The Return of Love and Warmth

Sadaf
4 min readJun 18, 2023

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A rose soaked with rain

Monsoons are late this time around. The climate facts of El Nino aside, it seems like they are also a metaphor for the late yet timely return of Love. I am referring to some changes I am seeing around me. It is almost as if hate is loosing its hold a little bit. Has it vanished? Not really. But Pride month if anything, is a reminder of love, even amidst hate.

Events in Uttarakhand (and elsewhere) show that it is well and alive. But be it the Hindu landlord who stood up for his Muslim tenant within Uttarakhand, or Zeenat Aman remembering her Father for Father’s day and not shying away from his name, religion and legacy even while she celebrates her loving Hindu Mom, or be it the reception of a Pakistani vlogger touring India on bike, with nothing but the embodiment of athithi devo bhava, my heart lifts a little.

It’s not that we are not still scared. Scared of job loss, extinction, gross suffering brought on by the greed of a few, being relegated to irrelevance — which together make us cling to fear and hate. But it’s just that hate is very heavy to carry. Hating requires energy, dedication and focus and it may not give us a lot in return.

It gives us a heady feeling of being sure and a burst of enthusiasm, but it does little else. People are seeing to grow weary of it in the long term. Often the comments section is a clue. In posts of many news agencies, I am noticing a steady decline in the belief of the hate rhetoric and a steady uptick in the shrewdness of identifying known paintrey of the Populist hate machine.

This week, I was at the offices of Agents of Ishq, as we tried to collaborate on a project together. While I was there, I was reflecting on all the people on the sidelines, who silently work to keep upholding the possibility of love even when it is the hardest.

Whether it is the efforts of civil society that brought Karnataka back from divisive politics, women who whisper softness into their children’s ears while their husbands rage, SRK’s endless labour of love (and thus the reception of pyaar that Pathan got despite being an action film), people like Harsh Mandar who’s organization Karwane-e-Mohabbat works at these issues endlessly, or places like AOI who have been steadily creating a space for pleasure and questioning, it feels like we have all done our bit.

It was so difficult at some time, when the hate raged high, when the fears were endless. And it is still tough today. But there is something in the wind that signals change. No matter how many palaces of New India are built, it feels like we want to remember who we used to be. We want to not be remembered as a hateful people. We want to look into the eyes of the next generation and be proud of our actions, not ashamed.

This comes at a time when my own understanding of love and duty is shifting. I mistook some dutifulness towards others as love and as I free up my inner space, I am able to allow in the more genuine love of friends and chosen family. I also see this in my clients — they are turning inwards to the needs of their child-like selves and away from intellectual platitudes.

And while fact checking and helping people spot fake news has been a very important part of the recovery, it only involves the mind. But what the heart needed, was a re-education of love. We needed to to reconnect to who we are, and we needed to get tired of hate. Hopefully, we remember this re-education for a longer time this time around.

Speaking of love, winds and change, I of course, have to give a Mohabbatein reference:

Kya Gurukul ke Darwaze Humesha Ke Liye Khulenge?

Between two polarities, if there is dialogue, Megha will appear again. And so co-incidental, that Megha, means the cloud that brings rain, no?

Will I regret this post later if we take a turn for the worse? Maybe? But what’s the harm? I will be called naïve by people who thought this was too wishy-washy and not matching the reality of destruction. But to prevent that, why let go of a chance to support and turn towards the possibility of love? Because from what I’ve heard, the more you believe in love, the more real it will become.

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Sadaf

Love psychology, economics, art, music, books, poetry, blogs, cooking and select sports.A jack of all trades, perhaps master of none. Psychologist.