What is love?
Love is fond of love handles and stretch marks. Love is as rare as a pearl and as common as breath.
Love is want. Love is need.
Love is impossibly imperfect.
Love always pays the bills on time but forgets your anniversary. It gets you frozen yogurt on the way home but leaves it in the car. It refuses to change the baby’s diaper but spends hours rocking the baby to sleep. It doesn’t write you poems or give romantic speeches but when you’re sad, it suddenly says that one right thing. It rarely thinks to buy you flowers but always thinks to plug your phone into the charger at night.
Love is forgiving. Love lets you get away with a lot. It grants forgiveness before you ask, but oftentimes makes you say sorry anyways, because it’s good for you to be humble. Love knows it will hurt you too. Love fails, time and again, but believes every next minute is a new chance to get it right.
Love is forgetful. It forgets old words and old wounds. And even when it remembers, it also remembers to stay kind. Love has the worst fight of your life with you and then, right after, shares a cold coffee and splits a plate of chaat. It will leave the last gol guppa for you.
Love understands your weaknesses. It doesn’t mock that you are scared of driving on highways or you get cranky if you’re hungry. It knows you have to drink your tea really, really hot. It will expect you will complain about your burnt tongue later. Love will be patient as you cut the tags off every shirt you wear because they scratch your neck unbearably. It will be quiet when you don’t feel like talking. It will laugh uproariously at your lame jokes during a party to save you from embarrassment. Love is loyal.
Love is your cheerleader. It believes in you. It goes along with your crazy ideas of writing a book, becoming a chef, launching an art business and tries its best to help you achieve your visions. It will edit poorly written first chapters, eat inedible crème brûlée and gasp amazedly at your blobs of paint on canvas. It doesn’t hold it against you when you fail. It encourages you. But because, you need it sometimes, it will tell you to stop when you are being insufferable and cut short your pity party.
Love changes perceptions of beauty. Love is fond of love handles and stretch marks. Love strokes your grey hair and remarks how distinguished it makes you look. Love sings, “I like big butts and I cannot lie” to your widening derriere. It knows that random chin hair become familiar friends, wrinkles and crow feet testaments to a life lived together. Love teaches you to find the ordinary, extraordinary.
Love is not a substitute for reality nor does it ask you to live in a more fantastic version of it because love lives real life. And in real life, love knows, there are good days and bad days. And a whole slew of so-so ones. Love gets through all of them, sometimes with style and pizzazz, other times with angst and bitterness. But it gets through.
Love flips your idea of humanity upside down. You think you know people and then you see what they will do for love’s sake, how far they will stretch the limits of themselves to care for the one they love and it makes you swallow, hard. Love will make you witness divinity.
Love is fluid. It changes with time in its expression and manifestation. It will be a spark, a raging fire, of flutters in your gut one day. Years later, it will be a steady burning ember, a sense of stability as solid as a rock and all flutters can usually be attributed to indigestion. Love will bring you Hajmola before you ask.
Love doesn’t always make you happy. But it makes you better. Happy too, but also unhappy. Because love knows that its central function in your life is to help you grow. Growth hurts. Every day, love changes you to become a version of yourself you didn’t know existed. Expanded. Stretched somehow.
Love doesn’t ‘break’ your heart. It splits it open, so that more of what you need can enter.
Love is a choice. You make that choice every single day, every single minute.
Love is sacrifice, compromise, tolerance and a whole bunch of other scary words. It wants to leave you sometimes but it always remains. It wants to kill you sometimes but then imagines the subsequent loneliness. It turns away from you only to turn back again. It buries itself into the very core of you, so you don’t know where it begins or ends.
Love is a paradox. It is awkward and graceful. It is forced and natural, kind of terrible and absolutely hilarious. It is restful. It is wild. It is hurtful and healing. It is gentle and tough. It is confusion and clarity. It strengthens you and makes you vulnerable. It ties you down and helps you fly. It is as rare as a pearl and as common as breath.
Love is fierce. It is very often decidedly mundane, mind numbingly ordinary and easy to overlook, but still, if you know how to look at it, it’s really quite astonishing.
Love is beautiful, it is necessary, and if you allow it, instinctual, but it is never what you think it will be.
It is always much, much more.
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