Love is...

This Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about all kinds of love. Nasrin Modak Siddiqi asks a few celebrities about their kind...

Happy Valentine's Day

From ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling and sleepless nights to caring for someone in silence and getting used to their presence like a second skin, love is such a beautiful feeling that transcends into millions of tiny emotions. Like knocking on heaven’s door, poetry in motion, flowers in spring... love means different things to different people. And at different stages of lives, its meaning alters. Six celebrities share what love means to them...

Purva Grover
Purva Grover

Love is… routine-like, Purva Grover, author

I have a hard time recalling the first time I fell in love because for me, it occurs when we are clueless about the ‘why what how’ of it. Be it falling in love with our parents, siblings, nannies or cousins as toddlers, or the ‘teenage love’ when acne hides the blushing, or as adults when we choose our partners under the assumption we’ve finally understood its meaning. Each time I fall in love, it’s with a thud, reluctance, precaution, and with a perennial doubt of the future together. Its magic lies in coming unannounced and turning one’s world upside down. It makes us conscious and we begin to guard ourselves. And no matter how much we fool ourselves that we have control over the emotion, we don’t. For, in the end, we are all greedy for our share of love. Over the years, I have learnt, accepted, and began to cherish that love is routine-like. I’ve stopped making a fuss about it and allowed it to weave itself in my everyday life. Now, it pops up at any hour of the day or night; it has found its comfortable space and forever in the monotonous routine — it’s not dependent on roses, candlelight dinners or certain days. What makes love stories unique is that we all get to write our own, just that we write them on the same page.

Zeba Kohli
Caption

Love is… the deep feeling of the hereafter, Zeba Kohli, chocolatier

I fell in love with life when I was very little and live by this very complex-sounding but simple-at-heart philosophy of love. I loved sugar, butter, soft bread, Physics and curry rice. It was only when I started growing up, I realised love is so overrated and it was the emotion that I call ‘like’ that has stayed with me forever. Love means laughter, joy, and living it up for me.

If I love something or someone initially, but when I leave it or them, and if I feel a sense of liking for them even after, I laugh and feel happy. It doesn’t matter if I am with them or not, if I enjoy that moment without expectation, then I guess you can call it like. I don’t think the meaning of love has changed over time. Over time, it only gets confused with lust, which is temporary, but liking someone is absolutely eternal.

 

 

 

Harsh Mayar
Harsh Mayar

Love is… not hesitating to sacrifice, Harsh Mayar actor

My first crush was when I was seven and it was on a girl who was in my theatre group. I had several others while growing up, but I never confessed to them because I had low self-esteem. I thought I didn’t look good enough and I couldn’t speak well, so I never really confessed my feelings to them. The experience sometimes was bitter because most girls I came across wanted good-looking, English-speaking boys and I was far from that. While I felt bad, I later understood that everyone has their choice, wanting the best for themselves. During my teenage years, my perspective on love underwent a drastic change. Earlier, it meant having a girlfriend and showing her off (I laugh at my stupidity now). Love is not about looks or money, that’s superficial. The reason to love someone should only be love. It is about caring and wanting to see them happy, and sometimes that requires sacrifice. It’s about knowing someone inside out, with all their flaws, and still wanting to stay. Never take anyone’s feelings for granted; treat them with lots of love and respect. Love is nothing without respect. And taking advantage of people in the name of love is not cool. So if you love someone, make sure the reason is love.

 

Love is… the ultimate friendship, Nawaz Modi Singhania, entrepreneur, life coach & founder of Body Art Fitness

Nawaz Modi Singhania
Nawaz Modi Singhania

Falling in love is easy — people do that all the time, whether they admit it or not. I was in the first grade when my classmates and family started teasing me with this Parsi boy in school. I was shy and sensitive, so I got overly embarrassed. At one of my birthday parties, we were both so conscious with the teasing that while playing catch and cook, we held on to the edges of the table so hard that it came crashing down on our feet and we had major injuries, but it was funny as well. It is important to look up to the person I love. I need to admire them, their values, who they are, what they stand for, the goodness in them — it must be someone I feel proud of.

For me, love is the ultimate friendship. Do you know how we behave in friendships? We are very kind, considerate, thoughtful and sensitive to our friends. We give them the best of us, treat them as we want to treat ourselves, but I don’t know why we don’t do that with our spouses. Instead, we give them the worst of ourselves, we let ourselves go, we give them our tempers and tantrums, take them for granted, be rude and inconsiderate. And at the end of it, we can be really shocked and surprised when it doesn’t work out. For me, love is a two-way thing.

 

 

 

Vicky Ratnani
Vicky Ratnani

Love is… mutual admiration & respect, Chef Vicky Ratnani, culinary director, GIPL

I was introduced to my wife by my aunt in Pune, and we met at a small Iranian cafe. It was our first date and it was special because we went there on her scooter. She took me for a ride, and continued the ride for life! We had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other better. Over a sandwich that we shared, I was instantly caught off-guard and surprised with her similar fascination for food as mine. I had been on dates before I met Piya, but what clicked with her was our mutual interest in food. That’s where she scored her brownie points, though much later,  I realised that she didn’t know how to cook.

Over the years, our bond and my love for her have evolved as she moved from one role in life to another. From being my girlfriend to wife and then an amazing mother to our kids, my admiration and respect towards her have developed immensely. It is quite simple. To me, love means respect, having a mutual understanding, critic, chemistry, and sharing the same sense of humour.

 

 

Love is… togetherness & everyday struggles, Pooja Gor, actor

Pooja Gor
Pooja Gor

I fell in love for the first time when I was only 17, but I remember it distinctly. It took me a while to understand that the overwhelming feeling that my body was consumed with was a wonderful feeling called love. It was the most unnerving yet the most beautiful I had ever felt. Over the years, the meaning of love has evolved for me. Just like love is a lot of things, being in love, too, is a lot of things. The definition of it surely changes every few years. For me, it has changed from experiencing the most extreme emotions of love and that of being a teen in love — like Mills and Boons or the honeymoon phase as it is called — to growing up to understanding the importance of companionship, relationship, togetherness and the everyday struggles that come with it. However, most importantly, love, to me, is that strong will to fight the urge of taking the easy way out when things get difficult.

 

 

 

 

Abhishek Duhan
Abhishek Duhan

Love is… bigger than you, Abhishek Duhan, actor 

I fell in love with my wife in true blue Bollywood style, with songs running in my head. When I first saw her in Goa, it was a typical ‘Suraj Hua Maddham, Chaand Jalne Laga’ style — I could hear the music in my ears — everything felt so nice, good and warm. The definition of love has changed over time because earlier, it was always about loving myself. It was always about me — my dream, I want to do this and I want that — but when I fell in love with her, I realised that love isn’t about oneself, it’s about who you can give all that love you have. Now, I have learnt that love is about living for others, doing things for them, and taking care of them. And so now, the definition of love for me is her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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