What Is Love?



I have written about many emotions but the basic emotion, which we are born with, which we crave for in all its forms has escaped my attention or I have consciously avoided it.

Probably I know very less about it.

I have written a few lines about ‘Eternal Love ‘and ‘Unknown Love’ but it is easier to write poetry and leave much to the imagination and interpretation of the reader. Many times imagery conveys all we want to say.

When my dearest friend Zeenat Merchant Syal @ Positiveprovocations invited me to contribute my thoughts to a mega post on love, I realized I have never written about love – the most coveted emotion!

I had to go back in time to answer a host of questions that swarmed up around me.

Why has love been such a petrifying emotion for me?

I can relate so much to one of the protagonists of my stories…the little girl who yearned only in her dreams, alone.

She could never share her emotions and aspirations and hurts.

She only watched and absorbed. Is that I?

Love for her was just a passing thought, a mirage that could only be seen in the movies. It was not real. It was never around her. She could never touch or feel it.

A hug or an endearing word was not meant for her.

The society in which she lived didn’t give any importance to expressing it openly. Falling in love was equivalent to falling in a well. Romantic love was offensive. Sex was a repugnant word!

Love was caring for others but only those who were valuable to the society.

Love was sacrifice…giving all your time and effort for the welfare of others.

Love was thinking what she was expected to think.

Love was listening and complying with all the diktats of the family and the society.

Self-love was taboo. It was being selfish.

Till she realized love is much more than all this, which had been drilled into her mind. Till she decided to break free and get access to free thoughts.

Till she realized love is an invisible force that can transcend all the barriers.

Till she found true love… Till she came across what Leo Buscaglia says: “Love is life…and if you miss love, you miss life.”

True love quote
Image credit

When you are restricted to think and express yourself freely, you get accustomed to a certain behavior, which is hard to alter. So the exquisite emotion of love got lost in those oppressive man-made alleys of sanctimoniousness.

I am glad my favorite protagonist has helped me understand why I couldn’t fathom such a beautiful word.

Love is a natural instinct that grows if it is nurtured. It evolves itself but withers if it is not watered with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love; why passion is such a sweet word.

Love is a much wider term… encompassing friendship, family and bonding.

Recently a very old friend and neighbor called me, excited beyond words to explain how he found my number, why he still values my friendship and yearns to meet me to renew those memories! He didn’t even know my name, all he could remember was my nickname. I know that is certainly ‘love!’

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.” –Oscar Wilde

Have you explored the positive power of love? Did it enrich your life? I am eagerly waiting for your answers.

Thank you for reading this. Your support is immensely appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.