What is Our Idea of Love?

Dressed in vibrant colours, these pages daily thrust upon me the idea of how all love is love. Do they know of the woman in the house adjacent to mine who was ostracized for she ran away with a Dalit man she loved? Or of her younger sister who was married off in the name of family honour? Love is Love, I have been told.

I turn the newspaper pages. A Muslim man fell in love with a Hindu woman. They decided to get married. Love Jihad accusations made them seek police protection. A mob is known to be after them. Love is Love, I guess.

A girl fell in love with someone. She confronted her parents. She was threatened they’d either self-immolate or kill her. She is now living her “happily ever after” with the man they chose for her after paying them just the right amount of dowry. Am I having a hard time understanding if love actually is love?

A woman got married to a man. He is known to beat her every time he’s frustrated. You look at the bruises on her skin. She says it’s okay for him to hit her occasionally, that it’s a part of love. But is this love?

A woman sought a divorce, and another woman’s husband died. Both live bland-veiled lives in small corners of their houses, inviting raised brows every time they step out. They are made to fall out of love with their own selves while being told that falling for someone else would be an abomination.

A lesbian couple wanted to be in a consensual live-in relationship. Their families threatened to kill them. An advertisement depicting a lesbian couple generated outrage. It drew valid criticism for its flaws, but it was taken down for reasons of religious hurt. This, in the same country that justifies marital rape in the name of “sanctity of marriage.”

What is our idea of love? Is it not confined to the walls of homogeneity of caste, class, religion and region? Still exclusionary to the homogeneity of gender? How do we believe that love is love when we are yet to accept what love looks like?

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Reetika Verma

Reetika is a Master’s student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). She has a keen interest in writing and usually writes to vent. Her write ups don’t fit into any formats or themes and that’s why she identifies with the blahcksheep. Her hobbies include compulsively cribbing about everything in life, writing and eating. 


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