The Anniversary Issue--What Love Looks Like Today
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” —Jane Austen
Love can be such a beautiful place—sometimes soft and misty like a Monet painting; flaming and intense at other times. But it’s always powerful and sublime, like a musical sonata. When love arrives, it never calls in advance. It is the reason we lie to our loved ones; why we turn strange and obsessive, forgetting the world. But when love happens, hate dies.
Yet love seems to trigger hate. From Romeo and Juliet to Nagraj Manjule’s film Sairat, where a Dalit boy falls in love with an upper-caste girl and it all culminates in a chillingly violent climax. Or Margarita with a Straw, where one young woman falls in love with another young woman, resulting in unbearable pain and loss. These stories are not imagined—they come out of the lives of real people. Ever notice the brief mention in newspaper columns of blood feuds triggered by unapproved love? Unapproved by social morality and codes drawn up by humans against humans. Codes based on class, caste and sexuality.
Last year, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgement, overturned a 158-year-old law criminalizing same-sex love. As the Constitution prevailed over social biases and hatred, the freedom to love was celebrated. In this month of romance, we, at Reader’s Digest, bring you three beautiful love stories. The writers of these stories have climbed every mountain to be with their loved one and call them their own—without fear or shame. Their sexualities and the genders they identify with may not be those they were born with, but their stories point to that crazy little thing called love.
This month, 97 years ago, our ‘little magazine that’s a big read’ was born. This anniversary issue has a line-up that will hopefully bring a smile to your face: Barack Hussein Obama II; Amitav Ghosh on Satyajit Ray; O. Henry’s famous short fiction; voices such as Anita Nair, Sarnath Banerjee, Sumana Roy, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Samit Basu and Shankar Mahadevan. Of course, you will find all your old favourites—humour, crime, adventure and travel—that make our beloved magazine a window to the world.
We are grateful to you, dear reader, for returning our love. Do stay with us!