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Published: Thursday February 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday April 20, 2013 MYT 5:31:50 PM

Love makes the world go round

It’s blind, tough and makes the world go round. And is it true one cannot love and be wise? Let’s find out.

WHAT is this crazy little thing called ‘love’?

“Whatever ‘in love’ means,” said Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the House of Windsor, during an interview with ITN journalist Anthony Carthew, on the announcement of his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Thirteen years later, the truth came out.

In 1994, a month before Prince Of Wales, an authorised biography by Jonathan Dimbleby, was to be published, the Seattle Times quoted an admission from Charles that he had never loved Diana. The book, which describes the prince’s agony of being trapped in a nightmare marriage also includes an excerpt from one of his private letters, dated 1986, lamenting, “How could I have got it all so wrong?” The couple called it quits in 1992, allowing Charles to carry on with his old flame, Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he describes as “a breath of fresh air”.

In Love Story, considered by the American Film Institute as one of the most romantic movies in history, Ryan O’Neal, who plays the character of the grief-stricken widow, would tell his repentant father that love means never having to say you’re sorry.

However, it is not known if he had ever apologised to Farrah Fawcett when she caught him red-handed with a younger woman in 1997, as revealed by USA Today. O’Neal had blamed his infidelity on Fawcett’s menopause, which he said, caused her to be “mad with him all the time”.

But O’Neal can still recall the day he first met Fawcett while she was still married to Lee Majors, the star of The Six Million Dollar Man.

“The sun came out ... she lit up the day,” O’Neal told USA Today.

O’Neal, who is currently battling stage two prostate cancer, says he looks forward to the day when he will be “reunited” with Fawcett who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in 2009 at age 62.

“I know she’s waiting for me,” says O’Neal, now 72.

In the Oxford dictionary, love is defined as “a strong feeling of affection and sexual attraction for someone”. There is also the humorous saying, “Love me, love my dog”, which means that one must accept everything about the person, even their faults.

Interestingly, lovers are known to have great tolerance for each other’s imperfections. Eva Braun, the long-time companion of Adolf Hitler, the German dictator whose policies precipitated World War II and the Holocaust, is an example.

In her book Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth (published by Vintage in 1995) Gitta Sereny, writes how Speer, Hitler’s architect and armaments minister, would hear his boss exclaiming that he would never marry for worry that it would interfere with his work. All this was said with Braun purportedly seated just next to him!

Perhaps Hitler was lucky, in the sense that Braun was very young and none the wiser. What chance would a 17-year-old girl, fresh out of convent school and starting life as a photographer’s assistant, have against a 40-year-old man who would have had first-hand experience when it came to tackling pretty young things? As for what Braun saw in Hitler, you know the drill. Young intern. German dictator. Let’s admit it, power can make a man – Charlie Chaplin moustache and all – extremely attractive.

Braun, too, seemed determined to get her man. Among the things she did to get his attention included shooting herself in the chest and overdosing on sleeping pills. But life with the dictator must not have been much fun.

The Braun-Hitler relationship is described by Albert Speer in his 832-page memoir, Inside The Third Reich (Orion Books, 1970). Braun was only allowed to be present during visits from old party associates. As soon as other dignitaries appeared, she was sent out of the room. While today’s liberated female would have walked off in a huff, Hitler’s brand of chauvinism seemed not to have diminished Braun’s affection for him.

After a failed assassination attempt in 1944, Braun purportedly declared that she would live only for his love and follow him to his death. Hitler is said to have named Braun in his will, instructing that she should receive 12,000 reichmarks per annum upon his demise. Both committed suicide when the Third Reich collapsed. As Giacomo Casanova, the famed 18th century Italian womaniser, put it, “Love is three-quarters curiosity”. How would one know what the end would be if one is too faint-hearted to embark on such a journey?

Remember the romance of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, immortalised in a monument so grand that it would continue to inspire 400 years later. As the story goes, Mumtaz died after giving birth to their 13th child while on a campaign trail with her husband to crush a rebellion. The monument, according to official detail, was built in accordance with the empress’ last wishes, among which would be for the emperor to remarry. Alas, he would be in no shape to do so. So devastated was he that his hair would turn white in the next few months.

Today, the official website, tajmahal.gov.in, reports that the Unesco heritage site – a testament of a husband’s undying love to his beloved wife – receives some four million visitors every year.

One must also keep in mind the great passion of Napoleon and Josephine. His love letters to her, displayed in the online library of the University of San Diego, would certainly come in handy for the Cupid-struck.

Here is an excerpt penned by the famous French general:

My unique companion! You whom Fate has destined to walk with me the painful path of life! The day on which I no longer possess your heart will be that on which parched Nature will be for me without warmth and without vegetation.

Without doubt, this makes a better impression than Leo Sayer’s famous lines, Wo wo yey yey. I love you more than I can say ...

So, on Valentine’s Day, think of the one who makes your heart go a-flutter. And please, don’t be content to play “secret admirer”. Make sure you make your affections known. After all, for all the inconvenience that comes with it, love is still what makes the world go round.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Entertainment, love valentines day

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