The Platonic side of love, once used to be the passion of many film makers in India, irrespective of the language in which the films were made.An actor like Raj Kaboor was a born lover with a profound compassion for those, whom he loved,and he quite often celebrated the agony of love, in donning the role of a forlorn lover, on the big screen.There was a lot of self imposed pain in his approach to the delineation of one side love, that asked for bigger sacrifices.But today, we are living in an age of suffocating stalkers, calling themselves lovers,and when we see such men with a diseased mindset, going to the the extent of throwing acid upon their victims of love and at times, even killing their innocent victims, we are simply shocked by the changed semantics of love.The present scenario vindicates the dominance of the love of the body, as the one and only perception of love, over the other anchored fundamentals of romancing.
Along with other language film industries, Tamil Cinema took the credit of showcasing the nobler side of love, with its deeper layers of sacrifice, as a vital part of the process of one'e love journey. Tamil films in their originals and remakes from other languages, periodically took the audience to the height of realizing how beautiful the experience of loving is,when one loves just for the supremacy of loving.One side love, or giving up one's love for the sake of a sibling or friend, or for the sake of the lover herself / himself, was quite often the most inevitable and inseparable layer of a film maker's portrayal of the theme of love and its related story,events and characters.
Take the film Devadas for instance,made simultaneously,both in Telugu and Tamil,with Nageswara Rao and Savithri as lovers.The film released in 1953 was an agonizing tale of childhood love, that firmly sustained and transcended the barriers of time,caste and status to stay put, as an inexorable passion of adulthood.Conservative parental attitudes cut the bond of soul making love with a forceful marriage, thrust on the girl,Parvathi, with a much elderly, rich man.The hero Devadas's father [played by S.V.Rengarao] achieved nothing by his adamant rejection of his son's love.The pain of love threw the hero into the path of wayward drunkenness,which ultimately took away his life.Even his last wish of having a look at his bosom lover before his death, did not materialize.The lovers' life became a penance and death put a full stop to all their sufferings.It was the parental prestige and parochial thinking, that nullified a noble course of love.
Later, Sridhar's Kalayana Parisu that hit the screens in 1962, disturbed the audience mood, with a tragic love story of triangular love, in which two sisters vied with each other, in giving up their love for the man to the other.Here the man became the victim of the competitive sacrificing attitude of the two sisters. There were numerous occasions for the audience to shed tears at the theatres. The film left indelible memories, of sequences leading to the marriage of the elder sister with the man whom the younger sister deeply loved and finally the death of the elder sister, after falling seriously ill, on knowing the tragic fact of her younger sister's sacrifice for her sake.
The climax of the film, also showed the hero failing again to get united with the younger sister, because by the time he reached her place her marriage was over with another man. The younger sister agreed to marry another guy, as she did not know her sister's sudden death and as she was under the assumption that if she married some one else, her elder sibling would live happily with her lover, without any sense of guilt.The film came to a close, showing the unfortunate hero, leaving his son as a marriage gift to his former lover.There were competitive sacrifices on all sides, from all the three characters who were involved in the process of loving purely with the motto of perpetuating the nobler dimensions of love.
Sridhar's several other movies continued to celebrate the theme of sacrifice as the corner stone of love.If in Nenjil Oer Aalayam it was the man who sacrificed his life to prove the selflessness of his love for a woman,it was the turn of the woman to do it in Avalukenru Oer Manam. Nenjirukkumvarai was again the story of a man whose one side love, ended up in his death, to prove his unblemished love for the woman, whom his friend happened to marry. Sridhar can be called the master of the art of portraying Platonic love, as a serene symbol of empathy and compassion for others.
Annakili directed by the duo Devaraj Mohan, became the quintessence of exalted love by presenting the dignified profile of a simple rural woman, who fell in love with a school teacher but could not marry him for helpless reasons.The woman took her unrequited love with positive energy and continued to cherish the grand memories of her past love.Her love for the man was so impeccable that she lost her life in her attempt to save her lover and his family, from a fire accident in a touring talkies.That she died in a stampede, in the process of saving so many lives, made her life a monument of unparalleled sacrifice.
New generation films like Poove Unakkaaga and Shajahan looked at the concept of sacrifice in a different wavelength by making the disappointed heroes resorting to the self-effacing task of helping the women whom they loved ,get united with the men they loved.One can quote many a love story with inherent deeper layers of the sacrificing mindset.Not all can embrace the spirit of sacrifice setting aside their own personal desires and cry for love fulfillment.But there are men and women who can transform the agonizing setbacks in their love life, to ecstatic moments of self sacrifice and transmit the power of ennoblement.In this cathartic experience,the quest for love becomes the fire wherein the human soul undergoes the predicament of salvation.Like gold getting purified in fire, the human soul gets absolved through suffering, in the name of love.