How true is the phrase, "Opposites Attract"???

Friday, October 18, 2013

English, as we all know is an ancient language. It may not be as old as Sanskrit, yet the globally speaking language had it's origin several thousand years back. Being a student of this particular language, I have always been fond of it. It's funny, peculiar, eccentric yet the sweetest of all. It's the only way that helps me find a certain route in Germany or buy a bottle of water in Thailand. And we all have to agree that even if some of ours mother tongue is not English, like mine is Bengali, we all know it's presence, importance and its usage in our daily lives. From facebook to 'f.r.i.e.n.d.s' we are all entangled in the web of this great language that binds us all. No matter how good or bad you are in it, no matter how much you love or hate it...just like SRK, you just can't ignore it. Today, every civilization that thrives totally depends on it. And that's why English, even if not as sophisticated and delightful as French is, it is the most sought after utterance.
English however is imbibed with a hell lot of amazing stuff...or you may call features! Oxymoron  Metaphor, Irony, Hyperbole, Sarcasm, Innuendo etc etc. And these features create certain words and phrases that affect our lives deeply! Say the phrase, 'Opposites Attract'...when these words are individually used they have no such significance whatsoever in comparison to the situation when they are used together. It's a very common term though, and whether it was "When Harry Met Sally" or it's Indian remake "Hum Tum", films, stories, poetry, music and what not....have defined it time and again as one of the perfect scenarios of love and relationship. 'Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus' and that's how they fit perfectly in the horoscope of companionship. Once a friend said, "He likes hard rock, I like Britney...he loves Chinese I prefer home made Indian food...he is quite an adventure-loving person and I like to lay back....and perhaps, that's what makes us perfect!!! You see, opposites attract." What nonsense. I thought. If two people are completely different then how are they supposed to live and agree on the same point? How true is this phrase...or is it a myth we create to ignore yet another futility in the relationship?
By Opposites Attract, I definitely don't refer to rich girl marrying poor boy. It's not 80's anymore and a certain Aamir Khan doesn't plan to elope with a Madhuri and build a house made out of woods! Come on, lets head back to reality. The term concerned is much more psychological than anything else. However it is a complete nonsense in many levels. For instance, how does two people become friends? The simplest answer would be 'similarity of opinion' and their minds being on the 'same wavelength'...hence, friendship thrives between two like-minded people. I would definitely not be friends with somebody who hates my favourite actors or sportsmen. So, how am I(or rather you are) supposed to fall in love with somebody who is completely different? Does a real relationship exist between people who are 'poles apart'??? I somehow beg to differ.
If there's a law determining the Love-Sex-Affair, say The Law of Attraction, then what would it say? A common study on internet says although opposites do attract...it might not be the same in long-run. The attraction, considering only the emotional level, soon fades out when the gravity of reality eventually sinks in. And when physicality is concerned, girls do not, I repeat do not prefer men who are inclined to try out sexual positions that do not interest the former. In 20th cent. Plato conceived and suggested the idea, "likes attract" to human relationships that people tend to marry those who are at par with their socio-economic and psychological status. However, by 1950, sociologist Robert F Winch coined the phrase "Opposites Attract" debating that two persons of opposite nature are more likely to settle down. And since then this very common term has come into existence and every now and then we are reminded of its presence whether on celluloid or reality. The term however, inspite of all its power is a very narrow one! Modern day psychologists often say that such affairs don't stand the test of time....at all.
What is a team? A group of people working on the same goal and believing on the same objective. Say, if relationship is considered as a team...then would it survive if the persons concerned have different beliefs and ideologies??? Once when we were talking about this subject among friends, many suggested that this "chalk and cheese" stuff are not meant for today. "We have all sorts of distraction...if I read a lot and he doesn't even know who Agatha Christie is....chances are I might find someone else to strike this conversation whom I can find attractive on an intellectual level." Said one friend."Certain things can be done together, say she cannot cook and I love it...so we can sometimes do this making and baking stuff together....but certain things cannot be taught or learnt! Like, behavior or attitude....these things are big turn offs if not naturally present and they may not be attractive at all." Oil and Water do not mingle and they never will....a successful partnership, personal or professional, exists only between oil and oil or water and water. It's not as honky dory as a Kareena Kapoor-Hrithik Roshan flick! Real life is much more wonderful and complicated than that.
However, if I have to say something in favor of this term, one might add that being a 'little' different from each other adds a certain flavour....an opportunity to climb the Everest. It's sweet when a guy goes to watch 'Bride Wars' just for the lady and the girl shows a bit of interest in 'Grand Theft Auto' just for him. It's sweet, undoubtedly when the places get reversed and these things indeed solidify the relationship.  But likeness is a must. It should be the 'dominant' factor no matter what. If two people are totally same, then they may become a bore....or an eye-sore(to others, sorry for my terrible rhyming skills) but chances are they may not drift away....but if they are completely different then they will break-up sooner or later. So, it's better if they are similar, if not photocopies of each other 'cause that's how they will compliment one another in every possible way. If you look at your parents, or the best couples around you....look how amazingly they compliment each other. Do they fit like pieces of jigsaw puzzle.... or sugar in a cup of coffee...or paint in a canvas???
Now imagine them as wrong pieces of the puzzle...salt in your cup and only paint with no canvas to draw upon....sadly, that's the function of the term! No matter what the world believes and thinks, everyone deep inside their heart knows very well that they would rather spend some quality time with people like themselves and not somebody who is thousand miles away(mentally)....Mirrors are always our favorites  Can you come up with its substitution? No. You cannot, cause you would love to see yourself, in your highs and lows and not somebody else looking back at you. (Remember all those horror movies???) Similarly, just like the mirror, in a relationship we would love to see a part of us in that most coveted person and the remaining different half combines to form the whole 'Us'!!!
Hence, to sum up, "Opposites Attract" is quite a functioning term...yet only till the extent of someone visualising a bit of himself in one and allowing a bit of the other in him. So next time you find somebody way different than you....you may choose to run away, 'cause baby, it's definitely not "An attraction"!!!
Rini Ghosh. 

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