Love, Aaj Kal

Six people, on this island in the middle of the North Atlantic, spoke to The Independent about love for Valentine’s Day 2022.

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Fluttering butterflies, beating hearts and a rush of hormones ushering a joy so deep that makes a polar dip feel like a summer swim in the neighbourhood pond. 

Love is etched in Shakespeare’s exposition, woven through Rumi’s verse, stitched in Angelou’s words, and painted in Didion’s exploration of culture. 

What can be written about this all-consuming feeling that already hasn’t been? 

Ktaqmkuk and the lands now known as Labrador are no exception to the warm embrace of love. They are embroidered into the land as the stories of the Innu and Inuit, the sound of the Mi’kmaq drum, the history of the Beothuck, tunes of the fiddle and the lilt of the variegated languages spoken from mouths old and new. 

Six people, on this island in the middle of the North Atlantic, spoke about love, aaj kal. 


Love is friendship.

Marin Pelley

Kindergartner

Video recorded by Melissa Pelley and edited by Prajwala Dixit.

Love is when…. love is friendship. Love is giving and love is hoping. Love is when people say sorry and give hugs and kisses. I kinda don’t like kisses. And the strongest love is when people have anniversaries. 

The love of my life is my baby sister, Mae. She is my little love baby sister. I miss her when I am gone to school. She’s silly a lot. And the other love is my daddy and I miss him a lot because he’s gone to work on his oil rig. 

I like to play with blocks a lot. I always have a nap on the weekends because I’m so tired.

My home is on top of a hill. It feels like I am on top of a cliff. 


Love is a motivator. 

Jiya Chandan

Student, Actor

When I was first asked what it is that I truly love, I knew right away there was only one answer I could give. It is my own identity [as a trans woman]. I love being myself, and before you think I’m stuck up, it’s really only because of how hard I have fought to be myself. Being allowed to be myself empowered me. 

It gave me a reason to continue living.


Love is everything. 

Ana Luísa Ramos and Eric Taylor Escudero

Musicians

Our voices have echoed in cafes and concert halls around the world. From Brazil to Denmark. Austria to Canada. And stitched into this quilt of melodies is our love for each other. It blossomed in music school in São Paulo and twelve years later stands strong in the blowing winds of the North Atlantic. 

We are pretty lucky to work in the same field, and I am sure that being both musicians made our partnership stronger. Having Eric as my partner, in life and music, made my life complete. I love our lives together, how we help and understand each other, and how calm and beautiful life can be.


Love is my family. 

Mayko Nguyen

Actor

I met my partner when he became a tenant in the home I was both renting out and living in. He occupied the unit above me for three years before we started dating. We became pregnant with our first child within a year of seeing each other and then had our second four years later.

I didn’t grow up with a strong sense of place or belonging and having my family has tethered me to something that was very much absent in my younger years. It’s given me a home, a sense of place and relevance, purpose and belonging.


Love is a big word.

Anita Singh

Multidisciplinary visual artist working in printmaking, encaustic painting, ceramics and mixed media. 

The first time I felt a spark, Tara Bryan was giving me a haircut and he popped by and vocalized his opinions on how she should cut my hair.

One day, it began to rain buckets, like a tropical storm, outside of our little apartment on Duckworth Street. We both got so excited to experience it. We ran outside into the rain, slow-danced, hugged and stood soaking in the storm together. 

Will sees me for who I am. He is compassionate, understanding, thoughtful, loving. His support and guidance as an artist has helped me grow, he gives me more confidence which has helped me venture further with projects. Growing a child was the most magical experience, nurturing our son together, having a family has given my life an incredible foundation.

I would feel lost and lonely without my husband, partner, confidant and lover, William Gill. 


Love is unconditional.

Dr. Sukhinder Cheema

Professor, Biochemistry

I’m a single mom and Avi is the only child I have. Avi always wanted a pet. She said, “You can’t give me a sibling. Give me a pet, at least.” Since we moved to Newfoundland, my parents have always lived with me. You know in India, we don’t really live with pets. We had a dog back home. But to have a dog inside your house, that sleeps in your bed, is not a thing we did in India. So, my mum was very opposed to getting a dog. But Avi was adamant that she wanted to have a pet. So, she started volunteering at the SPCA one summer. Everyday a dog would come to the SPCA and she would want to bring the dog home. Finally, I agreed. That’s when we found Jem. Avi’s favourite book in her school days was To Kill A Mockingbird. And the main character is Jeremy after whom our dog is named. 

It’s a beautiful journey we’ve had with Jem who will turn twelve in July. My dad ended up getting dementia. He didn’t forget me. I could see this light, this twinkle in his eyes any time he saw me. But I never thought he would forget my name. He never forgot Jem’s name, though. Anytime he was feeling down, I always took Jem to the nursing home. And I would just say, “Dad, Jem wants to go for a walk, let’s take him for a walk.” And Dad would just get up and go. 

Love comes in all forms and shapes, you know? 

The title of the article comes from a 2009 Hindi movie, called Love, Aaj Kal, starring Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan, directed by Imtiaz Ali.

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