As living beings with a beating, throbbing heart, currently going through a year which has seen a lion’s share of atrocity and not received much love, the question must be asked.
What exactly is love?
Is it that entity which claims to have no language or is it simply a song by Haddaway saying ‘baby don’t hurt me’ on repeat.
Well, one thing’s assured, if you’re gonna have to plead your case in order to not be hurt, that ain’ love. Sorry Haddaway. Good song tho.
Love comes in many forms. It cannot be defined by one single word. It is a mosaic of many things blended together to form a wholesome, homogenous mixture.
Chemistry flashcard: A homogenous mixture is one in which all the substances forming a solution retain their individual identities despite being in a mixture. Eg. A milkshake.
Hence we can conclude that love is after all a milkshake.
P.S. I’ve clearly been doing chemistry for too long.
Now that we’ve decided what the true identity of this thing called ‘Love’ is, let’s have a look at the ingredients. Clear up a table, get your favourite glass ready and let’s get blendin’
Ingredient 1: A tablespoon of hypermetropia.
Love is blind.
This one’s probably a line you’ve come across in every romantic piece of work ever created. But there’s a catch, love isn’t completely blind.
In a true sense, love can be described as slightly hypermetropic or blind to what’s up close or to what’s on the surface. However, it is very much able to see what’s at a distance or hidden in the deepest parts.
As an example of a surface invisible to ‘love’, Imma take appearances. Looks are what we see on the outside. They are the outermost layer of the human body extending to a single layer of skin cells beyond which they are no longer a visible entity or something that matters. True fondness or love is not borne from what’s on the outside but it comes as a reaction to what’s on the inside aka one’s character. The depths beyond the superficial surface face the hardest trials, be it in love, or even in living being morphology.
Just like a living being cannot function without its vital insides in perfect condition, neither can love. Its only a simple fact of life.
A question which arises owing to a litmus test of one’s internal character is that what about the flaws, nobody’s born perfect?
Flaws are nothing but another test of one’s character. They test how strong one’s moral fibre actually is and whether it is able to cancel out the flaws and continue its function without a glitch. Just like how a human body can successfully function with a single kidney. However, if the flaws overpower the good stuff, then that’s a failed character just like the absence of both kidneys is the body’s failure at life.
And it was on this basis that we’ve got this tale as old as time….
Ingredient 2: Two spoons of silence.
This one’s an important ingredient, be it in romantic love, platonic love, parental love or canine love.
When one says the word ‘love’ our minds immediately go to roses and chocolates and heart-shaped merchandise and letters on pink paper and finally the mistletoe with a dash of Ronan Keating or Taylor Swift if you’re in the mood for a bucket full of tears.
All that is well and good as a Valentine’s Day routine or as the best way to express one’s love loud enough to be heard across the seven seas but the true expression of love in its raw and natural splendour is in the silence. For, it is in silence and the actions performed in it that the heart truly speaks. This aspect of love is often misunderstood as absence and ignorance, especially in human society, however, to truly feel its impact, we may need a bit of help from our fellow earth dwellers aka the fauna.
Let’s take the movie ‘Dumbo’ a silent love specialist, if you will, amplified through the character of Mrs. Jumbo and her son. Throughout the movie, one can literally count the number of words spoken by Mrs. Jumbo but the silent actions are bound to crack the hardest of hearts. It shows the depths to which a mother’s love can truly go, breaking any iron bars along the way and showering itself upon the baby.
The silent impact of love is also seen in movies involving a pet. ‘Marley and Me’ for instance. Animals are speechless beings however, their presence and that of their warm beating heart can heal a family and bring light to the world. It is true when they say that even if human faith falters, one will always have their pet rooting for them.
Ingredient 3: A dollop of respect.
There is no love without respect. Love is in fact the highest form of respect. Be it respect for one’s choices, boundaries, person or habits, it is literally the bedrock upon which the idea of love rests.
Respect is precious. It cannot be demanded, only earned. And for love to blossom, it is important for this earned respect to last. For respect is very tough to earn but one wrong move and it’s lost forever. And respect once lost cannot be gained again. As said very wisely by Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
A prime case of loss of respect is seen in ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ a modern spin-off on Pride and Prejudice.
Daniel Cleaver may be the handsome boss and the office heartthrob but all he sees in Bridget is an opportunity to have fun when convenient and caste her off when the mood’s gone. Cleaver is a great example of how someone can lose respect as opposed to Mark Darcy who actually tries to earn Bridget’s respect and goodwill, right from showing support to a newly single Bridget at an all-couples party to helping her get ahead her job by giving her an exclusive interview.
All in all, the thing called ‘love’ ain’ about the money you’re paid but about the respect you earn.
Ingredient 4: A pinch of extravagance.
Is love extravagant? Depends on the depth you would go for love.
Extravagance is necessary as it shows if the love you give is reciprocated in the right amplitude. It is a test of love and it is also the indicator which tells you to stay or to move on.
A dicey thing about this last aspect of love is that it is capable of giving an immense amount of joy but it can also turn into the cause of heartbreak.
An example of a situation where extravagance gave way to immense happiness is the story of Shrek and Fiona.
The poor ogre battled dragons, pitchforks, morbid fairy godmothers and Prince Charming for Fiona and in return, he got her acceptance and a loving family. I mean, Fiona could have gone another ways. There was Prince Charming and Lord Farquaad but she chose Shrek over royalty or even normalcy and a favourable position in society.
However, when we look at Jacob’s unrequited love for Bella in the Twilight series, the heartbreak is enough to produce an entire album of Taylor Swift’s songs.
And it hurts more cause personally, I prefer Jacob over Edward.
Sometimes, love is a bitter pill to swallow.
All in all, I can say that love is an entity beyond reason yet it is one of life’s most important reasons. Overall though, it’s a milkshake.
And that is a wrap!
Until next time,