The shrill cry of that new born baby that was me stopped right after she picked me up and held me tightly, close to her heart even when she was struggling with constant pain. Blissful it was to suckle those nipples and satiate my hunger and quench my thirst. That I believe would have been the first time I was introduced to the concept of love. Or maybe it was much earlier when within her womb I pulled the umbilical cord every time there was a jerk or sudden movements making me perform world-class gymnastics within the amniotic fluid.
Then it was him, the first man in my life. No. Not my father. Nor any one from the family or friend circle. It was my mother’s gynae. A male doctor. I definitely would have had some love for him because he helped mom pop me out safely and naturally.
Then came the second man who jumped up excitedly at my mere smile, or my first word, or my first step. He did anything to make me happy, handled all my tantrums and punished me even while crying within so as to inculcate good values in me. He was the one who explained to me what others tagged as taboo; in person or through the numerous letters that kept our bond alive. My Daddy dearest! I definitely love him. Now and Forever!
A teacher who wrote a ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ on my notebook, or simply said ‘Keep it Up!’, or quietly looked back and smiled when I secretly touched her saree’s loose end as she passed through the aisle.
A rickshaw-puller who gets steps attached to his rickshaw so that a pregnant you do not have trouble climbing up. I was touched beyond words. Don’t you love them at that particular moment for their gesture irrespective of everything else; their gender, their religion, their economic status? I do.
Just when you were feeling bad about reaching a bit late to receive your daily share of modak, the priest of the temple whom you’ve never interacted with pulls out one from behind the idol and places on your palm with a broad smile. Such a warm feeling it was.
Love to me is also that feeling that arises when I get a random call from an old man I was in touch with during the groom-searching days for my little sister. Isn’t it wonderful that this random person from some other corner of the world remembers you fondly and calls you just to let you know that they remembered you when they met a girl by that name. Some beautiful relationships are born just like that. No effort, no commitment. But they are there. And you know them.
A special love and fondness for that neighbourhood aunt who ensured to get me my favourite modaks and Tamarind rice from the nearby Siddhi Vinayak Temple every single day without fail. She used to prepare namkeens, sweets and other delicacies for me during both my pregnancies (a tradition generally followed by the father’s side of family). My daughters call her ‘Paatti’ (grandmom in Tamil) and when she gives that heartfelt smile with lovely dimples on her cheeks; it just makes me feel so blessed.
My grandfather who used to stock up Tapioca chips, get my cradle ready (even when I was 9 years old), gave instructions to the murukku (a traditional South Indian snack) vendor and the pori (puffed rice) guy to arrange for fresh stocks upon our arrival and asked the domestic help to keep the ripe mangoes and jackfruits ready for us. I loved him from every corner of my heart.
Children make you feel loved and what if you have so many of them? Of course, I’m talking about the ones you got without enduring the labour pain. I just love seeing them collect themselves around that corner where I’m standing every morning as soon as I wake up and am ready to feed them and every evening when I’m back home and it’s supper time for them. My fishy babies! I love them.
The presswala bhaiya’s daughter who occasionally runs up to you with twinkling eyes as you’re rushing to catch your cab and says, “Didi, aaj aap bahut bahut achhe lag rahe ho. Roz Saree pehna karo!” That makes all your efforts worth it.
An envelope or a message received on WhatsApp from a long-lost friend or school mate. Blessed are those who have such friends who remember them years later for no specific reason. I am blessed.
On a really bad day at work when you’re almost feeling like banging your head on the nearest pole or wall and suddenly you see a cup of coffee being kept silently on your desk by the not so popular office boy. My heart goes out to him at that very moment.
The big hugs and ‘Why have you reached late today?’ in the evenings even though you reached just 5 minutes late. And then without waiting to hear your response they go on to bombard you with how their day was, what the teacher told, what a certain friend of theirs said, who scored what, some gossips and more. Without these, life would not have been worth living. I must confess the fastness of life more than often makes me shout back at them to allow me some breathing time. And as I see them sleeping innocently, I feel guilty for whatever I said during the course of the day. But yes, I do make sure that they know that I felt guilty and I apologize. But of course to repeat the same mistake all over again. And then they speak in unison, “It’s alright, Mamma. Hota hai! Hota hai!“ 😛
We complain, we fight, we argue, we engage in cold wars, we have our differences of opinion, but that once-in-a-blue-moon SMS on your phone saying, ‘Did I forget to tell you that I love you?’ from a number that you can recall even in sleep makes you forget everything and wear the most beautiful smile. Yes. The husband.
Like everything else love comes in all possible packages, sizes and shapes. And I believe there is no single definition that one can have for this feeling called Love. It depends on the situation, the circumstances and the mood of the people involved. It can be for any reason from need, protection, respect, empathy or simply for no specific reason. It simply has to be felt and understood. It simply exists when it does and where it does. You got to realize it, nurture it, cherish it and treasure it like a gem. It’s just pure and crystal-clear. A beautiful feeling it simply is.
In short, love is not just between a man and a woman, a parent and a child, between friends. Love is also not just physical or platonic. It is a feeling, a pure one that only lucky ones get to feel. It blossoms everywhere but seldom do we recognize it. Cherish it whenever you get to feel it. Life is short.
With lots of Love to all of you,
This post is part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least once a day based on the prompts that they have provided. Today’s prompt is,
I want to know what love is:
We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”?