Love stories coach us to believe that love is selective, somehow, that it can be boxed in and easily defined. Eleven Ways to Love: Essays, is a collection of eleven remarkable essays that widen the frame of reference: transgender romance; body image issues; race relations; disability; polyamory; class differences; queer love; long distance; caste; loneliness; the single life; the bad boy syndrome . . . and so much more.
Here is the foreword of the book written by well-known poet Gulzar.
Is love selective? No. There is no ideal love, and there is certainly no ideal lover. In this wonderful collection of essays on love, I welcome you to dip into eleven kinds of love: eleven individuals who have had their lives transformed by this very thing.
Here then are eleven ways to love from eleven unusual lovers. I’d like to leave you with a parting thought . . . and a poem of my own.
I have seen the wafting aroma of those eloquent eyes
Do not touch it with your hands and stamp it with a relationship
It’s just a sensation, caress it with your soul
Let love be love, do not label it.
Love is not words, love is not sounds
Love is just a silence that speaks, that hears
Love is unstoppable, love is inextinguishable
Love is a droplet of light shimmering through the ages
Something like a smile is in bloom somewhere in those eyes
Something like sunshine lingers around those eyelids
The lips don’t say a word, but numerous unspoken stories
Hover around their quivering edges
I have seen the wafting aroma of those eloquent eyes . . .
Translated by Sunjoy Shekhar
First published in 100 Lyrics by Gulzar (Penguin India, 2012)