Çalıkuşu, Lovebird- Lessons on love from a Turkish TV series.

Photo of Feride and Kamran from TV Series CalikusuWhen I was sick a few weeks ago, I started watching a Turkish TV series on Netflix, titled Çalıkuşu (pronounce Chalikushoo). It is based on a novel written in 1922 by Resat Nuri Guntekin and tells the complicated love story of Feride (played by Fahriye Evcen) and Kamran (played by Burak Özçivit)

Each episode is well crafted with beautiful sets and lavish costumes of the early 1900s. The actors are simply gorgeous and extremely talented. I enjoy the melody of the Turkish language and it’s been fun to discover some similarities with my own childhood growing up in a Muslim family.

Now be warned! There are 72 episodes and unfortunately the ending was no more than blah. The director blew it (or maybe it was the screenwriter? Or the producer?). Somebody made a big blunder and did not do the viewers justice. But I have resolved this by imagining my own ending. (There is twirling involved).

Honestly I am shocked at how much this show has impacted me. Feride and Kamran are part of my life now. They’ve offered me solace. It is easier to worry about them and forget about my own challenges. They’ve reminded me of my younger self. The intensity of their emotions has touched me.

They have so much passion for each other yet they can’t figure out a way to be together. Their relationship is a complete roller coaster.
They argue and bicker. They are influenced by gossip.
They jump to conclusions without hearing each other out.
They resist being vulnerable with each other and refuse to show their real self.
They suffer alone to avoid burdening the other… But who can lighten your load if not your true love?
They hide simple truths for fear of being misunderstood…But who can understand you better than your true love?
Inevitably they are found out and must deal with the consequences of their immaturity and fears.

This makes for great drama on the small screen and fulfills the purpose of keeping us viewers interested. But how many people play the same games in real life and miss out on happiness and contentment?

I learned very early on that love, that butterfly in the stomach- goosebumps on the skin- electricity down to your finger tips kind of love is not enough to ensure lifelong happiness. There must be more. Respect. Patience. Compassion. Generosity. Selflessness. Honesty. And above all the willingness to be yourself. Only then can you feel true love. Deep, rooted, secure, lasting love.

Love that lifts you up.
Love that builds you up.
Love that sticks around even when you are wrong.
Love that forgives mistakes.
Love that doesn’t shame you.
Love that talks.
Love that listens.

This is not love by chance.
This is love by design.

Love that you nurture patiently.
Love that you protect fiercely.
Love that enjoys laughing but can handle tears.
Love that blooms under blue skies but can weather the storms.
Love that you are never afraid to lose but do not take for granted.
Love that you are immensely grateful to have.

Love that transcends the flesh of your body.
Love that eclipses the idiosyncrasies of your ego.
Love that burgeons in your heart and blossoms in your soul.

Love that is greater than the two people who feel it.
Love that lives on forever though neither of them will.

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