Love by Indu Balakrishnan

There was a time when I saw love from only one angle. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. They get married. I used to giggle at the word. Then blush. Then as time flew by, I believed that it was all one needed in life. To get married. 

And then I grew up a little. I realised it was not about getting married but finding someone who would be your partner. In crime. In love. In friendship. In companionship. The marriage commitment was for society. A formality. But the companionship was real. The soulmate that everyone talked about. 

What is that love? Is it butterflies in the stomach? The tingle on the skin? The goosebumps down the spine? Yes it was all that. And more. It was about being able to bare your soul and not have to cringe. It was about being able to tell someone who you are and not worry about being judged. Abandoned. Just being you. And someone who would be there for that. The you. 

The word unconditional love can be real. Have all the fights. But still come back home to each other. No matter what. The compass will always point true north. To home. 

And then life happened. And a lot more. And I grew up a little more. In time, I realised that this love was not really about that one partner. This realization made me realize how myopic we have all become in life. With the word love. 

It was movies like Frozen and Maleficent that confirmed this for me. It’s funny how the biggest revelations can come from animation movies. But it’s true. Think about it. In Frozen, they talk about the act of true love. And that act takes place not between a boy and a girl but two sisters. A movie that I saw when I was in my 30s and still brought tears in my eyes. I was both flabbergasted and pleased. 

And in Maleficent. That stumped me more than anything else. We all know about how the princess was cursed by the evil witch and made to hibernate a 1000 years. And the one kiss that woke her up – did not come from the pretty boy on the horse, but the very same witch that cursed her. Ain’t that both ironic and unbelievable? 

Today, I have so many different kinds of love in my life. My wonderful kids. My lovely friends. My super heroes. My fantasy movies. Things that make me laugh. Things that make me cry. Things that I look forward to every day. With whom I am myself with. In every way. 

And the ultimate one – self-love. If you cannot love yourselves, how can you expect anyone else to love you? This love came in my life probably a tad too late. But hey. Better late than never, isn’t it? 

It’s time we stopped bracketing the word love. And we will never ever feel lonely again. It’s all in our head isn’t it? And like the very wise Dumbledore said – Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’

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