Love faces language barriers


So much of love is lost in translations.
it spills out by the time it travels
from one human to another.
for the man at the subway has no clue
that the reason i play john legend
every time he sits beside me is because
i heard him humming ‘all of me’ last week.
the same way my father doesn’t realize that
my mother cooking his favorite Kheer
is a way of apologizing for their fight last night.

love faces language barriers at our doorstep.
love, sometimes, is an Urdu Ghazal
dying to be understood by an Englishman.
love wears a trench coat
of languages so foreign to you
that when you look at it from the peephole,
you don’t let it in,
for you think love is just another stranger
who lost its way to you.

so much of love is lost in translations;
like how the word ‘love’ doesn’t amount to
even half of the word ‘mohabbat’.
and ‘mohabbat’ doesn’t even come close to
the moments spent with your mother,
her fingers untangling your hair
while you lay on her lap;
or the times your lover took you stargazing
but just couldn’t keep his eyes off you.

love takes courage
and people like me don’t have it.
so the next time i fall in love with someone,
i hope that
when they see me play their favorite songs,
they’d hear a thousand i love you’s instead.