Whoever said marriage was bliss was most definitely unmarried - pulling a fast one on everyone who tied the proverbial knot. If you thought Shah Jahan and Mumtaz were blissfully married, and their monument of love - the epochal Taj Mahal - bears testimony to their undying commitment, here is a pinch of reality: Mumtaz died in childbirth. Now was it her 14th child? Brutal, yes. But romantic?
How I wish the concept of consent came before the marble mausoleum. If you call that love, stop reading this. It's no chicken soup for your soul.
What is common between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Romeo and Juliet, even Bonnie and Clyde? Their love stories did not end in marriage. They ended in death - as lovers.
Our very own Krishna and Radha, in all likelihood, were never married. Some believe this goes to show love and marriage are two different things - one a selfless emotion, another a sheer agreement.
And, why dive into history when you have Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham giving love a good name in 2016? The American couple have been together since 1986, but never married.
No seven-year-itch in sight for Oprah, but 2016 just ended Brangelina. When you get into an agreement, much like Brangelina did, you could fail and end up in legal battles, custody battles - with millions of dollars at stake. Marriage becomes a baggage too massive to carry - is that why it must break down?
|Marriage ruined Brangelina? (Photo credit: Reuters)|
I'm not sure why we are deeply affected by news of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce. Maybe because yet another couple ruins our faith in the institution of marriage - the way we all of us secretly hope to keep the crumbling bits together in the name of domestic bliss.
We built vivid memories of Brangelina holding hands, exchanging loving looks, featuring in magazines and holding their six babies together (no mean achievement!). They rekindled our faith in love - the kind that keeps everything alive. Between chaos, health issues and infidelity reports, they managed to keep their rocky boat sailing.
We saw in Brangelina a power couple who broke stereotypes: breathtakingly gorgeous, yet never needing the assurance of marriage to define or explain that they belonged to each other.
From making babies to adopting a few, from being the "parents in pyjamas" to being there for each other at all times, Brangelina were our fairy tales played out in reality; the love we all hopelessly craved.
In February 2011, Jolie got jeweller Robert Procop to custom design a diamond pendant, with a diminutive love message engraved on it for Pitt. Proclaiming her love. Pitt too, stood behind Jolie during her double mastectomies, thoughts of which would make a lot of men quiver. And theirs became a perfect love story - they were home to the quintessential love nest, minus marriage.
They have been a couple since 2004, soon after they became Mr and Mrs Smith on screen. But Brangelina tied the knot only in 2014. So, while there are reports of infidelity, career moves, differences in parental styles and so on, we can't help but wonder what the "irreconcilable differences" are for the once-perfect couple.
Their separation has made evident that love kept them together, but marriage tore them apart. Had they not walked down the aisle in 2014, they could have been together. Just maybe.