Devdas is a young man from a wealthy Brahmin family. One can relate to it in the present age as being son of some politician, general or a nusinessman. Paro, on the other hand, is a young girl from a middle class family; most likely can be compared with the daughter of an honest (if there still exists one) government servant.

Devdas goes away for a couple of years to study in the city and later returns to his village during the summer vacations and finds his childhood friend Paro all grown up and desirable. Had they had the fortune of having the mobile phones with “late night talk” free packages, they would have fallen in love much earlier instead of waiting for years to meet. The Devdas-Paro couple realizes that their easy comfort level in each other's innocent comradeship has changed to something different. Nowadays it is called passion in decent terms, and lust in particular. Paro looks forward to their childhood love blossoming into their lifelong journey together in matrimony. What Paro failed to realize was that there were available endless opportunities in the market had she fished for the right boy. Cafe’s and restaurants around us are full of couples trying to experiment with love and then after repeated test and trials, getting married to what they consider to be the best partner option. Reality dawns sooner or later.

According to the social customs, Paro's parents would have to approach Devdas' parents and propose marriage of Paro to Devdas. Nowadays the parents are just invited (or informed) to the marriage ceremony (provided they are presentable) by the children. Everything is worked out beforehand to make life easy for the elders. How caring! Nothing doing having sleepless nights on that count, as this should be considered as a blessing for eloping is something more traumatic.

Despite Devdas’s parents liking Paro, his mother decided not considering Paro as Devdas' bride because she considered Paro's family to be "trading low caste" family ("trading" label was applied in context of the marriage customs followed by Paro's family), despite the fact that Paro was also a Brahmin. This caste system has now been institutionalized all across the country in a way that the couples only date the perspective life partners if they belong to the same or higher levels of monetary standings. Love or care comes secondary as being able to afford a cushy life style carries much more valuable. This is called the wisdom of our youth which was not taught to them by their elders. How sad!

Paro's father, feeling insulted at the rejection, finds an even richer husband for her. Such caring fathers are rare nowadays. When Paro learns of her planned marriage, she stealthily meets Devdas at night, desperately believing that Devdas will accept her hand in marriage. It also shows that girls were not that backward in those days. Getting out at night to meet the loved one was a norm. Hate the people who raise objections to late night parties and rendezvous for this attribute has its stems to our forefather’s genetics.

Devdas who had never previously considered Paro that way (what were they doing all those childhood years) feels surprised (how innocent) at Paro's bravery of visiting him alone at night. Truly a modern girl, this Paro! He decides to talk to his father who straight away disagrees. In a confused state, Devdas flees to Calcutta and writes a letter to Paro (as no email option was available) saying that they were only friends (how lame). Indeed, a real moron and a coward! Nowadays such cowards are straightaway rejected by the girls for the simple reason that if he cannot take a decision against his family at this stage, then how come he is going to leave his parents (read insult) and have a separate accommodation for the sake of their privacy.

Within days Devdas realizes that he should have been bolder. He goes back to his village and tells Paro that he is ready to do anything needed to save their love. By now, Paro's marriage plans are in an advanced stage, and she declines going back to Devdas. However she makes one “intelligent” request to Devdas that he would return to her before he dies. Paro seems to be an enterprising girl who always keeps various options open. In case of a failed marriage, there is always anoption to go back to the old love. It is said that in a marriage, men and women are like two wheels of a car. If one goes flat, the car will not be able to run smoothly. So what is the "moral" lesson here; always keep the spare wheel handy. 

Paro is married off to a widower, an elderly man with three children. Devdas' deals with this self-induced tragedy by heavy drinking & visiting a courtesan named Chandramukhi (what a way to celebrate a tragedy), who later falls in love with him. His health deteriorates because of a combination of excessive drinking and despair of comparing Paro with Chandramukhi. Sensing his fast-approaching death, Devdas returns to meet Paro to fulfill his vow. He dies at her doorstep on a dark, cold night. On hearing of the death of Devdas, Paro runs towards the door, but her family members prevent her from stepping out of the door.

Times have changed, so as the tools available to our younger lot that aids them to pursue their romantic endures with ferocious urgency. Modernity in life has very rightly taken over traditional norms. As Mohatama Ghandhi once said“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win” Buck-up kids, keep going till you win.

n    The writer is a PhD in Information Technology, alumni of King’s College London and a social activist. He has authored two books titled Understanding Telecommunications and Living in the Grave and several research papers.The writer prefers to avoid human interaction and finds peace & happiness being alone, in silence with his own self.