Love comes in many shades. Each is unique and beautiful in its own way.

Love is one whimsical little devil. Many have tried to explain it. Scientists try to analyze it. Philosophers try to reason it. But few can comprehend the flutter in my stomach when I see my significant other early in the morning, with his hair all messed up, with a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth.

One of the forms of love is familiarity. It’s the routine. You wake up every day to the same face next to you. You smile at the same relatives at poojas while poking fun at them behind their backs. It’s phir se roti for dinner with wahi purani sabji. It’s hardly an adventurous life, but it’s the same old routine.

Marriage is the epitome of routine. But it’s this very routine that makes it so magical. The other person becomes a part of our lives. We grow familiar with their tiny little habits. The way she snorts when she laughs. His chewing, which is louder than nails in a grinder. The way her hair pins are found all over the place. The way he fights for the remote.

Now, when you’re sitting across the mandap from that stranger, such things are not readily apparent. He’s the guy with the creepy moustache whom parents chose. She’s the girl who has a laugh like Janice whom the punditji claims will give you seven re-births of happiness.

But time is a curious angel. An old couple walking around in the park is the single most beautiful thing to see. Their adoration for each other melts even the hardest heart. Where did this come from? A lifetime together does that. It creates an unbreakable bond.

Love comes in many shades. Fiery, emotional, intellectual. There are even a few kinds in gray. Each is unique and beautiful in its own way. A lifetime with a stranger has its own shade too, no duller than the others.

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