I like learning stuff. But with the current work environment and the crazy schedules it becomes very difficult. I wasted a quite a amount of money registering for courses and having to leave them mostly within the first month of it. So I decided that if I want to learn about something then I better go with some free materials or free courses. And that is how I started with Coursera. But guess what, no luck there too, because I get too swamped by work sometimes, I have little energy to learn anything other than unwind with a novel or with my camera. If I ever get serious about a subject, I really have to take a sabbatical to learn it without any distractions and I am really not sure how that would go. OK I digressed a lot from what I really wanted to write about today. I could have used this as my Stream of Conscious Saturday prompt post, but then didn’t want it to be a very cliched one. So decided to go with my first thought on reading that prompt. And ‘this’ is about a course in Coursera called ‘Fiction of Relationship‘. I was intrigued by the title (as always) and enrolled for it. I completed the 1st week’s video lectures. Let me be very honest, I am not looking to complete the courses and get a certificate, if I opt for it. I just wanted to learn about things that interest me , if offered freely, and may be, just may be participate in the assignments or at least go through the reading materials at my own pace. There was one other course which I went as far as 2 weeks, so I am still not sure how far I would go with it. Let me see. This course has a lot of mixed reviews going for it. But at least from the 1st week’s lectures, I should say I find it interesting. Let’s start with the topic. As soon as I saw it, my first question was ‘how can a relationship be fictitious’. I honestly thought that it would be about philosophy and humanities. What surprised me was it was more about literature and the philosophy and humanities associated with it. Never judge a course by its title. They start by asking you what do you think a relationship is ? The discussion forum there had a lot of wonderful definitions by the registered students. Let me try my hand here. Relationship for me is that link between x & y, can be shown as x <-> y. If it is a relationship unto ourselves, then y = x and hence x<->x. Now, <-> which is the link can be anything, biological, philosophical, etc…etc…But how much of it is real and how much of it is fictional. Is the link that defines the relation between x & y based on x’s view which is more real to x than to y ? How much of x’s views are unreal or fictional to y and vice versa ? What is fiction actually ? Does it mean that it is just a glorified version of real thing ? or does it mean Utopian? If it is a glorified version of a real thing, then does relationship fall into that category ? Is that why we have that many complications in it ? When we read a novel, is that considered a fiction of a relationship? According to the course, it is. We are reading about another relationship which may or may not have been real, but we also imagine a lot about what it portrays about a relationship don’t we ? Don’t we all try to actually relate at least a small part of those relationship to our real ones ? Don’t we imagine what it would be like to be part of that kind of a fictitious relationships that are portrayed in some nice romantic novels ? Or may be it is just me, a hopeless romantic that I am. There are lot of such stuff that this course in its first week made me think. And they also have quite a few books for reading which will be used for the lessons and to analytically and creatively discuss the relationships (and their complexities) that are portrayed in those novels. I don’t know how far I will go in this journey of understanding the fiction of relationship. But I hope to give it a shot.