An affair in office is a state that everyone should wish for. No matter how many contradictions there maybe, the experiences brought by such an encounter can never be ignored. The important thing here is that the romance at work doesn’t become another marriage. The question a lot of people bring out here is ‘what’s the whole point of it? There’s no ultimate outcome, is there?’
Just as life is all about living, love is all about loving. There’s no need for it to transform into something else. That existence, that outflow, it’s all about the moment where that space is shared. But we are used to an ultimate conclusion. A destination.To create a corporation out of love. Sometimes this even brings about an end to love. (If marriage is not sustained in a way which is unlike a marriage, I think love dies there. We meet plenty of such dead people living together on a daily basis)
Firstly, love at any given point or way cannot be in bane. On the other hand if it’s counted as bane in contrast to another construction, there can be no such construction which is worthy of securing more than love itself. By attempting to control or sensor a love that even spurs up in a moment and dies away at the next, we expect to protect a condensed or a numbed state in our lives. Any matter can be wrong but love can never be wrong at any time under any circumstance.
A few months ago, Randu gifted me with the book “Adultery” of Paulo Coelho. There are some books that change the reader during the process of reading itself. Books that pushes you into freedom and into another layer of thinking. I have come across two such books of Coelho. One is this and the other is Eleven Minutes. I don’t feel that even the Alchemist that’s counted as his masterpiece is as influential as these two books.
Coelho goes into deep soulful discussions of illicit romances in his book Adultery.
“Learn to love better. This should be our goal in the world: learn to love. Life offers us thousands of opportunities for learning. Every man and every woman, in every day of our lives, always has a good opportunity to surrender to Love. Life is not a long vacation, but a constant learning process. And the most important lesson is learning to love. Loving better and better... But one thing will be forever marked on the soul of the universe: my Love. All in spite of my mistakes, my decisions that caused others to suffer, and the moments when I thought it didn't exist.” ― Paulo Coelho, Adultery
We spend the most amount of time of our day in office or at a place of work. In other words the best time of the day is spent there. Other than the weekends and the few hours in the night, we live our lives inside our job. From a romantic relationship, it gives a different meaning to that entire time spent there.
In terms of ‘work’ such affairs helps to shift the frustrations of a job into a condition where every moment is spent with eagerness and cheer. I think companies should also promote such relationships because it brings about such good results in terms of productivity. Also it makes way to have a romantic human vibe inside the organization.
Even in terms of the society instead of a life that’s squared into a family, a life that renews its youthfulness and freedom is proposed by this ‘ill’icity. These relationships can give a fresh breath to the lethargic or dying family lives.
The moment we speak about this, there can be criticism arising from within ourselves about the issues in this related to sex and chaos it can bring into the family. Such issues and criticism doesn’t go beyond the basics of sexual jealousy and respecting social conditionings we are accustomed to. In truth, we enter new universes in such relationships. Our time stretches on illogical human moments. In the end we are left with a choice, if life is a straight line or weather it’s a cloud like uncertain bran.
Coelho writes a beautiful description on such sensitivities of love.
“Some people say that, as summer approaches, we start to have weird ideas; we feel smaller because we spend more time out in the open air, and that makes us aware of how large the world is. The horizon seems farther away, beyond the clouds and the walls of our house.”
― Paulo Coelho, Adultery
The negatives of such relationships really come about when these relationships attempt to replace older relationships. Meaning, these relationships also see the need of adhering to norms. It yearns again for the protection of an orderly and mechanical relationship. This can make many unpleasant things take place. Because it’s a state just like the marriage spoken of earlier.
“Going after a dream has a price. It may mean abandoning our habits, it may make us go through hardships, or it may lead us to disappointment, et cetera. But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who didn’t live. Because one day they will look back and hear their own heart say: ‘I wasted my life.”
― Paulo Coelho, Adultery
The most important thing is that love exists beyond the registered time of the clock. That’s a human accident. To a certain extent a parallel universe. We enter into another universe from our usual subjective universe. We stride across universes like time travelers.
An illicit affair is submission to a feeling of risk disregarding social norms or bonds. Only a very few people takes such free steps with concern matters of life. We are bound to then write letters in a paper without any lines. Its up to us to decide whether we are going to go ahead writing along straight lines even if there are no real lines or whether we are going to write everywhere all across the paper.
The most important result of office romances is that people are uprooted from the boundaries of their households. The creation of a life that’s re-shared with the society beyond the sustenance of households. The normal reality of Sri Lanka is that once you create a family you disown a life that’s beyond the four walls of that household.
“That’s why we like fish in aquariums; they remind us of ourselves, well fed but incapable of moving beyond the glass walls.”
― Paulo Coehlo, Adultery
I was thinking recently why every public discussion or meeting begins in Sri Lanka at 3pm and that also during weekdays. With concern to the organizations, at a least short leave is required to be given. But the meetings always happen at 3pm. A main reason for this could be the meetings are required to be held during the working time itself. Even though people are willing to commit time out of ‘working time’ for a social cause or need, they are not ready commit hours out of their ‘household time’. No matter how many positive facts there may be in creating a family, the trapped lives lived by the majority is not an effective state for the society. This is a situation similar to roads. Many vehicles refrain from crossing lines not because of accidents but for the fear of Police. On the other hand unlike vehicle accidents, human accidents are beautiful experiences.
These unauthorized romances bring people back to an open society from family society. It proposes a human space that can accept uncertainties, weaknesses and contradictions. It creates flexibility in structures that are numbed and condensed.
“Let yourself get carried away by the night from time to time. Look up at the stars and try to get drunk on the sense of infinity. The night, with all its charms, is also a path to enlightenment. Just as a dark well has thirst-quenching water at its bottom, the night, whose mystery brings us closer to the mystery of God, has a flame capable of enkindling our soul hidden in its shadows.” ― Paulo Coelho, Adultery
Even amidst of thousand insults illicit/ office romances are doing a lot of progressive work that even go beyond producing creative energy into monotonous patterns of the mind and body. It takes us back into risk. It challenges our consistency and stand. It’s a moment where life goes ablaze as fast as hydrogen. No one who is alive can refrain from going in flames at a moment as such.