Who can define this one small word?
If only we delete this word/feeling/ emotion/ aspect from human relations, then most of art, literature, philosophy and most importantly the consumer industries that thrive on its existence would be not what it is today.
Most of our adult lives are spent in the search for love. Is it just what media and business houses make it to be, something that is everlasting but has to be constantly renewed, something that is selfless but, also something that ought to be expressed through gifts, merchandise and material things?
Is it being smitten at sight or something that is nurtured as a result of understanding and sharing ? As many theorists argue, is it just one way of ensuring monogamy for the continuation of the family institution, for the subjugation of women, for the perpetuation of the dominant ideology?
Is it acceptable only between a man and a woman. Is it beautiful only among the young and the good looking? Is it desirable only between two members? Is it desirable only between those with similar social standing? Do only opposites attract or is it the search for a mirror image?Does it take note of class, caste, colour and gender? or is it something that breaks down the barriers, like a wild fire or a tropical thunderstorm?
Does it consume the soul like a cobra’s stare? Is it a blissful agony? Does it help retain sanity or leads to the loss of rationality? Is it salvation or damnation? It does not need to be always expressed? or does it, like water, find crevices and crannies, to swell and overflow….or.. Is it made up only of oxymorons?
As many intellectuals argue, does it have a material basis, to serve the needs of the self and nothing is ever lasting, emotional and most importantly it is not abstract as people claim…Is it the path to marriage, to find an eligible mate?
Is it just between individuals or is it subject to the hierarchies and power structures of society? Does it seek validation or is it’s flavor that of a forbidden fruit? Does it always have to be uplifting? Does it always seek the happiness of the beloved? Is it not love, if it corrupts? if it inflicts pain, if it breaks, if it pries the soul open with a pair of red hot tongs and crushes the last shard of hope or goodness with in ? Is it a cut throat who watches calmly as blood drips slowly on to the carpet of memories, clouding the eyes?
Does it always have to be romanticized?
Is it jealous, possessive, vindictive, is it the hawker who whistles for the soul after the hunt is over? Is it sharing and forgiving, is it the blue skies that caress the outstretched wings with sunshine and soft winds? Is it all consuming or is it true only if it respects personal space and liberty?
Is it just a garb of civilization to sanction lust and reproductive instinct? Is it just the frenzy of hormones and bodily chemicals? or is it something divine and liberating?