This particular question

I’ve been stuck in a conundrum these past few weeks. Absconding work for too long came back to bite me in my posterior. But it kept me busy, so I didn’t really mind. Amidst all the running around and furiously studying (or at least pretending to, that’s equally tiring) I met a few great people and reconnected with some long forgotten friends. I barely had time to think and was feeling like I’m missing out on, well, life ; so when a friend told me he wanted to talk to me about something important I didn’t even hesitate before fixing a date and time. Both the urgency of his voice and the ambiguity of his words caught my attention.
Curiosity kills the cat.
He expressed his apparently “long standing” devotion towards me and used that four letter word whose meaning I still cannot grasp fully.
He was, and still is, a good friend so he completely understood why I couldn’t reciprocate.
So obviously, that wasn’t my conundrum.
That episode got me thinking about what love really means.
To me, or to anyone.
How can one differentiate between liking and love? Who draws the line and where?
I, like most of us, have been exposed to love from all sides since I grew old enough to understand that it meant something besides Mama Bear and Papa Bear.
Popular media like books, movies and endless soap operas cast, according to me, love in two lights.
Either it was eternally unattainable. Such an exclusive emotion that what you’re probably feeling for that childhood friend of yours doesn’t qualify as love. It is a war only for the passionate and valiant; and that too, in vain.
Or, it showed love as an everyday deal. Something so pedestrian that it can happen to any and every Tom, Dick or Harry. Yes, you “love” that cute guy in your English class.
My point is,
On one hand, it’s a game of nuances and shadows,
Of hesitation and deep breaths,
Of deep meanings and obscure implications.
And on the other, all attraction is construed as love. (see: Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Diya aur Bati…well, you get the idea)
I’m still grasping all of it.
This concept is either indecipherable, or all too easy.
Probably why I prefer to steer clear of it.

*mom wipes her tears of pride in the background*