What is Love? Explained.

I just returned from an awesome trip to the United States. This info is of no use to you and I am not bragging. It's not brag worthy when every Tom-Dick-Natrajan from Hyderabad TCS has been to Detroit and back. This info does tell you that I have returned and have been jet-lagged to the hilt. So I am sleepy at lunchtime (unlike all you IT engineers, I am sleepy before I have had lunch) and am wide awake at 5 in the morning.

So, I was trying to get myself to sleep one of these mornings that I couldnt sleep at 5 am. Unlike normal people who deem counting sheep as a fairly effective way of falling asleep, I, from my IIT JEE prep days, know that nothing puts me to sleep better than an Organic Chemistry problem.

I gave up on Organic chemistry years ago. I don't get it. It doesnt get me. We don't get along. So, I chose other more difficult, more universal problems to tackle. I picked up a subject, I have been racking my brains over years. What is Love?

Not that I didnt have the answers to this question when I was 17, the age when I finally decided that life wasnt worth living without cable TV. But those answers werent, well, all satisfactory. They left me wanting, like a good meal without dessert. But everything changed the other day at 5 am. Things became clear. I can't explain the feeling. But it was pretty close to when I first learnt how to bowl leg-spin. Oh, I remember the fear in the eyes of 8 year old batsmen every time I came to bowl. Ah, good days those.

So, let me explain What is Love, with pictures for better understanding. You might want to take notes and all. Yes.

All love, father-son, man-wife, brother-sister, grandpa-grandchildren, girl-teddy bear, young man-fast car, nerd - Harry Potter book can be explained using Love between 4 permutations.

1. Love between a Man and another man

All men admire each other at some level. I think it was hard wired in us by nature. We had to like each other to be in groups. There is strength in numbers in the jungle. Being in groups men could protect themselves from other predators. It kept them safe.

(Notice how I have watermarked the images now that I have finally invested my time creating something?)

Men dont want to be caught dead confessing their love for another man, heck, a grown son wont even kiss his father on the cheek (unless he is Italian of, course). Even between male friends, you will never find one man appreciating another man's friendship. Words like - "You should brush your teeth everyday rather than biweekly" or "Stop being such a jackass" frequent among friends. The only way of spotting true male love is when they talk about each other. There is pride there and admiration and if the friendship is really deep, a hint of respect.

Try that between any two men, try a father and son. They might not confess loving each other, but you will find these three emotions when they talk about each other.

This theory can be further strengthened by proving the converse is exact opposite. Remember a certain politician's son was caught doping the night after the politician was killed by his own brother? Okay, search Pramod Mahajan. The world, I think was too harsh on the son. They said he didnt love his father. Yeah. True. He didnt respect his father. He didnt admire him and wasnt proud of him. In short, he didnt love him. So he didnt care.

2. Love by a man for a woman

All men have an inherent need to protect the women they love. A father is always protective of his girl, a brother is protective of his sister, a boy of the girl he loves... There is something very primal in this type of love too.

Along with protective instincts comes ownership. Men were so obsessed with ownership that the society world over decided to make the woman change her surname when she gets married to a man.

I don't know which of these emotions came first. Is a man protective of a woman because he owns her, or does he feel he owns her because he's been protective of her?

My theory can be verified by testing it for love between a man and an inanimate female object, like say, a car. The love that a man has for his car (provided he loves the car in the first place) can be categorised by ownership and protective instincts.

The makers of Rolls Royce were so protective for their car that they sold it to only those people who they felt could take care of the car. Now, that's love. Some parsi men are known to spend more time with their cars than their wives. (That might also be one reason why their numbers are dwindling.)

3. Love of a Woman for a Man

A woman starts loving a man once she starts respecting him for what he is. A daughter loves her father because she respects what he does for her and her family, the fact that he protects her from all evil, that he is her shield. A wife (not surprisingly) has the exact same reasons why she respects her husband.

Pride is another trait of a woman's love for a man. Ask a woman where her fiance studied - the pride that brims over when she says -IIM Ahmedabad. Never before has the name of the city "Ahmedabad" been pronounced with so much pride. Ask woman about his less educated man's education and she would go - He is the MD. MD of what company, you ask? MD of his father's company. You later learn that his father owns a stationery shop and the MD is actually the shopkeeper.

Like men, women have a few inherent needs too. Women find that the men they love are incomplete without them. A mother feels that about her son, so she ends up ironing the clothes of her son who lives in the hostel, does such stuff on his own back there, every time he comes home. A wife feels the need to pack the bags for her husband's South Asia trip, because "he can't do a good job on his own", forget that fact that he has been around the world before getting married, and has been pretty much packing his own bags.

Men, obviously like the attention. It is a kind of love they are incapable of. Love that is blatantly obvious.

The only problem with the "incomplete without me" emotion is, that when there is more than one woman vouching for the love of a man, it can get catty. Like when - the wife joins the beta-ma club. True story.

4. Love of a woman for another woman:

There always exists a subtle hatred between women. I think it is evolutionary too. When stone age man used to go around in groups so would their women. Inherent in human beings is the need to protect it's young. Now, a man would have relations with more than one woman, every woman would want him to care for her offspring more than the child of another woman in the harem. Hence the hatred.

But this subtle hatred is important for love between women. This tells them that they are related in some way. Indifference is worse than hatred. Indifference is what you dont want someone to feel for you.

Women, when they start understanding each other, they fall in love. It might be easier said than done. Go sit in a ladies compartment in a mumbai local to learn more.

Caring comes naturally to women. But they extend this only to the women who they deem worthy of it. Once they do, they do love each other.

Now, when a woman says she loves another woman, that shouldnt be taken seriously. Observe two girls when they first become friends. The rainbowy talk, the sweet secrets being shared, you think it will go on for ever, only to find them go their seperate ways in two weeks for something as silly as "she likes Ranbir Kapoor. He's mine." I say why fight over Ranbir Kapoor. He's gonna get fat one day anyway.

So there. That is my complete understaning of love and I have explained it with pictures. In case there are any questions, I am always available in the comments section.

Till the next time, keep falling in love.

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