New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Noted poet Gulzar says he has searched for the perfect words to capture what love can mean but if he succeeds, perhaps love itself will then fail for its very indescribable nature is what makes it both the thing one long for and the thing that torments one.

Love is that rare, rare language that cannot be translated, Gulzar writes in the foreword of a new book “Eleven Ways to Love: Essays” by Penguin Random House India.

The book is pieced together with a dash of poetry and a whole lot of love and features a multiplicity of voices and a cast of unlikely heroes and heroines.

The contributors are Dhrubo Jyoti, Anushree Majumdar, Sangeeta, Meenakshi Reddy, Madhavan, Maroosha Muzaffar, Shrayana Bhattacharya, D Sreshtha, Preeti Vangani, Nidhi Goyal, Nadika Nadja and Sharanya Manivannan.

“Like many poets before me, I have searched for the perfect words to capture what love can mean. But if I succeed, perhaps then love itself will fail, for its very indescribable nature is what makes it both the thing we long for and the thing that torments us,” he says.

“When I was asked to write the foreword to ‘Eleven Ways to Love: Essays’, I was reminded of Helena’s lines from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. /And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. / Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste – / Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste. / And therefore is Love said to be a child, / Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.’ He says love is not selective. “There is no ideal love, and there is certainly no ideal lover.” The 11 essays in the collection widen the frame of reference of love: transgender romance; body image issues; race relations; disability; polyamory; class differences; queer love; long-distance relationships; caste; loneliness; the single life; the bad boy syndrome… and much more.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.