And remember: what they are doing is not love, but some formality, some tradition, some convention. This is not part of love. They are fulfilling their own traditional, conventional, orthodox views. If it were love then food would not be forced; then the guest would be served and allowed to eat whatever he felt like eating, and however much he wanted to eat. Love will give that freedom.
It is not heart. The dividing line is very fine – that’s why you cannot understand how to say no. The person is so loving that it seems better to suffer a little, but not to say no. But this is not his love. Love never enforces anything on anyone. Love never tries to dominate, to dictate. You call this love? – two persons are holding onto the man’s hands and the third person is forcing a laddu into his mouth, and the man is saying, “I will die! What are you doing? If you had told me that this was going to happen I would have never come.” But they have a certain idea. It has been happening in their family for centuries – unless a guest starts beating you, you are not a host, not worth the name. A strange idea!
You have to say no. And if they need beating, then it is better that before they force the food, you start beating them. If that is the only thing that will stop them and satisfy them and their father’s soul, then beat them before they make you sick. Be alert, and understand clearly the idea of love. It is non-interfering. It is non-enforcing – about anything. Love is authentic only when it gives you freedom.
I am reminded of a strange Eastern story that will show you what love is.
A man is in great love with a woman. The woman says, “I am ready to marry you, but there is one condition.”
If the man had been aware of a simple fact, that love never makes conditions, he would have said good-bye to the woman at that very point. But he was mad, really blindly in love. He was ready to do anything. He said, “Any condition, and I am ready to do it.”
The woman said, “My condition is difficult.”
The man said, “Whatever the condition is, don’t be worried. You just say it.”
The woman said, “Go home and kill your mother. Bring her heart on a plate and present it to me. Only on this condition will I marry you, because only this will give me proof that you really love me.”
Blind lovers can do anything. They are blind, not only in this story but all over the world. He went home, he killed his mother, and he put her heart on a plate. He rushed. He was in such a hurry to reach the woman that he stumbled on the road and fell. The plate broke and the heart was all over the street in small pieces.
And a voice came from those pieces: “My son, are you hurt? I am sorry, but it wasn’t my fault. Try to gather the pieces; go home and get another plate, and go to your sweetheart.”