Souren Mondal

Gold Star - 31,458 Points (10th November 1991 / Chandannagar)

On The Myth Of Loving Without Expectations - Poem by Souren Mondal

[...] c'est cela l'amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier, sans espoir de retour. [...]

The many a humans
hold that love is true only when
Love is without expectations
of anything in return
- A difficult resolution like the
Fire Suicides of the Buddhists

Suicide, I say, because the idea is
good to indulge in
but never easy to execute

[Abstinance is easy only when you are impotent]

You can go ahead and have that resolution
[like the many you have had throughout
years on the New Years' Eve]
but you will never be good enough to be
so stoic - this fantasy of yours is an empty vessel

For let us be honest - my dear friend - to
expect no expectations in love is an expectation
in itself

A paradoxical resolution
that you, me - we - will never achieve.

Souren Mondal
November 6,2015

Topic(s) of this poem: love, reality

Form: Free Verse

Poet's Notes about The Poem


1.The opening quote is by Albert Camus and can be translated as: 'This is love - giving all, sacrificing all, without expecting in return'

2. The Fire Suicides of Buddhists: The idea of self-immolation. Cf, 'On The Fire Suicides Of The Buddhists' by Charles Bukowski.

The ideas, for me personally, is an extreme resolution and one that is impossible to carry out for many...

Comments about On The Myth Of Loving Without Expectations by Souren Mondal

  • Susan Williams (4/24/2016 4:40:00 PM)

    We just cannot love without expectations of something coming our way in return. Sometimes it is love, sometimes, honor, sometimes experience. Whatever it is, we expect return on our investment. Even the best of mankind have selfishness at their core. But to be honest, we NEED to be self-centered to survive. It is the first weapon in the arsenal of survival in the wilderness or in the business world. as well as in the world of love. (Report) Reply

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  • Akhtar Jawad (1/27/2016 7:57:00 AM)

    For let us be honest - my dear friend - to
    expect no expectations in love is an expectation
    in itself
    I fully agree with you, none of human acts, none of his feelings and none of his sentiments are without an expectation. Everywhere it's ego, me, my, mine myself; even the supreme sacrifice of life may be for the mother land even is made with a feeling that I am dying for my motherland expecting to get self satisfaction for our our ego. It's a great poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Ismael Mansoor (11/19/2015 1:21:00 AM)

    I like this poem. Like fantasy. (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/20/2015 9:12:00 PM)

    Thank you Ismael :)

  • Bakuli Bhakali (11/16/2015 12:42:00 AM)

    that's true! but sometimes these expectations in our denial make us more human! May be a refined one! (well! that may sound hippocratic) (Report) Reply

    Bakuli Bhakali (11/21/2015 11:10:00 AM)

    Well I appreciate that! But something we just can't avoid...
    We do things we don’t want to
    We live the life we don’t want to
    And sometimes we don’t even know what we have become!

    Souren Mondal (11/16/2015 3:34:00 AM)

    Well, I agree with you as well as disagree with you on this one Bakuli.. The fact is 'denial' of our true selves, and expectations is always hypocrisy.. To quote Baudelaire hypocrisy is being not 'bold' enough to accept that we are all 'hypocrites' - living 'authentically' and not living in a bubble of romanticism (both with the small 'r' and the capital 'R') is perhaps better... But that is left to interpretations as well as personal choice :)

  • Madathil Rajendran Nair (11/9/2015 11:31:00 PM)

    You have chosen a good subject for your poem, supported by famous references.

    I don't think there is any love without expectations. It is like the philosophical blabbering that we should work without desiring results, which of late, at least the wise among our swamis have corrected to we should work with the desire for legitimate dhArmic results.

    About suicide, I don't know much about Buddhist immolations. But, in ordinary suicide, the person committing suicide is escaping a difficult situation and, therefore, has an intuitive hope that the escapee would be free and happy. So, there is an expectation in it.

    If we go back to Vedanta, we love only ourselves, which means the Self in us is love concentrate and that love for the Self is the only true love. The rest of the loves of the world are distorted reflections of that Supreme love and demand something in return.
    (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/10/2015 12:56:00 AM)

    Thank you for reading my poem.. I really appreciate it..

    Now, there a few things -

    Firstly, I took the idea of Budhists' suicide almost entirely from Bukowski's poem and a little from wikipedia.. So, even I cannot take it up very well.. But I assume even in suicide there is some expectation as you suggested - that of finding 'relief'.. So, even that kind of act is not free from expectations..

    Secondly, I intended to critique the ultra-romantic and idealised concept of 'loving without expectations', something that a Sergius in Shaw's 'Arms and the Man' describes as a kind of 'higher love', which I think is absolutely impossible to attain..

    Finally, I think you made a wonderful point about about 'loving our own selves' and the love of the Supreme... Now, if my concept of Indian metaphysics is not very faulty, I believe you are referring to the concept of 'Mokhsa'..

    This actually gives me a really fascinating insight into my own poem - maybe the idea of 'loving without expectations' itself is a part of the 'Maya' that always keeps us away from understnding our 'selves' and finding peace in uniting with the 'Bramhan'...

    What I believe, even while reading this poem from this perspective, is that the 'foolish' ways from which many of us (which included me in the past, as I have said in my reply to Kelly's comment) actually claim that we believe (or worse practice) altruism and stoicism is absolutely ridiculous, for to claim we indulge into such acts is at best ignorant, at worst an ostentatious claim! Not many of us are capable of doing such things and we should not claim that we do them before we evaluate the pros and cons of subjecting ourselves to such ideologies... That's again is foolish...

    Thank you very much for reading my poem and making such a wonderful comment on my poem.. I really, really appreciate it...

  • Valsa George (11/8/2015 10:34:00 PM)

    For let us be honest - my dear friend - to
    expect no expectations in love is an expectation
    in itself
    A paradoxical resolution
    that you, me - we - will never achieve.

    Souren...... you are so clever! Though I want to refute your argument, I find your point irrefutable...... Though we may love someone without expecting anything in return from him/her, we have some other expectations.... at least the sad or joyful pleasure of making a sacrifice....... like a child enjoying breaking his own toy! Great poem.... with a convincing argument!
    (Report) Reply

  • Ari Alsio (11/8/2015 11:54:00 AM)

    Love is here treated analytically but gentle feelings. Very inspiring thinking, thank you, I thirst to hear more. (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/8/2015 8:16:00 PM)

    Thank you very much ari :)

  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/6/2015 7:20:00 AM)

    excuse me.. translation (from box below) :
    this is a poem with a strong intellectual content, a well structured and penned poem. Very good
    (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/6/2015 7:48:00 AM)

    Thank you Fabrizio... Thank you a lot :)

  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/6/2015 7:17:00 AM)

    è una poesia con un forte contenuto intellettuale, molto ben strutturata. Bravo Souren (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/6/2015 11:21:00 PM)

    Grazie Fabrizio :)

  • Kelly Kurt (11/6/2015 12:33:00 AM)

    Our brains have evolved to create expectations. We can overcome it though (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/6/2015 1:38:00 AM)

    Rightly so Kelly.. But to get there one needs to be actually someone who has that much strength.. Unfortunately however, many among us (count a 'younger' me in) make such a statement that 'I don't expect anything in love', while those words mean 'nothing' at least in a longer term...

    We should all refrain from romanticising stoic virtue, if not enirely do away with them...

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (11/5/2015 10:41:00 PM)

    Love is dealt by different person in different perspective yet the truth of love is the sad ending of Layla-Majnu, Shirin-Farhat etc where the expectation from love is nothing but torture and death.....With this poem you have beautifully put together a meaningful myth.....without expectation there won't be any struggle....Full marks (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/5/2015 10:59:00 PM)

    Thank you Asim.. I really appreciate your comment..

  • (11/5/2015 10:24:00 PM)

    I fully agree that the concept, love without expectations, is an utopian concept and it is not feasible in reality. A remarkable write. Thanks for sharing. 10 points. (Report) Reply

    Souren Mondal (11/5/2015 11:01:00 PM)

    Thank you Ratnakar.. Your comments are always welcome :)

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 5, 2015

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