I don’t know what love is. I mean, yes, I can write a lot of posts and poems on what I think should be love or on what I think love has been all this while from where I’ve seen it. Well, it’s a pretty abstract concept, so let’s not delve into that right now. This post is not about the emotion triggered by oxytocin and dopamine such that it apparently makes the world go round for us humans. That reminds me, TOI reported a while back that Syracuse University has done a research on love, and one of its findings says that “it takes less than a fifth of a second for a person to fall in love.” (Lord, save the world!)

I’m one of those people, may our tribe increase, who loves stories that begin with “Once upon a time…” and end in “…happily ever after.” That does not mean I’m a soppy, hopeless romantic. No I’m not. I’m wired a little differently, I am. I find happiness in the littlest of things. I’m happy when I’m reading ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ these days. Honest. Holden Caulfield is terrific. You just want to read more of those things he has to say to you. He digresses (like I am right now) to take you to a short trip within a long one. It’s marvellous. And Holden says that he loves reading books of an author who writes such that you want to call them up after he’s read the book and tell them, Buddy what a wonderful book that was… Holden has a way of playing with words that makes you love him, even if he says, “…and all” a lot. More on Holden on a different post.

Very recently, I was out spending a lovely Saturday with my sister and my friend, in a mall. Okay, that doesn’t sound very healthy, but let’s just stop digressing for once. I bought some handmade paper from an art and craft shop there.

It is a mauve coloured, handmade, coarse paper. It has real petals embedded in it. Real lavender petals. And a dash of silver here and there. The moment you hold it in your hand you feel the beauty of the paper transpiring into your being. That, in my opinion, is romance.

A letter written to your loved one on a handmade paper, ensuring that you handwriting is neat and legible so that it does justice to the paper. That is romance.

A solitary red rose with a long, green stalk stands tall in a glass filled water, on your wooden study table. That is romance.

Looking at the moon at night and writing a poem dedicated only to the moon. That is romance.

Going for a run alone on a cold morning and feeling the air pound in your lungs. That is romance.

Walking into a place of worship and being visited by a feeling that shuts the world away and fills you up with peace. That is romance.

Stopping in front of your school every time you pass by it. That is romance.

A line on the bottle of a pink moisturiser from body shop says, “…made from…blah blah…and roses handpicked at dawn.” That is romance.

Planting a sapling and taking care of it as if it were your child. That is romance.

The first rain shower on a parched, dry earth and the smell that it emanates. That is romance.

Singing the national anthem in a multiplex just before the movie starts. That is romance.

Decorating your house and lighting it up for Christmas or Diwali, even when you’re home alone. That is romance.

When the sea waves crash against the rocks at the shore and break into a million shards. That is romance.

Cutting an emerald green capsicum, finely, into equal juliennes. That is romance.

Visiting the grave of a loved one long after he’s gone. That is romance.

Dedicatedly working on a storyboard and producing one devoid of any flaws. That is romance.

Buying white colour handkerchiefs and embroidering them with your initials. That is romance.

“A dish went flying past and he began to laugh uncontrollably… But when she began sobbing he took her in his arms… He murmured into her ear that peaked so rosily from her jet black hair. “I was joking. You are the best cook in the world.” But he buried his face in her neck so that she could not see his smile.” – The Sicilian. That, also, is romance.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
– John Lennon