During the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many couples have been forced to remain apart from each other, with the pandemic pushing them into long-distance relationships. Treating the lockdown period as a boon, bestselling author Rajiv Kapoor wrote a romance novel giving hope to many couples. It was a dose of hope for everyone to continue thriving together.
Sputnik: What inspired you to write this romance novel during the time of COVID-19?
Rajiv Kapoor: To start with I had more time after work. But more importantly, I had the chance to think about what we take for granted the most or misunderstand the most in our lives. Love is one of them. So I wanted to treat the love between a man and a woman with such purity and innocence that it would help readers simplify their own relationships with their partners, in the generally stressful time of COVID-19.
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Sputnik: When we are in love our spirits are uplifted. Then, why is it never said "we slide into love" or "we rise in love" rather we say I am "falling in love"?
Rajiv Kapoor: True love involves losing yourself into something bigger and deeper. The disappearance of you is the fall, and in it lies the secret for your spirit to soar. Without that falling there cannot be any rising. There is a certain loss of control. It is not a slide, but a free fall. Whether it is true love for your partner, for God, or anyone else.
I refer to this in my book "Conversations With My Love" wherein one place I describe love as oceanic, and the deeper the ocean the larger the gain. In another place, I describe love as the reason for the kite, meaning your spirit, to fly high.
"The kite is flying high,
The master knows
Love is freedom, that soars".
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Sputnik: Why is love such an intense emotion? Is sacrifice important to make a relationship successful? Should one change a bit in order to get love?
Rajiv Kapoor: Love is positive energy. It has to be intense to become the cause that moves hearts. You light candles in churches. The wick needs the oil to burn. If you want to light someone else's heart, there has to be burning. Inside you first a yearning, an intensity to be seen.
True love gives, not sacrifices.
If you are not you, then how can love that is received be for you. In a recent article for Cosmopolitan India, I mentioned that before you utter "I Love You", you have to be sure that you can be your own person in the relationship. All cosmic relations are based on freedom of expression. The waves are allowed to crash against the shore. The beauty is in their rising, crashing, receding, and then rising again. The ocean is engulfed in a conversation with the Moon, which, in turn is free in its nature to wax and wane. The relationship between the ocean and the Moon is beautiful.
Sputnik: How important is the first kiss in a romance novel? Does it transfer readers to the threshold of paradise?
Rajiv Kapoor: Very important. Sometimes it is a milestone that is reached and the stage is set for the story to develop. At other times, it never comes even though romance remains in the air through the entire length of the book. Whether it is the consummation of the first kiss or the waiting of it, the reader gets hooked to the event or its likelihood. The impact on the readers depends on how good the author is in narrating the characters and the situations, and also on how connected the readers feel with the characters and how involved they are in the romantic reading.
I must add that those who understand the consequences of true love, also understand the result of the first kiss in true love. Those that do not, would probably regard the first kiss as almost an inconsequential event.
Sputnik: "There is something special about adorning your woman". Can you describe this beautiful expression?
Rajiv Kapoor: When a woman wears a gift that her man bought, hope is that it is not just the material piece but also a part of him that she wears. In her act of wearing it so purposefully, is the reward that a man receives for adorning his woman. Whose pleasure is more then, hers or his?
If I may add a few words:
Whose pleasure is more? Yours or mine?
Of the night, or eyes that see the twinkled sky?
It is me that you wear
First the necklace, then earrings".
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Sputnik: "No hoarding of emotions inside, instead effusion". What is no hoarding of emotions? Is it not natural for a person in love to stockpile these feelings?
Rajiv Kapoor: Stockpiling of feelings, what is the use if those are not expressed? Why not let the emotions out like a breeze? Unless you prefer hoarding of emotions inside to become volcanic instead. Besides, stockpiling does not necessarily mean that those feelings are becoming deeper. Inside if you effuse them, maybe the next wave may come from deeper waters.
Sputnik: Are romantic relationships doing well during the pandemic or has it caused stress and anxiety for couples?
Rajiv Kapoor: It depends on the romantic relationship itself. If there was already true love and the consequent disappearance of "I" and "you", the pandemic has let the couples enjoy more time together. But if the relationship had more egos to start with, then COVID-19 has meant "I" and "you" more frequently, resulting in more stress and anxiety and even break-ups.
I would say, in conclusion, that COVID has been saturnine in revealing what the relationship really was to begin with. In most cases, I would imagine, justice was rendered in delivering whatever that relationship deserved. Always better in the long run for the individuals involved.