Editor’s note: FII’s #MoodOfTheMonth for February 2022 is redefining love. We invite submissions on the many layers of love throughout the month. If you would like to contribute, please email your articles to [email protected]
All my life I have peddled a very common idea of love. Through the many romantic comedies I watched throughout my childhood, my idea of love was always limited to a romantic idea. Somewhere between dreaming about my dupatta getting caught in a boy’s watch and hopefully waiting for a boy playing guitar to play me the DDLJ theme song, Bollywood made sure I put on some gestures opera romantics on everything else.
Until very recently, I believed that love was only of one type – romantic. And yet, I love my younger brothers with all my heart, I love my best friend with all my heart, I love my math teacher with all my heart. If love is only romantic, how do I feel for them? Isn’t that also love?
When I first heard about the 8 different types of love according to ancient Greek mythology, I thought about it for a very long time. I thought about Philliethe word for a deeply loving friendship, and it reminded me that my best friend had driven me home after class so we had more time to talk.
I thought about Store, or family love, and I immediately thought of how my parents left their bedroom door open before I went to sleep when I was feeling anxious the night before. I thought of my neighbors, my second parents, and what I called them”mom” and “dad”, because being with them and their children made me feel like I belonged.
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This made me ask myself some important questions. If it’s love when my boyfriend sends me pictures of sunsets because he thinks of me when he sees them, then it’s not love when my mom tears a roti in two so that we both share it, and yet give me the larger half? Isn’t it love when my father makes my bed on the days I forget?
Ain’t love when my chacha (uncle) pushes my parents to do health checks when they go to meet him? In fact, isn’t it love when my friend sends me memes?
After much thought, I realized that our idea of love is extremely limited. How can we only talk about romantic love when such beautiful other forms of love also exist? We feel sad when an old friendship crumbles, but breakup songs are only written about romantic relationships. Where are the novels about deep platonic love?
Where are the movies about the love I feel for the health teacher at my school because she always remembers my name and asks me how I’m doing? How do you describe this love, and why is the only love we see in the mainstream romantic?
Throughout my life, I hope to challenge this narrative. I hope to say “I love younot only to my partners, but also to my friends, my family, my teachers and even my acquaintances. After all, I love them all, but in different ways. I hope this article will make you think about love differently, and I hope it will encourage you to love freely. After all, there is no limit to the love you can give to others.
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Tara Awasthi is a high school student passionate about issues affecting girls and women across India. She aspires to enter academia and wants to explore the intersection of gender and economics. You can find her on Instagram
The selected image Source: The New York Times