‘What is love but care?’ said a friend once. A bald one at that. I have wondered ever since. Pondered. During those hours alone on the terrace. In the acoustic chaos of power cuts. While sipping steaming chicken and crab soup on rainy evenings. On auto rides when her hair caressed my face, the smell of her perfume filling the entirety of the moment. Of the space.
What is love but care?
Care to look. To see. To wonder. To notice that little tentacle of hair that waves in the wind and seems to have a mind of its own? Isn’t that love?
Care to remember things about someone. Care to tell someone they are wonderful?
That phone-call every time it rains? Is that not care? Is that not love?
On those evening-walks in the drizzle when the city is a beautiful blur, when every breath is breathed in the true consciousness and fulfillment of breathing. When you look around and say to yourself, how will I ever leave you?
The butterfly that sneaked into your room at night? You gently hold it by the wing, awestruck by the incredible mystery that a being so beautiful would exist, and cautiously let it out through the window. What is love but care?
That phone call after the fight, when you feel utterly miserable for being as nasty as you had been?
It is care that makes you hold her close even after Mr. Big O has come and gone. And we come back to the original question. ‘What is love but care?’
Love is care.