Love is in the details, stranger

Dear stranger who spills her coffee,

I saw you at the station today, as I waited for the train to start another clumsy day. A day which was to be filled with mundane tasks at an easy job, banal conversations, and gulping down cupfuls of machine coffee. But then, there was you, cupping your morning cappuccino with both hands, like a kid his candy bar, and floating in the waters of one of my favourite books. The roaring light at the end of the subway tunnel failed to wake me from the nostalgic stupor your silhouette evoked. I was, for a moment, 18 again.

“She was beautiful,” I would later tell my friend. Not because you looked pretty in that unpretentious grey cardigan, or because your hair flowed effortlessly, like a river down your shoulders, before your collar bone split them into streams. Not because you had the perfect amount of kohl in your eyes. Not because you had the grace of a dancer in the way you tackled the bumpy train ride, which made many a commuter lose his morning feet.

You were beautiful because you stood and watched as an old man took the ‘ladies seat’ in front of you. It made him smile the most soulful toothless smile i had seen.

Because you made funny faces at the baby across the aisle until her laughter, like the jingle of a wind chime caressed, filled the heavy air.

Because when the coffee fogged your glasses at the station, you slid them into your hair with a dimpled smile and continued reading. The embarrassed innocence that found its way to your lips, and the knowing melancholy that stayed in your eyes made me want to cry. For it took me back to a time when you, and i, and so many beautiful people we know, smiled without crying within.

Because you skipped a few trains at the station to finish a chapter, and your coffee. I skipped them to read you.

Because when you spilled your coffee with the careless wave of a hand while Murakami occupied your mind, you gasped for your copy of Norwegian Wood, not caring for the stain it left on your sleeve. My copy stayed firmly tucked in my bag. You were so much more than an author could conjure.

If I said I fell in love at first sight, it’d make a poetic line, and perhaps a popular post; maybe even inspire a song or two, but it wouldn’t be true. For Love is in the details, stranger: the good, the bad, and the nasty. The ones that you flaunt, the ones that you hide, the ones that make you you: I’d want to know them all.

I want to know which birds sing outside your window at dawn. Do your groggy eyes smile at their melodies? Or do you steal a minute more of sleep at every snooze of a persistent alarm? Is your hair neatly tied up, or do you let them entangle your dreams? How do you take your morning tea, or coffee? What terrifies you? What excites you? Which is your favourite love song, stranger?

I’d want to listen to your idea of happiness, while you stared into nothingness and pictured it.  I’d lie beneath the stars with you, listening to your stories – the colours of your childhood, the elder brother or the younger sister or the imaginary friend; your first crush; the first time you dared to love, the times your heart broke; your hopes and dreams: the ones that stayed, others that you buried; the books that made you cry the most, the movies that made you laugh the hardest; moments of triumph, and those of defeat, and those that you hide between pages of a journal.

After all, Love is in the details, stranger. It’s only when you have seen the other jump with joy and curl up on the floor broken, laugh uninhibitedly and cry helplessly, love madly and hate fiercely, survive their mondays and live their fridays; when you’ve heard all their anecdotes, over and over again; when you’ve held their manicured hand at a party, and kissed their morning face in bed; when you’ve marvelled at their perfections and adored their flaws; when you’ve stormed out the door only to realize you miss them too much; when the spark has all but disappeared and yet you can’t imagine a day without them – only then are you truly in Love, a place where a whim does not decide your fate. You do.

What do you think, stranger?


Until tomorrow’s train ride,

The boy who can’t keep his shoelaces tied.

31 thoughts on “Love is in the details, stranger

  1. This was the first blog post of yours that I read. And re-read. And cried every time. It’s simply beautiful, and strikes the perfect chords.


  2. The 2nd paragraph and these 3 lines are my favorite parts:
    -“Because you skipped a few trains at the station to finish a chapter, and your coffee. I skipped them to read you.”
    -“Is your hair neatly tied up, or do you let them entangle your dreams?”
    -“…moments…you hide between the pages of a journal.”

    It’s all so beautifully written, and those 3 lines are ways that I’ve neither thought of expressing myself, nor heard others do so. Thank-you for sharing your gift and creativity. =)


  3. The guy I am in love with, once asked me why I love him so much. That was the time when I knew the relationship was over, because there was no way I could’ve told him effectively that my love lay in finer details of his being. He would’ve laughed. This post made me feel better though. There are eyes that see the details and fall in love with them, seek solace in them, forever locked in memory. Great read. First time here.


    • Thank you for writing in. I noticed you used the word love in its present tense. 🙂 You still do, and he still doesn’t get it, does he?
      Funnily, i got asked the same question many times in a past relationship, and it felt like a test i had to pass- come up with a reason- but i knew that having no one reason in particular was the biggest proof i did love her. All of her. Without a rationale attached to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You noticed. Thank you. Well, yes I still do. I do not know the art of ..un-loving. The details don’t blur away if everything else ends. Nope, he doesn’t get it, and I noticed he became more and more insecure at my inability to exactly say what I love about him. If it was a test, I failed.

        Rationale is overrated.


      • Un-loving isn’t in my dictionary either. I wish it was, maybe it would make today easier, lighter of yesterday. But then, that’s not me. And this is one of my details, and yours too.
        And hey, in retrospect, failing that test was the best thing that could have happened to me. Too many things are decided by reason every day, love is a pleasant exception and should stay as one.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Rationale | The Cosmic Void

  5. One post that is so utterly close to my heart. The feeligs u want to convey are so effortlessly aroused in the reader that it is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. 🙂
    Love the expression, and the “details” within.
    (It brings back certain memories i couldnt find the words to pen down way back in time. Now i know why. There was someone who was gonna express it so much more beautifully. So thanks.!)


  6. Even I want to know which birds sing outside for you, Sumeet….I cannot just say that this is beautiful….it won’t suffice….the way you have narrated it is like a soft soothing song….it mesmerizes, it takes you somewhere else… of the best pieces I have ever read…..really, truly…..would definitely read more of your writings….this is the first I read and I seem to be hooked already….


  7. I have always believed in the power of words. But never have I ever moved so strongly by a blog, and it is my good fortune to have read you.
    Thanks for writing this. Love truly is in details.


  8. Very thoughtful and deep .not to mention true. Must read for those who romanticize the idea of falling in love because of happy coincidences without any actual grounds(or details)Lovely piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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