What is Love?

As Imtiaz ali once said, love is a loaded word that should not be used often, here is an insight into what love stands for in the life of a millenial

This Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate love. Love is the strongest form of emotion. In the face of love, emotions like fear, anger, irritation and tension, all dissolve.
Love is all around us. It is within us. Everyday, choose what you put out into the world. Give love.
On social media, when you scroll through posts, see to it that the emotions coming from within you are of love and appreciation. Unfollow the person or page if the posts don’t evoke positive emotions, but don’t hate on them.
Allow everyone to be who they want, to love who they want. Let men love men, let women love women, accept everyone just the way they are. Accept their choices, their sexuality, their path—-that is real love. If you love someone, allow them to be who THEY ARE, not what you or society thinks they should be. Support their decisions instead of discouraging the people around you.

My mother and a few artists I look up to have been my main inspiration and continue to influence me and make me a kinder, more loving person each day.

I remember when I was in 11th grade, my mom, sister and I had gone to Subway after school. The ladies taking our order were outright rude, and basically gave the message “Don’t come here again”. Pissed off as we were, we placed the order nevertheless. As we were leaving after having food, my mother handed them a generous tip saying, “You two are doing a great job! We had a lovely experience!” while we looked on, shocked.

The moment we stepped out of the place, we demanded an explanation from our mom as to why she rewarded them for their poor quality of service, and my mother said, “They are young, and at this time in the afternoon when people like us are going to restaurants to have a good meal and relax, they are working. Isn’t that commendable?”
I was so amazed at my mother’s perspective, her non-judgmental, compassionate way of looking at things compared to our selfish reaction…it was a reality check.
The most amazing part was, the next time we went there, the two of them greeted us with the most amazing smiles, gave us special attention and from then on, every time we went they’d call us by our names, and appreciate little details like our outfit or hair. I realized how my mother’s appreciation brought out their true nature, which we would have ignored by judging them based on their behavior that ONE day.
I have learnt to be more open, caring and non-judgmental from my mother. She doesn’t even realize it but I am always observing the way she handles situations. I then analyse how I would’ve reacted had I been in her place. Observing her has made me a better person.
Another person and idol who has inspired me and is responsible for redefining a large part of my personality is — Harry Styles. No, this is not a fan girl article of him, this is the description of an amazing human being who has taught me to be kind, accepting, loving, and inclusive. Of course, we all love his voice and him as an artist, but he became my inspiration when I read his excerpt in a 1D book, where he was asked what language he wished to learn. He said something along the lines of: “I think it’s so much better to learn Sign Language and be able to communicate with people who have speech or hearing impairment, rather than be able to order fish and chips in French”. I was so moved by his answer, I was curious to know more, and after watching his behavior in a few videos, I realized—I needed to be kinder. In so many situations, he surprised me by the way he responded: He went about distributing pizzas to homeless people in his free time, he ran around with LGBT flags in his concerts, even in places like Singapore where it was banned. He became my idol a few years ago and when I look back I realize I was such a different person then. He and many other people have inspired me to choose love, and to be kind.
Therefore I try to be, to a very large extent, free of judgement.

How many of you detest, say, the Kardashians or Taylor Swift? My observation is that these celebrities receive a lot of hate on the internet. But have you ever thought of how much work they put in to reach that level? And do you know how much they have to deal with invasions of their privacy and hate on a daily basis? Behind every picture-perfect photo shoot of these celebrities is a human being who puts on a brave front to smile and stay strong amidst the overwhelming chaos.

Awesome as it is how gay sex has been legalized in India, the basic laws for the LGBTQ+ community still have such a long way to go. From my perspective it’s simple—two people love each other. I never knew when I was younger that there are so many restrictions in the society if the two people do not happen to be a man and a woman. These are basic rights which no human being should have to fight for, this is not a separate issue. You don’t have to be gay to fight for these basic human rights, just as you don’t have to be a woman to fight for women’s rights. We are all living beings, it’s our responsibility to live and let others live in peace and happiness too. I can only imagine how bad it must feel to not be able to open up about your preference and freely be yourself, just because of the society.

To people who find themselves in that position, I’d say stop giving a damn and be who YOU are. Love who you want to and do what you want. Because you have only one life, and time is passing by, make the most of it by being yourself.
Let every year be the year of Love, let everyday be the festival of acceptance!