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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Cost-benefit analysis of love

Once, I used 'business' as a the metaphor for a relation, much to the dismay of the other participant in the conversation. My point of argument was simple: it has to be 'give and take'. You invest time/emotion/money in someone (essentially what you have) and the recipient pays back in kind with what he/she has in excess or can pay back in. The analogy also bears in mind the profit motive. How many of you would you be in an all-consuming relation? How long? Give an honest reply to yourself, if not to me.

True, the coarse parallel I had drawn failed to emphasize that in my case, affection is the best currency to buy my love. Someone who makes me happy will be cherished. On the other hand, imagine a dark, brooding figure full of cynicism - would I want him/her as my constant companion? Depends. If I can treasure some aspect of the individual that others are not able see through the thick nebula of apparent malevolence, maybe I would.

One of the most important tools of Economics used in day-to-day life is cost-benefit analysis. For example, your decision to skip going to a party when you have a paper due the following day. Here, your low grades (cost of not studying) outweighs the entertainment you would receive (benefit).

Most of the decisions of life are made at those points where you can see the ceiling. An unfeeling person would not reciprocate or would be too emotionally handicapped to realize the affection you are bestowing upon him/her. A sensitive soul would point it out to you the convenience of being variably capacious when it comes to affection. Of course, aur bhi gham hai duniya mein mohabbat k siwa :D

Nevertheless, a relationship changes you in more ways than you can imagine. In fact, when you decide to change for someone you love, even you are surprised to discover what you have become. You may learn to control your temper considerably, become more accommodating , or simply begin to appreciate the fact that everyone needs his/her own space sometimes. The cost is loving someone else, the benefit is your becoming a better, more-balanced individual.

All things said, the fact remains - no Economist or Biochemist can take away the magic of love.

P.S. This post is for SG who said "Eto to likhis, agey bhalobasha kaake bole bujhe ne.Seta niye likh." This is what I understand :)

20 comments:

Sam said...

"tomra je bolo, dibosho-rojoni bhalobasha bhalobasha, shokhi bhalobasha kare koy!!"
isn't that what tagore said in one of his songs??
honestly, you cannot really speak out what love is.. feel yes.. understand maybe..

ILA(a)இளா said...

//Economist or Biochemist can take away the magic of love. :)//
Could be true, only for Love. if love get converted to Marriage.. every strategy is required.

Aparna Kar said...

@ILA(a)இளா
Lol. Agreed. But if the bond is strong, marriage is just a formality required or let's say in the Indian culture, a license to be together.

Talking of strategies, I have seen quite a few men designing flowcharts to woo the women of their dreams. Initially, it was difficult to digest the fact that most guys like to have a plan. Then I watched 'Hitch' :D

Aparna Kar said...

@sam
And it follows upto "protidin jodi kadibi kebol,ekdin oi hashibi tora"
All I have learned is: life is too short to be sad about anything. Even the 'bisaad' of 'biroho'. :)

Munmun said...

Yes, love can often be estimated in gives and takes; but in reality it probably works that way only for a handful (fortunate) few. Sometimes the price you pay at the end is very high!

Aparna Kar said...

@ munmun
Disillusionment is a nominal price for a wrong choice. Look at the brighter side: you get acquainted with reality before it is too late and you still have time to walk out.
The lesson always comes after the test. And we are all humans at the end, with our right to err at times. Even if you are near-perfect. :)

Munmun said...

Yes, I know and I agree: the sooner we realize the wrong choice, the better :). And then time often heals a lot of it. But however imperfect we are, no one wants to 'lose' right! And that feeling probably never goes away ... don't know, life is just too complicated :)

Aparna Kar said...

@munmun
Hatred is a more positive emotion than self pity. I'd choose to think that the one who lets me go is a bigger loser than I am :D

Munmun said...

I agree; hatred often makes it easier to curb certain emotions; sometimes it helps if we think mean :P

Saurabh said...

Sometimes Emotionally Detaching yourself from the relationship going through a rough period helps a lot in analyzing it.

Yes, The Magic of Love can turn the tide even for the most skeptical person... :)

zoxcleb said...

nice post... although i thot u cud have done better... :-)

Aparna Kar said...

@zoxcleb
Yeah, I could have been an absolute nerd :D

Aparna Kar said...

@munmun
Oh sure it does ! :D

Aparna Kar said...

Here's an interesting article to read. Hat tip: zoxcleb

Despite all these observations, a kiss continues to resist complete scientific dissection. Close scrutiny of couples has illuminated new complexities woven throughout this simplest and most natural of acts—and the quest to unmask the secrets of passion and love is not likely to end soon. But romance gives up its mysteries grudgingly. And in some ways, we like it like that.

ManojVasanth said...

"relationship changes you in more ways than you can imagine. In fact...". Very True.. In fact, you will remain to it even after person who brought this change has left

Bubbles of FireWhisky said...

love wt uve written n love d article uv mentioned... my fav lines happen 2 b "...romance gives up its mysteries grudgingly. and in some ways we like it like that"

candid diary said...

A class of Indian businessman (no need to name the ethnicity) first make cost-benefit analysis (called Padta report in their lingo) before any investment and consider an investment economically viable only if the benefit is 20% or above the cost.
How do we make a Padta report for love? :D

Aparna Kar said...

Come on Candid! You should have known better. I can't do that! True love is when you give without any expectations. Like a mother loves her new born or a father takes care of a child who's ill. These are mere manifestations. The 'profit motive' in my analysis did not include the financial incentives that the aforesaid class of businessmen focus solely on. In fact, I have been fortunate enough to come across such people in my early life and I know it's unwise to invest in someone who thinks he/she is investing in you. I can assure you, the man I'd love would know how to stick with me through thick and thin and not stray away when things are rough and try to get back again when the going gets smooth. But yeah, good citation.

Sam said...

dats true!! the pangs of separation would always be there.. but then, one really cannot spoil the drink with that??
I mean, when you cook.. if some ingredient goes in a trifle too much, wudn't you try and counter it up?? Then why not do the same with life??

nuance said...

Bravo!