enter image description hereForgetting gets easier with age as that’s what everyone around you expects of you. But some names stick even with brains that are too fatigued or too feeble to function. Rarely are these names remembered for the job title attached with them.

Richard was a smiling stranger on my table at an exclusive club in Dubai. He was a jolly man with refined tastes, working with an oil company and earning a handsome package of salary and benefits that included company-paid membership of the club where we sat. When we got up to leave we exchanged cards as was the custom in the upwardly mobile social circles, and from that moment on till today when he lives elsewhere and works at a different job I have never been able to separate his job title on that business card from the person of Richard. It was: Lubrication Manager.

I hope you’ll find my job title just as unforgettable, though it is by no means as racy or lucrative. It is: Love Consultant.

I am a counseling psychiatrist by training and ran a private practice for several years during which all my clients had the same malady: Love. From raging or closeted teens to sedate headmistresses and naughty businessmen, they were all referred to me by family and friends, for different reasons. There was this high school girl who chain smoked all day and all night. Another one was a busy book worm; had to have a book in hand if not in front of her eyes all the time. There was this young man who’d burned holes in his left arm by stubbing cigarettes on it. There was a grandmother who had gone all quiet; hadn't spoken a word for months. A young medicine doctor was sent to me for rehab after his colleagues reported him to hospital administration as a sex addict. They all told me in the very first consultation that they had failed at love, or love had failed them. They spoke differently but all of them used the noun love and the verb fail in the same sentence.

Of course it’s my job to diagnose and tell them who fails what, but if they want to judge themselves and talk about unrequited love, tainted love, painful love, any kind of love, they have my total attention for the 50 minutes they have paid me for. Inevitably, I have done nothing but talked and listened about love throughout my counseling career. So I decided it was time to turn specialist and changed my job title from psychiatric consultant to love consultant. Putting it on my business card means I am now committed. I refuse to deal with anything other than love.

It makes perfect business sense too. There are enough of you out there with ‘love problems’ to keep my practice running until I choose to retire in Dubai and buy the membership of an exclusive club with the money earned off you. It’s easy to work out whether or not you have a love problem. It is connected one hundred per cent with happiness. So if you are happy you are giving love and you are getting love. If you are unhappy you may or may not be giving love but you aren't getting any. I have devised a self-help kit for you to determine whether or not you need professional help. Answer these quick questions:

On a scale of 1 to the highest of 10 have you been sitting on 8 or above in happiness and satisfaction with life, uninterruptedly for over a year?

If your answer is Yes, think again. If it’s No, is your level below 2?

If your answer is Yes, stop thinking, you need a holiday, or a proper doctor, perhaps both. If your answer is No, you are my potential client.

A clear majority is not loveless. They are getting just enough love to survive or build hopes on. You are living because you hope one day love will find you. Experience tells us that often times love and the lottery fail to find its most ardent seekers who, after a certain age, turn to mosques and finally find the equivalent of love and money there. People come to me just before making the final decision on whether to end their life or take to the mosque, though their chances of finding happiness increase the earlier they talk to me.

That does not follow that I entertain everyone who approaches me. The other day a fellow called me and said he was the Taliban. I told him it was a ridiculous and grammatically impossible claim to make. He laughed and said he was glad to meet someone who was not afraid of the word. I pointed out that since we have never met he could at best be glad to talk to me. At this point he decided he doesn’t like me. I heard him mutter an Uzbek phrase that means, ‘when you tell your hen you need its droppings as medicine it climbs the tallest tree’ before he gave me the proposal for which he’d called me.

‘You’ll be working with young boys, and maybe some girls. You are the love doctor, hain na? You have to make sure there is no love left in them. Suck all the earthly love out of them and replace it with one hundred times more love for the afterlife. That is the job we are offering. Your place of work will be kept secret but it will constantly switch between North and South Waziristan. Your salary can be paid in any currency and anywhere in the world. There is no pension and gratuity and you cannot form a workers’ association. You want to do it?’ I said ‘no’ and he dropped the phone,

The point is: The absence of love is a quality eagerly sought by mass murderers. Presence of love is what I facilitate. We are in fact direct opponents in terms of our business. How can I work for them? I’d rather work for you, especially if you can’t pay my fee. Here’s a chance for you to consult the Love Guru for free in the forum below. Just don’t ask for a 10-step guide to being a great lover, because if you do, I will give you the guide and you’ll forever lose the excuse for not being a great lover.

Masud Alam is an Islamabad-based writer, columnist and journalism trainer. He can be reached at masudalam@yahoo.com

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (22)

July 4, 2013 6:57 pm

This has got to be the one of the best pieces I've read on dawn.com. Well, Dr. Love, I'm impressed to say the least. I've got a lurv problem I'd like to throw at you: I think my wife doesn't love me anymore! What do I do, oh what do I do! She's not cheating on me or anything...she's just, not a great lover...even though we had a love marriage!

July 4, 2013 7:01 pm

Love makes us human but its deprivation makes us monsters. The worst thing about being loved is that we feel lost after they reject us. What to do after that? Whatever you do it turns out to be pile of arguments and pain. MY QUESTION : How to stop feeling for that one person in particular?? Any way to take out feelings from inside us without killing?

P.S your article is well-written

July 4, 2013 7:38 pm

Pls send me love guide at preetinderworld@gmail.com

Ayesha Umer
July 4, 2013 7:58 pm

Every young boy or girl is afflicted with this disease including myself.

Krish Chennai
July 4, 2013 8:14 pm

Well, Doctor Saab, I made my last trip to Dubai just to eat (vegetarian) food in Pakistani restaurants, but this time I may just come to meet you to discuss Shakespeare's words in "As You Like It" which goes - " men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for LOVE "

Are your fees very steep ?

Love Guru
July 4, 2013 9:25 pm

@Krish Chennai: Yes indeed. Make use of this forum.

enn jay
July 4, 2013 10:50 pm

@storyoflife: right now what you are

Muhammad Awais
July 5, 2013 12:17 am

Love is the main problem in younger boys and girls now a days. In Pakistan young generation is very well affiliated with love. According to boys as a lover what they explain the term love is having four to five girlfriends at a single time is love. What is this nonsense being played on the name of love and you the Doctor of love found it in your interest because its good source of income for you.

July 5, 2013 7:55 am

@Momo: Perhaps it is you who is not such a great lover? Talk to her. Ask her what you can do to re-kindle your love. Be more attentive to her needs.

Ali raza
July 5, 2013 10:10 am

:) wonderful piece of writing, anyone happens to be love-sick and read this amusing piece of blog, must understand the absence and presence of love, and he she must not then need to consult love guru, after all life is not to make business from love consultation but to make realize this passion is not money bound solely left to Doctors :)

July 5, 2013 11:02 am

@Ayesha Umer: It's dilemma of our young generation in my opinion. They just follow others and in doing so they harm themselves by making friends of opposite gender. In my professional, personal and educational experience, a boy and a girl can never be friends. Pakistan's social and cultural norms shall never allow such relations or marriages. Apart from few exceptions.

Mujaahid (RSA)
July 5, 2013 1:02 pm

There is an Indian song which goes "Har kisee ko naheen miltaa yahan piyaar zindagee main". Which is so true.

July 5, 2013 2:03 pm

"They all told me in the very first consultation that they had failed at love, or love had failed them."

Perhaps this is where the "Lubrication Manager's" assistance might have been useful too. Good colleague to have around.

July 5, 2013 2:36 pm

well doctor saheb, i broke up with my love 2 months ago. there's a conflict between my heart and brain. Heart wants to be with her and brain wants to get away from her. the cause of our break up was that our tastes didnt match. She purely loved me and i did too but the only virus of our relationship was that our mentalities didnt match

Hopin for your reply

Faraz Paracha
July 5, 2013 3:10 pm

Finally something good to read. Tired of the same old articles about politics and political revolutions, here is something entertaining. And as for love, stay away please.

Love Guru
July 5, 2013 7:15 pm

@Johar: The differences in ‘tastes’ and ‘mentality’ is what Venus and Mars is all about. You don’t love her enough and her love isn’t enough for you, so the break-up is good as long as you attempt to know yourself a bit more through this relationship. One lives and one learns to love and to appreciate being loved.

Love Guru
July 5, 2013 7:24 pm

@Mujaahid (RSA): That’s the losers’ anthem. People who like this song also listen to: ‘na koi umang hei, na koi tarang hei’ and eventually ‘hum chaley iss jahan se, dil uth gaya yahan se’. If Bollywood is your inspiration, get the ultimate love song it has produced: ‘aaney se uss k aaey bahaar’.

Love Guru
July 5, 2013 7:28 pm

@Ayesha Umer: We don’t know about ‘every' young boy and girl but you probably wish to say that you are afflicted with the disease and that you like to be considered a young girl. How old are you? 15? 18? Any older and that makes you an adult, a young woman, not a girl. Adults don’t see love as a disease. So, take it easy and chill until you grow up.

Love Guru
July 5, 2013 7:32 pm

@preet: What do you need it for?

July 5, 2013 9:59 pm

Love the Love of Love

July 6, 2013 2:07 am

@storyoflife: Love is about loving someone it is not about having someone love you. Love in its purists form is about enjoying someone 's sight, a random thought, a small memory. It is always about giving without having any expectation in return. Asking for love to someone you love only a balancing act that people follow to establish a relationship with someone that they like or lust about. Real love is simply about enjoying someone without anyone knowing about it and if you end up finding out that they feel the same then you are simply one in a million. So don't worry about forgetting someone but work on living with good memories and thoughts.

muhammad iftikhar
July 6, 2013 11:11 am

@Noor: I agree. Most of the social problems in our culture are being caused by such informal associations. Especially the girls are exploited and victimized under he garb of friendship or love.

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