“Don’t pity the dead Harry, pity the living. And above all, those who live without love.”

Love (n)  1. a strong feeling of affection. 2. a great interest and pleasure in something.

Love (v) 1. to feel deep affection.

These are the standard definitions for this four letter word. The four letter word that creates life, destroys life, it even wages war man! So, what is love? Well, I am not entirely sure either, but it’s definitely not just these definitions I took from Wikipedia.

Humans are weird creatures, they can die for love, they can kill for love, they can do anything in the name of love. Countless battles have been fought since the beginning of time for the sake of love, love for your soul mate, love for your country, for your ethnicity, for your identity, love for money, for power, for dominance and national chauvinism. Love isn’t just a four letter word with a little red heart shaped emoticon, hell that’s not even how the real heart looks! Love isn’t all ‘hearts and flowers and rainbows and unicorns’, it’s not about Cinderella finding her Prince Charles or about Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awoken from her eternal slumber by that magical kiss from her one true love, no, for me love is the greatest never ending paradox of the Universe. It’s cold yet warm, it’s dark yet peaceful, it’s ruthless yet caring, it’s cruel yet kind, it’s selfish yet selfless , it kills yet nurtures, it destroys yet protects. How can a single emotion hold so much meaning, so many ironies? 

A single four letter word that can keep the entire world from falling apart, that makes us human. A four letter word that gives a mother the hope that her son will return home safely from the battlefields. A four letter word that makes a 16 year old giggle when she receives a text from her crush. A four letter word that makes a 24 year old throw a party after receiving his first paycheck. A four letter word that brings tears to a 26 year old when her man shows her the engagement ring. A four letter word that makes a 35 year old’s hands tremble while holding his baby for the first time in his arms.

So, what is love again? I don’t know.

What do I understand by the word ‘love’? Definitely not a heart shaped emoticon.

Have I been in love? I’m not sure.

Does it always have a happy ending? Depends on what’s your definition of ‘happy’.

What does love mean to me? Everything and yet nothing.

Paradox, isn’t it?

“Love is a strange master, and human nature is still stranger” – Edgar Rice Burroughs.


“Please stay away from me. I can’t control my flames, I’ll burn you.” He pleaded to her.

“I can’t. I love you.” She replied.

A fire can’t control its flames, that’s impossible. A firefly knows that but it still loves the fire, it still wants to get burnt. Animals tend to get attracted to the stuffs that are forbidden to them. Thats their basic instinct. Nature has forbade the firefly to go near the fire but that doesn’t stop the firefly from loving the fire anyway. The firefly doesn’t care that it will get killed in the process.

Humans, being a part of the animal kingdom, are no different. The more someone forbids us from loving something, the more we fall in love with that very particular thing. Why did Eve eat the apple? Because God forbade her to do so, because it was the ‘forbidden fruit’. She ate it without thinking about the consequences. That’s exactly what love is… when we fall in love we don’t think about the consequences. We fall in love with the things that our society forbids us from. Teenagers get attracted towards smoking or drinking..why? Because our society forbids us from openly doing that. We have an intense curiosity towards sexual relationships.. why? Because in our society sex is a taboo and should be kept behind closed doors, even discussing about it in a public place is forbidden. Many of my friends have asked me why do girls fall for ‘bad boys’, we fall for so called ‘bad boys’ because that’s the exact kind of boys our parents have warned us about, that’s the exact kind of boys we are forbidden to talk to.

But do we really need this? Is talking about sex so bad? Are ‘bad boys’ really that disgusting? What would have happened if Eve never ate the apple? What would have happened if the firefly wasn’t attracted towards the fire? 

God did banish Eve from the garden of Eden for her disobedience but it was because of her disobedience that the human race got the taste of knowledge. Fire does burn the firefly but if it hadn’t then the population of the firefly would have crossed beyond limits, defying the law of Natural Selection. You see, all that society forbids isn’t bad, every rule isn’t meant for our well being, some of them are made just to keep us under the control of our ‘social norms’. Our society is bound by rules, regulations, rituals, illiteracy, fear of religious beliefs but that doesn’t mean our minds have to be too! So break some rules because if you don’t break the rules then how will you break your mind free from this cage called ‘society’?

But most importantly fall in love, if it burns you than let it burn you but at least you can say that you weren’t afraid to do the ‘forbidden deed’. 

Be the firefly who is hopelessly in love with the fire even when the fire pleads her not to be because may be someday you won’t get burnt, may be someday you’ll be able to feel the beautiful soothing warmth of the flames instead of the painful blisters.

“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” – Mark Twain.


Pain… a temporary feeling that fades with time, a feeling with which a person gets accustomed to eventually, a feeling that makes you go numb. People will say it’s just a ‘phase’ but this so called ‘phase’  breaks you into innumerable pieces. You gradually gather up these tiny pieces and build an impenetrable wall around yourself. You stop caring, you stop showing your emotions, you stop being the person you used to be altogether. People may say that you’re being ignorant but they normally don’t understand the difference between ignorance and Apathy.

It’s true that being in love may give you immense happiness and joy but it also breaks you, forces you to build that impenetrable wall of glass around yourself through which everyone can see you but no one can reach you. It makes you grow cold and numb to the point where you even stop feeling your own pain because you get so much habituated to that constant ache. And funnily enough, it’s true that heart does only pump and circulate blood, but you literally do feel that constant ache in your heart itself. This pain leads on to the feeling of apathy when you don’t even have the energy to hate or despise anyone. So you’re not being ignorant but you’re simply saving and protecting yourself and that’s not a crime. The opposite of love isn’t hate, hate is just love gone bad, the opposite of love is Apathy when you don’t even care whether the other person lives or dies.

People will say that “this too shall pass” and truly enough it will pass but then again wounds of war heal too but do all scars fade? So isn’t it just better to shut off your emotions and embrace apathy as a long lost friend when you are already covered with too much scars…when your dreams are already being haunted by the ghosts of your past?

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s Apathy, when you don’t bother about that person.” – Amish Tripathi, The Secret of the Nagas, Shiva Trilogy.

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