friends stay whereas aquaintences come and go. As to love, I am with Ramana – very similar circumstances. But welcome back!!


  7. Maria says:

    Kids are thankless, agreed. Sometimes they’re okay though. My son is a treasure. Welcome back to the LBC, Padmum


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