How are we celebrating Valentine’s Day during these unprecedented times? Navigating a relationship on a normal day is no walk in the park and it has been even more challenging to keep the love going during the lockdown.
Some couples are torn apart by the distance and at the other end of the spectrum, are those who are feeling heat from the lack of personal space. No one said falling in love will always be a bed of roses.
Near, far or wherever you are, nothing warms the heart like a heartfelt love message that expresses the true feelings. Here are 4 love messages that give us hope that love will conquer all.
1. Dr Jezamine Lim Iskander jests about husband, funnyman Harith Iskander
“Harith is the quietest, most serious at home – not at all the “comedian”. He says I make him laugh except that in my case most of my humorous antics aren’t meant to be jokes. It’s nice when a wife can beat her husband at his own game!”
2. Aaron Chin quotes The Tempest to express his love for January So
“Allow me to quote these lines from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest:
I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you,
Nor can imagination form a shape,
Besides yourself, to like of.”
3. Ash Nair’s love message for his better half
“To my sweet Hannah,
You’ve taught me how to be a better man and reminded me of my sacred wild spirit. I will follow you through the wilderness, across space and time, parallel realities, the past, present and future. I will always be yours, my dearest twin, wife, lover, best forever friend.
I love you.”
4. Dr Anjhula Mya Singh Bais pens a feminist love letter for her husband Satish Selvanathan
Forward thinking. When relatives judged marriage eligibility by the depth of my dress neckline, you said “It is not a dress, it was always a cape. What you wear does not determine character”
Encouraging. When relatives judged women with a serious, independent, and non-family related career as “fast” (a South and Southeast Asian way of implying questionable morality), you said “you are brilliant, I cannot wait for the graduation ceremony, it’s the only time I will have the opportunity to witness a doctorate ceremony from such a prestigious university, no one else has done it.”
Mature. When told that because I am on magazine covers men will stare, implying that women must make themselves small and invincible, you replied “I hope they get Anjhula’s autograph”.
Inspiration. Frank discussions on what it might possibly mean to bring one child into the world, (forget about two or three) and the severe climate change impact it leaves and our responsibility to others. Your response “I don’t need genetic continuity, at times it is a form of narcissism or incompleteness, the world is my family”
Noble. When misogyny and sexism were employed from close quarters in an attempt to reduce my confidence, self-worth, and credibility for calling truth to power, you played the long game and wrote a dignified public white paper outlining our distinct position. Microaggressions are always a stepping stone to macroaggressions. We watched as these people enacted systemic theft, jail time, and becoming a fugitive. To all those who abetted and continue to do so, we simply say: We told you so, keep your distance.
Individuality. When all around us the cultural pull was for arranged marriages, you took the path least traveled embodying Pulitzer Prize winning Andrew Sean Greer’s words “Once you’ve actually been in love, you can’t live with ‘will do’. It’s worse than living with yourself”
Self Sufficient. With your brilliant education and career path, public and private leadership roles and investment strategies, you are self-sufficient. This means utter freedom: extended family and society is a choice, not an obligation or necessity in which to engage.
Transformative. When our eyes met for the first time, we chose and prioritised one another above everyone and everything with consummate ease. We have stumbled, badly at times, yet poetically it has brought us closer. In being true to ourselves we have chosen not to stay small and safe in deference to the status quo, but to soar and serve.
Compiled by Diandra Soliano, Kiran Pillay and Dian Pasquinal Kaur.