We will leave the essentializing to poets; they will distil emotions to their purest forms and scatter them like gems with lines like, “Don’t worry, I shall arrange it/So that roses or jasmines can be exchanged at the State Bank/For at least four hundred thousand taka/And one marigold will mean four cardigans" (‘A Salute To You, My Love’, Shahid Qadri, translated by Arunava Sinha).

In the following pages, we’ve steered clear of essentialisms and presented instead the multiple manifestations of that thing we call love, only to say this: There is more to love than the straight, heterosexual man-woman relationship. And there’s more to even that relationship than we’re brought up to believe conventionally.

In this Love Issue, the definition of family is questioned and expanded upon; friendships tinged with romance are acknowledged; the implications of the various kinds of unions in cultural texts are examined; and ecstatic devotion is recontextualized. We recognize the reality of our lives, where the city plays a role in our love stories, where different kinds of life-sustaining coupledoms coexist and nostalgic longing isn’t reserved only for a human partner. Happy reading.

Also read

Bromances from mythology

Alchemical solutions

A love affair with ‘bhakti’

Curious couples

Geography of love

The ride back home

Life without Krishnankutty

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