Ode to the matchmaker

Ode to the matchmaker

From an assortment of family elders who brought love at first night, to matrimonial ads in newspapers that brought love at first sight, to internet chatrooms and cell phone messages that brought love at first byte, Cupid has been ever-evolving his modus operandi, muses Rachna Chhabria.

The day of rosy blushes and stolen kisses might have come and gone, but that does not put its perpetrator to rest. If anything, it simply kickstarts his devious mechanisms to full-throttle. We can be rest assured that even as you are reading this on a lazy weekend, the orginal love guru has his hands full with thousands  - if not more - of love stories in varies stages of progress.

We shouldn’t let the innocent look on this cherubic angel’s face hoodwink us. His antics are worthy of a tome. This angel always hovers around his unsuspecting victims with his bow and arrow ready at arms. His arrows are dipped in a heady potion of love that can make the most strong-willed person sway in the throes of love. His harp is one whose strings have been tuned to make his victims sway uncontrollably to his music. Behind all the innocence of this new-born baby angel lie the machinations that bring men from Mars and women from Venus together on Earth to discover their own patch of paradise.

Unlike his Indian counterpart, Kama, the blind god of love, Cupid has the sharp eyes of a hawk that can spot victims from far, far away. He shows a wisdom well beyond his age. This toddler, nothing short of a child prodigy, has many aces up his sleeve. Or up his arm, should we say, given his evident disregard for clothes? Like an ace archer, Cupid never misses his mark. He grins like a bully, watching two unlikely people fall head over heels for each other. And when he celebrates his victory by playing his harp, another dozen odd lovers are led to their rose-tinted future!

Cupid follows the modus operandi of catching his victims unaware. And before they realise it, the yet-to-fall-in-love couple is engulfed in its rosy and cosy embrace. If the two set off fireworks instead of a spark in each other’s presence, then this toddler doesn’t really fret. He is an optimistic little baby armed with more than a few tricks up his chubby naked arms. He gently nudges the two into frequent meetings. He watches with a twinkle in his mischievous eyes and a sly smile on his sweet face as the two ‘victims’ slowly seek each other’s company. Great love stories are known to take their own sweet time. And time is Cupid’s buddy. The two get along famously. The little love guru has always matched his toddler steps with time’s brisk pace.

Once upon a time, Cupid came in the guise of our family elders, who relished wearing Cupid’s mantle. They did all the hardwork of looking out for eligible girls and boys, and facilitating their union. Their obedient kids fell in step and went by their plans. These matchmaking tactics went along smoothly and all was well on earth. The master matchmaker was delighted. The well-meaning uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends carried out his role rather effectively, if not with his finesse.

Several years later, newspapers arrived on the scene. Cupid was quick to spot immense potential in furthering his own cause. With every turn of the page, he spied a golden opportunity. He wouldn’t lose a chance to spread his trance-inducing scent. He devised matrimonial columns. People from different corners of the country caught a whiff of his intoxicating fragrance, and followed its trail to find their life partners. Things couldn’t be better, Cupid thought, as he poured over the Sunday pages of the various newspapers looking for possible matches. Keen on keeping his personal skills all slick and smooth, Cupid floated over schools, colleges, restaurants, wedding halls, temples, theatres, parties, offices, discotheques and wherever people gathered in large numbers, to do his job. For such a hard-working toddler, success couldn’t be far behind.

When the computer boom erupted, Cupid nearly knocked himself on his harp, in shock. People’s obsession with computers was creating obstacles in his path. But thumb twiddling was not his norm. He clung on to his throne and decided to turn the obstacles into stepping stones. He devised the internet highway. With that, it was love at first byte! Chat rooms were the new meeting rooms. For some time, Cupid put aside his bow and arrow. He took to the humble mouse. He struck gold with every click, as lovers swooned over each other in various chat rooms and sites. He was dumbstruck. Computers were wonderful! He was able to bring the oddest of people from the remotest corners of the world together. A feat impossible, if not for computers. He could surf through the entire “web” without leaving his room. He simply had to spin his heady potion of love into an intrinsic sticky virtual web.

Soon enough, Cupid had found his own soulmate - technology! His eagle eyes once again searched for new tools to further his cause. The moment his eyes fell on the small cellphone, Cupid somersaulted with glee, and whooped with joy. These gadgets were far better than computers. These personal items weren’t shared with family. Privacy was ensured. And they could be carried everywhere. With that, love went mobile! Long love letters were replaced by short SMSes. The modern day Romeos and Juliets created their own mobile language of love. It was the era of cell-mates!
Cupid soon realised his soulmate too was a shape-shifter like himself: technology came in various shapes and sizes. But their essence was all the same. Last heard, Cupid and technology were on the look out for the latest gadgets to infuse the former’s love potion into, conspiring the next great love story together...

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