Written by Vrinda Gandhi


Yesterday, I saw lovers in a garden. The two birds were walking close, holding hands, and their feathers were touching each other’s bodies, each other’s souls. They whispered about the grains they would eat. The language of love is boundless; it is not limited by forms of heart and body. 

I have never been in love. I have never dreamt of teenage boys, their soft moustaches and sweat-soaked shirts, or men with their strong beards, muscles and rough skin. I do, however, believe in fictional worlds, far-fetching and magical romances with drama and politics—I have dreamt of that. 

My first experience with love was my father calling my mother by her first name. It was never ‘names’ for them, but a respectful ‘suno ji’ (listen respectfully). One evening, when mumma was cooking, papa called her by her name. I swear mumma’s face shined and her eyes twinkled. We then laughed at papa’s shyness and were surprised that wasn’t the first occasion. Casual hugs are not common for us. We talk eye-to-eye and, even with my brother, I always greet him with a smile. Even our namaste is done joining our hands, not theirs.

Love does not have a meaning or definition; it is different for everyone. For my grandma, love was the freedom to study more. For many women in my country, love is to find a man from a good family and a stable income. For men, it’s to find a woman who knows her chores. It is hard to say thinking has changed since my grandma’s marriage at 16. When I was 16, love for me was to get good marks and aim for the best college. A couple of years back it was to get my fanfiction a 1000 views (and find that book about the toxic version of Harry Styles). 

You see, love is hope. It is more than that tingling sensation from their touch, or that need for them to be by your side. My parents cannot be there with me all the time, but I love them for being there for me.

Love is those 3 a.m. thoughts-turned-notes in my year-old diary that I never read again. I still write sad, drunk poetry riddled with the angst of an ex-lover’s spit. “I have a wounded heart,” I would write, yet I have never felt the aching pain of separation. Love is a Japanese train station- neat and organised. But love also has that one thief on the train. 

Sometimes love is stupid. It’s complex and it’s useless—like a couple’s rage when they misunderstand. “They will get back together, right?” But they’re not thinking about love, not when it’s fleeting, not when it gets harder.

I hate love. Honestly, love is a loser. What an idiot love is. It makes people obsess, makes them crazy at times. It is better to blame love and feelings than to regret memories. People easily love others and things, and they fall out of love just as easily.

Love is that one song you forget about, and then it comes down as the most beautiful thing to ever exist, until you have gotten tired of listening. Love is math equations- just terrible to understand and gets ink stains all over your hand. It is weak, like emotions that make you cry while arguing. People in love are fools. The most intelligent talks are from the heart of those who have been betrayed, and for most, the betrayal is love. Love makes people realise the cruel world, yet when in love, they find beauty in it.

I am just one of the many people who despise and devote themselves to love at the same time. So dear love, I hate you. I wish I’d be in love soon, though.